Coach of the Week – James Balderston

Age: 24

What is something people don’t know about you? Over the past year I have become addicted to cooking shows and I have started trying different meals , expanding past cooking the same three chicken-based meals. On the flip side, while Ilike baking shows, I have yet to try any baking out of concern for my diet!

How does CrossFit influence your life? Crossfit is what I am most passionate about out of all my interests. It provides me an outlet to destress, explore my bodies capabilities, and keep myself healthy! As well, it provided me a community that I desperately needed when I moved to Des Moines. That community has only grown in both quality and quantity over the past two years.

How long have you been doing CrossFit? How long at CFWDM? I have been doing CrossFit for two years this September (‘19) and all of that time has been at CFWDM!

What class do you usually attend? 4:30PM or 6:00PM depending on my work and coaching schedule.

What is your favorite lift? Squat Clean. But I still have so much more technique development to do. As my Olympic lifting skills develop, I think that Snatch will overtake Squat Clean as my favorite movement

What is your favorite move? I would say my favorite move is stretching. Even if that is a cop-out answer, it’s something that I believe benefits my fitness more than any weightlifting, gymnastics, or metabolic conditioning movement does per the time invested. Specifically, pigeon pose and lizard pose are my two favorites.

What is your favorite workout? I really enjoy DT. It’s the type of enjoyment where I get nervous beforehand, I have to constantly use the bathroom, and my heart rate is at 180 before I even touch the barbell. So yeah, I guess that’s my “favorite”!

Why did you start CrossFit? I had done triathlons and quite a few cardio based sports before, but I was always to large to be competitive with the skinny guys at them. Not fat, just my body’s structure was not made to compete in 10 hours of running, biking, or swimming. I figured lifting weights would be fun to try, so I decided to give crossfit a shot after I finished college and no longer had a free gym to train in.

What keeps you coming back? G@1||Z. But actually, the community and the personal development that I experience from being a part of the gym.

What did you do for fitness before CrossFit? Triathlons, Swimming, Rowing, and general Calisthenics

What do you like to do outside of CrossFit? I enjoy having relaxing days with my Wife, Amelia, and our two spaztastic dogs Milo, a blue heeler, and Moxie, a golden doodle. I used to play video games like League of Legends in my spare time, but over the past few years I’d rather spend that time going outside with my dogs or playing board games with Amelia!

What is your favorite song(s) to workout to? If no one is in the gym, I’ll play some country music or listen to 90s punk music. Honestly though, I spent so much time working out to no music that it really doesn’t affect me, what is or isn’t playing.

What is your favorite cheat/meal snack? I love anything having to do with Reese’s or Peanut Butter. But sometimes zooming back to younger days and just having a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese is the best type of cheat meal.

What is your favorite healthy/meal snack? Whole Milk Protein Shakes. It’s just a milkshake at that point, but it’s so good. I also really like plain yogurt, berries, granola, almonds, and a little brown sugar.

What is the most difficult workout you’ve attempted? Cal Su was miserable. Anything with burpees and a barbell is bound to get you hurting.

How has CrossFit WDM helped you keep on top of your health and wellness goals? I am in better shape now that I ever have been, and the community at CFWDM is largely a part of this. They’ve helped me develop as an athlete and given me the tools to help others, which I try to never take for granted.