We, the Solace coaching staff, are very excited to award our February Member of the Month to Roy Levkovitz. Known as the Boy Toy and absolute animal on the assault bike, Roy is a staple in the early morning classes and at Solace. If you’ve had the pleasure of working out with him, you know he’s always cracking jokes and can bring up the energy in any class. Fan favorite of both coaches and members to have in class!
Roy once weighed over 287lbs and used Crossfit and HIIT to lose close to a 100lbs. The journey was really difficult. He walked in really out of shape and had a hard time keeping up. But he put in the work, dialed in his nutrition and the results came. Roy’s tip for success – just show up! Results happen through consistency so for Roy walking in is the biggest victory.
From the entire community and staff at Solace, it is an honor to have you apart of this community and we want to thank you for being such a positive influence on those around you. So what are you waiting for?! Keep reading to learn more about our February Member of the Month!
Want to become a member of the Solace family? Click HERE to sign up for a free one-on-one with one of our amazing coaches!
Member of the Month
Name: Roy Levkovitz
Hometown: Miami, FL
Occupation: Business Development Specialist / Entrepreneur
How long have you been doing CrossFit and how did you get into it? I started Crossfit back in May 2010, before the Open and before Reebok. I was really out of shape and the regular gym was intimidating considering I had never really worked out before. A friend of mine told me about ‘this thing’ called CrossFit that was all the rage in D.C. There was a gym pretty close by in a shoebox-sized old warehouse. It looked like a place where people would have a miserable time, so naturally, I emailed them and went in the next morning.
What were your thoughts after your first CF workout? I actually used to log my workouts pretty religiously (the first 1200 or so). Here are some cliffs notes. I got there 15-20 minutes early to get a stretch in and got a glimpse of what I was in for. I immediately wanted to leave. We started off with a 400m run, I was ready to go home after that… The workout that day was 5 rounds for time of 5 deadlifts, 7 inverted burpees, and 9 knees to chin on the pull-up bar. It was really difficult. But I knew I planned on going back the next day. I think that pretty much represents the same story arc of almost anyone who has ever gotten hooked. It’s terrible, it hurts, I’ll see you tomorrow.
What were your goals when joining CrossFit? I weighed over 287lbs when I started. I remember talking to the gym owner about my goals and saying, “If I get down to 225lbs or so, I’ll quit.” Having grown up a huskaroo and then being extremely overweight from middle school on, I was pretty content with going from incredibly unhealthy to chubby. After 3.5 months, I had lost 62lbs and reached that 225lb mark. The gym owner asked me if I wanted to cancel my membership (jokingly). I knew that if I could lose that much weight in less than 4 months, I had more in the tank.
How did you find Solace and what has kept you with us for so long? I moved to NYC in August of 2015 and obviously needed a gym. I asked an old college friend and Solace was high on her list. Living in the area and working in Grand Central makes Solace’s location a big perk. But the thing that has kept me at Solace for so long is the commitment to the downstairs sauna….
Ok, really… The people truly make Solace what it is. You can have great Q-Tips (hat tip to Adam for getting those new ones back in stock) or the lovely cleaning lady who always restocks the locker room towels at 8:35 while 30 men change in the locker room… but if the community isn’t there all those features are irrelevant. The Solace community is just a great family. Everything from being able to send a sassy text to a friend who hasn’t been in all week asking them where they are, to grabbing a burger with some people after class or on a Saturday night – the people are why I stay.
Crossfit has played a big factor in improving your health and helping you lose weight. Talk to us about that. Let’s just be clear, Crossfit and High-Intensity Interval Training just work. Nobody is like OMG I did barbell movements, burpees, some aerobic work, and some gymnastics and I’m less fit. I don’t think there is a better way to train. Combining the training methodology into a group setting makes it easier. There’s something about a class doing a workout together that builds a bond. I also made adjustments to my diet, both to aid performance and not lose the gainz I was making. I did the Whole30 for almost 6 months straight until I lost close to 100lbs. Crossfit + dialed in nutrition + putting in the work = success guaranteed.
What or who was the biggest motivator/inspiration? I really loved the Mikko Salo documentary Sisu. It’s on Youtube if you haven’t seen it. But I really I was my biggest motivation. I had to want to make the change.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey? Biggest obstacles? I think for a long time, just being in CrossFit led you to compare yourself to games athletes in both performance and aesthetics, which can be unhealthy for lots of reasons. There is a constant comparison of yourself to others and you often lose focus on being the best version of yourself.
What changes have you made to your daily life, diet & workout routine that have been the most successful for you? I try to never cancel class. I’m generally in the gym in the mornings, and regardless of how late I was out, or how little sleep I got, I go to the gym. Walking in is the victory. Even if my performance is shitty, I know I got something done.
How has Solace positively affected you both inside and outside the gym? I moved to NYC knowing only a handful of people, I’ve made great friends that I enjoy seeing both inside and outside the gym.
What keeps you motivated? Beating Dan Heinrich (kidding Danny!). For me, working out is a habit. I feel terrible when I eat poorly and don’t do some kind of movement. I also really love food so I have to keep working out.
Biggest achievement at Solace so far? Finding my one true love…. The assault bike.
Current goal you’re working on? Curls… all day… err day… I guess it is more of a long-term goal, but I’m thinking about longevity. We all sip the Kool-Aid, get hooked, decide we should do 2 workouts per day, but what happens in 10 or 20 years? I think it is about taking care of my body so that I’m healthy and high functioning in 20-30-40+ years versus being the best desk jockey in Manhattan today.
Something no one at the gym knows about you Hmm I’m a pretty open book. I’d say that some of my antics at the gym are more of a schtick to keep myself and the fans amused. But maybe that I’m fascinated by people who are the best in their field and how those excellent performers view the world.
When you’re not at Solace, where are we most likely to find you? Work, NYU (I’m finishing up my MBA there at night) or looking for desserts.
Pre and post workout meal of choice? I usually workout in the AM so I’ll drink my protein shake with a scoop of Nesquick while working out. Post WOD I’ll have either a protein bar, chicken and brown rice, or a breakfast burrito.
Favorite WOD/least favorite WOD: Least favorite would be Nancy, Overhead Squats and running. Favorite might be something like Karen. I also like really long torturous workouts that make you just zone out and get comfortable in that dark uncomfortable zone.
Favorite lift/least favorite lift: Back Squat or Power Clean are definite favorites, and I’ve had a not so recent breakup with Overhead squats + Full Snatches
Advice for someone looking to start CrossFit? Just do it. I walked in so out of shape that I would wear an undershirt tucked into my shorts over my workout shirt to keep the jiggle from being out of control. You will never find a type of gym that is more embracing and accommodating than a Crossfit box. Everything you are concerned about is in your head.
Knowing how far you’ve come, if you could give your past-self advice, what would it be? Play the long game. Work on technique and mobility first. The strength will come later. I could have fixed all my shoulder and mobility issues in almost 8 years if I had worked vigilantly on it.
Rapid Fire Questions
If you had a theme song, what would it be? Big Tymers- Still Fly
What is your spirit animal? Cheetah, I go 0-60 pretty fast
Drink of choice: Diet Coke
Last picture you took on your phone: A picture of Cory Booker replying to an Instagram Story where I mentioned him, pretty epic!
Last book you read: Book about Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance.
Favorite reality show: I love watching old school shows like The Real World Road Rules challenges from the early 2000s and wonder whatever happened to those “Stars”. How do they adjust to their celebrity status? If only I could meet one….
Last concert you went to: The Head and the Heart
Favorite pizza topping: Meat
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? I’m already super strong so can’t be strength, probably flight. I hate waiting in lines.
One thing you couldn’t live without: Desserts, I’d be really sad with no sweets.
Favorite emoji: The wink face
Last song stuck in your head: Jon Secada “Just another day without you”
Most important item in your gym bag: Underwear
First album/CD/cassette you ever bought? I missed the bus cassette
Favorite hidden gem spot/restaurant in NYC: Kings Co. Imperial (Chinese in BK), Mighty Quinns for legit BBQ. Yama for no-frills Sushi, 4 Charles Prime Rib if you don’t mind eating at 10pm
Favorite healthy snack: A jar of peanut butter? Some Jello and Whipped Cream is a pretty good low-calorie way of getting the sugar craving done.
Go to karaoke song: All Night Long (Lionel Richie) or Friends in Low Places
Hidden talent: I can whistle pretty well.
Someone you could party with for a night dead or alive, who and why? Roger Federer, he’s the GOAT, he seems pretty funny and well adjusted. I’m kind of a fanboy of his.
Anything else you’d like us to know? I’m launching a startup this month called A La Card, which helps you send handwritten cards easier. Follow us on IG @alacard.cards