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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


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


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


Help Us Send DELTA Weightlifting to Nationals

We’ve created uniform tees for men and women in a effort to raise funds for DELTA Weightlifting‘s travel expenses to compete in nationals. Proceeds from every shirt will go directly to the team. Delta Tee back-01

There is both a men’s and women’s cut. The shirt dons the DELTA Weightlifting logo on the sleeve and are in DELTA colors.


Logan Gelbrich


James Sides Podiums in Snowmass

Team ORIGINAL’s James Sides is a former Marine and current adaptive athlete on the Paralympic Snowboard circuit. His weekend in Snowmass, Colorado ended with him on the podium.

Adaptive Spirit is an organization dedicated to supporting the US Paralympic Ski and Snowboard teams, where athletes like James can compete against the best in the world and inspire entire populations.

Great job, Jimmy!


Logan Gelbrich


What’s your way in?

I don’t like when people tell me what to do. I never have, and I don’t think I ever will. And that’s not to say that I’m stubborn – I’m honestly a very cooperative and understanding person if people are open to conversation.


I just don’t take lightly to demands.


Because of this, I used to really hate athletics. I mean hate. I didn’t like having some elementary school gym teacher blow a whistle at me and tell me to run faster, I didn’t like when I was told to stop talking and pay attention to directions (uh… 4th grade relationships ALWAYS take precedence over kickball) and I particularly didn’t like being told that I wasn’t a “sports” person.

After a few years of getting the lowest possible ribbon in the presidential fitness test, my athleticism (or lack thereof) evolved into being the punch line for my best shticks. If I made a joke about being a slow runner or hating waiting in a dugout, I didn’t have to feel embarrassed that I never excelled in something that, actually, seemed pretty fun.

It wasn’t until I found something that worked for me that I started to consider myself an athlete. It was joining a club water polo team. There was something about being in the water that made the whole “exercise” thing seem that much more approachable – which is funny, because if I knew that I would in a few weeks I’d be treading water with a 25 pound medicine ball above my head for 10 minutes as a warm-up I probably would never have approached” that pool deck in a million years.

But I joined. And I know that part of it had to do with the fact that I met some of the most down-to-earth, talented, and joyful girls I would meet on that club team. But I think that part of it was just being in an environment where I felt comfortable to screw up and laugh about it – but not laugh it off. I would laugh, but then someone would believe enough in me, be it a teammate or coach, to take the time and help me modify a movement or skill.

This transition into for the first time in my life not only liking, but also, excelling at something so kinesthetic was a realm entirely new to me, and it allowed me to finally consider myself an athlete. The beauty of being an athlete is that if you’re an athlete once, you’re an athlete for the rest of your life. Because you know that you have the ability to do it. You just have to find your own way in. My back door was water polo. Recently, my re-entry into calling myself an athlete has been joining Deuce.

Do what’s right for you, and don’t give a shit how you get there. Just make sure you aren’t stopping yourself from doing something because you’re pretty sure you can’t do it. Chances are, you can.


So just DO it okay???


… please. That was a request, not a demand. : )


Have you achieved a goal by doing it your way? Let us know! Share your story with us on Twitter. @onutritionals || #PinkyUp

– Liv


Instagram: @liv.r_

Twitter: @oliviarussak

Inquiries: [email protected]


ON Partners with Delta Weightlifting Team

Sacramento’s first weightlifting gym, Delta Weightlifting, has been an ORIGINAL Nutritionals affiliate since the day they opened their doors. Now, we’re excited to announce that ORIGINAL Nutritionals will be an official sponsor of the Delta Weightlifting team.

In the short time the gym has been in operation, the Delta competitive element is already making waves. Stay tuned to see more great movement and competition!


Logan Gelbrich


Team ORIGINAL Partner, BIRTHFIT, Launches eBook

One of the very first people on our ORIGINAL Leaders team was Dr. Lindsey Mathews, DC. Her work has been tremendous in the action sports world, the top of the CrossFit Game podium, and on the biggest movie sets in the world.

What’s scary about her, though, is that she’s had all that success in areas that aren’t even her core competency. Dr. Mathews was put on this Earth to change the world’s mind about childbirth. She’s founded BIRTHFIT with that specific goal in mind.

There are four pillars that make BIRTHFIT work. These pillars are fitness, nutrition, chiropractic, and mindset. The BIRTHFIT movement seeks to empower women to view birth as life’s most important moment. It’s one that should be prepared for mentally and physically. Furthermore, women are capable of giving birth and that realization is vital to the process.

BIRTHFIT has developed affiliates across the country, they provide seminars, and online coaching. Now, they are pleased to announce the launch of their first eBook, the Real Deal.

Men or women looking to bring a baby into the world, pick it up or gift it HERE!


Logan Gelbrich


Team ORIGINAL Athlete, Taylor Drescher, Guests on WODcast Podcast

The latest episode of the WODcast Podcast features our very own, Taylor Drescher. On the show, her and the hosts talk about her national championship run as a competitive cheerleader at the University of Louisville, how she found CrossFit and the conjugate method, and life as a female Marine officer. In addition, Taylor’s LA Reign teammate James Townsend is in the room, so you’ll hear all about her being drafted into the GRID League.

As always the WODcast Podcast is funny and informative. Tune in NOW!


Logan Gelbrich


Sam Briggs Advances to 2015 CrossFit Games

Team ORIGINAL athlete, Samantha Briggs, punched her ticket to Carson, Calif. this weekend with her second place finish in the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games: Atlantic Regional. The 2013 “Fittest Woman on Earth” will be making her return to the Games after an upsetting finish in last year’s regional event left her out of the biggest competition in fitness she won the previous year. SAM BRIGGS

In this year’s CrossFit Games Regional, Sam took a top five finish in all but two events. The top five finishers from this year’s Atlantic “Super Regional” will be invited to advance to the CrossFit Games. Emily Bridgers, Anna Tunnicliffe, Cassidy Lance, and Whitney Glen will also move on.

We wish Sam all the luck in the next stage. Pinky up!


Logan Gelbrich