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  • April Athlete of the Month!

     Congratulations to our April Athlete of the Month: Carl Marella. Carl is undoubtedly among the most driven and motivated individuals at the gym, and it’s clear that his extra efforts have served him well in his own performance. He keeps everything in perspective, has a ton of fun in his training, and always relies on a positive mental attitude to keep him moving forward in every situation. We are very proud of you Carl, keep it up with your practice- it’s only going to get perfect!

    When did you start doing CrossFit?

     I first did crossfit in 2010 without actually knowing that it was crossfit. I played football in college and our strength and conditioning coach was into it and used it for our conditioning program. It was pretty basic and limited though on what we did. There were no rings or muscle-ups, EMOMs or 21-15-9s just 10-15 minute AMRAP of basic bodyweight movements and deadlifts. He left the next year so I took a hiatus from it until the summer of 2014 after I graduated from school. I started following and watching videos on youtube and got hooked on it. I eventually made my way to Crossfit 88 in fall, when it got cold, where I personally believe that I officially started my crossfit “career” and I haven’t looked back!

    Outside the gym, what’s your favorite sport or activity?

     Football is my number one sport without a doubt. I played it from the time I was 5 until ending my competitive career when I was 20. Much of my life was football and I loved every bit of it. It gave me the foundation for my mentality and work ethic, concussions aside it will always be my favorite sport. I still play in a flag football league during the fall just to run around and stay active. It’s a good time!

    What results have you seen since starting CF?

     My overall level of fitness has increased exponentially. Being able to do muscle-ups, overhead squats and double unders is awesome and being able to do them for 12 minutes straight is an even better feeling. I have gotten in shape for a lot of different sports but being in “crossfit shape” is a completely different level. I have also learned to take mobility more seriously. When i was lifting just to lift weights I had no concern for whether or not my ankles or hips were tight or even caring to do any sort of warm-up. I credit A LOT of what we do in our classes before we lift any weights to my performance improving.

    What do you like most about CF?

    There are a lot of things I love about crossfit. I really enjoy the competitive aspect of it. You can always compare what you did to someone else whether it be the people at the box or one of the pros. The other thing is that it never really gets easy. There is always going to be multiple upon multiple of workouts that will kick your ass. Even Rich Froning and Mat Fraser were stumbling around and gasping for air after 15.5…..

    What is your favorite/ least favorite CF exercise/lift?

    My favorite things to do, without a doubt, are ring muscle ups and cleans/power cleans. Muscle ups are awesome once you have them down. The smooth free-flowing motion is a thing of beauty when done correctly. That’s not to say they aren’t tiring because they absolutely are but they’re fun nonetheless. Cleans are my absolute favorite exercise/lift. To me there are very few lifts that can make you feel like more of a badass than a clean, ripping a bunch of weight off the ground and putting it on your shoulders. They also happen to be a large staple of crossfit and I am relatively good at them so that’s always a plus for me!

    Now on to my least favorite… Snatch… This is the most complex and ridiculously difficult exercise I have ever tried to master. There is no other exercise that can instantly put me in a bad mood because I just cannot get the form down on that particular day. There are so many moving parts and timing moments you have to hit PERFECTLY or else everything falls apart and you’re left hating everything because you can’t do it. With that being said I actually love doing full snatches. A lot of movements come more naturally to me but this one I genuinely have to work on. I was not blessed with the ability to pull weight off the ground and put it over my head all in one fluid motion. I spend a good portion of every single week working on my snatch in some way. It still is not anywhere near perfect or pretty but since starting at Crossfit 88 my form has improved immensely and I am relatively confident to do it on my own now, which is a huge improvement from when I started crossfit in my backyard.

    What is your proudest accomplishment?

     Outside of the crossfit world I would have to say that graduating from college is probably my proudest moment simply because it was a culmination of finally finishing the long haul of “normal school.” I have a ton of happy moments in crossfit since I am still new to it. PRs happen pretty regularly just because I have better form or I am just getting more stamina or whatever. I enjoy the moment and move on to the next one :)

    What CF goals are you working towards?

    My goal, like any athlete, is to every workout to the best of my ability. But being less abstract, my ultimate goal is to make it to regionals and see where I can take my athletic abilities from there. With the new formatting of regionals that goal has increased even more in difficulty but you never know what you are capable of unless you give it everything you’ve got! My weight lifting goals are a bit incremental. I am always setting new goals once I achieve the ones I set previously. I currently am pursuing 3 goals in my own head, 405 back squat, 315 clean and 225 snatch. Once I hit those, the numbers go up! I have a lot of work to do for each one but there’s always someone out there outworking you or putting up better numbers. Unless you have a world record… you have more work to do ;)    

    Tell us something others may not know about you.

    The first time I ever tried to do Fran I failed to even finish the workout. I completely underestimated what a thruster was and I was sorely mistaken. I did 17 thrusters in a row, threw the bar down and stopped. No more reps, no pull ups, not even all 21 thrusters. I stopped the workout laid down and reevaluated my level of fitness. I probably shouldn’t of watched a bunch of videos of people doing it in just over 2 minutes completely unbroken. Lesson learned and now (on a perfect day) I can do it with only a break or two!

    What is your local favorite place to go?

    My backyard to lift weights and hang out with my puppy!

    What is your favorite quote?

    Success isn’t owned, it’s leased. And rent is due every day. - JJ Watt. This quote epitomizes all aspects of life in my opinion and is especially applicable to crossfit. If you want to compete at a high level or to the best of your ability you have to put in the effort day in and day out. If you take too much time off from crossfit, you absolutely feel it and you essentially cannot “pay rent” anymore until you put the time back into it. I love the feeling of having to work extremely hard to get your desired outcome, I embrace it, and let it embody what I do! 

    Provide some advice for athletes new to CrossFit 88:

    Get your movements down and work your mobility/weaknesses, it is only going to make you stronger and more efficient. Also, do not be afraid of the weights! Failure is your friend (within the boundaries of obvious safety) and will make you better. You can’t gain control unless you get out of control first. The last thing I can say is try to go Rx sometimes and don’t be afraid of it. If you’re only 10 pounds away or so, throw on that extra plate and give it a whirl! At some point you have to take the training wheels off and try to move a little more weight. You may be a little more sore or beat up but you’re getting stronger and feeling the heavier weights with your heart rate way up there.

  • Take charge of your life! Take care of your body! Let us help you!

    This first pic is of Cheryl on the very first day we opened...the rest 18 months later. We had 3 intros that day and all 3 are still with us!!! Every one has a different goal but only a few have what it takes to go after it. It is a shame for a [woman] to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which [her] body is capable....stole this one from Socrates.

  • Creating a healthy community! Come and experience it firsthand!

    We are not just another gym but rather a community. A community of family and friends! A community of people committed to supporting and encouraging each other with a common goal of fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
    Come and experience it firsthand!

    Next session starts May 5th! Call us @773.732.4233 or visit to find out how to get started.


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