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“So when I found CrossFit, it was the perfect fit,” says CrossFit Radio host Justin Judkins, who is also the coach of the Maple Mountain Golden Eagles high-school wrestling team. “It brought to the table exactly what it was that I was looking for to do with my athletes.”

Judkins uses CrossFit for training his athletes, and the gains they’ve made using the program are phenomenal. With more all-star wrestlers than any other high-school team and a second-place finish at the Utah High School Activities Association State Championship, Judkin’s wrestling team is making strides.

“It’s been amazing the results we have seen in just the short amount of time we’ve been doing it,” he says.

According to Judkins, CrossFit has brought his athletes together as a team and is an asset to their training.

“It mirrors wrestling so much because you’re actually moving your opponent, lifting and pulling, pushing and squatting and doing all of those basically functional movements against another person. I think that’s why it’s been such a great fit,” Judkins says.

7min 0sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 161 by Justin Judkins, originally aired Feb. 23, 2011.

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19 Comments on “Justin Judkins and the Maple Mountain Golden Eagles”


wrote …

That was great. I wish when I was in high school and wrestling, that we would have had CrossFit. I envy these kids, and I'm excited about where CF will take them in the future! I wish I could share CF with my local HS teams!


wrote …

Nice JJ. You're an awesome part of the community dude.


wrote …

Loved this! I've been waiting for someone to acknowledge the relationship between crossfit and wrestling. They're practically made for each other.


wrote …

In my opinion, no other sport mimics CrossFIt as much as wrestling does. Good to see both Zach and JJ getting screen time with their wrestlers and having success in using CF to improve performance in their athletes. Great stuff! Would love to see more wrestling/CF collaborations in the future here in the journal.


wrote …



wrote …

JJ, Next year I can see your tribe going 1st place at the state championships. Love your podcast, You deliver so much value to the listener and I appreciate your hard work. Keep up the fight JJ and god bless you and the work you do.


wrote …

Look at Speal. Thats a good indication that people with wrestling background have the mentality to excel in this sport. Its great to see Crossfit helping these kids in wrestling, but it will be interesting to see when wrestling is over is this becomes the go to sport for wrestlers, much like mma is now.


wrote …

Excellent example of teaching health and overall fitness as a part of wrestling. 1 + 1 = 3 with this approach! Nice job!


wrote …

As a wrestling coach and affilialte owner we use CF in our program as well. It is obvious that our advantage is our conditioning on the mat. Never do we lose matches becuase of being out of shape. Our wrestlers have seen much success with CF. It is my goal to bring it to all the schools in the county.

Great video!


Rob Ord wrote …

Inspiring piece. Love the sincerity that JJ brings to the community and his athletes - a true servant leader. Motivates me to dig deeper to be a better coach. Thanks Justin.


wrote …

wrestlers have a mental toughness not found in other sports and this is coming from a non wrestler. wrestling didnt make it to savannah GA until after i graduated high school. all the great crossfiters i know have had some exposure to wrestling (well most of them)

sidenote: i love his shorts in the video!!!!!!!!!!!


wrote …

One of the best. Journal. Videos. Ever.

Great work from the wrestling team, the coach, right on up to the video production team. Congratulations to everyone involved. You can't top anecdotal evidence or anecdotal story-telling.

But in future, JJ, I would recommend you watch your language around the young folks. There were at least two "dangs" in there.


wrote …

Right on JJ!!! Glad to see your work in the CrossFit community finally being recognized. Looking forward to your broadcasts at the Games this year. Keep it up!!! CrossFit Radio rules and so does your wrestling team!!!


wrote …

Justin - I am a HS S+C coach/teacher and I have been talking to our wrestling coaches about using CF - they are interested but they haven't taken the leap yet. Any advice? How many different WODs will your team do in a season? How many times might you repeat a certain WOD during a season?


wrote …

I too am a Wrestling and CrossFit Coach in Alabama. Both the High School and Youth (USA Wrestling) incorporated CrossFit WODs at the box where I train..

High School-two state champs
two second place finishers

Youth (USA Wrestling) three state champs
three second place finishers
two third place finishers

Southside HighSchool
Northeast Alabama Wrestling Academy

Dee Grimes
CrossFit Rabid


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

JJ awesome my brutha!!!

REALLY loved this!!!

That WOD looked nasty!!!! ha ha

This yr our gym was most successful

We had 7 qualifiers, MANY underclassmen

103 took Gold as a sophomore!

112 took Gold as a soph, 2nd state title, never lost a dual yet! gunning for the first ever 4 time AND undefeated state champ!

2 guys at 189 placed

this was a BIG year!

Let's keep in touch, brutha!


wrote …

Kurt, Kristofer, Joel, Rocco, William, Jeffrey, Mark, Rob, Marty, Collin, and Zach - thanks for the kind words, they mean a lot to me.
Mario, Congratulations and I see the same things too.
Baker, thanks and the shorts are 2Pood - I love em.
Marty, Sorry for the "street language," but sometimes you have to be graphic with the teen population the way it is these days.
Tom, I have lots of advice based on my trials and errors (lots of errors)- Hit me up with an email ( and I'll be happy to share.
Dee, Congratulations - awesome accomplishments.
Zach, you are the man and a total inspiration. Thanks for our talks and your vids. I learn a bunch each time I watch you.

Sidenote - Our team had three State Champions, Three that took third, One fourth place, and two fifth places. All nine placers are coming back next year.


wrote …

Fantastic stuff. My family and I moved to Mississippi about three years ago and, unfortunately, there is no wrestling down here. My oldest boy is 13 now but he was a great little grappler when we lived in Utah (Riverton, 7-9 yrs old). We train a lot of the crossfit methodology in our garage and hope that one day he will get an opportunity to wrestle for a program like yours. Those boys are very lucky.


wrote …

Just curious how you tackle nutrition and making weight/weight classes with your team. From my experience wrestling in high school we were often focused on trying to compete in a lower weight class, or do really stupid things to make weight. That wasn't necessarily the coaches advice, but it happened regardless. I remember one time the local rival high school coach didn't allow his players to eat dinner or breakfast until they made weight the next morning.

Great stuff though! I often wonder what kind of impact being able to do Crossfit would have had on my high school athletic experience.

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