From city to city and job to job, the one thing that has remained constant for Keith Prifte is being a member at Humble Beast CrossFit. He attributes much of his success with fitness to the coaches and community. Read on to also find out why he is so competitive in nature!
Where are you originally from? What brought you to Washington, DC?
I grew up in the southern part of New Jersey, where I rode dirt bikes, quads and played in the woods as a kid. My girlfriend at the time, now wife, moved to Washington, DC about four years ago from New York City. We loved being in New York, but wanted to try a new city with a slower pace. Her family is from Maryland and we both always loved DC, so it was pretty much the only place we even considered.
What do you do for a living?
I'm a Software Engineer, so I spend most of life hunched over a laptop. When nothing is working and I can't write one more line of code, I just think about getting to the gym and getting a barbell in my hands.
What is your fitness background?
I pretty much played all the sports as a kid (soccer, basketball, football, lacrosse and wrestled). I ended up being most serious about lacrosse and played Division 1 ball in college at Hofstra University. By the time I graduated college, I had been doing a serious weight training regimen for eight years. I thought this prepared me for life after sports and in the real world with a gym, but I was very wrong!
In NYC, I got a really expensive gym membership at Equinox. I had the thought that, "It's so expensive, it will force me to go." I was also wrong. I quickly realized that I was terrible in a gym by myself. I was rendered useless by always having coaches and trainers who provided the program for me. I was also used to having a whole team provide motivation. With no coach, my own crummy attempt at programming, and no one to help motivate me, I turned to long distance running while I looked to find a better gym option.
When did you join Humble Beast and what brought you here?
After being at Equinox, I found CrossFit and did that for a few years. When I got to DC, I decided I wanted to try a few different boxes, and pick the one I liked best. In October of 2014, Humble Beast was the first one I tried. After the initial workout, I knew HB was the place for me from the beginning.
What have you gotten out of your experience at HB?
When I landed in DC, I was over 190lbs. I had too many goodbye happy hours and "last meals" at all my favorite places; was generally in terrible shape. I look at HB like a laboratory for new ideas in terms of diet, workouts and overall health. I hear things Jeff is doing and trying, talk with other members about what has worked with them and then usually run all this past Lindsay to incorporate into my overall program. After four years with HB, I'm down over 30lbs and up in all my lifts. I left college thinking I would never be in better shape, and yet again, I was very wrong. Even more important than achieving fitness goals has been how much better I feel. I now have more energy, clearer thinking, and just overall feeling good.
A few years ago, I quit my job to do a coding boot camp and money was tight. I asked my wife if I should put my membership on hold until I had a job again (hoping she would say no, but feeling guilty that she was the lone provider). She said absolutely not. Partly because she knew how annoying I get when I don't work out, but more so because she knows how beneficial and constructive HB was been for me.
What has being a part of the Humble Beast community meant to you?
Pretty much all of my experience in DC is so closely intertwined with HB, so this is a tough one to answer. With moving and changing jobs and careers, HB has always been home and has always been the one constant thing. Everything might be changing, but you go to the gym and it always the same: an incredible workout, awesome up-beat music, and great people to share it all with.
What is one thing the other members don’t know about you?
I have a twin brother and we both played lacrosse in college together. We competed against each other in pretty much everything, which is part of the reason I like CrossFit so much. This is also why I pick people to compete with in the gym and try to beat their scores, even if it's only by 0.5 kg. I can't tell you how many practices would end with me versus my brother, and the coach saying, "This is for the last pork chop at the dinner table tonight."
While we are twins, he's actually a genetic freak. His best lifts are 100lbs more than mine. For this reason, our strength and conditioning coach liked to call me “Danny Devito” and my brother, “Arnold Schwarzenegger,” from the movie Twins. So even with how much I like to compete, I'm very used to losing. :)