Coach

coaches1

Alex, Mike T, Prabesh & Hutch (left to right)

 

ISMAEL “HUTCH” VALENTIN

OWNER/HEAD COACH

 

“I love CrossFit, I believe it is the best fitness program in the world and I got in the best shape of my life doing CrossFit”.005-4

In 2012 I was getting tired and bored with my usual workouts at a regular gym. I wanted a change. I was always an athletic person and I played numerous sports, baseball being my favorite.  I started studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer and had dreams of opening a gym.  I was researching online for some exciting, athletic-like programs and personal training careers when I came across a video that changed my life. The video was “Let Me Tell You about CrossFit”, instantly excited and curious to give it a shot, I signed up for an intro class at an affiliate “box” and was hooked. I have never looked back. I fell in love with the competitive nature of this new sport.

After doing it for a year I realized that Crossfit wasn’t simply a fitness program. Crossfit is much more. Crossfit is a community of strong, committed individuals from all walks of life, supporting, rooting and cheering for each other during a workout. Regardless of who is the strongest or the fastest everyone works hard and gives 100% effort.
I am so passionate about Crossfit and truly believe in its power to make people better. From this passion came the desire to engulf myself in all the science and methodology Crossfit had to offer. I took my Crossfit Level 1 Certification and start training people in my back yard.  I bought a power rack, bumper plates, bars and started sharing my knowledge with friends and family.   The training groups started small and began to expand.  I was coaching 10-15 people of all fitness levels and began doing park WOD’s because my backyard was just too small. I knew I was on to something because my members, were getting results, my clientele continued to grow and my passion was at an all time high.

I found my niche in life, I wanted to do this as a career.  Liz (co-owner) and I decided it was time to live out this dream.  We dipped into our retirement fund and licensed our affiliation.  No capital investors, no bank loans, no credit cards; just our years of hard earned savings.  I knew for my business to be successful I needed to dedicate all my BLOOD, SWEAT, and TEARS in order for it to flourish.  So I decided to resign from my job as a New York City Bus Operator of 13 years and pursue my future.

Now, I work 10-15 hours a day and even my “days off” still consist of CrossFit. I love what I do!  I work my butt off in order to give my members the best  experience I can provide; the best coaching I can give and the best  results they can achieve.  I am the Head Coach, and the owner so be assured, when you come in you will get the best coaching, the best equipment and the best facility I can give you.

I help people believe in the power within, if they can think it, we can work to achieve it. Through vision, dedication and commitment anything is possible.

  • CERTIFICATIONS:
    • CROSSFIT LEVEL 2 TRAINER (CF-L2)
    • CROSSFIT KETTLEBELL TRAINER
    • CROSSFIT POWERLIFTING TRAINER
    • USA WEIGHTLIFTING SPORTS PERFORMANCE LEVEL 1 COACH
  • CROSSFIT MOVEMENT & MOBILITY TRAINER
    • CROSSFIT JUDGES COURSE

PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
• 15TH Place GARAGE GAMES (MAIN STREET PRIDE-Scaled) January 2013
• Top 1% (Age Category) TRI-STATE SPARTAN SPRINT June 2013
• Owner of CrossFit Breed

GOALS & ASPIRATIONS:
• CROSSFIT KIDS
• CROSSFIT GYMNASTICS TRAINER COURSE
• SQUAT 2x BW, DEADLIFT 2.5x BW
• Compete in Master’s Division 2018

LITTLE KNOWN SILLY FACTS:
• Voted “Most Athletic” in High School
• Fear of Heights (Acrophobia), so I went skydiving!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

MICHAEL “MIKE T” TRAMONTANA

COACH

 

What do you do for a living? Career?

I’m a Physical Education teacher who currently works at a school with special needs children.

When, how and why did you get started with CrossFit?mike5

About 5 years ago, I was driving home from work and saw 2 ripped guys doing some crazy movements (I later realized they were performing Clean & Jerks) with lots of weight outside of a little storefront with ropes and rings in the back ground. I walked into my first box and was instantly hooked. I grew so tired and board with Bicep/Back Mondays, Triceps/Chest Tuesdays etc.; this was an amazing challenge and it was something new. I still hold my very first coaches high on a CrossFit pedestal because they showed me things I never thought I was able to do. They always practice what they preach and care so much about their clients. I’ve shaped myself to be comparable in that manner and hope our athletes here at CF Breed can have the same feelings I felt all those years ago.

How has CF changed your life?

At first it was about the aesthetics and wanting to look how these CrossFit athletes looked, but later the true meaning of CrossFit, for me, was revealed. Living a full, long, successful and healthy life is what CrossFit is about. I now understand that my overall performance, physically and mentally, is what drives me; not having those 6-pack abs that everyone strives for (although that is a nice perk :). Working so hard for that hour and pushing through workouts with the community is a feeling that is indescribable. CrossFit has allowed me to take many chances in life, not just physical, but emotional, social and mental chances as well. I feel like CrossFit absolutely changed my life and my future because I met my fiancé at a box. Finding someone like her, who shares a common passion is one of the most fulfilling and reassuring things a man can ask for. Love CF.

Did you play sports as a youth?

I played football when I was young but was sidelined by a back injury. All doctors told me to stop playing sports because of the risk of re-injuring my back or making it worse. I started running after high school when a physical therapist told me that I must make my back stronger, and eventually found CrossFit.

Any advice on nutrition?

Plan your meals and make them at home. It might seem intimidating in the beginning, but cooking at home is probably the healthiest advice I can give. If you need any ideas about food or how to plan/package your meals throughout the day, don’t hesitate to ask.

 How did you end up at Breed?

I lived in Ridgewood with my family from 1985-1996, until I moved to Long Island for years. I wasn’t until October 2014 that I knew I was moving back to the old neighborhood. I researched boxes in the area and happened to walk past Breed. I couldn’t believe it was so close to my house, so I had to meet with Hutch. We spoke a few times and met together to discuss the same questions that are being answered here on this meet the coach page. Hutch and Liz couldn’t be any nicer and understanding of my situation of wanting to belong to a box and community that accepts everyone. Once we all WODed together, it was all we needed. The athletes responded well and we all have great chemistry. I love my box.

 Which is you favorite WOD or movement? And which is your least favorite?

miketee1

My favorite WODS are Hero WODS and long chippers (like 12  Days of Christmas or The Final Countdown), Nasty Girls, Fight Gone Bad and Helen.  My least favorite has to be the bar muscle up because I usually rip my hands.

As an athlete, what are your strengths/weaknesses?

I would have to say my strengths are my speed, consistency, pacing and endurance.  My weakness would be heavy weights for long periods of time, a benchmark like “DT” isn’t my forte.

What CrossFit credentials do you posses?

I posses my CrossFit Level I Trainer Certification.  I would like to attain my CF-L2, CrossFit Kids, CF Gymnastics and an Olympic Weightlifting Certification.

Personal Accomplishments

  • 1st Place Subway Series ’13 (Scale Division)
  • Civilian Military Combine
  • Tough Mudder
  • Numerous Half Marathons
  • Spartan Race

Little Know Silly Facts:

  •  I sometimes keep myself awake thinking about WODs and getting excited about going to the box the next day
  • I sometimes train at 4:45 AM (specifically school days)
  • I know the  words to almost every song that plays at the box
  • I’m a huge WWE fan
  • I can do impressions; some are actually pretty good

_________________________________________________________________________

ALEX “POLLO PICANTE” CANCEL

COACH

What do you do for a living?

I make people better! I am the manager of a Health Club facility and I am a CrossFit Coach.

Can you tell us how and why you got into CrossFit?

My fitness journey ironically started the day after I blacked out in the middle of the day on a busy street. I felt my heart racing insanely fast and my veins were pulsating abnormally strong. I felt light headed and was going into a cold sweat. My legs grew heavy and I had no control of my equilibrium, I was in the process of fainting when I quickly grabbed a street pole to regain my composure. This was my wakeup call! The next day I went to see my doctor and he did a complete check up. My blood work results combined with my family’s poor health history was a receipt for disaster. I was overweight, some might say obese, my cholesterol levels were off the chart and to top it off I was on the verge of becoming diabetic. Changes had to be made, so I changed my eating habits and began to workout. After 3 years of working out at a conventional gym I needed a change, the workout routines grew monotonous and my focus and dedication began to waiver. I resorted to lots of running to intensity my results. I began searching for a fresh and exciting new program, that’s when I came across CrossFit and its mythology; Constantly Varied Functional Movement at High Intensity. I was hooked and believed it makes people better.

How has CrossFit changed your life?

CrossFit has taught me to never give up and push forward no matter how much the odds are stacked up against me. When I started CrossFit it was a challenge for me to back squat over 185 lbs, it was so heavy I thought I could never get pass it. I look back at those days and it reminds me how far I have come, how strong I have gotten not only physically, but more importantly mentally. Regardless of the task put in front of me, I will always find a way to complete it. My journey into CrossFit has definitely enlightened me and sparked my interest for so many other things. I am always seeking to learn more about nutrition, gymnastics, weightlifting, mobility and all things health related. Not only do I keep my body healthy and strong but also my mind. Tell me you can’t and I will find a way to change that. Through CrossFit I realized that my greatest strength is my mind. There is no limit to my ability in reaching goals and completing challenges. This is the mindset I apply to my life and it’s the same philosophy I train my athletes with. Tell me you can’t; and I will find a way to change it into you can and you will!

Did you play sports as a youth?

I was not very athletic as a child. I tried playing sports but I wasn’t very good. Football was my sport of choice, but only because of my size. I was given the ball because of my sheer size. I was like a big bull dozer running down the field, no one could knock me down. As I grew older and slower, the other kids got stronger and faster. My size was no longer an “asset”, it was what it always was, a problem.

Any advice on nutrition?

I am no expert at nutrition, but I did lose over 95 lbs. I did this by preparing my own food at home, I saved money and eliminated unwanted additives, I knew exactly what I was eating. I recommend eating meat, I mean LOTS of meat, get in aalex2s many vegetables as possible and I eat carbohydrates strategically, they are not the enemy, they are good for you, as long as you eat them at the right times. If you are consistent with clean eating, indulging 2-3 times a month will not be an issue. I, for example, am known for my clean eating habits, so when people see me eating the occasional taco or cheesecake they are surprised. These cheat meals keep my sanity in order and my progress on track.

How did you end up at CF Breed?

I heard through word of mouth that a new CrossFit facility had opened up in the area. I knew right away that I would check out the “box” and feel out the community. I was searching for a new CrossFit home, because my previous box, CrossFit Harlem, was going through changes. From my first day at Breed I knew this was the place I needed to be at. Coach Hutch greeted me upon coming in, and the 5:30 crew lead by Petie welcomed me with open arms. Anyone familiar with the CrossFit community and how it supports and motivates it’s members can understands the quality of this value. I think everyone that decides to make a certain Box their home knows what I’m talking about. It’s just a feeling you can’t put into words.

What is your favorite WOD or movement?

I really enjoyed doing “Frantasy Land” from the 2014 Games. It was a twist on the infamous benchmark “Fran” workout. I love thrusters because its two movements in one, it combines strength, conditioning and works great on midline stability. I also like bar muscle ups, because they took me 3 years to learn, but through mental strength and constant practice I conquered them.

What is your least favorite?

I don’t really have a least favorite WOD, because I enjoy the challenge, but I can do without long distance running, it is just so boring! That being said I intent on doing “Clover” (10 mile run and 150 burpees for time) in the near future, yuck, I can’t wait. My least favorite skill has to be those darn dreaded Double-Unders, why oh why must they elude me!!!! I can also use more practice with my gymnastics, specifically rings and handstands.

Credentials:alex3
• CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1)
• CrossFit Stongman Trainer
• CrossFit Gymnastics & Advance Gymnastics
• CrossFit Weightlifting Trainer
Goals & Aspirations:
• B.A in Nutrition/Dietetics
• B.A in Exercise Science
• CrossFit Level 2 & 3
• CrossFit Games Regionals 2018
Personal Accomplishments:
• Losing close to 100 lbs
• 5K Color Run July 2013
• CrossFit credentials
Little Known Silly Facts:
• I love cheesecake and pumpkin pie
• My nickname is El Pollo Picante (Spicy Chicken), if you’re curious just ask and I explain how it came about.
• Mexican is my favorite food, I really like guacamole!