Let’s get to know YOU!
Name: Cory Howard
Any nicknames? Nope, and I will not get into past nicknames…not giving the guys any ammo to use against me, lol.
Hometown: Miles City, MT
Profession: Packaging Coordinator, Phillips 66 Lubricants
Fitness Background: I’ve always been an athlete and played just about every sport as a kid. I started lifting weights for high school football and have been doing it ever since. Hockey is my passion, though; I was the captain of my HS team, played juniors in Portland, OR and college in St Paul, MN. I still play men’s league on the weekends and coach all my kids at the Memorial City rink.
Favorite non-gym way to be active: See above… Hockey!
Favorite hobby: I’ll go with something not hockey related. I play the guitar, however I don’t play very often anymore and need to dedicate more time for it. If anyone wants to jam on some 80s/90s music hit me up!
One thing you wish you were better at: Anything overhead. My left shoulder is garbage from a torn pectoral muscle repair, so it is not very stable with OHS, snatches, and presses.
Favorite health tip you actually use: I started aiming for at least 7 hours of sleep every night. I went for so long on 5-6 hours a night and it was not healthy. Getting adequate sleep makes a huge difference in my energy and performance at work. Sometimes it results in missing my workout with the 5am crew, but if I’m not rested then working out is counterproductive. You can’t get gainz without the zzz’s!
Team healthy replacements for indulgent food or just eat the real stuff? Real stuff for sure. I have pretty good willpower for the most part, so when I want to indulge I try to do it guilt-free and in moderation.
Biggest health and fitness goal: Short term: get my first muscle up. Long term: handstand walk.
Best music to workout to: We could use a little more metal at Elevate…consider this an official request for some Iron Maiden. I like about anything really, though, so you won’t hear me complain too often.
Now the nitty-gritty workout stuff…
When did you first try CrossFit and what made you want to try it? It was spring of 2017 and my awesome wife, Ashley, had already been going to Elevate for a couple months. I was bored with my fitness routine and wanted to give it a shot. I remember the workout was an AMRAP of dumbbell snatches and lunges and I was getting smoked by all these kick-ass moms at the 9:30 class. It was very humbling, and I was sore for a week. I knew I had found something that would really push me to be better and that is why I started going.
What makes you stick with CrossFit? I have tons of reasons, but here are the top three. First: the awesome community that consists of folks that are all welcoming, supportive, and driven to be better. Second: it pushes me harder than I ever could on my own. Third: I am competitive and want to keep improving my abilities and testing my limits.
Favorite movement: Barbell cleans... and also double-unders now that I can actually do them!
Least favorite movement/something that’s hard for you: Pull-ups… they make my shoulder feel like it is going to rip out of the socket.
What gets you through tough workouts? Honestly, sometimes it’s just the simple fact that no one else has quit. There are days when you do feel like tapping out, but having people battling alongside me gives me the strength to keep going.
What keeps you motivated? Competition against myself, mostly, to improve and hit those PRs... but also friendly competition on the whiteboard.
Proudest Elevate moment to date? Completing my first Murph workout this year. Not a very wise decision after playing in four hockey games that weekend, but I managed to finish eventually. Ouch.
Hobbies outside of killing it at the gym: I dabble in DIY projects that Ashley dreams up. One went kinda viral, so that was cool.
Changes you’ve seen from working out at Elevate: Overall joint health and mobility is way better. I had terribly stiff/painful hips and shoulders when I first started, and I have come a long way.
How has CrossFit helped you outside of the gym: My overall level of fitness has improved, which crosses over to hockey in a big way. It also makes me more confident at work knowing that I crushed a workout before most people even got out of bed.
How do you balance working out with family life? 5am…it’s more about balancing my bedtime.
What’s your favorite part of bringing your kid(s) to the gym? Being able to set an example for a lifetime of healthy behaviors and hard work.
One lesson that you’ve learned from your time at Elevate that you’ll take with you from here on out: Always make sure the seat is locked before jumping on the assault bike! But seriously, I have learned so much about proper technique and mobility that I had never been taught. Looking back now, I could have saved myself from a lot of injuries had I known what I know now. I really envy younger people growing up with CrossFit who are gaining that foundation of knowledge.
Why CrossFit Elevate? I love that it’s such a tight-knit community of like-minded people that really want to see each other succeed. The coaches become close friends that truly care about helping you reach your goals and they know how to safely push your limits based on your abilities. There are very few things that could get me out of bed at 5am, and working out with my Elevate family is on the top of that list. I actually look forward to each miserable workout, and that is how I know I have found the right place.