Have you ever wondered where you’ll be after two years of a well balanced, healthy diet and consistent exercise 3-5 times per week? While everyone’s starting point is different, a lot of change can happen in two years of consistent work. This weeks athlete of the week, Jake Brynjelsen, is a great example of what a steady and committed approach to fitness can do in two years. Jake was in the first Fundamentals Course at the Bunker in December of 2012, and we took a few minutes to find out what he is most proud of and what he recommends for the new members. Jake has checked in nearly 300 times in those two years. Despite his schedule and frequent travel, Jake eats a paleo diet consistently and has seen what a combination of quality food and consistent, quality training can do. At 40 years old, Jake will often put some of the best scores on the white board. He is learning to read his body and know his limits and here is what he has to say about his experience so far…
What was it like starting out at CF PAX?
Starting out at CrossFit PAX was an exciting and humbling experience. In the past I have gone to a traditional gym and also separately participated in a group physical fitness program. CrossFit brought weight training and a group friendly competitive atmosphere to one place. Knowing that when I walk into the Bunker I don’t have to plan out my routine and that everyone will be going through the same WOD together keeps me coming back for more.
What has changed in your life since starting?
The biggest change is a desire to keep improving on skills and getting personal records. While I approach new personal records with caution, I do love to see improvement. We all have ups and downs in our training and it validates the CrossFit approach when you realize gains. A gain can be anything from graduating to a new color band to getting that first hand stand. Don’t measure your success at CrossFit against others. Measure your success against yourself.
How has your diet changed? What does your current diet look like? What foods do you rely on most?
The biggest improvement I have seen since starting CrossFit was when I went on a strict Paleo diet. I am currently not on a strict Paleo diet and I can see a negative impact. I try to eat whole foods and avoid processed and fast foods. In addition I source local products such as local meats to seasonal vegetables.
What have you accomplished and what are you the most proud of?
Being able to do a muscle up at 40 years old was a proud moment for me. I’m not the best at stringing them together but I’m getting there slowly.
What advice would you give to anyone starting CrossFit?
Make slow and steady progress. Another huge impact to your results is your diet. If you eat poorly, don’t expect positive results. Lastly, try to get into the 4-5 times per week attendance zone. This is where I have seen the best results. Good luck and see you at the Bunker!
Simple advice from a knowledgeable athlete who has been around for long enough to know how to make the changes stick. He committed, and has the results to prove it. While all of your friends are talking about resolutions this year, why not just take a small step in the right direction? When that one sticks, take another small step. If you educate yourself, surround yourself with positive people doing the same thing and commit yourself to making the right decisions, you’ll never need to ride the diet roller coaster again or wish you could be in better shape. Truly healthy food i s nourishing and filling, so there is no feeling deprived. A quality training program will give your body the right stimulus, but also the right amount of rest to see good results.
Jake is a great example of someone who started off 2013 on the right foot with CrossFit PAX, then stuck with it and two years has a lot to show for his dedication. He continues to improve daily by listening to his coaches, educating himself, working hard on training days, and resting well on rest days. He doesn’t have to compare himself to anyone else to know how far he has come.
Way to go, Jake. We look forward to seeing you in class and watching you continue to set those personal records and encourage your fellow athletes to do the same. The best is yet to come!