As a professional fireman and a competitor in firefighter racing, Matt arrived at Crossfit North Vancouver already in good shape. When a friend at work showed him the Crossfit.com website and then made him do Fran he wanted to learn more. “I started following the Crossfit.com workouts and trying some others.” In November 2013 he decided to join CFNV, “But truthfully I was pretty positive I wouldn’t like it. I wouldn’t give them my credit card because I was certain another payment wouldn’t happen. Last year I paid the whole year in advance, great option by the way!”
Matt’s initial goals were to become “fitter faster stronger” and while the goals are still there his definition of them has changed and now he has added qualifying for Regionals as an individual to that list.
Either working out in the regular classes or doing accessory training Matt is always pushing to improve. “I am still blown away by the progress I have seen and I was really fit when I started. I couldn’t hold a handstand against a wall, now I can walk around on my hands. I couldn’t overhead an empty barbell, couldn’t front squat, couldn’t Olympic lift, I was a terrible rower. Now I like to think I’ve turned those and a lot of other problems into strengths.”
Having enjoyed Football, basketball and soccer in the past it’s no surprise that Matt soon was drawn to Crossfit competitions. “I do about 8 a year including all the West Coast Triple Crown events, but it all started with the Canadian affiliate league. We did the inaugural season and came second. I like competition. It pushes you past your limits and gives you that larger motivator. It’s also the opportunity to see what you can really do with all that training.”
Matt has never had to look far for inspiration. “My mom raised 4 kids alone, she would come home from working all night, make lunches, zip up jackets and get us to school (didn’t drive us- 45 min walk) then she would cook, clean and sleep before we got home, then shuttled 4 kids to all sorts of sports, then we always ate dinner together. She’s my inspiration.”
But its not the top athletes in the gym who impress him the most but the
regular members who are working way outside their comfort zone. “It may seem impressive that I can lift a lot or do lots of muscle ups but that is easy for me. What is impressive is when someone doesn’t know how to snatch or do pull-ups and a few months later they are doing it like a pro. That hard work and consistency is inspiring.”
While in the gym Matt loves to save his best lines for his Winter Challenge team mate, and finds plenty of motivation from Nick Jacklin. “His ability to keep on trying after I crush him again and again is simply inspiring.”
Always ready to learn more Matt is keen on the skills workshops that are coming into the gym. “I’d love to see us bring in some subject matter experts, maybe on Sunday’s to do little workshops on powerlifting, gymnastics, nutrition, oly lifting, etc. I’ve attended a few and they always blow things wide open.”
Matt is an integral part of our Sport Program and a big supporter of everyone at the gym doing their best. He’s told me many times that the best part of being here is watching the new people and their exponential improvement. Matt is very dedicated and an inspiration to all when it comes to work ethic. I look forward to seeing what he can achieve. He’s here so much I thought about increasing his membership fee! =)
Just the Facts
Name: Matthew Ciolfi
Family status: Man of the House
How often do you train: My goal is 5 days a week with 9 sessions. Not all at CFNV
When do normally train: There is no normal. Constantly varied, always with Nick and never early.
Favourite type of workout: Short, fast, heavy, high skilled. Like everyone, what I enjoy the most is what I’m good at.
Least favourite movement: Long, slow, light, high rep. We hate what we suck at.
What is your favourite activity outside of Crossfit? Exploring with Roe. Sometimes we just go and head in one direction and figure it out from there. They are always really fun days.
Is there something that people will be surprised to discover about you?
I slept with a teddy bear until I was 24. He still hangs out by my bed.