Meet Coach AJ! His unique and funny personality comes through in both his writing and his coaching! If you’ve ever taken his class, you know you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Here’s his CrossFit journey in his own words!
Hello you beautiful people,
If you are reading this it’s because you saw it was the first and maybe last post by yours truly (Coach AJ). Even though I really don’t need any introduction I will tell you a little about myself. My name is AJ Koutrouby; I’m a Level 1 Certified CrossFit Trainer and coach at Masá CrossFit.
As mentioned in the previous posts Masá (מסע) is the Hebrew word for journey or voyage.
If you are interested in the beginnings of CrossFit journey I am happy to set the scene for you. I was working in New York City and going to the typical globo style gym in my office. I would just so happen to go at the same time as one of my coworkers who worked on the same floor as me. We would make lingering eye contact from across the gym almost every day. This continued until he worked up the courage to come over and introduce himself. The conversation went something like this:
Jacob: Hey, my name is Jacob. Have you ever tried CrossFit?
Me: No, what is that?
Jacob: Well, it’s this amazing way to train and I bet you will die.
Me: That sounds fun, I am so competitive. I bet I won’t die. My name is AJ by the way.
Jacob: Cool, tomorrow we should go to the gym together and we can do your first CrossFit workout together. Also, I am training to go to the Marines so it would really help if you could push me to go harder during the workout.
Well, the next day Jacob and I went to the gym together and set up a station to do a tabata workout. We did 8 sets working for 20 seconds and resting for 10 of the following three movements, push-ups, sit-ups, and air squats. In the end, I did not die but it sure was a humbling experience. For someone who thought they were fit it was an eye opener and I instantly fell in love with the sport of CrossFit. In the next few weeks I barely got any work done. I was watching hours of CrossFit content on YouTube and just inhaling as much CrossFit information I possibly could.
I continued to train with Jacob at my office gym for the next two years. I did this until I realized that in order to progress or make any real gainz in this amazing world of fitness I would need to actually join a CrossFit box and get a really good coach.
I searched for weeks until I came across Chad, the head coach at CrossFit Dix Hills. With his help and guidance I fitnessed harder and faster than I ever had in my life. I was becoming an animal and forming some of the most amazing friendships in the process. I continued to train there for 3 years until I moved from Huntington to Port Jefferson.
Leaving CrossFit Dix Hills was absolutely devastating. I grew to love those people and finding a new home (CrossFit Community) was going to be really hard.
It took me 6 months but I eventually walked into a gym and found Itamar and Taylor. They were pretty amazing but even better was their dog Oakley. I instantly knew this would be the perfect fit for me. I have now trained with Itamar for the past three years. I am harder, better, faster, stronger than I was before.
Now, you might be saying to yourself that’s all amazing but how did you become a coach? Well, very early on Itamar realized I was pretty great at almost everything I did. He approached me and this is how that conversation went:
Itamar: Hey, so you are pretty amazing at almost everything you do.
Me: Thanks, I know.
Itamar: Have you ever considered going to get your CrossFit Level 1 Certification? I am pretty sure you would make an amazing coach.
Me: Actually, I have thought about it a lot over the last few years. I love CrossFit and I think everyone would really benefit from my wisdom.
Itamar: That would be really great and I could help train you as a Coach and then you can help make all our members better.
Me: Deal, I am in.
I got my Level 1 and the rest is history. That is my story. I hope you liked it and maybe I will write more on deferent topics in the future.