“It’s great having someone who understands what each other are going through. We both pick one another up, like if one of us is not in the mood to train, then the other one will somehow talk them into it.”
Matt Kolozsvary, 26, and Ashley Almand-Kolozsvary, 25, not only workout together, but they also run an affiliate, CrossFit Unmatched together, coach together and this year, hope to compete together in the South East Regional for the second year in a row.
Matt and Ashley have been married for a little over a year and have been together since before they discovered CrossFit several years ago. They originally met at a local globo gym in Tavares, Fla., where they both worked — Ashley as a hardcore aerobics instructor and Matt as a personal trainer. Within a year of meeting, they began dating.
Matt was the first to discover CrossFit after watching a fellow gym member do box jumps, burpees and pull-ups.
“After the guy finished his workout, I asked him some questions, and he told me about CrossFit,” Matt says. “I watched the main site for a few days till I saw something that I thought I would do well at. At the time, I was into triathlons and running, so when Murph came up, I thought that I would do good because of the run at the beginning and the end.”
While he managed to finish the workout with what Matt admits was poor form: “shallow squats and not locking out elbows at the bottom of pull-ups,” Matt says he enjoyed the workout and was determined to do the next workout that came up with a lot of running in it.
“Problem is, the following day, I could not touch my face with my hands or extend my elbows all the way,” he says. “My arms were stuck at about 90 degrees at the elbow. The experience shattered my idea of what I thought training and fitness was, and I was hooked.”
Ashley’s introduction to CrossFit was similar.
“One day at work, Matt told me about CrossFit and asked if I wanted to try it out with him. I told him, ‘Oh yea, I can do this. I use to be a gymnast,'” Ashley recalls.
Her first workout was also from the main site and consisted of 50 feet of walking lunges followed by 21-15-9 pull-ups and sit-ups.
“To make a long story short, I died! I was so sore. I had T-Rex arms for a week and was so mad at him because I needed to be fresh for teaching my classes and doing my bicep curls and tricep kickbacks. But ever since then, like Matt, I was hooked,” Ashley laughs.
CrossFit quickly became a bonding experience for the couple, and as they began dating, they also began dreaming about making a future together as affiliate owners.
“About two years ago, we were pretty serious and both living at my parents house trying to figure out what to do with our college degrees in Exercise Science,” Ashley says. “We came up with the idea of opening up a box in my parents’ basement, and didn’t think twice.”
Matt already had his Level 1 Certificate, so Ashley announced on Facebook that they were going to hold a CrossFit class in her basement.
“We also had a warehouse picked out, but knew we needed at least 11 people to show interest in our initial classes before we would be able to move out of the basement and pay the rent,” Ashley says.
Before they knew it, 11 people showed up to her parents’ basement, running around the house and doing burpees in the grass.
“We looked like a bunch of crazy people. But three months was all it took before we knew we could move to the warehouse and create the first, and only affiliate, CrossFit Unmatched, in Lake County,” Ashley says.
“I couldn’t of found a better partner to go into business with,” Ashley says. “Yes, we don’t always agree on things, that’s for sure, but we always work it out. Marriage and running a business together is like training. If you put effort into your training, business or marriage, it is going to get better. If you slack in your training, business or marriage, it is going to be hindered.”
“Ashley is a hard ass,” Matt says. “She can be opinionated, and while it can be challenging at times to work together, I know we are dedicated to the same thing, and that’s one of the reasons I fell in love with her. I have always loved the team concept, and I believe those same concepts apply to marriage. Respect your teammates, always put their best interests above your own, and give it all you have everyday.”
When the couple is not running the gym or coaching CrossFit, they are training. A typical workout day includes 10 to 15 minutes of warming up and skill work, followed by one or two strength lifts, then the gym’s programmed workout typically lasting no longer then 10 to 17 minutes, and finally ending with 20 to 30 minutes of stretching and “goat” work.
Last year, the couple surprised themselves when both qualified for the South East Regional as Individuals.
“Last year was our first year competing in the Open. We had no idea what to expect, but we decided to do it to see where we ranked,” Ashley says.
Ashley placed 35th in the Open and 21st at Regionals, while Matt took 56th place in the Open and 16th at Regionals.
“This was a huge shock to us,” Ashley says. “We can’t wait to see what this year holds for us.”
This year, the couple is hoping for a return trip to Regionals with a CrossFit Unmatched team. The team currently sits in 15th place in the South East.
In order to ensure continued success, Ashley, a skilled former gymnast, has focused more of her training efforts into “becoming averagely good at everything,” particularly heavier weight. Her training is paying off. She is currently sitting in ninth place in the South East after scoring 193 reps on Open Workout 13.1 and 339 reps on 13.2.
Matt says his strengths are heavy lifting at high volume and medium- to low-volume gymnastics. He has been working hard on his box-jump speed and high-volume handstand push-ups. With a score of 188 reps for Open Workout 13.1 and 301 reps for 13.2, Matt is happy with his progress. He is currently tied for 73rd place in the South East.
This year’s Open also marks the couple’s one-year anniversary of marriage.
“It’s great having someone who understands what each other are going through,” Matt says. “We both pick one another up, like if one of us is not in the mood to train, then the other one will somehow talk them into it.”
Ashley adds: “CrossFit bonds us even closer. It helps for one that we both have a passion for it. It makes it easier to train and eat clean. Matt doesn’t have to worry about being at the box training too long, and if I’m going to get mad at him or not because I’m right there with him. We are both each others’ number one supporter.”