CFLA Athlete Profile – Jake Kramer

 In Athlete Profile, Blog

Hometown: Santa Monica, California
Age: 37
Occupation: Project Manager
When did you first start CrossFitting?: (+-) 1/15/2014
When did you first start training at CFLA?: (+-) 1/15/2014
Favorite WOD: I like them all. Lifting is really fun. Possibly the January 2015 Whole Life Challenge workout. It sounded so easy until you got into it. I’m not saying I like hard workouts, but this one was such a great workout.

Least Favorite WOD: Not so into burpees or running. So anything with burpees in it. But I know its good for me. So I just overcome and do it.

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: Growing up I was in gymnastics from about age 5-10. From there I did some karate for about a year. After that until high school I would go to my grandpa’s house in Texas every summer. I called it “the fat camp”. Only saying this because at around age 11. I started battling with my weight. Grandpa would get me up in the morning. Grandma would have breakfast ready. We would eat and then workout. Sit-ups, push-ups, back squats, bench press, hitting a speed bag and a heavy bag, then run 1.5 miles every day. I would always go to Texas fat and come back lean. Then in high school I got into football with all its training. This is where I got really strong. I was bench pressing over 300lbs and squatting over 400lbs.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel?For about 2 years my good friend and neighbor Tom tried to convince me to join CrossFit. I was a member of many different gyms like 24 Hour Fitness. I kept blowing it off thinking I was going somewhere with gyms like 24. Tom started one of his first Whole Life Challenges and said I should just give it a shot. So I did. I was really glad I did. Shortly after that he enrolled in another one so I signed up to do it with him. This is where I experienced …the Burpee. When I watched Tom do one. I said to myself, “piece of cake”. Wow oh Wow was I wrong. After 5 — that’s right I said 5 — I thought I was going to die. So to bring us to my first WOD, all I remember was the Burpee’s. I really saw the meaning of team spirit. It gave me the encouragement to push harder and move faster. There is nothing out there like CrossFit. The feeling I had after that first workout is something I have a hard time describing. It’s a lot of emotions all wrapped into one. I was so excited that I stepped in and did the workout. Pissed I couldn’t do a lot of the movements.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Just over a year ago I weighed 312lbs and was taking 4 different ( high ) blood pressure medications and looking like I was carrying triplets and with a head as round as a bowling ball. Not a pretty picture. My enrollment day was (+-) the start of the January 2014 Whole Life Challenge. I weighed in at just under 300lbs. Ask me this. What can I do? Pull-ups, sit-ups, ……? Nope, on the pull-ups. A few sit-ups, and everything else not so good. But I was determined to change my life. I had seen the light. My doctor said to me, “You need to do something Jacob or I’m going to have to add another pill”. My friends and family telling me I need to do something. Ok now this is the best part. The after! I’m down over 80lbs (228lbs). 80! Man, that’s like a person almost. The doctor you ask? Well I’m not off meds totally. However, I’ve gone from 4 pills to a ½ of one and a reduced second. Wow! Right? As for the workouts — are you ready for this? I got a pull-ups, not a lot in a row but YEP! Sit-ups, push-ups, squats, burpees (oh man BURPEES! I’m getting better with them. They are not as hard as they once were), max back-squat 275lb, max clean-jerk 165lb, the list goes on and on. Basically, I am a new man. I don’t get winded walking up a flight of stairs or run short distances. How I feel is really indescribable. There are just too many words to try an explain it. If I had to give you one word, …… Spectacular!!

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? Very unexpected was my blood pressure medication. I had to see my doctor a while back because I was feeling a little light headed. Turned out I had low blood pressure. Who would have thunk if you lost weight you might need to reduce you drug intake.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: I think my most memorable moment to date has to be when I nailed my first kipping pull-up. I remember after I did it. I went running around the gym giving anyone I could high 5’s. What a great day! There are others that come close. This is my favorite so far.

Any advice for people just getting started? #1 and most important: Don’t be afraid. It’s a lot to take in when you drive by and see the people doing their workouts. Then you say to yourself, “There is no way in hell I can do that.” I will tell you something that will be the key to your success: Everyone here works at different levels and there are all ages from kids to seniors. As much as I want to be a fire breather and ripped, I have to scale down my workouts. That being said, I want to be at the Rx someday. It’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not going to be easy. Ask yourself this question: Do you want to change your life? If your answer is yes, Give CrossFit a shot.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?A long time ago at around age 5 I wanted to be a pilot. Work for an airline. Well it didn’t happen the way I wanted. I had to start wearing glasses in high school so the military wasn’t an option anymore. So 4 years ago I went to flight school and became a licensed pilot. I am a certified BBQ judge, cook competitive BBQ, off-roading, gardening, hiking, biking (mountain or road), etc. Professionally I work at a construction company. So I’m very good with my hands. As a kid I loved to build models, planes mostly but a bunch of car as well. One car I remember most and still have is the remains of a rocket propelled Camaro.


Friday’s Workout

CF OPEN 15.4

8-minute AMRAP:
3 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
6 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
9 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
12 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
15 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
18 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
21 handstand push-ups
9 cleans
Etc., following same pattern

10 push press 
10 cleans 
Men push press 95 lb. and clean 115 lb.
Women push press 65 lb. and clean 75 lb.

 And Coming Monday

A) Back squat (Use 90% of 1RM + 8-20lb as 1RM)
80% x 3
85% x 3
90% x 3+

B) Double under skill practice

C) 5 RFT
10 Wallballs to 10’
1 Squat snatch (80%)
**10min Cap**




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