GVCF Coaches

Our GVCF crew of coaches ready to serve.

Brandon Bergeron

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!

Brittany Jocius

Level 1&2 GV CrossFit Coach

Hello! I am Brittany and I have been doing Crossfit for three years and coaching for two. I currently have my CF-L1 and CF-L2 and I plan to keep continuing my education to better myself and the athletes I am privileged to work with each day.

Before Crossfit, I grew up dancing for most of my life. As I got older, I found it more difficult finding my place in the dance world. Most classes at my level consisted of many teens and adult classes weren’t quite at the level desired. So I started working out in a commercial gym where I started weightlifting and spin classes. This was fun, but not quite the right fit. One day I finally had the courage to try Crossfit and it was one of the best things I’ve done.

As someone who gets bored doing the same things over and over, Crossfit has always kept me on my toes; which makes workouts enjoyable. Needless to say, I instantly fell in love with this aspect and being apart of community and family. I loved it so much, I recruited three of my siblings to join in on the fun. It is extremely enjoyable seeing them thrive and it is even more fun being apart of their process and guiding them to become better athletes.

I didn’t realize in the beginning how a great deal of things transferred over and how helpful flexibility would be. Over the years I have learned how to control my body and this is a key element in many movements we do. Dance consists of body weight movements and so does Crossfit. The only difference is once those body weight movements are dialed in, we add other elements such as weight. What I like most is the misconception I had of weightlifting being rugged, but in fact it requires fluidity and that is what I know!

Dawn Lunsford

Level 1 GV CrossFit Coach

Hi there, I’m dawn and I’m a 57-year-old Level 1 Crossfit coach. Even though I started working out at age 17 (40 years ago—but who’s counting?!), athleticism was difficult. I’ve struggled with asthma and clinical depression my whole life and I grew up in a neighborhood that didn’t provide a lot of athletic opportunities, especially for girls. Other than swim team, I had no outlet for sports.

So, as an adult, I took advantage of all the opportunities I could: swimming, running, cycling, aerobics and Zumba classes. Unfortunately, none of those exercises alone was ever able to give me what I was really looking for—which was a real change in my body. I would lose weight… then gain it back. That was until I started CrossFit.

At first, I thought, “This is gonna be impossible!” I saw them doing barbell work, and I had zero experience with barbell work. I saw them doing gymnastics, and I had zero experience with gymnastics. I couldn’t do a single pull-up. But seven months later, I did my first pull-up, and I was moving weight over-head that I never thought possible.

Crossfit has really changed my body, giving me definition and strength. And it makes me feel happy! Not only was I seeing results, but CrossFit was more like finding a new family than just a gym. From the first, I was surrounded by a group of supportive friends and sources of inspiration. It’s like, I’m not running alone anymore… I’m running with a team. As of now, I am learning so much about Crossfit as a coach and loving every minute of it.

Sarah Olsen

Level 1 GV CrossFit Coach

Hi everyone I am Sarah a coach here at Grass Valley Crossfit. I moved from the Bay Area to Grass Valley over a year ago to live closer by my family and to get sober. I started to go to Crossfit shortly after. I heard great things about Crossfit and wanted to check it out. I fell in love right away. It’s a place I get to challenge myself and get stronger. A place I could go to clear my head and not worry about life stressors.

Crossfit was a natural progression for me because I was a college athlete. Also I noticed this gym had friendly people and is family oriented just something I was missing in my life.

This helped me to decide to make one the best decisions in my life and to become a Crossfit level one coach. I love helping others push themselves to set and achieve their fitness goals.

When I am not at the gym I go to a lot of meetings, go hiking and trail running around Nevada County and binge watch shows on Netflix. Life is all about balance.

Celina Raper

Level 1 GV CrossFit Coach

Hi! I’m your loud, proud, sailor mouth coach, Celina.

I’ve been into fitness since playing volleyball, as a libero, from 7th grade to sophomore year of college. After volleyball, I was always at the gym doing my own program of standard weight training, plyometrics, HIIT Training, and to spice it up some spin and scheduled gym classes.

I’ve been to almost every gym in the town, for various lengths of time, and eventually settled at Club Sierra. There, my focus was cram in as much in my hour lunch break as possible and Brandon made note. A little down the way Brandon recruited me for a “boot camp” style class that consisted of: tractor tire flips, sand bag thrusters, and the good ‘ol “let’s pull Brandon’s jeep across the parking lot with one tow strap..”.

A blink of an eye later, Grass Valley Crossfit was born and shortly after, so was I.
As an athlete, I dedicated myself to 4-5 days a week with 1-2 of those days being double training days. I love kicking my own a*#!
As my training progressed so did my love and easy affinity to help fellow athletes and their training. I enjoyed seeing the difference I made in just their one hour.

In fall of 2015, I obtained my CF-L1 Trainer Certificate and have loved every minute of “training” my athletes.
When I’m not coaching my peeps or hitting the box, I’m working at For the Love of Pets, here in Grass Valley as a Registered Veterinary Technician. I started as an ROP Student in 2001 and was hired on and given the opportunity to work my way up to the top as Head Tech. I thoroughly enjoy my patients, as I am always bringing my work to the gym if not home.

In my free time I enjoy my three cats and pit bull. With my awesome husband, Steve, we are yearly Burners )’(, canoers, 4Wheelers, road trippers, concert goes and connoisseurs of a good tequila.

I am a proud child of the 80’s thanks to my awesome parents, Ralph and Laura, whom have supported my dreams in this life.

Fitness has always been incredibly important to me and I have helped to spread the word to my family and friends. Grass Valley Crossfit has been my home away from home and my second family. With working a full time job and coaching, you guys refill my cup! Every time! Always! I thank every one of you!

I look forward to meeting your new face!
Ciao

Jonathan Blix

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!