August 2014 FireBreather Spotlight: Nick DelGrande
By Krystle Orlando
Training grounds: CrossFit Pittsfield in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Sport/fitness hobbies: I am a NPGL Professional Athlete on the Philly Founders and a CrossFit Athlete. I have made it to the North East Regionals in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Training routine: My training routine is actually quite simple. I do Crossfit (haha). I do not really have a routine. One thing you learn in the CrossFit community is that routine is the enemy. I follow a constantly-varied functional movement performed at high-intensity. As I have progressed throughout the year, I’ve become more accustom to listening to my body and learning from it. What I mean by this is that I always want to be training at 100% or as close to it as I can. By listening to my body, I will pick what I am going to be doing for a workout that day. (i.e. If I had done squats on monday and my legs were destroyed on tuesday then I would listen to my body and do something that won’t tax my legs as much). I follow the same idea when it comes to rest days. I try to go as long as I can without needing a rest day because I usually feel worse with a scheduled rest day. I might go a week or even two without a break. I know that sounds crazy but my body is a pretty good indicator of telling me when I need to chill out and rest.
Nutrition regimine: My nutritional routine is the Zone Diet, which is measuring and weighing food based on the amount of blocks (protein, carbs, and fats) I am aloud to have at each meal/snack. I have found that by following the Zone diet, I was able to again listen to my body and be able to adjust different assets of my micro-nutrients to help me perform the way I needed to. By using the Zone Diet, I was also able to adjust it to my needs during a competition compared to my needs when I am just training day to day.
"FIRE": The fire that drives me is to see how much better I can be tomorrow. I know it may sound weird or like a cliché but its true. When I started CrossFit, my life was a mess. I had no idea where I was going in life and really no drive. Some would say that I was going down the wrong path. It wasn’t until my very first CrossFit experience that God or someone kind of hit me on the head and said “wake up!”. The first workout I completed was three rounds of running,sit ups and back extensions. The wake up call was not that I had to scale it to fit my athletic capability but it was on round two of the workout when I noticed that people that were almost twice my age running by me as if I was standing still. I was only seventeen and thought that I was in “shape”. After that class, I went home and looked at myself in the mirror and said “I can be a better person than I am now.” After that night, I woke up the next morning with a whole new attitude towards everything (life, school, and being active). CrossFit was my wake up call. I continued going back to the gym to work hard and continued telling myself that if I can work hard in the gym then I can work hard at school and in life. I am fueling my own fire because I have been at the bottom and I never want to be there again. My motivation is to see how far I can push myself everyday and how many people I can help get better along the way. It’s an endless pursuit to challenge myself to be better than I was yesterday.
Three favorite exercises/movements: If I had to pick only three exercises/ movements, the first would be the Snatch. I love the Snatch because it’s such a dynamic lift. Men and women all over the world practice this movement daily but the best part is that this movement can always get better. This movement always amazes me because everything in the lift has to be right in order to have it be successful. If you pull to early you or if your barbell gets out in front of you, there is a chance that you miss the lift. The snatch is a technical lift and comes with a lot of challenges. Those challenges push me to improve it in every way that I can because when I hit a big snatch, I know that my hard work is paying off. The Second movement on my list would be the Muscle Up. The muscle up is that movement that seems so hard, yet it becomes so easy once you master it. The first muscle up is always the hardest but once you get it, the rest are a breeze. Don’t get me wrong, muscle ups in a workout are challenging but as long as you stick with your form and technique you’ll be able to power through them. My third and final movement that I would pick is the Back Squat. This is a very important lift in CrossFit. The back squat can help you gain strength in any other movement. This movement allows you to strengthen your body to perform other lifts in workouts better and stronger. If I feel that one of my movements needs some work, I will back squat along with practicing it because I know that the back squat will make me stronger. If a lift or some other movement in CrossFit becomes difficult, just back squat. This is a modo that I like to live by while training. The Snatch, Muscle Up, and Back Squat are the three movements I would pick because they allow challenge, thinking, and strength.
Best piece of advice ever given: The best piece of advice that I was ever given was from my very first Crossfit Coach, Mike Bissaillon. The advice was “If you got a plan stick to it, don’t go trying to do what everyone is doing, focus on that plan and don’t alter from it.” This advice has stuck with me throughout my CrossFit journey and will continue to. It has helped me through my training and competing at different levels. Everyone’s plans are different, so the one that I choose I know is best for my performance.