On Tuesday, February 25th, two days before the 2014 CrossFit Games Open stars, I had a chance to sit down with up-and-coming CrossFit athlete Torey Throop. I’ve had the pleasure of training next to him for the last year. No one’s got more heart than this guy. Keep you eye on him in 2014. Here’s what I found:
SM: Who are you, where are you from, and where do you train?
TT: Torey Throop, from Alma, Michigan, Vestaburg originally, train at CrossFit Deviate.
SM: Where is CrossFit Deviate?
TT: Rochester, MI
SM: How long have you been CrossFitting?
TT: Uh…About 19 months?
SM: That’s pretty short?
TT: Just under two years, yep.
SM: Did you participate in any sports or weightlifting before CrossFit?
TT: Played College Basketball and Golf. Played football, baseball, and basketball in high school
SM: Does your snatch improve your golf swing?
TT: Shoulder mobility
TT: Definitely. And explosive hips!
SM: Makes sense. Any sponsors?
TT: Uh…Just my buddy Brad helping me out with some Fox gear, so that’s pretty rad. But I’m open to options at this point
SM: Why is Miranda Oldroyd so much buffer than you are?
TT: Because she’s been doing CrossFit longer…That’s why. She’s a beast
SM: She’s a stud.
SM: Favorite benchmark workout?
TT: Hmmm…I would have to say…(pondering)…UGH…
SM: So many to choose from.
TT: There is…Uh…Helen’s not bad.
TT: I like it. It’s a good CrossFit workout. It’s just classic CrossFit.
SM: What’s Helen again? That’s uh…Running, kettle bell swings, and pullups?
TT: Running, kettle bells and pullups, yep.
SM: What about for 2013…Any achievements, or particularly special PR’s?
TT: This last year?
TT: Um…pretty psyched to get my Fran time under 2:18. That was cool.
TT: Clean and Jerked 315, uh…Snatched 250…So mainly my strength numbers went way up. Squatted over 400, deadlift is getting close to 500.
SM: Those are all Big Boy numbers
TT: Trying to get up there. Chasing guys that are getting better, so it’s hard
SM: So it’s safe to say you’re pretty strong going into the 2014 season.
SM: Why is Rich Froning so tan?
TT: Man…they don’t get much snow in Tennessee
SM: He must have a tanning bed at Mayhem.
TT: He does. He cheats. He gets waxed too I think
SM: Who does your programming? Do you have a coach?
TT: UM…I started by myself in the garage. I’d always just do benchmark workouts like every day, and hero workouts. But now everything is more…not structured, but…I still make it up every day as I go. I gotta give a lot of credit for strength to Rehif and…You know…I wouldn’t be where I am without him. A lot of my knowledge comes from him.
SM: Who’s Rehif?
TT: Rehif Murray, one of the part owners of CrossFit Deviate. He does the programming for the gym. It’s good stuff.
SM: I can vouch for that.
TT: And uh…Galloway and Coach Mike (CrossFit Deviate Olympic Lifting Coaches). My oly was pitiful when I started CrossFit. I’d have to give them the credit for my Oly form.
SM: It helps to have good coaches.
TT: Oh yea…I mean…I can’t imagine seeing better coaches anywhere, but I know there are a lot of good ones out there.
SM: Hip Hop, or Rock/Punk in the gym?
TT: Rock/Punk definitely.
SM: Running or rowing?
TT: Yea…yup. They’re both bad. They both suck.
SM: Last, but not least…how many burpees did you get in 12.1?
TT: Dude…I don’t remember fully…I think it was 133. I never did the actual workout. I did it on my own. I did it last year before the open…a week before…I think I got 133.
SM: Where would that score have ranked?
TT: Uh…It was somewhere in the top 20 I think.
SM: Damn. That’s crazy. Well thanks buddy and good luck this year.
TT: It was a pleasure.
You can follow Torey Throop here:
So the CrossFit “Season” is upon us. And just like tens of thousands of other CrossFitters, I signed up for the CrossFit Games Open last week. For the non-CrossFitter, the Open is a worldwide CrossFit Games qualifier held over five weeks. CrossFit HQ releases one qualifying workout a week, where the participants have five days to complete the workout and submit their score. The top 48 men and women, and top 30 teams in each region move on to Regionals (semi-finals). From there, the top three men, women, and teams in each region move on to the Games. If you’re active in the fitness world and don’t know what the CrossFit Games is, you’ve definitely have been living under a rock (hopefully one you’ve been lifting)
CrossFit has done something special with the Open – They have created a worldwide playing field in which to test your fitness. You can see how you stack up against Rich Froning, Samantha Briggs, your rival CrossFit partner, or anyone who’s part of the open for that matter. They have created an event that will push most people to a physical and mental place they have never been…probably five different times over the five week event. They have given CrossFitters a medium in which to workout on the same playing field as their heroes. And they have given the entire CrossFit world a continued motivation and a goal to shoot for every year. It really is pretty amazing.
If your gym (box) is like mine, everyone’s palms are already sweating in anticipation. For the competitors, this is what many of us have worked towards all year. For the other 90% of the gym, this is something they can get excited about and have fun participating in. It really brings the entire gym together. It also opens the eyes of new CrossFitters to the sport of “CrossFit”.
I’m particularly excited for my gym, CrossFit Deviate. Last year we were only about six months old and placed 34th in the Open, four places out of a free ticket to Regionals. Heartbroken, but not discouraged, I watched every athlete pour their blood, sweat, tears, and dedication into their training all year, and I am 100% confident we will be one of 30 teams at the Central East Regionals later this year. In addition to the team, we have a handful of individual competitors that will more than likely qualify as an individual (this is elite shit we are talking about here), including our coach, and my friend, Torey Throop, who will give the top ten in the Central East a run for their money. It’s going to be an exciting season for our little world of fitness in Rochester, MI.
Our team will consist of six individuals, three men, and three women. More than likely the team will be chosen based on each individual’s performance in the Open. As for me…I would do anything to be a part of the team. I live and breath the sport of CrossFit, as well as my gym, my second family and home, CrossFit Deviate. I have a good shot, but as hard as I train, my day job makes being the best CrossFitter I can be somewhat difficult. Months of traveling only hinder my progress, and it just so happens that I’m traveling the entire five weeks of the Open this year. Great. As long as I have this job (which I love, by the way), maintaining the high level of skill, strength, and conditioning needed to be a regional team contender is going to take a truck-load of discipline, focus, and motivation. Is it doable? Yes. Would it be much easier if I didn’t travel? Of course. It’s hard not to make excuses.
Which brings me to the point of this post – Life. 99% of us have lives that need our attention. Kids, family, jobs, health…you name it. Anything can set us back or cause us to lose focus. The great news is, it’s OK. Life gets in the way sometimes. Don’t get frustrated if you miss a day, week, pound, lift…We all have bad days. More often than not, we can learn a lot from that bad day! Just keep your eye on the ball, keep moving forward, don’t make excuses, be grateful you’re able to workout, and you will no doubt achieve whatever goal you have set for yourself.
Feel free to share them below!
PS: Write your goals down and look at them everyday! SERIOUSLY!