Congratulations to Dan Martin, our December 2023 member of the month! Dan has an extensive background in fitness – as a Marine, bodybuilder gym manager, CrossFitter, and now a powerlifter. Now in his 50’s, Dan is still continuing to make progress, despite a big setback in 2017. Dan has some great words of advice for everyone out there. Keep reading to learn more about Dan!
- What are your hobbies/interest/talents outside of the gym?
I am a clinical psychologist and provide services to high school students. Jen and I also have a research business where we conduct studies for the Department of Homeland Security that focus on security screening systems. I enjoy music, concerts (first few rows only), reading, eating, and pool time. I am enthusiastic about Karaoke and Golf and horrible at both. I love to travel and experience new things.
- Share with us one thing that most people do NOT know about you?
I supported myself through college and graduate school. I had a variety of jobs to do this: United States Marine Corps, cook, Bodybuilding Gym manager, backstage producer at Bodybuilding competitions for ESPN, bouncer, cooler, suicide prevention hotline worker, and social worker at a facility to transition individuals with severe mental disorders out of the hospital and back into the community. But the best job came about by accident. I was bouncing one night and the DJ failed to show. I knew all the music and how to work the elaborate DJ booth so I was told to take over. The next thing you know I was spinning Marky Mark’s Good Vibrations and rapping along on the mic, all with swirling lights and confetti machines. I was a hit.
- How long have you been with us at Viking Athletics?
I joined CrossFit Relentless in 2011 after seeing the CrossFit games on TV. I immediately knew I had to give it a try.
- Take us back to your first week here. How did you feel? Remember the workout?
My second day of CrossFit we did something with cleans and burpees. I was doing burpees under the rig and Merle told me to jump higher. I threw my hands in the air and broke a finger. I finished the WOD and went directly to the ER. I was back at the gym the next day. I was hooked.
- What moment/achievement are you most proud of at Viking Athletics?
When I was younger, I was proud of a lot of PRs and the ability to do most WODs, including bar muscle ups. Now that I’m 55, I’m proud to be hitting the weights hard as part of the Powerlifting crew and setting new PRs even at my age. Muscle memory is not a myth.
- Design your perfect workout?
Back in my CrossFit days, my favorite WOD by far was Championship Fight Gone Bad (5 rounds). You need to create a strategy and stick with it even when you feel like you were punched in the face. These days I enjoy a beach day. By this I mean blitzing chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. So much fun.
- What is your least favorite movement?
I am forever scarred by my only CrossFit class that I had the misfortune of doing alone. It was 100 Turkish Get-Ups. Lynette (Tiny Coach) was there and counted all 100 for me. Thanks. Never again.
- Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
Enthusiastic, optimistic, inquisitive, juvenile, loyal.
- Have you experienced any changes in your lifestyle since joining Viking Athletics?
In the past I hit CrossFit WODs hard and made a lot of progress. Then in October 2017 I was hospitalized with blood clots. Since then, it has been difficult for me to do WODs because I have trouble breathing with heavy exertion. I started doing Powerlifting as a way to get back to my bodybuilding roots and love it. I have been on a tear recently and hope to continue increasing strength and mass while losing weight. Thanks Alex.
- What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about joining or who has recently joined?
You are never too old to improve your health. Don’t be caught up in the mundane aspects of working out. Have fun, be enthusiastic, and act like an idiot sometimes.