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Optimal Performance Podcast: 5 Reasons We Fall Short of Our Goals

While I’m not new to podcasts, my latest conversation with Ryan Munsey was one of my favorite on record. Ryan runs the Optimal Performance Podcast by Natural Stacks, or he does so when he’s not speaking at events or drilling into the science of performance, at least. His guest list is nothing to balk at, so I was honored just to be asked on the show. This is actually my second time on this particular podcast and my third official podcast with Ryan, but the best conversation so far.

The topics of conversation ranged from nabbing a local Venice thief, goal setting, coaching, and even public speaking. Whether you’ve got a commute or some quite time on your hands, I’d encourage you to give this episode a listen from top to bottom. It’s worth your time!



Logan Gelbrich



Team ORIGINAL: Three to Strongman Nationals

Next week marks the beginning of Strongman Corporation’s National contest to crown the strongest of people of their gender and weight-class. The event will be held in Quad Cities, Iowa and includes five feats of strength.

Athletes are tasked with max repetitions of a heavy axel deadlift, max presses with a giant circus dumbbell, and a yoke carry for time on ‘Day One’. ‘Day Two’ will culminate with each athlete taking their best shot at max distance Hussafel stone carry and a keg/atlas stone loading event.

We’re pleased to announce that in conjunction with our friends at Caveman Coffee Co., that we’ll be supporting three athletes from DEUCE Gym, who’ve qualified for the event. Emily Russak, California’s Strongman Woman – Middle Weight, Josh Goldstein, and I will take our strengths to the competition in Iowa waving the Caveman and ORIGINAL flags!


Logan Gelbrich


Aja Barto Photo

Building a Behemoth Gym

I have been an athlete for most of my life. What I didn’t realize until stepping foot into the business of running a gym was that my true calling was seeing the potential in others and figuring out how to bring that to life. What drew me into this business was the ability to influence, affect and ultimately change people’s lives for the better. Having complete control over how I could implement these things into my own business made it an easy decision for me. Some days (and people) are a challenge but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Finding CrossFit in 2010 and starting Behemoth not long after gave me an opportunity to be in front of a handful of coaches and gym environments that allowed me to see how I wanted to operate my facility and in some cases, how I did not. I hold high value to my previous experiences and I can accredit some of the things we do at Behemoth to those very experiences early in my career. In my experience, we do things a little differently at our facility. It’s evolved from having clear goals and boundaries from the start; holding everyone involved accountable and demonstrating these values on a daily basis by leading from the front.

With that being said, and in no particular order I’ve outlined a few of our core values at Behemoth:
Customer Experience
At the end of the day, our gym is a business and we desire to provide a high quality service. Our members are integral parts of our community but they’re also paying customers and we want to do everything in our power to exemplify that day in and day out. This includes every aspect of our member experience from equipment, cleanliness and programming to intangibles like interaction with clients, presence, attitude and of course, coaching. Every day when our members show up I want them to enjoy the space they’re in. I want them to feel welcomed and cared for. I want them to experience the difference. We go above and beyond to make sure these basics are truly in place every minute we’re on the floor. I never want any of our members to ever second guess or question their decision to be a part of Behemoth. The little things go a long way. Details matter and if you don’t think they do, you are wrong. People notice.


Accountability – “Character is what you do when no one is watching”

Accountability builds character and also reveals character. Show up when you say you will show up. Be on time. Sign up for classes. Put up your equipment. Count your reps accurately and move to the best of YOUR ability. This mentality has really set the tone within our gym environment. Many times people are coming to classes they might typically miss because they told someone else they’d be there. People show up early and on time because they know 5 minutes past the hour means they’re late. People put their equipment up after using it because they’re respectful and they know other members will call their asses out. We work hard and have fun while doing so, but we set a standard and hold people to that standard. Neither our members nor our coaches take advantage of one another or their privileges. Those that disagree; give a man an inch, he’ll take a mile. They’re clichés because they are true!

When Aryan and I started this gym, I never wanted it to be about what I may have accomplished in this sport. I have always kept my athletic accomplishments as far away from our gym as possible because “Aja Barto, the competitive CrossFit athlete” has nothing to do with my abilities as a coach or even owning a gym. I would rather someone seek my services or become a member based on how we can help them not what I have accomplished athletically. I want the spotlight to be on the people that make up our community rather than those who run it. To our benefit and our community’s credit, this mentality has spread. Every one of our members will go above and beyond for the person next to them. This behavior has been infectious and it’s pretty amazing to see the true selflessness that exists within the Behemoth community. Ego doesn’t exist within our walls. I can proudly say, we are a douche-bag free environment!


Coach, damn it
Too often I’ve heard of the Groupon coach who sits and texts while they watch people exercise. Or the coach who cares only enough to proctor the workout then sit in oblivion, cheerleading from their chair every few minutes. This isn’t coaching. This is laziness. The root of good coaching is simply caring enough to interact with your clients. Coaching is what people don’t get in their garage gyms. Just the simple act of caring and coaching can separate a good facility from the rest. From the start of class to the finish, keep folks engaged. Don’t assume anyone has mastered anything because the minute you do is the minute you stop bringing value to your classes experience. Each time you’re on the floor, find different ways to teach and to educate. If your people can walk away from a class having learned something, you know you’ve done your job. If you care to deliver the best possible experience to each and every athlete in the room, coaching will come easy.
Master of your craft
In the fitness industry, things are constantly evolving and if you’re not learning, growing and changing with it, you’re irrelevant. Good coaches are constantly learning. I also believe great coaches are never satisfied with what they already know and are always open to comments or constructive criticism and questioning what they currently believe is true. Read, watch, listen, observe. Empty your cup then refill it. Repeat.
Make them earn it
If you haven’t noticed, our society revolves around the notion of instant gratification and it’s getting worse not better. Within our industry, it may look like the newbie who wants to kip at all possible costs even when they’re unable to hang from the bar. It can also look like the athlete that wants to go “prescribed” regardless of the quality of their movement. We have always been about intelligent progressions not just for the sake of coaching but also for the safety and efficacy of our member’s progress within our gym. Before you drop 3x your body weight on your shoulder girdle, show me you have the requisite strength to do 5 pull ups. Before you get inverted and start doing handstand pushups, show me you have the requisite strength to perform 10 perfect pushups from the ground. We care for our folk’s health, progress and well-being in the gym. If they’d rather do things for the sake of doing them, they’re at the wrong facility. We believe that with intelligent progressions implemented at the right pace for the individual, that individual can potentially progress for the rest of their life. However, if that individual moves faster than what their body is able to keep up with, they may end up living a life full of pain, discomfort and injury. I believe progress is always most rewarding for those that commit to the process and can respect the journey.
All in all, getting Behemoth to where it is today has been a HUGE learning experience, a lot of trial and error and a whole lot of experimentation. I truly believe my brother Aryan and I built our business the right way. We started at ground zero with a handful of equipment, a vision and a burning passion to teach, coach and educate. Even though our direction may not have been as clear as it is today, our “why” behind starting has helped build our core values which in turn has shaped our culture, our community and the way we provide our services.

I believe I was put on this earth to teach, coach and educate and I will continue to be relentless in my pursuit to help those that desire to be helped.
Aja Barto


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Logan Gelbrich


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Special Guest – BIRTHFIT Podcast

Our founder, Logan Gelbrich, joined his former college teammate, Nick McCoy, on the latest episode of the BIRTHFIT Podcast. The two former professional baseball players from the San Diego Padres and the New York Yankees respectively sat with BIRTHFIT‘s founder, Dr. Lindsey Mathews DC, to talk about personal responsibility, future fatherhood, and the inception of BIRTHFIT.



Logan Gelbrich


birthfit podcast

Greetings from Paleo f(x)

It’s ‘Day 2’ of Paleo f(x), the nation’s leading holistic wellness event, and we’re having a blast. Thoughtful panels and brilliant presenters line the day top to bottom. Of course, we had to take a break from the action, however, to train. Thanks to our friends at Travis County Strength for the session! drew

We’re in Austin to support BIRTHFIT, who’s a proud member of Team ORIGINAL. In addition, founder Dr. Lindsey Mathews DC is up for, not one, but two of Paleo Magazine’s ‘Best of 2016’ awards; Fire Starter of the Year and Best New Fitness Business.

We’re headed back in for another day meeting other minds and trying to grow ours. Happy training!


Logan Gelbrich


keg toss

ON: 50/50 Business and Performance

In true “Logan fashion” I decided to seemingly over-extend myself this past weekend. ORIGINAL Nutritionals co-sponsored the 2016 Gladiator Gauntlet, a NAS sectioned strongman event set to qualify athletes for nationals. Not only would we sponsor, but I enrolled as a middleweight competitor.

Since our inception in 2011, ORIGINAL Nutritionals has been some oscillating percentage business and some percentage physical prowess, for better or worse. On competition day, the pie would be split 50/50.

With the help of big Will Peddie, the ORIGINAL Nutritionals booth was a haven for education on our basic, pure, and essential products and a retail space for Omega 3 for athletes and clean proteins. We even had goat whey fruit smoothies for athletes and spectators alike. Naturally, the booth doubled as a refuged for DEUCE Gym’s competitors and support crew.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

The 50/50 balance worked out this time. I was able to walk away with the top spot on the podium and we were able to spread the good word of ORIGINAL Nutritionals. I want to thank all those that put on the event from Nathan Small, Zak Kirk, and NAS state rep, Kristin Rhodes for putting on a professional event.

Pinky up!


Logan Gelbrich


gladiator strength

2016 Gladiator Gauntlet Saturday!

We’re proud to announce that we are co-sponosring the 2016 Gladiator Gauntlet, a NAS certified strongman event this Saturday. The lineup of athletes will make this event the largest strongman competition in Southern California.


With three weight classes for men and three weight classes for women, there will be action all day long at the Escondido, CA location, Warfighter Academy.

Come by the booth for goat whey smoothies and chance to learn about Clean Athlete products. We will be selling protein and fish oil all day.


Logan Gelbrich


CA Strongest Woman Event a Success

This past weekend strongman competitors Clay Edgin and Kalle Beck played host to nearly sixty women at Santa Cruz Strength. The event was called California’s Strongest Woman, which took a familiar strongman style competition with an approachable scale and only allowed women in the door.


The event featured five events across three divisions (novice, open, and masters) in three different weight classes (lightweight, middleweight, heavyweight). These inspiring women took to a pressing medley and put various implements from kegs to barbells and axles and circus dumbbells overhead for speed. Another event had the ladies pulling a dump truck with a large rope hand over hand for time.

Nonetheless, the event was a inspiration. ORIGINAL Nutritionals was a proud sponsor and we’d like to congratulate all the competitors.


Logan Gelbrich



Coach Helming on Making an Impact Beyond Fitness

Our good friend and major source for inspiration, Nate Helming, is a progressive movement coach who is making waves in the endurance community. His projects the Run Experience and Helming Atheltics are incredible resources for knowledge and change in the running and triathlon communities, but now Nate is looking to help others beyond fitness. Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 2.52.56 PM

Nate will run the prestigious 2016 Boston Marathon April 18th for a cause much bigger than himself. Nate, alongside Strength to Serve and Reebok, is raising money to support Brookview House. Brookview House provide opportunities for homeless women and children a safe place to eat and sleep and a quality environment to raise their families.

If you feel inspired to help us give Nate’s effort some support, you can do so HERE!


Logan Gelbrich