Athlete Spotlight: Mayday


If you’re on SugarWOD, you’ve probably noticed one name consistently on the top of the Men’s Leaderboard in our strength programming. That guy is Mayday, or his real name, Chris May. Chris has made an amazing transformation since starting CrossFit this year, and he also won this year’s Paleo Challenge. I’m excited to introduce you to the guy behind the PRs, someone who has a heart just as big as his lifts.

chris may 2

Not staged.

How long have you been CrossFitting and what got you started? 

I joined 101 in the middle of January, and my first official WOD was Open 15.1. After relentlessly teasing my younger brothers for “joining the cult” a year before me, I finally came around and decided to give it a shot. I had spent a few years doing long-course triathlons, and some resulting overuse injuries had left me overweight, weak, and out of shape. To that end I needed a change, and landed at LAX because of the outstanding onboarding.


What is your favorite WOD/lift/skill? 

DT is hands down my favorite workout (5 rounds 12 deadlift, 9 hang power clean, 6 shoulder to overhead @ 155lbs). Best Rx time is 9:03. It was really neat to see it included in the Games this year. My favorite lift is the Clean & Jerk – getting very close to putting a 300lb PR together!

chris may 4

Don’t mess with him when he’s doing kettle bells.

What movement is your least favorite and why? 

Tie between sumo high pull and American kettle bell swing. My shoulders like neither of these and I will always sub either to a heavier Russian swing or hang power clean to get the same posterior chain work without the shoulder risk.

What are your CrossFit goals? 

Immediately, to improve my overhead squat, HSPU, and learn muscle-ups. In the longer term, I’d like to RX the King Kong WOD, and be competitive in the Open when I turn 40 (3 years to get it together!).

If you weren’t doing CrossFit, you’d be… 

Probably still beating my head against the Ironman. Once wasn’t enough, and I may return for another try at some point down the road, using the CrossFit Endurance methods.

Has CrossFit changed your life? How? 

In a couple of ways, yes. First, compared to Ironman training, I’m working out a third of the time that I was before, with better results, which means more time at home with the family. Secondly, I have finally learned the importance of nutrition, which has always been sort of a missing piece for me.

chris may 5

Mayday and Ms.Dfiant, who destroyed on behalf of LAX at the BeachBox Showdown

Once you see the WOD each day, what’s the first thing you do/think? 

I generally do three things: 1) Review the movements and watch a few YouTube videos (Rippetoe, CalStrength and MobilityWOD are favorites). 2) Try to figure out what the goal of the WOD is, and where I might need to scale to make it work best for my individual goals. 3) See if there’s some accessory work I can fit into the day before or after the WOD.

You’re really vocal about healthy eating. How did you get started?

It occurred to me immediately upon starting 101 that CrossFit is way too demanding to throw away your efforts with poor nutrition, so I jumped whole hog into the Paleo challenge at the box this past winter, and learned a ton in the process. While we all put in work in the box, the real gains are made in the kitchen and on the pillow – good sleep and good food are integral to getting the most out of the work.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

I’m a scratch golfer, and I have spent my entire life playing sports – four in high school, and both football and baseball in college. Despite my current career I majored in biology and spent a few years teaching anatomy and physiology before going a different route. I also enjoy surfing and playing the guitar.

What’s your day job? Title?

I am the Director of Revenue Management at American Golf – essentially I generate marketing strategy and evaluate pricing for our clubs and courses. Way too much fun to call a job.

Workout of the Day 9/3/2015 – Thursday


Bear Complex – 5 Rounds:
7 Reps of the Following Sequence:
Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat
Push Press

The entire sequence counts as 1 rep and the bar needs to be touch and go at the start of each sequence. You can not squat clean at the start to count the Power Clean and Front Squat. You can, however, Thruster out of the Front Squat to combine the Push Press. You can also Thruster out of the Back Squat. Each Push Press (or Thruster) needs to be completely locked out with head through the window. You can rest the bar in the hang, the front rack, or the back rack during the sequence, but not on the ground. Rest as needed between rounds. The goal is to increase weight at each round. An example would be: 95-105-115-125-135. Keep your weight choice in mind and how it will affect your rest time so that you can complete all 5 rounds within the hour.

Scroll down to see the example video.

Double Unders

Cash Out.
3 Minute Weighted Plank (45#/25#)
3 Minute Side Plank

Accumulate 3 minutes in a weighted plank, and 3 minutes on each side.

CrossFit 101

Hang Power Snatch 5 x 3

2 Rounds:
500m Row
30 Double Unders or 60 Singles
15 Deadlifts
400m Run