Thursday, April 5, 2012

Athlete Profile: Jeff Vanlandingham
From this...image to this...!image
Every now and then a coach comes across an athlete with potential. Sometimes this person rises to the occasion and surpasses all expectations. But most times we find that something (or somethings) get in the way and somewhere along the path to realizing their full potential they fall off or give up. 
Jeff is one of those first athletes — one of the few that decides to be great and then follows through. 
A man of few words but with a great beard to make up for it, Jeff joined the RedBlack Gym and my Rx class back in August of 2011. He was fit for sure - he had been leading his class at CrossFit Central for a while and was looking for a new home to sharpen his saw and get a real taste for next-level crossfitting. He found just what he was looking for. 
In five short months, Jeff was setting PR’s in almost all of his lifts and then decided to compete in one of the biggest crossfit competitions of the year: The Fittest Games.
He competed against some of the best athletes from around the nation and earned himself an outstanding 17th place. Not bad for someone with a day job… He then went on to do well enough in the CrossFit Open to earn a spot on the 2012 RedBlack CrossFit Affiliate Team!
Jeff’s story is familiar to many of us. He was a self-professed “running addict” who would purposefully go to bed hungry thinking that it would make him lighter on his feet - earning him faster times in races and therefore making him “fitter”. After a while, nagging overuse injuries and a general feeling of discontent set in. 
He found crossfit and hasn’t looked back. He has put on 20 (at least) pounds of muscle since starting crossfit and now eats a healthy diet of meat and veggies to supplement his grueling training. Overuse injuries have disappeared and he is now stronger, faster, fitter and healthier than ever.
In Jeff’s own words:
“Since starting [the] RX [class] I have become much more comfotable with HSPUs and MUs, they are still a struggle sometimes but I don’t dread them like I used to.  

Diet: My diet is much less stressful compared to my running days.  It’s nice not thinking about counting calories and just eating meat and vegetables.  Gone are the days of eating cereal for two meals of the day and thinking I’m being healthy.

Other thoughts: Ultimately the reason for the switch from long distance running to CrossFit addict was overuse injuries that came with running 50-70 miles a week.  CrossFit allows me get in a good workout in 5-6 times a week without killing my body because we are constantly varying what muscles we are working.  Also with things like the FittestGames and the Open, I get to compete which is one of the things I loved about running.

Also - chicks dig muscles… just sayin.”
With a 445# Deadlift and a 185# Snatch, this young buck still has a lot of room for growth and a lot more crossfit potential in the tank. 
Thanks for being a great example Jeff, and good luck in the Open (ladies, I think he’s still single!)