January Athlete of the Month

January Athlete of the Month

Tamara Venditti

Meet our athlete of the month for January, Tamara Venditti
 
Tamara is one of our longstanding clients at Fit Crew, she started training with Niels in 2007 and has been both consistent and dedicated to our gym ever since.
Anyone who is familiar with Tamara knows that she is a force to be reckoned with. She’s headstrong, consistent, hard working, driven, and persistent. These qualities have helped her not only set impressive PR’s, but also take home multiple awards in Figure competitions. Don’t let her incredible physique and badass qualities fool you though, as she is also kind and supportive of our community- showing up to the gym’s events, and always offering a smile and kind words to both new and longstanding clients.
Thanks for your dedication to Fit Crew, Tamara. We’re so thankful you still make the journey to the gym, even after moving so far away from the area. Congratulations!


Tamara Venditti doing a 215 pound deadliftTell us about yourself.

I’m a fourth generation native Floridian, and was born and raised in Bradenton. Until recently, I was the only athlete in my family. A year ago, I introduced my great niece to gymnastics and she loves it. Occasionally, she comes with me to Fit Crew. I started as an athlete in grade school, 3rd grade to be exact, doing Track and Field. In middle school, I played Volleyball, and in high school, I continued both volleyball and track. I started weight training when I was 22. I loved how it made me look and feel, very empowering, and I’ve never stopped.

How did you get started at Fit Crew?

I am proud to be one of the Fit Crew Veterans. I started personal training with Niels at LA Fitness in 2007. In 2009, we trained for my first NPC Figure show, which I won- qualifying me for Nationals. Right after that, Niels started cross-training a small group of us. I remember how tough it was, and at times thinking “how am I going to get through this kind of training!?”.  The rest was history, I’ve been with these guys ever since!

What has been your proudest athletic moment?

Tamara Venditti Figure Competition WinWell, at my age there has been several. I’m proud to say that at 52, training keeps me young, as I recently wrote on the door at Fit Crew; I want to make your 50’s fabulous! I would say doing 114 unbroken double unders (a PR) was another proud moment. Most recently, I competed in a figure show with girls half my age. I took home both the first place and overall winner trophies. I train very hard at Fit Crew for these kinds of shows, and attribute a lot of my success to the type of training that we do.

What is your favorite and least favorite movement/lift/drill?

My favorite would be anything that works the legs- I love doing squats, sled drills, and sprints. All are very tough, but the results are gratifying! My least favorite exercise would be handstand push-ups, because they just hurt! Also, rope climbs, I don’t like the rope burns!

What do you think makes Fit Crew different from other gyms that you’ve tried in the past?

Fit Crew is like my second family! The friendships made here are ones for life. The support that you receive from other athletes while doing a tough WOD is so unique- you don’t experience that at other gyms. I recently moved across the bridge into St. Pete and I still drive to Fit Crew every week. I couldn’t imagine going elsewhere. Niels and Andrew are both great trainers. They’ve made an awesome place for athletes to train and learn new skills without feeling intimidated.

What do you like to do when you’re not training at Fit Crew?

Tamara Venditti riding a horse at dude ranchI work full time as a licensed Skin Care Specialist, so I love making women feel and look beautiful! I also like boating, biking, and going to Arizona every year to ride in the mountains and dessert at a Dude Ranch.  My boyfriend, Mark, and I recently bought a home on the water, so we really enjoy working on the house.  We’ve made it our own little paradise.

Tell us a fun fact that we might not already know about you.

I think some people see me as this bad ass (or beast) work out girl. I do take my training very seriously, but outside of the gym, I’m such a girly-girl. The gym is the only place I don’t mind getting dirty.  Outside the gym, I like to feel pretty and feminine. I also really enjoy decorating and making things beautiful!

 


December Athlete of the Month

December Athlete of the Month

David Arrand

Meet our athlete of the month for December, David Arrand
 
David was a Fit Crew client before Fit Crew actually existed. He started out training with Andrew over eight years ago, and has been hooked ever since.
David is an animal in the gym; he doesn’t give up, and when he’s fatigued he still pushes himself to keep going- and it shows! He’s also notorious for his sense of humor and great attitude.
Unfortunately, while this is a chance for many of you to get to know David, it’s also a chance for us to say goodbye, as he is soon moving to Spain! Thank you for your dedication and time spent at Fit Crew, David. We’ll miss you!

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-01-38-31Tell us about yourself.

I was born in Manchester, England (home of Manchester City Football Club) a long time ago. After finishing college, I undertook a work-study, as well as two or three management trainee jobs in marketing. I ended up working in the ceramic and marble tile industry- first as a salesman on the road, and then as a sales manager. Eventually my wife, Gwen, and I decided to open up two of our own stores. After spending much time vacationing here in Florida, we decided that we should sell up and live here permanently. I’m proud to have been married to Gwen for 46 years. We have two grown up children and three grandsons.

When it comes to fitness, I’ve always been pretty active. I used to be a runner and a keen cyclist, but I don’t do either anymore. Nowadays, I teach spin (I’ve been a spin instructor for over 10 years).

How did you get started at Fit Crew?

I’ve been hanging around gyms for too many years to count, blindly thinking that I knew enough that I didn’t need a personal trainer. Then, I met Andrew Terman. This is when he was a trainer at a Lifestyle gym, before he and Niels formed Fit Crew. Andrew made me aware of where I needed to make changes in my body, and he has been helping me make those changes ever since. Our first session was over eight years ago! Looking back, it makes me wonder (and realize) how much different I would be if Andrew had not taken me under his wing.

What has been your proudest athletic moment?

My proudest athletic moment would have to be when Andrew finally got me to do a ring muscle up.

What is your favorite and least favorite movement/lift/drill?

My favorite movement would have to be chest or shoulder presses, while my least favorite is heavy barbell walking lunges.

What do you think makes Fit Crew different from other gyms that you’ve tried in the past?

The thing that makes Fit Crew stand out from other gyms that I have used or worked at, is the attitude that it has managed to generate amongst it’s members; everybody understands that there is nothing in here that is going to be easy, and so everybody is working hard- harder than you ever see at other gyms. Because of this, everybody seems to constantly encourage and praise each other.

What do you like to do when you’re not training at Fit Crew?

When i’m not at Fit Crew, I am either teaching spin classes or working on my rental property. If I’m not preoccupied with those two things then I enjoy relaxing with my other passion, playing guitar.

Tell us a fun fact that we might not already know about you.

Due to a misunderstanding between American vs. English accents, apparently I was the only employee of the former “Lifestyle” gyms to fail the mandatory sexual harassment exam. They made me take it again after they had given me the answers.

 

November Athlete of the Month

November Athlete of the Month

Lon Whitner

Meet our athlete of the month for November, Lon Whitner.
 

There are no barriers or prerequisites to becoming a Fit Crew athlete. Fit Crew is truly for everybody, and we mean every body. We encourage all individuals to get up and find a way to move, and Lon is a great example of someone with a can do attitude who doesn’t limit themselves. Lon has been Niels’ client for over 10 years and has been loyal and supportive of Fit Crews growth from the beginning. We love seeing him in the gym, as he is an example of what a dedication to fitness can do for anti-aging- and he is truly one of the original Fit Crew athletes. We’re so happy to have you, Lon.

 


Lon’s Background

Lon was born in Queens, NYC, and lived there until his teenage years, when he moved to Richland, Washington. There, he attended high school, and started playing basketball competitively. After high school he attended the University of Washington, where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in business, played basketball at the collegiate level for one year, and participated in a fraternity. Upon graduation, he joined the military. Once he completed three months of basic training and five and a half years in the reserves, he settled down in Marin County of the San Fransisco Bay area. Here, he joined Merrill Lynch, met his wife, and had two boys. When the boys were reaching their teenage years it became apparent that they were athletic and quite good at tennis. Lon had just retired, so he and his wife decided to go on an adventure- moving the family cross country so the boys could train with Nick Bollettieri and attend school at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. One of the boys went on to play tennis for University of Miami while the other played tennis for NYU, and Lon decided to stay in the local area.

Why Fit Crew?

Lon was a Fit Crew client before the business actually existed. Over 10 years ago Niels and Lon’s wife met while she was training with personal trainers in the local area. She insisted that Niels and Lon meet. Lon has been Niels’ client ever since, originally training with him at Lifestyle Fitness and then following him over to Fit Crew when Niels left to start his own business. When asked what he thought made Fit Crew different than other gyms Lon said, “Those two guys…”. Niels is the reason he is at Fit Crew, and in large part, the reason why he has stayed in the Bradenton area.

Lon’s Proudest Athletic Moment

While Lon was never a superstar athlete, he was always talented enough to play on a team- both at the collegiate level and in high school. While Lon enjoyed playing at the University of Washington, he said that his proudest moment was actually in high school when his team went to the state tournament and came in fourth, which was the best in the school’s history.

On his favorite and least favorite part of training. 

Lon practiced yoga his entire life. He started when he lived in San Fransisco, and said that yoga has “been his savior”. He still practices yoga everyday, but not as a full routine; nowadays he likes to switch it up. While there may be certain aspects of training that he doesn’t enjoy, Lon trains for a purpose and embraces the things that may be difficult. When asked about his least favorite thing in the gym, Lon said  “Theres really no answer to least favorite. When Niels challenges you for the day there’s a purpose, and that’s to get a part of your body worked. I come here three times a week so it’s always a big ‘ugh’, but I’m getting stronger and stronger… I don’t complain though, because I know what the purpose is.”

Outside of Fit Crew

Lon’s family is now scattered from California to Argentina. Currently, his wife practices the tango in Argentina- Lon and his wife started out tangoing together; while Lon appreciates tango music, he doesn’t enjoy it to the level that she does. For fun, Lon likes to go hiking, but only when the humidity is low and temperatures are 70 degrees or lower. Lon expressed that topographically, Florida isn’t his favorite state, as he is used to the mountains, hills, and dryer climate in California. This time of year, however, is much more enjoyable for him. He plans to do some hiking and bicycling with his son in the Florida parks soon.

Lon’s Fun Fact

When asked about one of his hobbies that people may not know already Lon said “I like gardening, and unfortunately live in a condo association so my gardening has narrowed down to potted plants. I really like Bogen Vita because they are really hearty… The point being, since that’s outside, I don’t do a heck of a lot of it in Florida. I did do a lot of gardening when I lived in California!”