Athlete Spotlight for January!
Name: Nickolas Jackson III
Hometown: Norfolk, VA
My first day at CFR was a Monday, September 30, 2019. Before I moved to Missouri, my parents told me all about CFR. It developed a strong desire. They had been coming for a few years, my dad essentially said, “I don’t care how good of shape you’re in, CrossFit is going to break you off”. So I knew I HAD to do it. Plus, if my dad says something about fitness, you can take it to the bank. So I finally made it up to CrossFit Republic and three days later, my parents brought me to my first workout (WOD).
I’ve always been super active. Believe it or not, I was doing double-unders with my umbilical cord and throwing boxing combos underwater in my first bath. My dad and I were always wrestling, playing outdoors, and riding dirt bikes when I was really young. I played football, basketball, and raced BMX. I’ve played soccer, softball, and handball unofficially. My dad ignited a flame within me for martial arts and being a warrior when I was so young. As a teenager I trained Shaolin Kung Fu and wrestling, then I moved and trained for a marathon for a few months before pursuing my passion for fighting again. That’s pretty much what has had my heart consistently throughout my life. I did calisthenics my whole life, there is a beauty in the strength of what you can do with just your body. I did a lot of HIIT and hit some weights for a time when I went into The Marines. Afterwards, I put everything into calisthenics, Tae Kwon Do, Wrestling, and Boxing. Even now, when my schedule allows, my dad trains me in Judo and Japanese Jujitsu.
Essentially, the Lord exposed me to CrossFit because He answered my parents prayers and led me to contact my dad after I started following Him at 21. Then my dad introduced me to CrossFit. So, you see? You can blame Jesus for having to deal with me now.😁
My first workout was a team workout, I teamed up with my parents. I remember Meg was the coach. It was a 2000m row buy in, 4 rounds of 6 rope climbs and 10 bear complexes and a 2000m cash out. As all beginners, I breezed through the WOD, piece of cake. I don’t even think I broke a sweat….ok, ok, considering I had two bruised bones in my shoulder it was quite painful but so much fun. I fell in love. Meg and my parents were very patient and insightful, I did struggle with all of the noises and commotion. I met a few people that day and they welcomed me as if we’d known each other for years. It really threw me off as to how nice everyone was.
The power snatch is most definitely my favorite olympic lift!! I love any gymnastics or calisthenics work, I even like burpees! Least favorite is Squat Cleans, NO CONTEST!! Mainly because I haven’t figured out my technique yet.
I usually go to the 4:30/5:30pm classes. That’s where my friends and family usually are. I love the 5am and 9am as well. I’ve bounced around whenever my schedule conflicts.
Before CrossFit, I was extremely lean. Almost all I did was calisthenics and conditioning. I’ve put on around 13lbs of muscle mass since joining in the first couple of months. I certainly feel more powerful than ever without feeling heavy or limited. I’ve always had a fear of losing my engine if I gained mass. My strength endurance has increased tremendously, I’ve always emphasized performance over aesthetics, but having both is cool too! I love the concept of being good at everything, feeling as if you can lift whatever and still go forever with just your body. The biggest change I have experienced though is in regards to mental health and some physical. You see, I haven’t always been a Christian and used to live quite wickedly. I was caught up in the streets and ended up going to prison when I was 19. A mentor Joseph snatched me up and taught me what it is to be a man. I met Jesus through his character. It’s really an incredible story. Anyhow, God led me to my dad and I was led to move in with him upon release. Well, all of the odds were against us and so multiple people at the gym knew of the situation and were praying for me to make it up here, God made the way. When I got out, I was very intense, always on edge, I had such a hard time with crowded areas. My heart raced and I would sweat, I would feel sick knowing I had to go to crowded places, etc. God knew I need CrossFit Republic.
My first day, people had been expecting me and I didn’t know any of them. I’ll never forget this, Macy approached me and said he was glad I was there and that he was a fellow believer and I wasn’t alone. I needed that so much more than I knew. Although Macy pushed up and said that, due to the prayers he and Mrs. Jen put into that place. It created a safe haven and welcoming environment where anyone can thrive, regardless of their background. There’s multiple times I would either do two wods in a day or a WOD and extra work for hours just so I could remain in that environment. Regardless of anything going on, its always been in my mind that I can make it to CrossFit and grind!! Car accident, I went to CrossFit. Losing friends, I went to CrossFit. And so on. I thank God for this environment. I still don’t like crowds and I struggle at times but I have grown exponentially. I’ve got my own place, I’ve got my own business painting, and I’m living out my passion of personal training. All of this has happened since joining and with the support of CFR members. God even uses me to help others there, it’s fantastic. There’s so much love there and magnificent people. I wouldn’t have overcome so much without my family and CFR.
Favorite moments are when my family and friends are at the same WOD and we drive together. I hit a power snatch PR with my parents and friends cheering me on. PR’s are always euphoric. There was a teams of 3 WOD that I got to do with two of my bestfriends Ben and John. We pushed and carried one another through it. Finally, when you get someone with a similar drive and you two go head to head in a WOD and leave it all on the floor. I love that!
New members! Do not compare yourself to others, don’t be concerned with pride, embarrassment, or anything outside the gym. The most successful people were willing to look foolish when learning something new. You only need to be better than your past self, always seek progression, not perfection. Then, TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE! Injuries don’t have to happen and ask any questions you come up with.
“No one was ever wise by chance” – Seneca
Let’s pretend we have two individuals out hiking in the woods.
The first trips over a root, and after scrambling back to his feet, kicks the root in frustration and storms off. The second individual trips over the very same root as well, but has a different response. After gathering himself, he looks around, refreshing himself of the importance to scan the path ahead. He then moves on, now paying closer attention to the ground in front of him.
One took the effort to learn from it, one did not.
Wisdom isn’t by chance. It is by choice.
Conditioning WOD – 18 minutes
12 Box Overs (24″/20″)
12 Burpee Pull-ups OR 8 Bar Muscle Ups
“X” Clean and Jerks
Round 1: 15 Clean and Jerks (135/95)
Round 2: 12 Clean and Jerks (155/105)
Round 3: 9 Clean and Jerks (185/135)
Round 4: 6 Clean and Jerks (205/145)
Round 5: 3 Clean and Jerks (225/155)
WORKOUT BRIEF [0:00 – 5:00]
- We’ll climb in weight and drop the reps of clean and jerks in this grindy triplet workout
- This piece is 5 rounds for time, or an 18-minute time cap, whatever comes first
- If you hit the time cap, enter 18:00 as your score and put where you got to in the notes
- Use one barbell and change the weight as you go
CLEAN AND JERKS
- We’re looking for weights during all rounds that will be completed as steady singles
- Use the prescribed weights as a guide, but not as a must
- To put things in context, use weights that you’ll never fail a rep at
- You can customize these weight jumps to keep moving forward
- You can squat clean or power clean the weight
- Same goes for split jerk and push jerk
- Choose a bar height that is just out of reach of your outstretched fingertips
- After jumping or stepping out of the burpee, you can complete a jumping pull-up or a kipping pull-up
- Jump up to the box for “RX”
- We recommend stepping down or jumping down instead of rebounding
- You do not have to stand to full extension on top of the box
Box Jumps w/ Step Down (Workout Height)
Slow Air Squats
Barbell Strict Press & Reach Video
Child’s Pose on Box: 1 Minute
Forearms Stretch on Box: 1 Minute
Pigeon Pose on Box: 1 Minute Each Side
- We’re doing a lot of jumping and pulling in the burpee pull-up as well as the clean and jerk that follows
- There is a trade off on how hard we jump here with how hard we pull
- A strong jump up to the bar means less pulling with the arms, but heavier breathing
- A softer jump to the bar means it’s easier on the lungs, but harder on the arms
- You could also finish the burpee and then kip the pull-up, which is slower, but easier on the lungs and the arms
- 10 Scap Pull-ups Video
- 3 Burpees
- 3 Jumping Pull-ups
- 3 Burpee Pull-ups
- We want to focus on landing with the heels down on the box overs mainly because of how it’s going to transfer over to the barbell movement that follows
- If we land in the toes, those habits can carry over to the clean and the jerk
- Be aware of landing all the way on the box with the foot all the way in contact with the wood
- 5 Box Overs (Workout Height)
CLEAN AND JERKS
- With this being a two part movement, the efficiency of our clean will carry over into the jerk
- If we are in the toes for the clean, it will significantly throw off the balance of the jerk
- Check out the Daily Video for some drills that will be helpful in feeling this out
- 5 Power Cleans (Feet in Cement)
- 5 Push Jerks (Feet in Cement)
- 5 Clean and Jerks (Feet in Cement)
- Touch First 3 Workout Weights
PRACTICE ROUND [30:00-35:00]
With 1st Round Weight:
4 Box Overs
3 Burpee Pull-ups
2 Clean and Jerk
STRATEGY + WOD [35:00-60:00]
- The big sticking point in this workout is the clean and jerks, especially as the weight climbs
- Set yourself up with those later, heavier weights in mind
- Each movement should be approached in a way that allows you to thrive in the back half of this workout
- Steady box overs, steady burpee pull-ups, and steady singles on the barbell
- You can use the weight change after each set of clean and jerks as an opportunity to catch your breath and reload for the next round of work
CLEAN AND JERKS
- Double Dumbbell Clean and Jerks
- Single Dumbbell Clean and Jerk
- Odd Object Clean and Jerks Video
- Kettlebell Swings
- Slamballs Video
- 2x Burpees
- Renegade Rows on Dumbbells ( 1 Rep = 1 Push-up + 1 Row Each Side)
- 36 Lateral Hops Over Barbell or Dumbbell
- 12 Box Step-ups
- 36 Double Unders
- 50 Single Unders
- 24 Jumping Lunges
- 24 Reverse Lunges
Extra Work (Before or after class)
3 Sets of 8: Sumo Deadlifts
3 Sets of 12: Romanian Deadlifts
3 Sets of 16: Weighted Glute Bridges
Complete One Of The Following After Each Set (9 Sets Total):
A) 25-50′ Handstand Walk
B) 1 Minute of Handstand Walk Practice