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.