Athlete Profile: Eric Hessler

Tell us about yourself.


I was born and raised in northern NJ (Exit 172) but I’ve been a NOVA transplant since 2004. I currently live in Arlington with my wonderful wife and three crazy boys (7, 4, and 2). I’m a CPA by trade (I don’t wear my pocket protector to workouts). Any free time is hard fought but usually spent tinkering around the house, exploring the outdoors with my family, or taking a good old fashioned nap.


What interested you in functional fitness?


I basically lived in the gym from college until I was in my early thirties. I eventually burned out on traditional “pumping iron” workouts – big time. I took a few years off from any kind of weightlifting and focused exclusively on beer league hockey. Eventually, I got to the point where I was ready to return – but, I knew I couldn’t go back to the old way of doing things. I found FC Athletics and the rest is history. I couldn’t imagine going back to the meat market gyms…


How long have you been at Adaptation/FC Athletics?


I started in November of 2019.


What improvements have you seen?


I’d say my two biggest improvements are: 1) I’ve discovered new levels of energy and motivation that I’ve been able to leverage at the gym and at home and 2) my lower back finally feels great after I herniated two disks in college roughly a million years ago.


What’s your favorite workout or movements?


It’s hard to pick just one. What I enjoy most about functional fitness is the variety and the many different ways you can challenge your body. If I had to pick one movement as my favorite, it would be power cleans. They’re complex yet simple, powerful yet graceful.


What are your least favorite workout or movements?


Barbell clusters…take a perfectly good clean and ruin it by adding a thruster. I’d also like to acknowledge my love/hate relationship with burpees. They were tough in 6th grade and they’re still tough (but good) now.


What are your goals?


High level: Keep improving my overall health and fitness level every day. Strive to always do better than last time and to exceed my own internal expectations.


Specific: Do multiple bar muscle ups.


What advice can you give to new people?


Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t beat yourself up if you do. Take a step back, reset mentally, and try again. Ask for help. Adjust your expectations if needed. You’ll surprise yourself when you see how much you can achieve If you just focus on showing up and pushing yourself every time.


Which coach plays the best music?


I’ll probably be accused of brownnosing, but I’ll say Curtis. Grunge, alternative rock, a bit of metal…that’s what I grew up on!

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