Aviv is another Croga member that has shown just how far you can get with focus, consistency and dedication. Over the last 3 years he has made some HUGE improvements in every aspect of his fitness, most notably his strength, coordination and endurance. One of my favorite things to experience as a coach is meeting a new member that is obviously very disciplined and analytical in their career, and seeing them apply those same characteristics to their health and fitness. When they do so, they are basically unstoppable and Aviv is one of those people and his results show in a relatively short people of time show it. I loved it when he signed up for Croga Nutrition and within months he was absolutely shredded, it was incredible! Finally, one of my favorite things about Aviv is his friendliness with new members and his willingness to help others either in class or outside of class with their nutrition. Aviv was our first really successful vegetarian nutrition client and whenever we have a new vegetarian sign up for Croga Nutrition, we always lean on Aviv for his wealth of knowledge to help these clients get off to a good start and he is always more than willing to help. Thanks for being awesome, Aviv! We love having you at Croga and can't wait to see what you accomplish next.
When did you join Croga?
I started in October of 2018 after coming back from a canyoneering trip with a good friend to Zion National Park. He was just in tremendous shape and when I asked what he did to keep fit he told me he did crossfit. That was the first time I had heard of it. Because I was dying during the hikes and he wasn’t I promised myself that whatever he did I’d try too.
What were you doing before for fitness?
Some running. Some lifting. Honestly, it’s not even worth mentioning. An injury-prone waste of time. I’d been better off doing nothing.
I sometimes see people jogging on the street trying to get fit. I have a strong urge to tell them to stop wasting their time and head over to the nearest crossfit box.
What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? Of those first workouts the one that I remember the most is Mary. It’s hand-stand push ups, pistols, and pull ups. And the pistols just ruined my legs. I remember not being able to walk right for three days afterwards. I also remember almost barfing on those short 7 minute mini-wods that you do in the orientation, and coach Dave bringing another band and another band for me to do pull ups. Oh, the humiliation.
In fact, the entire first year I was in a solid state of DOMS. I’d wake up in the morning with everything hurting and go to sleep at night with everything hurting. In my imagination I pictured the Croga coaches offering me a red pill and a green pill. Take the green pill and go back to your sedate existence. Take the red one, start training, and realize that you’ve never actually used your body in a meaningful way.
What days and times do you come to Croga?
For a long time I had a routine of Sat, Sun rest Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, rest Fri, and I’d come in for the 5 am workouts. So during those o-so-many grueling months in the beginning I’d tell myself (more like chant it like a mantra) that I just had to survive through two days of workouts (Thu is oly lifting which I could muddle through more easily).
Then during covid a bunch of us had a 7 am zoom garage workout which I attended regularly and which helped keep me sane and fit. Now that we’re back to normal I attend the 6 am workouts and on days that I can’t make 6 am for whatever reason I come in at 3:30 in the afternoon.
I also don’t take scheduled rest days anymore. I find that between regular camping trips with my family and life intervening in general I get a sufficient number of rest days imposed on me. So I workout as much as I possibly can when I’m in my routine and when something comes up and I miss a workout or two I don’t stress about it and simply take it as an opportunity to recover.
What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I am much leaner and stronger now for sure. And not to sound too superficial, but it is nice to be able to take my shirt off in the pool or wherever and not feel ashamed of how I look. Equally important I love knowing that whatever I decide to do, hiking, running, mountain biking, I’m ready. I can jump in and not worry too much about being out of shape, even if I don’t train that specific sport regularly. I also love knowing that I won’t pull my neck or throw my back out trying to lift a potted plant or my mother in law’s suitcase or some other BS. Training regularly has made me much more resilient in that respect.
What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
After flopping around on the floor gasping for breath like a fish out of water I go to my car and open all the windows. And on that drive home, summer or winter, I blast the music and let the wind blast through the windows. Best few minutes of my day.
What's been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Croga?
Not a culinary discovery per se, but Croga Nutrition has been an absolute game changer for me. Eating according to the program has had a bigger impact on my health and well being than the workouts. I can say that with confidence because after a year of working out I had actually gained 20 lbs and was fatter than ever. I gained a lot of strength that year too, but you wouldn’t know it by the way I looked. After joining the Croga nutrition program I lost 40 lbs and started recovering much faster from the workouts, which I attribute to the optimized nutrition. It’s been two years now that I’ve been tracking my macros and eating according to the program and I have no plans of ever stopping. I love having control over my intake and being able to adjust it according to my fitness goals.
What do you love about this type of fitness?
I love the intensity. After doing crossfit, anything else feels like you’re not even moving.
I love that the strongest athletes in the gym and the noobest of noobs can train together, doing essentially the same workout with some minor modifications, and it can be challenging for both of them.
I love that so much of the workout is just a mental game against yourself. To quote Dr Suess: “Sometimes you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win cause you play against you.”
And I love the camaraderie that comes with doing really sucky things together. That friendship got us all through more than a year of covid.
What's your biggest fitness goal for this year?
This will surely take more than a year but I’d like to be able to do workouts at Men’s Rx consistently. I’m not really even close yet, and getting there will require increasing my strength significantly. So I’m going to keep my eye on the prize and continue training, and cutting, and bulking, and doing whatever the coaches tell me do to until it happens.
"The Aviv" WOD! What would it be?
“Ignis aurum probat” (fire tests gold)
Partner workout, 3 RFT
40 Assault bike calories
40 Power cleans 135/95
40 Pull ups
I love partner workouts. Either you’re a little bit slower than your partner, in which case you get the workout of your life trying to keep up, or you’re a little bit faster, in which case you get to encourage your partner, pick up any slack, and generally feel good about yourself. Either way you win. And I hate complicated workouts. Any workout that has the word “then” is on my stink list. Or when the workout is actually hidden in the fine print of the extra instructions. Nope. Give it to me straight. I like it when I can tell what to do from a single glance. I also like classic crossfit workouts where there’s a monostructural component, a gymnastics component, and a strength component. Finally, at some point Coach Dave was talking about a workout (I can’t recall exactly which) but I loved how he described it:
My arms are on FIRE
My legs are on FIRE
My brain is on FIRE
I am riding a bicycle through HELL
So he gave me the inspiration for this workout.
What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Croga?
“I don’t look like an athlete”. “I don’t know the moves”. “The other guys are way stronger”. “I’m afraid of making a fool of myself”. “It’s really crowded. I’m sure I’m getting in peoples’ way”. Nobody cares. If you think anybody has even half a brain wave to devote to judging you, you are mistaken. People have their hands full just keeping themselves alive during the workouts. So get it out of your head that anybody is judging you. Whatever you look like, whatever level you’re starting from come on over and the coaches will get you fit while keeping you safe.
There is nothing more humbling pushing yourself to the edge and discovering that you are not as strong as you thought. Conversely, there is nothing more rewarding than lifting a weight or a mastering a movement that was previously unattainable. Come to Croga and experience both.