From Strongest To Fittest

By AJ Roberts

And so the journey begins.


For those that don’t know me, my name is AJ Roberts and I’m the former 308 All Time Total record holder in powerlifting with best lifts of 1205 squat, 910 bench and a 815 deadlift.

Up until about 2 months ago I trained at Westside Barbell alongside some of the strongest lifters on this planet. However, after 10 years in the sport I decided to walk away having reached all my goals.

Some may say I left too soon, and that the best was yet to come, but I gave everything I had to the sport and mentally had nothing left to give.

I’m now living in San Diego, California and after a few weeks in the gym going through the motions and sort of being at a loss for what to do I’ve decided to set what many may feel is one of the hardest goals there is: To become the fittest man on Earth.

Why Crossfit?

Having spent close to 2 years running the Crossfit powerlifting Certification with Louie Simmons, Shane and Laura Sweatt, and Chris Mason I’ve become a big fan of the community.

Also I’ve always said after powerlifting I’m going to lose 100lbs (320-220) and feel that this is only going to happen if I have something other than weight loss to train for. I’ve followed the sport closely as it has grown and actually get excited about the thought of competing in it.

So what’s the gameplan?

I’ll start with my diet as this is an area that has had to dramatically improve. Although I ate what many would consider a pretty clean diet for a powerlifter the truth is I ate to get bigger and this meant pushing things to the limit. I spent the first month just eating clean and dropped from 320-293 and then for the past 2 weeks I’ve been doing CarbNight loading under the guidance of buddy Mark Bell.

If you haven’t heard of this before he’s a quick little video Mark put together:

The reason I decided to go with CarbNite loading vs other diets is because at this point I have a lot of weight to lose. I probably wouldn’t recommend this to others unless they had a significant amount of weight to lose and would favor more of a carb rotation or backloading approach. But for now this is what I think will work best and so I’ll continue on until I feel it’s time to switch to something else.

As far as training goes my template looks like this


Upper body speed – Olympic lifts

1-2 Assistant exercises for Shoulders

Upper body metcon



Lower body Max effort – singles & or rep maxes

1-2 Assistant exercises for back

Lower body metcon



Upper body max effort – singles & or rep maxes on a bench press or overhead variation

1-2 Assistant exercises for chest & triceps

Upper body metcon



Lower body speed – Box squats / free squats

1-2 Assistant exercises for glutes/hams

Lower body metcon


On my off days I’m trying to get 30-60 mins of interval training in on the elliptical for now. I plan to head down to Crossfit Invictus as well as Crossfit PB to start getting some coaching on technique and to get on the rings and other equipment I currently don’t have access to

The biggest things I need to work on right now is my conditioning, flexibility and mobility. I’ll need to get up to 3-5 workouts a day to be ready when the Open starts in February but for now am taking it day by day.


Here’s to a new beginning…


Deadlift Ladder

Deadlift/Box Jumps