Larry Honda — Instructor, Musician and Athlete


FCC instructor Larry Honda competes in a CrossFit Competition. Image courtesy of Larry Honda

Story By: Marco Rosas, Entertainment Editor

Larry Honda, jazz instructor at Fresno City College, may be in better shape than most of his students.

Honda does crossfit, a variable sport consisting of olympic and powerlifting as well as gymnastic movements all performed at a high intensity.

Honda has been doing crossfit for the last six years and, through an odyssey of trying different forms of training, has found a sport which has allowed him to excel and even compete.

As far as the competitive aspect of the sport, Honda compares his drive to compete in crossfit to his experience as a musician.

“There must be a nature in me to perform,” Honda said, likening the butterflies he feels on stage to what he feels before a crossfit workout.   

Crossfit has become a recognized global sport with a community of people from several different walks of life.

Honda competed at the Central Valley Throwdown, the largest crossfit event in the central valley on Aug. 26, along with his team The New Era Ninjas.

Although his team did not win, Honda said he is happy with his team’s performance.

“We pulled it together and really had a great time,” Honda said.

Honda has also competed in five crossfit opens — a series of workouts in which athletes across the world participate — and are then ranked on Crossfit’s official site.

At one point, Honda was the ninth fittest man to compete in the open and first in the Northern California region in his age group.

“I felt pretty good about that,” Honda said. “Last year, I tied for first in Northern California…in the world I went down to 30.”

Honda’s journey to becoming the athlete that he is today began with the idea that he wanted to be a healthy grandfather.

“I started going to GB3,” Honda said, “with the idea that I want to be able to play with my grandchildren.”

He began using the machines and taking classes at the gym, but after some time, he began training a bit more seriously at his friend’s garage.

After sustaining a few serious injuries, Honda’s doctor recommended he stray from his extreme exercise.

“I don’t know why I decided to press 80 pound dumbbells,” Honda said.  “My arm went 90 degrees…my doctor told me ‘don’t do anything stupid again.’”

Honda chose to go back to GB3 for a while to try to avoid further injury.

One night while jogging, he decided to visit the recently opened crossfit gym near his home.

“I told a man working out there alone I was interested,” Honda said. “He said go put on some gym clothes and come back.”

He began training there and saw significant results with the functional movements he was learning.

Honda found a training regimen that served the exact purpose that initially started him on his fitness journey.

“I started learning about the crossfit philosophy,” Honda said. “If you let your body atrophy, that’s where you have problems.”