The 2010 CrossFit Games
The ultimate proving grounds of the world’s fittest athletes.
July 16-18, 2010 • Carson, CA
The Home Depot Center Sports Complex
Select a 2010 CrossFit Games event
United States Qualifiers
Future Masters Competitor Mark Rosen
The Santa Cruz Urologist Trains for the Games
Mark Rosen started CrossFit at the original CrossFit HQ in Soquel, CA. He has competitive CrossFit Games experience, with a 24th place finish at the original 2007 Games (including a better finish in the Hopper WOD than Jeremy Thiel.) After seeing Mark's 50th birthday workout on the mainsite, and hearing that he was training for next year's master's competition, we sent Mark an email asking the veteran CrossFitter a few questions.
Are you planning on competing in the 2011 Masters?
Yes, I am planning to try to compete in the 2011 Masters, but I am sure there are a lot of really "badass" Masters out there who are also working hard to make it. I'll give it my best shot.
If so, what are you doing to train? Have you changed your training or are you just doing whatever Hollis and Danielle pull out for the class?
While watching the 2010 Games I realized that the elite athletes all gave credit to their trainers for helping them make it to the Games. I realized that I needed to train at a gym that was focused on preparing athletes for the CF Games, and I changed to working out at CrossFit Santa Cruz. Hollis and Danielle are outstanding trainers and I am following the regular programming, training three days and resting one. They have a plan for training their athletes for the Games, and as we get closer to the Games I think we will work in days with multiple workouts, and maybe workouts aimed at improving specific skills.
Why did you decide to compete in the Masters competition? Did you follow the 2010 CrossFit Masters?
I love to compete and one of the things I love about CrossFit is that every workout is a competition. And in my mind I think I should be able to compete with the younger, elite athletes, even though I get my ass handed to me almost every time! So I was thrilled last year when CrossFit introduced the Masters competition. I watched last year's games online and realized I would be a Master this year, and I'm really excited about competing.
In your view, how has CrossFit changed since when you started (4-5?) years ago? Do you like the direction that it is going in? What are some changes that you like or dislike?
CrossFit has obviously grown tremendously since I started 5 years ago, and the increased performance from the elite athletes has been awe inspiring. But one of the things I love about CrossFit is that it is not just for the elite athletes and military forces, but CF can improve anyone's fitness, including average individuals like me, senior citizens, teens, and everyone in between. I hope that CF is able to spread the message to the general public that the CrossFit regimen can work for anybody, whether they are young or old, fit or unfit.
As a physician I see the effects of aging in our culture, i.e. obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc. In my specialty, I see men with erectile dysfunction and women with urinary incontinence, both of which can be largely prevented by exercise and fitness.
I think that CrossFit is in a unique position to convince the medical profession and the general public that exercise can prevent or reverse many of the medical problems that are thought to be an inevitable part of aging. CrossFit should work with doctors and researchers to prove the benefits that we all see happening in every CrossFit gym around the world. Medical researchers are busy looking for miracle anti-aging medications, but I think CrossFit has found the secret to anti-aging: constantly varied, whole body exercises done with intensity!
From what I understand, you’re balancing a job as a urologist, family, and CrossFit. How do you do it?
My responsibilities as a doctor have always been my highest priority, and for many years, when my children were younger, all of my spare time was devoted to my family. I started CrossFit when a physician friend of mine died of a heart attack at age 41 and I realized that I needed to get healthy. When I started CrossFit my children were teens and my wife encouraged and supported me to make a commitment to CrossFit. She has been very supportive, incorporating The Zone into our diet, and helped to turn our garage into a mini-CrossFit gym. She also encouraged me to train with Hollis and Danielle because she knew that I needed the best trainers to have a chance to make it to the 2011 Masters.
I go to the gym at 6 AM on workout days because my work days are unpredictable and I can't be sure that I can make it to the gym later in the day. I wish that I could devote more time to train for the games, but I like the current balance in my life. My family is very supportive of my goals, and CrossFit is something that we all share and enjoy.
What has it been like introducing your two teenage sons to CrossFit? Did they see you doing CrossFit and ask to join or did you give them the nudge?
Both of my sons are training at CrossFit Santa Cruz; Josh is 20, Leo is 17. Leo has been doing CrossFit workouts with Michelle at home for a few years, and we think he is ready for better training and heavier weights. Josh decided this summer that he wanted to get fit and worked out three days a week at the gym at UC Santa Cruz, where he had a free membership. By the end of the summer he realized that he didn't enjoy it and wasn't making any progress and asked about going to CrossFit. I really enjoy the weekends when we can work out in a class together.
How does CrossFit fit into your social life? Are most of your friends involved in CrossFit? Do you skip on beer and eating out?
Most of my friends think CrossFit is a little crazy when they first hear about it, but several have taken it up when they see the results. I really enjoy being part of the CrossFit community because CrossFIt includes people of all ages and from all walks of life. We don't go out often and we try to eat at restaurants that let us eat healthy, but we do splurge every once and awhile. I do stick to The Zone Diet pretty closely most days.
Could you fill us in on a few of your benchmark workout stats? You could include any combination of: Diane, Elizabeth, Helen, any other of “the ladies,” Fight Gone Bad, Filthy Fifty, 5k run, 400m run, 30 muscle ups for time, and max: dead, squat, press, clean and jerk, and snatch.
Diane 11:44, Elizabeth 12:43, Fran 5:05, Helen 9:46, Nancy 15:08, Cindy 23 rounds, Angie 18:36, Grace 4:20, FGB 285, 5k run 22:04, 400m run 1:06, 30 muscle ups for time 8:13, max dead lift 377 lbs., max squat 315 lbs., max press 170 lbs., max clean and jerk 215 lbs, max snatch 150 lbs.
Have you competed in any CrossFit competitions before?
I was fortunate to start CrossFit at the original CrossFit HQ in Santa Cruz with Tony Budding as my trainer, and was able to compete in the first ever CrossFit games in 2007 (I finished the 24th fittest man in the world, out of 35 competitors-ha ha). The only other competition has been working out at the gym every day.
What did you do athletically before you joined CrossFit?
I played high school football and wrestling, and played intramural sports in college. After that I went to medical school and completed 8 years of medical training and then started practicing medicine, and the only exercise that I got was playing with my kids. I started CrossFit at age 45 thin but definitely not fit or strong. I am definitely an example that you don't have to be a firefighter or in the military to be fit at 50.