Julie Giardina has been name the athlete of the month for March.  Julie has been with Wreck Room since the beginning of time as one of our original 10 members dating back to May 2014.  Julie brings a lot to the table as a person and an athlete.  She is friendly with everyone and always has a great and positive attitude.  We can joke around and give her a hard time and she gives it right back.  She keeps things fun.

Julie has always been very patient and extremely coachable.  When she started here she did at least two workouts every week by herself just waiting for the gym to grow and after a couple months she had her group.  She immediately became a well-liked veteran.  Julie has always taken the time to learn, practice and perfect all of her movements before focusing on her time and weights while allowing and trusting us as coaches to pick apart her movements without hesitation.

March is when she decided to take it up a notch.  In four short weeks she added 15lbs to her back squat for a 10% increase.  She went from Rx’ing 44% of her workouts in February to Rx’ing 83% in March.  It showed in her CrossFit Open performance including a 10lb PR in her clean and jerk; fatigued!  Throughout March it didn’t seem to matter what the movement was, she would set a PR.

Julie is truly a pleasure to have at Wreck Room every day.  We are proud to have you as a member and are excited to see how many more PRs you put up in April.  Keep reading below to learn more about Ms. Giardina.

Julie 1 Julie 3 Julie 4

Tell us who you are.
​My name is Julie Giardina. I am 24 years old​, grew up in the Glen Burnie area, and currently live in the Arbutus/Halethorpe area. I currently work at a law firm in downtown Baltimore. I love to travel, mostly to anywhere that has a beach.
What made you decide to get started with Wreck Room CrossFit?
Prior to starting at Wreck Room, I tried out another CrossFit gym that was offering a 10 class punch card on Groupon. ​After attending a few classes there, a friend told me about Wreck Room opening up and convinced me to check it out. After taking two or three classes, I took a leap of faith and signed the year contract and never looked back. I used to dread working out, but Wreck Room makes me look forward to coming in and I hate the days I can’t make it in.
What is your favorite part of Wreck Room CrossFit and is there one particular favorite moment that stands out to you?
The coaches and the people are definitely what make Wreck Room. When I first started, I didn’t really know anyone at the gym, but now I have formed new friendships and actually look forward to working out. The coaches are always encouraging and full of support, but they also still know how to have a good time. My favorite moment that stands out the most was getting my first strict pull-up. After missing the majority of the pull-up cycle due to working late, Butch made me attempt a pull-up for the first time with no assistance, even though I told him there was no was I could do it. Thankfully he had the camera ready and caught my first one on the camera, but he also recorded his reaction in the video too (you have to watch the video to see what I mean).
What was your activity level prior to starting at Wreck Room CrossFit?
Non-existent. I had a Golds membership for about 5 years prior to starting at Wreck Room, and only went a handful of times during that period. I played field hockey in high school, but after graduating I stopped. I had never picked up a barbell prior to starting CrossFit, which made it extremely intimidating, but now my favorite movement is with a barbell. Since starting CrossFit at Wreck Room in May of 2014, I usually try to workout at least 4 times a week.
How has Wreck Room CrossFit helped you outside of the gym?
My eating habits have definitely gotten better. The more I workout, the more I realize that I won’t get the best results if I keep eating junk. Although I only lasted about a week during the paleo challenge we did, I have cut back on carbs and stopped eating as much fried foods. I actually crave unhealthy food way less now too. I have also noticed that my endurance is improving. Don’t get me wrong, I still get winded after most workouts, but walking up 5 flights of steps doesn’t make me run out of breath anymore.
Tell us about your progress throughout the month of March? 
​I missed a lot of time in the gym at the end of the last year ​due to work, so it took me a little bit to get back into working with heavier weights again. I was having to scale all of the WODs and having a tough time keeping up. During March I had PRs on my back squat, overhead squat, shoulder press, squat clean and jerk, and deadlift. I was also able to RX almost all of the WODs in the month of March, which was a huge accomplishment for me considering the prior month I wasn’t even able to RX half of the WODs. When I first starting doing kettlebell swings, it took me forever to get comfortable with the 35 lb KB. At the end of March, although I only did a few sets of 10, I was able to use the 44lb KB.
What are your favorite and least favorite movements or workouts?
​My favorite movement is definitely the clean, whether its a power clean, squat clean, or hang clean. I also like kettlebell swings and squats. My least favorite are double unders, snatches, and shoulder to overhead.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get started at Wreck Room CrossFit?  
Don’t knock it until you try it. CrossFit might not be for everyone, but you will never know if its right for you until you give it a try. I was extremely skeptical of trying it at first because of all the negative things you hear about it, but now I can’t imagine not doing CrossFit.