During his 20s, Jools dabbled in kickboxing but travel got in the way and he switched to some casual gym strength sessions and occasional 5k runs in his 30s. He started CrossFit in January 2014 with limited cardio and some upper body strength but poor lower body mobility and power.
When Jools started CrossFit he says he looked at the recommended weights and complex movements as something “amusingly aspirational”! For 6 months he deadlifted from boxes whilst working on his mobility. For 2 years pistol squats were something he could never see happening but he stuck with it, worked on his ankle mobility and one day he knocked out a handful! A week later he did a pistol squat-based workout at the recommended level – slowly, but with a massive 55 reps on each leg. Jools says they were a clear sign of progress rather than an aspiration!
In the CrossFit Open in 2016 Jools was one of the thousands who, through sheer determination (and some coaching) got a bar muscle up on the Friday – and he did a lap of honour to celebrate!
“My main achievement is almost certainly that, at 47, I’m now more fit that I have been ever in my life and can still embarrass the youngsters on occasion,” says Jools. “I’d say to anyone considering CrossFit to stop considering it and just get involved! Whatever your age or fitness the programme works for everyone, and if you stick to it you’ll see and feel the changes. I have trained now all over the world and the community is the same everywhere. Come in, park your ego at the door, be open to coaching, be part of the community and I promise you’ll love it. The best fitness programme is one that you stick to. CrossFit 2012 give you a programme that works and a community that will encourage you to get it done. “
Jools says his 2018 targets are “operation handstand walk” and adding 10kg to his Snatch. We’re looking forward to helping him reach those targets!