Oak Park Athlete Profile – Jared Cohen

 In Athlete Profile

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Age: 27
Occupation: Oak Park Coach
When did you first start CrossFitting?: 2010
When did you first start training at Oak Park/CFLA?: August of 2017
Favorite WOD: “DT”
Least Favorite WOD: “Kelly”

Tell us about your sports & fitness background: Prior to CrossFit, I never considered myself much of an athlete. I dabbled in many sports growing up. The two that I was involved in the most were tennis and baseball. During high school, I got into fitness and the world of health/wellness. When I was a senior in high school, I joined the city’s rowing club, and I LOVED that. It was also a great primer to then getting reintroduced to the rowing machine via CrossFit two years later.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I was taking a leave of absence from college due to health complications and thus was back in Chicago. While back in Chicago, I was driving with a buddy of mine and saw this sign that said CrossFit. I somewhat rhetorically inquired what CrossFit was, and my buddy responded saying that a mutual friend of ours was doing it. I was quite fond and impressed by our mutual friend, so I thought if he was doing, I wanted to also check it out.

I think the first “WOD” I was put through involved the rowing machine, pushups, and pullups. Since none of these movements were new to me (unlike anything involving a barbell), I was not that “impressed” nor did I get what was so unique about this CrossFit thing. Therefore, unlike a lot of other first timer stories, my experience was not love at first sight. It wasn’t until 8 months later when I moved to Claremont, CA, to continue my undergraduate studies, and joined a new CrossFit gym close to where I was living that I started to fall in love with the style of training.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Since becoming a user of CrossFit and a coach, I have grown critical of CrossFIt in many different ways. However, unequivocally, CrossFit has changed my life for the better in an infinite number of ways. CrossFit not only broke down so many physical and psychological barriers for me but it also introduced me to the world of paleo nutrition/functional medicine, which has been a game changer for my overall health, and it put me on the path I am today. Music was my first love, and I never considered myself a “sporty person”. However, because of CrossFit, I am finishing up my Master’s degree in sport psychology.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? The fact that I can walk on my hands still mind boggles me. My younger brother was a competitive gymnast growing up, and so I grew up believing that handstand walking was his thing and something I’d never be able to do. Handstand walking is one example of the many ways CrossFit shattered so many of my fixed mindset beliefs that I had constructed from childhood.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / OAK PARK moments: The first time I came to the gym was in the fall of 2015 to attend Kenny’s Mastery Method coaching workshop. This stands out as a favorite memory because like starting CrossFit in 2010, it has since catalyzed so many other great opportunities in my life.

Any advice for people just getting started? Advocate for yourself. CrossFit/fitness in general should be a means to enhance the rest of your life. If your participation in any way is taking away from your performance and enjoyment of the rest of your life, you need to advocate for yourself, so you can take ownership of what is right for you, your body, and your lifestyle. When in doubt, what is “prescribed” should be a decision made COLLABORATIVELY between you and your coach. Disregard what anyone else is doing.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of the gym? I LOVE music. I am a huge John Mayer and Grateful Dead fan. I play guitar, sing, and write my own tunes.

Friday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

For time:
(with a partner)

50 clusters (95/65) share a barbell


800m Run
40 OPB- shared
50m Fireman’s carry each person

1250m Run
40 OPB- shared
50m Fireman’s carry each person

1mile Run
40 OPB- shared
50m Fireman’s carry each person

 Saturday’s Workout

“Open Prep!”
Row for cals
OH Squats (95/65)
Over-Bar Burbees
Toe to Bar

Sunday’s Workout

4 Rounds
60 seconds each station
1 min rest between rounds
-Tripod balance
-Lateral box jump up and over
-Russian Twists
-Alt DB thrusters

Monday’s Workout

8 min AMRAP
3 Strict Chinups
3 Hang Sq. Cleans (135/95)




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