Posted by Andy Petranek : Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012
ATHLETE PROFILE: Jeff J.
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
When did you first start CrossFitting?: March, 2009
When did you first start training at CFLA?: March, 2009
Favorite WOD: Anything with Deadlifts
Least Favorite WOD: Anything with overhead squats
Tell us about you sports & fitness background: In my teens was into soccer and skiing, in college it was windsurfing and skiing, and as an adult its now running, surfing and skiing. Spent a ski season living in Vail before college, and taught windsurfing in the summers on Lake Michigan during college. Didn't start exercising consistently until my late 20s, when I started dating a girl while living in New York City who was a serious runner. Trying to keep up with her converted me into a lifelong runner. In addition to running, in my late 30s I started lifting weights once or twice a week based on this eccentric englishman that lives in Cyprus who has a web site called hardgainer.com. His key points were traditional lifts (squat, deadlift, press, pullups), form, rest, diet, always adding a bit more weight every week, and keeping track of your progress. I love to read, so from hardgainer, I went to Stuart McGill, then to Gym Jones, which is like punk rock fitness, which lead me to Cross Fit and Mark Ripppetoe's Starting Strength. Interestingly enough, they all preach the same core tenents, but each with a different twist.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD... what was it, and how did it feel? I was reading an article about the movie 300, and how the actors got prepared to look like Spartan soldiers by a trainer in Salt Lake City who's hardcore gym without mirrors is called Gym Jones. Went to the site, and devoured every article and word that was posted. I was hooked, converted, done, but he only has one gym in SLC. I noted that he was an off shoot of something called Cross Fit. So, found the Cross Fit site and Cross Fit Journal, loved it and searched out the nearest Cross Fit gym which was CrossFit LA. Amber and I joined and its been great from day one. Only thing I remember from my first workout, was sitting in my car afterwards feeling like I had been run over by a truck.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Since joining CF I have actually added about 5-8 lbs and have become a bit leaner at the same time. Today, I feel as strong as I ever have and it feels like a more well rounded fitness. I especially notice it when I am surfing or skiing, I am much more physically confident. A lot of it is just in my head probably, but CF's hard work outs just provide one with psychological armour.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? Amber and I most like the down to earth character of CFLA that the coaches instill in every class. The workouts are hard, but the coaches provide a low key positive vibe that is very supportive. LA can be a monster of a place to live, so its nice to go somewhere on a regular basis where there is a sense of community.
Any advice for people just getting started? My advise is to make it a HABIT of going consistently. The important part is being easy on yourself and start with low expectations. If you keep going you will naturally start getting better, and that success will feed on itself and the habit will set. Play tricks on yourself about going to classes. When I am nervous and unmotivated to go to a class I tell myself that if the workout seems really hard, I will just coast, scale down and take it supper easy, Of course, once I am there and the work out starts I am fine and ready to do my best. Proof that the easiest person to fool is yourself. Also, I think its very important to be very thoughtful about your workouts, Socrates said "the unexamined exercise is not worth doing". Read, learn and develop your own personal fitness philosophy that makes sense for you.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? My daughter is off to college this fall, so I have been getting used to not being a dad and having a lot more free time. Besides my sport/fitness interests, I love to read great books, daydream, procrastinate, play guitar, sail and spend time with my wife Amber and daughter Charlotte. I have a job that I thoroughly enjoy, with great co-workers and interesting work most of the time. Part of my territory includes Hawaii, so over the last five years I have become smitten with the islands and their "live Aloha" ways.
Tuesday's Workout (NO CAP)
10 to 1 decreasing ladder
DB Squat Clean Thrusters (45/30)
... and coming Wednesday (NO CAP)
In 20 minutes:
- work up to three heavy sets
100 Kettlebell swings (24/16)