Five-time CrossFit Games veteran with three Top-10 Finishes athlete Jacob Heppner is stepping back from the competition circuit. Announced via Instagram on Monday, Heppner cited a variety of reasons for the decision to withdraw from competitive CrossFit, including a desire to devote more time to other projects.
“I had this thought in late 2020 of how you value your time,” Heppner states in a video expanding on his decision to step back from competition.
“How I was putting my time towards things, specifically. I realised spending that time — the five, six hours a day worth of training in the gym — was a lot of time that could have been spent elsewhere in better ways.
“Better ways that weren’t as selfish, better ways that maybe improve the CrossFit Community more, or create something for the CrossFit community.”
After seven years in the sport, Heppner is leaving the competitive circuit with plenty of wins under his belt. From High School football player to 5x CrossFit Games athlete, Heppner has always been driven but states he wanted to leave CrossFit on “on his own terms.”
Heppner has competed in every CrossFit Open since 2013, but it was in 2014 that he won his first invitational to the Games, finishing second in the North Central Regional. Since then he has been steadily climbing the ranks against some of the sport’s fiercest competitors, earning himself a career best 6th place at the 2019 CrossFit Games.
This was also the year Heppner ranked 3rd in the Open’s Individual Men’s category worldwide, his best Open finish.
What’s next for Jacob Heppner?
In the Instagram post and extended video explanation, Heppner outlined some of his upcoming plans as he switches his focus away from competing.
Alongside his intense competitive CrossFit career, Heppner launched Stream Fitness in 2019 with fellow CrossFit Games athlete Scott Panchik. The online platform provides various at-home fitness classes to people all around the world, and provides a space for coaches to sell their workouts.
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Heppner will also be competing in “one other athletic endeavour” that he could not announce, and while clarifying again that he will no longer be competing in the CrossFit Games, he will still compete in other fitness and firearm competitions.
He also plans to use his knowledge of the community to venture into other areas, including running for a position as a CrossFit Games commentator.
“We will be holding camps and seminars in — I don’t have a name for it yet,” said Heppner, when talking about further ways he wants to give back to the CrossFit community. “We’ll just call it the barn gym. We are going to be holding camps and seminars this year in the barn gym. That’s the goal.”
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Despite leaving the Games behind, Heppner looks set to be one of CrossFit’s mainstays in other ways, which is good given what a popular competitor he’s been over the past few years.
“CrossFit has been one of the largest blessings in my life. The people I’ve met, the friendships I’ve forged. The fact of the matter that friends and competitors are the same people. The person competing next to me also cheers me on.”