A dark horse is a previously unknown competitor who unexpectedly wins in competitions with multiple rivals. While there may be several dark horses in the world of CrossFit, none can compare to Jacob Heppner.
He is considered an unstoppable dark horse and his competitiveness has netted him three top-ten finishes in the CrossFit Games so far. Interested to know more about Jacob Heppner? Then, continue reading to find out more about him.
Jacob Heppner: Life Before CrossFit
Jacob Heppner was born and raised in an agricultural community in San Joaquin Valley, California with his sister. At an early age, he learned the importance of hard work. Even as he was home-schooled by his parents until high school, he learned to love and play the sport of football.
The family moved to southern Missouri where he attended the Central Methodist University where he played outside linebacker and strong safety. While he earned 11 assists and 13 tackles in 16 games with CMU, he admitted that he wasn’t really good at the sport.
While playing college football, Jacob also did a lot of community service and he was among the 11 NCAA FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) players who were named to the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) Good Works Team for community service.
Jacob was driven while in college and this drive continues to be a part of his life. He also spent a lot of time in the library. His career in math basically started when he asked for the hardest major in the university when he was talking to a career counsellor in college.
He was pretty good in math that he earned an internship at Fort Leavenworth and served as an Operations Research Analyst and Mathematics Technician. While working for the US Army, he was introduced to CrossFit.
Jacob Heppner and CrossFit
Initially, Jacob thought the sport was a cult since he had no idea what it was all about. His first workout was five in the morning in Fort Leavenworth. He ended up getting shouted at for not being fast enough in performing his first exercises. But he eventually came to love the sport and has never looked back.
Today, Jacob trains at Cobra Command CrossFit in Kansas that is when he’s not at work as a project manager. He first joined the CrossFit Open and Regionals in 2013. While he finished 248th in the Open competitions, Jacob was able to earn an 18th-place finish in the North Central regionals.
The following year, Jacob qualified for the CrossFit Games where he finished 18th overall in the individual men’s competition. He continued to qualify for the next two editions of the games and finished in the top ten in both instances.
In 2017, he had patellar tendinitis on his knee and he missed the games altogether. While he was disqualified due to a judging technicality in the Open Workout in 2018, Jacob recovered the following year and copped his best finish so far in the CrossFit Games at 6th place.
Jacob Heppner may be a popular CrossFit athlete, but his dog also has a good following on his Instagram account. Winston, the dog, has a substantial following on the account.
Jacob Heppner’s Stats
Height: 5’ 7”
Weight: 195 pounds
Country: United States
Affiliation: Cobra Command CrossFit
CrossFit Games Results
Jacob Heppner is a four-time CrossFit Games competitor who finished in the last three times he joined the event. He also has a good track record in the regionals finished second in the last three times he joined the event. Additionally, his best finish in the CrossFit Open was 3rd place in the 2019 edition of the event.
CrossFit Tips from Jacob Heppner
Being a fervent CrossFit competitor, Jacob Heppner can give rather practical tips to anyone who’s planning to enter the world of CrossFit.
You can check out some of the CrossFit tips from Jacob Heppner below:
#1: Focus on Intensity Rather than Volume
When preparing for a competition, it’s better to focus on intensity rather than volume. He made the mistake of focusing on volume in his first stint at the CrossFit Games. While the volume of the exercise wasn’t a problem during the competition, he wasn’t used to the intensity of the competition.
With this, it’s important for CrossFit athletes to realize that intensity is better than volume as competition day draws near.
#2: Decide if the End-of-the-Day Workout is Beneficial
If you don’t benefit from a workout at the end of the day, you can put it off for the next day. CrossFit athletes should think if they’re going to get anything out of the workout after performing several workouts during the day.
If there are no benefits, then they should not perform the workout since it’s not worth it. Don’t push yourself too much during training since you might hurt yourself. You should push yourself only during the competition.
#3: Focus on Working on the Things You’re Not Good At
For Jacob, the opportunity to reach your goal is there if you would on what you’re not good at. This was evident when he finished second overall in the North Central regionals in 2014. It was a huge jump from the 18th place finish the year before.
While he only finished 18th overall in the games that year, he improved the next year and finished 10th in the Individual Men’s category in the 2015 CrossFit Games. In 2016, he finished 7th in 2019, he copped 6th overall in the Individual Men’s category.
Working on your weaknesses will allow you to improve and reach your goal in the future. Another example was the rope climb where Jacob was initially not good at. But he worked on this workout and he eventually got better.
Jacob Heppner’s Diet
Being a prolific CrossFit athlete, Jacob Heppner makes sure he is well-nourished and gets everything he needs to allow him to train efficiently and productively. Here’s a look at what Jacob’s diet looks like.
- First Breakfast before morning training (6:30 AM) – four egg puffs
- Second breakfast after morning training (9:00 AM) – five eggs, two bagels, two cups of Tater Tots, and one serving of Restart
- Snack (10:30 AM) – FNX, Restore (protein), and Rebuild (Creatine)
- First Lunch before training (12:30 PM) – Tri-Tip, Handful of Potatoes, and Chocolates
- Second Lunch after training (4:40 PM) –Chipotle Turkey Chili and Fit Aid
- Dinner (8:00 PM) – Rice, bacon-wrapped pork chops, and green beans
So, Jacob essentially eats before and after a workout to fill up any calories he burned while exercising.
Training Day of Jacob Heppner
Ever wonder what a training day of Jacob Heppner looks like? Well, wonder no more since you can see what happens during a full day of training of Jacob Heppner.
Check out the video below:
Jacob Heppner’s Instagram
Jacob Heppner is quite a social media sensation as he has been vlogging his workouts every week. He posts his videos on his YouTube channel where he currently has over 62,000 subscribers.
Jacob’s popularity also shows on his Instagram account where he currently has more than 275,000 followers.
If you’re interested in what Jacob has been doing recently, you can check out his Instagram account and YouTube channel below:
Have your Say about Jacob Heppner, CrossFit Athlete
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