Jeff Morgan is a former professional fighter, current Olympic weightlifter, and Frenchie dog dad. He took some time to sit down and answer a few of our Rapid Fire questions this week. Check both him (@IAmJeffMorga) and his two Frenchies, Benjamin & Franklyn, (@FrenchieParty) out on Instagram!
Wags: How did you get started with fitness? Tell us about your athletic background..
Jeff: As a kid I was bullied which forced me to learn how to defend myself. My whole life I was a surfer; I actually got a varsity letter for surfing in high school! I’ve traveled all over the world surfing. Long story short I ended up a professional fighter for a living - MMA, boxing, Muay Thai, brown belt in Jiu Jitsu, and wrestling. Training for my fight in 2012, I walked into a Crossfit gym for strength and conditioning.
Wags: How/when did you find Weightlifting? Why did you decide to start competing?
Jeff: I found Weightlifting in 2012 when I found Crossfit. As I was learning and progressing, I knew I could never make a high level in Crossfit. I was fighting as low as 135lbs. So I was small and weak for high level Crossfit. My competitive nature couldn’t handle that so I worked my ass off. I knew I had to get strong and get good at Olympic weight lifting. I shortly after found a coach and was on a weightlifting team. I decide to compete to fuel my competitive spirit. I love getting on the platform and showcasing my skill. After the first meet I knew I wanted to make as high of a level as possible.
Wags: What are your fitness/weightlifting goals?
Jeff: Fitness goals are to grow my legs as big as possible haha. Everyone I work with knows I love to squat daily. Weight lifting goals... currently I’m ranked number 11 in the nation. After worlds next month in Spain I hoped to be ranked in the top 3. A medal at worlds with be amazing. After that I’ll be moving up to the new 81kg weight class!
Wags: Tell us a little bit about your pup. What do you enjoy doing together?
Jeff: Oh man my little babies. They’re are life. Honestly my favorite thing to do with them is nap. After a long walk when they are exhausted, Benji will get under the covers against my legs and frank is on top down by my feet. It’s gotta be the cutest thing ever.
Wags: Why do you think dogs & fitness fit so well together?
Jeff: I think because usually dog lovers tend to be more active. Dogs need a lot of outdoor time, which is great for fitness lovers. Fitness can bring people together just like dogs can.
Wags: Favorite cheat meal?
Jeff: Yogurt land for sure. Creamy vanilla with peanut butter cups in it.
Wags: If you could have a never ending supply of ONE thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Jeff: Frenchie love. It’s unconditionally. Everyday I get home from work they are waiting at the door for there daily hug. It’s the best thing ever.
Wags: One piece of advice for any aspiring competitors out there?
Jeff: It’s tough. But you having to be willing to grind. Put in the work and never give up. Strength training for Olympic lifting is so crazy. One day everything is going perfect. The next day you can’t even make 80% of your best lifts. Most important is sacrifice. You have to ask yourself "Are you willing to give up drinking? Long weekends with friends? Sleeping in, eating bad food?"