Thank you for tuning in to The Community Conversation, brought to you by Prototype Training Systems, home of CrossFit Prototype. The Community Conversation highlights a different member of the Prototype Community each week and allows them to tell their story, share their life experience, and communicate their perspective on all things fitness. 


We’ve all listened to podcasts and watched YouTube videos that highlight some of the world’s greatest leaders and visionaries. We believe we have some AMAZING people at Prototype and we want you to get to know them!


To that end, I want to introduce our 7th guest, Keivan Russo. Keivan has been part of the Prototype community for almost 7 years, he recently got engaged to his now fiance Andrea, he’s an avid snowboarder and just all-around good dude. He participates in our CrossFit classes, has worked with our nutritionists and Prototype Nutrition, and is committed to being consistent!

With that being said, enjoy!


Mike Collette 0:03
Hey everyone, thank you for tuning into the community conversation brought to you by prototype training systems home across the prototype. The community conversation highlights a different member from the Prottoype Community each week, and allows them to tell their story, share the live experience, communicate their perspective on all things, fitness. We’ve all listened to podcasts and watched YouTube videos that highlight some of the world’s greatest leaders and visionaries. And we believe there are some amazing people in this prototype community and we want you to get to know them. So to the end, I want to introduce you to our seventh guests on the community conversation. Keivan Russo. Keivan has been part of the project community for literally almost seven years I don’t know if you knew that Keivan.

Keivan Russo 0:45
I looked it up last night to double check.

Mike Collette 0:51
He recently got engaged to his now fiance Andrea almost coming up on a year and engagement. He’s an avid snowboarder, and just all around good dude and his grown a pretty famous mustache at this point. So Keivan Thank you for being part of the community conversation.

Keivan Russo 1:08
Thanks for having me, Mike.

Mike Collette 1:11
Yeah, man, so we’re gonna get to that mustache? Certainly. And if you’re listening to this and just listening and not watching it, you will want to flip to the YouTube version of this so you can take a look at that awesome mustache. I am jealous and envious of it. But before we get into the mustache conversation, why don’t you just keep on watching give the community a little information on you. Give us your background, tell us your story. And, and you know how you got started a prototype?

Keivan Russo 1:39
Sure, so I grew up in Framingham mass. Pretty much my whole life fun facts born in Australia, but uh, came back to the States after about a year my parents were out there working. But in Framingham, since I was like three, played Olympic sports, soccer, baseball, I think, yeah, a little bit of tennis here and there, but you know, little kids sports, and then in high school, played a little bit of baseball, but then really just became a wrestler. And that kind of developed to I think I am as an athlete now, or at least my mindset, per se, did that pretty seriously for four years, went to college, and kind of dropped all the activities, played a little bit of rugby. But partied and didn’t exercise as much. And I saw the results of that and it wasn’t great. So I, you know, took it upon myself to fix it, went to the gym, with buddies at school, and then finish school continued to go to the gym. I went to the BSc in westborough, because that’s the gym I belong to in Boston when I was in school at Wentworth. And so I just carried my membership over, got pretty bored of the gym, going by myself, you know, getting yourself there every day after work. And so I I ended up running a half marathon, the summer of july of 14, so I trained for it all spring, like change things up. And never really a big runner, enjoyed that a lot after the first month, but was done with it when I was done with it. And I was like I got to start something new. And CrossFit always kind of appealed to me. Going back to the wrestling, just the type of like, sir, you know, multi movement workouts mixed in with weights. But you’re still it’s on yourself, but you’re still part of a team, which is what wrestling was. And so I was always intrigued and I didn’t necessarily want to go to a townie gym back in Framingham and just deal with a bunch of kids from school and watch this was, you know, you guys are really close at the time. And I was living in my parents house and I did a little bit of research and I was like, You know what, drove by this place for so long. I popped in. And I did a I did elements class with our viruosity? Was it elements or virtuosity?

Mike Collette 4:10
There used to be elements. And then you see Yeah, yeah.

Keivan Russo 4:15
It was August 2, did it with Garrett and TJ and

Mike Collette 4:22
another fellow mustache guy.

Keivan Russo 4:24
Yeah. That’s right. And, you know, did it I was like, This is cool. I’m into it, and kind of just got hooked from there on out. It was just it you guys took it took the thought out of it a little bit. I remember spending time on my phone and, and the internet during work, like what am I going to do for a workout this week? What program should I do and just trying to figure that stuff out and find something that I like that kept you motivated? But uh, coming to the gym, at CFP was just, it was so easy. And now, I was always very nervous about the CrossFit cult. They called it back, you know, in their 2000 10s and stuff. And I mean, there’s still that joke about that, but I was just you know, did I don’t know what to expect. And it was, it was awesome. Here I am, seven years later, almost. And I live on the other side of Framingham. So I’m actually further away. I live I was just looking at this last night I live near like, I live within a five minute drive of a couple other gyms. But I, I just I like coming to you guys. It’s just I got my father to go there probably like three or four years ago now. And

Mike Collette 5:41
Petey, shout out to Petey

Keivan Russo 5:44
Big Pete. So yeah, it cfps awesome. People that go there, great. The coaches, you did a great job, just putting everything together. And it just just keeps coming back for more and, and went from like not having to think about what I’m doing to now like, I’ve learned so much about myself, exercise wise, and like, how to exercise and how my body works. Like how different muscles control different things. And now I’m like 90, do your homework. And I’m like, Alright, what am I going to do this, like, what’s on the programming this week? And the days that I don’t do that I actually, sometimes sometimes it works out like, wow, the thing I didn’t check, I smoked it. But then other days, I’m like, man I wish I looked at and I would have like, prepared myself for this a little more just because of all the information I have now. It’s It’s pretty cool.

Mike Collette 6:39
There’s like so many questions that I that I have. And I think that we can spin off from this. The first thing that I didn’t know about you is that you were born in Australia. So what were your parents doing out there? You said they were working?

Keivan Russo 6:51
Yeah, my dad got an offer from the insurance company he was working for at the time. Chug, chug insurance, and they’re like, Hey, you want to go? You want to go live in Australia for a couple years and work out there? And my mom were like, Yeah, let’s do it. So he went there for three years. I came about and but they were too It was too far, I think you can ask him at some point, I’m sure but family wasn’t close. But it was a cool experience. So they came back. And land landed here. We went to New Jersey for like, nine months and then we ended up here. That’s cool.

Mike Collette 7:29
I literally didn’t know that. So you started at prototype in 2014. You remember the elements class? Because they’re not called elements anymore there. Yeah, virtuosity sessions. What was your experience like your first workout because you mentioned that you’re going to the gym going your buddies and kind of working on your own at BSC, then trained for a half marathon did it all on your own your backgrounds in wrestling, the team camaraderie team sport component, something that you really like you like the diversity of the movements and stuff that CrossFit. So when you came in your first workout? What did you expect? What did you experience? Was it like the same? Did you get what you thought you’re going to experience? Like you mentioned, like the concept of the whole, the whole cult sort of component or the the misconception of CrossFit are a component of it, like, what was that like? Or what were your expectations? all that sort of stuff?

Keivan Russo 8:27
Well, I agree, it is a misconception because, like, this is called the community conversations and it is a community. You can be involved or not involved. It’s up to you. But either way it works because I actually started not I like kind of kept my distance and but I just came the gym worked out, but it was kind of hard to continue to maintain that type of relationship. You just get sucked in. And it’s awesome. But that first workout was it was cool. It was just guaranteed a they were kind of just like hanging out. You know, it was pretty, they were pretty cash. It felt a little bit like a tryout but with no repercussions. Just like let’s see, you know, we’re gonna do this. Let’s try this movement. And then like, either the first or second one we did wall balls and Garrett just, I use like, I don’t know, a seven pound ball for one toss. He’s like, Alright, you’re gonna use the 20 pound ball. And then kind of I remember him doing that and like from that moment on, I was like, all right, like, it just like really sparked this internal drive, I guess to want to do better. And then I remember joining class for the first time and we did there was running involved and we had to run to off. I wanted to try to name drop but I forget the old sign what was there?

Mike Collette 9:51
Santander or sovereign bank? Or whatever

Keivan Russo 9:53
yeah Santander I still there. I think it’s whatever took up yummy mommy.

Mike Collette 9:58
Oh, that was the The flower place.

Keivan Russo 10:01

Mike Collette 10:02
I don’t remember. But yeah, yeah, yeah. But yeah,

Keivan Russo 10:04
so we had to, we had to do a we were running and everyone was running together. And I remember like, you kind of like, if you want to, you can see where you line up. And I that’s just like the competitive instinct in me. And it’s, it makes me want to just do more. And I was like, Alright, so you think, you know, you go in there thinking you’re gonna be a hot shot. And I was very humbling and a good way to like, realize that, you know, these people have been putting in work and they’re here and they, I got smoked, and I was like, This is sweet. Like, I was breathing hard and you feel good afterwards everyone and no one’s like, you know, like, loser. Like, you suck. Like you were, you know, they’re like, come on, man. Let’s go. Let’s finish it up. Unless you’re in the 530. And then I’ll give a shout out to my bro. 30 boys. But that’s that’s all good fun, though.

Mike Collette 10:54
Yeah, there’s you have your own little camaraderie with the, with some of the some of the fellow guys at the 530 hopefully they’re listening to this. Abhi, one of the 5:30pm is converted to a 5am. Now,

Keivan Russo 11:09
is that fact?

That’s straight up fact. We see him at 5am now He’s, uh, you know, he’s gets in, he gets after it, you know, schedule change a little bit. So it’s still still a strong crew at 530. That’s, that’s, that’s awesome. I love that evening. Evening crew is great. And it’s a it certainly can be humbling. And it sounds like from your first experience, you found that you had some strengths, or your background benefited you a little bit. You know, kind of going into it. So like you were able to start with like some of the heavier weights. And I would I would believe that would be like, certainly motivating. It’s like Alright, well what else can I do? Right?

Absolutely. And that’s, that’s that’s pretty much what happened. I kind of came in and I just Heather was coaching Heather Clancy and I used to be in her class all the time for like, the first few months I was there. And I remember like, because I was going consistently just seeing this exponential improvement because I you know, it was like, that I think was probably deadlifting. And I hadn’t deadlift in a controlled environment since high school and hybrid lifting when you’re 16, I don’t know. 20 years, or whatever it is. 15 years ago, that was a different experience. So I went from like, you know, 135 pounds, quickly into the high two hundreds. And I was like, Wow, I didn’t know I could lift this kind of weight and Monday I just lifted I dead lifted. 400 for two which was like a, a personal like 400 has been this like Mount Everest for me that I haven’t been actively after. But it was really cool to hit that and kind of think back to seven years ago when I was like, I don’t even know what kind of weight I could lift.

Mike Collette 12:54
400 man that’s frickin big. This big weight. It’s like four wheels.

Keivan Russo 12:59
Yeah, no, it was cool. pumped about that.

Mike Collette 13:04
So in for a double too, shit, That’s awesome. Yes, I swore I don’t if I’m supposed to swear on think there are any kids Listen to this. Okay. I love that. So you’re still, even seven years in still setting new records still doing stuff. Like what are the other things you want to conquer you want to improve on and that’s I think the beauty behind some of this stuff is that there’s always stuff to work on. I find myself to have done a gazillion different things. There’s always stuff to work on. There’s always things to improve on. And you certainly seem to be the type of person that doesn’t invoke doesn’t avoid working on like those weaknesses or areas of improvement. So what are the next things for you?

Keivan Russo 13:49
I guess we’re doing our goal review session live, huh?

Mike Collette 13:54
So full disclosure, everyone listening right now I up Keivan’s ass about getting doing a goal review session. So everyone listening here. We want you guys to do these goal review sessions every 90 days check in how are you doing? How can we help? And I’ve been pestering you probably the last three or four weeks. Yeah, since last time, we did a goal review session. So yeah, in full transparency, this is your life overview session.

Keivan Russo 14:23
Well, I’ve been thinking about it’s not like I’ve been ignoring it. I know, I know. Um, I kind of mentioned this to a couple weeks ago, actually, you’re chatting and I was like, My strength is there and I’m really I’m gonna I want to keep improving on strength. You know, I don’t want to get lost in this in the weights. I really want to improve my stamina, and like my speed and kind of just get quicker while maintaining you know, I’m trying to think of the right word for it, but um, I guess get, like, cut up or just, you know, be able to be quicker and move. So move the weight, like don’t sacrifice the weight so you can run but get the wind behind you and last for a 30 minute workout at 80% versus going in at 60%, and maybe getting to 70, you know, and building on that and building on the strengths that I have developed. And because last year, my big my big goal was consistency, because I kind of been through being here for seven years have been through some different phases are starting to

Mike Collette 15:39
talk talk a little bit about that, because I feel like some people that are probably listening to this, have experienced that. And actually, I’m so glad you brought that up. Because I know for a fact that, you know, there have been times where you’ve kind of, you know, stopped and then you came back in stopped, And then literally, like, it’s been awhile now you’ve been super consistent, like one of the most consistent, you know? and as a matter of fact, when you can’t come in your virtual too. So talk a little bit about that journey. That’s actually really good point.

Keivan Russo 16:12
Yeah, so it might have a little bit to do with maturity, since I started as a 24 year old, but uh, and I’m now 31 but

Mike Collette 16:22
You’re old man you just had a birthday!

Keivan Russo 16:23
That’s right, a couple days ago.

Mike Collette 16:26
I’m just Kidding

Keivan Russo 16:26
Feeling it. Like drink extra water now or something.

Mike Collette 16:32
Drink or prune juice now. Yeah,

Keivan Russo 16:33
drink your prune juice dates for dessert. But, uh, yeah, so the first came in really excited. And like 24, I was still able to kind of, like, carry on with the lifestyle or you can work out, do whatever you want on the weekends come back. And like, pretty much be okay. And I did that for and I continued to see progress. And I started and you start, you do like a big jump, you go from like, you don’t know what you have to, like, you get you get to this plateau, or plateau for the first time, um, after about a year and a half or something. And that’s when we started lifting classes. And I was like, kind of getting frustrated, like, Man, I’ve been doing the same thing now for like a year, like, like four or five months, like nothing’s changing. So we get a lifting class and then that with Ben, Ben was coaching those, Kenny and I did it I think Garrett was in those and RB as well. But yeah, did lifting and then all of a sudden I saw the weight improve again. And I always kind of just figured that the stamina would would figure itself out if I would show up. Then like my lifestyle was pretty like, up and down. So like, because I worked out in the afternoon if I were to go out with people from work or friends after work, I’d miss days and then all of a sudden I you know, I found myself probably at like 2016 2526 hitting a lot of like, miss a week. And then come back for a week Mr. Lee It was like very spotty. figuring stuff out personally, like, you know, between relationships are my living work. And, but I still the gym has been the most consistent thing probably in my life, besides my job for this amount of time, by the way, meant to mention that earlier. But yeah, so you know, start quick growth plateau, make some tweaks, learn some stuff. grow again, knowledge wise, for weightlifting. And then I did a little bit of nutrition like, like way back heathered Yo, Yo, what? Yeah, she was like a nutrition coach briefly. And I learned a little bit then and then I actually took a break because I bought a house and everything was working really well. But I did nutrition stopped and I really got really strong up until the end of 2016. But I got slow and I got kind of heavier mass, mass right and but I didn’t really like the what the Met cons were like, whatever to me, but I just look forward to look forward to weightlifting. And then I bought this house and I you know, I renovated it for a year every day after work. Every Saturday, Sunday. I did like it was like my second job. So I just I couldn’t make the boat. Two of them work. But I was I don’t want to say miserable but I missed it so much. And like I knew I could have made it work maybe but I was even though I wasn’t done. Seven months later, I came back and I was like I don’t care like At that point, I was fed up, I was like, I’m going back to the gym. Like I need it in my life. And I will still I will make my schedule work. Because I just need to, I need to work out. And I came back in, I think may of 17. So it was like February to May. And actually, my dad started I got him like the gift card for Christmas. And I’m like, Alright, I’m out.

Mike Collette 20:23

Keivan Russo 20:25
I came back,

Mike Collette 20:26
have fun!

Keivan Russo 20:30
They’re Really nice I promise

Mike Collette 20:32
So funny.

Keivan Russo 20:33
And I came back in May. And I was like, I don’t want that to happen again. I don’t want to go through not coming in for a week. And then, or like caffeine good coming in, like four times over a month. Like I just think that just it sucks. So my I came back and I really haven’t stopped coming since. And I don’t plan to I think the So yeah, I feel like I’m in a good spot. I even, even in that time period from May of… I can’t believe that’s already four years now. It May of 17. to, to now. I went through a couple of you know, not as like I think 17 and 18 was a little Andrea and I were dating seriously. She was in Arlington. I was in Framingham. So for the travel. Like if I went to Arlington, from there, it was just like it just didn’t work. And so I would miss days, but I would drive me nuts internally and she’s like, what’s wrong? I didn’t get to the gym today. She’s like, What’s your problem? Well, stop living in Arlington was go to Framingham, which ended up happening I finished the house. Well, enough for us to live in it. And you

Mike Collette 21:49
You put some work into that man.

Keivan Russo 21:51
Yeah, yeah, sitting in. It’s all everything and looking at his new behind the new doors and stuff. But so yeah, I’m that I’ve been really, really consistent probably since 19. And, and now I know, like, if something is to change in my schedule, that, like you said, obviously going at 5am. I know that that’s the next thing right now. 530 works, I’m making it work. It’s not like 533 30 I’ll probably go to 330 today, because it’s Friday. So let’s get out early. But I know I have this like gut feeling that I’ll probably end up coming in the morning at some point to like not

Mike Collette 22:34
being an adult dude, doing adult stuff.

Keivan Russo 22:36
It’s like almost like a rite of passage, right?

You’re speaking to my soul. I feel that man house then prioritizing things. And it’s great to you. You’re prioritizing so much more consistently now and seeing the way you’ve always seen the benefit to it. But think putting it into that perspective. And that mindset, I think it’s, you know, anyone, right? Like you’re, you’re on the younger side of most of the people that come to our gym. Yeah, but like understanding that in at a young age, and I mean, I’m speaking younger, you and I are about the same age, but understanding that that will carry with you for forever. Right, which is pretty cool. That’s I’m glad that we’ve you know, had had a part in your in your journey, man. So it’s awesome. It’s awesome. We have to talk about the mustache. That’s a pretty easy transition point at this at this juncture. I started growing a mustache during COVID. And when you started growing a mustache. I thought it was awesome. And you’ve continued with the mustache after I’ve shaved my mustache, but you just wear it way better. I just I couldn’t you know like I had the caterpillar thing going

Mean you had a mean stash Mike, don’t downplay your stache.

Mike Collette 24:03
Yeah, but it wasn’t the amount that I you know, I tried to be a stache guy wasn’t cool enough to be a stache guy. You’re definitely a stache guy. Like what’s it to? You know, tell all those people out there that never had the stache power?

Keivan Russo 24:16
I mean, listen, COVID like, a lot of cool things happen for me over COVID and we got engaged and I figured out that I can grow sweet stash I was always when I first came to CFP I had this stupid chin goatee only, and then it like morphed into just like a face beard thing. And I never moved away from it. Like when I met Andrea. I always had just like this beard like look, look short beard and COVID happen and stache was like the thing to do. And I was like screw it for you to grow a mustache. And I actually grew handlebars. I don’t know if you ever if you remember from the virtual class As I know, yeah, I had handlebar mustache and I proposed to Andrea with the handlebar mustache and got the Yes. So for everyone who was thinking this is all like a setup, she said yes with handlebar so it’s pretty legit and my book. You can only go over there right?

Mike Collette 25:17
Can only go up from there you gotta keep you got to keep it forever now you’re just now known as a mustache guy.

Keivan Russo 25:22
That’s right.I know. So then I’ve like kind of messed with it. And I would shave it all off and now this is like the new I think I’m gonna keep like a short period but like a fat free. You curl it is that correct? Can

Mike Collette 25:34
you curl it? Yeah, you got the curls? Yeah, you get the beard. You should enter a contest man. You like the monopoly guy just like 30

Keivan Russo 25:44
I know is not allowed for the wedding. So I’m gonna rock I get a ride this train.

Mike Collette 25:49
Oh, yeah. So what what’s the date on that?

Keivan Russo 25:53
On September 24th.

Mike Collette 25:54
All right. All right. So you got some months ahead of you again so good thing out. You got to enter into one of those and one of those mustache contests I think that’d be the most appropriate thing.

Keivan Russo 26:05
My goal is that I just keep it for this long that she’ll end up being like on can shave it and then I’m good but

Mike Collette 26:15
does it impact your your aerodynamics when you’re on the snowboard cuz I know you’re big snowboarder?

Keivan Russo 26:23
No, it increases my my snowboarding I went last weekend and I actually have a bunch of you get I mean, that’s like a that’s like a badge of honor if you can get like face crystals. And I got some face crystals last weekend. I forgot. And I was like what? Oh, nice. Got icicles on there. So it was cool.

Mike Collette 26:44
Nice. I frickin love that man. Keivan. I got three more questions for you. Okay, Spitfire. This is how we’ve been ending these community conversations. So number one, what’s your favorite movie or TV show of all time?

Keivan Russo 27:03
TV show is some of you are gonna guess this before I say it. But Game of Thrones.

Mike Collette 27:10
Oh, yes. Right. Yes. You were you played a mean? John Snow.

Keivan Russo 27:15
I’ve gone through som some A lot of personal changes throughout my time at this gym I had hair down to my shoulders. I had short hair mustache, but yeah,

Mike Collette 27:24
that’s right. That’s right.

Keivan Russo 27:25
Game of Thrones would be a TV show. And then movie. Ah, I don’t know. Let’s go with a kid friendly one and say Muana

Mike Collette 27:38

Keivan Russo 27:39
There we go.

Mike Collette 27:41
I was not expecting Muana on your favorite on your favorite movie.

Keivan Russo 27:47
It’s recently watched, it’s fresh. It’s fresh in the head.

Mike Collette 27:50
I think it just went up a notch in Erins book. I’ll say that because I’m pretty sure that one of her favorite movies. Favorite musician or artist of all time, or band.

Keivan Russo 28:01
Dispatch is my favorite band.

Mike Collette 28:03
Oh, dude. That’s why I like you so much. I forgot that.

Keivan Russo 28:06
That’s right.

Mike Collette 28:07
That’s right. Oh, I love that. That is awesome. Okay, and now you went up two more notches in my book. And then so last thing, favorite thing to do when you’re not working out or at the gym? Or what’s your favorite thing to do? activity?

Keivan Russo 28:25
I don’t know. Obviously hanging out with a fiance that’s a given. But if it’s an activity, I love spearfishing. And then spear fishing or snowboarding probably depends on the season so

Mike Collette 28:40
it’s awesome I don’t know you spear fished what do you just go outside like where do you do that?

Keivan Russo 28:47
I usually do it down in like mystic Connecticut, Rhode Island, right where they’re the two states meet. We just take the boat out or you can go off the beach too. And you just it’s snorkel and then like a spear gun like and it has an elastic on the as an elastic at the tip of the gun. Yeah, and it shoots a spear out,

Mike Collette 29:09
whenever I hear spearfishing reminds me of Castaway like Tom Hanks was like, like a What is it? Like? I guess like Well yeah, I guess I got his spear like a wooden spear just from like 30 yards, just pinging a fish like something like that, you know, but that’s a movie right? Yeah. Movies. It’s an awesome movie.

Well, dude Keivan. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. And you know, again, thank you for being part of the community conversation. And you know, this means so much to me and everyone at Prototype and then also everyone who’s tuning in. Thank you guys for watching. Remember, every week we’ll be releasing a new community conversation in the new guests to get your week started. So to be the first to know when the new community conversations posted, subscribe to our YouTube page, or join our daily brief news. letter. These videos are also posted in our community members only group on Facebook. So if you’re a member of prototype and you’re not in the members group on Facebook, let us know. We’ll make sure we get you added in there. And then lastly, if you’re interested in being on the committee conversation shares the message. We’d love to have you on. So until next time, see you soon.

Keivan Russo 30:19
Yeah, probably see some of you guys in about an hour.

Mike Collette 30:23
Damn straight. Thanks. Keivan

Keivan Russo 30:25
Thanks, Mike.