May Athlete Spotlight: Howard Gluss


Name: Howard gluss

Height 5 “8

Weight: 186

Age: 56

Profession: Clinical Psychologist

How long have you been a member of Cave CrossFit?

I’ve been a member about 2 1/2 years.

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?

It’s been an amazing journey! I I find the challenges of CrossFit to be as much a fitness as it is psychological journey. CrossFit has pushed me beyond my perceived limitations. I feel as though I am able to do more now physically in my 50s then what I was able to do in my 30s. CrossFit has also given me the confidence to take more risks professionally and expand my comfort zone. Maybe it’s just who I am, but I don’t see how the psychological and physical journey are separate.

I have also been pleasantly surprised at the number of amazing people I have met at the Cave. I didn’t realize when I started that community was such a big part of the journey. I love that aspect. As most people know, I’m probably more interested in meeting for brunch than perfecting my double unders!

What is your athletic background?

Well given that I’ve lived as long as I have, it seems to have changed over the years.

Growing up in the 70s, nobody went to a gym. We were all still sort of hippies. Our role models were David Bowie and Mick Jagger who probably weighed 150 pounds between them. Well let’s just say you would’ve had to have been sober to go to a gym in the 70s. It was Jane Fonda who changed all that in the early 80s, and I spent a lot of time at her studio on Robertson Boulevard doing aerobics. We didn’t really do weights back then because in the 80s we had shoulder pads so who needed to do weights! Then, finally, Arnold came along and everything changed. That’s when we all got serious at the gym. I spent most of the 90s and early 2000s going to the gym but like most students who were working, I would go through long periods of time where I would just be too busy getting my PhD and trying to support myself. As a result my weight would go up-and-down.

With time as I got older certain workouts became more and more difficult so I got into hiking, bike riding and yoga. It was great but I wasn’t getting the conditioning I really wanted.

I believe CrossFit pulls it altogether. It’s giving me the discipline, the focus and the ability to adjust my workouts to a point where I feel as though I can say that I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in! I would be even in better shape if I could just wrap my head around the Paleo diet. There’s just something about cheese!!

My favorite WOD:

I would say doing the WODS for the scaled masters 55+ in the Open were all my favorite. I love the fact that after you reach 55 they make these crazy adjustments that would crack everybody up in class. I’m surprised they didn’t change our wall balls to tennis balls!

My least favorite WOD:

Probably Fran. She exhausts me!

My least favorite lift or movement:

Well I don’t know if inchworms are considered a movement, but there’s something about them that drives me crazy. Seriously, I would probably have to say double unders or muscle-ups! Oh and any gymnastic movements that require me to point my toes.

What are your proudest achievements?

Seriously, getting up at 6:15AM to make a 7 AM class on a regular basis. I was always a night person so this comes to a shock to me and everyone else.

I’m also very proud of the competitions I’ve been able to do. I never thought that in my 50s, I would be competing more than I ever had.

But my proudest moment has to be coming in first place in the men’s Open 55 and above scaled-divisin in Southern California and coming in 18th or last at the Redlands Rumble. They both made me feel very proud of myself.

Name one goal and or personal record you would like to accomplish through CrossFit?

I’m 3 1/2 years away from being in the 60+ division. In the strangest way, it’s making me look forward to my 60s .I’d like to go into the RX division in my 60s and try to qualify.

Any advice for someone thinking about trying CrossFit or someone who is just start it?

Make it fun, challenging and personal. I believe if we make it real for ourselves and come up with personal reasons why we are training, we can increase our longevity. I spend a lot of my day around people who are suffering a great deal so coming to CrossFit has been a great joy. I see people trying to be the best that they can possibly be, and I find that very exciting!