Crossfit Blog

Athlete of the Month - Neeraj Eswaradas

in by Lindsay

You can find Neeraj sticking around before and after class, working on his latest CrossFit goal. Currently, it's triple-unders. He admits that some recent accomplishments came pretty seamlessly to him (double unders, handstand push ups, ring dips, pistols, etc.) Do you know why that is? It's not because he's "gifted" or that he's just naturally good at CrossFit. It's because he is CONSISTENT, he PUTS IN THE EFFORT, and he is OPEN TO FEEDBACK. Neeraj has dedicated himself to improving his skills by picking up some of the extra programs at CFNH. When we say "some" of the programs, we actually mean ALL of them. After finishing up the endurance program, he moved on to gymnastics, and is now working his way through the weightlifting program. He's dedicated to becoming a better athlete, and we're dedicated to helping him get there.

Awesome work, Neeraj! Can't wait to see those triple-unders in action!


1. When and where did you start CrossFitting?
I started CrossFit at CFNH. I had just moved to New Haven from India and was looking to develop a new habit and make new friends. I happened to come across this “Seth Meyers brings Jon Snow to a dinner party” video where CrossFit was mentioned and as an admirer of the show Game of Thrones, that was enough to trigger an interest in CrossFit smiley. I did the on-ramp with Frankie back in December 2017, but it was only after CFNH moved to this new building in February 2018 I started being a regular attendee in the classes.

2. We’re coming toward the end of 2018 - what are some of your goals to accomplish before the year end?
During the 8 months I have been into CrossFit, I have had to constantly revise my goals. Initially, I had set a target to show up for at least 250 classes before the end of 2018 – the goal being to force myself to be consistent. Two months in, I stopped counting because CrossFit had already blended nicely into my routine and it was time to set more aggressive goals. Then came the effort to nail down double-unders, and in a couple months that mountain was climbed. All the workouts I had been doing in the meantime resulted in improvements I did not even notice – first hand stand push-up, pistol, ring dip etc happened without much additional effort.

As of now, I’m focused on kipping pull-ups and triple-unders. I eventually want to be able to do ring muscle ups – I think that movement will give me the purest form of joy there is to be experienced.

3. What are some of your recent accomplishments of which you're most proud?
CFNH is where I did pull-ups, pistol squats, hand stand push-ups, ring dips, pegboard ascents, double-unders for the first time. Also, the loads I have been able to work under have gone up substantially and they continue to go up (nevertheless, among all the dimensions of physical fitness, ironically, strength remains my biggest weakness).

What I am happiest about though is how CrossFit has become a part of life and how I’ve come to enjoy this process. I’ll take any accomplishment that comes as a result.

4. Do you adhere to any form of daily/weekly diet regimen to power your workouts?  What does your dream cheat meal/day look like?
Honestly, not yet. I am still in an experimentation phase when it comes to food. I generally refrain from alcohol except for that occasional drink with a friend, but I do treat myself to a pint of ice-cream once in two weeks. Have you guys tried ice cream from Ferris Acres creamery in Newtown?

My breakfast usually consists of oatmeal, eggs, milk and some vegetables. Lunch and dinner consist some form of protein and occasionally some rice. I eat lunch around 12PM everyday and that is usually the last meal I have before I show up for the 5.30PM/6.30PM WOD. Not surprisingly, I often have days when my engine stalls during a workout. Recently, Spencer prompted the thought whether I eat enough. I have to say that I need to put more care into nutrition.

Cheat meal would be a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A. I love the chicken they have!

5. Design 2 WODs:  1 that is your bread & butter, filled with your movement strengths; 1 that is all goats (movement weaknesses you feel you need to improve).
I like workouts having a medley of movements that work the whole body - running, climbing, jumping, squatting, crawling, throwing, kipping, pressing, pushing and pulling - keeping weights fairly low and with brief stops at that happy place called “Rest”.

Bread & Butter – Call it “Because you ate that extra donut” 
30min AMRAP
5 10m Line touches
5 Rope climbs
10 Box Jumps (24/20)
10 S2OH (95/65)
10m Army Crawl
Rest 1 min
20 Wall Balls (20/14)
20 GHD Sit-ups
20 Push-ups
20 Pistols
20m Sled Pull
Rest 1 min
300m Run
30 Toes-to-bar
30 Burpees over bar
30 KBS (53/35)
30 Deadlifts (95/65)
Rest 1 min

Goats - Put together a combination of pull-ups and snatches/ overhead squats at a moderate load, I’m likely to struggle in that workout.

6. How do you spend your time when you're away from CFNH?
I work full-time at Medtronic as Mechanical Engineer and also attend UConn for a graduate degree. Most of my free time, I spend at CFNH. When I am doing none of the above three, I am quietly hanging out at my apartment in downtown New Haven, wondering what life is all about.

7. What is one fact that other CFNHers may not know about you?
As I said, I moved to New Haven December of last year. Having lived most of my life in India, I have had to re-learn a lot of things, and am still adapting to the new life here in US. I’m lucky to have people around me that have made this transition pleasant and help me understand the American way of life. I’d love to hear from you guys about all the cool things to do and experience here.

8. Do you have any motivational thoughts or suggestions to folks just getting started at CFNH?
CrossFit has helped me gauge and improve my own athletic abilities. The three mantras that have worked for me in this process are: be consistent, pay attention to your own body and listen to good advice from the coaches.

CFNH has the ideal culture that supports anyone determined to improve their fitness. The coaches care and look out for you, the community roots for you, so if you can find the grit within yourself and decide that you will put in the effort, inevitably, progress results!


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