Ryan Pentz has been named the athlete of the month for November. Simply put, Ryan is one hell of an athlete.  Watching Ryan through the month of November has been a real pleasure.  As someone who started CrossFit with plenty of strength, speed, and endurance Ryan still found a way to take his athleticism to a new level.  In November alone we threw some rope climbs, muscle-ups, snatches and handstand push-ups at him then continued to see him handle these movements with ease.

There are two characteristics about Ryan that stand out the most.  First is how coach-able he is.  Even though he came in more advanced than most he has continually allowed us to pick apart his movements no matter how small or big the fault is.  He always accepts criticism and uses it as a tool to make himself better.  Second is his humbleness.  There only two ways to know how exceptional Ryan truly is.  You have checked the whiteboard and have seen him at the top on a daily basis.  If you have worked out with him chances are he has cruised through the workout and has already been recovering for minutes by the time you finish, yet he doesn’t stop there.  He remains on the floor to motivate or give kudos to others and always makes sure to help everyone clean up their equipment.

Ryan P. AOTM 1    Ryan AOTM 2   Ryan AOTM 3

In the last few months I have gotten to know Ryan on a more personal level and he is the epitome of an athlete, competitor and friend.  If you haven’t had a chance to get to know Ryan, keep reading to find out more.

Tell us who you are.

 My name is Ryan Pentz.  I am 25 years old and grew up in Sykesville, which is located about a half hour west of the city for those of you who don’t know.  During the day you’ll find me working in accounting and finance at Under Armour.  I am a passionate Baltimore sports fan and I enjoy being active.

What made you decide to get started with Wreck Room CrossFit?

 To be honest, I have to give my girlfriend credit on this one.  I had heard of CrossFit prior to me starting at Wreck Room this summer, but I never really had any intentions of giving it a try.  I was satisfied with my prior workout routine, but it was Amy who begged me to come to Gold’s Gym one Saturday morning to attend a CrossFit session with Butch.  I enjoyed the workout and I attended a few more sessions thereafter.  The competitive nature, the structure of the workouts, and the high intensity quickly addicted me to CrossFit.  When Butch opened Wreck Room this past May, the decision for me to join was a no brainer.

What is your favorite part of Wreck Room CrossFit and is there one particular favorite moment that stands out to you?

As much as I enjoy working out and competing, I’d have to say my favorite part of Wreck Room CrossFit is not necessarily the working out aspect, but the camaraderie among the members.  It’s a great group of people and a group that I enjoy working out with each and every day.  Everyone is so helpful and welcoming making the environment at Wreck Room safe, healthy, and enjoyable.  Overall, it’s just a fun group to be around.  It’s like a second family in a sense.

I’d have to say the day I joined Wreck Room is a favorite moment that stands out to me.

What was your activity level prior to starting at Wreck Room CrossFit?

 I have been active my entire life.  I grew up playing just about every sport you can imagine and was a 3 sport athlete in high school, participating in football, basketball, and lacrosse.  After high school, I continued my football career at the Division 1 AA level by attending Wagner College, a small, private institution in Staten Island, NY.  Since graduating, I’ve participated in several flag football leagues and pick-up basketball games.  Over the years I’ve spent plenty of time in the gym, so most of the movements we learn at Wreck Room are not completely new to me.

How has Wreck Room CrossFit helped you outside of the gym?

 Oddly enough, Wreck Room CrossFit is probably the reason why my day job has suffered.  I find myself thinking about the upcoming workout, what weight I should use, and how fast I should be able to complete it, rather than paying attention in that important work meeting.  Just kidding.  Wreck Room brings about a social aspect that carries on outside the gym.  As I am new to the Glen Burnie area, it has helped me to develop new friendships.  Every gym encourages healthy habits and healthy lifestyles and Wreck Room is no different.

Tell us about your progress throughout the month of November? 

 I attended more classes in the month of November than I had in any previous month since I joined Wreck Room.  I believe this was a direct correlation to the progress and improvement I made this month.  At the start of the month, I had never done a rope climb or a muscle up before.  By the end of the month I could do both.  I also saw significant improvement with my cleans and deadlifts as both movements were made a point of emphasis this month.  In addition, I feel I have made significant progress this month with my strength and speed in the Metcons.  I attempted to RX+ most workouts while also working to increase my speed.

What are your favorite and least favorite movements or workouts?

 Favorite movements – Snatch, push press, overhead squats, toes to bar, and muscle ups.

Least favorite movements – Snatch, push press, overhead squats, toes to bar, and muscle ups.

I consider these 5 movements my favorite because I enjoy working on movements that I need to improve on and for that same reason, I also consider these movements my least favorite because I haven’t yet perfected the technique and/or form.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get started at Wreck Room CrossFit?  

 Don’t be intimidated, be willing to be challenged, be able to accept constructive criticism, and set goals.  Trying anything new can always be intimidating, but the environment at Wreck Room is the opposite of intimidating.  The coaches are very knowledgeable and the members are helpful as well.  You’re doing this for yourself and no one else, so don’t be intimidated.

You’re going to be challenged.  This is a certainty.  Mentally and physically you’re going to have rough days.  Hang in there and don’t quit.  As you get more comfortable, workouts will get easier over time.  I promise.

There is such a wide variety of movements associated with CrossFit.  Some you will be good at and some you won’t.  You have to be willing to accept constructive criticism by taking what the coaches preach and translating it into the workout.  The objective is to not be “great” at one movement, but rather be “good” at every movement.  Use what the coaches teach you.

Finally, set goals.  Setting goals is the only way to track progress.  With dedication, progress at Wreck Room is inevitable.

Anything else you want to add?

I want to thank the coaches and the members for making Wreck Room a special place to work out.  I find myself going on the website at 8:30pm every night to check out the work out for the following day.  I constantly look at the “Whiteboard” as well to check out results from prior classes.  I spend a lot of time at Wreck Room CrossFit as it is something that I am very passionate about.  For those of you debating it, please give it a try.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.