In July of 1998, Ron Sember opened World Gym Rochester. Always yearning for the newest and best in fitness, Ron came across CrossFit as a new exercise routine for functional fitness. He began using the CrossFit methodology in his own fitness routine and decided to share it with World Gym Rochester members. Monroe County CrossFit opened in the back of World Gym in September of 2009 and continues to be the only Rochester CrossFit with "open" gym hours and not class times.
Monroe County CrossFit is proud to bring you this installment of "Coach's Corner". We would like to introduce you to Cody Duge, who is now the Manager for MCCF and Crossroad Vigor, and an outstanding Coach.
Before starting CrossFit, Cody was an athlete in high school competing in swimming, diving, shot put, and discus. After high school, there was a short time where he competed in MMA for about 6 months while he went to school in Ithaca NY. He also trained in powerlifting for about 8 months where his total added up to 1255 while weighing 200lbs. He has also completed three Spartan races (sprint, beast, super), Rochester half marathon, Tough Mudder, and a Go Ruck challenge. Then, in 2010, Cody started doing CrossFit. He says, "A couple friends and I wanted to get back into working out but did not want to go to a gym. So we pooled some money together and bought some essentials (Kettlebells, Dumbells, and a Barbell) to start completing the main site workouts in my garage or in the street. The workouts were hard and different and I had my friends to suffer with, which made it awesome."
"Getting certified was always something I thought about doing but never actual took the step until recently. After moving to a CrossFit box in 2012 the coaches noticed that I was able to move decently and allowed me to come in and workout with them in the morning. Both their intensity and their motivation to push each other as well as myself is what set me on my path to find a way to make coaching CrossFit my career".
About CrossFit, Cody says,"It is different than any other fitness program because every movement is able to be scaled to the individual which allows them to be part of the community. It does not ostracize people who are not as strong or as well conditioned... it celebrates achievements of the individual. This is why this sport has the close knit community it does. Whenever you finish the workout you know someone to your right or left was going through the same punishment."
"Coming in everyday and knowing I can help someone who has a goal to achieve is what makes me happy. That moment when a skill, movement, or lift finally clicks for an athlete is one of the best feelings I get out of being a coach. The athlete gets the sense of accomplishment and gets to check it off the list, but as a coach that sense of accomplishment happens for me too."
When talking to people who are unfamiliar with CrossFit, or have misconceptions about it, Cody would tell them the name "CrossFit" is like an umbrella... it encompasses many different fitness avenues that can be modified for anyone. "I would then try and convince them to let me put them through a workout that in traditional CrossFit fashion will leave them tired sweaty and in love. My advice to a new person coming into the gym would be to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to talk to your coaches; we are here for you and to make you better. I would also say make the commitment and follow the program for at least six weeks, that way you will see a breadth of movements and will have built a strong base to make an assessment of where you are in your fitness journey."
Outside of CrossFit, Cody enjoys: hiking, camping, snowboarding, skiing, running, movies, obstacle races, beer, skydiving, traveling, anything with an engine.. and his dog, Logan who is a pitt mix.
Peter J. Sichak III
Peter is currently assisting people in reaching their healthy lifestyle goals through many avenues. He is an RN with over 25 years’ experience specializing in cardio/vascular. He currently is a CFL1 CrossFit coach at Monroe County Crossfit, along with coaching functional fitness at Vigor Athletics. He is also a certified Spin, P90X Live and Insanity Live class instructor. As if this was not enough, he is also currently the Rochester Area Triathletes swim & cycle coach. In addition, he is a personal trainer with a focus on bariatric patients and endurance athletes in our community.
Peter is his own success story since his own dramatic weight loss of over 80 lbs and a decrease in body fat by 18%. Due to his success he has made a lifestyle change and has been committed to fitness for over 15 years. This has led to his expertise in not only athletics but also in nutrition. His ability to couple nutrition with exercise allows for an increase in the ability to see change and results at a faster pace.
Peter is also an avid triathlete. In 2017 he will be competing in his 7th, 8th, & 9th Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run). Pete’s ability to compete at this level is a testament to the dedication he has with training, nutrition and the mental perseverance. He knows firsthand what is needed to push limits and set new boundaries for himself and those he works with.
Morgane grew up in Watkins Glen and moved to Rochester after graduating high school in 2010. Morgane may be what some people call an extra curricular hero. During high school, she served as Captain of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad for her Junior and Senior year. If that wasn't enough, she was on the Varsity swimming and tennis teams. Morgane kept up her fitness after high school by doing the normal gym routine at the gym she worked for. Eventually Morgane realized the normal gym routine was boring and not challenging enough. This lack of challenge brought her to yes- you guessed it-CrossFit.
Morgane was introduced to CrossFit in December 2012. Morgane soon realized that she could fulfill her fitness appetite with one sport… CrossFit. She enjoyed it so much she wanted to be able to make it a part time job so started interning at a Rochester box in October 2013 and has been coaching since. Morgane likes to think of herself as an Olympic Lifter. You will find her performing her lifts and swearing along with it. Morgane also ran the Rochester Barbell Club for two years which pretty much makes her the most interesting woman in Rochester. But wait… it gets even better; she also participated in an Olympic Lifting Seminar taught by 3-time US Olympian and CrossFit HQ Weightlifting Instructor, Fred Lowe.
When asked about CrossFit, Morgane will tell you if you want something to kick your ass and leave you gasping on the floor, this is for you. You will push yourself to your limits and then realize you can keep giving more. Also the feeling of pursuing your best self never gets old especially with the CrossFit community behind you.
Before he was an avid acolyte of the iron, John was just another high school athlete, playing a multitude of sports ranging from golf to soccer and cross-country. In college, he was a varsity cheerleader, helping the Campbell University Squad to a National 3rd place finish for co-ed stunt performance.
After moving to Rochester from North Carolina, John found a love for lifting that nothing else could quite fill. Throughout his time here, he has competed in several bodybuilding events, competing in the men’s physique class, with a top finish of 3rd overall. If asked though, he would say his passion was, and continues to be, powerlifting.
Ever a lover of heavy lifting, John worked his way towards becoming a personal trainer for World Gym, achieving NASM CPT Certification and Nutrition Specialization in July of 2015. During his brief stint as a World Gym trainer, John moved into dedicated work with the fledgling MCCF Barbell Club, eventually taking over the program and creating East Ave Barbell, a dedicated strength sports group that continues to gain momentum and notoriety within the northeastern powerlifting scene, and boasts presence in both the Olympic weightlifting and Strongman communities in upstate New York as well.
During all this, amidst the last of his bodybuilding shows, John began his own personal competitive powerlifting journey, taking first in weight class at his first meet and best overall lifter at his second. John currently holds the WNPF New York State record Deadlift for the 181 class, and has the #7 highest ranked Squat in the 83kg raw class for USA Powerlifting in New York state. (Soon to be #1, he says.)
Despite his success as a powerlifter, John’s true passion lies in coaching athletes and building a lifting community. John has coached several top-placing lifters, and has helped add hundreds of pounds to East Ave Barbell athletes’ totals over the past two years. John worked to align East Ave Barbell with USA Powerlifting, the largest powerlifting federation in the United States, and East Ave Barbell has since become an officially recognized USA Powerlifting Club, with John officially certified as a USA Powerlifting coach in early 2017.
Although you’ve now seen the word “powerlifting” repeated a number of times (10 counting this sentence), John has worked with athletes all across the strength and conditioning spectrum, including CrossFit athletes, football and rugby players, Olympic weightlifters, strongman competitors, and even softball players!
Outside of the gym, John enjoys playing guitar, hiking, traveling, movies, and any other opportunity to spend time with good friends.
Jennifer is a Pittsford native who grew up not playing sports, but acting and dancing in local choirs and musical productions. She has a combined total of 15 years of tap, jazz and ballet training. After graduating from Sutherland in 2007 she spent her college years at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA studying acting and theatre. In college she began working the front desk at a local muscle gym and soon fell in love with fitness. In 2010 she became an aerobics instructor teaching martial arts and dance inspired fitness classes. Jennifer trained Muay Thai for a while in 2011 and was amazed at how out of shape she was for a fitness instructor. Sixty, seventy, even ninety minutes of aerobics was nothing compared to drills lasting only 1:00 with little rest before the next set..
When she asked what they were doing that she wasn't they smiled and said "Have you heard of CrossFit?" Soon after, in 2012 she moved to DC and joined the local CrossFit box.
In 2014 Jennifer became CrossFit L1 certified and truly found her passion in life. Helping people understand basic human movement, and work to be fitter, happier, healthier, and better prepared for life. Later that year she went for the CrossFit Kids certification and attended a Weightlifting for CrossFit seminar here in rochester in 2015. Jennifer has competed in a number of CrossFit competitions in DC, Virginia and New York. In the spirit of the CrossFit tennant to "learn and play new sports" she hopes to compete in a Powerlifting competition this year and continues to struggle with the ability to catch and throw a ball.
Cleans, pistols and pull ups are her three favorite movements, in that order. Though most of her extended family is local to Rochester her father lives on a 53" Hatteras Yacht at the Capital Yacht Club in DC. She has a passion for pipe cleaner art and has an extensive rubber duck collection.
Grant Mazur is one of our newest coaches here at MCCF. Although his reputation precedes his employment due to his athletic prowess and magnificent beard, he was an athlete in the gym since 2015. Grant has also been an employee at Worlds Gym since 2015, being that beautiful surly face you get to see if you come in to workout at 4:30am. While he will never admit it, we all know he is proud to be the first one in the gym.
Grant made the decision to pursue his education at Hudson Valley Community College where he obtained an Associates degree in Physical Education. When he realized he wanted more and enrolled at The College at Brockport where he also obtained his Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. During his educational career, Grant was no slouch, achieving the dean’s list for multiple semesters at both colleges he attended. Some courses significant to his career in fitness are Motor Development, Motor Learning, Exercise Physiology, Cardiac Rehab, Sports Medicine, Ethics in Sport, Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning, Weight Training, Kinesiology, Obesity in Society, Sports Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology I & II, Women in Sport, and Physical Activity in Adulthood. In April of 2017 Grant obtained his CF-L1 certification since then has also completed the CrossFit Scaling and Judges course.
Grant’s experience with physical fitness has not only been in the classroom but also in Sports. Consisting of 10+ years of playing football, he obtained varsity letters in three sports during high school. He was part of the only lacrosse team in school history to go undefeated in the conference two straight years. As if that wasn’t good enough, his team placed first overall in a team lifting competition as a member of the “Iron Devils”. Grant also likes to bring up that he is a member of nationally ranked NJCAA lacrosse team with two conference championships, not to mention a second place finish at the 2016 Fall Brawl CrossFit competition.
Donna M. Marcello
Donna (Marcello – DeRycke if you need my last name) has been a Monroe County CrossFit member since 2013. In March 2016, she received her CrossFit L1 Trainer and later that year obtained the CrossFit Scaling Certificate. In addition to coaching, Donna organizes social media efforts and member engagement / events. Donna says, “I love working with new members on the fundamentals and technique. It wasn’t that long ago that I walked in to Monroe County CrossFit, completely unaware of the sport. I enjoy teaching others and seeing their excitement when they hit a PR or master a skill they were once unable to accomplish.” Prior to CrossFit, Donna was running several local 5K races a year, and has a history of competing in track, gymnastics, swimming and golf. Donna had shoulder surgery last year, and says because of that, “My new passion is finding ways to scale or modify movements for people so that they can still participate in the WOD and recover from their injuries at the same time. The goal for most people is to be in the best shape of their lives, and that doesn’t look the same from person to person. I love helping others find their best self through fitness.”