Zach Steffes – December 2015 Athlete Spotlight


Zach Steffes – December 2015 Athlete Spotlight

Congratulations to Zach Steffes, our December Athlete of the Month! Please read Zach’s story below:


Zach Steffes


St. Cloud, Minnesota



When did you first start training at CrossFit 580?

September 2015

What is your favorite workout/movement?

Grace, Overhead Squat

Least favorite workout/movement?

Fran, Thrusters

Tell us about your fitness and/ or lifestyle background:

I grew up an athlete, but then moved away from organized sports during my undergraduate and graduate studies. I used to lift weights at numerous different gyms, and have always been relatively active. My sister told me about this cool new type of workout about 3 years ago. I left my first class with a dislocated thumb (an inchworm mishap), having vomited in the parking lot, and a new love for CrossFit.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit 580? Take us back to your first workout… How was it and how did it feel?

I honestly do not remember the exact workout, but I am pretty confident there were heavy kettlebell swings and a lot of running. I have always been alright when it comes to moving around weight, but I have a strong dislike for running. I remember feeling very out of shape, but was very impressed with the workout when I left. I remember getting into my truck, calling my wife, and telling her that this was going to be a good place for me.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting at CrossFit 580?
I am honestly in some of the best shape of my adult life. The previous CrossFit gym where I worked out was more focused on weightlifting, but CrossFit 580 partners with CrossFit Invictus to deliver custom programming, with a very consistent dosing of cardio mixed into the workouts. I have dropped about 15 pounds, and have seen most of my lifts start to increase dramatically. I am even getting to the point where I may start disliking running a small amount less.
What changes in your life have you experienced from CrossFit 580 that were totally unexpected?
Well, as stated above, my cardiovascular fitness has become much better, so I may stop complaining when I see running in workouts. I don’t want to be held to this comment though….
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit 580 moments.
I think what stands out the most to me recently is what I have learned from the Olympic lifting class. I have always been very uncomfortable dropping under the weight, when performing heavier snatches and cleans. I have only gone to a few of the classes, but Coach Christina has already dramatically increased my proficiency in those lifts. Learning to catch the heavier lifts properly has really been a big step for me personally.
What are your hobbies, interests, and talents outside of CrossFit 580?
I am a veterinarian, and recently relocated to the area from San Diego. I have a special interest in reptile and amphibian medicine, and have worked on king cobras, rattlesnakes, 7-foot monitor lizards, 200-pound tortoises, and numerous other interesting animals. I also enjoy brewing beer when I have spare time.
Any advice for people just getting started?
I promise you nobody is watching what you are doing. I have been around CrossFit gyms long enough to hear almost every new person walk in saying they didn’t want to look foolish, and be embarrassed. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is too busy just trying to keep moving to notice what anyone else is doing. Do not be embarrassed, work hard, get better. cheer on your fellow athletes, and have fun. My last piece of advice is if the first day you show up you notice it says Fran on the board, just go home, and start up the next day.