After the Taranis Winter Challenge a couple weeks ago, rumours started to circulate about second place finisher, Jeremy Meredith: 'That guy is an animal.' 'He's a beast. I saw him overhead squat 310 pounds like it was a loaf of French bread.’ 'I heard he was ripped at the age of 13; he must just have insane genetics.' ‘He’ll make it to the Games this year, for sure.’ These, among others, were some of the rumblings I heard people mutter about CrossFit Vernon owner, 23-year-old Jeremy Meredith. While he’s not new to the sport – he competed at the Western Canadian Regionals in 2009 and placed fifth as a 21-year-old -nobody in B.C had the chance to watch him compete last season. He did compete at the Alberta Sectionals last year, but was missing from the Canadian Regionals in Okotoks (or as we like to say around here OPToks) because of a back injury. I was curious about the growing Meredith rumours, so I set myself on a mission to discover the truth. The first rumour – the one about him being an animal – seems pretty accurate, indeed. Some of Meredith’s personal best include a 310-pound jerk and a 310-pound overhead squat. I saw the video of this - the ease in which he handles the weight does, in fact, look like he’s throwing a loaf of bread over his head. His snatch is an impressive 220 pounds, while he can back squat 440 pounds. His Fran time clocks in at 2:19, and his Fight Gone Bad is a solid 425. Rest assured, there are things Meredith confesses he still needs to work on. “Pistols…and running,” he said, which he admits he doesn’t spend enough time on. This is part of the reason Meredith just found himself a couple coaches to help with his training. “Leading up to Taranis, I was doing my own programming, but I felt like I kind of needed a coach,” said Meredith. “I mean, I know where I’m weak, but coaches have the ability to be more objective about programming,” he said. So now, Meredith has started working with phenom Olympic weightlifting coach, Guy Greavette. Greavette has put Meredith on a program where he focuses on Olympic lifting three days a week. Here’s a pdf of this week’s O-lifting program: O_Lifting_Week.pdf On top of this, Meredith has started working with Phil Hamar, owner of CrossFit Drayton Valley in Edmonton. Here’s a pdf of Hamar’s November programming for Meredith: jeremy.pdf What about the other rumour, the one about Meredith allegedly being ripped at the age of 13? He humbly denies this: “I don’t think 13 year-olds can be ripped…so, I don’t think I was,” said Meredith. “I wouldn’t credit much of my limited success to genetics, as I wasn’t much of a hockey player, and to be honest, I was only an ok lacrosse player,” said Meredith. In fact, Meredith explains that even CrossFit didn’t come entirely naturally to him. “Everyone’s got a story about how they remember doing their first Annie or Fight Gone Bad, or finishing their first Fran…I never actually finished my early CrossFit workouts. I would start, and part way through, I would look at the clock and say, ‘holy this is hard,’ and I’d just stop,” said Meredith. So his beast-like abilities must stem from his thorough dedication to a paleo diet, right? “I fluctuate in my ‘paleoness’. I usually stay pretty clean, but weekends can get pretty greasy. I crushed two grilled cheese back to back on Sunday and some ice cream,” laughed Meredith. But these cheat days are just part of a healthy balance in Meredith’s life. Although he takes CrossFit seriously and has his sites set on the 2011 CrossFit Games, he also knows that kicking back on the weekends is important. And it sounds like he deserves it, considering his workload. Meredith opened CrossFit Vernon in August. As any affiliate owner will say, running a gym in its first year of operations is never easy. Meredith coaches his first class at 7 am, and he’s usually there until all hours of the evening, squeezing in his own training and walking his dog in between coaching his clients and classes. But Meredith is used to long days. Before opening his CrossFit affiliate, he spent the last two years working in Fort McMurray, so he is no stranger to 14-hour work days, and then hitting the gym at the end of it all. “Now all I do is work 6 or 7 hours of personal training,” said Meredith, a breeze compared to his Fort McMurray lifestyle. Since returning home from Alberta, Meredith says the added relaxation time has led to huge performance gains as he heads into the 2011 Games season. This brings me to the final rumour, the one about him getting to the CrossFit Games this year. It’s certainly possible, but Meredith knows it’s going to be insanely competitive. He lists Michael Fitzgerald, Dan Rogers, Garth Prouse, Steve Howell, Pete Kendrick and recent Taranis Winter Challenge Champion, Mark Cassibo, as some of his heaviest competition. “There are so many good guys now, though,” said Meredith. “I don’t even really know the guys from the east,” he added. Competition aside, Meredith says his favourite part about CrossFit is the community itself. “Where else would somebody want to write an article about me?” he asked humbly. Give the talented 23-year old a bit more time, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one writing about Jeremy Meredith.