Ines Subashka: Introduce yourself.
Jesse James: My name is Jesse James, a college student and Marine veteran.
IS: How long have you being doing crossfit?
JJ: I’ve been doing Crossfit since June of 2009 at an actual Crossfit facility. Before that I had incorporated some Crossfit workouts into my normal gym workouts.
IS: Have you been involved in some other sports before that?
JJ:Prior to Crossfit my sports experience was mainly limited to intramural sports like football, baseball, and volleyball while in the Marine Corps.
IS: How did people around you accept the fact that you are doing crossfit?Did they take a jaundiced view of it?
JJ:Most of my friends and family think Crossfit is way too hard and that the only reason I can do it is because of some mystical quality that people in the military apparently possess. They really don’t listen when I explain that its something that anyone can do, all they see is the heavy weights and pictures of people lying on the floor exhausted after a workout and they want no part of it.
IS: Do you have a nutrition plan that you follow? If yes, do you meet disapproval from you friends?Or do they understand why you eat the way you do?
JJ:I currently follow a Crossfit Football/Modified Paleo Diet approach to my nutrition. I’ll admit I’ve been only about 60% strict with it in recent months as I finish up my degree, but I look forward to returning to about 90% adherence in the coming months. Friends and family think that excluding grains and processed foods is a crazy notion, but they can’t deny the results so for the most part they just let me do my own thing.
IS: What does crossfit mean to you and did it change your life in some way?
JJ:To me Crossfit is a great system for improving GPP and exposing the general public to methodologies they might not ever come across in a typical gym. You won’t really ever see most large gym personal trainers trying to show clients how to do a clean and jerk or a full-depth squat, but that’s the norm for most Crossfit gyms.
Crossfit did change my life in that it exposed me to a new way of approaching fitness, nutrition, and health. Instead of the narrow minded view of fitness as either having to choose between emaciated distance runner or bronzer covered bodybuilder, there’s a whole world of things that can work depending on your goals.
IS: What is your favorite WOD and which one do you hate the most?
JJ:Favorite WoD would have to be Grace or the Crossfit Total. I know, I know…the CFT isn’t exactly a WoD, but I’m a sucker for lifting heavy. Least Favorite is anything with running over 200 meters. Running just sucks.
IS: Is it hard for you to combine your daily tasks with workouts? And have you ever used the excuse that you are too busy to workout?
JJ: Being a college student, trying to work, and maintaining a life outside of the two things had occasionally made finding time to workout more difficult. I’ll admit, since I’m not currently a member at a Crossfit facility I have to use the campus rec center…which has a single squat rack and not much else in terms of free weights. Given that I normally have to schedule 2 hours to workout due to waiting for equipment…it can sometimes mean I skip a workout if there’s already a line for the rack. It’s not optimal and I’m being quite lazy…but shit happens.
IS: What is your biggest accomplishment in crossfit so far?
JJ: So far my biggest accomplishment in Crossfit would be getting my deadlift up over 500 pounds. Before leaving the gym I was training at I hit 530#, which was over double my body weight. Granted…seeing me run now is a laughable affair…but I’m willing to trade one for the other.
IS: What advice would you give to the beginner crossfiters in Bulgaria?
JJ: My biggest advice would be to enjoy Crossfit but don’t get too caught up in the “Crossfit-ness” of it all. It’s a great program but it isn’t the “be all, end all” of things when it comes to fitness. Understand that it’s one more tool (albeit a great one) in your arsenal.