It is my pleasure to introduce Kurt Mullican to the APA community.
First of all, I’d like to start out by saying that I am no one special. I am 5’4″ on a good day, and 155 pounds. I started out my life as a Nintendo addict who had to play baseball because my parents made me. I was the kid standing in left field (where they put all the shitty kids in little league) picking his nose with his glove on top of his head. My academic prowess wasn’t much better, I just could not find it in me to care about Social Studies. I felt like anything I wanted to learn I could find in the set of encyclopedias we had at the house. I used those far more than my textbooks until we got AOL dial up. There’s not a lot in this world that has ever fully engaged me except physical culture so it made sense that I grew up watching WWF (now WWE thanks to the pandas) wrestling. Big, oiled-up cocaine fueled wrestlers of the 80’s were always so flashy and cool to me. I continued being a fanboy for several years, going to all the events that came through Nashville, and never missing Monday Night Raw. When I was in my first year of high school they passed around sheets of paper asking kids what sports they were interested in playing. All of my friends checked off football, cheerleading…the usual. I saw wrestling screaming at me from the paper and maybe I wanted to instantly put baby oil in my hair and chest slap my teacher. I showed up to the “trytouts” and it wasn’t very long before they started smashing me into the ground and left me gasping for air. I was in love. I spent the next several years studying the sport and working hard to get better. I didn’t drink or stay up too late, I gave up soda, and I did well for myself which helped me meet most of my goals.
After high school I spent very little time wrestling, school became a larger focus, my nutrition was built around nothing but chili cheese fries (from Krystal to be precise), women, and of course beer. Nothing engaged me anymore. I was home looking for work when I met a girl who worked out. I was, pale and soft (I looked like the top of a vanilla snack-pack pudding right when you pull the foil off of the top…jiggly and unnatural) I started the regular guy workout and did some dumbbell bench and curls plus running on the days in between. I liked my times and progress and I noticed looked and felt better almost immediately after giving up my weekly case of Mountain Dew. Shortly after that I was introduced to CrossFit by a friend of mine. We started in a globo gym, which was highlighted by throwing up in the little wastebasket by the door. I was back in my element now. I had something physical and real. It was to become my new wrestling. I studied movement every day, read the CrossFit Journal probably in its entirety at that point, and started to live to train. I spent a few years doing my thing, and realized that it was time to step up my game. I participated in the Barbell Shrugged Six Month Muscle Gain Challenge, and nerded out on all the new information they provided me with on nutrition, training, mobility, ect. I saw tremendous results. Since then, I’ve gained 25 pounds, added 100# to my Back Squat, won my first two weightlifting meets, and now coach the same Muscle Gain Challenge I participated in back then. It is a great feeling to be able to help other people do what I did. Seeing them make the changes and learn how to move properly and eat to reach their goals is pure awesome.
When I started this whole journey, I went from puking in a globo-gym to getting on a plane to Vegas for my CrossFit L-1 within 6 months. When I got back I found a gym about 40 minutes from me where I got my initial coaching experience. Coaching is definitely a skillset all its own. I learned more of what not to do during my first two years. Shortly after, I opened my own affiliate and have been programming and coaching there for the last two years. Seeing all the different fitness needs people have can be staggering, but I realize most of it can be improved upon with strength. I am obsessed with weightlifting. I spent countless hours watching the old Cal Strength Videos with Donny Shankle and Jon North in them. I was in love with the way these guys were training. The look of the gym was even awesome to me: dirty, warehouse type space full of wood, metal and rubber. I’d say my biggest influence was not only Cal Strength as a gym but the camaraderie and overall feeling of their training and their gym. Upon looking more and more into weightlifting, I saw all of the negativity on the internet about CrossFit and weightlifting, how metcon warriors go at it with no technique. I booked my USAW L-1 cert and set out personally to never be the reason someone talked shit about something that changed my life. I’m with Coach Cam on this: CrossFit is a great place to find your fitness. It offers exposure most of us wouldn’t normally get to try great sports. If you seek out a coach, a gym, and well informed people on each of the areas in CrossFit (especially weightlifting and nutrition), you can make great strides in your personal goals quickly. I hope I can be of some help in these areas as a part of Apex Predator Athletics.
Since writing this article, Kurt has gone on to become a successful coach with the Barbell Shrugged group. Find more from Kurt here. - GPS