Eugene Katchalov: How CrossFit Changed My Life

eugene crossfit

Eugene Katchalov used to live a very unhealthy lifestyle. Being a professional poker player, he used to sit around a table for more than 10 hours a day eating nothing but unhealthy processed food and drinking alcohol. Things turned around, however, when he found out that he was being considered to play the lead role in the Ukrainian version of the reality TV show The Bachelor. In order to look good on TV, he knew he had to change his lifestyle.

“I realized it wasn’t going to look too good if I was overweight on the show, and I wanted to increase my chances (of being picked),” Katchalov said. “In the end, I didn’t get selected…but at the same time, I felt so good and I saw so much progress even in just three or four weeks that I really wanted to keep going.”

Eugene’s discipline is what makes him a winner at the poker tables. He would play for 12 hours a day, studying different techniques and would only stop when he was satisfied with the results of his training. Losing weight can be difficult for some people but it wasn’t for Eugene, who used his disciplined mind to dedicate himself thoroughly to his fitness goals. Sometimes, he’d ask his fellow professional poker buddies to make prop bets in order to keep himself inspired in his pursuit in losing weight.

In order to prepare for The Bachelor, Eugene included CrossFit in his daily regimen. He regularly underwent strength and conditioning programs consisting of gymnastics, weight training, and aerobic exercises. He spent hour-long classes at gyms, with the help of his trainer Lincon Rodrigues, and did high-intensity workouts followed by a period of individual stretches.

CrossFit gyms use equipment from several exercise disciplines, including pull-up bars, jump ropes, and dumbbells. The high-intensity workout is what helped Eugene quickly get in shape in just 14 months. In that period of time, he lost 63 pounds and has since then bulked up by 13 pounds.

“Now when I’m at the poker table, I feel like I have much more concentration, much more energy, and I just feel healthier and more mentally aware,” Katchalov said.

Eugene Katchalov is a member of the prestigious Team PokerStars — a group of professional poker players owned by Canadian Gaming Company Amaya Inc. Amaya Inc. used to own, InterCasino, one of the biggest UK-based companies that serves online poker, slots, and blackjack. Eugene’s latest big win was at the European Poker Tour in May 2, 2015 where he went home with $23,452.