« Front Squat | Main | Snatch »

Athlete of the Month: David Makowski

AOTM: David M. During FGB 6.  His Left Arm Says "Lightning"

Happy Veterans Day! Thank you to all of the veterans both in and outside of this community!

Happy Belated Birthday Wilson G!  

CFSBK November Athlete of the Month: David Makowski


We’re more than a year into the Athlete of the Month articles and I can’t believe this cat hasn’t been in one yet. David (D-Mak) Makowski has been a presence at CrossFit South Brooklyn for well over 2 years now and if you’ve had the chance to WOD with or along-side him I bet you’ve been happy for it. Whether through the encouragement he shouts to fellow athletes or by his total domination of some workouts, he’s a great guy to be near when shit starts to get real. He is also a great example of doing your best to train smart for you, and not for the white board. It was my pleasure to sit with him for an hour and find out a few things (aside from our common love of 80s and 90s metal), I hope you enjoy as well.

FOX - Hey man, congrats! Let’s start at the beginning...when and how did you start with CFSBK?

DMAK - Blame it on the internet! I was searching around for something new and came across CrossFit. It was like an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me. I was like, “now THAT is what I want to be doing!”. I had been in a regular gym and doing the back-and-bis, chest-and-tris thing for a while with little to no success. In fact I was on the road to hurting myself. I was constantly tweaking my back or a shoulder or something. I had once been in great shape and wasn’t anymore and I wanted to be fit again, hence my seeking out CrossFit. When it turned out there was one here in Brooklyn I was in. I took the fact that a Foundations cycle started on the exact date of my 40th birthday as a sign from the universe and signed up immediately. My son Josh also started with me at the same time, I was hooked immediately.

FOX - What hooked you?

DMAK - The energy of the gym and athletes, and the commitment of the coaches. I was (and still am) so impressed with David and his attention to detail. I had intended to do Foundations to learn some stuff then go back to the Fort Hamilton gym and continue on my own. That was not to be. I remember my first WOD out of Foundations, the Filthy 50. It was challenging and surreal in a way fitness had never been for me. I remember Gabrus and McGrath on the side as I was struggling to finish. They were going back and forth between shouting encouragement and whispering quiet jokes about my “circumstance”. I met Malcolm and Laurel that day and we shared a really genuine conversation, IN A GYM. The community and motivation I get, and get to give, keep me coming back. I knew CrossFit was for me.

FOX - Awesome stuff! You mentioned not being in shape any more, what had you done previously fitness-wise to be in shape?

DMAK - I was in the Army for 13 years and during that time was in the best shape of my life, there were a few special teams that I was on where the physical requirements were demanding so I had to be. We did lots of PT in the Army and I loved it. Once I didn’t have to do that anymore though I didn’t. I went to the gym tried to do what other guys were doing and continually became nagged by injuries.

FOX - What were your goals when you first started CrossFit, and how have they evolved?

DMAK - Pre-CrossFit the concept of training goals was a nebulous one for me, it didn’t enter my mind. When I first started CFing I wanted to be ‘that guy’. I wanted to be the baddest ass of them all, the upper echelon of the gym, and I ran at that goal for a while too. It was frustrating to not always be there, but I’ve changed my goals from heavier and faster to smarter and better. I was running into injuries again and didn’t want to go there. My focus now is on mobility, nutrition, and recovery. I still hit lifts and WODs hard but I am OK with scaling load and volume to what’s appropriate for me. I realize that my overall health over the long term is far more important than my Elizabeth time.

FOX - That’s a great transformation, and a big reason that we chose you for AOM. How have you attacked your mobility and nutrition goals?

DMAK - My man Kelly Starrett and the MobilityWOD have been great for me. The MWODs gave me focus, and Kelly is engaging so it made me keep tuning in. The CrossFit Mobility Cert last year was pretty great and it energized me to do even more. I spend 45 minutes a day on this stuff, so it hasn’t come easy but it’s a journey that’s worth it. My nutrition is an ongoing path as well. The Army wrecked my digestive system with all the antibiotics they pumped into me for 13 years so that’s an issue. Last year when we did the Paleo Challenge I discovered that I have a problem with a high animal protein diet. I have RH factor (an indicator of risk of rheumatoid arthriritis) and all the meat I was eating caused bad joint pain for about 6 months or so. I’m still working on finding what’s exactly right for me but I’ve discovered that plenty of veggies along with some rice, beans, and clean animal protein work well. I stay away from any gluten as that also seems to aggravate my symptoms. It takes planning, sacrifice, and work but it’s worth it.

FOX - 45 minutes a day, nice! I get kickback from folks when I tell them to spend 10 minutes a day...Tell me about some non-fitness stuff, what comes to mind?

DMAK - I grew up in Gowanda, NY. It’s a small farming community upstate, and I was the immigrant kid. I’m first generation Polish-American and was hazed a lot for it as a kid. My parents basically tried to turn our home into a 19th century Polish countryside farm-house. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I went to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) for a year and then decided to stop wasting my parents money. I joined the Army and was in for 13 years, and currently work for the Navy. The Army was good and bad. Good in that I got to travel, was physically fit, and I did work I was good at. The bad I won’t get into so much except to say that when Josh told me he joined the Marines I told him the only thing that would have upset me more was if he’d joined the Army. I do have a lot of pride in our soldiers, I just know what they do to you. I’ve got another son, Aiden, who is in high school and hopefully going to college.

FOX - Any hobbies outside the gym?

DMAK - Actually, Tracy (David’s wife) and I are into re-upholstering furniture and reclaiming old pieces. I’m taking an upholstery class, the guy who teaches it is a d*ck, but that’s been great. We go to auctions and hunt out good finds. The thrill of the hunt is where it’s at. Tracy and I also cook together at home a lot. We recently bought a place in Carroll Gardens and couldn't be happier there. I like TV, movies and reading. With Tracy I get my art-house and reality TV fix, and with Aiden I get my sci-fi fix. I’m a lover of all kinds of music except for new-age, I hate that stuff. I’m into 80s and 90s metal, industrial, Brazilian jazz, 70’s pop, and yes, some Polish rap.

FOX - The Polish rap I can kind of see, but the upholstery class blind sided me! Any thing else that would surprise us?

DMAK - Well, I strongly considered becoming a sex therapist. I’m fascinated by human sexuality!

FOX - HA! Alright David, last question. What should we look for in a future athlete of the month?

DMAK - I think I feel the same as everyone else who’s answered this question, and I don’t envy you guys who have to make this decision. Someone who’s dedicated and is part of the community. Someone who’s not selfish and supports fellow athletes, and who trains smart themselves.


       Thanks and congratulations again to David. He’s a real solid guy and someone who’d I’d take in my corner in any situation, and I have to admit I’d be a little afraid if he was in the opposite corner. We coaches look forward to being a part of your growth as an athlete and are thankful to have to as a part of the community.

The Case for the Short Metcon Robb Wolf
Bad CrossFit Gym Etiquette
CrossFit Oahu
Surfer Sets Record by Surfing 90ft Wave

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Crossfit South Brooklyn - Workout of the Day - Athlete of the Month: David Makowski

Reader Comments (33)

Excellent excellent choice for AOTM! Congrats Dave!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

Great choice. Congratulations David.

November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterMalcolm

Perfect choice. Congrats Dave!!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott J.

D-Mak!! Yes!!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

good AOTM i really like reading these..... Good job dmak

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarc "Goose" Mess

Congrats, David! I always love reading these.

In other news...
1) Signing up for the meat CSA!
2) I failed to post on October goals, so I'll say belatedly that it was a successful month. Not only did I hit PRs in 4/5 lifts after the strength cycle, but I've been learning to swim once a week. I've always HATED the water, and every time I'm at the pool the past couple weeks I've thought about how well Crossfit has trained me to keep trying at things that I feel like are unaccomplishable.
3) Cleans last night instead of snatches. Min 1-5 @ 123, 6-10 @ 133, 11-15 @ 143. Pleased how doable 143 felt and how high I could catch it each rep. Need to work on faster elbows and speed in general.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

Once again, kudos to our friend DMak.

We decided last night that the AOM should get a t-shirt that proclaims their elevated and exalted status. There could be a white rectangle where the month and year could be sharpied in. These shirts should be retroactively distributed to all the former AOMs. These athletes have made all of our lives better with their dedication and encouragement. The least they could get is a t-shirt. Please join me in nagging management to rectify this egregious omission.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

I agree with Peter. Can someone call Pauley T-Shirts and get him on the job?

D-Mak - you are one of the greats and a good friend. Thanks for the constant encouragement. "It is a lot easier to sit at home and be lazy" the easy road is for pussies.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternywineguy

DMak brother, this is awesome. Many, many congratulations. I've done many WODs with you and always, always enjoyed having you as partner, one that makes sure I keep going and feel good about what I'm doing. Thanks for all the help. You kick ass.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Gratulacje i wszystkiego najlepszego, DMak!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichele

nice one d-mak! excellent choice.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMcGrath

Hey DMak well deserved, I'll have to show you "THE" AOTM secret handshake.. ha good job

To all the Veterans.. Thank you

Also those two links on the blog today are awesome..
The Case for the Short Metcon
Bad CrossFit Gym Etiquette

November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoshua Martinez

DMAK...I was just talking to him the other night after my 1st day back!


November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershawn$

I agree with the tshirt idea.

Though I think it could just be our regular logo shirt in a special "colorway".

It'd actually be cool to have different tshirts for different cfsbk achievements

The pink shirt for being on the leaderboard more than 5 times.

The green shirt for a 1000 lb total.

The yellow shirt for the sub 2 fran time.

stuff like that.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershawn$

Congratulations DMak. Great ATOM choice and well deserved. Wish you were there for this morning's workout. At least I would have had someone to share the misery with.

Runs were with body armor
Time - 44:07

Thanks to Mcdowell for the heads up on the 5 push up, 5 pull up, 5 push up strategy.

"The Army wrecked my digestive system"...it sure is notorious for that.

November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterEarl

Congrats DMak

Belated happy birthday DO

November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoe

Big Congrats to my man D-Mak. The Veterans Day/International Heavy Metal Day timing couldn't be more fitting. Eleven!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris A.

congrats Dmak, great choice!! I had the privilege of being on his FGB team and I can say without hyperbole that he is, in fact, the shizzle.

also, special shout out to Jfox. she has been kicking all kinds of 6am ass, and it is much appreciated.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteryosh


November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa B.

Damn Chris A beat me to the Veterans day synergy. Heavy metal day, i wasnt so sure about.

Congrats DMAK!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdh3

Very, very, very worthy AOTM. Congrats Dave, a cup at Maybelle's on me.

Thanks to all our CFSBK vets for their service. Honored and humbled to get to sweat with you guys and gals.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

DMak- The prototypical AOM (That's a compliment)

I remember teaching your Foundations cycle (there were only 3 of you and we often had to share space with the batting cage) and thinking "this dude is Really nice!"

We also have DMak to thank for that big comfy couch in the community area, the fridge that we all use, the little white boards everyone writes down their rounds on and the now extinct Versa climber. Thank you for being a pillar of this community!

Also- Great links today, good metcon article, funny video and a gigantic wave. BTW that wave video led me down a slippery slope of watching "related videos" of tsunamis, weird fish, proof of mythical monsters and a bunch of other rando videos for like 20 minutes.

November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Wandered in @ 10 this morning and Jess hooked me up with tomorrow's WoD

Front squats 3x3 @ 95 seemed light after last night's cleans.

10 minute AMRAP
9 deadlifts
6 mid-hang power cleans
3 push presses

9 rounds + 9 deadlifts Thanks Jess!

Oh, and I must say I found the whining about the AOTM t-shirts to be wholly inadequate and suffering from a dearth of hyperbole. These people only understand turn-it-up-to-ELEVEN tantrums, so get to it.

Happy Veterans' Day!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

7am class today-did yesterday's WOD: snatch WU @ 37#. My form was a bit wobbly; the last time I did snatches was in August. Partner WOD of 100 wall balls+100 ring rows looked scarier on the board than it really was. Wall balls aren't as intimidating to me now. Have almost knocked myself out before catching them with my face so now I need to work on catching them closer to me...correctly.

Good job today, Coach Jess (who was basically teaching like four classes at once)! Oh and Happy Veterans Day and congrats to the new AOTM and Happy Belated Birthday David!!!!!!!!!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTraci T.

Okay, I want to run a test. I'd like to play a lil Notorious B.I.G. on hard WODs like "Fran" and see if that suck factor drops down

It seems to make her life a lil better, why not mine

baby is "hypnotized"

November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoshua Martinez

this is the link

November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoshua Martinez

Superb AOM choice. It's always a pleasure to have Dmak in class and on those rare occasions when I am in class, his presence is especially encouraging.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMargie

So happy to see this going to my FGB teammate DMak.

You're an awesome individual! I'm just bummed I haven't seen you in forever!!

November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterSarah la Rosa

I am humbled, thank you for all the love. I will use it wisely.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDmak

Congratulations Dmak!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Bailey

D-Mak was and has been a pillar of our community for some time now. I have always been impressed with his athleticism (as one of us, non-young bucks) and his humble approach to CrossFitm and life in general. Couldn't have been a better athlete for today. Thanks, brother.


Happy Veteran's Day, thanks to all of our service men and women.





All felt pretty good. The Deadlift is so mental for me, I'm gonna take a grip and rip approach at the meet. The happenstance of the order of my lifts-to-plates ratio does not escape me.

375/250/475, God willing...

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Huge congrats DMak! Very well deserved, especially on Veteran's Day.

An off day from the "real job" but was up and at 'em at 6, 7am group classes and a private at 8am. Got to work out at 9am...

Front Squat:
(45x5, 75x5, 95x3)
work: 125x3x3 (a little less than 70% of what I did for LBBSQ on Wed)
-felt a little challenging but my goal is to increase by 10# for each exposure.

(45x5, 65x5, 75x5, 85x3, 98x1)
work: 108x5x3
-felt good, straight bar path, no real need for a spot...although Petey H. was there for the last set.

WOD: 10 min amrap of:
-9 deadlifts, 6 hang power cleans, 3 push press
= 7 rounds plus 9 deads at 83#
thought I'd be able to go heavier but my grip/hands were shot and it just hurt to hold a barbell. probably could have pushed a little more though. I had to organize each clean and push press. Nice work Peter! I'm glad you tackled this with me or my numbers might have been lower.

Cool down:
-the Farmer's platter at Prime Meats. YUM!
-finally getting color on my tattoo...yes!
-good chats with some open gym-ers!
-tacos for dinner at Tacos Matamoras!

Good day all around. Thank you to all of our Veteran's!!!!!!!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

Also - I agreen that the links are extra-good today. Great article by Robb.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFox

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>