Athlete of the Month: Jack James

Jack James Athlete of the Month Middletown NJ

Congratulations to Jack James for being our December 2020 Athlete of the Month! A regular to the early morning classes, he has made some serious strides since he started his CrossFit journey just 2 years ago. With a background in running and triathlons, Jack is now tossing around the barbell and working on mastering his gymnastics skills to push him to the next level. He works extremely hard, but you’d never know how much effort he’s putting in, because he never complains.

We’re so happy to have Jack as our December Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Congratulations Jack!

Jack James Athlete of the Month Middletown NJMeet Jack James, December 2020 Athlete of the Month:

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I had just recently moved to NJ and wanted to find a workout group. I tried out a few gyms in the area, but…

I stuck with Salus because of the programming and the sense of community.

Unlike other gyms, everyone knows everyone else by name.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I’m stronger and am more comfortable on the technical lifts.

My background is in running and triathlon, so I’m relatively new to lifting heavy weights. One interesting note on performance- my current run times are about the same as they were when I was just running. I think that is a testament to CrossFit’s all-around conditioning.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Absolutely! Handstand push ups, double unders, muscle ups, and kipping pull ups come to mind. I still need to work on kipping HSPUs and kipping ring dips.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I’ve lost fat and put on muscle. A few months before I started at Salus, I dislocated my elbow and couldn’t lift weights for several months.

Once I started Salus, I quickly started seeing fitness improvement.

Jack James Athlete of the Month Middletown NJ5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

I’m more productive at work on the mornings that I attend CrossFit. And, thanks to Coach Angela, I’ve made some nutrition changes which have helped with recovery.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

The Salus coaches emphasize continuous improvement. They push everyone to not merely maintain their fitness level, but to improve it. They take a personal stake in helping everyone accomplish their fitness goals.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

2 reasons: Living a healthy lifestyle is a priority and I enjoy the Salus community.

Over the years, I’ve tried working out on my own with mixed success. I’ve realized that I need to have others around me to hold me accountable. I also benefit from a structured program.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

Here are my two favorites:

5 rounds
5 Bench Press
5 Weighted Pull ups
Start each round on a 2:00 interval (0, 2:00, 4:00, etc)

First minute: 10 back squats
Second minute: 5 front squats
Do the same weight for both the front squats and back squats. Ends up being a 10:00 workout.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Focus on learning the lifts, compete against yourself, and just show up.

It’s like anything else, the harder you work, the faster you’ll improve.

Jack James Athlete of the Month Middletown NJ10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Before I leave the Navy, I’d like to run the bomb suit mile. Simply put, it’s a mile in the 80lbs bomb suit.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

400m run
15 pull ups (strict, obviously)
15 thrusters 95#/65#
15 walking lunges with 45#/35# plate overhead

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Depends on the season, but I like to be outside. I enjoy skiing in the winter, ocean swims in the summer, and trail running and hiking throughout the year.

13. Favorite healthy dish and favorite “splurge” meal?

Healthy dish- lemon roasted salmon with sweet potatoes

Splurge- Chick fil A spicy chicken sandwich with waffle fries and a chocolate milkshake.

14. Favorite motivational quote?

Man in the Arena by Teddy Roosevelt and the Band of Brothers speech from Henry V.

15. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I started playing violin during quarantine and have kept at it. I’m currently working on some Christmas songs.


Each month we spotlight a different Salus athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every workout, or gets a PR every week. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up to class, gives their best, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work without complaining. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the Salus community should be all about.