Tell us about yourself. (Age? Occupation? How long have you been CrossFitting?)
46 years old. Owner/coach at CrossFit King’s Lynn. June 2012.
What made you start CrossFit?
I’d been doing the usual gym routines of 3 sets of 10 etc. but, within three years, had kind of run out of ideas. CrossFit was relatively new at the time in the area so I thought I’d give it a try. I haven’t been bored in the gym since!
What have you learned since starting CrossFit King’s Lynn?
That anyone can do it. No matter what your fitness level is, there’s always a way to get a great workout regardless of what the recommended weights/movements are for the day. It is truly scalable for everyone!
What do you enjoy most about CFKL or CrossFit in general?
The camaraderie. Meeting and working out with people of all ages and from all walks of life – with such a wide variety of people you’d never expect for us all to get along so well and yet we are all one big team!
What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
As a coach and trainer you’d probably expect me to say that it’s when someone gets their first pull up (or whatever movement they’ve been working towards) or a new personal best in one of the barbell lifts. While they are special moments, to be honest, I’m the proudest when I see someone do a movement with great technique without them even realising that they are doing it.
What is your favourite movement/lift? Least favourite?
Deadlift is my favourite movement for sure. Heavy deadlifts make the world a better place. Overhead squats are my least favourite. Having a powerlifter’s shoulder mobility has always made them a difficult movement for me – but I’m working on it!
What are your CrossFit goals? How close are you to reaching them?
To still be doing CrossFit when I am 100 years old – so only about 54 years away!
When you are not CrossFitting, what is your favourite thing to do?
Help others learn about CrossFit!
However, powerlifting (squat, bench press and deadlift) is where my sporting talents seem to lie so I always enjoy working towards getting stronger and setting new records. Having been a small, skinny kid most of my life, it’s always nice to now be able to lift the kind of weights that most people twice my size would struggle with. To still be getting stronger at 46 just proves that it’s never too late!
But if it has to be something non-fitness related then I would have to say drinking a good cup of coffee with good company. It’s those little moments that make life special.
What is the one tip you’d give someone who is thinking about starting CrossFit or who has just started?
With the competitive side of CrossFit becoming ever more popular and receiving more and more media coverage, it can seem a little intimidating from the outside looking in. My advice would definitely be to not look at other people who have been doing CrossFit for years and think that you have to be like them to get started. You don’t watch the World Cup or the Tour de France and think that because there are athletes at such a high level in the world that you can’t enjoy a game of five-a-side football or go for a bike ride in the countryside at the weekend!
What is your diet like? Has it changed since starting CrossFit?
I’m no saint and believe that eating should be a pleasure and not a chore. I enjoy ice cream and chocolate just like everyone else, but I make sure that I eat all the right foods to fuel and repair my body before reaching for the Ben & Jerry’s. Working out so much obviously affords me a little “wiggle room” with my nutrition but there is no way I would go back to eating nothing but pizza, chips, cola and all the processed junk food I ate in my twenties and thirties.
Results? Tell us about your results.
Fitter, healthier and happier at 46 than I was at 36. I’ve transformed from a skinny 56kg guy up to a 70kg athlete and have multiple powerlifting world records as a 67kg masters lifter.
What impact has CFKL/CrossFit had on your life in and outside of the gym?
I’m way more self-confident and at peace with myself than I was before making my physical fitness a priority. Physical fitness and mental health are completely linked as far as I’m concerned. There is a correlation between the way we move our bodies and our emotions. You can’t be in full workout mode – running, jumping, climbing, etc. – and be depressed. They just don’t go together.
If you could create a WOD, what would it look like?
One rep max deadlift. Does that count?
What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
It was humbling (I thought I was already fit) and really hard work but I just knew that I’d found the way I wanted to work out forever.
How would you compare your first experiences to workouts today?
Workouts still leave me on the floor gasping for breath when I’m done, and I still have to scale some of the weights, but I have learned that with determination and effort there is no such thing as “I can’t.”
Who is your favourite CrossFit athlete? Who do you look up to?
Probably Chris Spealler or Josh Bridges. Basically any of the smaller guys who can still show the big dogs a thing or two!
Any more thoughts?
We are always looking to help more people realise their potential, either through regular CrossFit classes or more specialised one-to-one personal training. If you’d like to know more check out www.crossfitkingslynn.com and get in touch via the contact form or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org