Athlete Spotlight

Athlete Spotlight: Neville Johnson



This week our Athlete Spotlight falls on the big fella… Nev! As he says: “spot the old white fella in the team shot”. He gives everything a go, from lifting weights to doing handstands. And in the weekend has a hitout with his Poneke rugby team (RuffNuts) and then comes back next week to do it all again.

Name: Neville Johnson
Age: 45
Occupation: Head of Procurement, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Do you have any nicknames? Big Nev, Heavy Nev….follows a theme!
How long have you been at Instinct Fitness? Trialled a couple of sessions late last year and started properly in February this year when the Thorndon Gym opened
What do you enjoy doing outside of CrossFit? Enjoying my final year of rugby – Poneke Ruffnuts, vices of single malt whiskey and the occasional stogie (although the comparisons to Boss Hogg and Winston Churchill are awkward).
What is your favourite and least favourite movement in CrossFit? I enjoy deadlifts and squats – suits my lack of speed and coordination, sorting the technique has led to good gains. I don’t particularly like double unders (i.e. I can’t do them), pull ups (there’s something wrong with the power to weight ratio), and handstand month was traumatic.
What is your biggest achievement so far? I see significant gains in most areas but I suppose the biggest achievement is that the strength, flexibility and strength that I have gained through crossfit has been great for my rugby – no injuries, can play 80 minutes, and am first choice at prop. Not bad for an old guy!
What are your future fitness related goals? Once I have finished the season I no longer have an excuse to look like a prop so would like to drop a tidy 10kgs whilst increasing my strength and fitness.
Any advice for anyone just starting their CrossFit journey? Back yourself, give everything a go, and push yourself as you’ll be surprised what you can do.
Tell us something we don’t know about you: Andy Foster once poisoned me with a gin bucket!
Who is your box buddy? It’s great working with Dean but am enjoying the camaraderie, humour and encouragement with whoever turns up to a session.

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