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Meet John Rowell

John is the nice guy of the box with a great personality and one of them members where outside the box you know he can hold his own. Always the smartest dressed in and out the box and he has that eagerness to be better within this environment which has shown in his training over recent years with some great accomplishments.


John is the classic example of getting into Crossfit after his 40s yet achieving movement standards and numbers that some will never achieve. Another one of our members where "Age is just a number"



John's Highlights:

Doing Row the Tyne as part of 1 of 4 teams of 6 from CFTT

Competing in various comps, particularly at Tribal Clash in Portugal in 2019 - what a week we had! Looking forward to doing it again this year

Getting my first bar muscle up was amazing

Taking part in my first CrossFit Open along with thousands of people around the world and taking therefore part in the yearly Friday Night Lights!

Clean sweeping Dave Harrison 5-0 in the last Open and taking his sweets off him

The legendary CFTT Christmas parties - the coaches’ annual video Gets better every year!!


Age: 48


Occupation: Managing Director

Started CFTT: January 2015 I think

Sports / Fitness background? I played football from a young age until my early 40’s. I’ve tried joining a gym on numerous occasions over the years but have never been able to stick at it, mainly down to lack of knowledge and motivation, boredom and, mainly, because I didn’t enjoy it. I’ve also tried running on occasion and have completed 8 half marathons but again, it’s not something I particularly enjoyed doing so I was never able to keep it going and be consistent.

Why did you choose CFTT?

I had to stop playing football because the effects of an old knee injury – an ACL rupture and cartilage tear has resulted in mild osteoarthritis – and was looking for some kind of sport or exercise to keep active. I’d just lost 1.5 stone through a change in diet and I wanted to make sure I was able to keep it off. My wife had recently started going to the classes at CFTT and I’d regularly ask her about what sort of things she was doing there – I was impressed (and a little surprised) that she’d not only stuck at it but was really enjoying it. I’d never been one for lifting weights before but I liked the sound of the mix of different exercises and the variety of the workouts that she was doing and I was really encouraged by the level of coaching so I thought I’d give it a try. 


Favourite Crossfit Benchmark WOD? It has to be Grace. I love that even though it’s a very short workout with only one movement you have to really think about strategy, pacing and technique and how, if you get it right, it makes a big difference to your score. I also like how I always feel a little bit scared before I start!

What kind of progress have you made over the past year? I’ve been able to take part in various competitions, both as an individual and as part of a team. I’m learning more and more about my limits and also about managing rest and recovery to help maximise performance and reduce injuries, something that takes on greater importance as I get older.

What the biggest misconception about CrossFit? I’ve been told a few times that people think CrossFit is extremely hard. I tell them it is hard, it’s meant to be challenging but only on your own level and that all movements can be scaled to suit any individual ability.

Advice for someone looking to start CrossFit? I’d say give it a try, definitely. The workouts are always varied and inevitably challenging which keeps it fresh and exciting. I’ve also found CrossFit to be much, much more than just an exercise programme, it’s a hugely supportive and enjoyable community as well so get ready to make a lot of new friends. 

What's next?

I want to continue to improve my numbers across the board and fill in my skills gaps for things like handstand walks, ring muscle ups and butterfly pull ups. This year I’ll be entering more competitions, including the fantastic Tribal Clash in Portugal, and I want to be able to perform at my best level.

© 2018 by CFTT. 

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