Central Athlete Feature: Jason Franklin

Before joining CrossFit Central I was an overweight, out of shape 42 year old with high blood pressure. I was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life. My clothes didn’t fit well; they were tight and I was on the verge of having to move up to the next pant size. My 2 year old and 4 year old wanted me to play and run around…basically have fun, but I never had the energy or stamina to do much with them for very long. I’d worked out in my twenties and early 30s, mostly traditional gym weight lifting (i.e. bench press, leg press, etc)…but hadn’t seen the inside of a gym for a very long time. I was tired of the way I looked and felt all the time. So sometime in September I finally had had it and was done with myself. I was ready to make a change. I was ready to take control of my health and fitness. I wanted to look and feel better for my kids and wife, but also for myself. I wanted to have the energy to play with my kids and if possible get off my blood pressure medicine.

My wife started encouraging me to try out CrossFit since some of her friends and co-workers were CrossFit athletes and really liked it. She thought I’d like it a lot too. My wife encouraged me to check out CrossFit Central because some of her friend were CC athletes and spoke highly of the gym and the coaches. I wanted to get off my blood pressure medicine, lose weight, get stronger, and have more energy to play with my kids. I signed up for the Elements class with Lizi Riley held the week of September 16, 2013. I started CrossFit Co-Ed on T-TH mornings with Zachary Thiel the week after I finished the Elements class. I attend the 5:30am T/Th CrossFit class with Zachary and then a strength and oly lifting small group class with Zachary on Friday afternoons. I added the 3rd day with Zachary in January after I felt like I could survive more than 2 days per week of CrossFit and it’s really helped elevate my game.

Before I started CrossFit I weighed 233 lbs. and was probably over 30% body fat. By the time I did my 1st body comp I’d already lost a few pounds just by cutting back on the amount of food I was eating. I had 28% body fat on my 1st body comp. My latest body comp is down to 18%…that was done a month or two ago. I’ve lost over 35 lbs…I actually hit the weight loss numbers sometime in late December or early January after 3 or 4 months of CrossFit. I’ve dropped 2 pants sizes. I’ve gotten considerably stronger compared to where I was when I first started. After 4 yrs of taking medicine to control my high blood pressure my doctor took me completely off my blood pressure medicine On Monday, March 3rd, 2014.

When I first started I was so out of shape that I didn’t even make it through the 1st elements class before Lizi told me to sit down and stop for the day. I guess I looked like I was going to have heat stroke or pass out on her. It took me a few months before I could do the 400 meter run in warm-ups without stopping to walk part of the way. For the first few months I used to think to myself, “What did you do? Why did you sign yourself up for this?” But I stuck it out and kept coming back because I started seeing small little changes. I was able to run a little farther each time. I was getting stronger and lifting more than the time before. And slowly but surely I started getting to where I could actually finish an entire WOD in the allotted time. Those little accomplishments felt great and kept motivating me to come back for more. I didn’t really pay attention too much to what others in class were doing (accept for the times they encouraged me to keep going, keep pushing) and just kept focusing on doing the best that I could do and to try and push a little harder each time. I really enjoy CrossFit. I’m so happy I found the sport of CrossFit and even happier I didn’t quit early on when it felt impossible to go on and I constantly felt like I was going to pass out or die

In general my mood has improved drastically…overall I’m happier. During a phone conversation one day my sister commented that I sounded happier. She lives in another state and hadn’t seen the physical changes I’d gone through, but she could hear the changes in my voice and attitude. Clothes are fitting better which makes me feel better. I’m more focused at work and I’m sleeping better at night. My body doesn’t ache in the mornings when I wake up…unless it’s the day after an extremely tough workout. :-) I’ve also inspired my brother, sister-in-law, and sister to all start training at a CrossFit gym in the Denver, CO area.

Favorite movement or workout?
I like back squats, front squats, and deadlifts. As I get more practice and improve my technique I’m starting to enjoy snatch and clean movements more and more.

Favorite food or meal?
Not sure I have a favorite meal. I’ve changed my eating habits so much since I started CrossFit. Maybe sliced sweet potatoes cooked in a little coconut oil…very tasty (my kids love it too). I try to follow a Paleo diet…although I don’t consider myself 100% hardcore Paleo. I encourage any of the members that have never attended a nutrition meeting at CrossFit Central to do so. It’s free and full of great information. I attended a session probably a month into CrossFit and it was very instrumental in helping me to make dietary changes in my life. Changing my diet as a result of attending one of the free sessions has had a huge impact on my weight loss as well as my performance in the WODs.

What are your goals for the remainder of the year? What do you want to achieve?
I’m still working on my pull-ups. I want to do 5-10 unmodified pull-ups (strict and kipping). I want to hit 300 lb. max lift on my back squat….that will tie my max from when I was in my mid-twenties. I hit 275 lb. on my last max, so this one is within reach. I don’t know if it will happen this year or not, but I really want to be able to perform a muscle-up. As far as weight goes I’m not so concerned with my actual weight right now, but would like to continue to decrease my body fat while I continue to improve my strength. If I could hit 12% body fat by the end of the year, that would be awesome.

CrossFit Central is building a community of fit individual all over Austin. We offer multiple locations and a variety of training to help you have fun and get results.

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