Name: Christopher Tsai Occupation:  I work for a Global NGO. It’s the largest independent organization dedicated solely to feeding, educating and protecting children. Lift Off Strength Family Member Since: Early 2016 How did you get started at Lift Off Strength?  I was searching for something different. For a variety of reasons, I had grown tired of the big box gyms, and I felt a change in venue would serve me well. I also felt drawn to the intensity of CrossFit style workouts, the honesty behind them (i.e., you can’t cheat a prowler or a pull up bar), as well as the genuine camaraderie such places seem to foster. So I started doing some research…What I discovered was that these types of gyms are not homogenous. While the workouts might be similar in theory, each place has its own culture, its own philosophy and thus its own approach to coaching and instruction. LOS stood out from its competition pretty clearly. What kind of results have you seen in your time at LOS? 

  1. I’ve completed a strict “muscle up” on suspended rings
  2. I’ve learned to string together kip movements to execute a variety of exercises
  3. I’ve reached a new PR for my bench press
  4. I’ve reduced my body fat% below 20% (good for my age)

Give us a long term AND short term fitness goal:  Long term: I want to be able to complete a MURPH (1 mile, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-push ups, 300 air squats, 1 mile) twice a month. Short term: I want to learn how to do a bar muscle up. What would you tell someone that is on the fence about CrossFit and not sure whether they should give it a try or not? Don’t be intimidated. CrossFit is fundamentally about learning how to move your body through space in the most efficient manner possible. It’s something we do every day, whether we realize it or not. Given that, wouldn’t you want to learn how to do it better, and with more strength, agility, power and most importantly, longevity? What is your proudest CrossFit accomplishment thus far? I suppose my first strict muscle up was a pretty good accomplishment Tell us something about you that nobody knows, preferably an embarrassing story I am a crack shot with a pistol. I ate a whole watermelon by myself when I was barely two, which is why my Chinese nickname is “pong-pong” or chubby chubby. I used to work at the Chicago Board of Trade back when commodities were traded verbally…people got into fights all the time, including me. I have pretty good dance moves if I’m in the mood. I can play a mean game of billiards. I can only sing one karaoke song, and it’s a Dean Martin song. I have a very calming effect on animals, especially angry ones.  If you could workout with ANYONE…who would it be and why? I would work out with David Goggins. I’d like to workout with anyone who is capable of running around a track for 48hrs straight. Oh, and he is the world record holder for most pull-ups in a 24 hour period (4,025 in 17 hours). If you could have dinner with 3 people, any lifetime, who and why? 

  1. Anthony Bourdain because he could brainwash me into enjoying any experience
  2. Neil deGrasse Tyson because he would talk about SPACE…and science
  3. Ana de Armas because well….have you seen her?

 What do you love most about Lift Off Strength? I love LOS for three reasons:

  1. Personalization: I had unique needs. As a Type I diabetic, I had to monitor the effects of exercise on my blood sugar levels. The coaching staff at LOS demonstrated awareness of my condition by customizing my workouts and by pushing me to meet goals in a challenging but responsible and safe manner. They do this for all of their clients, depending on their specific needs.
  2. Technical Competence: I quickly saw that the coaches at LOS cared for each of its members. They illustrated that care through constantly educating its members and emphasizing correct technical form above all else, to prevent injury and create long term value to the workouts.
  3. Culture: I believe it’s important who you surround yourself with. When I discovered LOS, I knew immediately that I would be likely to invest and thus commit because I genuinely liked the people (both the staff and the athletes). The culture at LOS is hard to describe in words, but for me it’s a holistic (education, execution, remediation) approach to exercise that is very effective.

 What is your favorite quote and/or motto…one that you live by? “You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire” – Seneca How has CrossFit changed your life?  In April 2010, I walked out of a hospital in Dallas, Texas just happy to be alive. I discovered that I had Type I Diabetes, which meant that I could no longer produce insulin naturally. I had lost 45 lbs, could barely walk unassisted and was suffering from the ravages that deep set pneumonia and bronchitis had done to my lungs. Now, thanks in part to CrossFit, I’m stronger in many ways than I was when I was in my 20s. CrossFit has helped me understand my body better and it has given me a set of progressive goals that keeps me motivated.