Posted by on Apr 16, 2012

Member Spotlight

This week’s Member Spotlight features knifehands, a Fitocracy legend, a former male model, and an aspiring Marine. If you have someone you’d like to nominate for a member spotlight, please contact users lexyloowho or xJenYxvx or email

[Note from Brian]: knifehands holds a really special place in our hearts. He has been one of our most passionate supporters since the very beginning and has volunteered a huge amount of his time helping to manage the Fitocracy community as well as add new exercises & quests to our database. We’ve hung out with him in person a few times in the past and we consider him a brother, a friend, and honorary team member. Thank you for everything you do and keep being awesome, Alex.

Username: knifehands 

How did you get started in fitness and training? Do you have any pics to share?:
Football 2004-05 at 250 lbs.

Current 185

I’ve been involved with some sort of martial art or sport since I was young. I was also the fat kid so I ended up always getting picked last during recess. I never accomplished anything stellar with martial arts either, since I was too chubby and slow. I hit my peak weight of 250lbs playing high school football, which is also when I sustained all of my major injuries. I had a severe lower back pull, needed ACL reconstructive surgery, crushed my ankle, sprained both wrists 5000 times, almost dislocated both shoulders, and all sorts of other fun stuff.

By the time college rolled around I made a concentrated effort to lose 50lbs my first year of school, and floated around 190-200lbs the remaining years. I did mostly HIIT and curlbro workouts during this time, which explains why my bench is so disproportionate.
I cut down to 180lbs to attend Officer Candidate School for the Marines and now I’m back around 185-190lbs. I’ve only been properly lifting for the past few months so I have much room to grow in my training. Ultimately aiming to drop back down to 180lbs to be in prime shape for my military reprisal.

How did you find the site? How has it changed your work outs?
I found Fitocracy early 2011 via Fittit. I’ve picked up proper workout programming, fixed a ton of technique issues, and learned new movements all from interacting with the community. I’m definitely much stronger because of the knowledge I’ve gained from Fitocracy.

Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?
I’m currently working to qualify for a Tier 2/3 military training program. I need to develop triathlete level running and swimming endurance, gymnast style upper body strength, and rugby style lower body strength.

What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?
We’re NOT all special snowflakes, but at the same time there will be exercises that work well for you and some that don’t. Listening and understanding your body will help you train smarter and more efficiently. Don’t restrict yourself because a book told you to, sometimes it’s best to think for yourself.
I’d love to learn more about advanced level training and the psychology behind it. Training the mind is just as important if not more important than training the body.

Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
My biggest weakness lies within my cardiovascular endurance and strength. I hate cardio with the deepest depths of my soul, so it’s a psychological thing that I’m actively working on overcoming.

My strengths? I don’t have any notable lifting numbers, but I think I have pretty strong testicular fortitude. I can stay underwater in subfreezing temperatures for a decent amount of time and if you strap a 100lb pack to me I can hike until the world ends.

What motivates you?
I used to just not want to be fat anymore, so that was enough motivation. Nowadays my main motivators are my friends serving now, those who have served in the past, and those who I’ve lost serving. I’ve been given an incredible amount of support and positivity through my Fitocracy friends. They push me out the door when I don’t feel like running.

Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
I supplement primarily with whey, some vitamins/minerals, and fish oil. On occasion I’ll use caffeine to wake me up.
I followed IF (Intermittent Fasting) for several months with great success. During this time I learned to eat properly and dropped some body fat as well. Now I just eat according to my training schedule and whatever fits my macronutrients for the day.

If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
Be clear on your training and health goals, then set short term as well as long term objectives. It is psychologically helpful to achieve frequent short term goals and build momentum.

Start off slow, be consistent, and remember that any sort of change will take time to produce an effect.

What’s your ‘secret weapon’, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge?
I always make sure my hair is done in the morning. It is the source of my power.

What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
I love Fitocracy 5ever. I wouldn’t have approached Dick to help out if I didn’t truly believe in the life changing benefits Fitocracy has given other people and myself. Fitocracy has pushed me to become physically stronger and linked me up with some pretty cool people.

One thing I want people to take away from my story is…
Pls be safe.

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