A PROFESSIONAL athlete and owner of a CrossFit gym is an Instagram star today, but it hasn’t always been that way. As he told in an interview with Insider, he had problems with being overweight as a child, and everything changed when his dad offered him a PlayStation as an incentive to lose weight. This is where his fitness journey began.
As a child, he ate large amounts of sweets, and even ate fast food five times a week.
“I loved sweets, chocolate and anything like that. I really had a ridiculous diet,” he told the Insider.
Two decades later he won the title of the fittest man in the UK by winning the 2020 CrossFit Open competition.
But how did his fitness journey go?
Motivated by the PlayStation, he eliminated unhealthy foods from his diet. He soon lost weight and received the promised reward. But he was not interested in a real change in life habits. Until he went to a thinking change seminar held by motivational speaker Tony Robbins. He decided to lose weight solely for his own sake, so he started playing various sports, and soon a healthy life became his passion.
“It was a pretty big shift in mental terms because I knew I wanted to do it for myself, not just so I could get something out of it. And then we started to change seriously as a family,” George said.
As he says, people are always shocked when they see what he looked like as a child.
“I think it always motivates people because I’m obviously not a naturally skinny guy, but I have to work on it to stay in shape,” he added.
However, he only discovered CrossFit in 2013 when his father drew his attention to the CrossFit Games competition.
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“People were doing all kinds of crazy things: swimming, exercising muscles, an amazing array of fitness skills. I just liked what it looked like. You have to be strong, you have to be fit. I really liked it. As soon as I saw it, I thought: I want to to do it, ”he recalled.
Still, it was a year before he started training seriously because he couldn’t find a suitable space. During that time, he studied training recordings online. Frustration about not being able to find a gym that would suit his needs led him to open his own CrossFit subsidiary in 2017.
The success he achieved is evidenced by the fact that at this year’s CrossFit Open, George took first place in the UK, which also put him in 26th place in the world.
“You have to be good at so many different aspects. You can’t have weaknesses,” he said, explaining why he’s in love with CrossFit.
Zack now trains twice a day, six days a week. His morning workouts are usually based on cardio fitness, so he sometimes rides a bike for 40 minutes and sometimes does short, intense running intervals. Afternoon training usually lasts about two hours and then focuses on gymnastics and weightlifting.
Unlike most professional CrossFit athletes, George has no coach – he trains alone. Still, that doesn’t mean he literally trains alone. Although he does not have a coach, he likes to train with other people and believes that such training is the key to his success.
“I’m happy to have different people in my gym who can beat me in different aspects. It keeps me going and allows me to progress. It’s great to have people I can compete with,” he pointed out.
More than 150,000 people follow him on Instagram, but he warns that you should not believe everything you see on social networks. Some results are not achieved overnight. As he says, you don’t need to train as an athlete if you’re not an athlete so don’t worry about that. The key is to be consistent, because that way your fitness journey will take a long time.
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