March 4, 2012
Getting to Know Asia's "T-Rank"
By John Frankl

"I am competing because I want to test my fitness against the fittest people on Earth."
Joseph Taylor Rank

Name: Joseph Taylor Rank
Nickname: T-Rank
Age: 24
Height: 186cm
Weight: 88kg
Occupation: CrossFit Intern/Coach
Affiliate: Reebok CrossFit Sentinel

What is your athletic background?

Athletics have been a huge part of my life since my earliest years with the largest amount of focus being placed on American football. I played throughout my childhood and high school years, with my career culminating as a Division 1-A student athlete at the University of South Carolina, where I played tailback for four years. After graduating university, I turned my focus to competitive weightlifting, in which I participated in until discovering CrossFit.

How did you find CrossFit?

I was first introduced to CrossFit by my cousin Nick Horton, an officer in the U.S. Army, about a year-and-a-half ago. He took me onto the military base for a CrossFit workout and I have been hooked ever since.

Why are you competing in the 2012 CrossFit Games?

I am competing because I want to test my fitness against the fittest people on Earth. I also live for competition and, to me, CrossFit is the ultimate form of competition performed on a completely level field. The Games teach you discipline, work ethic, and new things about yourself while pushing you to new limits.

How did you train before finding CrossFit?

I trained specifically for the Olympic lifts – clean and jerk and snatch – through various specialized programs. Before that, I was trained specifically for the sport of football and the demands of the game on the field.

Have you had any set backs or challenges along the way?

Throughout my career, I have had many injuries that I consider to be minor and temporary setbacks. Other than a few restrictions concerning range of motion and full flexion in a few joints, I have been quite lucky.

What are you strengths and weaknesses? 

I consider my ability to confront and overcome adversity to be my strongest characteristic, along with my extensive training in the field of Olympic Weightlifting.  I am very comfortable with a barbell in my hands, and the Weightlifting movements are by far my strongest within CrossFit.

My weakness would have to be pistols for sure. Range of motion in the right ankle is not up to snuff since an injury in college.