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When Neal Maddox was 9, he started doing push-ups and sit-ups every day in his bedroom.

Maddox's uncles were large men and his dad "was really big and buff," so he wanted to keep up. Maddox ended up playing Division II collegiate football and spent some time with the San Jose Sabercats.

"I worked my butt off since I was a kid," says the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff member who owns CrossFit X-Treme Athletics in San Jose, Calif.

"Lifting at a younger age and puttin' in the time—that's why it's so easy for me now. People are like, 'You don't have any life. All you do is work and work out.' I'm all, 'That's my life. That's what I love to do.'"

When the three-time CrossFit Games athlete began CrossFitting, he entered the community with a "football mentality." That, he said, required some changing.

"I was a defensive player, so it was like, 'When I'm going out to compete, I'm gonna rip your head off,'" Maddox says. "Transferring over from that football mentality to the CrossFit mentality, it made me realize that there's more to this whole scene than just me."

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