I’m back! It’s been a minute since I’ve blogged. However, It’s never too late to start as they say and I was inspired recently and the following is what came out. This blog post is in part a tribute to the attitude of gratitude that I’ve committed to for 2019 and beyond. Getting to spend some time recently with some of the outstanding professionals that I call friends, moved me to write this buyer’s guide. Hope it helps…
It’s been rainy (ALOT!) and since we don’t have much of this (except all the time this year) in San Diego, I don’t know if you’re like me but it sends my outdoor plans into a tailspin. That said and due in part to the rain I was inspired to write a buyers guide if you will of San Diego area gyms, coaches and trainers that I would turn to for programming, advice and or just a good workout on a rainy day.
Now, I suppose the fact that I am a performance coach in the San Diego area may make me a trusted resource of sorts. I’m not sure how much of one, but I am a resource nonetheless and the following are not all encompassing, merely the coaches, gyms, trainers, health guru’s that I happen to be familiar with and whom I’m lucky to have within my network.
I’ll start south and move north.
In south county, and I only put her there because she teaches at Southwestern Community College, none other than Angel Chelik . Angel is a teacher, writer, coach, trainer, athlete, you name it. When she’s not writing content for ACE, she can be found kicking people’s butt’s at Barry’s, getting students right in the classroom, you might even find her training a group of scientists as part of her corporate wellness business. Angel is an all around wealth of information.
Next up in the North Park/South Park/Hillcrest area is my good friend Phil McDougall. Phil is as bright and dedicated a teacher as they come. While some may consider Phil as a KB wizard (which he is, he’s formerly the Director of Athletic Performance for Strength Matters), he may be just as gifted or more as a movement and assessment specialist. A capable athlete himself, Phil can be found most mornings running up one of our local mountains (with Henry of Cambridge at his hip) or swimming or swinging Indian Clubs at Palisades Park. Phil has been and continues to be a go to resource for me for programming the everyday athlete.
Out at San Diego State University, located in the San Diego State Rec Center is one of my best buddies, Brian Tabor and his uber successful business Strong Made Simple. A brilliant name and one that really does define how he goes about the business of getting his athletes and clients strong, and in some cases really strong. A former National Champion Strong Man, although you would never confuse him with the prototypical dude with no neck. Tabor is a gifted mover who combines a witty ability (aligned with the name of his business) to break down the complex into simple parts. He uses that skill along with his sinisterly simplistic methods of building strength that sometimes have me rethinking my methods, to get some real real world results. Brian is the king of semi private training (don’t call it small group or group) in San Diego.
Just north of the Airport, we have my friends Derrick Truong and James Wheeler at Locomotion Athletics. Former colleagues of mine, Derrick and James have teamed up to be a pretty formidable team in the San Diego area. They’re business, which started as outdoor bootcamps has blossomed into a brick and mortar spot for fun, and functional small group training. A good blend of experience between the two of them, you’re sure to get a great workout and find solutions to whatever athletic or aesthetic goals you may have.
Moving up the beach, we come to Pacific Beach. Just like the many bars that this hot spot is known for, PB is more of a hot bed for talent in the Training/Coaching/Physical Preparation space.
I’ll start with my friends Ryan and Missy Steenrod. Ryan and Missy can be found training people of all sorts at Tru Motion in North Park, at Center for Balanced Training In PB or out of their living room. You can also check out their outstanding resource, Death of the Desk. Both brilliant in their own right, Ryan, an expert mover and KB artist, he has a unique ability to meet a client where they’re at and then get more out of them than they though possible. Missy on the other hand is a healer, a magician at fixing bodies when they break down with her Z-Health background and keen eye. She understands the body and movement in ways that I only hope to someday. She is perhaps the best listener of any performance coach I’ve been around and it’s that ability along with her understanding of the nervous system that makes her a go to resource. These two are wholistic health personified.
If you’re looking for an all around great large group class with a more traditional strength and conditioning component, then your go to is Performance 360. Dave Thomas (no relation) and company are blowing up around the San Diego area. With 3 locations now, they’re the spot to go if you’re looking for a progressive large group class with all elements of strength and conditioning (think olympic lifts, deadlifts, squats) combined with an amazing culture and community of young driven professionals who train hard, support each other, and don’t take themselves too seriously. Check them out if you’re looking for a good group of people.
One of the most successful and diverse trainers in the entire San Diego area is my good good buddy, Coach Deshawn Meacham. Deshawn can be found training high end clientele out of Bird Rock Fit by day, by afternoon he’s the head strength coach of an area high school, oh and did I mention he carries a healthy stable of current NFL athletes and NFL hopefuls that train with him on a regular basis (and every Feb/March before the combine). If you’re reading this and have a Jr High or High School athlete in the family, they’ve probably been to one of Deshawn’s summer speed and agility camps. You can find more about Deshawn at www.elitecoaching.com
Last but certainly not least is my friend and the man who taught me everything I know about kettlebells, Coach Franz Snideman. Franz’s resume could fill up this entire article. I don’t think there’s a modality of training that Franz either hasn’t been exposed to at a very high level or is not an expert in. A former college sprinter, Franz can teach you running, and if running isn’t what you’re looking for he’s a former Master Instructor for both RKC and Strong First (KB Organizations), so he’s got your back with KB’s. Perhaps you just want to deadlift, I’ve witnessed Franz teach many who thought they’d never squat or deadlift to do just that or do their first pullup. The man is a teacher in every sense of the word. I would argue though that Franz is just as skilled as a ground based mover as he is anything else. I’ve personally learned Ground Force Method, amongst others movement methods within the walls of his gym located in Birdrock. For small group, private training, and semi private, Franz Snideman at FS Athletics is someone that I would turn to.
Servicing athletes in the Sorento Valley area you have my friends Melissa and Bobby at 1RM Performance. Go in there any day and you’re sure to find a host of Volleyball or baseball players working out together. Junior high, High School and Professional athletes of all kinds find a home at 1RM Performance. Melissa Myers, a great athlete in her own right has been transforming female athletes as long as I have known her. Bobby Congalton is your baseball resource in the area. It seems like there’s not a day that goes by when there isn’t a collegiate or professional baseball player training with Bobby.
Finally, after moving all the way up the coast into Carlsbad, you have the rad guys at Nakoa Performance. Ryan Gallop and company have what is possibly the best true family oriented Performance training gym, that we have here in San Diego (similar in nature to places on the East coast like Cressey, MBSC, etc). The gang at Nakoa specializes in everything from professional BMX racers and pro surfers to High School Lacrosse teams. They’re a great group of performance minded forward thinkers whose doors are open to anyone who wants to learn and get great programming. Oh, and they have a terrific and engaging front desk staff who make the best smoothies as well as an on site performance physical therapy team.
As you’re working through your 2019 goals if ever you should hit a sticking point, plateau, need a change or simply a push, these creative friends above are the ones that I turn to.