April 30, 2012
Ready to Step Up: Dan Bosco
By Kate Rose

"To the people who are mentally strong, dedicated individuals, regardless of their fitness level, who want to be a part of something bigger ... we welcome you with open arms." 

Dan Bosco is celebrating the struggle that is CrossFit. He is sharing it with those willing to step up and take the challenge. He’s living his own dream, and he's readying himself to step up to the Regional challenge.

In his first year of CrossFit competition, Bosco is heading into the Canada East Regional in 8th place after the Open. He started CrossFit a year and half ago, and started training people just nine months ago. Bosco is passionate. He wants to see people improve and grow. He wants to see his community at its best.

Bosco is a former football player and track runner. As a running back, sprinter and hurdler, he was known for his agility. A torn ACL made him refocus his football plans and he started hitting the gym with increased intensity.

While working as a trainer at a globo-gym, he started a boot camp that unknowingly used methodologies that were similar to CrossFit. His program started to grow in popularity, and Bosco had to find more activities. “I googled different boot camp exercises, and there it was in all its glory … CrossFit,” he says.

Bosco read as much as he could. “Everything that is CrossFit, the community, the sport, the elite level of health and fitness achieved, were just too right to pass up,” he says.

Bosco wanted to share his CrossFit experience. He completed the Level 1 Seminar, and after training in basements, garages and parks, he started the first affiliate in Windsor, Ontario. He’s clear on who he’s inviting in: “To the people who are mentally strong, dedicated individuals, regardless of their fitness level, who want to be part of something bigger … we welcome you with open arms. Get ready for a life changing experience.”

In his 18 months of training, Bosco has developed a number of strengths. “A good work ethic, dedication, upper body pressing movements, most body weight movements, moderate weight WODs and box jumps,” he lists.

Bosco says his weakness lies in heavy hang cleans.

This year’s Open was Bosco’s first. He set out with the goal to make Regionals. Last year, he did the workouts as they were posted on the main site, but he didn’t compete. Now a registered athlete, he hasn’t really changed his perspective with competition. “This year my approach has been just to stick to my regular programming and do the Open WOD the [Wednesday] it was released, regardless of what I did the day before.”

He kept focused by keeping up his regular programming, but did notice a heightened level of anxiety.

He was surprised by 12.1, but picked a pace, and kept going. At 135 reps, the clock hit 7 minutes, and he found himself in 9th place in the region. He was worried about 12.2, as Olympic movements aren’t one of his strengths. He aimed to get the 75-pound and 135-pound snatches done as fast as he could, and get 165 pounds with the rest. If he got to 210 pounds, it would be a PR. He managed 77 reps.

Open Workout 12.3 appeared to suit Bosco’s strengths. “I thought, ‘Go through everything unbroken and keep moving.’ It didn’t work out as well as I hoped,” says Bosco. He still managed 11 rounds and 4 extra reps.

He knew 12.4 was going to be tough, but he was excited. “Plan was to do 50 wall balls, and then finish the rest of the reps with sets of 25, do the double-unders unbroken, and knock out a large amount of muscle-ups in a row then squeeze out whatever I could,” he says. “It went exactly as planned.”

He got in 26 muscle ups, and a 9th place finish in the region.

For the last workout, a repeat of Open Workout 11.6, Bosco recognized it would be a huge mental game. “I don’t like ascending rep schemes.”

However, he fared well, getting 126 reps. If anything, the tough mental aspect of the workout helped prepare him for what he will face in Toronto.

Between the Open and Regionals, Bosco has been focusing on a few things. “Go heavier, go harder, and go longer,” he says. “More strength days, longer/harder WODs and increase the volume to two WODs every other day, then slowly increase to two each day, with one day off each week.”

Bosco knows he’s going to have to be focused; it’s his first major competition. “I just need to set my strategy and stick to it. If I shut it all out and do what I do, I will be fine.”

Bosco is looking forward to the Sunday night of Regionals. “With the last WODs just finished and I’m laying on the floor in complete agony, feeling like a million dollars, regardless of the outcome,” he says.

This community-builder in Windsor will have enjoyed the celebration of the CrossFit struggle in a very big way.