A Roundtable Discussion with your Coaches

A Roundtable Discussion with your Coaches

As we all know….


Coaching is the main differentiator with our type of gyms. People at our gym and ones like ours want more out of the time we spend achieving ‘Our Fitness’. We all want more, and it’s the coaches that give it to us. With that in mind, us coaches sat down and had a quick little chat to help you learn more about us.

Coach Brian – Age 12 #AbsAndBraces

Forge: “What was your first real ‘gym’ experience?

Danielle: My first ever “gym” experience was with my boyfriend at Planet Fitness. As we walked in I asked where the cardio machines were and he pointed to the right so I hopped on the elliptical for a while, then went to the treadmill and that’s exactly what the next 10+ visits looked like! I didn’t want him to see me sweaty & gross so I would never workout with him which is kinda funny because now that’s exactly when I’m most comfortable!

Andrew: My first gym experience was when I was a teenager. A friend and I use to go to Roberts and workout together. We did the usual routine, bench, bench, and arms.

Brian: The first ‘gym’ I went to was when I was probably a freshman in highschool. I went with some friends on the hockey team who were ‘big’ and we did a bunch of “chest movements”. I think I spent more time looking out the window than “lifting” that day.

Isii: The first real gym experience I got was all thanks to a flyer at a local community center that I saw during a 5th grade field trip. I sure am glad I like a good flyer…

Katrina: Yes, I always worked out in my bedroom. I would do dips on my chair, push ups and sit ups. The first  real gym I went to was college and just went on the treadmill! Then I was introduced to lifting initially by a friend. I’ve been hooked ever since!

Forge“What was your initial thought when you heard of or saw “CrossFit”?”

Danielle: My first experience with CrossFit was when I was cheering at Core Athletix. At the end of the cheer mats there were weights, kettle bells, wall balls etc and we would always see people working out in groups. A DSC_9228hdi2friend of mine told me to come try it out one day & I’m always up for new things so I said “what the heck why not”. The workout seriously seemed easy! I can’t remember exactly what the WOD was but the most memorable part was when I was done I needed water so bad & I could not physically move my body to get some!! I had to sit on the bench for a bit! My lungs were on fiiiiire which now I know all too well! (Good ol Fran lung!) Then, there’s this girl I work with who used to get up and train first thing in the morning before work at a local CrossFit Box and she would talk about it at work. There was one day in particular she came in after doing pull ups (not sure the exact WOD although she might!) and asked me where the band aids are. She showed me her hands which were both completely ripped up!! I remember my exact thoughts as she’s acting like its no big deal. I just thought THIS BITCH IS CRAZY!!!  I seriously thought she was insane though I could not imagine what kind of “workout” could ever cause such a thing!!

Andrew: I first heard about CrossFit while in college. My workout partner had gone to Florida and had done some of the bodyweight benchmark WODs. He showed me it and I thought it was just a bunch of circuit training and wasn’t really anything special.

Brian: The first time I heard of CrossFit was around 2004 from a friend at college. I was Powerlifting then so I didn’t pay much attention to him ‘flinging himself around’ on the pull up bar. For a few years after, I heard the name more and more and heard people talking about “Crushing Fran” and I giggled at the small people. I was around 225lbs then and couldn’t make it up stairs without breathing heavier.

Isii: I thought…WOW!! That sounds awesome. Sign me right up! (I didn’t have to sign anything really but I would have!!)

Katrina: Awesome! I’m in!!

ForgeShort & Sweet, Katrina; nicely put. Hahaha!

FDSC_5705hdi2orge: “Ok, let’s get personal here.” (A few smiles from coaches appear…) “It’s Saturday night, are you more apt to stay in and chill out (maybe toss the top of an ice cream container away) or will you be found out at a bar or club “gettin hyphy?”

Danielle: This definitely depends on my mood. Can I choose drinks & ice cream?? Ice cream is ALWAYS a necessity in my book!

Andrew: I’d rather relax on a Saturday night, but sometimes I definitely enjoy going out and getting a lil wild!

Brian: If you asked me this question a few years ago; I’d have been all for hitting some bars and having a drink or two. Now, life is just far too “cra-cra” for me to wake up the next day feeling like I should stay in bed for a week. Give me some Wegmans Mint Chip, my couch, my wife and I’m a happy man. Ok, I’ll have a drink with my Ice Cream.

Isii: Did you say Ice Cream?! (and chill!?)

Katrina: Did you say Ice Cream?!

 Forge: “Have you ever tried losing weight before? If so, how?”

Danielle: The only time I’ve tried losing weight was for a figure competition which required lots of cardio, very little food and a very very unhappy competitor!10422253_10203169709043631_2440650855022388397_n

Andrew:  I’ve tried losing weight by watching carbs, counting calories, doing more long, slow-distance cardio. I’ve never really followed a specific diet before, but when I became serious about lifting during college, my diet
started changing as well

Brian: I’ve have successfully and unsuccessfully lost weight a few ways. I’ve done a few ‘cleanses’ which are more for you mentally because the weight lost tends to be water weight but you ‘feel’ better. I’ve tried a plethora of diets to “get cut for beach season, bro” as well as tried to cut weight for a fight. Both of those ways were horrible and neither one really worked. When I tried getting “shredded” I ended up screwing my weeks progress over on the weekend with my “cheat meal” that was a whole pizza and cake. What the heck was I thinking?! When I was cutting weight for a BJJ fight at The Arnold, I tried cutting water weight for a week and ended up only losing a fraction of a pound. That was the worst because the whole week was about drinking a ton, then 72hrs before the suffering began. All of that hard work for nothing. The only time I was successful was when I went from 232lbs to 179lbs in 18 months. That long & slow change was the easiest, made me the happiest and those changes stuck around for years!

Isii: Nope. (Editors note, you’ll have to come in and see/talk to Isii to understand why he’s never purposefully tried losing weight.)

Katrina: Only for a few figure shows… It was by restricting carbs and doing tons of cardio. No fun. But that’s where I met a two girls that I get to lift with at our gym!!

IMG_2836Forge: “Ok, here is a highly debated topic in our field: What is the best way to build muscle? Is it to get stronger or bigger or what?”

Danielle: They have a strong correlation but, I wouldn’t say they’re exactly the same. Usually in most cases getting stronger will result in getting bigger-vice versa. Any type of training will result in both strength and size to some degree however, there may be some exercises that are more ideal for one goal over the other. Examples would be, if you are solely looking to gain size (not necessarily gain strength) I would use more of a bodybuilding approach. The workouts would consist of higher reps lower weight, limited rest between sets & include isolation exercises (however isolation exercises should never replace compound movements – that should be in addition to.) “Leg day” – Squats but also “accessory work” i.e. Leg curls   If looking for strength then I would focus more on heavier weights lower reps and longer rest periods. The accessory work might not be as beneficial compared to a muscle building goal. Strength is and should always be more important!!! Size will come but strength helps you survive!

Andrew: The best way to build muscle is to find something heavy and lift it. It’s the same way to build strength. Just like the story of Milo from ancient Greece. Each day he lifted the calf and carried it. As the calf got bigger, he became stronger and bigger from lifting the animal each day.

Brian: I agree with Andrew 100%. If you’re looking for size, why not ensure that the size gained is functional. The last thing I think anyone wants to be is that big person that really isn’t as strong as they look. I can picture it now “Help sir, we need to flip this car over to get someone out.” To which the ‘big guy’ would have to respond “Ok, let’s get more people because I surely can’t lift that much.” Train for strength, eat for size; if that’s your goal.

Isii: The basic body building philosophy I specifically for building muscle (hypertrophy) is to work muscle groups in isolation using moderate weight and moderate to high rep scheme. As well as regularly vary the type and intensity of work done on each muscle group in order to consistently challenge the system. Also make sure to  incorporate an appropriate recovery regimen including enough sleep, hydration, nutrition, and mobility work. Increasing the cross sectional diameter of a muscle cell can be correlated to increased strength and work capacity although they aren’t necessarily directly related.

Katrina: For me it’s so hard to build muscle. I got stronger and gained muscle doing Crossfit. It may not be the same for others but for me I got stronger when I gained muscle and doing Crossfit gave me that muscle.


Forge: “Lastly, what is one of the main things that sets Forge Fitness & CF Chili apart from the other gyms you have been to?”

Danielle: The difference is HUGE! And it’s exactly what keeps me coming back. I come from a background of soccer, dance & cheerleading. All of which have a similar concept; TEAM! I have always belonged to something, building many lasting relationships. I feel the same way with CrossFit. I look at each of you as a friend. I used to look forward to practice and now I look forward to CrossFit class. Another difference which I just realized recently actually. For two years I was a huge gym goer almost 7 days a week, show up, head phones in -the rest of the world out. CrossFit as we all know is the complete opposite. You show up, see your friends, have conversation and train with people who are just as passionate and enthusiastic as you are. Just a few weeks ago I went to another gym. I ended up squatting more weight than I expected & I was pretty excited about it. I looked around and (as I said I did earlier) everyone had their headphones in and not paying attention to anyone around them. There was no “wow good job”, no one yelling “hips, hips, hips” as I was struggling to get up. Nothing. I walked in and walked out with no connection to a single person. There’s no community or support. Forge Fitness by far triumphs any “gym” I’ve ever been to. It’s more than lifting & getting fit. We work on being better people in general without even realizing it. We are a family & I wouldn’t trade it for anything!!

Andrew: I think the biggest difference is we have a big focus on moving correctly. CrossFit, as a whole, has had a very bad reputation from outsiders for poor form, hurting their athletes, and people not being strong.  Well, at our facility that is the opposite. We focus on form/skill before applying a load. Our athletes don’t get hurt, unless they get hit in the head with a strap from a stretch band. (lol, inside joke!) We are strong. Our gym has multiple athletes that have/can squat and  deadlift 2-3x their body weight which is amazing to have!!

Brian: I don’t know how to compare ourselves to how other CF Boxes run that well since we grew 100% from my brain and our garage. I will say that, for many people that have outside ‘fitness’ experience that they tend to love our small classes and how much coaching attention everyone gets. Even on some crazy days; our coaches can still make personal connections with everyone and actually coach each & every single person. Getting lost in a sea of barbells and sweat will never happen at Forge. That and where else can you find a chick 1/2 my size that lifts nearly 3x her bodyweight? Not many gyms….

Isii: 100%, the coaching and guidance. We’re here with you for the long haul. In good times and dark; but we only lost power that one time.

Katrina: One thing – We actually CARE about our members. Every single one of them. We even have a staff member whose job is to keep in contact with everyone to ensure everything is peach-keen all year long!

Forge: “Ok, well that’ll wrap up the questions in front of me. Thanks a ton for hanging out. I know we all have pretty busy lives and they are only going to get cooler and busier with things blowing up at the gym here shortly. Though I have one last question that’s been on my mind this whole time….


Who farted?