April 1, 2013
The New Girl's Max Greenfield Takes on the Open
By Julia Papworth

“Look, I am kind of obsessed. People at work are so sick of hearing about it. If someone asks me a question about CrossFit in the makeup trailer I have to announce to the cast that I am only answering a question and not bringing up the subject myself.”

What do CrossFit and the television show, “The New Girl,” have in common? Max Greenfield. Well, more specifically, Max Greenfield’s abs.

Between balancing a ridiculous filming schedule — which often includes many bare-chested scenes — as well as a family, Greenfield finds a sense of stability through CrossFit, and this year, Greenfield and his famous abs are also competing in the Open. At the close of 13.4, Greenfield weighs in on how the Open, as well as regular CrossFit training, have affected him.

Greenfield had his first brush with CrossFit three years ago after his wife had just given birth to their daughter. He assumed the responsibility for daddy day care and needed a one-hour release. CrossFit became his answer.

“CrossFit was one of the best things to enter my life,” he says.

However, his first week at CrossFit Hollywood wasn’t easy.

“I could not do a pull-up and I literally thought I was going to die on an 800-meter run,” Greenfield says. “We did Fran that first week, too. There was a 20-minute cut off and I did not even finish the sets of 15.”

Nevertheless, he was hooked.

“I loved it because everyone had to check their ego at the door,” he says. “I literally would work harder there for that one hour than anywhere else. I felt energized and strong from that one hour.”

Greenfield took part in last year’s Open at Brick CrossFit and enjoyed the experience. Though he wasn’t aiming to make Regionals, he wanted to give it his all.

"I think I finished in the top thousand in SoCal,” he recalls. “Those workouts were just so good. That burpee one was fun — it made me laugh!”

He even had a favorite from last year’s Open.

“My favorite workout was 12.4,” he says. “I just liked all those movements. I got to the muscle-ups with three minutes left and just kept failing! I got a few in, but I was just so taxed. I was pretty frustrated with my performance and a few hours later, Maddy Curley asked me to pace her on the wall balls. So I did and I ended up with the exact same score.”

Needless to say, when 13.3 was released this year, Greenfield was pretty happy.

“I was excited to see this workout again,” he says. “It was fun having some familiarity with it. I knew I would do well on the wall balls and the double-unders, and the rest was a mystery.”

In the end, Greenfield saw improvement over his score last year, posting 248 reps this year on 13.3.

“I ended up with four reps more than last year and completed eight muscle-ups,” he says. “I considered this a victory and celebrated by having a zero percent paleo weekend!”

Greenfield was less excited when 13.4 was released this week.

“I was very nervous. I told myself there's very little strategy to this. It's just seven minutes of go. And then keep going,” Greenfield says of his strategy.

“Open Workout 13.4 is the exact measurement of how much stronger Jason Khalipa is than you. In my case 63. He's 63 reps stronger. Which is a lot. Now I know.”

Balancing competing for the Open, shooting for the show up to 15 hours a day, and having a wife and young child at home, presents a specific set of challenges.

"At the start of the season, I try to come in to work in sick shape,” he says, “and I try really hard to fit it all in.”

But as the season progresses, Greenfield’s consistency becomes more difficult. With call times on set sometimes as early as 5 a.m., days that can go way into the night and even night shoots that can throw off one’s schedule completely, getting his workout in regularly becomes a challenge.

"I know there are weeks when I have to take my shirt off on the show,” Greenfield says. “I make sure I get to the box those weeks so I can look the best I can!”

Presently, he’s on an “intense mobility phase” with his long time coach Cesar Flores at Brick CrossFit. Greenfield, like practically every CrossFitter, is a fanatic.

“Look, I am kind of obsessed,” he says. “People at work are so sick of hearing about it. If someone asks me a question about CrossFit in the makeup trailer I have to announce to the cast that I am only answering a question and not bringing up the subject myself.”

He also makes use of the gym at the Fox lot, where “The New Girl” films. But, of course, he adapts it to his needs.

"I take the bar off the rack, do cleans and presses, and also handstand push-ups on the wall next to the trainer’s office," Greenfield jokes. "I've heard them talk about me. I'm the guy that does weird stuff.”

And that “weird stuff” is helping keep him in shape for those shirtless scenes in “The New Girl” that are oh-so-necessary.