Success Story – Steve Martinez

By shannon
In December 28, 2018

Steve Martinez

Before CrossFit my only exercise was running, whether it was a half marathon or up and down the soccer and lacrosse fields as a referee.

While working in Aliso Viejo a few years back, I found out that there was a CrossFit gym next door to my office. A friend who had done CrossFit in the past convinced me to give it a shot. Of course 2 weeks later, Ruination relocated to Laguna Hills, but by then I was already hooked.

When I first walked in, I saw guys who were much fitter than me lifting weights heavier than I’d ever lifted at a pace that I never imagined. I thought this was for more advanced athletes only, not regular Joe’s like me just trying to get in shape. But I stuck with it, checked my ego at the door, scaled my workouts, and have made a world of progress.  Just ask my wife 😉


At first I went when I could – once to about three times per week, sometimes not at all. But after seeing results and resolving to dedicate more time to it, I now regularly go 5 times per week. After about 2.5 yrs I’ve made major improvements in every movement, every workout – most notably toes-to-bar (T2B). My core has become so much stronger than ever before, and with some coaching I was able to find the rhythm and technique to string together lots of T2B’s very quickly during workouts. I’ve improved my 1-rep max lifts on all movements, some by quite a bit (deadlift and clean). There are many options for getting and staying fit – finally I found one that has really worked for me!

I’ve always been in decent shape, but at 46 years of age my physique today looks better than it ever has because I’m in the best shape of my life! Coach Gore and Shannon have inspired me to learn much more about nutrition, clean eating and macro dieting to fuel my body in a very healthy and efficient way.

The coaching at Ruination is second-to-none. I still learn something new from every coach, and Paul and Rich have really taken the time and given me some individual attention when they saw opportunities, and I regularly see them doing this for many other athletes including CrossFit veterans when they see the opportunity to help. I’ll always remember working muscle-ups and double-unders with Paul and improving in these movements by leaps and bounds, or working bar muscle-ups and handstand push-ups with Rich to drastically improve my form and technique. And nobody demos the movements – the correct form and the “what not to do”s – better than Mitchell.


  • Favorite workout:  Hero workouts. Although I struggle through pretty much all of them, even with scaling, it always feels good to honor our CrossFit heroes.
  • Favorite movements:  Deadlift, toes-to-bar and box jump-overs.
  • Favorite activity outside of the gym:  Nothing beats a getaway with my wife – doesn’t matter where we go, it’s always a great time! Especially if it involves an ocean and a cocktail. 😉 And I love refereeing lacrosse and soccer.
  • Favorite song to workout to:  Wow, so many! Today I’ll say Limp Bizkit – Break Stuff! Tomorrow it may be something completely different.


My sole red arrow on an all-running WOD! Oh, and winning that last poker tournament! Even my poker game has improved at the Nation!

Since I started writing this, I have achieved my first bar muscle-up. Woot!! Always improving…


My most notable improved PR has been my deadlift. When I started I was lifting 245 with questionable form. My last 3-rep max was 315 with much improved form.


Every coach at Ruination makes a difference. I wish I had time to say something wonderful about each and every one of them here. Instead I will just list them — Paul, Rich, Mitchell, Sarah, Ashley, Laura (miss you girl!), Jonathan, Gore, Liz, Albert (miss you bro!) – and say a huge THANK YOU to you all! The CrossFit community is strong, and the coaches and members at Ruination seem to build a camaraderie that feels like home after awhile.

One member who made a big difference on the day of my first workout following my on-ramp was a guy named Patrick. I partnered with Patrick that day and watched him as he completed his sets of overhead squats. When I saw this, I knew in that first workout that there would never be any acceptable excuse to quit. You see, Patrick is missing a leg — imagine doing overhead squats with one leg. Absolutely incredible and inspiring!

Equally as inspiring was seeing Allyson powering through workouts during her bout with cancer and the toll that it had taken on her body, and reading her words of encouragement. I never actually met her, but it was very powerful to see her show up and work through her struggle.

GOALS FOR 2019: 

Improve shoulder/t-spine mobility, nail a few movements that I am so close to getting (muscle-ups and pistols)

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