Tyler West

Member of the Month: Tyler West


Tyler West 




Grand Rapids, MI

Member Since:

January 2022.


What do you do when you're not at CFA?

When I am not at CFA I am usually working on some kind of computer related project. I love to write code, and use computers to solve complex computational problems that a human cannot easily solve. I like to make computer programs that can do my basic mundane tasks that are very repetitive and boring that I don’t like doing myself. I also love to build computers and modify/overclock/undervolt their hardware (cpu, gpu, and ram) for the best performance. While I am working on these projects I like to listen to music and podcasts. Specifically, I love listening to country, pop, rap, hip hop, and some 90s and 2000s hits and my favorite artist is Morgan Wallen. I like to listen to podcasts that focus on economics, cryptocurrency, comedy, psychology, fitness, health, and politics. 


What led you to CrossFit and CFA specifically? 

I was led to CFA and CrossFit by my younger sister Kaylee. She had started CrossFit at CFA in September 2021, and ever since she has been obsessed with CrossFit, and has been trying to get more friends and family into it. At the time both me and her were in school at Grand Valley and CFA made a lot of sense because it was 5 minutes away from our apartments in Allendale which made it very easy to be consistent and go frequently even while juggling both work and school. She took me to a friends and family class on a Saturday in December 2021. We did rowing and burpees, and then shortly after the Holidays I began the basics classes and haven’t looked back since.


When did you realize that CrossFit is right for you?

I think I realized CrossFit was right for me after about 2-4 weeks of going when I realized I had gone to CFA nearly everyday in the month of January. Ever since I was a young kid I always had a lot of energy, and I would always run around and jump on things all over the house. I also always liked sports and activities that had a speed and agility component to them, I always loved roller/ice skating and hockey. This is the primary reason I feel like I didn’t like weightlifting before CrossFit because traditional weightlifting is very slow and in my opinion more boring. So when I realized CrossFit is essentially weightlifting with cardio, agility, and more dynamic movements I think that is what hooked me.


What movement do you despise over everything and why?

The movement I despise the most is probably kettlebell swings. The first reason why I dislike kettlebell swings is because I have a pretty weak lower back, and when we do big sets of kettlebell swings I really struggle, and my sets become smaller and smaller throughout the workout. The other reason why I don’t like kettlebell swings is because my hands are always really sweaty, and I am always afraid the kettlebell will slip out of my hands and hit me on the head or hit someone around me. 


What has been your all-time favorite moment at CFA?

I think my favorite all-time moment at CFA was when we did the 800m run 400m lunge 800m run wod just a few weeks ago for a few reasons. Firstly because it was a long grindy workout with a quarter mile of lunges. This made it really mentally and physically difficult. Those are my favorite types of workouts, the ones where you can always keep going, but you have to dig deep and grind through it for a long time. It was also very much a crazy CrossFit workout who else would do a workout with that many lunges besides CrossFitters. Another reason why this was a great moment was it was the first workout I had ever done with a weighted vest, shoutout to coach Dave for letting me borrow his vest. And lastly and probably most importantly this was the first workout since the end of the last school year with all of my friends from Grand Valley, Kaylee, Gillian, Molly, and Mary Jo. We all grinded through a long workout, messed around, and had a great time. This is my favorite moment at CFA because I feel this is what makes CrossFit special, doing really hard challenging workouts with great friends and having a lot of fun while doing it. 


What motivates you during a tough workout?

I am kept motivated in a tough workout by the fear of not pushing myself hard enough. I have found since going to CrossFit that if I don’t push myself really hard, basically to the point of failure or extreme discomfort, I feel guilty after like I didn’t work as hard as I could have. I am also motivated in a tough workout by Kaylee. We are both really competitive and pretty similar in ability in CrossFit, and I think when I see her beating me or being really close with me in a workout it definitely motivates me to work that extra bit harder. 


If you could write your own workout for a day, what would it be? 

    If I could write my own workout for a day I think it would be…

        30 Min AMRAP

        1 Rope Climb

200M run 

        3 Heavy Power Cleans

        6 Pull Ups

        9 Inverted Burpees

        12 T2B  

What are your goals going forward and what do you think will help you achieve them? 

My goal going forward is to continue to get better with my barbell lifts. I want to improve both my barbell lifting form, and my barbell lifting weight. Some barbell lifts I specifically want to get better are overhead squats, snatches, squat snatches, and push jerks. All of those I am either pretty weak with, or I feel less comfortable doing them. I think I will achieve this goal by continuing to come to CFA consistently, and working specifically on improving my form in the strength training workouts, and trying to improve based on any feedback the coaches give me. I think I will also get better by powering through tough workouts with many barbell movements in them because I have really only been doing most barbell lifts since I started at CFA, I didn’t really do many barbell lifts before that. I think I will also achieve this goal by working on my barbell lifts outside CFA by working on my form and strength at my home gym.   


What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness or just day to day life since starting CrossFit? 

Since starting CrossFit I have seen a Myriad of changes in my body, health, fitness, and mental state. When I started CrossFit I didn’t really eat much, I weighed about 135 lbs, and I was really anxious/depressed. I had played hockey most of my life, and during Covid that all basically stopped for me. Grand Valley no longer was able to have a hockey team for a year or so, and things were never the same after. So this not only stopped me from having a way to workout and burn off some energy, but it also took away most of my friends. The few good friends I did have left were heavy drinkers. This led me to drink many nights a week with them which made me feel even worse. I was even prescribed antidepressants because I had a really bad anxiety/depression episode, and a few other smaller ones. After I started CrossFit I quickly realized it made me feel a lot better mentally. I was less anxious and I felt much better. I realized I didn’t have anxiety or depression, I had just been making poor life choices. I also quickly realized after starting CrossFit the importance of eating healthy and drinking plenty of water. The first few days I went to CrossFit I struggled in the workouts partially because I was new, but also because I was not fueling my body correctly. I was eating very little, and I was always dehydrated. So after starting to regularly go to CrossFit I began to make it a priority to fuel my body correctly so I could perform better in the workouts which has helped me feel better in daily life as well.

In terms of changes to my body, health, and fitness I have gained a lot more weight, specifically muscle. All throughout my life prior to CrossFit I was always the skinny kid so adding muscle is a nice change. I now have much bigger, more defined muscles. I can see my abs now which I could never see before, and I now have really large quads thanks to all the squats, and I also have larger muscles everywhere else like my shoulders and arms. I now weigh around 160-170 lbs. I now feel like I have a lot more energy, and I feel like I have a lot more confidence than I used to have before starting CrossFit. I also have noticed my endurance is much better than it used to be. Prior to starting CrossFit when I would play hockey I would have to take very short shifts because my endurance was not great. Now when I play hockey I notice I can stay out there longer than just about anyone else, and I don’t really even get that tired, and my shot is much more powerful than it was a few years ago. I can also now do many CrossFit movements I would have never thought I would have been able to do when I started. For example when I started I would have never thought that I could ever do a pull up, muscle up, toe to bar, wallwalk, inverted burpee, or a rope climb and now most of those are some of my favorite movements.


What would you recommend to someone who is just starting out with CrossFit? 

For someone just starting out with CrossFit I would recommend a few things. Firstly I would recommend not to look around at everyone else and feel discouraged like you don’t belong. This is how I felt when I started, and I still even feel that way now sometimes. We all have to start somewhere. Everyone is also super supportive and friendly, and we all want to see new CrossFitters succeed and crush their goals. Secondly I would recommend sticking with it through the first few months, although it’s hard. The first few weeks and months are definitely the hardest, but over time it gets easier. The workouts will get easier over time, the soreness will be less over time, and it is a lot of fun to learn and get comfortable with new movements that are learned over time as strength develops. Lastly I would recommend a new CrossFitter to pace themself in the workouts, and don’t try to do too much too fast. It is totally acceptable to start slow with lighter weights. The best thing to do is just to be consistent, learn good form, and have fun. Everything else comes with time.  


If you could have one skill or characteristic of another member at CFA what and from whom would it be? Or which other CFA member are you the most motivated by? 

If I could have a skill from another member at CFA I think I would pick Mary's double under skill. I still struggle to do double unders even after going to CFA for almost 2 years, and Mary crushes double unders whenever they are in a workout, and she makes them look effortless. The other CFA members I am most motivated/inspired by are Ted and Caleb. I am motivated by Ted because despite being a little older he consistently shows up, and puts up excellent scores that are better than mine most if not everyday, and he is just an all around excellent athlete. I am also motivated by Caleb because I feel like he has a very similar body type to mine, and seeing him crush workouts makes me think that is possible for me someday if I continue to put in the work. 

Quick Questions

Favorite Cheat meal: Pizza

Favorite Workout song: Livin’ The Dream by Morgan Wallen

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: Rome, Italy

Favorite TV Show: Seinfeld  

Favorite CrossFit Athlete(if any): Alexis Raptis

Coach's comment:

Tyler has come a long way since starting with us about two years ago. Without a doubt he has gotten stronger, gained muscle and improved his endurance. He is one of our most consistent members and always ready to push his sister Kaylee in a workout. We have seen CrossFit provide such an outlet for Tyler in his daily life and we couldn't be more proud. Reading his answer to "What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness or just day to day life since starting CrossFit?" is a prime example of why we started CFA and our overall goal. Improve people's lives through CrossFit and have a good time while doing it. Keep up the good work Tyler!

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