Coach Spotlight: Katarina Berceliova

02 Jul

photo (18)Next for the spotlight is Kat. When’s she’s not blazing through the CrossFit Open workouts she is showing you just how far a positive attitude can take you since breaking her ankle after a car knocked her off her bike, she has modified her training appropriately and just got on with it. She’s now been unleashed and is coming after ALL of us.

The following questions were but to the one we call the ‘Wolverine’.

Most memorable CFL moment?

It was a while ago when I’ve asked coach Phil whether it was ok not to finish the WOD within the cut-off time. Everybody in the class looked at me like the lazy girl but then Phil explained it was due to me wanted to scale up the workout (still finished within).

Favourite thing about SE11?

Shorter travel time. Just kidding. The challenge of something new, new place, people and it has a great vibe. And also tidiness. (Kat loves tidiness – Chris).

Best part about being a CrossFit coach?

Coaching others. Meaning educating others on the same journey as I’ve been through, helping them through the tough times when they miss their PB attempt or rep. Also being a part of such a great coaching team and most of all having keys to the gym.

Favourite cheat food?

Chocolate for sure (more often then I should).

Favourite workout music?

Doesn’t really matters as from experience, about 30 seconds into the WOD, the music is the last thing I’m thinking of. But Foo Fighters, Yeah Yeah Yeahs & Pearl Jam are definitely part of my pre-WOD playlist.

Push jerk or split jerk?


Favourite film?

Not sure I’m more of a series person. So 24 and The Apprentice.

Other than CrossFit London, where else do you work?

In a big corporate gym in the City.

Toughest workout?

It was during the Outlaw camp when we had to do 12 handstand push ups, 20 jumping lunges and double unders. Took me about 10mins to do the HSPUs and it was probably the most frustrating WOD ever. But since then I’ve been practising and I’m not scared by HSPUs in the WOD anymore.

Favourite workout?

Probably Heavy Fran.

Favourite movement to teach?

Pistol and it’s progressions.

photo (20)Worst movement to teach?

Until I regain my ankle flexibility anything to do with a squat. But in the past didn’t really have one.

Of the 10 physical skills CrossFit seeks to improve, which are you best at? (endurance, strength, stamina, agility, flexibility, accuracy, power, speed, coordination, balance)

Stamina I would say.

And worst?

Strength in terms of bodyweight movements.

How do you motivate yourself during a workout? What gets you through?

Doing the WOD with guys is definitely the main motivator as I can pace myself by somebody who is better than me and chase them throughout the workouts. And what gets me through is the thought that I might beat them. Feels great!

If someone asked you how to get their first pull up, what would you recommend?

First I’d probably show them the controversial CFL video from back in the days where I was doing pull ups in the WOD on the green and blue band together. From then it’s just all about the practice.

Don’t get put off by the horrible amount of pull ups in the workouts ask the coach if you could do less but with the smaller resistance than you normally using (most important DO NOT kip on the band). Challenge yourself. Hang off things wherever you can (people might give you funny looks but it’ll be worth it). Practice 5 minutes before the class and 5 minutes after the class. Be patient.

photo (19)What was your last PR?

Getting back to walking 4 weeks ahead of schedule after the accident. And while injured 57.5kg bench press (very functional I know).

What’s your middle name?

Wolverine (not really, I’m from Slovakia and you aren’t usually given one).

What are your current goals?

Main focus after my injury is to regain flexibility in my ankle so I can get the full range squat again (not just box squats) and also to overachieve all my previous PBs. Also muscle up and free standing handstand of course.

How did you find CFL or did CFL find you?

CrossFit London found me during a massage course I attended back in 2009 with Andrew and Kate. I started asking questions and they said to come in and give it go. I did and will never regret that. Thank you both!

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