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Why You Want to Be Like CrossFit Athlete Nick Sarruda | Read about CrossFit superstar Nick Sarruda, who at the age of 23 is not only a CrossFit Athlete and Coach, but also co-owner of CrossFit South Shore.

Learn why you want to be like Nick as he shares some essential tips to up your CrossFit game.

Nick is a top athlete, head coach, and co-owner of CrossFit South Shore in Hanover, Massachusetts. I recently interviewed Nick to learn about what drives him at CrossFit and in his personal life. Plus I got to pick his brain to learn his top three tips to up your CrossFit game.

Make sure to read through to the bottom for a chance to win a fantastic prize Nick has for one lucky Emma & Rose reader.

10 Questions with Nick Sarruda

Question #1:

Tell us a little about your athletic background.

Answer by Nick:

I love sports and growing up played baseball, basketball, lacrosse, and football. Baseball was my first love, but I was made best to be a football player and it is where I excelled.

In high school I played basketball, lacrosse, and football and was Team Captain of my football team, an achievement I am proud of to this day.

Although I was never the elite athlete, I do acknowledge I was gifted with some athleticism, but most of my athletic ability I would credit to my work ethic. Growing up I was the chubby kid and had to work to get the most out of my body.

I discovered the value of pushing yourself to be better and making the most of what I was given at a young age. I would go for runs and even focus on what I ate in order to lose the weight I needed to and build the body I wanted to have to be as good at sports as I could be.

Eventually when high school was winding down, my collegiate sports career was erased entirely by a series of ACL injuries. I discovered CrossFit heading into my freshman year of college. Since then, it has become the main source of my athletic ability.

I would say I am as athletic now as I have ever been in my life and I would attribute that to CrossFit.

I imagine it will probably just continue to improve the older I get until I hit that age where it heads back the other way, but I am going to fight like hell to push that age back.

Related Article: The Ultimate Father’s Day Gift Guide for the Active Dad

Question #2:

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit vs. traditional training?

Answer by Nick:

CrossFit vs. traditional training has many differences and benefits in my opinion, but the biggest is the sense of community. The reason I choose this over any other benefit is that it is the one the holds the most marginal benefit.

Being a part of a community makes you hold yourself to a higher standard; both keeping yourself accountable and being held accountable by the others around you.

It also pushes you to try more things; run a race you never would’ve imagined you could do, lift the weight you thought was more than you could ever handle and ultimately be a better person both mentally, and physically than you thought you ever could be.

It’s more than what you get out of traditional training whether it be with a personal trainer or on your own at the local gym or in your basement.

Question #3:

What is the biggest misconception about CrossFit?

Answer by Nick:

The biggest misconception about CrossFit without a doubt is that “you’ll get injured”. This could not be further from the truth.

Not only is CrossFit just as safe if not safer than any other modality of training, but if you are taking class you have the benefit of a master coach supervising your movement.

You know what has a higher rate of injury than CrossFit? Long distance running, and whenever someone decides, “it’s time to get back in shape”, most people do not think twice about injury concern before beginning to run.

It is what you make of it and if the box you are at is any good, the chances that you get injured should be minor.

Question #4:

You are the owner of CrossFit South Shore. Tell us about it.

Answer by Nick:

CrossFit South Shore is a unique box that provides value to its community in a variety of ways. Compared to a lot of other CrossFit gyms nowadays, we stay true to the CrossFits roots of a “garage gym”. We have a 2000 sq. ft. training space and we make the absolute most of it.

We do not have all the shiny weights or extra special services some other boxes or gyms may offer. What we do have though is excellent coaching and programming and a special community and atmosphere.

Why You Want to Be Like CrossFit Athlete Nick Sarruda

Given our smaller size, classes tend to be smaller which allows for more one-on-one interaction with your coach and even with some of the more experienced members. I like that at my gym, almost everyone knows each other; if you are new and join my gym, it will only be a matter of weeks before everyone knows you and you know them!

The attention from coaches is ultimately why CrossFitters pay a premium price. Therefore, since our classes tend to be smaller, you get even more time under guided supervision, and as a result the price you pay will provide you with double the value!

We have been in business for over six years now and will continue to deliver unique options for our CrossFitters such as our “Down & Dirty 4×4” class, personal training, HSN nutrition counselling, and seminars that will make you better.

Our programming is done with attention to detail and allows everyone to participate and have an awesome workout regardless of your age, weight, or special circumstances.

Question #5:

What does your diet look like?

Answer by Nick:

Currently, my diet is very dialed in. I track what I consume daily. Some of the basic principles that I stick to are making sure that I have a vegetable with every meal, a protein, and some type of starch (carbohydrate).

Most often this will look like: spinach, ground beef or steak tips, and jasmine rice. I look for variety in the foods that I eat to make sure that I am maximizing my micronutrient intake, and then focus on my overall calories.

It is always quality before quantity though. Lately, I have been trying to eat 5 – 6 times a day to maximize my energy and I will do a 16/8 hour fast once or twice a week as I am trying to lean out a bit. If I have a treat, my go-to lately has been sushi (love a good hand roll).

Why You Want to Be Like CrossFit Athlete Nick Sarruda

Question #6:

What are the top 5 foods we would find in your kitchen?

Answer by Nick:

The top five foods in my kitchen would be: avocados, jasmine rice, spinach, beef, and eggs.

Related Article: How Food Can Affect More Than Your Weight

Question #7:

What are 3 fitness essentials you can’t live without?

Answer by Nick:

My top three fitness essentials would start with my foam roller and lacrosse balls. I think being able to maintain and help support your body in recovery is essential to staying in good shape and being healthy.

I am constantly pushing my body and if I do not invest the time to recover using these tools I don’t think I would be able to maintain my current workload.

Next, a training partner. I can’t picture forever training alone. My whole life I have always had a training partner(s). I love to workout alone but from time to time having other people there to push you and hold you accountable, it makes a world of difference in self-improvement.

Finally, music is a fitness essential for me. It’s not that I would have to give up working out without it, but it would make things a lot harder.

If you workout often you’ll feel me on this one; sometimes you’re struggling through a tough set, tough WOD (workout of the day), and then the perfect song comes on and you find yourself with this  burst of energy out of nowhere.

To me, that makes a huge impact on my workouts. Some of my favorite workout artists are: Metallica, Kendrick Lamar, Rage against the machine, Nas, and Led Zeppelin.

Related Article: The Ultimate Gift Guide For Fitness Fanatics

Question #8:

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or mantra?

Answer by Nick:

I have a few. “If you’re not getting stronger you are getting weaker.” This isn’t entirely true but it reminds me to always find a way to be better at something than the day before.

Why You Want to Be Like CrossFit Athlete Nick Sarruda: "If you’re not getting stronger you are getting weaker."

Another favorite of mine is “it is what it is.” Ex. Warm Up in the gym, my knee hurts and today happens to be a running workout. Well it is what it is, you still need to get a workout in, hop on a rower and get it done.

It reminds me to accept my situation and then be grateful for the challenges that I face because I know I will come out better on the other side.

Question #9:

How do you use your fitness/why is it important to you?

Answer by Nick:

I use my fitness to do the things I love. One of those things being participating in more fitness, CrossFit competitions, coaching athletes, and lifting weights. I truly love doing these things.

I also use it whenever I participate in recreational activities. Some of my favorites are, kayaking with friends, hiking, snowboarding or just walking on the beach.

My fitness allows me to do things like these and feel confident, and the fitter I am, the more often I can do them. A few years ago I had never skied or snowboarded in my life. I decided to learn, and now it is one of my favorite things to do to relax and enjoy the life I live.

If doing CrossFit and living a healthy lifestyle (eating right, dealing with stress, stretching) were not a part of who I am; I am not sure I would’ve been capable of picking it up as quickly as I did or enjoy it as much as I do.

For reasons just as much mentally as physically, I am constantly facing my fears in the gym, instilling discipline in my life with nutrition and my daily habits to combat stress.

Why You Want to Be Like CrossFit Athlete Nick Sarruda

Question #10:

What advice would you give to someone thinking about trying CrossFit?

Answer by Nick:

My advice to someone thinking about trying CrossFit would be just do it. You are never going to get any better, overcome any fears, or improve your quality of life until you just go for it! Yah it can be intimidating, yah it can be hard, it may even be uncomfortable.

But anything worth doing in life is going to feel that way.

Once you get through the door, the hard part is over. After 3 classes your body will start to adjust and you will start to appreciate how good you feel after completing a workout (endorphin rush).

That’s all it takes to build some momentum and start your journey. If you are lucky, you will have a great coach along your side who will not let you give up, and will be there with you to guide you through the beginning to the path to success.

Related Article: CrossFit – A Beginner’s Guide to Common Questions

Why You Want to Be Like CrossFit Athlete Nick Sarruda

Nick Sarruda’s Essential Tips to up your CrossFit game

Get someone to hold you accountable:

Find a training partner who will make you better, push you to do the extra workout, movement, run etc. Or find a coach, nutritionist, run coach, if that’s what you need.

Don’t be afraid to go all in:

As CrossFitters, it’s our goal to be good at everything. But the way to get good at everything is not to focus on improving everything at once. You must switch your focus day to day, month to month, and even year by year.

For example – maybe the strength of the day’s WOD is 5×5 Deadlift and you have a strong Deadlift (2x BW) but the Metcon has 4 RDS of a 400m run in it, and running destroys you in metcons. Well, it would serve you better to put your focus into doing well on each run rather than maxing out the Deadlift.

Taking that approach to every workout, week, month is how we make the biggest strides as CrossFitters. It may mean taking a summer to work on strength, or gymnastics – whatever is the “hole” in your game.

Maximize your nutrition and sleep:

Everyone’s always looking to gain an edge on performance by taking this, or trying that program, or doing this extra instead of that. In reality the biggest “gains” can be made just by dialing these two things in.

When athletes at my box finally make the choice to make nutrition a priority, if they stick with it, it always leads to them making the next step in their CrossFit game.

The same can be said for sleep. If you are not getting enough, at least 7 hours a night, you would be better off opting for a nap or getting to bed early rather than getting in an extra workout.

Related Article: Learn How To Get Better Sleep To Avoid Weight Gain

What about you?

Are you considering CrossFit? What questions do you have before you get started? Share your burning questions in the comments.

Or have you already been CrossFitting for a while? If so, what tips would you share to improve your CrossFit performance? Write it below.

Want to learn more about Nick Sarruda?

You can find Nick Sarruda on Instagram and Facebook.

emma lynn

Hi, I’m Emma Lynn

I’m a proud mother of two wonderful children and a wife to a loving, affectionate husband. I enjoy exercise – yoga (yes, I teach yoga as well), running, and going to different fitness classes from time to time.

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