Athlete Spotlight: Ryan Flanagan

Name: Ryan Flanagan
Age: 25Ryan_Flannagan
Occupation: IT Geek at NCR
Which class time do you usually attend? 9:30 a.m.
Favorite WOD: Lately it’s been anything with thrusters or wall balls
Favorite Lift: Squat Clean
Deadlift Max: 405 pounds
Back squat Max: 345 pounds
Fran: 3:07
Cindy: I haven’t had a full 20 minute relationship with Cindy yet, don’t think I want to either.
Got Muscle-ups? Yes
1 mile run: n/a
How long have you been CrossFitting?
“I did CrossFit off and on for about a year while in college. I’ve been at No Excuses for a year.”

What keeps you coming back/motivated?
“The results. The atmosphere. The strategy that goes into every WOD, but then goes right out the window once it starts. The competition, it’s like every day is game day competing against others as well as yourself (previous time/reps.)”

How did you find CrossFit?
“A college buddy of mine introduced me to it back in 2011. Been hazing myself ever since.”

What is your athletic background (If applicable)?
“I dabbled in many sports growing up. I played football in high school and was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to play at Lambuth University, but then transferred to Valdosta State after my freshman year.”

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
“I find myself breaking down life’s challenges into smaller pieces, like I do when I break down a workout, and tackling it from there.
My current level of fitness is the best it’s ever been. I grew up playing football, so the weight room became a way of life but it also became a routine. I got burnt out doing the same workouts and lifts every other day and soon started to hate working out in general. I lost all discipline and motivation for the weight room while in college and it showed in my body and laziness. Since I’ve started CrossFit, I’ve become more active and energetic and I’m in the best shape of my life.”

What is the one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do? (muscle up, double unders, heavy deadlift, run a mile, etc.)
“Since I’ve been at No Excuses, I’ve learned to string together double unders, hand-stand push-ups, and one-legged squats. I did the football workout routine for about 10 years, yet my PRs in all lifts are the strongest they’ve ever been in just two years of doing CrossFit.

What motivates/inspires you?
“Watching others struggle at a movement or a lift then, after a week or two, seeing them string reps together or increasing weight on those movements and lifts. Everyone has their GOATs, so when you see someone conquer theirs, you know you can conquer yours.”

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?
“It’s a tie between getting a muscle up and doing Fran unbroken.”

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit?
“To learn how to get out of my comfort zone and not be afraid to fail.”

What goals have you achieved in CrossFit?
“In my first week of doing CrossFit, I attempted ‘Angie.’ I didn’t finish and I almost passed out. I’ve never felt that terrible during any exercise before. I had to let cold water run over my head in the sink for a good hour before I remembered what my name was. My current PR for Angie is down to 18 minutes.
A similar story could be said about my experience with ‘Fran.’ My first attempt took me about 12 minutes and was broken up into many sets. My current ‘Fran’ PR is 3:07 and can now go completely unbroken. ”

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit?
“Doing anything outdoors – hike, camp, hunt, fish, you name it. I like watching college football, especially after the Bulldogs lose. The Dawg fans’ excuses are always amusing. Roll Tide.”

What is your favorite meal?
“Baby Back Ribs.”

Any advice for new members?
“Check your ego at the door. Don’t be intimidated to try and don’t be intimidated to fail. We’ve all had our starting points so don’t get discouraged if you’re not as strong or as fast as others. I get beat by a girl sometimes (only because she’s on PEDs..), but I’ve learned that if YOU go as hard as YOU can go, you get the same workout everybody else does.
Give it four weeks and if you’re not looking and feeling better and completely addicted to it, I’ll let you kick me in the shin. The proof is in the before-and-after pictures at the gym. The trick is you have to get off your butt and put your work in, it’s that simple.”

Coach Brandon’s comment
“Ryan has worked his way to become one of the top athletes in our gym. When he first started he was putting up decent times and scores. After about three or four months, Ryan started putting in a little extra work before and after class and has grown tremendously as an athlete with weight lifting, gymnastics and cardiovascular. I used to beat Ryan in WODs frequently, but like any good Jedi he has suppressed his master. Ryan doesn’t say a whole lot, but when he does it’s a quick-witted joke or advice on a WOD. He’s been a great addition to the gym and we are very happy to have him train with us!”