Four years after CrossFit helped him lose 210 lb., Johnny Di Gregorio abandoned the training methodology to become a competitive weightlifter. After several injuries, he’s back to CrossFit, saying it’s the healthiest choice for him. Andréa Maria Cecil reports.
At 23, Johnny Di Gregorio was 425 lb. Three years later, he lost nearly half of that weight by following CrossFit.com programming. But that’s not the most interesting part of Di Gregorio’s story.
In January 2011, two years after he competed on Team CrossFit Academy’s squad at the 2009 CrossFit Games and opened his affiliate, Di Gregorio decided to forgo the training methodology that changed his life for the better. Instead, he purposely regained 100 lb. to be more competitive in the sport of Olympic weightlifting.
“I resolved to spend two years to doing everything, no matter what, to see how far I could take weightlifting,” he explained.
At his best, Di Gregorio snatched 286 lb. and clean and jerked 363 lb. In 2011, he won the Cal State Games in his weight class. In 2012, he took home the silver medal at the Cal State Games in his weight class and qualified for the American Open. But Di Gregorio became “riddled” with knee and shoulder injuries.
“I realized that weightlifting is not about health and longevity,” he said. “It’s about being strong enough to lift the weight.”
That’s when Di Gregorio put an end to his competitive weightlifting career.
“I decided that I wanted to get healthy again,” he said.
And so he came back to CrossFit.