SISU Featured Athletes – Mat & Kjirsten Koppang

About Mat & Kjirsten

Both chemical engineers, Mat is a Sales Representative at US Water, and Kjirsten is an engineer with Medtronic. We both enjoy spending time outdoors and traveling when we can get away from work. We love to go hiking and gardening during the summer months. We also enjoy fostering dogs and have successfully placed seven dogs in loving homes! We have two pets of our own, a dog (Maya) and cat (Walter), both are rescues themselves and help us train the dogs that we foster. Of course, we enjoy spending time at SISU, working out together and with the community!

Fitness & Finding CrossFit

Before CrossFit, Kjirsten would do some occasional running and spent a lot of time going to a barre and pilates studio. Mat would spend time running when he could get the motivation. We’ve been doing CrossFit now for 1.5 years and 2.5 years respectively. For Mat, deciding to join SISU was due to a friend who had been doing CrossFit and talked about how much fun it was. Also, having played competitive sports, it allowed for an environment to be motivated by the abilities of others. Kjirsten joined because of Mat and how he talked about the workouts – that they were different everyday and that he wasn’t bored working out.

SISU Nutrition

We are in our 12th week of the SISU nutrition program, and the changes we have seen have been pretty dramatic. Mat has lost almost 10lbs, Kjirsten has lost 11lbs, and we both have lost several inches which we have definitely noticed based on how our clothing are getting looser and fitting better. At the gym, we have had consistent performances with several PR’s for both of us. Mat has been able to get his first ring muscle-ups and has improved a lot at the gymnastic movements. Kjirsten was also able to get her first bar muscle-up and PR’d her 2K row, as well as feeling better during the workouts with some movements getting easier for her (like box jumps!). We both feel that we have been getting better and feeling better across the board! Working with Christina has been super fun and the motivation that she has given us has really made us want to continue pursuing our nutrition on our own now that we have the tools and knowledge to do so when we complete the program.

Benefits In and Out of the Gym

There are several activities that have gotten easier, from the simple ones like carrying the laundry basket up stairs without feeling winded to hauling wheelbarrows full of brick & dirt for gardening and landscaping. Our families always ask us for help moving now and our improved fitness allows us to enjoy our overall favorite summer activity of hiking by adventuring further and tackling more difficult hikes!

As far as accomplishments in the gym, for Kjirsten it is being able to lift more than 10lbs. above her head when doctors told her that she may never be able to do that again after having extensive surgery. For Mat, it really comes down to learning how to eat better and to feel better which has accelerated performance and allows us to feel good physically and mentally. Over the next year, Kjirsten’s goal is to get consistent double unders! Mat’s goals are to complete Murph as prescribed and to learn how to handstand walk!

To Anyone Considering CrossFit

No matter what fitness level you are at there are no issues with being able to come in and try it out. There are so many different people at the gym that all have different skill levels and each person is successful at the end of the day. Workouts can always be modified for the beginner or for the advanced, which is why we both love the sport!

Why SISU?

We love the community, coaches, and the programming at SISU. Really everything. Every day when you walk in, you really get to know a lot of people and get to watch everyone get better and support each other daily. It’s a place that no matter who you are you can come in and everyone around you has similar goals, challenges, and at the end of the day, has fun!

Secret Ninja Movement?

Mat – burpees; Kjirsten – dumbbell snatch

Not So Favorite Movement?

Mat – thrusters; Kjirsten – box jumps and running

Favorite Cheat Meal?

Mat – pizza; Kjirsten – Chinese

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