December Member Spotlight

Nicolle De Leon Telladonicolle-and-gian

Nicolle moved to Birmingham from Puerto Rico about six months ago for a fellowship at UAB. An avid CrossFitter already she knew she needed to find a gym-home away from home. We’re so glad she discovered CrossFit Mudtown. She has a fierce work ethic in the gym all while juggling work and life as a mother to Gian Mateo.

Member since: You probably know better than me, but I’m pretty sure it was the end of June 2016.

What do you do for a living? I’m a radiologist born and raised in the beautiful island of PR, and I’m currently doing a one year fellowship (sub-specialty) in abdominal imaging at UAB.nicolles-wod

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first workout? I was a gym freak, until Carlos, my boyfriend, who had been doing CrossFit for almost a year convinced me to go and give it a try. Since then, I’ve never gone back to the gym!! My first WOD was:

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? My goal is to go 4 to 5 times a week, including Saturdays. If I’m not there a Saturday, it is because I’m working! I usually go to the 6 pm class.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? I like everything with a barbell, except thrusters, but lately I’ve been developing a special love for overhead squats.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? I’m assuming running doesn’t count as a movement/workout, so Double Unders!!! I dislike any WOD with DU’s in them since I have not mastered them yet….and of course any WOD with thrusters. (shhh, and running!!)

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? Going to CFM is my therapy. My life is a pretty boring routine that can be summarized as follows: waking up, getting Gian Mateo ready for school, going to work, picking up my kid from school and going back home to get ready for the next day. Doing CrossFit is the only single hour in the whole day that is just for me, that I don’t have to think about anything else, and what better place to do it that CFM? Here I’ve found my outlet and really good people that make me feel just as good as being home.

Most embarrassing/funniest gym moment? Have you seen me do DUs?!?! There’s nothing funnier, unless nicolleyou’ve seen me trying to do butterfly pull-ups. Actually, I don’t know which one is funnier.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? Besides getting to know all of you people at CFM, I love the willingness of people to help one another, the good food and the multiple local breweries. Who doesn’t love a good beer!?

What accomplishment are you most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Inside the gym, I was finally able to RXed a WOD with DUs in it (took me forever but I did it), squatted more than #135 and DL more than #200. Outside the gym, I can say that after many, many years of studying I’m a little over 6 months away of completing my medical training, which will allow me to finally work and be able to provide for my son and family.

What is your favorite meal? A perfectly medium cooked filet mignon!

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? Anything that involves family, specially anything that involves my son, Gian Mateo.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? Mastering those Double Unders, and keep improving my back squat weight.

Do you have a hidden talent? Don’t think so! What you see is what you get!

Tell us a fun/interesting fact not many people know about you:
1. They say I’m a bully, which I’m totally not!! It’s not bullying what I do, it’s character building.
2. I got pregnant while on the pill, so don’t trust it!!

November Member Spotlight

Julie Macon

Julie is the strong silent type. She’s not loud, but brings the intensity when it’s needed and can clean (the barbell kind not the Cinderella kind) like nobody’s business. She found her way to CFM one year ago and we’re so glad she did. This Disney loving woman is a joy to have in our community.

Member since: October 2015julie-macon-lifting

What do you do for a living? I’m the Human Resources Manager for my family’s companies. So mostly payroll, work comp injuries, insurance, etc. for about 100+ employees. But I get to work from home and it’s the best!

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first workout? My mom and I started CF together in Mobile December 2012 just for fun I guess. And the first workout I did had burpees, running, and bear crawls…and the next day was a 5k row!

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? I usually try to get in 4-5 days a week and am normally at the 8:15 class or 5 pm class.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? CLEANS! Hang cleans, squat cleans, power cleans…cleans are my jam.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Wallballs and rowing. And I’m horrible at presses.julie-macon-competing

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? Everyone is so nice and encouraging and the coaches are very knowledgeable/helpful with everything! And the programming is awesome! I’ve improved so much this year!

Most embarrassing/funniest gym moment? My old gym in Mobile hangs their barbells on the wall horizontally and one time I knocked the whole wall of them down on myself during a warm up.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? It’s the perfect size city! And the food is amazing, there’s a lululemon, and the weather is seasonal (though not so much this year)

What accomplishment are you most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Inside the gym I finally snatched 100# and deadlifted 200# and I’ve never been so excited! And outside the gym, I’m most proud of my husband for graduating law school and passing the AL bar.

What is your favorite meal? Popcorn is my absolute favorite food in the world and in a perfect life, I would eat it as a meal every single dayjulie-macon-family

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? My dog is my life so anything involving him! And Disney, obviously.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? Butterfly pullups! That would be a total game changer!
Do you have a hidden talent? Haha, not a single one. I even just asked my husband and he agreed…so there’s that.

Tell us a fun/interesting fact not many people know about you. I’ve ran 4 half-marathons and I’m signed up for 2 more in 2017! (PS I don’t love running at all)

Intro to Rowing

Also called an Indoor Rower or Ergometer, it simulates the act of water-sport rowing. Rowing is an exceptional cardiovascular exercise and engages multiple muscle groups to provide a full-body strength and endurance movement.

Key components of the rowing machine:

Rowing Machine Form Crossfit


  1. Sit centered on the seat. Place feet under the foot straps on the foot rest. The top of your shoe should come about ½ inch over the foot ramp. The foot rests are adjustable and numbered to make setting up your feet simple each time you row. Pull the foot straps tight.
  2. Turn on the display and set it to the desired data measurement (meters, calories or watts) and view.
  3. Set the damper to desired number – typically 3-5 for beginners. Higher damper settings allow more air into the flywheel housing. The more air, the more work it takes to spin the flywheel against the air. More air also slows the flywheel down faster on the recovery, requiring more work to accelerate it on the next stroke. Lower damper settings allow less air into the flywheel housing, making it easier to spin the flywheel.
  4. Pull the handle out of the handle hook and set your grip. Hands should be even on each side. Extend your arms straight toward the flywheel, and keep your wrists flat.
  5. Spine should be neutral and tilted forward slightly at the hips. Shins vertical and feet firmly planted in the foot rests.

Performing the Row:


Row Catch
  • Extend your arms straight toward the flywheel and keep your wrists flat.
  • Slide forward on the seat until your shins are vertical.
  • Lean forward slightly at the hips.
  • You are ready to take the first/next stroke.


Row DriveDrive

  • Begin the drive by extending your legs and pushing off against the foot pads.
  • Keep your core tight, arms straight and back firm as you transfer power to the handles.
  • As your knees straighten, gradually bend your arms and lean your upper body back.

FinishFinish Row

  • Bend your elbows and pull the handle into your sternum.
  • Extend your legs.
  • Lean back slightly at the hips.
Row Recovery


  • Extend your arms by straightening your elbows and returning the handle toward the flywheel.
  • Lean your upper body forward at the hips to follow the arms.
  • Gradually bend your knees and slide forward on the seat to the start (or catch) position.



Focus on consistent steady movement – You are the master of the numbers on the display, not the victim of them. Steady consistent movement will be more efficient. Remember you are on the “water” – smooth movement is rewarded. Smooth movement is fast and efficient. Jerky movements make waves and flip boats.

Common Rowing Mistakes

Finish handle position too high or lowFinish handle position too high or low

Pulling the handle too high or low doesn’t allow for optimum muscle engagement therefore losing efficiency and power in the pull.



row shooting the hips

Shooting the hips

If your legs are pushing quickly and causing your rear to shoot out ahead of the rest of you, your upper body will have to awkwardly catch up. Doing extra work to jerk your top half around will make your stroke less efficient, and can cause injury.


Hunching over during the drive

Hunching over during the drive

You want to sit tall with a stacked posture. Focus on “turning on” your abdominal muscles, or engaging your core, and relaxing your shoulders so they are pulled back and down. Your spine should always be in neutral.



wrong arm leg sequence in recovery

Wrong arm/leg sequence in Recovery

Legs, hips, arms, arms, hips, legs. This is the sequence to remember when rowing. Getting out of sequence makes you lose momentum and power.

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.


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

100 (then 200 and beyond) Classes Stronger!

There’s some new signage at CrossFit Mudtown that many of you have seen. To recognize the hard work and dedication members put in day in and day out we’ve added two signs that showcase those who have reached 100 classes attended and 200 classes attended since they became members at CrossFit Mudtown. You’ll find the signs upstairs above the shoe cubbies. This is a HUGE honor and we are so proud of the members (and future members) who have achieved this status!! These people have made their fitness a priority and worked hard to get where they are.

Here’s the current list of athletes at the 100 classes stronger level:

Brad Castro
Clay Childressclay signing poster
Jennifer Childress
Caleb Crosby
Alisha Crossley
Patrick Crossley
Tyler Destefano
Josh Fisher
Heather Harris
Nick Irvin
Jennifer Kimble
Julie Macon
Scott Patterson
Kristen Skinner
Will Slappey
Nicholas Smith
Heather Warwick

And Jennifer Kimble has reached the 200 classes stronger level! Scott Patterson and Nick Irvin are not far behind her.

We can say with all honesty that each and every one of those members have improved or reached a goal in some way. Whether it was hitting a strength PR, a weight loss goal, doing a pull-up or muscle-up, or just feeling better after a workout. They put in the time and marked something off their goal list.

We stress the importance of showing up, putting in the work, and allowing yourself to be a coachable athlete. Setting goals is a great start but you need to put in the time to achieve those goals. We all have things we would like to get better at, but if we do not invest the time we are not likely to get the results we are seeking. The road to fitness is endless, it’s all about journey. Making time to get to the gym is hard. Life is hectic and when you throw in family, work and extracurricular activities, it can seem impossible to find the time. Exercise has an amazing effect of improving your self-worth and more importantly your health. We encourage you to “make the time” and have pride when you enter the 100 (or 200) class club!!

Good luck on all your goals, and remember goals are achieved when you invest the time!!