In 2015 I was very overweight, pushing the scales at 220 lbs and coming off of a bad concussion. I was forced to hang up my soccer cleats due to my concussion, causing me to loose something I was passionate about for 25 years. After 6 months of feeling bad for myself and being depressed, I knew I needed to do something to permanently change.
After dropping 50 lbs, I stumbled across MROC while looking for somewhere to have my son's birthday party (he's a huge Ninja Warrior fan!). Before even speaking with Mike, I knew this was a place that I HAD to train at. Standard gyms are too boring and monotonous for me. I needed something that was fun that would give me the same challenge as playing soccer.
I started at MROC in January 2016 weighing 174 lbs and 35% body fat. My posture and form was absolutely horrible, and I was still suffering from side effects of my concussion. Certain movements or directional changes that were never an issue before were something that I now struggled with. No matter how many times it took me and no matter how frustrated I got with myself, Mike was always patient with me and thought of different ways to break down movements so I could comprehend. Before long I was lifting and training like I have never done before.
I am proud to say that in the last 9 months I have completed my first Trifecta, and with each race bringing in a faster finish time and better results - including a burpee free Beast! My mile time has dropped from 11:45 down to 7:00 minutes flat. And previously I wouldn't even be able to tell you what a deadlift was, let alone be able to do a proper one. Now I am able to deadlift 220 lbs, which just so happens to be how much I used to weigh, checking off a huge goal for me!
Over the past 18 months I have lost a total of 93 lbs, and dropped my body fat to 19%. I have gained strength, endurance, speed, balance, agility, confidence, passion and most importantly a new family. Every day that I start with MROC training is a great day!
It was August, 2013. We took a family trip to Alaska to meet my son, Nick, who was volunteering on a crew doing trail maintenance. Before we arrived, he and his crew were reconstructing a trail as a young man and his father passed. A few hundred feet beyond, the father collapsed and died of a heart attack. My son helped to carry this 50-something, overweight father down the mountain. My son was traumatized - in his mind, he was carrying his own father down the mountain. I downplayed the risk, but at 260 lbs and high blood pressure, his concern was legitimate.
Later that year, I joined a gym, and attended religiously. I lost weight and felt good, but my blood pressure was still high. I wanted to do a 2 week survival school, but I couldn’t because of my BP meds. Just going to the gym wasn’t enough. I decided to start running in the hopes of getting my BP under control. I signed up for a Spartan Sprint, and unable to do monkey bars, climb a rope, scale a wall, I started training at MROC twice a week. Thanks to MROC, I was well prepared for my first Spartan race.
After attending both gyms for a couple of months, I realized that the time spent at my regular gym was no longer yielding results. I decided drop my old gym and upgrade to a full membership at MROC, and my progress has been continuous from that point forward. Since starting at MROC, I’ve dropped an additional 3% body fat, put on lean muscle while keeping my weight under 200lbs, daily activities are easier, my posture has improved, my doctor smiled at my last physical, and I’ve been successful in easing back on my BP meds.
It is commonly said that a stool is held up by three legs. The legs of my stool at MROC are 1) the workouts, which are well rounded, challenging, fun and well coached, 2) the accountability, both during workouts and over time, and 3) the camaraderie that seems to come naturally with the common interest of obstacle course races.
After crashing on the slopes, I found myself on crutches, and under the knife for ACL surgery. Recovery was brutal. Two days stick in my mind- the day I could make a full pedal rotation on the bike, and the day they took my crutches away and started to learn how to walk all over again. I never would have thought that I’d be where I am today, crushing obstacles, running a 6:47 mile with an 800m split at 3:11 (a PR from 3:50 a year ago) and feeling stronger than ever.
Circumstances brought me to MROC, I was super nervous, but the moment I walked through the doors, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. Coach Mike listened to my story, sat with me one-on-one, and asked me what my fitness goals were. They were simple at first~ to run again and get the muscle back in my extremely atrophied left leg. My body needed to learn how to balance itself out, to trust the process, and heal. Months of working on my running form, gait, and cadence got me to the point where I felt like I could race. Coach Mike saw more in me than I did, and his patience, expertise, and perfectly planned work-outs got me to where I am today. I’m running competitive in Spartan races and elite in other OCR races. Crazy!
You see, MROC is a place where goals happen, goals you never thought possible. You’ll be surrounded by an incredible group of athletes, each one on their own journey, but always there to support you. Places like this are a gift, and I am so lucky that life brought me to it.
MROC has altered my life. It has challenged me to do things I always said I could never do. It has pushed me way beyond what I thought I was capable of and it has united me with an eclectic gang of some the best humans I have ever met.
The plan is simple – show up with the right attitude, listen, learn & do and embrace the community – the rest is hard work. It doesn’t matter what level you are or where you believe you are – you will not be alone.
Everyone starts somewhere, start here and see where you can go.
Before I found MROC, I had been in a serious fitness slump. Training hard and often with little to no results. The monotony was killing me! After my first Spartan Race, I started looking for a new gym to take me to the next level, to push me harder and train me smarter for my new found passion of obstacle racing. MROC did that... and them some!
In the beginning of 2015, I was in the best shape of my life. With the coaching and support of MROC I was living a healthy lifestyle, training for races, eating clean, and I had given up all my unhealthy vices. My body responded well. I ran my first elite race in February of 2015.
A month later I found out that I was pregnant. At first I had mixed feelings. I thought, all this hard work to reach my goals of being healthy and fit and racing competitive OCR's and now I was going to have to put that all on the back burner... But it's not like me to give up when faced with a challenge, so I started doing research and talking to my doctor and coaches. Nothing had to be on the back burner! Training would continue...with some slight modifications of course.
After giving birth to a healthy amazing baby girl, I was back at it after a 6 week hiatus. In August of 2016 I got my first Spartan wood block in Hawaii, in October I did the Spartan Ultra Beast in Lake Tahoe — two huge goals of mine that I would have never accomplished without the support and encouragement of my coaches.
MROC Training has taught me to push my body and mind to places I never thought possible. They kept me healthy and strong throughout my pregnancy and now continue to help me achieve higher and higher goals I set for myself.
I have come through this fitness journey, with an unexpected bonus too. My MROC Family. We are a group of passionate, crazy misfits — all from different walks of life, different ages and fitness levels, but we come together to support, inspire and amaze each other every day!
In January 2016 I was 47 years old, recently divorced and of modest fitness level. I came to MROC because they had obstacles and I wanted to run Spartan races. I got so much more. My overall fitness improved dramatically including running a sub 7 minute mile which it had been decades since I had ever done. I ran SEVEN Spartan races this year injury free. At 48 years old those are huge accomplishments. This is largely due to Coach Mike’s tremendous training and expertise.
I used to get shin splints and often had to ice after running. Mike put on a running clinic that helped me improve so much about my running technique that I had never really paid any attention to before. Since then I haven't had one single shin splint pain and I've run longer than ever before. I did not train or race alone. The MROC community is made up of so many amazing diverse and supportive people. It’s fun and motivating and I get happy just thinking about them! I never got that from a gym before. Despite my modest fitness level they have pointed out that I have a pretty good vertical jump and I’ve gotten the moniker “Jumping Gerry.” I love it!
This year had some big challenges including a brutal bout of pneumonia, job loss and moving out of my home of 14 years making my accomplishments all the more remarkable and meaningful. The MROC culture was a very positive influence on me throughout. My fitness goal is simply to age well...very well. I want the second half of my life to be great. I know my most critical success factor is to stick with it which also had been my biggest challenge in other fitness pursuits. The entire package of coaching expertise, huge variety of obstacle equipment, effective and never-boring workouts and the super community all work together to keep me coming back. I see no end in sight.
I can't believe it has almost been 1 year since I have been at MROC: Mud Run & Obstacle Course Training! When I first started my goals were simple - to get faster and stronger at trail running and hiking. I also wanted a gym with motivating members and coaches that would push and challenge me. With my fear of heights, lack of balance and no upper body strength, I had absolutely no interest in obstacles or Spartan races. Coach Mike said he was there for MY GOALS, no matter what they were, but he also kind of laughed and said I would be doing a Spartan by the end of the year.
Not only did I set a new PR on a 5k this year, but also climbed 5 mountains from the Six Pack of Peaks (I have one left), ran a race to the top of Mt Baldy, and sure enough - competed in my first Spartan Race!
I've been going to MROC for 15 months and I have experienced amazing improvements in my fitness level. I am stronger (back squats up to 285 lbs & Dead Lifts up to 315 lbs), faster (mile improved by over 1:30 down to 6:27), lighter (lost over 15 lbs and lowered my body fat by over 5%), and have more endurance (up to 75 in the SGX Burpee test). The workouts are tough & challenging and the coaches really push you. They have the perfect mix of coaching and encouragement. They expect maximum effort and hold you accountable. You really can't help but improve.
I've seen an amazing change in not only my fitness level, but also my attitude & confidence in undertaking physical challenges. When I joined, my goal was just to survive a Spartan race. Thanks to Mike & the MROC family, I have far exceeded that goal. I have run in two Terrain races and completed 3 Spartan Sprints, a Super, and a Beast and instead of just surviving, I have finished in the top 10% for my age group and top 25% overall.
There's an amazing team atmosphere at MROC. The members are friendly and encouraging which makes the classes and training sessions fun. Without a doubt, I have found my gym.
When I first started MROC I did not know what to expect. I had no training experience, and had never heard of a deadlift, front squat, back squat, or anything of the sort. The only type of instruction I had ever received was running the mile in high school.
I did my first Spartan Race in January 2015 and immediately I was addicted. All by accident I found MROC through a Facebook post and decided to check it out.
I joined MROC very confused with one simple goal, learn to climb the darn rope. Within 30 seconds Coach Mike was able to teach me to climb the rope and shockingly enough I was able to do it. To this day I have yet to failed a rope climb at a race!
When I first started my mile time was 8:36, which was by far the best mile I had ever ran. Fast forward to now I am faster and stronger, and my current mile time is 6:59 and continuing to work for improvement.
Thank you MROC for constantly motivating me, coaching me, and correcting me!
For serious Obstacle Course Training, American ninja warrior fun, or if you just want to get ripped...MROC Army....2 Thumbs Up!
We build our Jeeps, homes, and toys but we need to remember to put some time into ourselves as well… You can’t take care of a jeep if we can't take care of ourselves first! Life is much more fun being healthy. My wife and I started running spartan races based on her want to try them out and my hesitation followed by "what the hell are you talking about" lol.
When we had joined MROC I went from 248lbs to 232lbs in 6 weeks. After 6 months my weight is now shredded at 224 with a body fat drop from 28% to 18%, and my timed 1-mile run went from over 8 minutes to 6:42. I’ve had several other improvements in weight lifting and my wife has improved dramatically as well. In a very short time my wife’s mile run improved over 20 seconds!
I can't say enough good things about the club, amazing staff, and results. When I’m training it's like being a kid again. In our few short months at this gym we have accomplished our goal of completing a Trifecta in Spartan Racing. Coach Mike even helped me train for and compete in the elite wave for the Epic Race Series this past December, and I took home a 3rd place finish in the men's strength division!
I owe a big thanks to MROC for shifting my health and focus!
From surfing to snowboarding and playing multiple sports all my life, I always thought of myself as active and athletic. For some reason though, I became very lazy, not wanting to work out and eating whatever I wanted no matter how bad it was. I didn’t realize until it was to late how much weight I was gaining and muscle I was losing. Before I knew it the things I loved doing, like surfing, was becoming difficult to do. After years of being upset with myself and giving up I finally said it was time for a change. I needed something to challenge myself and influence me to better my diet and exercise routine.
I found Spartan Race and told myself that I will complete a Spartan Trifecta. I had no idea what to do to train for one and that’s when I found MROC training. Coach Mike was the only trainer out of the five I messaged that actually emailed me back, and he instantly made me feel pumped about the gym. After a short consultation I was signed up for an 8-month membership. At first I was very nervous about committing to the gym for 8 months. It took less than a week for me to be so consumed with the gym and its members. It was all I wanted to do all day, every day. They instantly made me feel so welcomed. You even go through a pre-training fundamentals program with a small group of others who are starting at the gym just like you. So you immediately make friends. It doesn’t take long for you to feel like family at MROC. They are the most supportive group of people I have met in a long time. They really push you to limits you didn’t think were possible, and before you know it, you are mastering obstacles you didn’t think you could ever do.
I can honestly say everything about MROC training, the coaches, the members, just the MROC family, have really changed my life. We train together, we race together, we support each other. I’ve accomplished races a year ago I didn’t think I could ever do. I feel the best I have in years. I’m still working on losing weight but I am more confident and happier in everything I do. Mike had me set a goal when I first started and that was to complete a Spartan Trifecta. At my first race I could barely get over the starting line wall and needed help getting over of obstacles in the race. By my last race I was able to complete all but two obstacles. Now I’m setting a goal to not miss any obstacles in my next race. I truly believe that if I listen to the coaches and train hard at MROC I will accomplish that.
If you ever feel that you need something to challenge yourself, you want to better yourself, or you are like me and are unhappy with where you are physically in life maybe MROC is the answer for you. It was my answer and I couldn’t be happier with joining MROC.