Athlete Spotlight: Cris Burgum


Name: Cris Burgum



Hometown:Detroit, MI

Which class time do you usually attend? A couple times but mostly in the evenings.

Favorite WOD: Not sure I have one….

Favorite CF Movement: Bar dips

Least Favorite CF Movement: Toes to bar; I’ll be able to fly before I can string those together.

3RM Back Squat:215

1RM Deadlift:300

Favorite Food: Short ribs

Favorite Movie: Goodwill Hunting

Favorite Athlete:Barry Sanders

Dream Job:Sportscaster

Dream Vacation Destination: Skiing in British Columbia

If you could have any super power… Toes to bar

Favorite Motivational Quote:“Go big or go home.”

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

April, 2013

How did you first discover CrossFit and what made you decide to start?

My stepson was at No Excuses for about a year and talked about it and then he did an MMA thing for a while. He was trying to get me to do one of them, so I tried the safer of the two.

Tell us about your fitness/sports background:

Grew up swimming from a young age and then played water polo in high school, Yeah, in Detroit. Michigan was a very good swimming state and water polo grew big there too. Played two years (club) at Ohio State. Also played a lot of tennis……still do today.

What sorts of positive changes (mental, physical, emotional) have you noticed in your life since getting involved at No Excuses?

Obviously, it changes you physically and because of the varied workouts it ensures you work on all parts of your body. The training for swimming, and even more so water polo as a junior, was so much work I thought I’d never be able to find that kind of fitness again. NECF has given me that same feeling and level of fitness as an adult. Huge benefits for me from an energy level standpoint and clearing my head after a day at work.

Who or what keeps you coming back and motivated?

I don’t track my benchmarks very well but it’s easy to track your fitness level with CF generally and I think being able to measure your progress, even generally, is a great thing about CF.

In what other ways do you use your fitness?

To hopefully stay alive longer……

Please share with us a favorite CrossFit or No Excuses moment.

When shortly after figuring out hand stand pushups I was able to somehow string together 10 of then in a workout.

Name one goal you would like to achieve in the next year (doesn’t have to be CrossFit related, but it can be)

There are a number of things I’d like to be able to accomplish in CF but most are a stretch (note TTB’s above) but I’d like to be able to string together double unders. If I really worked at it, I might actually be able to do it.

Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of the gym:

I play a lot of tennis or as much as I can fit in. Enjoy golf but it’s down the list in terms of time invested so I’m mediocre at it. Otherwise, enjoy reading (actual books) and spending time with family (5 kids / 3 grandkids).

What advice do you have for someone just starting CrossFit or is on the fence about starting?

I’d say take it at your own pace. Everyone comes into this at a different level so know your starting point and don’t look at the folks on your left and right. If you try to keep up with people, you’ll get frustrated and may hurt something. As much as I love it, I’ve met a number of people who don’t so if you do try it and don’t like it then be sure to find something you can do that keeps you fit for a lifetime. It’s that important and a shame to see how many people don’t focus on it.

What do you love most about No Excuses?

The coaching is great and while they are serious they do it with a good sense of humor. I’ve seen a lot of coaches come and go and been impressed with everyone. It’s all I can do to get to 3-4 workouts a week but I’m impressed with the number of other programs they’re able to run for a small gym. If you want everything fitness and nutrition this is the place to be. The philanthropy is also a great part of everything they do at NECF.

Coach Chris’s Take:Cris is a long-time member that over the course of many years has made lots of strength and skill gains.  What stands out to me the most, that I have seen Cris improve at, is his form or quality of movement.  He really makes a conscious effort to become a better mover.  This has really shown at his ability to increase his performance in the workouts.