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December 05, 2016

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Garage Gym of the Week: Cameron Hebert

What is your name? Cameron Hebert

How old are you? 26

Do you have an Instagram handle or website you’d like linked? At the moment no. Look out for hebertcf12 in the coming months

Tell us a little bit about yourself:  I live in the wonderful Pacific Northwest (Washington to be specific) and spend most my time in the outdoors, between Biking, Hiking, Skiing and Climbing there is never a shortage of activities. I got into weight lifting in high school with some classical power lifting. As I transitioned into college rugby I began a more functional approach. Now I enjoy the diversity of crossfit workouts for my daily routine. Recently I have been heavy into running as my primary form of cardio, and crossfit workouts add in the strength aspect to balance the straight running. 

How would you describe your training style? My training style falters between endurance and functional strength. 

How would you describe your strength/fitness level? My strength level (sadly) has decreased. However, this is due to an increase in cardio activity. Functional workouts have dominated my weight lifting.

What are your fitness/strength goals? My goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon and to compete in an Ironman.

Describe your garage gym: Space limitations have always been a big deal for me. I have tried to package my garage into being both a gym and a work space. My garage gym began with only a pull up bar. Over time I have slowly expanded. It is important to me to be space saving with all my equipment allowing me to easily open up space. 

Who works out in my garage gym? Primarily it is just me. However, in recent days I have begun to have a few friends come over and do some training with me. 

Why did you build a garage gym? I built my garage gym because I was struggling to find the time to make it to a box. With my work schedule I have struggled to find a box that is open in my area after I get off work. For that reason I decided that I would make a home gym. 

What is your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? My favorite piece of equipment is probably the rowing machine. Living in Washington state the weather can be very gloomy during the winter months. The rowing machine allows a good cardio substitute during these winter months.

What piece of equipment was a waste? I think at the moment my sandbag has been the biggest waste. I thought it would provide more use, however having a full set of Olympic plates I have not had any solid use out of it. 

What is the next piece of equipment? Squat Rack. Initial I thought it would be too cumbersome for my small space. Currently for me to do squats I need to Clean and Jerk the weights onto my shoulders. This has limited my ability to do heavier squats.

Any dream piece of equipment? Rogue SML-2C Squat Rack

How did you build your gym? I built my gym slowly. I began with building my own wall mounted pull up bar. Then getting the wall ball and kettle bells. The two big ticket items were one after the other for the bar and plate set, then the rowing machine. 

Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? Building a home gym you need to decide a long term plan. Is it something you will keep. Research the equipment, some things are a very easy DIY rather than spending all the extra to buy it. Buy what you need as you need it, some times its best to buy a few things than make the assessment of further needed equipment. 

December 03, 2016

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WOD of the Week: Karabel

This week's WOD was submitted by Henry A.:

Very deceiving. It's Isabel and Karen together, Karabel.

What You'll Need: 

The Workout:  10 Rounds For time

  • 3 Snatch 135#/115#
  • 15 Wall Balls 20#/15#

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.

December 02, 2016

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John of CrossFit Onion Creek talks about using newspaper ads to promote his box

Peter: Hello and good morning. This is Peter from Fringe and I am talking this morning with John Biber. John, you are with CrossFit Onion Creek, is that right?

John: Yes, sir. My wife and I, we own CrossFit Onion Creek here in Dripping Springs.

Peter: Awesome. So for our listeners, where is Dripping Springs and what kind of community is that?

John: Dripping Springs is just on the southwest side of Austin, Texas. A really cool little community, kind of small, very unique demographic actually. Everybody in this town commutes into Austin. Most people working in Austin in some sort of capacity or they work from home. And a lot of people travel, I’ve noticed, around here quite a bit. So kind of a unique demographic here as far as people go. It’s a pretty neat little town.

Peter: How does that play into your box? What kind of community do you have? Who are your clients?

John: Yeah, it’s been a little challenging trying to figure it out. We had to kind of nail down, class times particularly. Early morning class times seem to be popular for people who want to come in and get that workout in, and then head to work. I get people that travel from Wimberly or Johnson City and certain other towns around here, that come work out with us pretty early in the morning, just so that they can get it all done before they travel into Austin and go to work. It’s been pretty neat.

Peter: Got it. So are you getting a lot of professionals then? Is that pretty much who you’re catering to?

John: Absolutely. A lot of people in this town are a little bit more on the white collar side, the professional side. From bankers or loan officers, things like that, to pilots. More professional jobs. There’s not too much going on out here as far as what you would kind of call the blue collar.

Peter: Got it. And how do you build a culture for those people or just get in, get out? Do you have a lot of people who their lives revolve around the box? Or would you say you’re kind of ancillary to their lives?

John: Yeah and that’s been the challenge. We make it as fun as we can for them, that way it’s something for them to look forward to when they get there. They’re not just coming to work out and get that part of their day done with. They’re coming here to talk with friends they’ve met, or they’re coming here to talk with me, or one of my other coaches, my wife. We’re enjoying trying to get them in other aspects of their life, community-wise, because some of these people don’t have a community aspect because they travel so much—it’s business as usual. But I feel when they come into our place, it’s not business as usual. They come in here because it’s fun, and they enjoy it, and they get to work out. For some guys, it’s almost secondary.

Peter: Got it. So what do you do that makes it so fun or provides that community for your clients?

John: You know, I think I’ve been fortunate. I have a couple of good coaches and I think the main thing is, is the attitude we have day in and day out. We never ignore anybody. We never put anything on the back burner and we try to give our full attention as if it were a personal training client. We give full attention to everyone in that class, as best we can. And I think people really respond to that kind of environment. They feel welcome and invited because they know they’re going to get the best quality coaching that we can offer day in and day out. Attitude is everything when those people walk in that door and I think that’s what we provide best.

Peter: Sounds great. So let’s switch gears a little bit here. How long have you guys been open?

John: It will actually be a year here on December 11th. It’s been fantastic. We’re definitely ahead of where we planned on being, we’re definitely ahead member-wise and everything, from where we planned on being. So it’s been pretty great. We’ve had some pretty decent success so far.

Peter: Sweet. So can you tell me a little bit about startup? How did you get your first few members?

John: Well actually what happened is the space that I’m occupying right now, originally it was CrossFit Dripping Springs, was the original box there. The owners had a large change and what happened is they were bought out from another couple opening their second gym. It did not float too well for them and things did not seem to be going so well. Quite a few members had left and things like that. Things happen. So I was coaching at the time for both places essentially and I said to my wife, “I think this might be the opportunity we’re looking for. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing right now.” We made a decision, we stepped in, and we made an offer. We bought the gym and we started off with 14 members, 13 or 14 members is all it was at that time. And right now we’ve basically tripled it. We’re at 44 members right now in this first year that we’ve had. So it’s been pretty fantastic for us. We did a little bit of advertising and things like that but I think mainly what it was—and almost all those people that we have new are brand new members, almost all of them. Not too many people came back that had left from before. So I think we did a good job as far as a couple serious people and then word of mouth spread. We did run some newspaper advertisements in the local newspaper, things like that, but it just seemed to kind of organically grow a little bit more in the community and that’s exactly what we were hoping for.

Peter: Yeah, it’s definitely the best way. Let’s go back to those newspaper ads really quickly. I don’t hear about a lot of boxes doing that. Can you talk to me a little bit about those ads and how you think they were effective or not effective?

John: It’s hard to say whether they’re entirely effective. I had a couple people come in that said, “We saw your ad in the newspaper; we wanted to come in and check you out.” It all worked out very well but I’m not terribly big on online advertising or things like that. We have a Facebook page, we have a regular web page, and everybody can Google everything but there just seems—with everybody I talk to in this town, they have a newspaper. The school puts its own newspaper out. It just seems like a little bit more of a professional town, and the demographic we had, I just took a chance with newspaper and a lot of people, I just felt like, still like to sit down, have that cup of coffee, and read the newspaper. So we took that chance. We had a little bit of success with it. And it’s not terribly expensive. So we kept it going for a little while here and we’ll see how it keeps working out for us.

Peter: Awesome. Yeah, the word of mouth is something I hear from a lot of box owners who are doing it right. So are you guys doing anything to incentivise word of mouth? Do you ask clients to tell people about you?

John: Yeah, matter of fact, I particularly don’t ask clients to tell—my personality is that I’m not a very pushy kind of guy. I have an incentive for my clients if I do get a referral for them and somebody signs up but I don’t advertise it so a lot of my clients really don’t know about it. It comes as a surprise and a big thank you when I tell them, “Because you referred somebody to me, I’m going to give you your next month at half off.” They’re like, “Oh, really? Wow. Well thank you very much.” I feel it’s a loyalty kind of thing. It’s my everything to say thank you to those people who spread it by word of mouth. And that shouldn’t be something that I necessarily have to advertise for.

Peter: Awesome. I love that.

John: I want my clients to know me, that I’m a generous guy, I’m there for them. And that’s why I feel it’s not necessarily something I would have to advertise for. And I think it makes people a little more happy when it spontaneously comes out of the blue saying, “You’re going to get your next month half off because I got a good referral from you,” and I’ve had some of the biggest smiles on people’s faces from that.

Peter: I love it. Cool. Well, is there anything else you would like to add for our audience?

John: Not necessarily in particular about that kind of stuff. Just like a lot of other places, we’re always evolving, always expanding our ideas and our minds and everything. You know, always try to learn something every single day, as an owner, as a coach. Everybody that comes in that door should learn something every day. That’s what we strive for.

Peter: Awesome. John, I love that attitude. So if anyone’s interested—a client or another box owner, something like that—interested in chatting with you, is the best way to go to your website or how would you like people to get a hold of you?

John: Yeah, website is absolutely great. E-mail is perfect. We’re really responsive to e-mail, my wife and I. Sometimes phone calls get a little erratic because we have 5 kids. So when we’re not at the gym, our life is hectic. E-mail is really easy and responsive. Sometimes there’s a lot of places where we can’t talk on the phone, not that we don’t do that but e-mail is definitely the easy thing to do, because you see it in the inbox and you go, “Oh, yeah, I’ve got to reply to that,” so it’s a pretty easy way to go.

Peter: Awesome. So your website is CrossFitOnionCreek.com and you’re located in Dripping Springs, Texas, and I’m seeing a contact form there on your website. So thanks so much, John. This has been awesome.

John: Yeah. I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

November 29, 2016

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11/19/2016 WOD of the Week

This week's WOD was submitted by @matt_morton1239 on Instagram:

I wanted to get my finish in a clip from this crazy workout... But the camera shut off right before my last set.

It didn't want to watch the pain lol.

...I double dog dare you

My time: 30:50... Slacked a little in the middle lol

What You'll Need:

  • Barbell
  • Bumper Plates
  • Assault Bike 

The Workout:  For time (40min time cap)

  • 45 Deadlift 185#
  • 45 Burpee Over Bar
  • 30 Front Squat 135#
  • 30 Burpee Over Bar
  • 15 Overhead Squat 95#
  • 15 Burpee Over Bar
  • 15 Overhead Squat 95#
  • 30 Front Squat 135#
  • 45 Deadlift 185#

EMOM 5 Cal Assault Bike before returning to workout

 

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.

November 18, 2016

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Jarrod of Move Austin Fitness explains take care of your clients, they’ll take care of you.

Peter: This is Peter Keller from Fringe Sport and I’ve got Jared on the line from Move Austin Fitness. Jarrod, how you doing, man?

Jarrod: Doing well. Happy to be a part of this.

Peter: Awesome. Jarrod, I think you were either the first, or one of the first, full gym outfits for Fringe. I remember that we were so excited when we were quoting you and we ended up outfitting you. How many years ago was that?

Jarrod: Almost 5 years ago in 2 months.

Peter: Awesome. Congratulations a little bit early for your 5-year anniversary. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about Move Austin Fitness.

Jarrod: We are a functional fitness gym and we focus on three different cycles: strength, work capacity—which is your high intensity, and your stamina—so your longer duration workouts. It takes about 12 weeks to get through that and that’s kind of our specialty. We have a very focused programming and we just cycle through that with different focuses and ideas that we try to implement if we can improve things doing certain things. And just having fun with that.

Peter: That’s great. And obviously, I know you and Katie really well. It seems like it’s been a great journey for you these past 5 years. For the rest of our audience, can you characterize your gym a little bit more in terms of a business sense? Obviously, you’ve been around for almost 5 years but can you describe your clientele and your area and town in which you’re located?

Jarrod: We are just west of downtown Austin. So we deal with a little more affluent culture—very business-minded people, type A. They’re kind of a no-nonsense, come in, get it done, and get out, get back to their life. So it’s a great part of town to be in. Also sometimes hard to please but they challenge you on many levels, which makes a better gym ultimately. It’s pretty awesome.

Peter: Just for our listeners, you guys are located in Tarrytown, which, like you mentioned, is an affluent little area, very close to downtown Austin. I would say maybe like 2 miles from downtown Austin, something like that. And it is known within Austin of being kind of an affluent area. So would you say most of your clients are professionals who are living there? Are you dealing with housewives, or kids, or all of the above?

Jarrod: All of the above. Our morning are more of the male, then as the mid-morning, it’s more of our females with some guys. Evenings are a mix of both. Then we have kid programs as well.

Peter: What would you say the culture is?

Jarrod: That’s a lot of what I’ve been diving into recently actually. They’re very family-oriented, which really afford them a lot of time to spend in our more like "happy hours" and gym events that we would put on. So anything we do, we try to do more family focused, but they’re very family-oriented. All of our coaches and myself are on a first name basis, lots of high-fives, and more of a very comfortable place that people can come in and feel they’re going to be taken care of, and feel very comfortable, and invited to do so.

Peter: Got it. How would you contrast this with some of the other gyms in the area? Do you think you’ve built that culture to attract these people? Let me know a little bit about that.

Jarrod: Some people joke and say we’re a CrossFit for old people but we’re not a CrossFit gym, but me and my wife came from CrossFit. That’s where we met, was at a CrossFit. So we’re set up similarly to that. Free, open space. Barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells. But we don’t do any Olympic lifting with barbells. We’ll do some dumbbell cleans. We just have a different approach to fitness. I wouldn’t say it’s much different. The close gyms around here do very well, it’s just finding a gym for each other. We worked pretty hard on developing a culture that is fitness for almost everyone. So we have clients as old as 70-years-old that are in our membership and as young as 15, and they’re in the same class. So we try and modify for pretty much everyone, which I would assume most other gyms do as well.

Peter: So how are you attracting these clients? When a new client comes in your door, how did they find out about the move?

Jarrod: I would say upwards of 90% is word of mouth. You can take care of your clients, and them show that appreciation by bringing in friends and family. I’ve done some marketing and very little has been through. I’ve done two rounds of mailers. The first round did decently well; second round zero. Ultimately, a large portion is word of mouth. So take care of your clients and they’ll take care of you.

Peter: Is that something that you’ve worked hard to work on specifically? Taking care of clients and getting them to give you that positive word of mouth?

Jarrod: Yes. It’s something that comes easy to me but it’s hard to pass along. That’s a lot of what I’ve been working on with my newer coaches. But yeah, it’s calling them by their name, remembering their name, asking about their workout, their personal life. I’m big on making them feel welcome and that they’re more than just a number. I want them to feel welcome that it’s their space and show them they’re going to get results. So we do test recaps with them as well. It’s super important. I can’t emphasize that enough.

Peter: So is that something that you’ve systematized or is it something you just kind of drill and train into your coaches? “That’s Doug over there,” or “That’s John. Doug likes this; John likes this,” etc.

Jarrod: It’s a little bit of both. I’m in the trenches right now like putting pen to paper as a process. But another great book for that is How to Win Friends and Influence People. That plays a huge role in creating the environment and how to treat people and add more value to them. But it’s kind of a little of both. I do a lot of hands-on with my coaches and I try and create something that they can follow.

Peter: Awesome. Do you have any systems that you use that would assist your coach with that or is it still being developed?

Jarrod: It’s still kind of being developed. The back end we use, I’m not extremely happy with. It has the ability to do promoted e-mails after they purchase certain things. We’re playing with it now to get some feedback but I don’t know how that works yet. I know some people have had things that were a success in the past with those, where they would get one after their first week of class, then their first month of classes, and how their experience is going. But we’re in the middle of testing all of that.

Peter: Love it, man. I know we’ve only been talking for a brief period but, believe it or not, that’s kind of it. Are there any other tips you would like to share with the audience?

Jarrod: I would get all the processes and identify who is in charge of what, as far as your coaching staff, down on paper. It minimizes questions and gets everyone on the same page to get all the guessing out of it. Everybody knows their role. I think that’s a huge part in freeing up time and clearing up any questions of who does what.

Peter: I love it. So if people want to find out more about you, either as a client, or as a colleague, to chat with you or somebody else in the community, should they just go to MoveAustinFitness.com, look you guys up on your Facebook page? What’s your preference?

Jarrod: Yeah. Either way. Or they can e-mail me directly through info@MoveAustinFitness.com. I’m always trying to learn more from other people and you can only do that by other people reaching out to you, so I always welcome that.

Peter: Awesome. Sounds fantastic. Cool. Thanks so much, Jarrod, and we’ll get this up. And we’re out.

November 16, 2016

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Is it all about the $$?

Written 11:56 AM, Tuesday in a friend's backyard in Boulder, CO

I'm relaxing in the sun in Boulder today. We're thinking about opening a Fringe Sport retail location up here and you could say I am scouting.

We're interested in many things that Colorado has to offer...


Mostly community, and location. We'll be able to add to the local community and ship faster and more conveniently to our West coast (don't you dare say Best Coast) customers.

I'll keep you posted on how things shake out. And if you are in Denver/Boulder and want to help out, shoot me an email - peter@fringesport.com


Now on to the sale.


We're trying something new this week- everything on the site is on sale. Whelp, except for that mysterious rower.

If you order anything, take 5% off with code 5OFF. If you order over $500, take 10% off with code 10OFF

The deal ends Sunday, so press that trigger.


But what about Black Friday specials?


Well, we'll be announcing some of the Black Friday deals later today here, but  if you order now, we'll ship before our Black Friday order crush. While we are slaving away shipping like mad, you'll be getting swole and working off that apple pie.

So shop now for a great deal and fast shipping.

Yours,

PK
November 14, 2016

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Posted in garage gym


Garage Gym of the Week: Bobby Melaccio

What is your name?  Bobby Melaccio

How old are you? I am 35 years old

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

Tell us a little bit about yourself:  I am a father of two, and married for 8 years. I consider myself an "active do-er", one who must stay busy keeping things fun, fresh, and exiting! Who has now embarked on a new life journey of wanting to help others achieve an overall healthier life style. 

How would you describe your training style? I am currently a USAW Sports performance coach as well as a crossfit level one instructor and am currently enrolled in college for sports nutrition. 

How would you describe your strength/fitness level? Currently I would say I am in the best shape of my adult life( after high school, let's just say I wasn't the most committed to my health lol) 

What are your fitness/strength goals? My health/fitness goals are to live a functioning active life where I can enjoy whatever it is that comes my way. 

Describe your garage gym: My garage gym represents freedom! For me it is more than a gym, it is my reminder that says you only have one life! To do you and that nothing lies in your way other than you! No regrets!!

Who works out in my garage gym? My gym is open for me to personal train. It is only the beginning!! I built this gym to have no regrets, to live my life. I have worked hard the last 20 years for an amazing company who I am still currently employed with, but the beginning is now. 

What is your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? First of all, none of the commercial gyms in this small town had bumpers or platforms, and I wasn’t interested in CrossFit.  Second, with small kids, time is at a premium.  A garage gym naturally fit this situation and allows me the flexibility to train on my schedule (which is usually at 4:30am)

 What piece of equipment was a waste?  I do not have a piece I do not like. Every piece can be used to create overall better health and physical preparedness.

What is the next piece of equipment? Next piece will be either the airdyne or assault bike. Very soon. I need it lol!!

Any dream piece of equipment? Dream piece.... hummm, I can say I don't have a dream piece per se, but I do have dream pieces. That is to have my own gym outside of my garage.  

How did you build your gym? I pretty much have bought all my equipment from Fringe Sports with the exception of two racks which I found on Amazon and some bars on Craig's list a while back. This has been in the works since January this year 2016. 

Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? Advice would be to be sure to visualize everything out. Placement and types of workouts you will be doing will play a role. Everything from floor to ceiling and walls will play a factor. Space adds up quick. My garage is 400sqft. With ten foot ceilings other than where our A/C unit is. Do not rush. We can get excited, especially when we get it started but be patient. Do not overload it, clutter can be dangerous and buy equipment you know how to properly train with.

Want your Garage Gym featured? Answer the same 16 questions and send to team@fringesport.com.

 

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