23 Questions with CJ Martin, CrossFit Invictus Founder and Elite Coach

October 16, 2023 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit Invictus
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As we head into the end of 2023, it’s a good time to reflect on the season behind us as well as look to what’s coming ahead. But amidst the heavy pondering that comes with the close of the year, it’s also time to approach some more light hearted subjects.

This week, we sat down with long-time CrossFit coach CJ Martin, the founder of CrossFit Invictus. Martin just coached his second team to victory at the Affiliate Cup this past summer, but we wanted to go beyond just the sport of fitness and find out what’s going on in his personal life and beyond. 

In the spirit of the Vogue 73 question interview made popular by journalist Joe Sabia, we asked him 23 questions to close out the 2023 season.

  1. What’s your favorite time of day?

CJ Martin: Depends on my location – early mornings in the mountains, dusk near beaches.

  1. What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

CJM: I was voted “Best Hair” in the 8th Grade – fully documented in my school yearbook.

  1. AMRAP or For Time?

CJM: For time…strong preference.

  1. What’s one gym accessory everyone should own?

CJM: So many to choose from, but I would say a Garmin GPS watch…which is also a nice reminder to get outside the gym for some of your training.

  1. What do you usually eat for breakfast?

CJM: Three eggs and some sort of complimentary meat with avocado.

  1. What’s one thing you had to learn the hard way?

CJM: Genetics matter…all the hard work in the world won’t make you elite at a sport you weren’t built to excel at.

  1. Mountain, lake, or beach?

CJM: Mountains with lots of green foliage and trees.

  1. What’s the most exciting thing in your life right now?

CJM: Coaching my kids’ sports!

  1. What are you completely bored of right now?

CJM: Social media…I have rarely engaged in any social media for several years now and find it to be destructive for most people, but especially young people.

  1. Favorite place to be?

CJM: Eastern Sierras – tons of amazing hiking, camping and views at 10,000 feet and higher.

  1. What’s one piece of advice you wish athletes would listen to?

CJM: Stay off the leaderboards and social media during competition and focus solely on what you need to do next to be as successful as you can be at the next task.

  1. What is one thing on your bucket list?

CJM: I would like to camp and hike in New Zealand.

  1. What’s your go-to coffee order?

CJM: Tall/Small Americano – I figure that if I get small sizes I can drink 4-5 in a day. 🙂

  1. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

CJM: “You have an amazing family.”

  1. You have 10 minutes to train, what are you doing?

CJM: Spending 8 minutes considering what would make the “perfect” 10-minute workout and 2 minutes regretting that I didn’t just do something other than thinking. I am working on this…but it’s also definitely why I became a far better coach than athlete. 

  1. One person you’d like to get coffee with?

CJM: Jimmy Fallon or Mike Krzyzewski

  1. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?

CJM: Left a successful legal career to open a CrossFit gym in the middle of The Great Recession in 2008.

  1. What book did you recently finish?

CJM: The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek, and Outlive by Dr. Peter Attia

  1. If you weren’t working in CrossFit, what would you be doing?

CJM: Building an incredible community of individuals around a sporting interest or in an educational environment.

  1. A piece of advice you’d tell your 19-year old self?

CJM: Celebrate your successes before you rush on to the next goal.

  1. How would your athletes describe you?

CJM: Unrealistic in my expectations and demanding that they meet them. 🙂

  1. What’s one thing you need to have in your fridge?

CJM: Kerrygold Butter

  1. What’s one thing you need to have in your pantry?

CJM: Perennial Pastures Ranch Ancestral Blend Beef Snack Sticks

The cashout: And of course, it wouldn’t be CrossFit if we didn’t have a little cashout. 

  1. If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?

CJM: Logical Reasoning

  1. Favorite pro sport to watch?

CJM: Baseball, followed closely by College Football

  1. What are you doing tomorrow?

CJM: Coaching my 10-year-old son’s baseball team and watching my 8-year-old daughter climb routes that I can’t even hope to climb (she currently lead climbs 5.11 routes).

  1. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

CJM: Yes. Depends on the issue, but I am always optimistic about people and their ability to live up to their potential.

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