Athlete of the Week – James Ingraham


james ingraham2

What’s your name? James Ingrahm

How long have you been a member at IslandFitHQ? I signed up for 2 months – June and July when I was home. But I guess I’ve been an unofficial member for 9 months.

How did you end up walking through our doors for the first time? Question 2 and 3 are kind of the same.

Was there a pivotal event that led you to us? After competing at both the collegiate and professional levels in tennis I needed something that provided the same level of competition. When I’m in Barbados for extended periods I usually do boxing and I had hoped to have my first sanctioned bout last summer. But for whatever reason about a week before coming to IF my mom told me that she really didn’t want me boxing anymore. At that moment I got a Facebook message from my buddy and fellow CrossFitter, Damian Alleyne. The message was something like “Hey, I heard you’re back in Bdos. You need to come check out CrossFit. It might be something you’d like.” Still in the conversation with my mom, I said, “Fine. I won’t box, I’ll do CrossFit instead.” To which she asked, “Does it involve you getting punched or kicked in the head?” She seemed to be relieved with the answer. I told Damian I’d come to check it out, but I had no intention of really doing it – plus, doing pullups and pushups were easy! Fast forward about a week, I made my appointment to do the fitness test and went to do it. When I saw the piece of paper with what the workout was going to be, I laughed to myself! Pushups, situps, squats, lunges…this gotta be the easiest fitness test ever I thought to myself. Holy crap I almost died. Once you add a time factor to anything, coupled with many people there trying to get more reps than you – the intensity factor goes thru the roof. From that first workout, I was hooked. CrossFit is now my sport.

What are your fave training shoes? I got some pretty sweet custom made Nano 2’s. But if Reebok wants to give me some, I’d happily wear whatever 🙂

Can you remember your first workout? What was it like? So after doing the fitness test you have to sign up for 3 “elements classes” which I wanted to get out the way AFAP so I could start working out. I did my 1st Tuesday morning, 2nd on Thursday morning and the 3rd on Thursday afternoon. Cary then asked me if I was going to do the Throwdown. No idea what that was – but I said Yes anyway. I’m not sure if that was a good or bad choice. It was 3 rounds x 30 sec of: box jump burpees, deadlifts (135) and pushups, with a 15 sec transition between each movement. We ended up coming 2nd in the Throwdown. But halfway thru I remember thinking, “This effin sucks, but I love it!!”

What tunes do you like working out to? Me and American Shane have a thing where the quote of the day (QOD) is related to the music in the WOD. Btw if you want a good laugh, ask him to “drop it lowtide” haha. Anything soca usually works pretty good, but realistically after 3 2 1 Go, it all becomes background noise.

What has been one of the biggest things in your life that has changed since starting CrossFit?  It has to be both my commitment to training and the CrossFit community. Before I used to try to find an excuse not to go run or workout, now if I’m having a busy day I’m trying to rearrange my schedule so I can at least do a 5min AMRAP of burpees. CrossFit has the best athletes is sports, period. In no other sport does the person coming last get cheered louder than the person coming first. In no other sport do you encourage your main competition to do their best and hit PRs.

What are you doing when you aren’t CrossFitting? Career, hobbies etc

My work and studies have got me stretched pretty thin, so I don’t have time for much in the way of hobbies anymore. But I certainly do make some time to hang out with the CrossFit ladies 🙂

Is there a CFIF member who inspires you? Shane deFreitas has started a WhatsApp group, so I’m constantly hearing about who is setting PRs and who is putting down silly times in workouts, so having that makes me work hard every day. But I’m actually most inspired by those people who are new to CrossFit and who finally get something done that they weren’t able to do before. That inspires me.

Is there a CFIF coach who inspires you? All of them. They can all do something that I can’t – and I want to be the best.

What achievement at CFIF are you most stoked about? Having the first ever national CF event on April 26, which sadly I won’t be there for. So I hope they have another in June or July!!

What has been your greatest fitness achievement to date? I suppose getting 303reps in 14.1 was pretty nice considering I only learnt how to do power snatches the night before. Also when 14.2 was announced my 1rm for OH squats was only 45 lbs due to mobility issues, so when I actually hit the 95# in the workout I was pretty excited.

What’s the next fitness goal to be smashed? Anything overhead needs to be worked on, HSPUs, OH squats, and squat snatches. I’m inches away from getting muscle ups done, so once I’ve got those figured out I’ll be ready for anything Dave Castro can throw at me.

What are your IslandFit Plans for the future? I can’t wait to be back in May! Also I’m a little bit sad for having to temporarily part with my unofficial Fittest Man in Bdos title, so I’m gunna work hard and hopefully take it back next year! 🙂

What advice would you have for those thinking about joining us at IslandFit? Something I hear a lot from people who are new to CrossFit and are hesitant about joining is, “I can’t do what you can do, James.” There are scaling options available for everything. I hate it when people quit before they try. You’d be amazed what you can actually do. Come to IF, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Also, for the young girls that might have body image issues – STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY #fact.

What’s your favourite cheat meal? I don’t really do the cheat meal thing, because moderation is for pansies, and a cheat meal would turn into a cheat day and into a cheat week. I eat pretty clean except for Sundays where I have sweet potato fries 🙂 But for sure the first thing I’m eating once I get back to Bdos is a roti from Chefette!

If you could program one WOD what would it be? I love anything that is 21-15-9 because it’s a sprint, and you’re going to be red-lining it the whole time. I programmed one the other day which had to have been the most gnarly experience of my life. It was:11 thrusters 95#, 10 burpees, 11 frontsquats 95#, 10 burpees, 11 pushpress 95#, 10 burpees. FOUR ROUNDS!!! When the burpees become the easiest part of a workout, you know you’re in trouble.



james ingraham


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