Meet the Coach: Enrique "JR" Banda

The basics…

Name: Enrique M. Banda… but everyone just calls me JR

Age: 36 years young

Hometown: Harlingen, TX

Occupation: Project Engineer in the Oil & Gas Industry

Fitness Background: I was never really into fitness at all. A bit of basketball in elementary school... A bit of roller hockey in high school... Five straight MS150’s. That’s it. I didn’t really start being athletic until I started CrossFit at the age of 30.

Onto CrossFit stuff…

When did you first try CrossFit? July 26, 2011

What was your first CrossFit workout? Something brutal with jump ropes/dumbbells/burpees, etc. I can’t quite remember.

What made CrossFit stick over other types of workouts? The intensity, results and awesome people you meet in our great community.

Changes you’ve seen because of CrossFit? My body composition has really changed. I probably weigh more than when I started, but I look completely different. I’m much stronger than I was when I started.

Certifications you hold: USAW Sports Performance Coach Level 1

What made you decide to start coaching? I love helping people in our gym get better at Olympic lifting. Olympic lifting is a passion of mine.

What’s your favorite part of coaching? Seeing someone make a technical breakthrough. There’s nothing like seeing the light go on in someone’s head.

How do you encourage people who are interested in trying CrossFit, but are new to working out or intimidated by the workouts? I remind them that CrossFit is infinitely scalable, and that “sucking at something is the first step to being kinda good at something.”

Favorite WoD: 7 minutes of burpees! Just kidding… Open WOD 16.3:


10 Power Snatches (75#/55#)

3 Bar Muscle-Ups

Least favorite WoD: Karen

Favorite movement: Snatch

Least favorite movement/something that’s especially hard for you: Wall balls. I don’t know what it is about wall balls, but they absolutely drain me.

What gets you through tough workouts? Pride.

What keeps you motivated? Staying healthy for my family and myself. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.

Proudest CrossFit moment: 1.) Coming back the next day after my first day. It was brutal and it took everything I had to show up the next day. 2.) PRing my C+J in my first Oly competition (110 kg).

If you could tell everyone one thing about CrossFit, what would it be? It works.

Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Before kids, I used to go to a lot of concerts (like 1 per week). Not so much anymore. Outisde of work, if I’m not doing a metcon or lifting, I’m usually with my family trying to be the best husband and father I can be.

Why CrossFit Elevate? The community we’ve built here is like no other. I’m proud to call this my gym.