Q&A: How did you get where you are?

                                                                                                          Photograph by Mary Siani Photography @ 2011 Reebok Crossfit Games

Before Crossfit November 2006 weighing around 235#s



Your blog is so sick bro! I’ve found a lot of helpful tips and great motivation through your posts. My question to you is how did u do it? I have seen your before and after pictures and I see that you have achieved great results and have became a great crossfit athlete. How do I follow your steps? I am a college student and I hope to qualify for the games one day in the future. What can I focus on to one day get to where you are at? How do I get deeply involved in the crossfit community to learn from the best in every modality? I just want to learn and get better everyday. Thanks man and i’ll really appreciate it if you take time to answer this.




Thanks for the question bro!  I love answering this one. 🙂

How did I do it?  One day at a time bro.  Seriously.  It all started with just doing it.  Taking it one day after the other.  Not looking for anything amazing or special just trying to lose weight and get fit & healthy.  No more no less.  The lifestyle I was living wasn’t a healthy one.  I wasn’t exercising or eating right.  I didn’t take care of myself but more importantly I really had no clue how to take care of myself.  When my bro asked if him and his friends could start working out in my garage I just wanted to get back in shape.  I had no expectations of achieving anything more than just not being fat and unhealthy.  In fact, at that time the Crossfit Games didn’t exist.  Lucky for me Crossfit is the greatest thing in the world and actually works so I saw amazing results.

That first year of Crossfit was pretty inconsistent.  We were very new to it and it hadn’t really become an obsession yet.  I struggled at everything and my brother and his friends beat me a lot at first.  I got tired of that pretty quickly and slowly started pushing myself.  My wife and I started doing the Zone but again we weren’t that consistent.  I did, however, lose a bunch of weight, which made bodyweight movements much easier.  I slowly became more consistent as the year went on.  My first FRAN was rx’d out of a rack and took 17:22.  But a month later I crushed that PR with a sub 9 minute effort.  We were so new to all the movements that it took so much longer to learn them-like the olympic lifts, power lifts, and technical stuff like double unders & muscle ups.  We affiliated in November of 2007 but I had nothing to do with training anyone.  I helped our friends and family out when I worked out but nothing more than that.  We used to workout late at night around 9pm-11pm in the garage with yelling and screaming and groaning.  We didn’t play any music for some reason though.  I am pretty sure my neighbors hated me but were afraid of us so they never said anything.  By the time the end of the year rolled around we started thinking about getting a box and I started thinking about getting Level 1 certified.

The 2008 Games are nearing and we all wanted to go but my wife was 8 months pregnant and we weren’t very good.  But anyone who signed up could go and compete so a large group from the gym decided to head up.  I wasn’t one of those people planning on going for a bunch of reasons.  Wife was 8 months pregnant, we were broke so we had no money for a hotel room, etc.  The night before my brother, Jonathan, somehow convinced my wife that she should come and sit in the back of a Motorhome for 9 hours to get to Aromas, Ca and watch us all compete in the dirt and heat of the 2008 Crossfit Games.  Haha I still have no clue how that happened.  So we packed up and we were off.  I owe all my success to my bro for being my sugar daddy and always taking care of me and always making sure I have what I need to prepare myself for competition, my wife for being more supportive that humanly possible, and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with my ability to suffer and endure more pain than people are supposed endure.

We had no idea what we were getting into when we went to the 2008 CF Games.  It was one of the biggest life changing moments and has directed me to the point I am at today.  Being around all those athletes that I had learned from and seen in videos and getting obliterated by them.  It sparked something in me that I didn’t know existed.  I told myself and my bro that if I got serious about my nutrition and worked hard I could beat those guys.  The rest well, as they say is history.  I took everything serious from that moment on.

The key to my success has always been the basics.  Focusing on RANGE OF MOTION & TECHNIQUE.  Not rushing to get a good time or to pick up heavy weight.  Spending time learning the movements and being smart about it.  I have never been the best at anything.  But I have always been pretty darn good at practically everything.  That has stayed true with my Crossfit Career.  I am not the strongest or fastest or most skilled athlete but I work on what I struggle with and work very hard.  I am honest with myself and with what I need work on.  My secret is nutrition.  I believe that everything that I do matters.  I never cheat or cut a rep short.  I have always held myself to a higher standard than others.  I am willing and ready to suffer and endure day in and day out.  You must come to terms with that.  Be a student of the sport.  Read and re-read the crossfit journal articles.  Watch the videos over and over and over again.  Understand whats important.  Be efficient with your movement.  Tap into your fear and anger and use it.  Get crazy and yell when it hurts but don’t stop.  When you dry heave just keep going.  Teach your body that your mind is in control and you will keep going.  This doesn’t happen overnight but slowly implement this and be sure to REST.  I workout 3 on 1 off, 2 on 1 off.  Thats been my schedule for 90% of my Crossfit career.  If I’m destroyed I will rest or take it easy.  I’ve rarely done multiple workouts in a day.  Just go as hard as you can on your workout and spend time working on skills and technical stuff.  The faster you recover the more you can do and get out of what you do.

The best way to get connected with community is just to get involved in it.  Figure out what you can bring to it and do it.  Get to know and become friends with Crossfitters worldwide.  Volunteer and judge if possible any and all events in your area.  Make Crossfit your life and your passion and others who are like-minded will gravitate to you.  Study the Crossfit Endurance site & videos, Study the Crossfit Gymnastics videos, and all the other free stuff out there.  Contact them with questions and send out videos to them.  Get involved at your local box.  There is so much you can do Juan.  Just have to start doing it.

I really hope I answered your questions Juan.  If you want to know what I have done specifically as far as workouts and extra work over the years visit my Beyond the Whiteboard profile page and you can see every single workout that I have done since starting Crossfit in mid 2007.  I have followed Main Site programming and thinks its a valuable tool for everyone.  Take care bro and get after it!

Before I go though I will go back to what I said at the beginning.  You just have to keep going.  No one becomes amazing at anything overnight or in 3 months.  We all have different backgrounds in athletics and different genetics and so forth.  It has taken me over 4 years of Crossfit to get where I am today and I have busted my butt the whole way.  Sure I have some background in sports with growing up and playing my entire childhood and early adulthood but so have so many others.  The difference is I never stopped moving forward.  Nose down and go bro.  Don’t come up for air for awhile.  Stay focused and get after it.  Don’t worry about the numbers everyone else is putting up.  Just make yourself better everyday.

27 thoughts on “Q&A: How did you get where you are?”

  1. “Just make yourself better everyday” is it in a nutshell. I so agree with everything you say Jeremy. I am a 51 year old male that has run (track, cross country, halfs) all his life. Running is what I enjoy but this past year I have really been taken by all the media attention Crossfit has gotten. I’m quite impressed and motivated by it all. While I am not yet involved in a Crossfit program, I am upping my game and working out harder with the mindset that you are speaking of above. Thanks for the motivation and for honoring the Lord Jesus in all you do!

  2. Jeremy,

    The word ‘nutrition’ stuck out to me. Exactly what kind of diet do you follow? I am an avid Crossfitter and am getting the results that I want, but I realize my diet seems to be a great lack. Would appreciate your advice.

      1. I am not as strict as Paleo is with limitations on foods but I still with high quality food as much as possible and basically try to eat real food in controlled portions.

    1. Great question JC. I will be writing a some what extensive blog on my nutrition and how it has evolved and morphed into what I do today. Lets see if I can keep this brief.

      I started off following the Zone. I strongly believe in portion control and have stuck with measuring my protein for the past 4 years. Sure when I am out and about or in a pinch I eyeball it but other than that I know exactly how many ounces of protein I intake with every meal. I think that there are huge benefits to the Zone as well as huge benefits to Paleo. I think quantity of food is super important but I also think that quality is crucial as well. So I mix the 2 together. I rarely consume bread but if I do its balanced. I sometimes eat beans or legumes but rarely. I pretty much eat chicken, steak, fish, and eggs for protein…a good mixture of veggie and fruit for carbs…and almonds, olive oil, avocado, and canola oil for fat. I eat 18-20 blocks daily. I eat 3-4x fat per meal. I adjust that and tweak that amount based on my performance and my six pack. It may sound funny but for me its a good indicator. If I can see my bottom 2 ab muscles I have found that I am too lean and my performance goes down. I eat dairy on occasion and sometimes have bacon. I do not have cheat meals. They get in the way of my ultimate goal of winning the Games. I consume half my bodyweight in ounces of water daily…or come close to it. I drink too much coffee (sorry BMACK). The only supplementation I subscribe to is High Dose Fish Oil. I take Stronger Faster Healthier’s liquid fish oil. I like all the flavors! I take 7.5 grams a day and have taken high dose for the past 2 or 3 years. I also take their Post Workout Shake with no added carbs and I love it! Hope that helps. Like I said I will get more detailed into my nutrition and why I do what I do in a blog soon. Thanks again for the question JC.

    1. Mike,
      The beautiful thing about Crossfit and eating clean real food is that its not a matter of “if” you will reach insane goals its a matter of when! Just stay consistent with both and you will accomplish all your goals. Have at it Mike!

      1. Yeah, I’ve been in it for a year and my goals have been slow but noticeable. I am definitely the same way as far as not being the fastest or strongest. I really try to focus on my form and work on that. Either way, if I am sweating like crazy at the end I know I pushed myself. True inspiration man.

      2. what a great answer – not about if, but when – so true in my own experience. never though I’d ever deadlift 400, before my injury I was 10# from 500. CF + clean eating = superior, er ELITE fitness. LOL

  3. Jeremy,
    great blog site. I am trying to get BTWB on my blog as well (wordpress) can you point me in the right direction?


    1. Thanks! I will chat with the guys at BTWB and get you hooked up with that! Are you looking to have it on your site as a live feed from your gym? Let me know exactly what you are trying to do and we will get you set up!

      1. First thanks for answering my post. Yes I am looking to add the live feed from the box where i train. almost the same as what you have posted on your blog page.

        i can be reached at mweinberg23@gmail.com

  4. Pingback: Proprioception
  5. Hey Jeremy,

    I appreciate you and what your family has done. Being relatively healthy has been important to me for a long time, God gave me this body as a manager, not an owner and I want to honor this responsibility and keep good care of it.That process was definitely helped by working out in your garage a few years ago. My question is twofold:

    – I don’t eat food regularly for spiritual reasons, any crossfit related material on fasting more than one day? I know some people do intermittent fasting and have some info on that but that is usually only one day. I’m looking more for information on a good way to regain bodyweight and strength that doesn’t place excessive stress on my system.

    -Also are there any crossfit resources that are essentially equipmentless? I travel a lot with work and see in the future not having regular access to training equipment though I would have access to my own body and stuff around me whether that is a playground, a tree, etc.

    I’ve had these questions for a long time and haven’t been able to find good answers. My aim is to be healthy and relatively fit but to put a priority on my spiritual development and growth. Some of that includes relearning the discipline of exercise, but more fit for my personal schedule which probably does not include a whole lot of structured time in a box.

    These verses stick out in my mind that gives me vision and poise for this:
    “6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,[a] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:6-10)

    Stay blessed Jeremy,

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