April 29, 2013
First Time's the Charm: Timmy Jacobsson
By Akshay Mathur

After finishing 16th in his first Open, Timmy Jacobsson is headed to the Asia Regional.


Photos by: Tai Dirkse

Timothy Jacobsson, known to friends and family as ‘Timmy,’ is the Assistant Athletics Director at the American School in Tokyo, Japan, where strength and conditioning are a part of his job description.

With a love for all things physical, including wrestling and biking, Jacobsson includes CrossFit in his repertoire of activities. After finishing in 16th place in the Open, Jacobsson is now looking toward Regionals.

The Beginning

CrossFit happened to Jacobsson by accident.

“One of the teachers challenged me to work out with them, because they knew I worked out a lot, but it was mostly bodybuilding,” he recalls. “My first workout was I Am CrossFit – three rounds of 400-meter run, 15 pull-ups, seven power hang cleans. A bunch of us did it on the football field, using soccer goals as pull-up bars … and that workout totally crushed me. From that moment on, I was hooked.”

The nearest affiliate was 90 minutes away, so Jacobsson began working out the old fashioned way — in his school gym.

“We have a brand new facility with eight Olympic lifting platforms, bumper plates and all the equipment that I need,” the 25-year-old explains.

He avidly followed the CrossFit Football website and adapted workouts to suit the equipment available to him at the school gym.

Jacobsson, who writes his own programming, divides his training into two parts — a morning met-con, which involves running, rowing or biking and an additional weightlifting session in the evening, along with another, shorter met-con.

The 2013 Open

Having started CrossFit in the middle of 2012, he never had the opportunity to take part in last year’s Open. This year was different.

“I started talking to my sister about the Open and she immediately encouraged me to do it. And I agreed,” Jacobsson says.

He had a simple strategy going into the Open — to have fun, which is evident from the videos he submitted for workouts 13.1, 13.2 and 13.3.

“If they aren’t fun, then what’s the point?”

The 2013 Open posed its fair share of challenges for him. The first one was to gather the right equipment. He had to use a wrestling clock as his timer, a basketball backboard for the wall balls, and had to string his gymnastics rings on the basketball frame. The second one was to find someone to film and time his workouts.

“Learning the movement standards was almost as difficult as finding someone to time my workouts,” Jacobsson says of being unaffiliated.

Jacobsson says he found 13.2 the most challenging of the five.

“I did that workout six times in two days, so I probably did close to 800 box jumps. Damn those people who can hop up and down like bunny rabbits,” he says jokingly.

Workouts 13.4 and 13.5 called for a change, and Jacobsson opted to work out in CrossFit Roppongi. This was a different Open experience, as compared to working out in the school, giving Jacobsson a better feel of the CrossFit community.

“It was a great experience with coaches and other members going through the same workouts,” he says. “I also got some good tips on how to improve my scores, so that was cool.”

Unsurprisingly, for Jacobsson, who boasts a 2:17 Fran time, the Open couldn’t have ended on a better note once 13.5 was announced.

“I don’t know why, but I love thrusters and pull-ups, plus, I love workouts where you get to see how far you can push yourself.”  

He finished first in the Asia Region, with 176 reps — that’s 22 reps ahead of second place.

The Road to Regionals

Jacobsson did not expect to be placed 16th in Asia.

“This is basically my first-ever CrossFit competition, so I’m looking forward to going up against other people in workouts,” he says. “Remember, I did most of the Open completely by myself, so it’ll be cool to be right there with other competitors.”

Preparation for Regionals is going full steam ahead, with the athlete making changes to his strength programming in the hopes of increasing his Olympic lifting capacity.

His outlook to Seoul is positive, and he will no doubt be a crowd-pleaser. Though he aims to qualify for the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games, should Jacobsson not win a ticket to The Home Depot Center, he vows to be back in 2014.