TechGenix FitITproNews

Vol. 02, #22 - June 06, 2018 - Issue #0037

FitITproNews: Body transformation story - Mark Nichols (CrossFit)

Transform IT with FlexPod converged infrastructure and Availability software.


FlexPod accelerates application deployments, speeds up a time to market, lowers costs and simplifies IT operational management. It is critically important for businesses adopting converged infrastructure systems to modernize their application Availability capabilities at the same time. By leveraging Availability software with FlexPod, companies can increase IT automation, mitigate risk and improve the return on their IT investments.

Learn how.

Editor's Corner

CrossFit is one type of approach to getting fit that I haven't personally tried out yet, so I was excited when one of our newsletter readers Mark Nichols offered to share his own experience of doing CrossFit with us. How many other WServerNews and FitITproNews readers have tried CrossFit? Have you benefitted from doing it? Has it been easy or difficult to remain involved? I'd love to hear what other WoD-addicts among our readership have experienced riding the CrossFit bandwagon -- send your comments to me at [email protected]. Meanwhile for those of you who haven't tried CrossFit yet or don't know much about it, let's listen now to what Mark says in response to a series of questions I asked him about his CrossFit experiences. 

Interview with Mark Nichols

MITCH: I'm talking today with Mark Nichols one of our FitITproNews readers who has recently gotten into CrossFit. Mark how about starting off by telling us a bit about yourself.

MARK: I'm a long term IT professional (since 1987) and currently a Sales Engineer for a software company, Synacor/Zimbra, whom I've been with for 11+ years. I live South of Denver, CO and I travel a lot for work. I got very interested in getting fit when I went to the Doctor at age 48 and he told me I had the heart of a 68 year old. With a family history of heart disease (father's father dying at 51 and mother's mother dying at age 57 of heart attacks), getting healthy became very important. I am now 55 and in the best shape I've been in since my late 20's. 

MITCH: What drew you into getting involved in CrossFit?

MARK: I did small triathlons for three and a half years which was great and while my heart was in better shape, I had lost a lot of muscle mass. I initially planned to do CrossFit in the winter months and go back to triathlons in the Spring, Summer and Fall. But I got bit by the CrossFit bug! More about that later.

MITCH: What was your level of fitness like before you started doing CrossFit?

MARK: Before doing triathlons, I was a slug with about 25 extra pounds and a body fat percentage around 30%. After 3+ years of tri's, I had gotten to the point where I could do an Olympic Triathlon with some difficulty which was swim about a mile, bike about 25-30 miles and run about 6 miles in about 3 hours. I usually placed close to last in my age division, but I was happy to finish and really enjoyed the experience. However, I only had cardio fitness, my body fat percentage was down (now I was "skinny fat") but I had almost no strength. I didn't know any weightlifting technique and did very little HIIT training.

MITCH: How has CrossFit benefited you physically, mentally, and in any other way?

MARK: I've gotten dramatically stronger in only 8 months, increased my muscle mass (my wife loves my arms now), and reduced my body fat percentage down to the 24 percent range. The best benefits have been the stress relief and finding new friends that are fun to be around.

MITCH: What's the difference exactly between CrossFit and more traditional types of workouts like weightlifting, HIIT cardio, and so on?

MARK: CrossFit incorporates many of the same concepts of weightlifting, HIIT and cardio, but does it in a community environment. The camaraderie, shared experience (suffering?), focus on technique and built-in encouragement create an experience that goes beyond just working out. I'm totally addicted now and find a box in every city where I travel, from Jesup, Georgia to Tel Aviv, Israel.

MITCH: Is CrossFit for anyone? What if I'm a fat IT pro who wants to lose weight and put on some muscle -- should I consider getting involved in CrossFit or should I start on a lower rung of the fitness ladder?

MARK: Yes, CrossFit is for almost anyone (check with your doctor of course) except possibly for people who had heart problems, but it works even for people with bad knees or previous injuries. I've seen 70+ year old's with knee replacements doing modified CrossFit workouts. When I started, I knew that I was out of "weightlifting" shape, that injury was the most likely thing that could derail my goals, and that I didn't know anything about CrossFit, I was very intimidated. I checked out several boxes (gyms) and coaches to make sure they were patient, obsessive about technique and that I wasn't going to be the only old guy there (some boxes are predominately younger). Even though the first three months I needed an excessive amount of instruction and I'm almost always the last to finish any workout, the group was so friendly and encouraging that I pressed through. Results didn't happen right away, but it worked and boy am I glad!

MITCH: What's the most fun thing you enjoy about doing CrossFit?

MARK: The friendships! I'd rather go get a beer with the folks at my box that just about anyone else. They are happy, excited about life, moving forward people that are always fun to be around.

MITCH: What's the scariest or most dangerous thing about CrossFit? Have you ever had an injury from doing CrossFit?

MARK: Walking into the gym and seeing the workouts is scary, but there hasn't been anything dangerous except bad technique or trying to do too much too fast, which the coaches correct right away. Sometimes I think the coach is crazy (100 pushups, are you kidding me?), I could never do that (but somehow I do). I overdid it a couple of times and got pretty sore when I first started but now I've learned where my maximum output is and adjust or scale accordingly. I've seen some injuries from folks trying to do too much weight too soon but I haven't had any. The best advice is listen to your body and train for volume first (a lot of reps), not strength.

MITCH: What are your fitness goals for the future?

MARK: My short-term goal is to show up every day, for working out to be my daily routine. My long-term goal is to be as healthy at 85 as most people are at 40, which is much more than a fitness goal, but a lifestyle goal. I want to eat well (I'm vegan), exercise, and live every day I'm alive.

MITCH: Anything more you want to add about CrossFit or any other fitness subject?

MARK: Results don't happen overnight. Trust the process. Start on day 1 tracking your workouts (and take pictures). Consistency over time works!

MITCH: MARK thanks very much for giving us some of your valuable time!

MARK: Thank you Mitch. I love what you are doing for our industry and I hope it grows!

Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of FitITproNews? Email us at [email protected]

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional or nutritionist so take any suggestions made here "as is" with a grain of salt and a heaping supply of your own judgment. Please read our full disclaimer at the bottom of this newsletter.  

Subscriber preferences: As a WServerNews subscriber we're sure you'll enjoy reading FitITproNews each week as much as you enjoy reading WServerNews. But if you'd rather not receive FitITproNews any more, just go to the bottom of this issue and click Update Newsletter Preferences to change your subscription preferences. And by the way, we also have two other TechGenix newsletters you can subscribe to: our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles. Why not subscribe to all of them today?

Ask Our Readers: Need help or advice concerning fitness, weightloss, exercising or nutrition? Why not tap into the huge collective expertise of our IT pro readership from all around the world! Send your questions to us today by emailing us at [email protected]

Today's workout

The CrossFit FAQ defines a WOD as follows:

The "WOD" is the "workout of the day." Each day a new WOD is posted to, and it's part of a complete program designed to improve strength and conditioning. The program is characterized by three days of work before one day of rest, though athletes may alter this pattern. The WOD can be scaled (adjusted) to provide a suitable challenge for athletes at any level.

So for today's workout I'm just going to point you to the CrossFit landing page where you can find today's WOD which will either inspire or terrorize you! <grin>

Got a favorite workout? Have you developed a workout that you enjoy doing and feel has been contributing to your health and which you'd like to share with our readers Email us at [email protected]

Fitness Toolbox

Products and services we think you shouldn't be without!

GOT ANY exercise equipment, nutritional supplements, personal training services, fitness websites, or anything else you would like to recommend for our readers? Or for that matter do you have any IT products or services you would like to promote or recommend? After all, our target audience here is mostly IT pros! Email us at [email protected]

Data Availability doesn't have to be difficult to deploy, cumbersome to manage, or expensive to purchase. Learn 7 Reasons not to renew Veritas NetBackup.

Need CrossFit gear, apparel, journals, or motivational posters? Check out the CrossFit shop today:

WODshop has terrific gear for CrossFit athletes and is dedicated to increasing the quality of life through better health and fitness:

Caveman Evolution has a wide selection of clothing and gear for functional fitness, powerlifting, strongman and CrossFit athletes:

Exercise tip of the week

Before you try doing CrossFit

While CrossFit sounds like loads of fun (thanks Mark!) you might want to read this article first so you can start off on the right foot:

12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting CrossFit (The Daily Burn)

Health tip of the week

Nutrition basics for CrossFit 

CrossFit is more than just an exercise program -- it's a lifestyle. That includes proper nutrition and other health-related decisions. Read some of these articles on nutrition in the CrossFit Journal to find out more:

Got tips? Do you have any exercise or nutritional tips you'd like to share with other IT pros who are trying to lose weight and get more fit? Email us at [email protected]

Fun stuff


CrossFit obviously has to be fun, otherwise who would do it? Here's some video proof:

Fun Warm up at CrossFit Leeds

Class warm up fun @ CrossFit SFS

A fun warm up at CrossFit Fenrir

Fun CrossFit Warm Up, The Floor is Lava

Fun CrossFit Warmup, Tic-Tac-Toe

Product of the Week

Transform IT with FlexPod converged infrastructure and Availability software.


FlexPod accelerates application deployments, speeds up a time to market, lowers costs and simplifies IT operational management. It is critically important for businesses adopting converged infrastructure systems to modernize their application Availability capabilities at the same time. By leveraging Availability software with FlexPod, companies can increase IT automation, mitigate risk and improve the return on their IT investments.

Learn how.

About FitITproNews

FitITproNews is the only weekly newsletter in the world that is entirely devoted to helping IT pros get fit, lose weight, and live happily ever after as they face the daily stresses and workload of being in the gristmill of the IT profession. FitITproNews is brought to you by TechGenix and is created each week by the same all-star editorial team that brings you WServerNews, the world's longest running IT pro newsletter focusing on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to FitITproNews today! And while you’re at it be sure to also subscribe to our other TechGenix newsletters such as our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles!

Editorial Team

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of FitITproNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written numerous articles and whitepapers and has authored or been series editor of more than 50 books for Microsoft Press. Mitch also successfully made the transition from being a typical "fat IT pro" to becoming fit by losing almost 50 lbs through a combination of resistance training, cardio exercises, and proper nutrition. Mitch's passion with FitITproNews is to help other IT pros do what he has been able to accomplish by sharing his personal story and lessons learned.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of FitITproNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. She is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program. Ingrid is also committed to personal fitness and is a believer in clean eating and proper supplementation for optimal health and longevity.

Mitch and Ingrid are also the editors of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. For more information about Mitch and Ingrid see their website.


This newsletter is designed for informational purposes only and the health and fitness information presented in it are based solely upon the personal experience of its editors and of any guests or readers who contribute content to it. Nothing in this newsletter is intended to be or should be construed to be professional medical, fitness, or nutritional advice. Always consult a physician or other health care professional before starting an exercise or nutrition program to determine if it is appropriate for your personal needs. Do not follow any of the suggestions in this newsletter if your physician or other health care professional advises against doing so. If you are exercising or dieting or taking supplements and experience any dizziness, faintness, pain, or shortness of breath, you should stop immediately and seek medical help. The use of any information presented in this newsletter is solely at your own risk.

More Information

Newsletter Archive | Advertise | Contact | Update Newsletter Preferences

Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
RSS Feed