Success Stories

We’re only successful when you’re successful

Here’s our chance to share the hard work and results our athletes have achieved.


Crystal Armes, age 35

I had always been an athlete, and even played Division I sports in college. But, after graduating and getting a full-time job, things changed. I had stopped exercising on a regular basis and my diet had become unhealthy. I was eating very few fruits and vegetables, relying mainly on processed foods. Fast food was a typical meal selection for me.

Not surprisingly, I tired easily and had put on some weight. I was uncomfortable with my appearance, which, in turn, made me uncomfortable in social situations. My best friend from college, a former coach at Hammer Down CrossFit in Chantilly, Va., knew I wanted to improve my physical fitness and overall health, so when I moved back to Virginia, she suggested I try CrossFit.

My first WOD was a real eye-opener. I was very disappointed in my performance and my physical condition. But I was determined to go back because I wanted to improve and knew I had the ability to do so.

I went to the Box 4-5 days a week and lost 15 pounds in the first 6 months. But when the weight loss plateaued, I decided it was time to change my diet. After I switched to a Paleo diet, I lost 20 more pounds in less than 3 months – I lost more weight in half the time with the added nutrition adjustment! After losing over 50 pounds and multiple pants sizes, I now have noticeably more muscle mass, my energy level has increased, and I am more confident with my improved appearance. I have even been able to stop taking a prescription medication for acid reflux. I feel great!

My improvements are ongoing. In the Box, I consistently increase the weights on my lifts while decreasing my WOD times. I challenge myself on a daily basis and enjoy setting goals and pushing myself to learn new skills. Everyone in the CrossFit North Reston community is supportive and encourages each member to excel.

Although I am proud of my own accomplishments, I am most proud that my success with the program encouraged my stepdaughter, Sam, to begin her own CrossFit journey. My enthusiasm for CrossFit spilled over to my husband, who has much better nutritional habits and has lost 25 pounds. We eat healthy and enjoy a paleo diet lifestyle.

In one word, CrossFit for me is about balance – balance in my diet, my health, my life. It will transform your life.

Crystal Before (NOV 2012)Crystal After

Larry Finkel, Age 49

Before starting CrossFit over two years ago, I was active and felt like I was fit.  I was biking, running marathons, and lifting weights at a “regular” gym.  But I had gotten bored with my workouts, and wasn’t seeing material, measurable results.  A friend of mine recommended I adopt a Paleo diet and try CrossFit.  So I did.  My first WOD showed me that even though I was not overweight and was fairly active, I was not actually fit.

I was immediately drawn to the philosophy, variety, community, and challenge of CrossFit on that first day, and that’s what brought me back.  In fact, those things have kept me coming back to the Box consistently for the past 2+ years.  I began my CrossFit journey at Hammer Down CrossFit in Chantilly, Va, which is the sister box of CrossFit North Reston. The rewards of doing CrossFit have been real and measurable. I lost 10 pounds and 2 inches on my waist.  I look and feel stronger, healthier, and more fit.  My diet is about 75% Paleo and I have kept off the weight. Healthwise, I lowered my blood pressure – to the point of being able to eliminate one blood pressure medication altogether and reduce the dosage for another.  I am eating clean and feel great. I love not having to count calories. It’s simple to follow –  protein, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds.  Athletically, I consistently hit new PR’s for weight lifting or metabolic workouts, and am proud of the new skills I have learned. Mentally, I am less stressed, more confident, and feel good compared to my peers, especially considering my age.  I have made many new friends and am happy to be part of the supportive and close-knit CrossFit community.  My own enthusiasm for CrossFit even influenced my co-worker and son to join!

CrossFit is different from other sports or gyms.  At no other place have I encountered such a supportive community, or coaches and owners that care as much as they do at HammerDown and CrossFit North Reston.  The people make all the difference.

The other thing I love about CrossFit is the structured nature of the workouts.  I love that I can do the WODs and am fully covered.  It is a complete, highly efficient and effective fitness program.  There is no need to supplement with any other exercise since CrossFit covers everything so completely.   I have become so accustomed to my CrossFit style of life, that I can’t bear to miss more than a few days without my body craving the afterburn feeling a great CrossFit WOD.

CrossFit has also taught me important life lessons about working through difficult challenges, perseverance, taking risks, learning new things, and raising the bar.  The lessons have helped me both personally and professionally.

As I mentioned, I had always considered myself fit.  However, now that I’ve been doing CrossFit, I truly know the meaning of the word fit.  For me, CrossFit is all about being and living FIT.

Larry AfterLarry Before

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