ATHLETE FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL IS BEN HOLMES!!
Crossfit-AC athlete for the month of April is Ben Holmes, this is his story!!
Aside from a couple phases where I ran a small amount, I never worked out or did anything athletic as a kid. The first time I ever considered working out was about 5 years ago, shortly after I graduated from college and moved out of my parents house. We were refinishing my bedroom and I couldn’t hold up a piece of drywall without help, which made me feel pretty week.
I started at a typical $40 a month gym using weight machines and saw some initial success, but after just a few months I stopped progressing. I was not creative or knowledgeable enough to come up with my own workouts and I fell into a routine of doing the same exact workout every time. My motivation slipped further and I began running as an excuse not to go to the gym. I became a pretty good runner, but I was still skinny and not very fit overall.
At the time, I was dispatching at a local police department, and one of the Sergeants worked out at Crossfit AC. He would often show off crossfit videos and brag about his great box jump, and it looked like a great workout. He kept bugging me to try it, which I eventually did in April of 2012. I loved the structure of the group class and the variety of the workouts. I was hooked, and by the second month I was working out 3 days a week every week.
When I started, I was fighting with low blood pressure that kept me from being able to string together deadlifts or squats without getting lightheaded. (I actually did pass out during a workout at my previous gym). For the first couple years, I rarely could finish a workout without hitting the time cap, but I kept working anyway. I continued to build endurance, and eventually stopped feeling lightheaded during workouts.
In 2014 I signed up for my first open. I was disappointed to see that the first workout included double unders, which I couldn’t do. I practiced them for two days straight leading up to the first workout, and finally was able to do a few. I finished that first open in just about last place, but I still did my best every week and set a good benchmark for myself. I began working out more often, and I saw even more improvement. The 2015 open brought my first muscle up, and I finished in the middle of the pack.
My most recent improvement came towards the end of 2015 when I started counting calories and eating less, although I wasn’t on any specific diet. I lost about 10 pounds before looking in the mirror and realizing that I was very skinny and unhealthy looking. I quit the diet and started trying to eat enough to build as much muscle as possible. At the same time I began coming to the gym before class and putting in extra work 7 days a week. I regained those 10 pounds, but this time it was more muscle than fat.
In 2016, I am stronger than I have ever been, and I finished this year’s open 10th place in the gym. I never would have predicted that great a finish, and I’m excited to see how much more improvement I will see through continued hard work. I’ve been helped and motivated along the way by too many people to list, but I must thank Dino, Perry, and Francesca for keeping the gym running smoothly, and Adam and all other trainers over the years who create the awesome workouts that keep me coming back.