Our GVCF crew of coaches ready to serve.
Owner – GVCF
Level 1&2 GV CrossFit Coach
As a Grass Valley native I grew up mostly living and playing in the woods and never really got into sports, with the exception of a few years playing little league baseball. I got into skateboarding and rollerblading because it was hip and after a few years of denial that my talent was less than pathetic I finally embraced the truth and began a new journey that was leaning toward fitness.
I always admired strong looking athletes, superheroes like the Incredible Hulk, and of course the real life legend, Bruce Lee. When I turned 15 I started reading exercise magazines to learn the secrets of building strength and muscle. After having a lot of success with bodyweight exercises all I wanted was a weight set which my dad intercepted from the back of a man’s truck on its way to being pawned off at a used sporting goods shop.
After my first session feeling the pump and feeling sore for 3 days… I was hooked! I spent a year training in my garage 6 days per week and added 40 pounds of muscle to my small frame. Now I had the confidence that I was looking for to step into a gym and start learning to use new types of equipment. It was also time for me to start training my legs. I quickly learned that I was built for the deadlift and the squat and immediately fell in love with compound movements.
Fast forward 5 years to my early twenties and I was ready to finally get certified as a personal trainer since I was already working at the gym after my day job and helping people whenever I got the chance. This was also around the time that I met my wife who became a great training partner and we began shaping our dreams of having a family and raising them to be healthy through exercise and sound nutrition over just sports.
At this point I had an opportunity to kickstart my career by getting certified through 24hour Fitness in Sacramento, so I commuted 5-6 days per week down the hill and learned the corporate side of the business. During this time I also got NASM and NCSF certified and was a top grossing trainer. After a year it was time for me to move on and start my own business. I got plugged into the small local gym that I had been working at in the evening before heading down the hill. I capitalized on a huge mail promotion that the gym was running and offered each new person 2 free sessions. Within 2 months I was booked with 22 paying clients and I just loved my work.
Over the following 12 years I tried every fitness trend and experimented with a variety of training methods which included kickboxing, bootcamps, racquetball…you name it! My love and passion for total body training continued to grow and evolve over the next several years which led me to starting an online instructional video business and returning to school. This phase taught me a lot but it didn’t fill the void.
At this point I had accumulated enough experience to know I didn’t want to go into medicine or physical therapy but I also wasn’t eager to go back to doing personal training all day. While personal training is lucrative, it was not a good long term business model for me. I was looking to develop more of a team atmosphere as opposed to individual relationships that were mostly limited to people with more money and tend to be more short term.
I had been observing the CrossFit business for about 5 years and there were several elements that attracted me to it. The methodology was a no brainer for me since the primary movement patterns being adopted were based around squats and deadlifts which progress towards the Olympic lifts being the clean, clean and jerk, and snatch. These progressions combined with other metabolic conditioning exercises like rowing, running, jumping and basic gymnastics repeated for shorter periods at high intensity made absolute sense to me.
There was a lot that I needed to learn but I could very clearly see building a team around this style of training because I knew it was the most effective type of activity a person could do to build strength, flexibility and to increase aerobic capacity while constantly varying the workouts to create a stimulus that requires the body to constantly adapt. Plus it never gets boring which is a big factor in staying motivated. I started by trying to build a business that happened to be really hip and sexy looking. Instead I discovered what I am made of. For every success I experienced, there was an equal amount of adversity while building this team. I have learned that success is only as big as your will and your will is only as big as it is tested. I am motivated by my failures as well as my successes. Our slogan “rise again” means follow your heart even when you can’t feel your heart beat. Your heart is your most intrinsic sense and it will never forsake you. We are only misled when we stop believing what our heart is saying. When you feel like your faith has reached its limit let it all go, start back at the beginning and rise again. My efforts to help others have helped me define who I am and my purpose. Grass Valley CrossFit has become my heart and my home especially since I get to share so much of it with my wife and kids who all love it and do it with me. I love this place!
Level 1 GV CrossFit Coach
Hello and thank you for checking out our site, my name is Jonathan and I am the newest member of the coaching staff here at Grass Valley CrossFit. I’ve lived in Nevada County for over 30 years and there’s no place I’d rather be. I love the outdoors and we live in such a beautiful and perfect area for outdoor activities and fitness.
My father got me started at a young age with physical fitness and sports activities. I was swimming about the same time I was able to walk. Riding a bicycle at 3, a motorcycle at 4. I was climbing a 25’ foot rope to my treehouse and 4 ½ years old. Water skiing, snow skiing, it was all introduced to me at a very young age and it has stuck with me throughout my life. I watched my dad from a young age and he was an amazing man. He was a man of many talents and I always idolized him. He was also very physically fit and I wanted to be just like him. I started lifting weights with some random dumbbells and equipment my dad had in the garage and it began my path of fitness.
After high school (1997) I joined the Marine Corps and served for four years. While in the Marines I was always thankful for my physical fitness background. Fast forward a few years to 2019 and now I’m 40 years old! I’m currently working full time as a Correctional Officer for Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and I’ve been there since 2007. In 2015 I met the woman of my dreams, Lisa Blix. She is now my wife and the mother of my son. I have two beautiful daughters from a previous marriage as well. My wife Lisa is who I give 100% credit to for introducing me to CrossFit. I was very reluctant at first and I told her I was too set in my ways to try something new. She remained persistent for YEARS telling me to “just try it.”
In March of 2018 I was ready to leave my current gym and I told my wife I would do “the CrossFit thing” for a month just to make her happy. I’ve been to A LOT of different gyms in my life and met a lot of different people along the way, but none have compared to CrossFit. The community and family orientation in CrossFit are unlike anything I have ever witnessed in a gym. I’ve known Brandon, the owner of GVCF, for many years and we’ve worked out together in the past at different gyms in the area so I decided to check out his gym. Brandon is one of the most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to fitness and I owe him credit as well for mentoring me to where I am today with CrossFit.
After one year at Grass Valley CrossFit my outlook of the sport changed so drastically that I wanted to take the class to become a coach so I could share this amazing knowledge with others. In April 2019 I took the CF-L1 class and got certified to coach. In May I coached my first class and I knew right away I wanted to continue coaching and helping other people better themselves. My goal is to continue my path of fitness and learning so I can share it with others. At 40 years old I am stronger than I’ve ever been in my life and I’ve increased my mobility, allowing me to do weightlifting movements I have never been able to do before now. I’m looking forward to meeting new people in our community and helping them change their lives through fitness and nutrition!
I feel that my passion for health and fitness began early based on how we were raised. As a child my family would hike every weekend, practice yoga, swim, run a food coop, and go the gym during the week. My love of the water naturally evolved into joining the swim and water polo teams in high school and lead me to continue this pursuit through college. The drive for fitness lead me to pursue a degree in kinesiology (the study of human body movement). I had the honor of spending 2 years training members of the US Olympic sailing team while in Australia and also found my passion for travel. At that point I realized I wanted more education so I went back to school and received my Masters in Exercise Physiology, all while teaching at the local college, lecturing for the county, and training private clients. During that time I became certified in Pilates (Mat & equipment), Yoga, and an instructor for the Red Cross. Since finishing my Master’s degree I became a Certified Exercise Physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine and a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
My passion for weight training has always remained since I was young and I have seen many trends and fads that have changed what we think of as strength training. However, when functional fitness started taking off, along with the new born CrossFit, I fell in love with it! It rolled all of the aspects of weight training, strength, intensity, and movement into a program that pushed me to excel.
Throughout my years of teaching, students and clients would always ask nutritional advice, so I decided to go back to school and earn my Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition. I have always been a learner, seeking new information, new research, new studies, and learning how I could apply the information to the real world as well as help others enjoy the benefits of health and wellness.
I have been at Grass Valley CrossFit for the last 3 years working out and enjoy the family atmosphere, sense of empowerment, and support. I teach at Sierra College in the kinesiology department and work privately with clients of all levels and background. My husband and I love traveling, hiking, and spending time with our two Labradors.