There are people, that we’ve never met and probably will never meet! There are people, who we don’t know in person, but people who have something deep inside. Something that makes them different, unique and valuable! Today, our guest is Aaron Jannetti- a coach, an athlete, a person with huge heart and desire to give a helping hand to everybody that have made the decision to change his life!
Read the stories, that Aaron shared with us- how a person stuck to the bed for over a year, can take his life back, as long as he goes to the right place, to the right people, who will help him believe that human possibilities are limitless…as long as you believe! Check out what Aaron has to say and BELIEVE!
Ines Subashka:Introduce yourself.
Aaron Jannetti:My name is Aaron Jannetti, I am affiliate owner and head instructor of CrossFit OKM located on the west side of Columbus, OH.
IS: How long have you been doing crossfit?
AJ: I took my first CrossFit style class in March of 2008, at the time it wasn’t an official affiliation at the gym I attended, but it was my first taste of it. In April of that year I joined over at Rogue Fitness which at the time was just a small gym in Columbus. Eddie, Troy, Bill, Caity, and Jay were amazing coaches. In August I took my CFL1 in Virginia beach and by the end of the year had opened a self defense gym on the west side of Columbus and added CrossFit.
IS: Have you been involved in some other sports before that?
AJ: I trained with the football and track teams throughout high school as a way to stay in shape and then would jump ship when the season started. I know, lame right? Other then that I played a few seasons of Ultimate Frisbee at the Ohio State University, but nothing serious.
IS: How did people around you accept the fact that you are doing crossfit?Did they take a jaundiced view of it?
AJ: At the time, most didn’t know what it was. They just assumed I worked out real hard and didn’t think twice about what it was exactly. The other roup of friends I had were my Crossfit friends, so they loved it! 🙂 Today is a different story. When I see my old friends, or those that don’t do Crossfit I generally hear “Hey, you do that stuff on ESPN? Like push heavy sleds and climb ropes and stuff!” I just chuckle and say “yup, been doing that for a few years now, remember!” haha
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?
AJ: Yes and No. I eat mostly Meat, Vegetables, Fruit and Nuts just in general. It’s what I like so it doesn’t bother me to eat “healthy”. That being said I love wine and beer. Not from a go get hammered mentality, but from a “holy crap that tastes good!” perspective. So I will generally have my 2-4 beers a few nights a week along with my 1lb steak and steamed broccolli. 🙂 Also keep in mind I am an italian boy, so when I go back home it’s pasta all around and I don’t hesitate to eat it or feel bad about it. I just hit the next day a little harder then normal!
So I guess I would say I’m roughly 80% clean eating. As for my friends, well they don’t disapprove of it, but they usually ask why I take the bun off of my burger, or why I don’t eat four baskets of tortilla chips. Then when they decide they want to get in shapel, they usually come asking for advice! (hehe)
IS: What tips would you give to people struggling to stay on track with their diet?
AJ: If you treat it like a “diet” you’ll be more likely to back track or fail. I truly believe eating healthy, or being healthy in general is a life style. I know that sounds like a cookie cutter response, but it’s true. Take small steps each week or month to clean up your diet, don’t jump in head over heels. The slow, small steady changes are the ones that stay with you.
It’s just like PRing on a heavy lift, you make small increases, not 80lb at a time. The biggest thing though in my opinion is, every now and again live a little. Cheat meals and days are great, you love them while you are doing them and then when you wake up in the morning, you realize you never want to do that again because your body just doesn’t feel right. That is the balance that helps me. Generally once a week I eat what I want for 4-6 hours and my body hates me the next day haha. It helps me keep on the path when I need that little bump. That being said, once a week is enough, don’t “cheat” every other day!
IS: Do you take some supplements? Which one do you think work the best for you?
AJ: I use fish oil and pure whey protein from Stronger Faster Healthier, but that’s it. The fish oil is great for inflamation and their fish oil is delicious and natural! The pure whey I use generally right after a workout with 8oz of milk because I don’t have time to eat a meal after, so I drop a shake and a larabar or something of that nature to hold me over until I have appropriate time to eat. I believe in SFH brand because as far as I can tell it has the least additive to the product, I don’t need a thousand chemicals in my body, I’d rather get my nutrients the old natural way… eating.
IS: What does crossfit mean to you and did it change your life in some way?
AJ: This is a hard question to answer in less then 12 pages, but I will do my best hah. Originally as an athlete it was just amazing to see what I could do and the gains I made and the positive influence from everyone around me. Where CrossFit really started effecting me was when I started teaching. To see someone do something they have never done before, or even more so never THOUGHT they could do, is so incredible. The spirit of my members everyday is what keeps me going and motivated.
For me I don’t get driven by seeing Rich Jr. crush rope climbs, I get driven by people like Craig in my gym, who survived a bad night jump in the military that left him with numerous broken bones and bed ridden for over a year. After gaining a massive amount of weight and being told he wouldn’t be active ever again, he showed up at the gym to change his own life.
After a year of working with him we have regained mobility in both his hips, knees and shoulders, he lost 80lbs and his strength and coordination went through the roof. The whole time, he fought through amazing amounts of pain to continue to work and work and better himself, now that’s inspiring, that is the things I think about when I walk into a competition, or walk up to a PR barbell.
If you walk into any good CrossFit box in the world (and I stress GOOD box) and you can’t find one motivating story or one amazing recovery and turn around in a person’s life, then you’re blind! What this can do for people if they just take that first step…. truly the possibilities are endless.
Those outside of it don’t understand, or they only see the flashy lights of The Games, the real motivation comes from the everyday people working their asses of NOT just for a 6 pack and nice butt, but to better themselves, to make a difference in not only their lives, but those around them. It’s a reminder day in and day out that people are amazing, and that keeps me on the right path and kees me studying hours and hours to become a better coach and to leave no stone unturned. The thought that if I can help one person, and they can help one person, we can change other peoples lives for the better. God I love Crossfit! 🙂 That was a bit of a rant I know, but I mean every bit of it.
IS: What is your favorite WOD and which one do you hate the most?
AJ: My favorite hands down is a workout I made up in honor of my grandfather Guido Jannetti Sr. “Guido” is 21-15-9 of tire flips (500lb/250lb), push press (96/65), burpees for time. It is literally the first workout I ever wrote as a coach and my grandfather was such a great positive influence on me. Very strong man, very loving man, hard worker and I attribute a lot of my internal drive to him and my mother as well. It just clicked and I named it “Guido” and we do it twice a year. March for his birthday and September for his passing. Just this last year we involved 9 other gyms in Ohio and one in Arizona. It never ceases to crush and amaze you. Short, sweet and brutal.
Hate.. that’s rough. The workouts I hate are usually things I suck at and working on things you suck at just makes you better so you can’t realy hate them, but if I had to pick one I’d say 5k or 10k. I HATE distance running (haha). I can do it, but I get bored!
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?
AJ: Some days yes, some days no. After operating my gym for over three years I have gotten use to my schedule and getting all my workouts done in a short duration 40-60mins. Sometimes I have to seperate and do strength int he morning, metcon at night, some fight conditoning in between, but it’s not that bad. Somedays I work 6 hours, some days I work 14, but I can usually find time to pick up a barbell without stressing about time.
Too busy? Very rarely, if you can drop and do burpees, you can do a workout. 100 burpees for time can be done anywhere and if done as fast as possible sucks. I have used that excuse maybe 3 times when on the road teaching seminars and certifications, but it’s usually coupled with a day of teaching for 8-10 hours and…. well there I go making excuses.
IS: What is your biggest accomplishment in crossfit so far?
AJ: As an athlete competing at regionals with my team, as a coach all the people I have been able to truly affect in a positive way, as a person taking the first steps to run and grow my gym!
IS: Do you remember some funny story with you and crossfit?
AJ: Phew… tons of them! at my CFL1 in Aug of ’08 I can vividly remember Andy Stumpf talking about the difference between functional and non functional movement and he gave the example “think about the dumbbell fly whether it’s on a machine or on a bench, arms out, coming together like a sandwiching motion, how is the functional? Do you know what happen to the first cave man who did that? They F***ing ate him! seriously!” I honestly laugh everytime I think about that! oi.
Then you have the most awkward planking positions challenge. Plank in the most quesitonable way possible. Let’s just say some creative things happened! hah!
IS: What advice would you give to the beginner crossfiters in Bulgaria?
AJ: Go hard, but do not rush getting to “As prescribed” status. Form always beats intensity. It’s our mantra in the Crossfit community. Mechanics, Consistency THEN Intensity. Pushing weights and pace with bad form may still yield very quick results, but in the long run it will come back to haunt you. Go in, give it your all, but remember crappy form does you no good! And you DO NOT have to be physically and psychologically crushed EVERY TIME you workout. Some days it’s good to walk away not feeling like a wreck, your body needs to recover. In a nut shell, pace yourself, listen very carefully to your coaches and most of all HAVE FUN!!! The rest will fall in line.
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