Meet Coach Tommy


I speak for everyone here when I say that the latest addition to the TwinTown coaching staff is someone we're all genuinely pumped to being working with. Our guy Tommy is the latest member to complete our Instructor Training Program and is now headed your way. We've had an amazing time being coached by him, getting to know what he's all about, and learning about his previous coaching experiences. We know that you will enjoy your time with him as much as we have.

Here's a quick interview we did with Tommy so you can get to know him a little before you have him in class!

Where'd you grow up, what brought you to Minneapolis, and how'd you end up at TwinTown?
I grew up in North Carolina and moved to Des Moines on a whim in 2010. We moved to Minneapolis in April of this year when Erin was offered a promotion at her job. I found TwinTown initially just by doing a Google search and checking out the website. I dropped in for a few classes and instantly felt welcomed and knew this was a place that I want to coach.

You've pursued a pretty elite level of coaching in CrossFit over the past few years. Would you talk a little about what you like most about coaching and what makes it so appealing to you?
I’ve been training and coaching for the last 8 years, about 5 of that has been CrossFit and Weightlifting. It’s hard to put into words what my favorite part of it is. I really love getting the opportunity to help people develop into better versions of themselves. Regardless of what someone’s goals may be, it’s an amazing thing to see someone grow and progress, and to be a part of that process is the best feeling.

Did you play sports growing up? What is your workout/athletic history?
I was actually never athletic growing up. I played one year of football in high school but that was it. My best friend decided he wanted to lose weight, so I started going to the gym with him as moral support. My parents were pretty fit when I was growing up so I was familiar with the gym scene but I never took it too seriously. It wasn’t until I went to culinary school (and gained 1000lbs from all the butter and sugar haha) that I decided to start working out.

You're one half (hi, Jodi!) of the reason that we've been able to get the Build program up and running here. What's your history with Build?
I first heard of BUILD at an internship I did last year in Kansas City at CrossFit Memorial Hill. A few weeks before I went down to KC, my best friend got diagnosed with a form of Leukemia. It definitely put a lot of things into perspective. I was able to see up close how the community aspect of CrossFit, along with workouts, could have a really dramatic impact on people who’ve been affected by Cancer and other chronic diseases. And I noticed that unfortunately, there weren’t any other programs out there that were having the same effect. So I became really passionate about doing something for groups of people that usually don’t get reached out to.

What personal bests/new skills are you currently looking to improve in the gym?
CARDI-OOOOO. If you’ve seen me in any class involving more than a single 200m Run, you’ve seen me in the back of the pack, dying and questioning every decision I’ve ever made. I actually ran a half-marathon a few years back and would like to regain some of that capacity. I love the weightlifting part of CrossFit and would like to get my Oly Total up as well.  

People typically have some pretty hilarious stories about their first CrossFit workout (at least they're funny in hindsight). Did you have anything eventful happen on your first go?
Haha yeah it was a disaster.  I was skeptical of CrossFit for a long time before I tried it. Eventually I got really bored with what I was doing and decided to give it a shot. I’ll never forget the first WOD. 12-min AMRAP: 5 Deadlifts, 10 Toes to Bar, 15 Push-ups. I went out at 500mph for the first 60 seconds and I wasn’t sure what was happening to me. Everything hurt, I was dizzy, and I couldn’t breathe. Somehow I made to the end without throwing up and just laid on the floor, hands ripped all to hell, wondering what had just happened. I went back the next day and a few of the guys that were there the day before and they looked like they’d seen a ghost. They couldn’t believe I came back. That was 6 years ago and I’ve been doing it ever since.

If you had to choose one YouTube clip as the best of all time, which one would it be?
I can’t think of one off the top of my head, but the Instagram page Kids getting Hurt, is hilarious. 10/10 would recommend.

What keeps you busy when you're not at the gym lifting 847,894,352lbs (for those of you that don't yet know this, Tommy is one strong dude!)?
Erin and I both really love to travel, so anytime we get the opportunity to go somewhere new we try to take advantage of it. I really like doing anything active (hiking, water-skiing, biking, kayaking) I also watch a ton of documentaries and read a lot.

Did you have any nicknames as a kid?
Yep! My name is actually John Thomas. In the south, for some reason everyone goes by their middle name so I’ve been Tommy since I was a kid.

What's one workout you legitimately hope you never have to do again?
A Hero WOD named Clovis. It’s a 10 mile run and then 150 Burpee Pull-ups. It’s been a few years and I still don’t have words...

Anything else you'd like to share with us to help get to know you a little better??
I’m actually huge nerd so if you’d ever like to be bored to tears by someone talking about the latest Star Wars movie in great detail, or how bitcoin works, I’m your guy. I play a few instruments and I’ve always been into music.

Tommy is the man, and we can't wait for you all to get to know him better. Please join us in welcoming him to the team!