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Meet Ford St. John!!

Ford JPG

When did you start doing CrossFit and how did you get into it? I believe I started doing Crossfit

at the beginning of 2014 (you’ll have to check your membership records!), but I’d heard of it

kind of through the grapevine, and was interested as I had done high intensity interval training

for athletics back in high school and really enjoyed it

What is your Favorite WOD? Helen – kettlebell swings, running and pullups!

What is your Least Favorite WOD? Anything with thrusters

What is your Favorite Lift? Do box jumps count? I’m not much of a lifter shockingly enough

What is your Least favorite lift? Shoulder presses and all variations of it!

What type of exercise were you doing before CrossFit? Working out at a normal gym, tennis

and soccer

Tell us a little about your personal and professional accomplishments – what are you proud


I’m pretty young in my career, so I would say the jury is out on professional

accomplishments – hopefully I’ll have some to share sometime in the future! I got my

undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics from Wake Forest which I’m proud of (they

don’t call it “work” forest for no reason!) and I got married to the lovely Mary St. John back in

2015 which isn’t really an accomplishment per se (although I definitely married up!), just more

something that makes me happy.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, other interests, etc.). Anything funny or interesting?

I’m originally from New England (go pats!), and have been in Charlotte now for a little over four

years. I have one younger brother who went to Wake as well and now lives in Denver, CO. As

far as interests, I’m relatively uninteresting, but enjoy music (I play drums and am teaching

myself electric guitar) and have a solid whistle game.

What are your CrossFit goals and have you achieved any of those goals, how’s it going so far?

As is the case for probably everyone here, I’m just trying to stay healthy and happy – Crossfit

helps me do that!

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the Gym? We have great people at our gym. I’ve made

some good friends, I’ve learned quite a bit about healthier eating, and most importantly I can

finally touch my toes – all things that wouldn’t have happened without joining this gym.

Do you have any other special memories/achievements during your time here? I wouldn’t say

anything special – I just enjoy getting to work out in a friendly environment with great people

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Reebok CrossFit Charlotte-Uptown?

There is literally nothing to be intimidated about. We’re all here to improve our fitness, and the

rate at which you do so is completely up to you. It’s truly a judgement free zone where

everyone just wants to see you achieve your goals, whatever those may be. Whether it’s

deadlifting 500 lbs or Rx’ing a workout for the first time, your accomplishments are your own

and deserve to be celebrated!

Something you might not know about me is? My thumbs are longer than my pinkies?

Apparently that’s not normal, or so I’ve been told.

Finally, please feel free to add your thoughts regarding your experience at Reebok CrossFit

Charlotte-Uptown so far? Great people, wonderful coaches, plenty of space. People ask me

why I haven’t gone to other gyms that are closer to my house/work and I tell them it’s because I like the people too much and would miss everyone!

Meet Kamal – Smooth Operator!!

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Kamal V. Maragh

When did you start doing CrossFit and how did you get into it?

I started CrossFit approximately 4-5 years ago at a Box in Tampa, Florida.  I used to go to the gym about 5 days a week after work and then I would spend 2-3 hours in the gym! Lol.  I would run a 5K or do some type of cardio work and THEN workout. Needless to say, it was A LOT to keep up with.  Not to mention that I also played on an Adult Flag Football Team, Softball with my Church & a Wednesday night Youth Group with the kids at church.  That coupled with the type of work that I did (driving around all day and then the required administrative work afterwards) I was dead tired.  I was interested in CrossFit, but was reluctant due to the “high” monthly cost.  I ended up tearing my meniscus while playing football and physical therapy was not helping much.  Not to mention that I went to Walmart, purchased a knee brace and got back out on the field immediately. Not wise. Lol.  I then saw a commercial about CrossFit and everything that they were saying made sense regarding “functional movements” in the workouts in contrast to the movements that I was doing on a day-to-day basis in the gym.  I decided to bite the bullet and fork over the $135 per month, because your “work-life balance” is priceless and I was looking for something that could help the rehab of my knee since PT wasn’t working.  Well, as you can see 4-5 years later I am still doing CrossFit and I must say, it has helped me out A LOT with my work-life balance and really strengthened the muscles that I was ignoring in a standard workout at the gym which in turn has helped with the rehab of my knee!  🙂

What is your Favorite WOD?

NONE. Because I get tired and finish last. Lol.

What is your Least Favorite WOD?

Anything that has Double-Unders in it.  For the life of me I CANNOT get those darn things!

What is your Favorite Lift?

Dead-Lift and/or Squats.

What is your Least favorite lift?

Anything Over Head Squatting.

What type of exercise were you doing before CrossFit?

Football, Running, Softball & Standard workouts in a gym setting.

Tell us a little about your personal and professional accomplishments – what are you proud of?

I am really excited that through hard work, dedication and perseverance I was able to receive a promotion for the position that I currently have with my company here in Charlotte.  That AND the Lord.  🙂 I believe that when you stay focused on something and are willing to put in the work, good things will come.  Nothing is ever handed to you.  That will transcend throughout all aspects of our life, even in a WOD. 😉

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, other interests, etc.).  Anything funny or interesting?

I am the youngest of 3 children and the only boy.  I was born in Jamaica and we moved to The Bronx, NYC when I was 2 years old.  We then moved to Tampa, FLA when I was 12 years old.  I went to The University of Florida and then worked in the financial field after graduation back in Tampa.  Due to the economy, I was laid off due to a reduction in force in 2008 and then I got a job as a Sales Representative with a pharmaceutical company.  I am still with that same pharmaceutical company and currently I am a Regional Sales Manager here in The Carolinas and Georgia.

What are your CrossFit goals and have you achieved any of those goals, how’s it going so far?

Maaan to get those darn double-unders!!!  And I would also throw in, Ring-Muscle Up’s.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the Gym?

Yes it has.  Because now when I go to the pool or our gym’s Day on The Lake parties I can take my shirt off and flex with the best of them! Lol.

Do you have any other special memories/achievements during your time here? 

In all honesty, just meeting good people and creating a bond has been and will always be my lasting memory from CrossFit Uptown.  When CrossFit talks about “community” you don’t completely understand it until you get involved.  We have a really good gym, great leaders, phenomenal coaches and just genuine people who make you WANT TO come back day after day.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Reebok CrossFit Charlotte-Uptown?

JUST DO IT.  Don’t be scared or intimidated to start or to push yourself beyond what your mind is telling you.  The great thing about CrossFit is that it’s just YOU against YOURSELF & YOUR MIND.  It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to finish a WOD or how much weight you use.  You are in competition with YOURSELF & YOUR MIND only.  Log in your time and the next time that you do that WOD, BEAT IT.  Then do it again…and again…constant and consistent improvement.

Something you might not know about me is?

I won the silver medal in The NYC Olympic Summer Games in the 4×100 relays.

Whole 30 Challenge – Details….

Whole 30 Challenge – Overview

RCFC invites you to join our Whole 30 Challenge from Wednesday, October 26th through Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016. If you want to improve your health, wellness and fitness, drop those stubborn pounds or tighten up before the holidays, this Whole 30 Challenge is for you!


1.) Commit to following the Whole 30 prescription (see

2.) Weigh yourself before and after the 30 days.

3.) Place a “Star” sticker on our tracking board for each successful day of the challenge.

4.) Periodically contact your Whole 30 Buddy to support, vent, share recipes, partner on WODs and generally support one another through the challenge.

5.) Attend one of the two Challenge Discussions on Tuesday, October 25th at 8p or Sunday, October 30th at 12p.

6.) Once the challenge has started, do not weigh yourself or take measurements of any kind.

7.) Maintain a positive attitude, challenge yourself, workout, and improve your overall health and wellness.

8.) This isn’t about choosing a “winner” – its about holding ourselves, and each other accountable for making a short term positive impact in our diet and nutrition.


How to participate:

Familiarize yourself with the Whole 30 Diet at Read the program rules, FAQs, What Not to Eat, etc. to prepare yourself for the Challenge. Additionally, use the Whole 30 shopping list if you are unfamiliar with the Whole 30 diet and need more structure. Usually the first week of the Whole 30 diet is challenging but the second week is the hardest. That is when headaches and a general feeling of fatigue begin to set in. Prepare yourself to go through this. Remember that these feelings are your body detoxifying and it is normal. The fatigue and discomfort usually go away after the 2nd week. You can do this! And don’t be surprised if you decide to continue beyond Thanksgiving!

The Whole 30 Prescription is:

Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our free shopping list.



Avoid these for 30 days:

More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.


  • And last but not least, we will be taking a day off Saturday, November, 19th so we can enjoy our holiday Friendsgiving Party!

Let’s Meet Hana V!!


When did you start doing CrossFit and how did you get into it? I started CrossFit June 15 of last year. I got into it by circumstance… I had just moved to Charlotte from New York City for my husband’s new job and needed to find a new gym asap.

What is your Favorite WOD? There are so many I like, but I guess ones that leave me lying on the floor catching my breath afterward.

What is your Least Favorite WOD? Rope climbs, double-unders and handstand-anything… that’s all really because I can’t do those things yet.

What is your Favorite Lift? Squat cleans, power cleans

What is your Least favorite lift? Snatch balance

What type of exercise were you doing before CrossFit? A combination of kickboxing and rebounding, general conditioning classes & Barry’s Bootcamp. I had an instructor/trainer who I followed for years. I also taught spinning part time for a few years.

Tell us a little about your personal and professional accomplishments – what are you proud of? I’m an Executive Assistant and had been doing that for several years at a hedge fund prior to moving to Charlotte. I’d previously worked at an art gallery and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was amazing. My favorite job ever was literally my first job working at a pizzeria during high school. Probably most proud of surviving and thriving at a very cut-throat hedge fund.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, other interests, etc.).  Anything funny or interesting? Married and have a dog. Very close to my family – have two younger sisters. Love to travel and take one or two big trips every year. Anthony Bourdain is my idol. Love art of all kinds, but ancient Mediterranean art & history specifically. Also love all-things Mediterranean generally. Have spent a lot of time in Italy.

What are your CrossFit goals and have you achieved any of those goals, how’s it going so far? My goal is to get better, stronger, faster, but specifically right now- double-unders, pull ups and conquering my fear of the handstand. Losing weight also. It is and will continue to be a long process/journey for me to get to where I want to be, but I’m enjoying it immensely.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the Gym? Being new to Charlotte, CrossFit has been immeasurably important in my life… it’s been therapeutic for me mentally and physically, especially when I’m homesick. I always feel better after a workout.

Do you have any other special memories/achievements during your time here? When Amy made me do a box jump for the first time, and I thought I would crash but I didn’t.
Also, on my first day at Crossfit, HILARIOUSLY I thought I was in shape and fit; I quickly found out the opposite!

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Reebok CrossFit Charlotte-Uptown? Be prepared to find out how fit you are NOT. Be humble and work hard. It’s very rewarding.

Something you might not know about me is? I knew I wanted to move to NYC at age 16, and it was all inspired by the Beastie Boys. They literally shaped my life and are my favorite band of all time.

Finally, please feel free to add your thoughts regarding your experience at Reebok CrossFit Charlotte-Uptown so far? I’m so thankful for RCFC and the amazing athletes and coaches who are all incredibly inspiring.

Meet Ben Riddle – USAW Weightlifting Coach!!

Ben Riddle Pic2

Ben, you’re starting up the gym’s USAW Club – Tell us about yourself!

I was born in Madison, WI, with a small stint in San Jose, CA… but the bulk of my child hood was in Chapel Hill, NC. I consider myself a North Carolinian.  When I was 22 I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served 3 tours over seas from 2004-2009. After the Marines I went to college at Appalachian State University and earned my degree in Geospatial Science and Technologies.

What brought you into RCFC?

I had drifted from gym to gym in the Charlotte area looking for a home once I decided to pursue Weightlifting competitively, having trained at STAX and Fitness Factory previously. RCFC opened up their doors to me and it has been an enjoyable and hospitable relationship since.

What is your athletic background?

I grew up playing all types of sports, but being from Chapel Hill, obviously basketball is a way of life there. I also played Soccer, Martial Arts, and several outdoors activities ranging from kayaking to hiking and archery. After high school I enlisted in the United State Marine Corps. When I was discharged I competed in Muay Thai for several years all the way up to an Amateur National Championship. I had to retire due to an injury so I ran several races, finishing the Tough Mudder in 2 hours and placing in the top 5% in the world. Then I found CrossFit to fill a competitive desire after I had retired from fighting. I did CrossFit for a couple of years and ultimately that led me to Weightlifting… and you all.

Why Weightlifting?

At first I just enjoyed it and was very attracted to it. I found it endless in its appeal in developing myself. The better I got, the more I wanted to know. It is endless in the pursuit of mastery… which can never really be achieved.  Eventually the self development became The Way for me… not just physically, but inward growth as well. The community has responded to me and it has taken me down a very rewarding path and amazing journey. Anyone who truly decides to see what lies within this sport will learn its gifts. The competition aspect, to me, is the purest form of competition with oneself.

Why do you compete?

Weightlifting, in my mind, is a pure form of competition. You train and train for 1000’s of hours a year. A competition lift is roughly 3 seconds for a Snatch and 10-15 seconds for a Clean and Jerk. You get 6. The average competitor will compete 3-6 times a year. That’s roughly 54 seconds of competition time in a competition… and 3-6 minutes throughout the entire year. Think about that…  There will be no teammates up there with you – you are completely alone. There will be no lucky bounce of the ball. You cannot accidentally make a Snatch or C&J. The lights will be on you, the crowd is watching, the judges surround you… and you have to thread the needle… in arguably some of the most difficult movements in any sport. It’s a beautiful fight. If you can compete in this sport, you have a competitive mind for any sport, because it’s about beating yourself… and that’s what athletics really is.

What are your goals for the USAW Club at RCFC?

I believe that Weightlifting can and does enhance CrossFit. I would like to see a community develop between the two. My ultimate goal is to show people that Weightlifting IS approachable. I plan on accepting beginners and intermediates alike, as well as program for both and provide hands-on coaching. No previous experience needed! I got you! I want it to be an open community that supports each other, the members to be more like team mates. The ultimate purpose of possessing a talent is to share it, to teach it. I want to help anyone who is willing to put in the effort to improve their skills. I love to coach, it helps me become a better athlete and person. It doesn’t matter if you are going to compete or are just there to get better. You will never see me spend more time talking to a World Champion than teaching a beginner how to conduct a proper pull off of the ground. Everyone is welcome. I want to develop the community within Charlotte, and that starts with us.


Contact Coach Ben about the club either at the gym, by phone (910-581-3667) or


Check out his blog at

YouTube: 1F1SWeightlifting

Sign up for Unbroken Throwdown!


Let’s Get Competitive @ the Unbroken Throwdown!!

Reebok CrossFit Charlotte-Uptown is stepping up its game on the competitive side and we want YOU to be a part of it!!  This is just step one – Come join us on July 9th/10th for a great local throwdown!  We’re getting involved in the “Unbroken Series.”  Unbroken is a collection of fitness events designed to challenge athletes mentally and physically, while giving back to organizations and people working to help our communities.

The Unbroken Throwdown by NutriForce Sports will be held right here in Uptown Charlotte.  Here’s the facts:

  • Individual Competition will be Saturday July 9th and 3-person Teams on Sunday July 10th
  • It goes down at the Charlotte Convention Center in Uptown Charlotte just 3 blocks from the gym! (501 S. College St. Charlotte)
  • Divisions include Individual and Teams of Rx, Scaled and Masters Divisions
  • 3-Person Teams are all Male or all Female (Masters Teams are 40+)
  • Actual WODs are already posted here:

The WODs have already been released and they are very manageable.  Let’s get a big group to show-up and either throwdown or just support our community.  It’s all good either way!!  And the plan is to have our new t-shirts designed and printed for everyone to wear for the weekend!

Come join us!!


Join us!!

RCFC T-Shirt Design Contest!!


Are you looking for a fresh new RCFC t-shirt or tank top and tired of the same old designs???

Well here’s your chance to have your say!  We’re running our first community t-shirt design competition.  That’s right, we’re going to let the community choose the options and then tell us which one they like best!  Here are the rules:

  • Everyone is eligible
  • Come up with a cool t-shirt design (colors, style, logo, slogan, etc.) and print a proof for for everyone to see
  • You are welcome to pay for design help or use any of the free design templates and services out there (e.g. Custom Ink, Fivver, Vectezzy, etc.)
  • All slogans must at least be PG-13. Close to the line of general decency is ok, crossing the line probably won’t work
  • We will post all designs that we receive in the gym for judgement by the community
  • The t-shirt design with the most votes wins

The person who submits the winning design will receive 2 free t-shirts, plus a Reebok Gift Card!

Designs must be submitted by June 9th – so get cracking!

Voting will take place for one week after we get all submissions which should allow us to determine the winner and get shirts printed and ready to wear for the “Unbroken Series” throwdown on July 9th and 10th!


Let’s get those creative juices flowing!!