Optimus Strength was founded in May 2018 by Justin Kerr and myself when we learned that once again, the gym community we were with was going to have to relocate. The term relocate is a little loose, let me explain the entire situation.
Summer of 2017, Justin and I were both coaching CrossFit at Eastside Austin Elite. The owner restarted his battle with cancer and the landlord of the building was raising the rent drastically. He made the decision to close the doors and gave all staff 2 weeks notice. For most of us, coaching was our only source of income and we were forced to search for new jobs.
A local Climbing gym owner got word of our situation and saw a business opportunity for himself. He offered to hire all coaches to start a Functional Fitness program at his climbing gym. With this news came promises of a larger facility, new equipment, and even a sauna... Not a single one of these promises were delivered.
The first couple of weeks we were forced to coach "CrossFit" in a tiny space similar to a hotel gym, except it contained a rig. We couldn't play loud music, drop barbells, or bring our fur babies. All things CrossFitters are known for. Still, we toughed it out until they could allow us to coach our classes in their 6000 square foot garage space next door. This garage had been housing our equipment for weeks but had no permit for the general public to workout.
I need to mention that Justin moved every single piece of equipment into that garage with the help of our community members, at his own expense. NO ONE from the climbing gym, not a single staff member nor the owner, helped us move in. They also failed to clean it... Our community moved furniture that was being stored there, swept the floor, and set up our equipment over the course of 2 weeks. The owner of the climbing gym and his staff never once stepped in to help. This garage was a 6000 square foot facility, but due to the stored furniture we were only able to utilize about half of it (if that much).
We spent almost a year in this facility before we were told that the landlord (same landlord from the previous building) would be relocating the climbing gym's expansion into a different warehouse across the street. This was fine, until the owner of the climbing gym expressed his "ideas" for the new space and our community was not part of the plan. He made it clear that there would not be much room for a program like ours, but the coaches were more than welcome to personal train there. This news came in March of 2018.
Justin had dreams of opening his own gym since starting CrossFit X years ago. I have wanted to be a business owner since I was a little girl. I always thought I would open an All-Star Cheerleading gym but I guess a CrossFit Affiliate is close enough.
Upon hearing the news, Justin and I started discussing our options. I had been working at a bank since September and he was approaching 10 years at his current job. We filed for an LLC and started saving every penny we could. We gave the other coaches the option of buying in, but they declined. We wanted to be transparent to our community so we made it public knowledge that we both would be leaving the climbing gym in the coming months to open our own facility. The owner didn't like this very much, he felt that we were soliciting even though all of those members had followed us there...
Many months of building searching, lots of rejection, and 1 property owner willing to take a chance on us brought us to where we are today. Driving around one day led us to a building that wasn't even on the market yet. Optimus Strength officially opened the doors on October 8th, 2018.
When it comes to programming, we focus on a 3 day on - 1 day off - 2 day on - 1 day off work:rest ratio. Thursday's and Sunday's are our member rest days. However, there are still scheduled classes on Thursday. These classes are treated as open gym time where members are expected to mobilize or make up a missed workout from earlier in the week. A coach is present for each class and all make-up workouts and warm-ups are available on the whiteboard.
Throughout the year we follow alternating strength cycles, and endurance cycles. We will also be implementing a new program, HustleFit, designed to build strength, stamina, and proper movement patterns. HustelFit implements dumbbells and kettlebells along with body weight exercises. These classes are 30 minutes in duration and will be offered every day of the week at varying times.
Our vision at Optimus Strength is to be more than just a fitness facility. We don't want to be just another CrossFit gym. Optimus Strength strives to be an all encompassing wellness facility. We want to help you get fit while also improving your quality of life in a multitude of ways. We believe that improved physical health can also aid your mental health.
True fitness is not just about throwing heavy weights around and being able to cardio yourself to death. We think that fitness should be part of your self care regimen. You should weight train, endurance train, and also follow rest and recovery protocols. You should be flexible and strong. The gym should be one of the "good parts" of your life. It should be a place where you not only build your body, but you build and improve your relationship with yourself.