Good afternoon. This is Peter from FringeSport and I'm here today with my first ever tandem interview. I've got with me Corey and Stephanie Stringer of Mammoth Training facility in Rockport. How you guys doing today?
Corey Stringer: Awesome.
Stephanie Stringer: Good. How are you?
Doing fantastic. It's a beautiful day in Austin, Texas. Hopefully it's beautiful in Rockport.
Corey Stringer: It is a gorgeous, perfect day.
Awesome. Well, Corey, why don't you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and then Stephanie, we'll segue into you as well.
Corey Stringer: All right. We opened Mammoth Training Center just recently ... It's a kickboxing gym. We do a strength and condition side as well. For about 13 years now, I've been involved in training. I started out because I was really overweight and I was trying to get fit and what worked for me was kickboxing for the longest. That progressed into an amateur fight career and then it eventually turned into me finding out I like coaching more than fighting. It turns out I'm better at that.
We recently got it together and got our own place. We've been driving an hour to the gym that I was working at before and now we get to drive five minutes to our own. It's pretty nice.
I love it. Stephanie, what's your story? How'd you come to training?
Stephanie Stringer: I also was extremely overweight and I found the easiest way for me to lose weight was powerlifting. I have a German heritage and really big legs. I like pushing a lot of weight. I like squatting, deadlifts, and using more power. Corey and I had a disagreement of cardio versus strength training until I finally convinced him to come to the other side and that it can be building pretty muscles, but it's not just to look pretty. It's also to be strong.
I got him hooked and now we combined our two loves. We're doing it together and doing what we both love.
I love it. My wife is into powerlifting as well. I really resonate with you with the really big legs ... Actually I never thought about the German side because I do have some German in me. I didn't know that's where my really big quads came from, but maybe so ...Tell us about Rockport. When I think of Rockport, I think of oil, but maybe I'm thinking incorrectly. Tell our listeners a little bit more about Rockport.
Corey Stringer: It's much more of a fishing community. A lot of oyster fisherman, shrimping. We're right on the coast, so we're right on the water. You can actually see the harbor from our gym. We have a really cool view. We're super lucky with the building that we got. Right out the front door you can see all cool shrimping boats right there.
It's a coastal environment. We've got a tiny sliver of beach and a bunch of old Winter Texans. That's the other vibe that we've got here.
Stephanie Stringer: If you're thinking about oil and refineries, you're probably thinking about Corpus, which is about 30 minutes south of us. Rockport is big into arts and has a good local community getting started with health and fitness. We're on the same corner as a good friend of mine who has a health food store and another friend inside of there has a smoothie shop. Adding a gym was the perfect thing to add to downtown Rockport. Our locals and the tourists that come through can enjoy all of it.
I'm going to have to check it out the next time I'm through. I think you're right. I was thinking of Corpus. My wife has some family down there. Tell us a little bit about Mammoth Training Center. We've got a kickboxing background coming from you, Corey, and a powerlifting background with you, Stephanie. What kind of training are you guys doing at Mammoth?
Corey Stringer: The gym itself is divided in half. It was an old mechanic's shop, so it's five car bays. There's two that are in one area and there's three that are in the other. Two of them have been separated and we rolled out AstroTurf, put down some rubber mat, put in the awesome rig that we got from you guys. That's where we're doing all of our strength and conditioning.
The other side is matted out, heavy bags, and made for kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA. What we're trying to do is start this for people that have never done anything, day one people. We don't really have any martial arts in Rockport, other than us. So we're expecting the people that come there to not know anything. It's our way of finally bringing into our community what we wanted when we were living here younger. We can finally have somewhere to do some martial arts, to do some weight lifting that's not surrounded by 80-year old people who are not interested in lifting weights.
Stephanie Stringer: Unsupervised. We supervise everything. It's not just an open gym. Every class has an instructor that is Corey. We want to keep it growing. Growing up as kids in Rockport, we did want to do something like this and our parents weren't willing to drive to Corpus to give that to us. I think in our mid-thirties, now, we want to be able to offer this to all age ranges.
We have my mom with us and she does strength and conditioning. She did it the first time this week and it was really cool to see someone later on in life finding something like that and being so proud of herself. We're offering it to our friends that have never tried it before who always wanted to. Seeing them come in and getting to share that with our peers finally.
Then having kids come in ... You can look back and say, "Man, when I was 17 it would have been so cool to have something like this." Being able to provide that has been really awesome.
It's inspiring for me to hear that. Something else that you mentioned is downtown. You guys are in the downtown of Rockport?
Stephanie Stringer: Yes, sir.
Corey Stringer: It's sounds nice. It's really one strip that's near the water. Downtown is about three blocks of shops with two coffee shops. It's super tiny, but it is a cool looking area. It's open, there's a constant breeze through there. It's just a really pretty little strip of land. We happened to get really lucky to fall into this place.
Awesome. Are you at all worried about problems with the neighbors? Dropping weights or things like that? Talk to me about that.
Stephanie Stringer: Well, it used to be an auto shop. When our friends, who are our neighbors, heard that we were going in there, they were so excited. No, they don't have any problems with that. We're not dropping cars and running air compressors or anything so they're stoked.
Corey Stringer: Yeah, we're not smoking out in the driveway and smelling up their business. They're happy about that. Right now, the way we run our classes are early morning and in the afternoon, so most of those businesses are winding down or not open when we're making the bulk of our noise.
Got it. That's a good thing. You had mentioned before being the first training facility in the area. Do you feel that you're going to miss the community of being in Corpus or being in a larger city with more established gyms around you?
Corey Stringer: We're lucky enough where we're not so far away. If I need to drive there, it's a 45-minute or an hour drive. I'm still in close contact. A lot of the guys that I helped get ready for fights, they're still people that I plan on working with. We'll drive to Corpus and do seminars there, do one-on-ones and privates with guys, especially the ones that I've worked with before. It's not too hard to stay in touch. Everybody that does this stuff knows each others and bumps into each other at every little event that we go to.
We're pretty lucky, there's a Crossfit gym in town that has been super cool. We work with them a little bit. They've come and trained at our gym and I plan on going over there and learning a little more about Olympic lifting because I'm terrible at it.
Stephanie Stringer: I think, also, our community might be smaller, but it's also tighter. We have had more friends and more people show up within this first week of us being open than we ever expected. We haven't had our grand opening yet. We're having a soft opening. It's word of mouth and a couple of Facebook posts.
They have really come though and supported us. Honestly, we're doing so much better than expected already. It hasn't even been a full week yet.
I love it. That's fantastic. How are you driving traffic then if you guys haven't really done your grand opening? Is it people seeing you guys on Facebook? People walking by and seeing you?
Corey Stringer: A lot of it has been social media. The town is starving for some of this. It's a small town, so we don't have a lot. When something does open, word gets around pretty quick.
A lot of it has been word of mouth. A handful people telling a handful of people has made a big difference for us.
I love it. That's fantastic. Cool. Believe it or not, our time is about up. What else do you guys have to say?
Corey Stringer: Nothing in particular. I did want to thank you guys, in particular Steven, that's helped us out with getting our gear. Those guys treated us awesome. I cannot say thank you enough for everything that they've done for us.
Stephanie Stringer: They were so patient and understanding and helped us so much. The customer service from day one has been what has gets us coming back to Fringe and we love that we get to support another Texas company. Not just American, but a Texas company in Austin. We get to drive up there and see it ourselves. It's been awesome and we really appreciate what you all do.
I love it. Thank you so much. We'll make sure to make it down and check you guys out. If anyone's listening and they want to find you, is Facebook the best way? A website? How should people get in touch with you?
Awesome. It's been my pleasure to talk with you guys. Best of luck. I'll definitely make my way down there in the next few months and catch a workout with you guys and see how things are going.
Stephanie Stringer: Awesome, we look forward to seeing you!