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Athlete of the Month – John S.

April 5th, 2018
john-s-img-1 For the last 4 years at TGA, the month of March has been about expressing your hard earned strength gains during PR Testing, what has now become known as March Mayhem. This month’s Athlete of the Month is an amazing example of a highly competitive athlete who is committed to STRENGTH. He did not miss a single PR Test. He trains with intentionality and purpose-to get STRONGER. He trusts the process.
john-s-img-2I’ve known John for a long time, ever since he was dating Joann, over 10 years now. I used to refer to him as Joann’s boyfriend, then it was Joann’s husband, now he’s just STRONG John! I have noticed such an incredible change in him since his sweet little baby Nora was born a little over 3 months ago. He’s driven with a greater sense of purpose. I’ve really enjoyed watching the change and growth in him.
That sense of purpose also translates to the barbell. Trust me, he’s one of the strongest guys YOU know. (Yes he’s got really good genetics for lifting) He’s willing to push his strength limits, regardless of the outcome. Ever since I’ve worked with him, he’s always been coachable and willing to learn and get better. And it’s ok with me if he doesn’t always want to participate in the “No Sugar Challenges.” I know his wifey will do it with me!!!

I asked John a few questions so that you would get to know him better:

Why is strength training important to you? Tell us a little bit about your athletic background.
Strength training is important to me because it is the thing I enjoy most when I think of “working out.” I’m not really one for running on a treadmill, cycling, or jogging. To me, it’s the most obvious way to track fitness improvements over time. If I lift more weight than last year, I feel like I’m in better shape by growing muscle mass, feeling more mentally fit, and a healthier heart. If I lost weight, that’d be bonus.
My athletic background entails a little bit of everything. I played just about every sport you can think of growing up: football, hockey, wrestling, soccer, volleyball, track & field, cross country, basketball, baseball, etc. You name it, I played it. I did football, wrestling, and track my freshman year (wrestling because I got cut from basketball, which I am terrible at). The one thing I hated about competing in wrestling and track is that it took me away from the off-season football program, which was all about training in the weight room. So after my freshman year, I focused solely on one sport that would allow me to lift weights for 9 months of the year. I enjoyed that programming way more than running in circles on the track.
john-s-img-6Now that you are a dad, does that change how you feel about your health and fitness? Does it motivate you to be even stronger?
Definitely. I’m more motivated now to be healthy and fit so I can keep up with a kid that has endless energy. I want to be the dad that can play basketball (terribly) with his daughter and not get tired, or coaches her soccer team and can run up and down the sideline. Staying in shape is more important now than ever, and I want to be someone she can look up to and learn about work ethic, consistency, and goal-setting. Plus, I have to keep up with Nora’s mom which is no easy task.
john-s-img-7What do you like about training with a team?
The accountability and camaraderie. When I see other people reach their goals or hit a new PR, that’s exciting after having seen all the work that they put in to get there. It’s motivating for me to see how others approach their training and try to replicate it. TGA has a whole group of people that are so dedicated that it makes me more accountable for myself. If I haven’t been to a class in awhile, people wonder where you’ve been. It’s also helpful to commiserate with everyone when Coach T promises at 10:14 on Saturday morning that “this is the last thing you’re doing today so give it everything you’ve got,” just to have it be a lie and get a 2-minute plank added on at the end of class.


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