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Chris “Captain” Smith

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If you don’t know “The Cap’n”, he’s not hard to miss! Just look for the tall, tattooed, bearded man who has been doing a metcon for at least 30 minutes…and is still smiling! Chris is a founding member of Angel Oak Crossfit and may be seen later down the road leading some classes and funtivities for our fitfam! While he may not get to be here all the time (someone’s got to drive the ships!), when he’s home in Charleston, you can find him here lifting and metconing his heart out and making gym plans with his fitfam! Thank you Chris for adding your incredible flare and amazing positive vibes to our community!


Chris and Crossfit

How long have you been doing Crossfit? When did you start?

I started Crossfit in 2012 while stationed in the Arabian Gulf.  A couple buddies I was deployed with were crossfitters, and they convinced me to give it a try.  After a few workouts I was completely hooked.


When did you get your CF L1? Have you coached?

I got my CF L1 in early 2014.  I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d do with it at the time, but knew I wanted to be involved in Crossfit any way I could.  I started coaching Crossfit classes at my last unit in the Coast Guard, and expanded to coaching at my local box in Washington.


That’s right – the Cap’n is a coach too! Keep your eyes out for when he’ll be popping in to coach!


What CF gyms have you worked out in or what garages?

My first year of crossfitting was at an abandoned Marine Corps barracks in Bahrain and on the back decks of Coast Guard patrol boats.  We had a few plates, some rusted barbells, and a pull-up bar.  When I got back to the States, I joined a box in Washington.  After getting out of the military, I moved to Charleston where I joined Iron Bridge and then Angel Oak.


What drives you to do CrossFit?

I love the competitive side of Crossfit.  I’ve played sports my whole life and competition is definitely ingrained in me.  What has kept me in Crossfit boxes is the community aspect.  I have built so many amazing friendships through Crossfit and can’t imagine going back to working out without that.  


Chris and AOCF

How long have you been coached by Megan and James?

I moved to Charleston in February 2016 and dropped into Iron Bridge CF about 45 minutes after pulling into town.  I met Megan shortly after that, and James when he joined Iron Bridge later that year.  I’ve been a proud member of Angel Oak CF since it was just a cement floor and unfinished walls.


Have you learned anything new since working with M+J?

Megan and James have improved every aspect of my performance in the last year and a half.  Every lift has improved and my gymnastic skills have come a long way.  Their energy, knowledge, and coaching abilities are truly special.


What do you think makes AOCF special/unique?

The people!  The community is the defining feature that gives each box character, and I absolutely love the group of folks we have at AOCF.


We couldn’t agree more Chris! James and I have both had the opportunity to work and workout at a lot of gyms over the years, and the vibe at The House and AOCF is the best we’ve experienced. There’s an honesty and genuine vibe from all; no drama, no crap. This is a great group of people who like what they do, one another, and believe in bettering themselves and cheering others on at the same time. THANK YOU AOCF!  


Workouts and Nutrition

How many days a week do you work out?

Typically I work out every day.


How do you prioritize workouts with your daily/weekly schedule? Is it hard to find/create time for workouts with a full time job and your crazy travel?

Fitness has become such an integral part of my life, I can’t imagine any stretch of time without it.  When you become addicted to that post-workout endorphin rush, it isn’t too difficult to find an hour in the day for a workout.  The sense of accomplishment after a workout is very fulfilling, and I think about chasing that when maybe I’m a little less than motivated to get to the gym.    


How do you manage recovery/soreness, etc? Any tips?

The best way to minimize recovery time is to eat enough nutritious food and get at least seven hours of sleep every night.  *A lot of folks don’t prioritize sleep as much as they do their workouts or nutrition, but it has an enormous effect on your ability to quickly recover and get back into the box.*   


PREACH CAP’N! – Are YOU logging enough sleep every night??


How has your nutrition/approach to nutrition changed since beginning CF?

I’ve become more aware that food is fuel, and what your put in your body greatly affects how you feel and perform.  


Can you share how you maintain good nutrition on the boat…and in hotels… ?

Being on the road and living out of hotels over 200 days a year presents a lot of challenges for nutrition.  It makes any eating plan that requires home cooked meals or carefully weighed and measured macros pretty unrealistic.  So I just focus on eating quality foods.  If you stick to the perimeter of the grocery store, there are plenty of great options.  Think avocado, hummus, yogurt, etc.  I use a lot of protein shakes and bars to meet my protein needs.  Smoothies are a staple of my diet that are a great way to quickly meet a lot of your nutrition needs.   


For Funsies 🙂


Favorite Workout?/Least Fav?

Any kind of long chipper is my favorite.


Favorite Girl Workout?/Least Fav?

Favorite: Helen.  Least: Chelsea/Cindy.


Favorite Hero Workout?/Least Fav?

Favorite: Filthy Fifty and The Seven.  Least: Kalsu.


Favorite Lift?/Least Fav?

Favorite: Deadlift. I wouldn’t say snatches are my least favorite, but they are definitely the most frustrating.


Most memorable PR?/Most hilarious CF Fail?

My first Muscle-Up was a big moment.  Attempting to get better at handstand walking has been a continuing series of hilarious fails.


Favorite “Cheat Meal”?

My ultimate comfort food is cereal and milk.  Cinnamon Life is number one.  


Female Games athlete crush?

Gosh do I have to pick one?  I think if I met a Games lady I’d melt into my sneakers.


Man Games athlete crush?

Jason Khalipa.  I was lucky enough to have him teach my Level 1 course.  I think he’s more Silverback Gorilla than human, and he’s is one of the nicest guys I’ve met.


Most important piece of CF gear?

Chalk.  It makes you at least 10% stronger.

How do you create your crazy Metcon wods?

The key is to create a WOD while you’re relaxing on the couch, feeling great.  It’s very easy to overestimate your athletic abilities from that position.  I usually realize what a mistake I’ve made within seconds of starting a WOD, but am too stubborn to change it at that point.  


What do you do outside of the gym?

I drive a dredge boat for the Army Corps of Engineers to pay the bills.  The job is awesome, I essentially play in the sand all day, and get to travel all over the East and Gulf Coasts.


Tell us your ideal date.

We meet at the box and WOD for hours.  Afterwards, we head to brunch where she’s super impressed at how fast I can eat three entrees.  If things are going well, maybe we do a little hand-holding.


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