Hey, I want to first off THANK YOU for stopping by my blog and being a follower of my posts, videos, programs, and also for being a friend.

I’m going to get off track a bit with this post and get into some more personal stuff as I want to take you back about 2 years ago before I had my gym, The Forged Athlete as just a few days back marked the official TWO year anniversary of my gym being open!


This is VERY important to me as this is my life and blood as my gym is what puts food into my belly and a roof over my head.  My gym has also helped me create this site that you read each every week!  My gym has also led me to creating the many different programs I’ve created that have helped 100’s of people get the results they’ve always wanted and will continue to do so for many many more years!

In this post, I want to take you back down memory lane and share some of the experiences I’ve had along the way with having my own gym and fitness business to take care of.

One of our 1st videos…


It’s come a LONG ways….

Before I get into that, I got to say that I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish much of anything without the help and support of my biz partner Joe Chizek, who like me, loves the iron and lives to train hard!  When we first met at the old corporate gym we used to work at, we both knew right away that we were different from most of the trainers that worked there.  We both felt each other’s passion for training and knew we belonged elsewhere.    We’re definitely brothers from another mother!

SIDE NOTE – If you didn’t know, Joe’s got a kickass blog, which is TrainedTuff.com.  Make sure to run over there and check it out!

Now, I also have to THANK my family for being a HUGE support in what I do!  Without them, I wouldn’t be anywhere and I sincerely mean this!  They have been my safety net for when I’ve needed them most and I’m not ashamed to say it!  Mom and Dad, I love you both dearly!  

When I look at the gym business I have today, it’s a pretty unimaginable thought considering where I was just 2 years ago.

In all honesty, when I first started my gym, I didn’t have the slightest clue on if it was going to be a success or not.  In my mind, I was 100% confident that it was going to make it but there was always that fear of failure.

LESSON: There will always be risks to take.  With risk there is FEAR of failure.  You must learn to take risks and risk failing.  If you don’t take risks, you will never grow nor will you ever change or become an ultimate success.

One of our 1st Promo Videos…


I was coming from a large corporate gym that I absolutely HATED!  I couldn’t stand training there and it made me want to quit training all together!  I knew I needed to get out of there in order to continue to do what I loved, which was train athletes and serious people, so that’s when I left to go open my own gym with Joe.

I can remember sitting at my house with my partner Joe watching as video of Zach Even-Esh(If you don’t know this guy, you must be living under a rock)  Either way, the video we watched of him really resonated with us as he was calling for all strength coaches that wanted to “Be An Action Taker” and to “Start their own Warehouse Gym“…

Besides talking about how we could break away from the corporate gym and go on our own, his other videos truly related to how Joe and I really were when it came down to training.

Rugged, Hardcore, and Against the Grain!

I was quick to drop over 2K on my credit card to get a plane ticket, hotel, and spot into Zach’s Underground Strength Coach Certification!  I was scared sh*tless!  I spent $$ I didn’t even have but, I was 110% confident that I would make it back 10 fold!

One of Zach’s many lessons that has always stuck with me is to INVEST into Your Business!

About a month later, Joe and I showed up in good ol’ Edison, NJ and become Certified Underground Strength Coaches!

From there, the rest was just hard work and never looking back…

Together, our mental toughness and desire to make things happen where put to the test very early after starting the biz.  We had very little equipment and very few clients but we were determined to get things going!

I can remember the first winter in our gym as we had very little revenue coming in at the time.  In fact, we had just enough to cover our rent and pay our own bills.  I had nothing much else to spend on the food I wanted to eat because of the tight situation we were in.  With such a low income coming in, we trained with NO HEAT.  If you didn’t know, in Nebraska it gets COLD!  It consistently got below minus 20 degrees at times and that particular winter, we had the most worst one to date within the last 60 years.  Joe and I didn’t know if this was a sign or if it was a test.

With our minds, we took it as a test and Forged ahead!  We could have easily thrown in the towel.

LESSON : Never feel sorry for yourself!   Make the best use out of everything you have and avoid dwelling over what you don’t have!

All winter, we trained ourselves and our clients in a dead cold gym and I can remember seeing our breath and wearing gloves just to grip the barbells and weights.  It was rough but we pushed through it!

Not only did training our clients in the cold make them tougher, it made us more mentally tough as well!  It was FREEZING in there!

After that first winter, things turned around for us.  We got more athletes rolling into the gym and people started to take large notice to the results we could produce.

We kept within our means and pieced much of our gym together by buying up used equipment off of Craigslist and making our own.

We had a huge break come through when we hit a goldmine after we got contacted by a guy who was moving homes and was selling his whole entire dumbbell set (5-80 lbs), plus two Olympic bars, and over 800 lbs in weights in which we snagged for only $500!  This was a treasure to us!  It was like Christmas morning when we went over there to pick the gear up!

I remember this day well…


I loaded it all into the back of my Jeep and I can remember it weighing my Jeep down so low that my tires were rubbing onto the back wheel wells!

Oh great times!

From there, Joe and I continued to build our brand and produce more results with the people that came through our doors.  We didn’t let just anyone and everyone come through….

In our gym, you have to EARN you way in! 

This wasn’t us saying our gym was better than any other gym out there but, rather it was us saying that you needed to fit into our system.  We were NOT going to fit to you.  Lots of people out there are lazy and negative and when you get around people like that, it rubs off on others and we wanted none of that in our gym!  Negativity spreads like a virus!

LESSON: Always keep a positive mindset no matter what gets thrown your way.  Both negative and positive mindsets are contagious.  Negative mindsets spread more quickly.  Don’t allow yourself to be consumed but the world’s negativity.  Avoid this by not surrounding yourself with negativity.  Keep yourself in positive environments as much as possible!  It’s recommended to avoid the news, most of the media, and TV (all based of negative information).

Over the next 6 months, we still continued to slowly grow and build our crew.  We branched out doing boot camps in different parts of town as well as in our gym.  People were starting to talk more and bring more people in.   We were solidifying our business!

We stayed true to ourselves and never veered off the path.  In business, this is one of the most important rules – Always stay true to what you believe in and never conform to fit what you don’t want.  If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life!

If we were to be filled with clients that we didn’t enjoy training and who made us feel tired, burnt out, and negative, then we would not be doing what we love and actually be doing everyone we trained a huge disservice!

Today, Joe and myself have grown a business and more importantly, a gym that we love!  Our gym is our central hub that helps create much of what we do both inside and outside of the gym.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, if it wasn’t for my gym and my business, I wouldn’t be able to branch out and create programs such as my Bags, Bells, and Bodyweight Training System, or Project: Mobile and Hostile.  To add to that,  I wouldn’t have this blog to boot!

I would probably be stuck in some 9-5 job that I absolutely hated and be a total negative influence on everyone around me    It wouldn’t be that bad but, I can assure you that I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today!

Over the last two years, Joe and myself have come a long way and we don’t plan to stop anytime soon!

One of our fighters getting after it….


I just wanted to share some of my past experiences of the last 2 years of growing my gym as well as share with you some of the important life lessons I’ve learned along the way!  To all of my current, past, and future clients out there, I THANK YOU for everything!

Here’s to another 2 years and beyond of The Forged Athlete:  Molding the Weak into the Strong!   

Oh, BTW, as a token and showing of my appreciation as well as a bit of a celebration, I’m putting my Bags, Bells, and Bodyweight Training System on sale today thru the end of the weekend for 50% off! 

You can grab the whole system plus all the bonuses for 50% off until this Sunday night at midnight! CLICK HERE FOR THE BIG SALE!!!

Live Aggressive and Get Strong!


PS – If you enjoyed this post, PLEASE leave and comment, LIKE and share on Facebook!  I appreciate you being a reader and following my blog!

PPS – Make sure you take advantage of my 2 year Anniversary Sale – 50% OFF My Bags, Bells, and Bodyweight Training System + ALL The Bonuses!!!