Behind the scenes with our Barbell Athlete of the Month, James.
How or when did your focus shift to concentrating on Novem’s Barbell Club programming?
I started Novem Barbell to re-learn my lifts after a lengthy break due to moving to Philadelphia.
Tell us one thing about yourself that no one in the gym knows about you.
I completed a culinary program in high school which fueled my love for cooking. It has led me to start a shared Instagram with my siblings about food, cooking, and staying healthy on a budget. Check us out on @thechefpandas on Instagram!
What is your Athletic background?
I grew up playing competitive tennis throughout high school. Ranked within the top 50 in the state of Florida. Decided to try rowing in college, which ended prematurely do to a car accident. But that led me to CrossFit as a way to get back in shape, so it was a blessing I disguise.
What is your favorite of the two competition lifts and why?
I would say the snatch is my favorite lift, even though my clean and jerk is more refined. To me, the snatch is poetry in motion. The perfect blend of power, speed, and finesse.
What do you find most rewarding with the competition style of lifting?
I haven’t actually done a competition yet…But that will probably be one my goals this year. I hope to compete in the 85 kg class. But I could imagine the most rewarding part of the competition lifts is fighting to stabilize the weight overhead. The sheer excitement I experienced doing that in practice, must be multiplied 100x when you’re on a competition platform.
Do you have any goals or aspirations to compete?
Well like I mentioned before, one goal would to be to compete at the 85kg class, and probably set a total around 230 kg. My lifetime total is 213 kg, so that would be my barbell goal. My other goals include achieving a side split and building a quadcopter from scratch.
How has Novem Barbell Club impacted your training and your life?
Novem has showed me my limitations. These limitations are my enemies and my goals. It has stressed the importance of flexibility and patience. Novem barbell and it’s coaches have taught me to take a step back, achieve smaller goals, and to rebuild my foundation to hopefully help me save those competitions lifts in the future.