It all started when...
The idea of creating a culture where knowledge is shared and not hoarded. Where gathering like minded business owners and individuals made more sense than not. When working together to bring the most positive influence into the community that I possibly could forced me to create the Midwest Strength & Conditioning Initiative.
MSCI is a group of business owners and head coaches that meet once per week at a different facility to share a workout and knowledge together. Each week a new facility will host the event with their methodology and style of training on the agenda for the workout. After the workout, we sit down and talk about optimal health, fitness, all things exercise and business.
As MSCI grows, so will our reach into other communities around the Midwest. The one and only goal for this initiative is to bring shared knowledge and growth to fitness business owners and head coaches so we can give back to our communities more intently and passionately.
Check our Calendar tab each week for dates, times, and locations for every MSCI event!
The Factory Strength & Conditioning
Monday, 4.24.17 -
For our third visit we took the trek up to Ames from Des Moines - not a bad drive at all, especially with the Audible app!
Aaron and I got right to business after an in-depth warmup taking us around 30-45 minutes; we did the CrossFit Linchpin Monday Monster Mash (if you’re familiar with it). This is a series of workouts back to back to back with [generally] 5:00 of rest between each. Pat Sherwood of the CrossFit HQ (CFHQ) staff - most of you may know him from the CrossFit update show - designs these elegantly brutal workouts every Monday. It started out as something he would put together to smoke-check the CFHQ staff, but caught on so much so that it is known around the community and is a stellar hashtag to check on every Monday for some motivation, or grim outlook at the work to come. Your choice.
We did these as a partner workout with one partner working at a time and the other resting and preparing diligently for their next round. As soon as one partner finished their set, the other would immediately start, wasting no time in transition.
First of three workouts:
5 rounds -
10 double kettlebell clean & jerks @ 53lbs
3 ring muscle ups
Second of three workouts:
3 rounds -
50 double unders
10 Overhead Squat (OHS) @ 135lbs
5:54 - this one went FAST!
Third and final workout:
1 mile run for time in seemingly tornado-like winds
In total, this took us about 90 minutes to warmup, workout, and cool down. After that we closed the garage doors and drove to Firehouse Subs for some post-workout nutrition and a great chat. This one is a bit different than the previous ones, however.
Please allow me to share the story of Aaron Mcnew, one of my best friends and Brothers.
Aaron has a long history in fitness and in the fitness industry which began on his deployment to Afghanistan. He was deployed with the Scout Sniper Section of the 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th ID - Iowa Army National Guard in 2011/2012. Fitness became a passion of his when being fit was literally a matter of life or death. Please, do yourself a favor and read about their most notable firefight which has since been named “The Battle of Do Ab”. Ambushed and up against 4-500 enemy Taliban, they fought for their lives and came out alive to tell about it; all of them.
Fitness is a way of life for Aaron because it has literally saved his life in the past. READ ABOUT IT HERE.
When he returned from Afghanistan, he continued his love for fitness by getting involved with the fitness industry - he began working for CrossFit Kilo, CrossFit Bond, then moved down to St. Louis, MO for an opportunity to be the head coach at No Shelter CrossFit. That opportunity quickly turned into a burden when the box couldn't fulfill the financial obligations of a head coach position, so Aaron ended up making the move back to the Ames/Nevada area.
At that time, he was living with a friend and they were working on developing a business plan for a fitness business in the Nevada area. That business (which will remain nameless) ended up opening doors without Aaron and his friend.
This is when and how The Factory, CrossFit Ames came to be in 2014. Dreams came true, goals were met, and ambitions were high for about a year, then things began to get complicated. Eventually and very sadly, The Factory closed doors for good; the Ames area lost a great fitness facility with a great coach at that point in time.
However, as the saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens”. The original box in the Ames/Nevada area that Aaron and his friend (plus others) were working to open in the first place, reached out and offered him their Head Coaching position. Aaron accepted this position and began coaching there shortly afterwards in 2015.
At this point, everything was going great and life was headed in the right direction - he was married in July of 2016 to the love of his life, Kayla Mcnew (then Ramsey), and all was right with the world.
As the tale of this story goes, though, things at this box began to degrade. We all get knocked down, in every aspect of life and the feeling of quitting sets in. Aaron made the choice, long ago, to never let life knock him down and keep him out of the fight; he hits back. Aaron separated from the box and began personal training out of his garage in Ames.
This path has led him to where he is now, at this point in time, where he is still operating out of his garage in 2017 with The Factory Strength & Conditioning, but on the verge of something bigger. Currently, he is in the development stages of opening doors to The Factory 2.0 in Ames, IA within the same location as before.
Every good story has wins and losses, ups and downs, sacrifices and accomplishments; Aaron is and always has been all in for his dream to be the best coach he can be and to be the owner of his own fitness facility. His grind is relentless and his vision is clear - The Factory 2.0 is real and it’s coming to Ames, IA very soon. #FactoryMade
The Factory Strength & Conditioning
Spent the morning in Ames, IA with Aaron Mcnew - Owner and Head Coach at TFSC.
Max Oxygen, CrossFit Downtown - MO2DT
Monday, 4.17.17 -
For our second visit we dropped in at Max Oxygen, CrossFit Downtown (mo2dt)!
Two weekends ago we were there for a competition where all proceeds went to the family of a member who had recently passed away - Scott Bolles. It was a pleasure being there for the competition and supporting the community; we take care of our own. Rest easy, Scott.
The workout was a FUN one (as sadistic as that may sound), although most reading this know exactly what I’m talking about. Push Press from the ground, Toes To Bar, and Farmers Walk all day long!
5 Push Press from the ground @ 95/65lbs
100ft Farmers Walk (one hand - switch at 50ft) @ 53/35lbs
Goals for the class were between 5-7 rounds; I believe I finished on the 8th round of Farmers Walk - sprinting out the door to get as far as I could on the walk before the timer hit 00:00. Every step counts!
Jessica Pilling and Leah Vos were there with me working out and sharing some sweat equity! They both did well and kept moving the entire time - can’t say enough good things about Jes & Leah! We warmed up together, walking through the class warm-up for the day which was laid out very clearly and in a dynamic fashion. Then, we put some weight on the bar, warmed up movements for the workout and put our heads down for 15:00 and got it done!
After we caught our breath and cooled down a bit, Jessica and I sat down and mobilized/stretched and had some good conversation.
We spoke on many topics including facility management, workout programming, our daily schedules, coaching and development, etc. But one of the things we spoke about really stuck with me and that was how diverse of a background MO2DT really has and it’s ties to some of the original CrossFit facilities here in the Des Moines area. Most already know that the building they currently occupy used to be one of the Spartan Strength locations and then sometime later SS moved out and CF Primal moved in. A year or two down the road an opportunity presented itself to the owners of then, Max Oxygen CrossFit in Ames, and now here we are in early 2017 and MO2DT is working their way towards two years of serving the downtown Des Moines area with the CrossFit methodology!
The space itself has an affinity for fitness facilities as you’ve most likely seen and now read, but with the giant windows surrounding the North & East side of the building at sidewalk level, it’s the perfect viewing point for anyone walking or driving by in the area. I can only imagine that the foot traffic and actual traffic in the area is an opportunity for “sidewalk marketing” by way of Spring/Summer/Fall outdoor fitness spectacles!
For those of you who know me, you know that I’m relentlessly attempting to become a better coach, athlete, leader, and businessman - the folks over at MO2DT are of my own heart. One of their up and coming programs is the CrossFit Kids program that they are aiming to expand upon in the coming years. It’s a very beautiful thing when the love and passion for fitness in the adult community spreads into the kids community, where believe it or not and however sad it may be, obesity is just as scary of an epidemic. Bravo Zulu to MO2DT for putting in the effort to bring fitness to our future leaders - remember, fitness is not just about physical changes and body composition. There are large parts of fitness that solely exist in the mind (think mental toughness and enhanced cognitive function) and many physiological changes that we will never see nor feel that will forever impact basic human functions.
Overall, it was a very positive and uplifting visit to MO2DT! Great atmosphere, great coaching, and great community. If you’re in the downtown DSM area, definitely drop in for a workout! Go check out their website for all the specifics on what they have to offer and read about their mission: To prepare you for what life demands.
Max Oxygen, CrossFit Downtown - Des Moines, IA
Jessica, Leah and I after the 15:00 AMRAP!
Hebrews 12:11 Fitness
Monday, 4.10.17 -
Today we had the honor of our first visit to a local facility that is still being put together!
Hebrews 12:11 Fitness in Grimes, IA.
The workout was fun and ROUGH, to say the least. We both pushed each other to go mostly unbroken throughout the entire workout.
1,000m ski erg
100 double unders
10 clean & jerks @ 155lbs
20:29 and 20:30! It was a close one and we went rep for rep every step of the way.
Jeff Hambrecht is the owner of Hebrews 12:11 Fitness - A very solid guy with his Faith and Family as his backbone, he recently took the entrepreneurial leap into becoming a business owner and head coach.
Afterwards we spoke about workout programming, the fitness industry and the direction we believe it to be headed, entrepreneurship (my personal favorite topic), and our beloved dogs!
Here's a little about Jeff from the man, himself.
"I want to introduce myself my name is Jeff Hambrecht and I am the Owner/Head Coach of Hebrews 12:11 Fitness in Grimes, IA. I accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and savior 3 years ago and although I am always learning how to be a better Christian I will be incorporating my faith into my fitness program when our doors open May 2nd! I have been a personal trainer for 8 years and have been managing and coaching functional group training programs for the last 5 years. As you can see below I enjoy spending time with my fiancé, our 2 dogs, and my family. I truly believe that most people don't tap into 10% of their physical capability and that is why I created my own small group functional fitness program to help people realize how much their bodies are truly capable of. Please come check us out anytime our classes don't begin until May 2nd but the gym is all done so please stop by or call to set up an appointment to see the gym and get more info. My direct phone number is 515-240-0534 & be sure check out our Facebook page! l look forward to seeing many new faces in the gym soon. God is good!"
If you're looking for a spot to workout in the Grimes area, look Hebrews 12:11 Fitness up! Doors open May 2nd, 2017!
Hebrews 12:11 Fitness - Grimes, IA
Owner Jeff Hambrecht and I after the workout