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Meet the Coach: Liz Webster

Name: Liz Webster

Age: 39

Hometown: Lafayette, LA

Fitness Background: I played basketball and softball growing up and was a competitive gymnast until I was about 12. I was also a cheerleader in middle school, but by the time I got to high school I had pretty much stopped playing all sports. From high school until well into my twenties I pretty much sat on the couch and ate fast food a couple times a day, and basically did anything that would be considered unhealthy. The biggest compliment I get today is that people don’t believe I was ever that unhealthy. If I had to guess, people that I knew back then wouldn’t believe I live the lifestyle I do today. I dabbled in running in my mid-twenties, but didn't do much until I had my second child at 33. After that I started long distance running, and ran one full marathon and several half marathons. For years, I wouldn’t do anything other than running - I didn’t even bother stretching. Eventually, I started adding classes at the gym.

When did you first try CrossFit? I first tried CrossFit in 2013 after having my third baby. My neighbor had been working out at Elevate for a couple years, and kept telling me to stop running and try Crossfit. I finally went and tried it, but for some reason I didn’t go back at that point. I remember thinking anything that makes you that sore must be doing something. But I was so focused on running races all the time that I didn’t want to make time for anything else. In January 2015 I went back to Elevate and fell in love with Crossfit and the people at Elevate. I took two classes and cancelled my gym membership - that’s how much I loved it.

What was your first CrossFit workout? I don’t remember the entire workout, but I remember it had box jumps and the strength portion had ring dips, which I couldn’t even do with a band.

What made CrossFit stick over other types of workouts? The possibilities were endless. We never did the same thing, and I could always go faster and/or heavier - there was so much I couldn’t do that I could work towards. And I loved how much fun I had with the people. I went to the gym for years and never said more than “hi” to people I saw everyday. At Crossfit, we got to know each other personally and supported each other - both in workouts and in life.

What changes have you seen because of CrossFit? Now that it’s been a couple of years I can clearly see my progress. I can lift heavier, do movements I couldn’t do when I first started and my body has changed. I feel stronger and a lot more confident, both in and out of the gym. Crossfit has really shown how strong I am physically and mentally.

What was your career prior to being a coach at CF Elevate? Oil and Gas Abstracting

Certifications you hold: CrossFit Level 1

What made you decide to start coaching? When I came to Elevate in 2015 I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to learn all I could about Crossfit. I started reading and watching all the videos I could, and the more I learned and progressed the more I believed in it. While it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, it was also the most rewarding and FUN. At first I wanted to get my Level 1 just to learn more about Crossfit (fitness, nutrition, ideology and reasoning behind its practices). After completing the Level 1, I couldn’t wait to pass on what I learned and coach. You can’t leave there without being excited about CrossFit.

What’s your favorite part of coaching? Probably the MOST rewarding part is watching people push through the hard workouts. I know from experience that is where we find out so much about ourselves. So when I see that look on someones face, the one where they want to give up but they make it through anyway, I’m excited for them because I know the rewards will play out in all areas of the their life. It’s really cool to witness and be a part of that process. Also, I love watching people progress as an athlete. When they first start they’re confused with movements and just trying to get through the workouts. After a little time, you can see them becoming more confident, getting stronger and encouraging other new people as they come in.

You’ve coached both CrossFit and Bootcamp – from a coaching standpoint, what makes each unique? The difference to me is the barbell, really. When I program for bootcamp, I follow the same guidelines as I would for CrossFit - I make sure to put in strength and conditioning and keep it varied. Bootcamp probably includes more of the longer 20-30 minute metcon workouts. Overall, it’s a matter of preference - it’s about whether someones really enjoys those types of workouts or the more technical olympic lifts. At the end of the day, the goal for me is the same: get fit and have fun doing it.

How do you encourage people who are interested in trying CrossFit or Bootcamp, but are new to working out or intimidated by the workouts? I always encourage people to just come and try it, and I stress that anyone can do it. There is a scaled way to do any movement; we can change anything up to make it doable. Also: don’t get discouraged after one workout. Keep coming back and you will surprise yourself (over and over again!).

Favorite WoD: Anything with fast, light Snatches and running... I know running is the worst part for most people, but it’s where fitness started for me. I can do the running.

Least favorite WoD: Anything with Wallballs. I talk to myself the whole time.

Favorite movement: Snatch or Clean (so hard to decide!!)

Least favorite movement/something that’s especially hard for you: Overhead Squat or Full Snatch. I like them both, but they are my weaknesses. I can’t think of anything more complicated and difficult than coming out of a squat with heavy weight over my head.

What gets you through tough workouts? I talk to myself the whole time. Sometimes I’m cheering myself on, sometimes I’m trying to catch my friend in front of me and other times I’m mad at Luke because he made up the workout!

What keeps you motivated? Going to the gym has become a way of life for me. It wasn’t like that when I ran or did classes at the Y... I would really have to talk myself into running or going to the gym, but I look forward to going to Crossfit classes. When I came in 2015, I really jumped in with both feet. I was constantly (and still am) watching videos and reading articles. Every night when Luke posted a workout I would start watching videos to figure out what I was going to have to do the next day. Two years later and I’m still that excited about Crossfit.

Proudest CrossFit moment: I’m always proud when I get something I’ve been working on for awhile. My first pull up is pretty memorable. Also, I am super proud that I did most of the Open workouts this year Rx. A couple years ago I would have laughed if you told me I could get through those workouts.

If you could tell everyone one thing about CrossFit, what would it be? It’s so much more than you think you it is. It’s not just fitness. But you have to show up to that first class and continue to show up for that first month or two where everything is new and uncomfortable. You will learn so much about yourself and find that you are capable of so much more than you think. You will make yourself proud.

Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Traveling with Jason (LOVE New York and New Orleans), going to the beach or Austin with Jason and the kids, cooking and eating GOOD food, going out to dinner with girlfriends, learning new things, reading and listening to podcasts about fitness, nutrition and spirituality. And laughing as often as possible. If you’re funny, you can be my friend forever.

Why CrossFit Elevate? This one is easy!!! The community and Luke’s coaching. When I first started at Elevate, Luke always made me super comfortable and encouraged me, no matter how awkward I was at the movements. He has a progression for anything you’re working on and is always coming up with new ways to work on lifts, gymnastics movements and mobility. I’ve been to other gyms and I always come back realizing how good I have it at Elevate. AND the community has become my family in Katy since we’re not from here. Elevate is my second home. The people there not only get me through workouts, they get me through life... and we have a lot of fun doing both!