Success Stories


Dominique Rivera


It’s crazy to think that my CrossFit journey started exactly a year ago from today. If you would’ve asked me back then if I could see myself doing pull ups or squatting 285 lbs, I would’ve laughed at the question. Fast forward a year later and not only am I capable of pull ups but so much more than I ever could’ve imagined.

There are a lot of stigmas associated with CrossFit regarding the risk of injury and attitude of the community – all of which had crossed my mind before joining CrossFit Route 7. Although I was very athletic in high school and played intramural sports in college, I wasn’t sure my body could handle the workouts and on top of that, with the worry of being injured or not welcomed. Nonetheless, I dragged myself to attending an information session for a 6-week body transformation challenge to find out for myself what CrossFit was all about. The rest is history.

During my talk with BJ Peyton, I shared how my college lifestyle had reduced my level of physical activity (apparently Beer Olympics didn’t count) and how I slowly was starting to feel less confident in myself. To my surprise, I found out I wasn’t the only one in this boat. BJ explained that a lot of people around my age were dealing with the same feelings and many found success by just starting with the CrossFit Foundations beginners program. I left the box that day with newfound hope that I could turn things around, especially since beach/music festival season was right around the corner.

Foundations not only eased me into the box but also introduced me to other athletes and welcomed me into the CrossFit community. The conditioning was amazing. I was learning proper lifting techniques and getting my body prepped for the next step. I’ll never forget the first day I finished Foundations with BJ on a Friday night. Typically, my Friday nights included me and my closet friends at local bars Spider Kelly’s or Whitlows in Arlington for happy hour. Now I found myself doing burpees and snatching weights with the latest Mega Workout Mix playing in the background. Talk about a complete 180. I could feel myself having more energy at work, a more positive attitude and the best part, seeing results! I wasn’t the only one seeing results either. Even my friends and family members started noticing positive changes and it made me want to work that much harder. There is no better feeling than finishing a WOD, lying on the ground panting and saying to yourself, “Yeah, I just did that.” It’s something you need to experience for yourself and few things come close to that feeling.

Since then, there’s no workout class I’ve found more challenging and rewarding than the WOD at CrossFit. I had tried other studios and gyms but fell short of my goals and with hundreds of dollars out of my pocket. Every WOD is new, exciting and strengthens you mentally as much as physically. Just today it was awesome to workout next to coaches like owner Tucker Jones and having everyone else cheer you on to finish. I firsthand can attest that the CrossFit Route 7 staff does everything in their power to teach correct form to avoid injuring yourself and are the most welcoming group of people. No matter at what stage of your physical prowess you are in, CrossFit will take you to the next level both mentally and physically. I’m only a year in and have been in the best shape of my life and only getting stronger. CrossFit has changed my life in the most positive way and this is just the beginning!


Don Parnell

I started CrossFit 6 plus years ago on my 50th birthday.  It was my version of a “mid-life crisis” 🙂 It has totally changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Little more than a year ago I had a my left hip replaced.  I had “bone on bone”and I was in a great deal of pain and discomfort.   I continued with my CF WODs up to the day before my surgery and was back at CFR7 a few weeks later. My excellent fitness level for my age significantly helped me breeze through the surgery and recovery.  The  ability to “scale and modify” WODs combined with great coaching allowed me to recover quickly and effectively with my “new body part.” Though I’m not as strong in some areas as before, I’m back on my feet with very little discomfort.  Everyone is different in how their body adjusts and recovers from this type of surgery. I’m still going through that process and it will probably never end but CrossFit has been my guiding light.
I love the 6:00 AM WOD and the morning crew!   I feel like I get a “head start” on the day and I’m able to keep my “edge.”  I love the energy of the box and working out with folks of all ages.  You guys energize me and it keeps me young!
CrossFit allows us to keep our physical but more importantly our mental edge. Something overlooked at times but there is no doubt that maintaining a high level of physical fitness will spill over to your professional life.  You will be more confident and have more energy. Lord knows there are a million things I need to improve on but that’s part off the challenge. If this were easy, anybody could do it. It has to be a challenge – in order for it to be worth it and gain these incredible results.
Semper Fidelis!
Don Parnell

Reynoldo Cervantes

After almost a year of trying to convince myself to get into the gym, I finally took the hardest step and walked through the door of CrossFit Route 7 and signed up. What convinced me was the great stories and results that I had heard about from CrossFit Route 7 and their fitness programs.

I started with the Foundations program and it was no where near as easy as I thought it might be.  I did not have any experience working out or getting into a workout routine.  By joining CFR7, it forced me into a schedule and made me accountable for my progress.  After the Foundations and one month of attending the main CrossFit WODs, I saw significant changes in my body that encouraged me to sign up for a year!   When I started the journey, I was almost 200 pounds and was not able to do more then 10 push ups. After almost a year I have  dropped about 25 pounds and can see a huge difference in my body and my stamina.  It was  was not easy, but with all help and support from  all the coaches and members at CFR7, I was finally able to get where I am at now. If you are looking for real results and a great place to workout, I would definitely recommend CFR7! It may not be easy,  but if you are dedicated and push yourself,  the coaches at CFR7 will help you achieve your goals. I am really  grateful to be a part of the CrossFit Route 7  family, and want to extend a HUGE thank you to all the coaches – you have really changed my life!


Thomas Inglesby

After seeing an advertisement on Facebook I decided to give CrossFit a shot and signed up for the Foundations program. I liked the Foundations program, the instructors, and the people, so I signed up for a membership afterwards. I could only commit to something short-term, so I signed up for a 3 month membership. They have varying membership lengths and tiers to accommodate your needs, and as long as you can get there 3 times a week, it’s worth your while.

Prior to joining CFR7, I had been able to run off and on, and lift off and on, but never put it all together to consistently over the long-term ever really get in shape. CFR7 has become a routine for me, and workout by workout as the weeks have ticked by, I’ve noticed results in my body. Classes are an hour long and you get a lot of bang for your buck. Instructors give you more than adequate attention on proper technique. CFR7 is perfect for me, for getting a quick workout meaningful workout in a few times a week after work. The members are also very accommodating and not intimidating . There are various skill levels, and you will not feel out of place no matter how in-shape or out of shape you are.

Lastly, they encourage nutrition and offer diet/nutrition programs for members that are interested. While I haven’t signed up, I have heeded their advice and cleaned up my diet quite a bit. I’m the healthiest I’ve been in ten years thanks to CFR7 these last few months. I highly recommend them if you have the willingness to make a commitment one hour 3x/week towards a healthier lifestyle.


Jordan Speares: Pregnancy and CrossFit

CrossFit helped me throughout my pregnancy, during labor and postpartum. 

I’ve always been into working out, but I was getting sick of my usual routine: running, random weight lifting, sporadic group classes, etc.  I had heard of CrossFit, but was hesitant to try something so unknown.  I finally tried CrossFit in 2015.  Right away, I knew the competitive, yet friendly environment at CFR7 was something I was going to enjoy.  The variety of workouts was something that no other type of exercise routine could compare to.  Additionally, the knowledge of the coaches at CFR7 was impressive, so I knew I was in good hands.
I did CrossFit 3 times a week for about a year when I found out I was expecting a baby due in February 2017.  In the beginning, not much had to change during my WODs, but as my pregnancy progressed, the coaches helped modify and substitute certain movements. These changes allowed me to participate in entire classes.  I was so happy I could keep up with CrossFit throughout the 9 months of pregnancy.  I was in the best shape I could have been in before having a baby, thanks to CrossFit.
Not only did CrossFit help me maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout my pregnancy, I truly think it helped during my labor.  I know that the mental and physical challenges all athletes in CrossFit overcome during WODs can be related to other daily challenging situations, like labor and childbirth.
I was in great shape throughout my pregnancy because of CrossFit, which helped me tremendously postpartum.  I had a quicker recovery and an easier time getting back to working out after my son was born.  I am so glad that CrossFit was a part of my life…it is hard to imagine what my pregnancy experience would have been like had CrossFit not been in my life.
I am a big believer in CrossFit and think that it is something that can be incorporated into most everyone’s workout routines…even if you are pregnant!



Arlisa Whitby

As a first time crossfitter, I was very fortunate to stumble upon CrossFit route 7. From my very first interaction I knew this was the place for me! I came in as a new you challenge participant which is a six week intro program.
Before the challenge began, I met with the head trainer(BJ) for a required meeting for all individuals interested in the six week program.
During our interaction, I was very impressed with the passion BJ had for fitness and the Route 7 community. He began our conversation by learning my background, what’s important to me and addressing my concerns about Crossfit. Initially, I was hesitant due to the intense workouts and my ability to keep up. He explained CrossFit Route 7 has members with different fitness levels and there’s always modifications to movements for every workout. He was very patient and thorough so I took a risk and signed up.
After it was all said and done, I’m glad I had the courage to take that 1st step. CrossFit Route 7 has changed my life within six months. I’ve dropped pounds, built strength, learned new movements/ mobilization and managed to make new friends and connections during the process.
Biggest highlight was learning about mobility and making new connections. I had surgery on my Achilles tendon in 2006 and I’ve been limited on the amount of physical activity I can perform due to pain. I’ve learned how to minimize and eliminate my pain with techniques taught by coaches at Route 7, Definitely a game changer!
Also, can’t leave out the awesome community. Veteran members have encouraged me from day one and played a huge role in my success. We bond both inside and outside the Box, this was very special as a new resident to Virginia looking to make friends. Truly Grateful to be apart of this family!
So for all my first time future Crossfitters in Northern Virginia, please have the courage to take that 1st step and take a class at Crossfit Route 7.
Yes you can do the work out and you’ll be surrounded by people who are passionate about fitness and will help you with your journey.

Ryan Spicknell

CrossFit Route 7 has been my sanctuary for the last 2 plus years since I moved to the U.S. Being a friendly Canadian that moved across the continent I was looking for a new home.  I emailed a few boxes and BJ was the first person to respond, welcome me in for a workout, and invite me to come see the place.
I had been doing CrossFit for about 3 months before I moved down here and instantly fell in love with the community and the people that I was surrounded with at CFR7.  All the coaches and members pushed me to improve each day through the classes and personal training time.
I never thought before joining CFR7 that I would ever want to get my CFL1 or become a coach someday, but I have followed my passion and have pursued it over the past few months.  After receiving my Level 1 cert I started training in the coaches practice at Ballston and have really enjoyed it.  Helping new members at CFR7 over the past few months, before I’ve even started coaching a class, has been tons of fun.  I have enjoyed more and more helping others find their passion for fitness as I have over the past 2 years.
Each day that I get to spend in the box, nothing of the outside world can effect my mood or demeanour.  I go home to my wife at the end of the day a better man because of CrossFit.

Stephen Lanciani

I joined the CrossFit Route 7 community in the fall of 2016, with about a year and a half of CrossFit experience under my belt. I came in thinking I had a good understanding of what CrossFit was all about, and how most boxes operated, but boy was I wrong. CrossFit Route 7 is by far the best box I have been a part of in all categories. The coaches are knowledgeable, the facility is clean and spacious, the equipment is top-notch, the hours are accommodating, and most importantly, the community is welcoming. Bj not only knows how to run a gym, but he also knows how to be a great person. He cares about everyone, and he makes sure you know it.

Everyone here at CFR7 wants to better themselves through the help and encouragement of others, and my inspiration is drawn from those around me. Sure I love reaching a new goal, but seeing someone else reach theirs makes me even more eager to reach the next. One of the things I love most about CrossFit is that anyone can achieve personal greatness if they just put in the work. There’s no “Arc Reactor” (Iron Man Reference), no “Michael’s Secret Stuff” (Space Jam Reference), there’s just the requirement to show up and workout (real life reference). The people here at CFR7 certainly show up, and they certainly put in effort. When I walk into the gym everyday, I am instantly inspired by everyone around me to work hard and to challenge myself. I am challenged mentally, physically, and emotionally in every workout, and I know that everytime I’m lying on the floor exhausted after a wod, I’m one step closer to my goal of being the best version of myself.

As far as my history goes, I was a distance runner and soccer player through high school and college. I had maybe touched a barbell once during that entire time. Needless to say, I wasn’t your first choice to move heavy objects…or even slightly more than average weight objects…but I could run really far! Trust me it was all the rage. Anyway, when I started CrossFit I was hitting new personal records (PRs) left and right. It’s easy to gain strength when you’re basically starting from nothing (picture drawing some of those cute little biceps on a stick figure). But by the time I came to CFR7, I had reached the oh-so-scary “plateau”. I was much stronger than before, but my never-settle attitude wasn’t about to let me become content. Through the intelligent programming and personalized coaching at CFR7, I have since left the plateau, targeted my weaknesses, and am on my way to the next level. Some recent PRs of note are a 270 lb front squat, 365 lb deadlift, and chaining 7 unbroken muscle-ups together. I also recently completed “The Seven” hero wod RX, which is a feat that if you told me a year ago I would do, I would’ve called you crazy. I’ve also taken a full minute off my “Jackie” time and “Annie” time, and completed the “Memorial Day Murph” wod RX for the first time this year. All since joining CrossFit Route 7.

I’m humbled that I was asked to share my story, but if you haven’t noticed by now, I couldn’t have done any of this without the amazing people I’ve met in my time at CFR7. I look forward to what lies ahead, and encourage anyone thinking about giving CrossFit a try to come to CrossFit Route 7! You won’t be disappointed.


Lisa Leonhardt: Pregnancy and CrossFit

I think working out throughout pregnancy is important, as long as it’s safe for you, especially considering after the baby you can’t/don’t have time to lol.  My goal was to work out 3x a week throughout the entire pregnancy, but I managed to do up to 5x a lot of weeks.  It  was very difficult for me in the beginning because there is a lot of competing advice on what you should/shouldn’t do.  The whole “work out at a conversation pace” is kind of impossible with crossfit haha.  What worked well for me was to tone down the intensity, take breaks when I thought I was starting to breathe too heavy, and stop doing any crunching movements after the 1st trimester.  I probably took it a little too easy the 1st trimester, but I had a miscarriage two months prior to this pregnancy so I just wanted to be extra sure.  The biggest thing is to listen to your body, which I thought was terrible advice going into the pregnancy because I wanted some concrete rules, but it really is true.   I think this topic is really important and isn’t something I really thought about until I had to!  If anyone has any questions I would be happy to answer them.