“Jesse genuinely wants people to get better. He wants us to appreciate and respect heavy weights. It’s a blessing for me to be working out with some of the Fittest People on Earth with Justin and Ellie.”- Dallas Hamm on Coach Jesse Bifano and his training partners
Coached by Jesse Bifano, Justin Medeiros Hits Big Numbers at Powerlifting Meet
Two-time CrossFit Games champion Justin Medeiros competed in his first powerlifting meet last month just outside of Meridian, ID.
Taking a (slight) step aside from CrossFit over the last several months, Medeiros, under coaches Adam Neifer and Jesse Bifano, trained alongside good friend and heavy lifter Dallas Hamm, who also competed at the same meet.
Flashback: The first time many of us began paying attention to a young Justin Medeiros was at the 2020 CrossFit Games, where he was just one of five athletes who made it through to the final stage of the competition. There was something about him: a fire, an excitement, and a drive that left many fans with a gut feeling that this kid could be the next Games champion.
While Medeiros finished third that year, it was apparent that there were holes in his game, with one noticeable area to improve being his pressing strength. The final five athletes were tested with the CrossFit Total, and after taking fifth place with a strict press of 175 pounds, coach Neifer was prompted to reach out to Squamish Barbell co-owner Jesse Bifano for additional training.
Medeiros and Bifano began working together in November 2020, taking it one session at a time to see if the dynamic would work. Bifano was reluctant to coach someone remotely but was open to giving it a try. He was adamant that all sessions be coached over Zoom or FaceTime so he could watch Medeiros’ movement, form, and progress. On New Year’s Day 2021, the two officially teamed up and have been working together ever since.
“When he won the 2021 Games, I remember Adam dropping me off at the bus, and he said to me, ‘What do you think; do it again next year?’ And I thought, honestly man, he’s the Fittest Man on the planet now. There’s not a door that won’t open when he knocks on it; he can go anywhere he wants,” Bifano said.
“But what we were up to and what we were doing as a team was really special, and so we stuck with it and continued to adapt it. But honestly, from then to now, the content has changed […] but we still do two sessions a week on FaceTime. We don’t miss a session,” Bifano said.
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The podium athletes from the Legends Championship 2023 were told they likely wouldn’t be receiving any prize money this time around, an expense that typically comes from the pocket of the event organizers, Joe Linton and Bob Jennings.
The competition was held last month in Tempe, AZ, and brought together athletes in 30 divisions, including individual, scaled, and teams ranging in age from 35 through 65 and above.
Following the conclusion of the competition, top finishers from the masters-only competition received an email from Linton stating that, unlike years past, they wouldn’t be paying out any prize money due to limited funds.
“While we would love to pay out significant prize money every year, unfortunately, we will not be able to provide any for 2023,” the email from Linton to the podium athletes stated.
A prize purse was never promised for 2023 or in years past.
Linton and Jennings say there is a lot that goes into putting on a competition of that magnitude, adding that the estimated minimum cost for putting on an event like Legends starts at $300,000.
The costs begin to add up and “we end up funding the event out of our own personal funds and in years we did live streams that check was not a small amount,” Jennings said.
“We don’t take a salary, we don’t get paid. We get nothing from this. We put this on for the benefit of the community that wants to compete. It’s not some financial windfall for us.”
“Based on where sponsorship came in this year and where our bills are this year we felt it was important to let the podium people know that they’re probably not going to get a payout this year, and if they do, it probably is going to be on the lighter side.”
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Take a look at this quick read, regarding training while injured. While "just rest" may be the most common advice, that's not always the best prescription. Understand why you should move while sidelined, and how to do it safely and effectively.
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Try this recipe to make rocky road bars using fruits, nuts, and dark chocolate. This sweet treat is a portable little snack or a great topper after a long day. Use high-quality dark chocolate to keep it all as healthy as can be.
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