“The most rewarding part has been all the growth and change I’ve seen. I am way stronger than I have ever been. CrossFit makes me feel great!!” -Maria
“Becoming more athletic than I’ve ever been, even more than high school when I would play sports and work out. What I’ve learned from going to Cypher is that there is always room for improvement! The rewarding part comes every time you get a PR.” -Miguel

Congratulations to Maria & Miguel, our latest Cypher Athlete Spotlights!

Cypher: What were you doing to stay in shape before you started Cypher?
Maria: I would go to Planet Fitness.
Miguel: I was going to planet fitness 3-5 times a week.

Cypher: What do you do for work?

Maria: I am the office manager for a housekeeping company in El Cerrito.
Miguel: I’m the manager of business operations at a housekeeping company based in El Cerrito. Maria handles the front end client and employee based communication and I handle all the paper work associated with running the company (payroll, insurance, etc all the fun stuff yay! Haha).

Cypher: How did you hear about CrossFit Cypher and CrossFit?

Maria: I first heard about CrossFit through one of our friends who would not stop talking about it. Finally, we decided to check it out and landed at Cypher.
Miguel: One of our friends is crazy addicted to CrossFit and he’s been trying to get us to try it out for a while (I think a year or two lol). We came across Cypher through Yelp!

Cypher: Describe your first day participating in a CrossFit workout. Do you remember what the WOD was? What was it like, and what were your thoughts when you left the gym?

Maria: I don’t remember the first workout to well but I know it kicked my butt. I remember Miguel and I were very excited and nervous to start. After the first day we knew we had found something we’d love!

Miguel: I don’t remember the WOD but I have a feeling I was doing some kind of overhead bar work because I remember thinking that it was the most awkward bar movements I’ve ever done haha. I do remember Hann giving me pointers that day. My thoughts were “God I’m gonna be so sore tomorrow but that was so much more fun than the regular gym!” And yup I was right, for the next month I was constantly sore in new muscles pretty much every day lol.

maria pull up

Cypher: What has been the most challenging part of CrossFit for you?

Maria: The most challenging part of CrossFit for me is handstands. Its a movement I’ve never really done and I guess that scares me. I’ve never really liked being upside down. I’m sure with practice I will get over it.

Miguel: Being patient about not being able to do certain movements (overhead squat is my #1 enemy ) and learning to trust my body and it being able to handle the weights.

maria handstand

What has been the most rewarding part of CrossFit for you?

Maria: The most rewarding part has been all the growth and change I’ve seen. I am way stronger than I have ever been. CrossFit makes me feel great!!

Miguel: Becoming more athletic than I’ve ever been, even more than high school when I would play sports and work out. What I’ve learned from going to Cypher is that there is always room for improvement! The rewarding part comes every time you get a PR.


Cypher: What is one of your most memorable CrossFit PRs or milestones? What did it feel like when you did it?

Maria: One of my most memorable CrossFit PR’s is probably my squat PR. It was nothing crazy or anything but I have alway squatted and never at this weight. I use to squat maybe like 50 to 60lbs and thought that was tough. The first time we squatted in CrossFit I did double that weight and it felt so natural. It was an exciting moment to know I was capable of lifting heavy weights.

Miguel: Completing the CrossFit Open. I seriously thought I wasn’t going to make it after doing 16.1 and the toll that took on my entire lower body! Shout out Ana for pushing myself and Maria to signing up. I already can’t wait for next years (hoping to go all Rx!).

Cypher: What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit?

Maria: Since starting CrossFit I have definitely lost some weight which has helped improve my energy and overall well being. I am also way stronger than ever before and that’s a great feeling.

Miguel: Started around 190# and I’m down to 173#! The best part was that I never made it about my weight like I used to when I would go to the regular gym. When I see friends who I haven’t seen in a long time they always ask me about how I’ve been able to get back in shape . Going Paleo (not strict but for the most part) helped me out a lot as well. Overall I just feel healthier and more fit, I’m able to do more throughout the day without feeling super tired.


Cypher: What encouragement or words of advice would you give to new people coming in?

Maria: I would say just do it. Don’t over think it and you will get it done!

Miguel: If you really want to see the results that you’ve always wanted (no matter what they are), you’re gonna have to work hard. That’s what I think is the beauty of CrossFit. There’s a level for every single individual that will still give you the same toughness during the workout. In every class I go to I always see everyone tired at the end of the workout and it doesn’t matter if the did Rx or some type of scaled. Best advice I would give is don’t feel discouraged if your workout is scaled down, everyone has to start somewhere but the important part is to stay consistent and keep working as hard as you can to improve day by day! 🙂

miguel lunge

Cypher: You both come to the gym together so consistently, we love it! How has having a pretty reliable workout buddy affected your daily experience and growth? (Do you talk about the workout together before or after class? Are you competitive at all with each other ;)?)

Maria: Having a consistent workout buddy has definitely helped in my success. In the past I usually fall out of a good workout cycle if I don’t have someone to join me. Miguel and I are both very competitive so we are always trying to do more than the other. We talk about the workouts all the time and discuss how they went for us and how we will improve.

Miguel: It has made the experience richer! We tend to hold each other accountable when it comes to going to class (even give each other a hard time when one of us misses class lol). We talk about the workouts all the time, maybe you could say we’re borderline addicted to CrossFit lol. We’re always being competitive because each of us wants bragging rights! I know during workouts I scope out how she’s doing to see if I need to turn it up a notch hahaha!


Cypher: What fitness goals have you set for yourself to achieve in 2016?

Maria: I don’t have a specific goal I want to achieve in 2016, just to keep trying my best and getting stronger.

Miguel: I want to be able to do most, if not all workouts Rx! I would also love to be able to hand stand walk at least 10 feet. Notable PRs I want: 255# bench 300# squat 350# deadlift 200# power clean 8).


Cypher: What are some of your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of the gym? Any fun facts your gym-mates might not know about you?

Maria: My hobbies consist of going to raves/concerts, eating and my pups. Outside of the gym we’re usually exploring with the pups, trying out a new food joint or attending a rave/concert. I also really like make-up so I’m constantly watching Youtube tutorials and buying lots of it.

Miguel: We go to a lot of raves and concerts, I would say that’s probably our favorite hobby/interest together. Interest that I personally have is collecting sneakers, but I’m trying to cut back on that lol. A fun fact I guess would be that I have over 50 sneakers (I don’t even know how many exactly, Maria thinks over 75 pairs).

maria clean 2

Cypher: Spirit Animal & Super Power?

Maria: <blank>

Miguel: Wolf! Everything about the wolf is so cool and the fact that they’re similar to dogs is awesome (I have two pups) Super power would have to be teleportation! Just imagine all the places I could travel and I would never be late again lol.

Cypher: If you could describe Cypher in five words, what would they be?

Maria: Strong, Motivational, Friendly, Edgy, and Fun.

Miguel: Friendly, energetic, awesome, fun, motivational.

Cypher: Any other thoughts or shoutouts?

Maria: You guys are awesome!!

Miguel: Thank you Mauricio, Leslie, Becky for helping Maria and I grow! And to everyone else for being so friendly and supportive. Crossfit Cypher is definitely family!