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Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet Preston Soechting: Leader of the Cross Fit Nashville Revolution

I want to introduce everyone to Cross-Fit Nashville and its owner Preston Soechting. Preston is a military vet from Iraq and comes to Nashville with a ton of strength and conditioning training skills. Cross-fit Nashville is a fitness program that aims to improve your capacity in ten recognized general fitness skills: cardio-respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. The result is comprehensive physical fitness and restored vitality. For those who want to take their training to the next level, the athlete who needs an off-season training program or anyone who just wants to train with the best, Cross-Fit Nashville is for you.

When I intially agreed to write this article for Preston I thought that I could handle this Cross-Fit program. I have always been a natural athlete and have participated in many other workout plans without even breaking a sweat. So I told Preston I would come out and see what all the fuss was about with his program. Boy was I ever in for a surprise. Noomizo founder Bryan Thomas and I decided to give it a go and by the time I was done with the workout, I wanted no more. It wasn't that it was too much, it was just very different from what I had expected and what I was use to. I usually hit the gym and lift weights then make my way to the basketball court for some cardio. Cross-fit intertwines the two by making you lifts weights in a technical manner and it incorporates cardio at the same time. To begin our program, we had to run 400 meters and do a set of 21 power lifts, followed by a set of clap push-ups. It was tough and I could feel every muscle fiber in my body pounding from the workout, which is what you want. I fully endorse this program for anyone interested in sculpting and molding their body into a masterpiece. That's exactly what will happen if you particapte and dedicate yourself to program.

So with my workout complete and my Cross-fit baptism behind me, I finally had a chance to sit down and talk with Preston about Cross-Fit Nashville. Without further ado, here is my exclusive interview with him, hope everyone enjoys.

1. Tell us about your background and how you came up with Cross Fit Nashville?

Preston: I was initially approached by my brother to try out CrossFit. He told me it was an awesome workout that I would absolutely love. This of course made me immediately not want to do it because my brother told me I should do something, however after much persistence on his part I gave in and finally did a workout. At that time in my life I would have told you I was in the best shape of my life. I was in the Army, I could max my physical fitness test, and I was running upwards of 20 miles a week. I did my first crossfit workout, and it completely destroyed me. It was a 3 round workout with pull ups and thrusters. It took me over 9 minutes to get 45 repetitions of each. I thought that surely this workout was a fluke and did a different CrossFit workout the next day and I was met again by the same result! It was then that I thought there must be something to this style of training. So i said I would give CrossFit a month and I have not looked back since. While on deployment my brother and I decided to open our own CrossFit Affiliate once I returned from deployment and I was able to get out of the Army.

2. Where did CrossFit Nashville originate from?

Preston: Once I separated from the military I moved to Nashville with the intent to open CrossFit Nashville and share CrossFit with everyone i know. Doing CrossFit makes your everyday lives better, and that is what fitness should be about, enriching our lives! People in the United States are in dyer need of a healthier lifestyle and I want to share that with as many people I can, most especially with people in the South. We live in a culture here that has us eating hot buttered rolls, sweet tea, and a dessert with every meal and that is considered "normal" and it shows in Tennessee's obesity rates. It is alarming how many people are literally eating themselves to death living a sedentary lifestyle and I will do whatever i can to help combat this unhealthy acceptance of what people think is normal.

3. How did you become part of the Cross Fit movement?

Preston: CrossFit is about broad, general, and inclusive fitness. We don't just make you strong or just give you a lot of endurance, but we are about training all ten general physical skills: Cardio-Respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. Quality of life just gets better for anyone who trains with CrossFit. From professional athletes to grandparents, everyone will benefit from an increased performance in these ten areas of fitness. That is what I love about CrossFit, while in the military I was always looking for what the best training tools were and tried many methods, from long endurance activities, to P90X, to yoga, to MMA/Combatives, and then I found CrossFit. CrossFit is the most well rounded fitness program available and that is why I became involved with CrossFit , I proudly stand behind it s methods, and I want as many people to try it as possible!

4. What are the points of emphasis that you guys teach?

Preston: The definition of CrossFit is this: Functional Movement done at high intensity and is constantly varied.

Functional Movement:

We train natural movements (ie: Picking things up off the ground, squatting, putting things overhead, running, jumping, pushing, and pulling), we train these because in life these are the movements we use all the time! These movements are multi joint movements that do not isolate muscle groups, because when in life to we ever curl objects from the ground?

High Intensity:

In CrossFit we train at a high intensity level. We do this because when you train at your hardest it yields results! Workouts are rarely over 20 minutes and until you experience CrossFit you do not realize how far you can push your body physically in a 10-15 minute workout. There is nothing better than being in a workout where everything in your body is telling you to stop, but having the mental toughness to push through and complete something very intense.

Constantly Varied:

Crossfit draws primarily from three areas of fitness. Weightlifting: (Cleans, Jerks, Snatches, Squats, Presses, deadlifts, and kettlebells), Gymnastics: (Handstands, Pull Ups, Dips, Muscle Ups, Pushups, Rope climbs, L-sits), and Cardiovascular Endurance: (Running, Jumping, Rowing, Swimming, Biking) So we draw from these three areas and combine them in as many combinations as possible! We know that doing the same thing over and over will not make you better, because you eventually will plateau and actually will start going backwards! So with CrossFit it will be at least 3-6 months before we would ever repeat a workout. This keeps workouts exciting and also makes you well rounded because you are constantly training something different.

5. Coming from a military background and training, do you think Cross-Fit training harder than military training?

There is a great physical demand than must be met with much of the training i did in the militray, physical and a mental toughness must be there because not only is your body taxed physically, but sometimes you must perform with little to no food and you must perform running on no sleep and to do that is one of the hardest things i have ever had to do. Somewhere along the way gyms have transformed from places you go to work, sweat, and get results to places that are filled with machines, towels, air conditioning, televisions, and saunas. These are awesome luxuries, but these tools are unnecessary to achieve your fitness goals. With CrossFit you will meet with other like minded individuals who are here to work hard, push their bodies to their limit, that is what will give you results and that is what fitness is about!

6. Who are you trying to target as perspective clients?

Preston: CrossFit is for everyone! It is in our DNA to perform these functional movements and doing them brings out the "Athlete" inside all of us, we could do all of these things as kids (jumping, climbing, running, squatting) but we sometimes get lazy along the way and lose those abilities. CrossFit is about getting that ability back! We can increase the quality of life for everyone, from athletes to grandparents!

7. What are you rates and schedule of classes?

Preston: We have classes 6 days a week and run morning classes and classes from 4:30-7:30 in the evenings. We have group classes that meet so that you are working out next to other people. This creates an awesome community of people who all cheer each other on and only want everyone to perform their best. Working out in groups helps you to push your body further than you thought you could. The first session is always free, and after the first session we determine your rate based on the number of classes a week you will attend. We offer family discounts, student discounts, and discounts to all military, police, and fire fighters.

8. What is the most difficult part of Cross-Fit training?

Preston: The most difficult part is battling the mental demons in your head that telling you to stop because your body is getting uncomfortable, we train in groups because when you are by yourself it is much easier to just quit, or stop working because no one is watching. We all have this battle every workout, that is why at CrossFit Nashville there is always a trainer right there with you to encourage and cheer you on to complete the workout. A big part of CrossFit is learning how far you can push your body, and that limit only increases the longer you do CrossFit because you learn that the mind shuts down much sooner than your body.

9. How can viewers contact you for further information?

Preston: Anyone can call me at (615) 927-4473, or email me at I can be reached anytime and I will work with anyone that wants to achieve their fitness goals. Viewers can also check out what we do at it is my website for the gym and you can get a better look at what we do. But the best way to experience CrossFit is to come out and do it!

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