Faction’s July 2017 Athlete of the Month – Dennis Shirokov

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Dennis, man; who couldn’t love this guy? His passion is contagious, and his love and dedication for the sport of Crossfit make us proud to do what we do!

Dennis lives the Crossfit lifestyle inside and outside the gym. When his ride broke down in small town, Corinth, MS Memorial Day weekend, he did “Murph” while waiting for it to be repaired. And this is just one example of how Dennis doesn’t let circumstances prevent him from getting his fitness on.

Keep on reading to learn more about this guy! We’re so very proud of you, Dennis! Keep up the hard, consistent work!!!

Name: Dennis Shirokov

Age: 43

Hometown: St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russian Federation

Occupation: Director, Innovation and Design

Favorite WOD/metcon: I love Wednesdays, all of them

Favorite lift: Whichever I’m working on during class

Favorite cheat meal: Unfortunately, I cheat with meals all the time (ice-cream is my vice)

Athletic background: I competed internationally with the Soviet youth national military pentathlon team; I competed nationally in cross-country skiing and biathlon

Hobbies/interests outside of the gym: Too many…my family, traveling, building mechanical watches, leather-crafting, skiing, mountain biking, swimming, shooting pistols, riding motorcycles, and cooking…not all at the same time (usually)

How long have you been Crossfitting? A few months short of three years

How long have you been at Faction S&C/Crossfit Memphis? A few months short of three years

How did you find Crossfit? A few years ago, my wife and I came to a few classes at the Collierville CrossFit gym but, for some reason, we didn’t stick with it. Then, three plus years ago I was training for the 24hr endurance “World’s Toughest Mudder” race and realized I didn’t have the upper body strength needed to survive it. I called up Faction and came in for the Foundations classes just a couple of months before the race. I met Michael Knolton who was my coach and who taught me the basics of CrossFit. A few weeks of his instruction made it possible for me to survive the race. He urged me to join the a.m. classes, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

How has Crossfit changed your life?

CrossFit gives me the ability to set personal fitness goals and work with a community of likeminded athletes to achieve them. CrossFit is the platform for building your grit. I also love not having to think about what I’m supposed to do for my workouts every day. I show up, and the coaches are there to help me through whatever I’m working on. I love the weekly regiment of workouts, the no-pressure but challenge-yourself coaching instructions and the friendly atmosphere of the gym. Lastly, CrossFit is tons of fun!

Dennis getting it in at Brick Crossfit while traveling earlier this month

What is your biggest achievement so far, and what is your next big goal? This year I learned how to do kipping pull-ups and now I’m getting better with Double Unders and Toes To Bar.   I’m happy I made progress with those.   I can still do pretty mean backwards single unders J Also, I have been able to do a few WODs at the RX+ level, which is progress for me. Now, I’m working on Handstand Pushups and I would love to do a Muscle Up on the rings…or a bar, for that matter.

 What is your favorite thing about Faction? The camaraderie of the members and the professionalism of the coaches. And the Big Ass Fan!

A recent social media share from Dennis – a one-mile swim. He also did Memorial Day “Murph” and the “3 Heroes” WODs, despite being out of town (and out of the gym) at the time. Get it, Dennis!

Have any advice for new members?

  1. Be on time (this is for me too!)
  2. Come join us at the 5 am or 6 am classes – that way you get your workout for the day out of the way
  3. Be comfortable with your abilities and your fitness level; the level of intensity you put into your workout, and the weights you work with. Don’t push too hard trying to match someone else but do challenge yourself every time you are in the gym. Coaches are your best gauges for what you should work with.
  4. Don’t be afraid to come out and do ‘special’ workouts like “Murph” during Memorial Day weekend or the “3 Heroes” WODs this past 4th of July holiday. They are fun and you get to meet people from different classes.

Is there anything you want to add? Tell us an interesting tidbit about you. My Dad, who passed away almost two years ago, flew for Aeroflot for 30 years and was awarded one of the highest awards in the nation for saving people on a flight that was bombed by a terrorist. He was my hero. Aviation runs in our family. My wife’s father was also a pilot his entire career. We both work for a company that started as an airline a few decades ago.

Triathlon-ing with Coaches Mike and Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How has Crossfit changed your life?

CrossFit gives me the ability to set personal fitness goals and work with a community of likeminded athletes to achieve them. CrossFit is the platform for building your grit. I also love not having to think about what I’m supposed to do for my workouts every day. I show up, and the coaches are there to help me through whatever I’m working on. I love the weekly regiment of workouts, the no-pressure but challenge-yourself coaching instructions and the friendly atmosphere of the gym. Lastly, CrossFit is tons of fun!

 

What is your biggest achievement so far, and what is your next big goal? This year I learned how to do kipping pull-ups and now I’m getting better with Double Unders and Toes To Bar.   I’m happy I made progress with those.   I can still do pretty mean backwards single unders J Also, I have been able to do a few WODs at the RX+ level, which is progress for me. Now, I’m working on Handstand Pushups and I would love to do a Muscle Up on the rings…or a bar, for that matter.

 

What is your favorite thing about Faction? The camaraderie of the members and the professionalism of the coaches. And the Big Ass Fan!

 

Have any advice for new members?

  1. Be on time (this is for me too!)
  2. Come join us at the 5 am or 6 am classes – that way you get your workout for the day out of the way
  3. Be comfortable with your abilities and your fitness level; the level of intensity you put into your workout, and the weights you work with. Don’t push too hard trying to match someone else but do challenge yourself every time you are in the gym. Coaches are your best gauges for what you should work with.
  4. Don’t be afraid to come out and do ‘special’ workouts like “Murph” during Memorial Day weekend or the “3 Heroes” WODs this past 4th of July holiday. They are fun and you get to meet people from different classes.

 

Is there anything you want to add? Tell us an interesting tidbit about you. My Dad, who passed away almost two years ago, flew for Aeroflot for 30 years and was awarded one of the highest awards in the nation for saving people on a flight that was bombed by a terrorist. He was my hero. Aviation runs in our family. My wife’s father was also a pilot his entire career. We both work for a company that started as an airline a few decades ago.