How does fitness fit into your world? In mine, it’s made up of a hundred different choices every day. It’s peaceful, competitive, motivating, social, personal, healing and sometimes a struggle.
Based on several years of fitness coaching and Crossfit in Austin, I’m giving you the quick and dirty intro to three of my favorite fitness business minds. These three are not afraid to kick your butt right into shape. They’re friends to everyone, involved in health and the community, and always prepared to motivate their clients, support local nonprofits, and volunteer their time. They have also each seen me in a moment when I’m “glistening” and probably not feeling very fond of them. Without further ado, here’s my trio of choice.
Miles Ahead Fitness
Miles McGriff has been training for 14 years, kicking off his fitness biz in 2008. In the hottest months of summer, he takes a different approach with his clients. Moving his bootcamp indoors to the ground floor at Mass Relevance, another sweet local hotspot, he keeps the AC on and the typically 20- and 30-something participants active and glistening.
McGriff works out, runs and does everything else he needs to get done before his clients flood in for their training times. His motivated and get ‘er done attitude carries over to motivate his clients as well. Offering a tough love approach, McGriff believes that “If you can survive a workout in the heat of the day, you are much stronger mentally” than you may think. McGriff adds, “The more experienced and acclimated the athlete is, the better they do in response to the heat.”
Best summer fitness tips:
- Complete your entire workout.
- Stop when you need to.
- Drink water.
- Take more time if necessary.
- “Push as hard as you can.”
- Come hydrated, stay hydrated. Without, the consequences can be serious.
Miles makes an effort to remind clients to carry a bottle of water with them at all times, eat fruit and consider supplements if needed. McGriff and Miles Ahead Fitness clients have consistently participated with and supported LIVESTRONG, Movember Austin, and American Lung Association Austin’s Fight for Air Climb benefit. On a more competitive note, McGriff has proven to always show up for a good challenge from his fitness comrades around town.
Rick Trager is the ironically sweet face behind the “will get you fit” madness that is Train512. I joke a bit about his straight up bootcamp take on fitness, but Trager does it all with a smile on his face and a goal to make sure participants have a positive experience.
Trager says, “I find it a great tragedy that many people have a negative image of exercise. It is a privilege to be able to use our bodies the way nature intended.” At Train512, clients experience fitness as adult play, not work. Per Trager’s personal goals as a trainer, he’s brought the fun back to movement and exercise and offers everyday people an opportunity to “conquer the tasks of everyday life.”
During summer months, Trager keeps his folks outdoors in the natural elements. But he also places a heavy demand on hydration and being aware of how your body feels and reacts to the heat.
You won’t get too much sympathy from the South Texas-raised Trager, who says, “It just feels like another day of fun in the sun for me.”
The group at Train512 spent a large part of 2012/2013 helping Austinites train for the Fight for Air Climb by offering free, weekly camps at Mt. Bonnell. I’ll tell you from firsthand experience: Trager means business.
When I asked Robyn Pettinger to give me some background into what fitness looks like at CrossFit REP, she described it well: “First and foremost, we are a community of people who value our health and are focused on increasing the quality and longevity of our lives through fitness and nutrition.
“We believe happiness lies first in one’s health and that fitness is the unifying theme that connects us all. You can get a workout anywhere, but at CrossFit REP, you will get a team of people there for support, encouragement and accountability.”
The no-whining, find your inner athlete approach that’s taught at the door and expected throughout your experience in this stellar fitness venue has proved tried and true, based on numerous success stories. Accountability and statistics keep this fitness community buzzing and make it easy to measure success in the most healthy and personal ways.
In 2011, before CrossFit REP was fully formed, I was introduced to Pettinger. She was leading a group of healthy lung, clean air supporting adventurers through the parks, parking lots and stairwells of downtown Austin to kick off a training and learning campaign for American Lung Association Austin. She was digging her heels in then, finding a creative and interactive way to engage people in fitness, and the same is still true today.
Would you share your Austin fitness coaching or CrossFit story in a comment? I’d love to hear about your experience.