Nelson Dellis is one of the most interesting CrossFitters in the world.

Nelson is the 4-time US Memory Champion. I flew to Manhattan to watch him win his second in 2014, and wrote about the experience in the CrossFit Journal.

He was introduced to CrossFit by a mutual friend in Miami, whose coaches were struggling to remember the names of the athletes in their large classes.

He’s also attempted to summit Everest three times, dragging camera crews along with him more than once. He’s the founder of the Extreme Memory Tournament, the author of “I Forgot Something (But I Can’t Remember What It Was)” and the founder of Climb For Memory, a charity for Alzheimer’s Research. He’s been featured on Today, The Dr. Oz Show and Nightline.

Nelson’s bit on Saturday Night Live is here.

“Client Experience” is one of our 7 Areas of Gym Excellence. When your coach remembers important things about you, your bond is reinforced. Nelson talks about paying attention, remembering details about your clients, and how to make both easier.

Our UpCoach Challenge: Client Scavenger Hunt was a huge hit last month.

Nelson’s most important lesson to me is this: make massive goals, go after them hard, and take the big lessons.

He also shares a message we can give to higher-earning clients, like accountants and other “thinkers”, on the value of CrossFit to them.

I referred to Brian Alexander’s Legends Program at CF Illumine and our program, Zecutive.

In January, Nelson is taking a group of business owners and CrossFitters to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

You can talk to Nelson at

Nelson referred to the “Names and Faces” event. In our Ignite program, we do daily BrainWODs. You can try one using the “Names and Faces” challenge at the bottom of this post.

Names and Faces Challenge

Spend up to 3 minutes with the first picture, including names under each face.

Then, an “interference” workout:

50 double-unders (high skill with higher cognitive load)

50 situps

40 double-unders

40 situps

30 double-unders

30 situps

20 double-unders

20 situps

10 double-unders

10 situps.

The workout should take less than 10 minutes and be primarily aerobic.

Then, Names and Faces Part II:

Match the name to the face.

Athletes can use any mental strategy to help them remember.

Picture #1:

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 6.33.40 AM

Picture #2:

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 6.33.20 AM

The music on today’s podcast is Mother Nature, by Scott Holmes.

Recorded on August 15, 2016.

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