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February 25, 2017

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Posted in slam ball, WOD


WOD of the Week: 8 Minute Slam Ball / Pushup AMRAP

This week's WOD is from @coach_kasper, they tagged us in their Slam Ball workout.

A post shared by Thomas J. Kasper (@coach_kasper) on

coach_kasperThis little 8 minute #AMRAP ladder got spicey with new @fringesport 100lbs/60lbs slam balls.
#WifeWOD #LoveThisGirl #KasperPartyOfTwo #ForgedValorCrossFit #GritAndGloryAthletics @forgedvalorcrossfit #CrossFit #Fitness #ImOutOfShape @laceduplaurenp

What You'll Need

Slam Ball

The Workout

8-Minute AMRAP

  • 3 Slam Ball Over the Should (3 on Left / 3 on Right Shoulder)
  • 6 Pushups

Want to see your WOD in the next newsletter? Email us at team@fringesport.com - we love photos/videos of you showing us how it's done or your favorite workout pic.

You can also tag us on Twitter or Instagram @fringesport
February 24, 2017

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Posted in


Adrian of Fitness Pros Digital Marketing explains how to use Facebook the right way to get the results you want.

Peter: We are talking just as a reminder because I had posted on a CrossFit Affiliate Owner's private Facebook page about interviewing kind of like direct response guy who had some big claims about Facebook ads and you had mentioned that you do this and so I just want to chat with you a little bit about it. Why don't you let me know, what do you do? I know you had Facebook messaged me a little bit about it but a little bit more in-depth.

Adrian: Yeah yeah. I can give you a background overview of what I've done in the past and what I'm up to now. I've been pretty active in digital marketing since 2006. I was actually a radio DJ prior to being in digital marketing so I was in radio for ten years in Dallas and worked at a handful of stations. One of the stations I worked at, they had just launched their business page for Facebook and nobody knew anything about what to do. I just jumped in and started learning the ins and outs of Facebook, building up a fan page online for the station and connecting with our community online. That actually was my first taste of digital marketing in this building community. That basically transitioned into, a friend of mine owned a company where we worked directly with Live Nation where we handled all the Facebook, Twitter and community management for all their House of Blues, and the club and theater division. We had a handful, I had like two venues in Las Vegas, one venue in Detroit, another one in Phoenix.

It was day-to-day, just Facebook marketing and Twitter. That's really where my eyes started to open up to the possibilities of, all these people are doing are going to Ticketmaster.com and choosing whether or not to buy a ticket for the show. I'm sitting in there, that's when I had a light bulb moment where I was like, "If I'm sending people to a website where they're choosing to buy something I could easily control what they're buying through creating some sort of product, or not only that but also to just maybe sending them to somebody else's product. That's when I started learning more about direct response marketing. Then that led me to learn more about email marketing and building landing pages and just getting a better understanding of some core concepts of digital marketing. I would say that was like 2013, 2014.

Then the last two years I've just been really specific on growing email lists, how do you lead one person from one list to another and how do you use that through paid traffic. I've just taken all that learning and applied into a business for myself and then for different clients and stuff. That's a little bit about my background, and then I got into fitness about 4 years ago, 4-5 years ago and primarily starting off as just a runner. I would go run 12 or 13 miles a week and then a buddy of mine invited me to his CrossFit gym and then that's where the two worlds collided because my friend who owned a gym, he was sharing with me a little bit about some of his struggles as a gym owner. Me being a digital marketer I'm like, "Man there's so many people that need help with the product that he offered," which is CrossFit and stuff.

That's when I had another light bulb moment. I was like, "Man there's probably so many gym owners that would love to learn how to use digital marketing, specifically like direct response marketing to grow their gym." That led me to just connecting with more gym owners and just trying to help them and learn and stuff like that. That's a little summary of the journey that I've been through but it's definitely been a lot of fun and I really love the community of people that I get to work with.

Peter: So Adrian, is that most of what you're doing now, is like running Facebook campaigns for CrossFit boxes?

Adrian: Yeah. I have a handful of clients that I work with specifically, the CrossFit boxes. Also, there's a gym that I work with who their sole focus is on personal training. Basically anybody that is a personal trainer, they can get clients through Facebook. I helped him. He has a gym where that's all they do and they have like six or seven trainers that he works with. We basically sell personal training through Facebook, and then I have some other clients that I work with that are outside of the fitness industry. For myself that's the area that I really want to focus in on because I've been on a personal journey of getting better, getting healthier for like I said the last four years so naturally I'm just inclined to want to help out the fitness community because I've gotten so much from them as well. Yeah, I do have a few clients but my main focus is in CrossFit, personal training, private gyms, that area.

Peter: Awesome. What do you typically end up doing for the client? It's just like soup to nuts? You help them with the front end lead gen on Facebook and then you also help their language pages and then helping them close even when they get those leads-in? Or what all do you do?

Adrian: Yeah. I've found that there's different gym owners that fall into different categories. There's some that don't have time to do everything so I'll just do it all for them. Basically what I'll do is I'll do everything from creating the ads, creating the landing pages to doing all the targeting and then they just work with me on a retainer basis and then I run everything and then basically produce them email addresses and names and phone numbers so they just follow up. A lot of times what they'll say is that, "If you can just get people in the door then I can take care of the rest." If I can just get people on the phone with me I can take care of the rest, so it's like, "Okay. Well I can take care of that," and so we just worked together on that basis. Yes opt-ins specifically and individually, like specific goals that they have. That's one case, and then we have another case where we had gym owners who are just eager to learn this for themselves.

One of the things I've done is just to develop a training, an online course for fitness professionals and CrossFit box owners of people that want to learn for themselves. It's probably one of the most valuable skills that you can have for your business because once you understand the concept of digital marketing, and basically this is the world that we live in now, you never really have to wonder where your next person's going to come from, where your next member's going to come from. People are on Facebook every single day just scrolling through their news feed. That's kind of the other way that I help people, is basically enroll in a course. A community of people that they can learn from as well. That's kind of where I'm sharing the latest techniques and tactics that I'm learning from working with clients, different Facebook pages. Because the thing about it too is that with this digital marketing and Facebook and online marketing and all that stuff, it's always changing.

Facebook is always changing up their audiences and where you target people. Usually what I do is I do all the trial and error, perfect it and then I put it in the group and I'm like, "Okay, here you go. This is kind of what's working right now," and so that's a part of it as well. So yeah, so those are the two ways.

Peter: Is the course live now? I now we had chatted about it a little bit before.

Adrian: Yeah, yeah. We're getting ready to launch it clear at the first of the year and then we're building up the training modules and all that good stuff. We're getting ready to go live, I'm just getting some final feedback from some different people that have enrolled into the course early. They were kind of like giving me feedback on what they were really wanting to learn. That's what I'm shaping the course around. It should launch here probably within the second week to the public in January, so...

Peter:  Awesome. One thing I want to talk about that you had chatted about earlier is you had mentioned that a lot of gym owners will come to you and say basically, "Hey, if you can get them on the phone or in the door I can do the rest." I found that really interesting because I hear that a lot from a lot of people. The older I get and the more ... Well maybe not older but the more experience I get the more I question whether that's actually the case. Even if the front end lead generation is done really well, if there aren't still significant stumbling blocks for gym owners once they get that lead, what do they do with the leads they don't fumble? Can you talk about that a little bit?

Adrian: Yeah. I think a lot of it too is they're busy, they're so busy between working with their clients themselves to running a gym. Some of them have assistants that can help them and some of them don't. I think one of the things that I've specifically learned from working with different fitness professionals is that their time's valuable. I was talking to one of my clients today and I shot him a text message because I was checking on one of his campaigns that I'm running. I was like, "Hey, you've got three new people since the last time we talked just opt in. Call them because they're warm, warm leads," he was like, "Man, thanks so much. I will definitely call them and follow up with them." I think just having that reminder, the system that I help them set up is pretty automated to where once somebody opts in to whatever offer that we're giving them they get notified immediately through Google Docs.

I think that's one of the biggest things, is that as gym owners, we're so busy. How can they stay on top of this because it doesn't become an afterthought, but it's really like this is kind of what they're working with. I think that could be part of it too. One of the things too that I've found working with just different fitness centers in creating the offer, having a really good Facebook offer is really the key. In the past we've run campaigns where fitness centers were really wanting to push the three-week trial and all that, and what they found too is that they had people that would show up for a week and then they would leave. One of the things that I was encouraging them to tailor around is, "How can you still provide value but not just reach people that are just wanting the freebie stuff?" That's some stuff that we've worked with. Yeah, those really. Those two things are probably some of the top ones that I come across.

Peter: Run me through just really quickly, what do you think is working right now on Facebook? I talked with another gentleman earlier and one of the things that he had told me that works really well in driving leads to gyms, or excuse me, driving qualified leads to gyms is first hitting up people on Facebook with a Facebook ad that's like a video. It's not even like, "Come in for a free trial." It's more like, "Here's how awesome our gym is," or, "Here's how great our community is," or something like that. You hit them with a non-salesy video that's just like, "Here's our clients looking awesome" and then you re-target those people and serve them the offer after they've warmed up to it. What do you think?

Adrian: Yes, yes. The way that is is you want to have a good mixture of branding and also direct response to sales part of it. If you think about it if it's an organization or a gym, any company just all they focus on is branding. Unless you're super-established, like Nike and Reebok and all that, you're going to have a hard time making sales so you need to have that note. The good thing about that strategy is that the branding is done through the video. One of the great things about Facebook is the way that you can target people, so re-targeting them with an offer so it's basically hitting an audience that's already had some exposure to your brand and to your gym. One of the things that's working really well for me right now is lead ads. Facebook Lead Ad is something that Facebook recently integrated into the platform to where you don't necessarily have to take people outside of Facebook.

If you think about it from just the perspective of what we're doing is we're targeting people on Facebook who might have an interest in your gym or your offer and we're sending them to the landing page, which is outside of Facebook. From there we're trying to get them to fill out the forms to take whatever offer that we're showing them. What Facebook has done is they've said, "Hey, if I can keep people in on our site as much as possible then that's always a good thing for Facebook." They just said, "We're going to take away the landing page and we're going to create somewhat of a landing page within Facebook," and they call it Lead Ad. From that, that has actually been really, really successful for some of the gyms that I've been working with. What I've found through that, is using that is cost for a lead has gone down which is always a good thing.

We can create the same experience within Facebook. That's part of it too, and then also combining something like that with a video of your gym is a killer combination because like I said, that video's taking care of the branding, then you can re-target people who watch that video with the Facebook lead ad so you're keeping them within Facebook. From there you're really getting some stuff that should reduce your cost for a lead. Then this is the kind of stuff that I'm teaching in this course that we're creating because this is the stuff that you find is working. Also, creating custom audiences based upon your email addresses and your previous and your existing members. Let's just say hypothetically you have a list, an email list of members who may have at one time been a part of your gym but they're not. The cool thing about Facebook is you can upload those contacts into Facebook.

From there you can target them with an offer to come back. It's like a really safe way not to waste a lot of advertising dollars because you need to get a sense that you're hitting the right audience with the right message. Any time you can do the right audience with the right message with the right offer is usually when you have a really good pointing campaign.

Peter: I love it. Another question that I have, I'm seeing a lot of action ... I'm obviously kind of in a slightly different market. One of the things that I'm seeing quite a bit of is I'm seeing Facebook getting very aggressive in pushing Messenger at the platform to the point where I know they even recently or at least relatively recently rolled out the fact that you can actually run Facebook ads that go directly into Messenger. Are you seeing that as something that you're using? What would you say about that?

Adrian: Yeah, so that's something too that was just recently introduced. That is going to be a really killer combination of getting people talking to them right then and there. Because the idea behind it that Facebook is saying is that if you run an ad as soon as somebody clicks on that ad all of a sudden they're engaging with you in a conversation right on Messenger. Let's just say hypothetically you have an admin assistant or a marketing coordinator at the gym, somebody that isn't on the floor training people. They're maybe doing some of the behind-the-scenes stuff. You're running those ads, all of a sudden from there somebody clicks on that ad and then now they're having a conversation with somebody. That's a super quick warm lead. I haven't had the chance to try it yet specifically for fitness, but from the other industries that I've worked in and seen some of the results from peers, it's definitely produced some pretty good results.

Peter: Okay. Time for two more questions, and then we'll talk a little bit about the course. Question number one, which may end up being both of them, is what big mistakes do you see gyms making in there. Whether it be Facebook or whatever? Like lead gen, trying to get more clients in the door.

Adrian: Yeah so one of the biggest mistakes that I see that gym owners are making is that they're focusing their advertising on the branding part of it. Like I said, if you used specifically just branding, if you're just boosting post, if you're just promoting stuff then what you're going to find is that you're not going to get the type of return that you're looking for, you're not going to get the leads because if you think about it unless you're like Nike or Reebok the branding isn't just going to help alone. You need the combination of branding and the direct response. That's one of the mistakes that I see people ... As I talk to people they're like, "I'm spending money on Facebook, I'm boosting posts, I'm just not getting any results." Usually when they say they're boosting posts it's like, "Okay, that's not really ... You're using Facebook for the wrong type of way and you're not getting the results you want."

That's one thing. Really the other thing is just whenever you run a direct response marketing type campaign there's so many elements that go into it because if one of those elements is off then it's going to affect the other type of campaign. I was just recently looking at a, I just got served on Facebook an ad from this gym and I went and I was looking at his ad and there were a couple of things that I noticed on the ad. So then I clicked on the ad to see where it would take me and it took me to a landing page. In this particular ad they had the offer on the image, which was, "Buy one month, get one free." They didn't have the offer in the copy, they didn't have the offer in the headline. Then I clicked on it and it just took me to a general landing page. In the landing page they didn't have really any branding about the gym, they didn't have any testimonials from their current members.

They didn't have the offer on there. Really quickly right away I kind of knew that, "This is probably not going to be successful." They're headed in the right direction because they're trying to use Facebook to capture leads, but there's a few things that could be optimized and improved based upon just being in the digital marketing world and doing this stuff every day. I think just doing complete branding and then not using all of the different aspects of a direct response marketing type campaign on Facebook is the two biggest struggle when it comes to marketing.

Peter: Actually I have two more questions, I lied. One other question, we've talked a lot about getting leads in the door for boxes or for gyms. Have you ever worked with Lead Gen for like throw downs or local competitions?

Adrian: You're talking about having a specific event that they're wanting to drive registration towards, and based upon that event they're advertising that on Facebook?

Peter: Correct.

Adrian: I actually have not done that yet, not within the fitness industry but I have done registration type events in the past, were outside of the industry. I think that could be something that could easily be replicated. I think that could be successful because I know a lot of times the big events are what drives some really good revenue for the gym, that they have an Olympic weight lifter come speak to their members and they want to get the word out. A lot of times, this is actually the story of a gym owner that I talked to is that they sent like $3,000 to have this person come up to their gym and the way they promoted it was just through some post and they weren't selling any tickets. They were freaking out about it because they were like, "He's here in a couple weeks, we're trying to recoup our investment." It was just one of those stories where I was like, "You know, this isn't good for them. I can understand the way they're feeling."

In that situation it would be the type of campaigns that we talked about too, you know if you have a video of the Olympic weightlifter inside an area talking about the event coming up and then from there you show that to your audience members through creating a custom audience and then you follow that up with an actual ad that sends them to a landing page where they can purchase tickets. That could be something that could be replicated. The cool thing about that too, I will say this is that Facebook advertising for the most part is pretty low-risk when it comes to it. Advertising, when you look at all the other ways that you can advertise, if you look at traditional forms like radio, television, newspaper, usually those types of organizations and stuff they want a lot of money up front. But the thing with Facebook that I feel like is really good is that you can start pretty low, like maybe $10, $15 a day.

Then from there once you get those metrics all dialed in and you're starting to get a return then you can slowly scale up your ad spend to get more of that return. If you have an event where you're wanting to sell a hundred tickets and you start off, you're starting to sell ten and then from there you're spending $10 a day or whatever and then you could slowly scale up to where you're eventually sold out. It was a little bit more about that.

Peter: Awesome. So last question, and then we'll attach a little bit about the course. Last question is, who do you see in the space, a gym let's say if you know of any that are just killing it with their Facebook ads? You maybe as an outsider looking in just see stuff and you're like, "Wow, that's amazing."

Adrian: Yeah I've seen a couple. Before I got on the call I was looking at one and it was a gym and they were just doing some really good stuff. We actually became friends on Facebook. I think what they were doing that was so good is, and I haven't talked to the guy to get more in-depth info but I think what he was doing really well is that he was creating content on a regular basis and the content was speaking about stuff that was really resonating with the audience and the members. Not only within the members of the gym currently but I'm not even in the same city and I watched these videos and I'm getting value from it. In my mind this person is becoming more of an authority, just as somebody that I look to when it comes to this information. I think that was just a really good way to increase the awareness about their gym. That's another thing too. You think about, we all have knowledge that we retain over our lives.

That knowledge is extremely valuable to people, especially if they're not in the industry that you're in. With the skill set that you have and the knowledge that you have, just sharing content on a regular basis can become really valuable. To do that alone can help grow some awareness about your gym, where you guys are located, the type of clients that you're working with, some results that you've seen in the past. That was one and they were doing really, really good, and then there was another one that I saw that was kind of along the same lines. I was just like, from a digital marketer I was looking at it and I was like, "Man, these guys, they either have somebody they're working with that's really, really good or this guy has a background in digital marketing because everything I've seen was just like spot on." It's like their headlines were good, their offers were really intriguing, their images were really good. It was just something that was just like, I think it was pretty valuable.

Peter: Awesome, cool. Well thanks for your time. Tell us a little bit about the course and how do people get in touch with you if they want to get in touch with you?

Adrian: Yes. So the course that we're launching is basically everything that I've talked about in this interview we're going to cover in the course, and the course is really designed as a way to just give back to the fitness community and help educate and equip fitness professionals so that they can grow their gym. Time and time again I'll talk to different people and gym owners and they would struggle with the way a word of mouth marketing wasn't working for them anymore and the old, traditional direct mailers and putting fliers on people's cars wasn't getting the return. But when it came to online marketing they really didn't have a good understanding or grasp of it. I just decided, "You know what? I'm going to take this knowledge that I learned over the past ten years and just put it in a course and teach everybody that's in the fitness community how to grow your gym safely, successfully, in a scalable way so that you don't have to worry about where your next member's going to come from.

You're not going to have to worry about wasting dollars on advertising and marketing because, like I said, once you figured out the key metrics that you're going to be tracking in your marketing campaign it really just becomes a numbers thing. You can look at it and say, "Okay, we spent this much on advertising this month, it's produced this many leads. Out of these leads it's produced this many members, and then out of these members this is the return that we've gotten." Now we know that every month if we want to grow to this many members we need to spend this much money to get this many leads, and to get all this. It just takes the guesswork out, and that's the kind of stuff I talk about in there. I talk about the metrics of what's a good winning Facebook ad campaign. I talk a little bit more about the mindset stuff and knowledge that you get.

I'm really excited about the course because I think it's going to be really valuable. Based upon what I've heard from some previous fitness and gym owners is that this is definitely something that they feel like is really needed. So yeah. If you want to get in touch with me about this you can send me an email. I'll give you my personal email. It's AdrianHummell@Ne.com. Or you can go to the link for the course and find out more information about that. The link for the course is FitnessProsDigitalMarketing.com. You can see some info about the course and all that good stuff. Yeah, really excited. I think 2017 is going to be a really big year for myself and then also for people in the fitness community that really get a good understanding of Facebook ads, digital marketing, building email lists and really just the goal that is just to serve the community and get people healthier and more active.

Peter: Cool. I love it Adrian, thank you so much man.

Adrian: Yeah. Yeah not a problem.
February 18, 2017

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Posted in medball, WOD, workout


WOD of the Week: Med Ball Volley Game/Workout

This week's WOD is from @4everstrong32, they tagged us in their Med Ball workout/game.


Dynamic Core Work. 16lb Med Ball. First one to 7 win by 2. #CompetitionBreedsSuccess

A post shared by Coach Filipe (@4everstrong32) on


What You'll Need:  16lb Medicine Ball

The Workout:  16lb Medicine Ball Volley - First to 7 Wins

 

Want to see your WOD in the next newsletter? Email us at team@fringesport.com - we love photos/videos of you showing us how it's done or your favorite workout pic.

You can also tag us on Twitter or Instagram @fringesport
February 17, 2017

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Posted in box, garage gym


David of Invoke Fitness & Wellness how he incorporates different parts of different fitness trends in his classes

Peter: This is Peter with Fringe Sport and I'm chatting today with David Stevens from Invoke Fitness and Wellness. David runs Invoke from about the center of Columbus, Ohio. David, what did I miss in that super short intro? Tell us a little more about yourself.

David: Hi my name is David. I'm 45 years old, and basically my community that I help out is a very small community that we work out of our garage. It's basically just my neighbor and people that I have been working with in other gyms for the last ten years.

Peter: I love it, so I'm curious you know, are you looking to keep it at that size? Are you looking to grow? What are you doing because a lot of times I talk with people who have started in a garage and grow to something bigger, is that something that you're looking for?

David: We have talked about it. At one time we had a storefront, a small little storefront, and I worked there but the landlord got a little greedy, where he went from basically $1,700 a month to around $3,500 a month so we ended up wanting to resign our lease. The majority of my clients said, "Let's just go to your garage." So that's what we stuck with. Now with that, we've always talked about it. If something opened up in this area where I live within, we would give it some consideration, and we've also talked about possibly growing our garage because our community really likes, it's very convenient for everybody. Like my neighbors just walk over during their scheduled time that we work out.

Peter: Got it. So that's really interesting, so how did you start framing your neighbors? Walk us through that a little bit.

David: Okay, so I used to teach martial arts. I did that for almost eight years. From that, I kinda got burned out a little bit, so I did a little bit more on the fitness aspect of it, training at a little local gym here. The prices I had to charge for people just to make a living out of that at the gym I did not like anymore. I hate charging someone $80 just to train them for 40 minutes. That's not what I'm about, so that's when I did it out of my driveway at first before we even had a garage. When we moved into the garage I said this would be a great set up. We started it. My neighbors had no problem with it. I thought there might have been. However, and they just started walking over, can we join you? That's how it all started.

Peter: I love it, and you mentioned coming out of the martial arts background, so a lot of our customers at Fringe have transitioned form martial arts to fitness or at least have a strong connection with martial arts. So what martial art were you in, and can you talk us through that transition a little bit?

David: I was in both karate and taekwondo. I stayed with taekwondo for a little bit because I also teach it at our community college here in Columbus. I stick with that, but from my preparation I kept the taekwondo at the college level. Martial arts isn't for everybody. I wanted to add something where I could help people out. You see it all the time at the beginning of the year everybody's gung-ho to work out and then things change. I just try to keep things interesting so that they can keep that all year round to make a bigger impact in their life by training them in the physical fitness than martial arts.

Peter: I love it. One thing that you mentioned just there was that martial arts isn't for everybody. Would you say that fitness is for everybody?

David: It's not for everybody. I think about the top 20 fitness trends that are out there you know, like yoga. Yoga's not for me, but it's actually in the top seven of the fitness trends. My daughter loves yoga, I mean I wouldn't say loves yoga, but she loves the aspect of yoga for her mobility than she does Olympic weightlifting. I believe there is something out there for everybody, and sometimes that's why I got into the tools that I've used, like when I use the steel mace we're not going all out with the steel mace because you can get hurt with that really easily. So it's kinda slow. We implement the stretching at the end with it, and so I like to take different parts of different fitness trends and try to incorporate it into our classes.

Peter: I love it. So you were talking about that a little bit, tell us a little bit about your programming methodology or how do you approach training with your clients?

David: Okay, so when I do my group atmosphere, not everybody has a full hour, and I understand that. Basically what I would do is when they come here, for the first half hour we will focus on constructing. We have basically we like to go head to toe. We don't stick with just shoulders, ankles, hips, we try to hit the whole body because sometimes the last second I have to change the workout up because there was something that usually normally on Tuesdays or Thursdays I usually have maybe eight people come. Last Thursday we had four people come so we had to change the workout, so we did it as a partner workout because we didn't have enough room. Usually within that first half hour that's when I get mobility, they work on some strength or a new technique. The second half hour is basically you know your HIIT programs, your circuits. Full out, sometimes we throw in an AMRAP wrap in there, but when it comes to the summer then it's a little bit different because I have my whole driveway. we do pints, we do everything.

Peter: I love it. Talk us through a little bit how you acquired your first few clients. I mean you had mentioned coming from a martial arts background, but how did you get your first three clients, and then how did you build from there?

David: So what I did was those parent's followed me when I left. The studio actually shut down out of the blue. Everybody showed up there on a Monday, and the guy decided that he no longer wanted to have a facility. I kept in touch with some of them because I did have a driveway and during the nights in Columbus you never know, I mean we have bipolar weather. One day it's 60 degrees, next day it's 20 degrees. So what I would actually do is send out a text to everybody saying, "We have a workout today." So I kept them within the loop. Then so they followed me there. Then when we moved into this house that we have here about six years ago, we had the garage, so I mean we went through a polar vortex here where it was ten degrees below zero and everybody still showed up to workout, and it just built on from there. They would tell somebody else. They would bring a family member. I had more of my neighbors come. Their kids got older so now they're coming. So it just spread by word of mouth.

Peter: I love it. How do you describe your culture within your gym?

David: We are a family and it got brought out last week when one of our members had just lost his mother to Alzheimer's, and to have everybody just show up. I mean some people changed their plans. Thursday's usually a slow night for us because of all the stuff that goes on within Columbus. Everybody dropped what they were doing just to be there for him and do a special workout for his mother. If someone is having a birthday party, everybody tries to do something. We see each other even outside of the garage, what we always call the Garage Grind, we see each other outside of that. We go get dinner together. We noticed that we have become more of a family than just people who will just train together. Any of them here, like when we take off for some of our Olympic weightlifting competitions for my daughter, they'll still run the class, one of the guys, but they want my other daughter, my littlest one who's 11 years old, they let her bark out the commands. They accept her as you know kind of like one of theirs.

Peter: I love to hear that. Cool. What else would you like to add?

David: It's something that I would love to see more people start doing is having that garage gym, and it's more of, if you've noticed, I mean I would love like for my daughter to start her own revolution. I like to see more communities get involved, and it doesn't even have to be there. Even daily walks, community walks. I love to see the fitness community start embracing things like that a little bit more.

Peter: Are you involved at all in the GoRuck community, because just what you said now is very interesting to me because I'm a little bit involved in GoRuck. One of the things that they're trying to do is get more people rucking together. A ruck at its most basic level could be like a weighted walk basically.

David: Oh no, I've heard about it. I think I've heard of mostly from the people that do crossfit, they talk about it. My daughter goes to a crossfit gym on Sundays to fine tune her Olympic weightlifting, and when she's there a lot of them will talk about the GoRuck. I just haven't looked into yet.

Peter: Got it. It was just interesting to me with what you were saying about you know more people kind of getting together and doing kind of community oriented things. That's pretty interesting and awesome. Cool. Well, David, so you had mentioned before that the best way for people to find you is at invokefitnessandwellness.com and again you're based in Columbus, Ohio.

David: Yes.

Peter: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our audience?

David: No, that's it.

Peter: Awesome, well this has been a pleasure David, and thanks for spending a little bit of time with us, and thanks for sharing of your philosophies on you know fitness and life.

David: Thank you so much.

February 13, 2017

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Garage Gym of the Week: Cody Whittington

What’s your name? Cody Whittington

How old are you? 29

Do you have an IG handle or website you’d like linked? @CodyTrapWhittington

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I'm from Round Rock. I have a Bachelor's from Texas State, and a MBA from Concordia. While at Texas State I was going through depression, and a general feeling of being lost and hopeless. A therapist recommended exercise to pump some endorphins in me. This was right around the time Crossfit was becoming a sensation (2008-2009) in the Austin area. I found a Crossfit Gym near my parent’s house, and I was hooked. Even better when some old high school friends started their own Crossfit gym in Hutto (Shout out to Milestone Crossfit). That’s where I found the Crossfit community spirit, and have been involved with the Austin fitness scene since. I have done small competitions put on by local gyms like the Triple Threat Throwdown, Beards and Brawn, Monster Mash, and two years ago I trained and didn’t come last at the Hill Country Strongman Classic. Since then I have been at Travis County Strength, and my fiancée encouraged me to build a garage gym once we got into a house.

How would you describe your training style? I do a mixture of Crossfit with a heavy emphasis on PowerLifting. I enjoy heavy bag work so I throw that in for a cardio session.

How would you describe your fitness/strength level, currently? I’m feeling pretty good as I approach 30. I’ve been focused on increasing my strict press and have since big gains the past 8 weeks.

What are your fitness/strength goals? Drop to 185. (currently 198) Squat 350, Deadlift 450, Press 180. Complete a full Murph.

Describe your garage gym. Actually was motivated by one of Fringe’s posts about getting your hands on whatever equipment you can.

  1. Barbell, bumpers, collars, and resistance bands - Fringe
  2. Rack - craigslist (it’s not perfect. The spacing on the squat rack are not bench press friendly)
  3. Bench - Adidas from academy
  4. Steel plates from an Army buddy
  5. Heavy bag set up
  6. Plyo Box I built myself
  7. Onnit Werewolf 64lb kettlebell
  8. Rogue Sandbag
  9. Steel maces from Onnit (10 and 20 lbs)
  10. Rogue Rings

Who works out in your garage gym? I’m the primary user. I get my fiancée out there when she’s not swamped with grad work. On Friday’s my little sister shows up to work out. She has Jacobsen Syndrome, and it’s incredible what she can do out there.

Why did you build a garage gym? I built a garage gym to ensure I didn’t have an excuse to miss a workout. I’m a marketing consultant that works from home. Some days it is hard to get out of the house, brave Lamar traffic and get to the gym. Now I can simply walk out to the garage and get it done. Even better, I can get in some quick sessions. I’m stressed? Go hit some pull ups. Hips hurt from sitting around too much? Stretch out real quick. It’s beautiful, and my quality of life is better for it.

What’s your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? The squat rack. It’s versatile, and is the center of my work outs.

What piece of equipment was a waste? The steel maces… I had this crazy idea that I could learn on my own how to do all the weird stuff with them I’ve seen on Instagram. Hasn’t happened yet.

What’s the next piece of equipment you’re going to get? I need to upgrade my bench. It is rated at 200 lbs.. Total. I’m nearly 200 lbs. Therefore I’m letting Jesus take the wheel anytime I put weight on that bar.

Any dream piece of equipment? Power Cage. That would allow some more diverse supersets. An Airbike or Rower would be great, too.

How did you build your garage gym? One piece at time, just  like the old Johnny Cash song. Some of it new, some of it Craig’s List.

Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? Focus on the squat rack, and barbell. That is money well spent. Craig’s List has some great stuff, especially metal plates. I’d stay away from Play-it-Again Sports. For the prices, you may as well buy new. And make sure your garage gym makes you WANT to go out there and lift. Free it of clutter. Don’t allow it to be a temporary storage space for your significant other’s porcelain cat collection. It’s your space to do work, and have fun.

February 10, 2017

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Walter of KillIt CrossFit talks about the dynamic at his box between the various age groups.

Peter: Hello. This is Peter from Fringe Sport, and I'm on the line today with Walter Finch of Kill It CrossFit. Walter's just up the road from us in Round Rock, Texas. Walter, what'd I miss in that very brief introduction?

Walter Finch: Sounds like you got it all.

Peter: Got it. So tell us a little bit about yourself, your background before coming to Kill It CrossFit.

Walter Finch: Before Kill It CrossFit, we were pretty much just your standard high school athlete, played a few sports. Football, basketball, and then I'd say about 6 years ago, doing the regular gym thing and then 6 years ago my wife told me about this thing called crossfit. I was like yeah you don't get a workout in about 5 or 10 minutes right? So I kind of blew her off. She was doing it in the garage, had some friends doing it and then one day I finally decide to join her and instantly loved it.

So we did that in the garage for a little bit and then one night she decided that we should actually open physical location and move out of the garage. That was three and a half years ago. 

Peter: Wow. And were you training athletes in your garage or your neighbors or was it just you and your wife and then all of the sudden you said "hey I love this so much I want to do more of it?"

Walter Finch: Yes, the neighbors, friends and family pretty much anybody that felt like working out. Like-minded folks just working out.

Peter: And in those early days when you guys were just doing it out of your garage, how did you spread the word? Or how did more people-you know friends and family-how did they start working out with you?

Walter Finch: I believe it was just word of mouth and like Facebook posts that my wife would put up and our friends would see and be like "oh I want to come over." And then people in the neighborhood would see us working out in the garage or running up and down the street.

Peter: Awesome, that sounds great. So what did you do professionally? You had mentioned kind of collegiate athletics or something like that. So what were you doing professionally before you decided to open up?

Walter Finch: Yeah that was high school athletics. Before that professionally I am a paramedic for the city of Austin. So there is quite a bit of physical demand there so just kind of training with that. Did a little bit of training with our medical SWAT team that's physical training.

Peter: Got it. So how long ago did you affiliate Kill It?

Walter Finch: Three and a half years ago.

Peter: Awesome. And what was the process like there to go from being in the garage to having a full fledged affiliate with a location and all that?

Walter Finch: You know it was a little scary, a little exciting not knowing what's going to happen. The process with HQ CrossFit is actually fairly easy, we were also fortunate to have you guys in town. That made getting gear for the box a lot easier than I thought it would be. That was awesome. But yeah HQ was fairly simple, fairly straight forward. You get your level one and with the experience and the practice we already had it just grew from there.

Peter: Well I love hearing that about the gear, thanks for the kind words. How would you describe the culture of your box and your programming and training style?

Walter Finch: The culture of our box I feel is very family like, it's what people have described it as. We have, you name it, people from their sixties, to young teenagers in high school working out there. Everybody works out together, it's a friendly environment very laid back and relaxed environment. But when it's time to get after it, people push hard and do really well. I'd say our training, we really kind of try to do a little bit of everything. My wife has a gymnastics background, she did gymnastics competitively when she was younger. I was more in to the weights and so I think we do a pretty good blend of mixing those two together.

Peter: I love it. And just so some of our other listeners and readers know, Round Rock is a kind of a suburb of Texas - Dell computer is headquartered there. So how do you think being a family box like that plays in to the gymnastics side and different aspects of your box. Are people, are adults, training with their kids together or how does that work?

Walter Finch: Yeah we actually have quite a few families where the parents and kids train side by side. It kind of helps give a competitive edge - I like to say old guys rule. You know to teach the kids a thing or two. But yeah being a suburb and all of that the scaling really comes in to play with the different folks, how the older they are obviously has decrease some of the impact stuff. But with the younger kids you can really kind of push the envelope. We take that into consideration when we do our programming.

Peter: I love it. What do you think about your interaction with some of the other boxes in Round Rock and the Austin area? Can you describe the community feel there with different boxes?

Walter Finch: Oh man they are awesome. We have a lot of boxes in the greater Austin area and the ones that are close to us, we get along with pretty well. We show up to their competitions and our athletes that compete there. Troy from CrossFit Hutto had the Facebook group for the owners and there is really lots of positive interaction there also. We go out to support their athletes when they go to big comps also.

Peter: I love it, love to hear that. If there was one thing that you would say that your box or you guys do that's world class or really sets you apart, what would that one thing be?

Walter Finch: I would say our attention to detail. Both me and my wife and our coaches, we are all really big on fine tuning your movement and your form because we feel that's what's really going to take you to the next level. So if you are tired and you break down, you have that good foundation that will keep you moving and keep you injury free.

Peter: I love it, love to hear that. And actually as I age and get a little older ... I'd been doing high school and a little bit of collegiate athletics and then I did cross fit ... The older I get the more I think that form and attention to detail is super important.

Walter Finch: Absolutely.

Peter: So I interview a lot of different box owners. The next person I interview-I don't even know who's next on my calendar-what's one question you think I should be asking them?

Walter Finch: Shoot I don't know, sorry I wish I could help you.

Peter: No worries. Cool, well this has been really interesting for me, is there anything else you would like to add?

Walter Finch: No, not really. If you are in the Round Rock area, and you feel like getting a workout in, we have drop-in for free for current cross fit athletes. So come on by.

Peter: Awesome. I love it. I had been checking out your website before, killitcrossfit.com. Is that the best way for people to get a hold of you guys and to reach you?

Walter Finch: Yes sir. There's links to our contact stuff there - email, our phone and then our social media stuff is on there also.

Peter: I love it. Cool, awesome. Well it been a lot of fun talking to you and again this is Walter Finch from Kill It CrossFit in Round Rock, TX. Again Peter Keller having a great time. Thanks for your time Walter.

Walter Finch: Thanks Peter, have a good day.

Peter: A pleasure. And we're out.

February 06, 2017

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Garage Gym of the Week: Brad & Sarah Davis

What’s your name?  Brad & Sarah Davis

How old are you? 34, 33

Tell us a little bit about yourself: We are an active couple with an active lifestyle. We try to be healthy most of the time, but also know how important it is to have a little fun, too... You Only Live Once! We have a 7 month old baby boy, and our first baby; our pup, Kona Bear. The gym was mostly like it is now before the baby, but has become even more valuable with our limited time. We are both Texas State grads and work in healthcare as a medical device rep (her) and practice administration consultant (him), so we see firsthand the effects that not treating your body with gratitude can have.

How would you describe your training style? A little bit of it all- Mostly crossfit style circuits: AMRAPs, EMOMs... but without the gymnastic elements. Also Olympic lifting, strength training, as well cardio days on our Spinner Blade with the help of the Peloton app. 

How would you describe your fitness/strength level, currently? Although we are adjusting to having our BabyMan, and Sarah trying to get my pre-pregnancy strength back... we definitely consider ourselves on the fit side of average.


What are your fitness/strength goals? To always be moving! We both hope to never have any physical limitations that restrict our fun. We want to be the old people hitting the slopes, mountain biking, wakeboarding... It's important to us to be able to keep up with our son as he grows and to set a good example of what a positive, healthy and active lifestyle looks like. We strive to be good role models for him and want him to be proud of his mom and dad.

Describe your garage gym. Our happy place.


Who works out in your garage gym? Us... and Sarah occasionally trains friends or family members. As of recently the neighborhood kids have discovered our set up and have been trying to come by to get a pump in, too.

Why did you build a garage gym? We are both highly self motivated and realized how convenient it would be to have some equipment of our own. Fitness is our #1 hobby and we started looking at purchasing gym equipment as an investment into our hobby and ourselves.

What’s your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? The 2x3 strip mounted to the wall holds a dip station and landmine attachment, battle ropes, our Spinner Blade cycle bike... and of course our FringeSport squat rack!

What piece of equipment was a waste? We utilize everything in our gym. Currently the only wastes of space are items we've upgraded and haven't gotten around to selling gen one.

What’s the next piece of equipment you’re going to get? Stair stepper or combo stepper/elliptical

Any dream piece of equipment? 10ft wall mounted rack, stair stepper... more free weights, kettlebells and sandbells... all of the weights please!

How did you build your garage gym? We started buying things about 5 years ago. We try to really research what we buy and wait for good sales so we are making smart investments.

Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? Do it! It's a great investment in yourself and your health. Really think about what workouts you like to do and research your equipment. Be prepared to be patient for sales... act quickly when you see a good deal! 

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