What CrossFit and Sobriety Have In Common- Tim Mustion

     Hey everyone, Coach Musti here. I wanted to take the time and let you guys get to know me a little bit better and talk about what I believe CrossFit and sobriety have in common. 

     As some of you, if not most of you guys know by now, I am a person in long term recovery. That means that I am clean and sober, no drugs or alcohol anymore, and I have been for just a little under two years. Since September 14th, 2015 to be exact. Those of you who know me know that I am very open about my situation and that I am proud of who I am and what I am doing today. I wear my sobriety proudly, like a badge of honor, it is not something I am ashamed of. Yes, I have made some very poor choices in my life and put myself, my family and friends in some sticky situations, but I do not let my past represent who I am as a person today. I chose not to dwell on the past but instead do everything in my power to ensure a long, happy, and healthy future.

     Some of you guys might be thinking, how can CrossFit and sobriety be similar? One has to do with drugs and alcohol and the other with fitness and making healthy choices. Well, I will let you decide when you are finished reading this. 

     There is no doubt that drugs and alcohol and CrossFit do not mix well. CrossFit takes true dedication, eating healthy and often, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep. Somebody addicted to drugs and alcohol could not possibly keep up with the type of maintenance your body needs in order to do CrossFit. Now take someone like me who was addicted to drugs and alcohol and tell them they can no longer use drugs or drink alcohol. Keep in mind that was my whole life, my life revolved around the next drug or next high, I was not thinking about what Fran time I wanted to get, or how big of a backsquat I was going to hit that day. In order to maintain sobriety that person will have to go through an entire lifestyle change, an entire new way of thinking.  He or she needs to work a program of recovery like the 12-Steps, meet new people and make new friends who share the same interests such as staying sober and getting healthier, be a part of a community, help others, and be held accountable for their actions. 

     Are you starting to see what CrossFit and sobriety could have in common?

     Community, helping others, and accountability are all major parts of maintaining sobriety and damn, you might as well add those characteristics to the definition of CrossFit!

     When I walk into the gym I am surrounded by my friends and members who share the same passion that I do. Other members at the gym experience the same thing when they walk through the door. We come together under one roof for many reasons, primarily being that we all want to better our lives and become stronger, happier, and healthier. There is no doubt that when a group of individuals who share the same passion and love for something like CrossFit work together, they will succeed and be better than they were yesterday. This is the beauty of the CrossFit community.

     So, how can the CrossFit community relate to the sober community?

     Easy. It is the strength in numbers concept that was mentioned above. That is, when a group of individuals who share the same passion and drive to accomplish a certain goal come together, there is no limit to what they can achieve. In sobriety, when you walk into a meeting, just like you would the gym, you are surrounded by individuals who want to achieve the same goal. You are surrounded by people that are there for each other and who can come together as something greater than themselves to provide a community that could ensure sobriety if you chose to do the next right thing and work as hard as you can. You see how the community aspect works in both areas? It is nearly identical. So lets now move on to helping others and how they have things in common.  

     Helping other is one of the most selfless acts that benefits you entirely. When you learn something new that benefits you as a person, teaching somebody, or giving that advice to others is how you start to actually learn more yourself or practice what you preach. An easy example of how we help others inside the gym is our coaches and how we get the message across or how we teach a movement. When we see people struggling to put the pieces together on certain movements and take the extra time to ensure that we make the movement click in ones body and brain is when we as coaches help others and actually learn more ourselves and add tools to our coaching bag. And my favorite example of how we help others is the most beautiful part of CrossFit. That is when there are still one or two people finishing up a WOD and then you see the people who have completed it going over to those people or that person and cheer them on, encouraging them to push themselves and get the work done. It is truly amazing when this happens.

     So what does this mean for sobriety?

     I am constantly looking to lend out a helping hand wherever I can, with whoever needs it. I choose to help others who are in sobriety by teaching them tools that I have learned from somebody else that have helped me maintain my sobriety. It is when somebody you know is struggling and your initial response is to immediately drop what you are doing and help them with whatever they need that helping others benefits you the most. There is no better feeling than seeing somebody struggle and by helping them out, you see their eyes light up like they have found the answer that they need, or the steps to overcome the adversity they are facing. By doing this I and many others among me in sobriety begin to practice what we preach and become better individuals. I think that helping others is so important, if not the most important part of it all. A group of people that are constantly helping out one another to blast through goals and become better people is what you see in the CrossFit gym and inside the sober community. And by having people like this alongside you is where accountability comes into play in the relationship of CrossFit and sobriety. 

     We all need to be held accountable for various reasons. I think that without accountability there would be no sense of direction, what to do and when to do it. We are all held accountable in the gym believe it or not. The coaches are held accountable to teach classes and maintain day to day operations inside the gym. And members of the gym are held accountable during every single class, to pay attention, work together, encourage others, complete the WOD in its entirety, and to respect the equipment by cleaning up after themselves or put the Concept 2 Rower or Assault Bike away. Everybody plays a role in how the gym operates whether you have thought about that or not and without any accountability, it would be chaos. 

     You see how we need accountability to run classes and teach CrossFit, lets now look at how accountability plays a role in sobriety. 

     In sobriety you must get yourself a sponsor that can hold you accountable. They might ask you to call them once a day before a certain time, meet once a week in person and do step work, or reach out to other people that you can help. Being held accountable in early sobriety and throughout the journey will teach you to be trustworthy and reliable. I can only speak from my experience, but being held accountable to do these things are crucial parts of my sobriety that help me out on a daily basis. It forces me to be responsible and take action to achieve certain things. When I say that I am going to be somewhere every week at a certain time to meet with others, whether it is a sponsee or a group of people, they hold me accountable for being there and doing what I said I was going to do. These are all things you can achieve with some accountability and people by your side.

     It is so cool for me to be able to relate two things that are so important in my life today and be able to let others see how similar they are, even if they appear completely different. I share this information with you all so that you can get to know me a little better and start to look at things with a different view. I hope by reading this that you learned how somebody in sobriety works just as hard to maintain their sobriety as the daily CrossFitter does when they go to the gym to workout. Also, with a little open mindedness and hard work, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. 

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this,

Coach Musti

Eating Plant Based For a Performance Athlete, The Beginning. - Rob Thomas

The journey has begun and the learning has only just started. 

Rob Thomas CrossFit Games atlantic regionals coach CrossFit hype boca raton fitness olympic weightlifting vegan athlete

"the more you know, you realize, the less you actually know"

still continuing my search for what's best in nutrition for health, performance, and the environment, and every day I feel I get closer. It's said that the smarter you get, you start to realize how much more is out there and that you haven't yet even begun to understand what you're looking for. Most don't question the process or whats going on around them. I choose to so I can try and live more fruitfully.

"feeling good is the new looking good", "Strong is the new skinny", "cupcakes don't taste as good as fit feels"...

These catch phrases resonate with me in my search of health and fitness, but I'm not one yet to tell you there is ONE definitive right way... I want to enable you to find your own path to success, whatever that may mean to you. 


I want to share my passion in hopes that it inspires you to share my passion with me.

 Your passions are your own, and not for me to decide, but HAVE THEM. I don't enforce anything other than integrity, consistency, and work ethic. If those components are missing, nothing will happen... in any portion of your life..


Is it possible to eat like a shit bag (pop tarts, brownies, cakes and pies, fast food triple bacon cheeseburgers) and get a six pack?


But looking good and performing well are two separate things. But not to worry, they can be found together, which is ultimately what we are in search of. Poor quality foods will be guaranteed to slow your system down, as they are relatively hard to fit into a performance diet parameter for timing your nutrition around your workouts.

More importantly, are we really here in the professional health and wellness community to prove somebody wrong by eating like an asshole? This isn't health promotion by eating in this manner. There is some level of empowerment in knowing that these foods won't crush your physique and fitness level if eaten, but it should be our priority to eat REAL food. If you can make it yourself, from scratch, pretty good chance it's real and going to fuel you properly. We are the ones to guide those that don't know through their unknowns.

This endeavor gets more eye opening at every turn. More watching, more reading, more learning, more experiencing, more progress.  My fitness is slowly climbing in the areas I have lacked over the years and I don't believe my strengths have gone anywhere.

You must focus on your weaknesses ONLY as much as it allows your strengths to still stay current. You cannot forget about them. You must stay unique. Be good at being you while also trying to embody what you are in search of. 

(Not to tangent, but here is the film that has really opened peoples eyes as to federal food culture.)

(Also available on NetFlix). An intrepid filmmaker on a journey of discovery as he uncovers possibly the largest health secret of our time and the collusion between industry, government, pharmaceutical and health organizations keeping this information from us.

My calories and protein must stay high to ensure my strength stays at a minimum of previous levels achieved, with also room to grow.  I can already say that by eliminating dairy and increasing quality of nutrition my body has made a transformation both aesthetically and athletically. I am leaner and lighter than I have ever been in my fitness journey (<194lbs).

This scares me a bit to an extent, but we are yet to be tested for our max strength in competition as there has been a bit of a shift lately in competitive CrossFit, more towards being well rounded and preparing for the unknown. With lighter body weight my cardio and gymnastics have largely increased. I'm not holding on to unneeded weight that I have always thought gave me added strength, so my rest is decreasing between manageable sets and my max efforts have become larger. I associate strength with added body weight, but to be the best you cannot be held back anywhere, so this is a true dedication to my gymnastics and conditioning. I am transforming who I am as an athlete to be ready for the upcoming season.

my calorie intake has been between 3,400-3,700 calories, and I have fallen to roughly 191-192lbs of bodyweight at times. I normally stand at 6'0" 202lbs, strongest I've tested myself at was 207lbs, fastest at 197lbs. So with this fluctuation, I'm not sure how I stack up just yet as a more complete athlete.

With my numbers at roughly 3,500 calories a day (will increase if weight continues to drop) I maintain a macro nutrient split of 50% calories from carbs, 25% from protein, 25% from fat. 

Macro nutrient split corssfit hype boca raton vegan plant based performance diet

Early in tracking my plant based food daily, I found myself eating over my % on fat, over on protein, and under on carbs. Still hitting my calorie goal, which may need to be brought up due to consistent weight loss, but needed to make adjustments to my current meals to hit my numbers a little more in line with my macro approach.  

Here is what a normal day of training, coaching, working, and eating looks like currently : 

Protein is a priority in every meal to ensure I get my minimum of 225g per day. That amount may scientifically be disputed to whether I need that much or not, but I'm yet to see anyone get stronger and build lean mass off of eating less protein per day... So I'll roll the dice in the mean time and take my chances.

I eat simple, less complex, carbs around my training so they digest quickly and my glycogen (muscle tissues carbohydrate fuel) is full and my body is ready to workout hard on an emptier stomach.

10am : Wake up

10:15am : pre training breakfast

  • 2 cups organic original almond milk + 10g protein via organic pea protein isolate + 4g protein via organic hemp protein
  • 2 slices Organic Sprouted Ezekiel Bread
  • 2.5 tablespoons of organic chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 Clif Builder bar

10:30am : 1.75 hours of training 

  • 3/4 serving pre workout + creatine + 1/2 serving BCAA + 14g carbs via maltodextrin

12:15pm : Private Client Coaching

  • 20g of protein via organic Pea + Rice protein
  • Large Banana

1:30pm : Post training breakfast

  • 3 large cage free organic eggs or vegan sausage (Chorizo or Chipotle)
  • 6 grape tomatoes 
  • 3 oz of green peppers, yellow onions, mushrooms and alfalfa sprouts
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1.5 oz organic firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup spiced potatoes
  • 1/4 cup hot salsa
  • 2 cups of oat bran and almond cereal
  • 1 cup almond milk

2:00pm : Work ( maintenance, computer, website, billing, back-end, new venture) + research

4:30pm : Lunch

  • 2/3 cup of quinoa 
  • 1/2 cup black beans or lentils
  • 1/4 chick peas
  • Spinach + watermelon/berries salad


  • (PBnJ) 2 slices organic sprouted ezekiel bread + 1.5 tbsp organic chunky peanut butter + 1.5 tbsp jelly
  • 1 cup organic unsweetened soy milk

5:00pm : Coach

6:00pm : 2 hours of Training

  • 1/2 serving pre workout + creatine + 1 serving Aminos 
  • Large california naval orange

8:00pm : Private client coaching

  • 20g of protein via Pea Protein Isolate and Rice Protein

9:15pm : clean and organize gym

10:15pm : Dinner

  • Spring mix lettuce
  • 1/2 cup quinoa or 1/2 cup of rice or potatos
  • 4oz fish/meat or 2 bean burgers
  • Sliced tomato
  • portobella mushrooms
  • 1oz tofu or 1/2 cup black beans

11:00pm : Computer work / programming post

11:30pm : Dessert

  • Lenny and Larrys cookie or 4 to 5 Back To Nature Peanut butter creams
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk

12:15 : get ready for bed

1:00am : Read everything on the internet.

  • Think about how much I want to do the next day / How I should go to bed. I find this time is when my brain works best and is most innovative. It is currently 1:51am on a Wednesday night/ Tuesday morning while I am writing this... Good things happen to those who go out and get it! So I plan my day while also finishing my current day strong.

Seeing media put out some content on other athletes that have made a plant based switch is encouraging. I have been looking for more and more sources on other athletes from other sports that are making the switch, and how they have been feeling while in the process. Here are a few quick watches just to see who is out there being progressive in their own life.


In my next post I'll be looking to document my meals and options of meals throughout the day. I'll talk about my "go-to's", how to read labels for quick healthier vegan options, best bang for buck, and macro nutrients of each meal that I consume. I want you to start to establish a healthier method of eating on your own to tackle this thing called fitness, so I'm going to show you how I navigate through all the options that exist to ensure we're fueled to perform daily.

Rob Thomas - Make A Change : Make An Impact : Make A difference : Ask Questions

It starts small, It starts with a choice, and It can start today.

It can be eliminating something you know isn't helping you progress, it can be adding something you know that would help you progress even more, but there is always somewhere you can grow. Don't get complacent. We all have improvements to make.

Nutrition, fitness, work, goal setting, family, etc. Isolate something, start small, and attack it. be relentless in pursuit knowing that you can always do more. Small goals accomplished, one after another, leads to big progress month after month, and year after year.

Some may need a bit more aggressive approach. I tend to find myself aggressively attacking and looking for something to make a stand for. This being due to my past and where I grew up, for the most part. I don't want to get caught in nothingness. There's too much nothingness, too many people who don't give a shit, who aren't doing shit. I'm here to be a difference maker, so how can I make a difference? It starts with me. What are you doing, and WHY? Define it. Approach your life with purpose. fitness, why are you working out? Why are you working where you work? Why do you eat the way you eat? Some of the questions I can define easily now from taking the time that is due to personal growth.

Coach Rob Thomas Elite CrossFit HYPE powerlifting power lifting olympic weightlifting boca raton

In this post I'll give just ONE example of the changes I am making to make an impact. There are many areas I am working on simultaneously, but today I'm going to discuss my current eating trend. It wasn't some drastic quick thinking transition, it started with a choice I made two years ago for a new years resolution.

The change started with the elimination of artificial colors from my diet. Small and direct, but very accomplishable. Educating myself on why they exist and the potential harm they include... There's just simply no reason for them, other than marketing your product to look more appetizing. The downside is much higher...

Do a google search on how many other countries ban them entirely.

Every item I selected something to eat I inspected my choice to ensure there were no colors. Cereals, drinks, supplements, certain packaged items, some considered to be "healthy" but I can attest the data proves otherwise with artificer additives into food. look closer on foods you think are "healthy" i.e "Honey bunches of oats." A frequented healthy cereal choice but is loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives for freshness... Do your research, look into labels deeper, and make a better choice.

My small research led to furthering my education into all of my food choices... A question I ask daily to myself, "Am I performing at my absolute best, and is my food helping me get there?" But as I research and educate myself more, I believe there is more to my nutrition now than just how am I performing..

The more I look, the more I realize how much all of our choices affect the environment around us. 

Fast forward another year to this past new years resolution, my dedication consisted of eating vegetables with 1 or more meals a day. 

I've never hidden my eating profile, I have never put the time into eating vegetables that they deserved. I never had a problem with just taking a multivitamin to get my daily micro nutrients in, because after all, it doesn't matter where you get your macro/micros from, as long as the numbers are right, you will perform to your best (current fitness trends will tell you)...

I've always been a believer in the "if it fits your macros / IIFYM / flexible dieting" movement and one of the early movers in eating WHATEVER you want within your macro nutrient guidelines to see performance results... But now after I've actually opened my eyes to how we may be intended to eat, that form of eating now represents a lazy approach to performance. There is much left to be desired and I can now attest to there is more room to grow in how you perform with eating as we are intended to. 

Natural, real, whole, food sources... But beyond that, what are these real foods we are intended to eat?

It is easy to get caught in the moment, just as I may be right now, but I feel I am on a path to success. Anything we can change that may yield big results, the natural way, is worth doing. Us as fitness professionals have a duty to try and etch out the best way to fitness. This is just the next path for me so I can hope to hand something back to you all on my journey.

1 meal a day consisting of a portion of vegetables, turned to 2 meals a day, turned to every meal having a portion of vegetables. The better I felt, the more I ate. The more I read, the more benefits I understood.

Rob Thomas nutrition journey

Now I am working on eating 1 meal, or more, a day that is ALL plant based, and turning almost 80% of my intake into plant based nutrition.

60% of my daily protein intake used to come from dairy (milk, cheese, whey). Over 2 gallons of milk a week for 20 years of my life (I'm only 27)... I have been conditioned to drinking it, so am I really in control of my diet? I was a bit reliant on that source and where that source comes from is a bit undesirable (Mistreated cows and over-processed product), so I'm working to make changes to vegetable/nut choices of "milk". Still having a high value of protein that digests more comfortably, is hypoallergenic, and the proteins assimilate just as high as whey with complete amino acid profiles.

1 month on my 80% plant based diet, I am still easily able to reach my daily protein goal of 240grams. 

The sources I now find 75% of my protein from are from vegetables, grains, beans & legumes, nuts & seeds.

vegetable plant based protein choices crossfit hype Rob thomas weightlifting lifting power olympic boca raton

Don't let conventional media fool your impression, read more, keep asking questions. The FDA is questionable on all accounts with Americanized medicine culture as well as how it governs food and drug distribution.

Normal conceptions of SOY protein is that it has high estrogen levels, and certain amounts are bad for your health... In other terms, if you're a guy you're going to turn into a chick if you drink ANY soy protein... so every article in mens health and bodybuilding.com will want you to think.. seems a little broscience if you ask me, because the more I searched for any REAL evidence or human trials on people having adverse reactions to soy intake, the more BENFITS I found without any REAL research or personal trials. People groomed into thinking certain ways because of American conventionalism, while never trying something different to potentially make a positive impact.

Question shit, don't be part of the herd. Start thinking for yourself and have self conversation to answer some of the defining questions of WHY?


(eye opener on the FDA on the perscription drug side of america, but an eye opener to the function) 

 The conclusions I'm having is that through eating healthier, with more conscious and educated choices, not only am I objectively performing better, lifting more weight, running faster, recovering better mentally and physically, I can also have a impact on the world. All can be done at once, it doesn't have to be choosing between performance, or health, or the environment. It may be small, but it starts with me.

Tara and I have watched days worth of films ( Netflix / Youtube / Vimeo / Apple TV ), read research / blogs /websites for info and data, followed certain accounts to stay current, spoken with those around us that eat plant based, all to see what is going on around the world in nutrition. Is it possible to eliminate the need to confine animals in horrible conditions? Eliminate the need to decimate natural resources and ruin the ozone to feed animals for our consumption? Eat non processed foods? Read past the lines of what the FDA produces? all while also eating what it takes to perform at an elite level? I think so...

 Understanding how our bodies are affected by our food choices as well as how our environment is impacted by what we eat has opened our eyes in a way we cannot turn our backs to.

Tara and I have transformed our diets in an effort to eat 1 or more full meals a day that are plant based only. Also switching some of our supplements to plant based forms, reducing almost 100% of dairy, outside of occasional post workout whey protein shakes. It is a challenge I'm willing to accept from myself knowing I can make anything work. My first thoughts on eating plant based was am I going to be able to perform and can I get enough protein and total calories.

Total calories and protein are easier to consume than imagined ( Maintenance calories is around 3750cals ), and I have felt lighter and just as strong in all of my workouts. My meals aren't weighing me down and I have the clarity to really focus on whats important to me progressing this next year. 

I challenge you to dedicate this next month to making a change. I feel my changes will affect my performance and the environment in the same manner, positively. I will continue to educate myself on the matter and hope to make small differences by making people more conscious of their choices. You vote with every dollar you spend... so choose wisely!

Start this weekend with watching "Before the flood"

I guaruntee it will be the objective eye opening you may need!


Talk soon, and on my next post I will outline exactly what I was eating day in, and day out, to what it has transformed to now. Give you an idea of what the reality of eating plant based looks like for a performance athlete.