October Member Spotlight

Tyler DeStefano

Member since: August 201512487183_10103690002467545_3674656746458423387_o

What do you do for a living? Owner of Blackwell’s Pub & Eatery

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first workout? I first heard about CrossFit from a couple Friends, Fran!

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? I try and come 4-6 days a week usually at 5pm, and come on Saturday and bring my wife.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Deadlifts, Back Squats anything with heavy legs.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Handstand pushups, Kettlebell Snatches

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? All of my friends, family. The relationships I have developed, drive my passion. Having a family of people that continuously push each other towards a common goal.

Most embarrassing/funniest gym moment? Probably the time Brad Castro and I did an entire WTyler-Class ClownOD, dead at the end. And we had loaded our bars 5# less than RX on accident. I was pissed!!

Favorite thing about Birmingham? The FOOD

What accomplishment are you most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Owning my own business. My son, he’s the best kid ever.

What is your favorite meal? Steak, any cut of red meat. Beef, Venison, Lamb you name it!

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? I love to be outdoors, hunting, fishing. Spending time with my wife Jennifer and my son Barrett. I love to cook, and try and become a better chef slinging healthier paleo food.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? MUSCLE UPS!! and a Power Lifting Total 1000#


September Member Spotlight

Brent Boyd

Brent has a heart of gold.  He is always willing to lend a hand, a listening ear, or a story to make your day a little better.

Whether Brent is crushing a 20 rep back squat or schlepping bike rack at the CF Games, he has earned our respect by always carrying a smile and a can do attitude.  At the CrossFit Games, Brent earned the name B-EZ because of his laid back attitude to any challenge you threw his direction.  In the gym, we throw out challenges and B-EZ meets them head on.  This makes him really easy and really fun to coach.Brent snatch

3 things you probably don’t know about Brent 🙂

  1. If you asked Brent who are the 3 celebrities he would invite to dinner, he would likely answer with Mattie Rogers, Mattie Rogers, and Mattie Rogers.
  2. Brent is an expert on the sport of laser tag
  3. Brent will back squat 500#’s someday – he’s just built for it.  (challenge extended)

Member since: 2015 (Not sure the month)

What do you do for a living? I am the director of marketing services for a digital marketing group.

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first workout? I heard about Crossfit from a co-worker, my senior year of college. My first workout was “Deck of Cards”. (Hearts= Burpees, Diamonds= Kb Swings, Spades= Squats, Clubs= Sit-ups, Aces= 400m Run)brent fence pushup

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? I usually make it to 3-4 classes per week, and I typically go to the 6pm class.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? KB Swings, and any type of chipper. Specifically, Open workout 14.4.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Hand. Stand. Pushups…. Which makes it fitting for me to hate Diane.

Pre-CrossFit

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? As cliché and unoriginal as it is, I have to say the community. We’re close enough to one another to be able to support each other, trash talk, and drink a beer together all in the same afternoon.

Most embarrassing/funniest gym moment? At one of my previous gyms, they encouraged guys to use a girl’s bar during 14.3, which involved adding weights to a deadlift each round, to provide an easier grip. Well, the bar was not designed to fit that many plates…I was uneven on a rep, which caused the clip to pop off, followed by a plate, followed by another plate…I pretty much dumped most of the weights and had to stop the workout and redo it.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? Anyone that hangs out with me for a few minutes knows the answer to this is food.

What accomplishment are you most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Outside of the gym would have to be “doing life” as they say. My mom worked very hard to make sure I had everyIMG_4838 opportunity that I have, and I have tried my best to take advantage of those and not let them go to waste. So far, I feel like I am doing that.
Inside the gym, is finally getting over my fear of dropping under the bar on a squat snatch.

What is your favorite meal? I could eat a burger or steak for every meal.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? I like to dabble in graphic design and photography.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? I want to get back to a place where I feel I am more efficient in body weight movements, and where HSPU aren’t an immediate thorn in my side when they show up in WODs.


August Member Spotlight

Julie McMakin

If it’s 6am at CrossFit Mudtown, you’ll probably find Julie there. She’s putting in a lot of hard work right now making her way to ‘100 Classes Stronger’. She only has 33 more to go! Let’s get to know Julie…

Member since: December 2015

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? I heard about CrossFit from my high school friend, Jane Brooks. She joined a gym in Huntsville and raved about it and the results that she was seeing. After a lot of convincing I joined a 101 class at Iron Tribe Fitness in Homewood (I know the ITF name is blasphemous) about 4 months before my 30th Birthday. My first WOD was the baseline test that they do and I thought I was going to die.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? My goal is to go 4 days a week. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. I’m a 6am girl.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? I like rowing and the movements in the press family (strict press, push press and jerks)Julie skiing

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Does running count as a CrossFit movement? If so, I choose running. If not, I choose all movements that include squatting with a front rack.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? The people and my goal to reach 100 classes.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? My whole family lives here now, and I’m a huge family person.

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Inside of the gym, my greatest accomplishment is finishing the WOD. I always underestimate myself so I’m proud every time I finish the workout. Outside the gym, my greatest accomplishment is probably my career. I started at a big civil firm doing civil defense work in South Alabama. I knew it wasn’t for me, and that I wanted do something that I felt like made a difference. It was a huge decision to take a big pay cut and start a government job, but I trusted the Lord and did it. Five and a half years later and still no regrets.

What is your favorite meal? French Fries. Yes, I can make a meal out of them.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? I love college football (Roll Tide), cooking, reading, playing with my dog Lola, good wine, cold beer, the beach in summer, the mountains in winter, and spending time with my niece and nephews.

What do you do for a living? I am a prosecutor for Jefferson County (Basically, I keep Birmingham safe… you’re welcome). It’s a tough job psychologically because I see the worst of the worst every single day. People can be really awful, and my job is to hold them accountable for their actions. It’s a tough balance, but I strive to do my job with grace and compassion

What is one goal that you are currently working on? I really want to get one single pull up.


Get Started at CrossFit Mudtown

  • We’re always taking on students for OnRamp or personal training. Please give us a call to learn more, 205-790-2019.
    • OnRamp – 5 one-on-one sessions with a coach to learn the basic movements and intensity of CrossFit. After OnRamp, you are encouraged to jump into our group classes.
    • Personal training – one-on-one sessions with a coach to hit whatever your personal goals are (e.g. lose weight, become a better Olympic weightlifter, etc.)
  • If you have participated in CrossFit before checkout our membership options and sign-up for a FREE trial class.

July Member Spotlight

Caleb Crosby

Caleb started working out with us soon after our doors opened and has been a consistent member ever since. Alwayscrosby family positive and encouraging Caleb is a fellow gym member people look up too (literally though, he’s 6’5″). As a former professional athlete, Caleb thrives on competition and the competitive side of CrossFit keeps him coming back. He gets the opportunity to push himself and have fun doing it.  All the hours he has put in has not gone unnoticed. Caleb recently completed is 200th class at CrossFit Mudtown! Let’s get to know him better…

Member since: May 2015

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? I began to hear about it when the movie 300 came out but did not try it till sometime in 2012 it a guys garage. The first WOD I did was a partner one where one partner lunged 100 feet with a 25 pound plate while the other one did burpees in the grass till they returned for 5 rounds.

Caleb squat
Caleb performing the low bar back squat. That’s how we roll every Monday.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? I shoot for 4 days a week. Normally the 6am.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Overhead squat

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Burpee

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? I like the competition with myself and energy that it gives.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? The restaurants

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Being a Dad.

Caleb tuff love comp
Caleb competing at the Tuff Love competition in February 2016.

What is your favorite meal? Any type of fresh fish cooked well.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? Anything outdoors, hunting, fishing, dirt bikes, fourwheelers, coaching kids sports.

What do you do for a living? Run the Alabama Policy Institute. Have a business that does accounting and compliance work for political organizations. I also tinker with a few other ventures as well.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? 3X5 squats at 350.


Ab Mat Sit-up

Strong core, simple as that. The AbMat, when placed under the lumbar spine with the higher portion towards your hips creates this beautiful environment for the abdominal muscles to move through their full and available range of motion.

AbMat Sit-Up Setup

  1. Sit on the floor with the AbMat placed beneath your lower back, higher part under your lumbar.
  2. Legs are bent with feet on the floor.
  3. Sit tall.

Performing the sit-up

  1. Lay back over the ab mat reaching hands over head
  2. Reach to touch the floor overhead, extending your core over the ab mat
  3. Drive up leading with your arms, engaging your core.
  4. Touch your heels or the floor by your feet.
CrossFit Mudtown AbMat Sit Up

May Featured Member: Nick Irvin

Nick gets it. He shows up, works hard, encourages others. Basically just helps make the gym community thrive. We’re so proud of how far he’s come, even before his time at CrossFit Mudtown. He set out on a journey three years ago to become a better version of himself. He started doing CrossFit, cleaned up his eating and decided to surround himself with people who encourage and believe in him. He lost 80 pounds. He lifts like a beast. And he’s got an amazing goal of rowing 1 million meters in 2016. Keep up the amazing work you do Nick!

Member since: June 2015

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? In the spring of 2014 I was attending a HIIT class offered after work.  I started reading about it and stumbled across this CrossFit thing.  I dropped in to another gym in Birmingham on a Thursday afternoon and was hooked. I don’t remember the WOD, except it had pull-ups. I flailed away on a band and spent the weekend trying to extend my arms again.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? I try to get in the gym 5 days a week. Mostly 6 a.m. but I like to drop in to an afternoon every once in a while.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Just about anything with a barbell. Even thrusters.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Toes to Bar.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? Quality. Coaching, community, programming. I believe in surrounding yourself with people who bring a positive energy to life.  I found it in spades here.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? It’s home. I was born and raised here.

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Three years ago Amanda and I jumped in to this thing called clean eating, which was the beginning of a radical change for our family’s health. Outside of the gym, I’m proud to say we eat clean, we talk about nutrition, and our kids are more educated about food than I was as an adult. That movement in health and nutrition opened my eyes to the possibility that I could still be active and fit, and ultimately brought me to the gym, where I’ve been able to lose close to 80 pounds, pull my chin over the bar, and pick up heavy things. Fast.Nick Irvin muddy awards

What is your favorite meal? Ribeye- medium rare.  Probably something green to go with it. And a chocolate chip cookie (or several).  You’ve got to live, right?!?

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? I love being a husband and father, so I try to spend as much free time as possible with Amanda and the kids.  So lazy days around the house, coaching kids soccer, and the occasional game of CandyLand in the living room floor make for a pretty cool weekend.

What do you do for a living? By degree I’m a Chemical Engineer. I manage an R&D function at Southern Company responsible for developing new ways to power the world.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? 500 lb deadlift is next up, but I can’t leave out the million-meter club.


April Member Spotlight

Heather HarrisHeather Harris Crossit Mudtown

From Coach Jacki: Not only is Heather a pretty awesome athlete but she is one of the most dedicated athletes at our morning classes. She is a staple at the 8:15 and rarely misses a class.  Not only does she show up daily, but she shows up with a positive attitude no matter what workout is thrown her way. I have never heard her complain about movements, weights, or duration of the workout.  She just does it, and does it well!  Since she joined us, I have watched Heather consistently go up on her back squats, PR on almost every barbell movement and shave minutes off benchmark workouts.  She is consistent on documenting her workouts and knows right where she wants to be with weights and times.  She is such a coachable athlete and has great understanding of the importance of form and technique.  Heather also registered for her first CrossFit Open this year and did amazing!!

If you don’t know Heather please make an effort to do so!  She is the first person to welcome someone new in class and will strike up a conversation within seconds of meeting them.  When I think about community, Heather is someone who comes to mind!

Member since: May 2015, I think.

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? I first heard about CF through my friend, Gretchen. I signed up to try it for a month in November 2014. I can’t remember the first workout, but it killed me and continued to blow my mind each time I came. I can’t say I liked it much, but I paid for the month and was determined to finish it. By the end of the month, I was hooked. Gretchen was a great inspiration. She just kept saying not to compare myself with anyone, but just be grateful that I showed up and completed each class.

Heather Harris Crossit MudtownHow many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? My favorite time to come is M,W,F at 8:15 and I just signed up to bump it up to 4 times a week.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? My favorite movements are squats, deadlifts and hand stand pushups; although, I’m not great at them yet.

Least favorite? Getting beat up by double-unders.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? I am motivated to come back because I think it is the most effective workout I have ever done. I have seen more changes in my body than I ever have doing any workout in the same amount of time. It’s so different than anything I’ve ever done and I’ve learned that pushing myself can sometimes be much more of a mental than physical challenge. My brain wants to quit far earlier than my body does.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? I am from a small town in East Texas which I love and miss because my family is there, but Birmingham is a great place to raise a family. I love our community and our neighbors have become like a surrogate family for us. We love our church, Church of the Highlands and our amazing Pastor. We couldn’t ask for a better school for our girls. I love the hills, beautiful trees and back roads here. I love that we hardly have a winter, but still get 4 seasons. The beach is close and Smith Lake is our love.

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Outside of the gym, I am proud of being married to a man I love and respect and our two beautiful girls that we are raising. I’m also proud of the company my husband, mostly my husband, and I have started and grown over the past 16 years. Inside the gym, I’m proud that I’ve pushed myself and gotten completely out of my comfort zone. Years ago, I broke L1, 2 & 3 and had a spinal fusion, shattered my femur, broke my pelvic bone, several ribs and ruptured my spleen in 2 separate car accidents. Most days, my back causes a great deal of pain. I feel like I’ve gotten so much stronger. I still hurt and lots of days I over-do it, but CF has helped me strengthen my core which really helps reduce my back pain.

What is your favorite meal? My favorite meal would probably be Mexican food and dark-chocolate-anything for dessert.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? Our family loves Smith Lake and we spend a lot of time on the lake with our dogs. We like to surf in the summer and sit by a camp fire in the winter. I love to read and my husband and I like to go on long trail walks, but most of my free time is running carpools to soccer, guitar, piano, gymnastics and dance. I really love to travel.

What do you do for a living? I work for our company, Office Insights, Inc, which is an office furniture installation company. I do the payroll and all the paperwork.

What is one goal you’re currently working on? Outside of the gym, I’d love to learn Spanish one day. Inside the gym, I am working on getting my pull-ups without a band and I’d like to get 50 unbroken double-unders.


March Member Spotlight

Scott Patterson

From Coach Billy: Scott is strong, like really strong.  A member, who shall remained unnamed, asked me if Scott used steroids.  I LOL’d and said no, Scott is just very consistent, very patient, and he works very hard!  He earns every one of his PR’s by showing up every day and putting in the work.  Scott is literally the first one at the gym every day, most times he beats the 6am coach there.

I’ve seen Scott develop from a guy who couldn’t really squat at all to a guy who squatted 300 lbs, yesterday.  But that is not what I am most proud of.  I am most proud that he has taken his experience and shared it with his family, specifically his daughter Lindsey.

Fact you may not know: Scott served our country in the United States Marine Corp.  You should thank him for his service when you see him.

Member since:  June 2015DSC_0299

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD?  I heard about CrossFit about 3 years ago and joined a local CrossFit gym.  I don’t really remember my first WOD, but I was hooked on being able to get such a good workout in within just an hour.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend?  My goal is to do CrossFit at least 4 times per week.  I normally attend the 6:00 am class.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout?  I prefer workouts where you don’t have to do a whole bunch of the same exercise.  I would much prefer to do smaller sets of many different movements.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout?  I think we had a WOD of about 200 wallballs.  I hated that WOD.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown?  I can definitely tell a difference in myself since I have been doing CrossFit so just having a higher fitness level keeps me motivated.

Favorite thing about Birmingham?  I’ve lived in some very populated and congested parts of the country such as Washington, DC, Southern California, Dallas, and to a lesser extent Charlotte, NC.  I hated the traffic in those places, and the amount of time it took to get to work and to go anywhere.  Being able to get to work in less than 10 minutes is a significant improvement in the quality of life.

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)?  I have two great kids who have never given me any real trouble.  I told them when they were growing up that I was their daddy, not their friend.  Now that they are adults I think that I can count scott and familythem as my friends.  Inside the gym I’m proud of the improvement that I have made since I started.

What is your favorite meal?  I really enjoy a good steak.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit?  My primary goals are to be a good Christian, husband and father.  In addition to those 3 things, I enjoy Alabama football, the beach, and at some point in the future would like to play more golf.

What do you do for a living?  My background is in mortgage banking, and I moved to Birmingham about 6 years ago.  I work for a local law firm that represents lending institutions across the country.  I help them manage the business aspects of the law practice.

What is one goal that you are currently working on?  With respect to CrossFit, my goal this year is to lift a total weight of 900 lbs for the combined lifts of dead lift, strict press and back squat.  I’m progressing, and have improved upon my beginning year combined lift of 775 lbs.


February Member Spotlight

Brad Castrobrad1

Brad was one of the first people to walk through our doors and he’s been instrumental in helping us build the amazing community we have today. He’s a joy to coach and never short on a good joke or encouraging others through their workout. Brad is very busy this month with a local CrossFit competition he’s running called TUFF Love (February 13th at CrossFit Irondale!) and the Mercedes half marathon he’s been training for the past few months. Let’s get to know him better!

Member since: April 2015

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? My friend, colleague, and other Mudtown member Will Slappey invited me to CrossFit. I was much heavier then and my doctor told me I needed to get in the gym so after a few weeks of dodging his invitations I finally joined an OnRamp class at my previous gym. My first week or so of WODs was your typical OnRamp sort of intro WODs. Looking back they were a cake walk, but at that time they were anything but. I remember after doing a 2k timed row I couldn’t get my stick shift car into gear and had to sit in the parking lot for a good 15 minutes.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? I am a little all over the place at the moment. At one point I was at a solid 4 to 5 days a week. For the last 10 plus weeks Kristie (girlfriend and fellow CrossFitter) and I have been training for the Mercedes marathon so I have been running a lot and supplementing in WODs 2 or 3 days a week max. I am most always at the 5 pm. On a rare occasion you will find me at the 6 am.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? I love to lift Heavy…. Even if my heavy isn’t all that much I still love to hit new PR’s in deadlifts and back squats. In a WOD I like things that I can fly through like toes to bar, sit-ups, and running. Most recently I have fallen in love with the more gymnastic side with muscle ups.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? I loathe thrusters… I don’t care if they are with a PVC pipe, I brad2simply despise them. Not sure why but I cry a little every time I see them programmed. Also not a big fan of front squats in a WOD. And then there’s Grace…. If I can tackle her in under 10 minutes it’s an accomplishment for me.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? What motivates me and the reason I haven’t left to go join a gym like Lifetime is the Social Accountability that I get from my Mudtown family. Mudtown is my family that I run to when I am stressed at work and Tyler reminds me where I left my feminine hygiene products when I don’t come for a few days. People here honestly want to see you grow and they are willing to sweat right next to you to make sure you reach the goals you have set out to complete.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? I have lived in over 35 cities in the US and Birmingham is top 2 simply due to the people here. Let’s face it we really don’t have much like sports teams, or the beach, or a mountain to ski. But the people here are hands down the best in the nation. Oh yeah and cost of living is dirt cheap..

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Inside of the gym – not being fat. Outside of the Gym – My full surrender to God and his purpose for my life. Although this was not my accomplishment it took a lot of humbling to come to a place to know that I was ultimately not in control.brad and kristie

What is your favorite meal? Mexican. I know that in of itself is not a meal but it is my answer. Anything from or resembling Mexico.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? I love to be outdoors. Snowboarding, hiking, surfing.
And most recently I have fallen in love with mud races. Kristie and I will be racing in the Atlanta Spartan race in March if anyone wants to join.. It is a blast. In the last year Kristie and I have had the honor of coaching crossfit at Christfit in Woodlawn which has been amazing not only for the kids in this community but for both of us as individuals. Neither of us have formal training and we are both relatively new to crossfit but with the help of our coaches we have been able to wing it with some degree of success. I like to call it channeling my inner Jacky when it comes time to motivate the kids.

What do you do for a living? I am the Operations Manager for a small privately owned commercial real-estate company and the Marketing Director for Slappey Communications.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? Double-unders. I finally broke down and ordered an RX rope.