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C2B for A.J. by Hilary Achauer - CrossFit Journal

C2B for A.J.

By Hilary Achauer

In Athletes, Powerlifting

October 22, 2012

PDF Article

A world record holder in powerlifting, A.J. Roberts started CrossFit to lose weight and get healthy. Now he has a bigger goal in mind: he wants to compete at the CrossFit Games. Hilary Achauer reports.

There’s a joke at Westside Barbell, the world-renowned powerlifting gym in Columbus, Ohio, about the curse of the Westside Barbell tattoo. The theory goes that once someone gets the Westside Barbell logo inked in their skin, their days at Louie Simmons’ gym are numbered.

In March 2011, A.J. Roberts achieved a world record. Weighing 308 lb., he lifted a total of 2,825 lb. via a 1,140-lb. squat, an 870-lb. bench press and an 815-lb. deadlift. To commemorate his achievement, Roberts got the Westside Barbell logo tattooed across his back.

A year later, after squatting 1,205 lb., the heaviest weight ever squatted by any Westside member, Roberts left the gym, retired from powerlifting and moved to San Diego.

He had achieved his goal of becoming the strongest.

Now he wants to become the fittest.

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13 Comments on “C2B for A.J.”


Stephen Hubbard wrote …

Really freaking cool, I'm very excited to see how he progresses.


wrote …

Get it AJ!


wrote …

I've been following his journey here at WannaBeBig for a while. It's motivating to see the progress he's made in such a short time. Keep up the awesome work AJ! Can't wait to see you at the games.


wrote …

An inspiring dedication!


wrote …

Someone like him is so dam strong geneticly he probally did not even need to lift weights.


wrote …

With all the new MetCon work I would love to know his 2K time on the rower! Love to see AJ race at C.R.A.S.H.B's in Boston.


wrote …

Good luck and enjoy the path. AJ sounds like he's the perfect client. It's easier/ faster to gain MetCon than strength. I would not say that his goal should be to "lose" muscle, or "lost strength, but gain metCon and flexibility and prowess in the many movements that are standard in CF, like Double unders, Ringg Dips, Muscle Ups, GHD situps, OHS, FS, Snatch, SDHP, pullups, C2B pullups, HSPUs, Ring HSPUs, ... pretty sure he can teach EVERYONE else about DL, Bench and Squat.... I would say that those movements should be relooked at and used as well... don't forget that amazing stuff... but concentrate on the weaknesses... it's the hardest thing to continually beat down on your weaknesses... I liked that Speal was once very honest and said that he has to occasionally add in bodyweight days or movements for regaining confidence to continually hit on his weaknesses. It's true that we all need to see we're proficient and not that we only need to work on this that and the other thing.
I would say that triplets using one strength component and two other weaknesses would be a nice way to gain MetCon and also work on weaknesses.
Best.. can't wait to see what kind of a CF beast will come out of AJ in the next 2 years.


wrote …

Anton, yes, but AJ needs to lose muscle mass and body fat simply because he cannot be the best CrossFitter he can be at 270 lbs. I think his biggest challenge is mobility. Once he gets that to a certain level his performance will shoot up. I enjoy watching his transformation.

For the fellow that said he doesn't need to lift weights I think that unintentionally undermines the incredible hard work he did to get to where he was. I know because I do it. I am nowhere near where AJ was, but I am pretty strong and building extreme strength is very, very difficult. It is a continual beating on the body.


Travis Jarmin wrote …

He needs to get Mike Dolce in his corner for his nutrition and diet. I think he'd be a completely different athlete in less than two months time, physique and all.


wrote …

Awesome story, I wish nothing but the best to this Behemoth! What the mind believes, the body will achieve.


wrote …

Great read, and not surprising after getting to meet AJ. It will be cool to watch his progress for sure.


wrote …

This was very inspiring! Great article! Well writen and a joy to read! Can't wait to read the next one. Thanks for writing it!


Frank DiMeo wrote …

AJ, we will be following your progress.
Keep up the great work!

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