In Athletes, CrossFit, Videos

July 09, 2011

Video Article

In this ongoing series, HQ trainer Pat Sherwood is searching the CrossFit community for real people with real stories to share. In this segment, Sherwood is in London, England, for a Level 1 Seminar, where he introduces us to Iftach Shua and Orli Elhanaty, who traveled to the seminar from Israel.

Both have been CrossFitting for less than six months, but CrossFit has definitely made an impact on them. According to Shua, CrossFit “changed my whole attitude.” He says: “This is my vision: to bring this attitude and open my own place.”

Shua says everything he did before CrossFit was “ridiculous.” According to him, “When I was in the army, we didn’t squat even once.”

Elhanaty says her experiences were similar. Although she went to a regular gym, “I didn’t see any results coming in,” she says. “I found it boring.”

Her interests in technique brought her to weightlifting, but she says “weightlifting is very specialized,” and she felt like she couldn’t run as fast as she had before.

“I just wanted to add everything together,” Elhanaty says.

She found what she was looking for in CrossFit.

7min 9sec

Additional reading: The Panther Recon Downrange Gym by First Lieutenant Matthew Hoff, U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division, published Sept. 20, 2009.

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15 Comments on “Sherwood Chronicles: Community—Iftach Shua and Orli Elhanaty ”


wrote …

Iftach and Orli-Best of luck on your CF journey in Israel! Sounds like you will have a good market to work with!
I, too am a PE teacher and I'm looking to open my own box soon!
All my best,


wrote …

great job spreading the word guys!

here is a litel bit more info' about CF in israel:
at the moment (hopfully it will change soon...) there's only one official box in israel - "CrossFit-Herzliya", opend its gates on jan 2010,now have 100 members.

special workshops are beeing held for militery officers to encourage the army to use CF as or in its fitness program.

CF herzliya have sent an athlete to this year's regionals in Asia (Israel shamli)

a group of 10 guys is heading to hybrid athletics in the end of october for a strongman seminar.

this upcomeing jan' we are having the 2nd Israeli games.

with people like iftach and orly, our community will only get stronger towords changing the face of fitness in Israel!

omry peled
CF-Herzliya, Israel


wrote …

This is Josh. Congratulations on the muscle up!
I have tried calling you on the number Kobe Pour gave but it seems to be the wrong number. Please call me 054-5250576.


replied to comment from omry peled

I also want to congratulate you guys for going for the cert1 .

As Omry mentioned a group of about ten of us is going to spend a week with Rob Orlando to get certified strongman Crossfit as well as going for a cert1.

There are a whole bunch of military guys and cops training with us . sorry we have not had the chance to see you guys training with us we are about 20 minutes away, as Iftach said it is a small country.

Come by the box Omry is great and we have a lot of people from all over training Crossfit we have drunk the Koolaid and we like it .


wrote …

Hey Pat. How do you feel about Jeter getting his 3000th hit?? Go Yanks!!!!


wrote …

Things may be heating up on the coast, but don't forget that there are CrossFitters in Jerusalem, too! You can find a small but dedicated bunch of people doing things like Helen in Sacher Park or doing strength work and metcons with me at Personal Best -- not only visitors from abroad but local residents alike!

I would just point out that converting the IDF is not likely to be an easy task -- at least not from the top down. Although the burpee is pretty well entrenched in the IDF, there is still an overwhelming preference for running, long ruck marches and calisthenics, and a terrible dearth of strength training. Sure, the IDF is *sometimes* great at improvising and adapting whatever works, but it is also sometimes unduly committed to "the way it's always been done".

If there is to be a change, my bet is that it will come from new recruits who come into basic training with more strength and "sprint stamina" than their instructors -- and who don't wash out of expensive and time-consuming specialists' courses due to injury -- thanks to a different preparatory program than the same old same old that thousands of 18-year-olds in each recruiting class go through during their last year of high school...


replied to comment from Sam Ser

Sam We got IDF army trainers already training in Herzliyah and I am thinking of opening a box with friends and Omry,also a friend , in Reut is that close enough for you ?

I have a friend who trains in jerusalem but comes to Modiin and I drive down to the box with him .

Let me know if I can give you a ride as well.

Call Omry and he will hook you up besides we have more toys in the box and the tribe is mad cool


replied to comment from murry zborowski

Hey murry I just saw your thread about opening a box in reut. Well i'm sending this message from reut and i'm thrilled just about hearing the idea, can we get in contact somehow?

At the meanwhile you train at omry's?


replied to comment from murry zborowski

Thanks for the invite, Murry! I'd be happy to get out to see your place in Reut sometime.

I had the chance to do a workout with Omry and about two dozen others in Tel Aviv about a year ago and had a great time. At the time, he told me that it had been difficult to convince soldiers and police to change their training methods. Perhaps persistence is paying off? I can see from Omry's web site that he's really building a community in Herzliya.

I've been training folks in Jerusalem, from high school kids to grandparents, at Personal Best. The high school kids go off to the army and end up in *worse* shape by the end of basic training and advanced training! The grandparents, on the other hand, are deadlifting more than their bodyweight, doing legitimate push-ups, and doing power cleans!

Please tell your buddy from Jerusalem that he's welcome to come over any time.

By the way, I live right across the street from the Jerusalem District Police Health Office, and from my balcony I can watch their trainers put overweight cops through workouts. It's not encouraging, to say the least. :(


replied to comment from Eliya Elon

yeah training at Omrys box in Herzliyah I can give you a ride down from reut . Call me on my cell 0542197913


replied to comment from Sam Ser

yeah training at Omrys box in Herzliyah I can give you a ride down from reut . Call me on my cell 0542197913

there are fitness instructors training by us from IDF as well as some "team" members from the units.

some of us are alumni of smaller units that bypass the larger administration of the IDF orpolice.

Iftach said he never did a squat in the army maybe I should have gone where he was !


wrote …

Hey all-
This is Ian Dirnfeld from MBS Athletics: along with my partner in CrossFit crime Zvika Fridman,it is my pleasure to be one of the trainers/co-owners at the second club in Israel (Rehovot) mentioned in the video; Iftach and Orly actually came to us to experience their first CrossFit workout, and we're glad to see how far they've come...Great job guys!
We are nowhere near Omry's size in terms of membership, nor are we an affiliate (yet) but there is a fanatical crew going at it in Holon, Israel - keep up the good work!
Tonight as I write this Zvika is giving a Primal nutrition lecture to kick off the Primal challenge, with a fun (can you smell the irony?) benchmark workout afterwards.
I like the way Iftach and Orly are thinking, but while there may be few organized clubs using CrossFit methodology, there are more than a dozen trainers and our numbers are growing. There are trainers in the north and south of Israel as well: it's kind of analagous to the frontier days or the Wild West, lots of outposts, few organized clubs...
We are all hopeful that things will change for the better, and that institutions inured to outdated and inferior training modalities will open their eyes and CHANGE!
The way forward is through, and Iftach's and Orly's joining of the ranks of Certified CrossFit trainers in Israel is a good step forward.
Best of luck!


wrote …

Great job on getting out there and bringing the CF love to Israel. I am from NY but visit frequently, generally staying in Jlem. I will have to hook up with the Jerusalem CFites on my next visit!

I have been to Omry's place and have also trained Oly with the club in TA!


replied to comment from sarena kopciel

Do you mean the Maccabi Tel Aviv weightlifting club, headed by Amir Nachum? Good bunch of guys. I wrote an article about them back in 2008:

I'd be very happy to meet you the next time you're in Jerusalem!


wrote …

Yes Sam that's the one and I did read your article years ago! Will def try to be in touch when I am next in Israel. Where do you guys train in Jlem?

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