Member of the Month: Brian Maser

maser motm

How did you get involved in CrossFit? What was your first WOD/experience?
I started doing CrossFit on my own as a member at BSC in Downtown Crossing in the summer of 2012. At that time I had just finished a 1/2 marathon after running Boston for the second time in April. While I ran, did bootcamp classes, and lifted, I was not “fit”, so to speak, and was not happy with where I was physically. I was sitting at home one night and I saw the CrossFit Games was airing on ESPN2. I had no idea what CrossFit was at the time but, thankfully, gave it a look. I’ll never forget it. I turned it on just as the final heat of the men’s chipper at the 2012 Games was airing. The athletes were doing overhead squats, box jump overs, axel bar thrusters, power cleans, toes to bar, and burpee muscle ups. I was floored with what the athletes were doing and how in shape they were. I started looking at the main site the following day and began CrossFit the following week. I can’t remember the first WOD I did back then but when I joined CrossFit Boston in December 2012, the first WOD was Karen. It remains one of my favorite WODs.

When did you start coming to CrossFit Southie?
I joined Southie in September 2014. I was immediately impressed with the coaching and community that Southie had. The existing members were welcoming to me and others that joined in and around the same time. Coaches were so willing to offer additional time or special attention to help an athlete. It was great to see Goose and Amy getting involved in coaching the classes, and doing the workouts, as well. The coaches here, and the community here…I cannot say enough about. I was amazed at the number of people at the Christmas Party. It really showed how much people care about this place and each other. I am really happy to be a part of it.

ohs maserIs this the first CrossFit you’ve worked out at / how long have you been CrossFitting for?
I joined CrossFit Boston in December 2012 when it opened in the Financial District. All together I have been doing CrossFit for right around 2 and 1/2 years. I can honestly say that CrossFit has allowed me to get in the best shape of my life. After living a very unhealthy lifestyle after graduating college in 1999 I got off my ass and dropped a bunch of weight in 2008. I was able to keep most of it off over the following years. Still, I was not happy with where I was physically. CrossFIt has gotten me into the shape I always wanted to be in.

When did you realize that CrossFit was right for you?
Almost immediately after I started doing CrossFit, to be honest. I really enjoyed the strength work involved and the constantly varied workouts were a new concept to me, at the time, after a lifetime of doing chest and tris, and back and bis, and cardio. What really drove it home, though, that CrossFit was right for me, beyond the workouts, was the community aspect that I had been without since playing competitive sports. The best aspect of CrossFit, far and away, is the community and the friendships that are made along the way. I am part of a special group of people in the morning. While I have never had the pleasure, I have heard that the nights at CFS are filled with the same quality people. I love working out and competing with the athletes in class. Watching other athletes grind through WODs, hit PRs, give everything they have during class, listen, learn, and grow as an athlete, and accomplish things that they have never done before is really inspiring.

What are you short-term and long-term CrossFit goals?
I am trying to get a muscle up before The Open so, short term, that is a big goal. Long range I want to improve in the gymnastic movements that are increasingly becoming standard movements in CrossFit. I hope that I can work towards hand-walking in the coming months/years.maser hspu

What is your biggest accomplishment?
It may not sound like much but being able to do pull-ups. Before I started CrossFit I could not do pull-ups. In my first year of doing CrossFit I went from not being able to do a pull-up to being able to do 24 unbroken. After joining Southie I watched Goose and Chuck’s YouTube video on butterfly pull-ups and I have gotten those by practicing the techniques demonstrated on the video.
What is your favorite / least favorite WOD/movement?
Favorite WOD is DT. Give me a barbell with some competition plates on it and I am happy. I also love thrusters and OHS. If you haven’t done the hero WOD ‘Kalsu’ look it up and give it a go. When I first started CrossFit I could not OHS a PVC pipe. I love doing overhead squats because they are a reminder of where I was when I started, and where I am physically at that moment. They are a great measure of strength and flexibility. Also, if you don’t currently do a squat program, get on one and stay on one.
Least favorite movement is HSPU, by far. When I get upside down I feel like I am 10 feet away from the floor with my long arms. I am working on them to get better but they are a huge goat of mine.

What do you do for a profession outside of CrossFit?
I am a labor and employment attorney at a firm here in Boston.

What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit?
I am a full-time Dad outside of the gym and work. My kids are involved in sports on the weekends and I coach my oldest son in hockey every Saturday and Sunday. MyIMG_2012wife and I are constantly shuttling them to and from ice hockey rinks, basketball courts, and soccer and lacrosse fields. I love to cook. My specialty is homemade pasta, italian oil bread, and gravy with sausage and meatballs. I don’t make that as much as I once did much to my kids’ disappointment. When I have free time I like to spend it at home with my wife and kids.

Do you eat Paleo or Zone? What is your favorite paleo/non-paleo meal?
I am Paleo for life, baby! I did a Paleo challenge in the spring of 2013 at my old box and the results were proof positive to me that Paleo was the way to eat. I have been Paleo ever since. I realized how poorly I was eating during the challenge and the changes I made really altered my body composition. Plus, I just felt better eating clean, and I slept better, which is necessary when I get up at 4 AM to get to the gym. I enjoy preparing my meals and knowing what I am eating. It takes some getting used to but I really like eating Paleo. If I am going to have a cheat meal, I would make it a large pepperoni pizza from Regina’s in the North End.
Fun fact?

I like to tackle do-it-yourself projects at home. I am in the process of remodeling the master bathroom in our house. The only aspects of the remodeling I will pass off to the professionals is the plumbing. Other than that, I demoed the old bathroom, am installing the shower, shower pan, laying the marble tile, and grouting everything. I love working with tile and stone. I renovated our kids’ bathroom last year, with some help (thanks, Frawls). If you are thinking about doing a similar project I would be happy to share with you what I know!

1. Strict Press
2. Push-press

100 Burpees for time
Every Minute on the Minute
10 Kettlebell Swings (2,1.5)

Level 2 – (1.5,1), 7 Swings, 80 Burpees
Level 1 – (1,0.75) 5 Swings, 60 Burpees

*WOD starts with 10 kettlebell swings

Conditioning Class: WOD
2 Rounds:
Tabata Airdyne for Calories
Rest 1 minute
Tabata Double Unders
Rest 1 minute

Conditioning Class: Core
4 Rounds
5 Barbell rollouts
5 Windshield wipers