Externing with Fit Crew

In mid May, I took an externship at a local gym: Fit Crew. In one week, I learned the ins and outs of owning, maintaining, and regulating a gym. I was fortunate enough to have this opportunity and I definitely appreciated it. From opening the gym to closing the gym, I had a very eye-opening experience. I was given the hospitality of the staff and the guidance of Niels and Andrew. Day by day, I would see people train extremely hard with literally every client leaving drenched with sweat and joy. All in all, this experience was very insightful and I want to thank Fit Crew Bradenton for such an opportunity.

At 4:30 AM I would come in and set up for the morning classes. This would either consist of moving the rowers or setting up barbells in their proper spots. At Fit Crew, every day consisted of a different workout and that means it would be vital to properly set up every day. A couple minutes after opening, an influx of very fit people would come in with energy. Personally, I was not accustomed to waking up this early so my energy was not as high, but the positive energy of the staff and the clients made up for a very enjoyable atmosphere. When the classes started, it was non stop work. While the trainers could choose to sit and watch the clients train, they instead choose to motivate and push their clients vocally. Personally I tried even though yelling at adults was not my speciality at the moment, but eventually I got a little more vocal. From the start, I was surrounded by positive yelling and upbeat music that I occasionally saw people dance to. Even though setting up and moving equipment is not the most enjoyable job, it’s the satisfaction factor that you get when you see the clients training on the platform you set up. After a class, I would wipe down the equipment for the next class. Sometimes at the end of the day I would even help their cleaner organize and sanitize the warehouse for the next day.

In addition to group classes, I had the opportunity to shadow the personal training in the back of the room. I would watch and observe the workouts and learn about why and how each exercise is carried out. Specifically, Niels and Andrew would help me by explaining each exercise and explaining how it would benefit that specific client. I also learned the skill to change workouts on the spot if an injury is causing more problems to the client that day. Something that the trainers shared in common was their skill to appeal to their audience. Each trainer knew how to approach different clients at different times. In addition, Niels and Andrew specifically taught me the business aspect of the gym, which gave me insight on keeping a gym functioning and making it better.

If I could summarize my experience in two words it would be: “grind” and “family”. Every day I would walk in and glance over the whiteboard and notice each hour of both Niels and Andrews schedule completely packed. This would mean a 16 hour job with little to no breaks in between. I really respect the “grind” aspect of this business and even though it might not seem appealing to the eyes of a high schooler, it ultimately is the reality that I eventually will face. Therefore, I am thankful to face this earlier in life. Another aspect that I noticed was
“family”. It seemed like everyone was family there. It really felt as if everyone knew each other and that the Fit Crew team and its members were a big family. Each day fun, giggles, and laughs surrounded the positive atmosphere. It really made the long hours enjoyable. At the end of the day I would like to thank Tori, Judy, Andre, Anthony, Niels, and Andrew for such an insightful experience that I will look back in the future for guidance.


60 Thoughts We’ve All Had During a Fit Crew Workout

60 Thoughts We’ve All Had During a Fit Crew Workout

  1. I can’t wait to kill it today.
  2. I love this place.
  3. Awesome, there are tons of familiar faces here. I like working out with this group.
  4. Hey, Gym!
  5. He always looks so comfortable. That dog is living the dream.
  6. Wait, you want me to do WHAT for the warm up? This can’t be a good sign.
  7. Lap one. I’ve got this.
  8. Lap two. Can’t breathe.
  9. Push ups, burpees, and sit ups. Easy.
  11. Ok, mobility. I love this part.
  12. I should stretch more. Everyday. Yes, I’m going to become a stretching master.
  13. Time to go through the workout.
  14. Hmmmm… this first one looks fun. Deadlifts, cleans, front squats, and push press. I like this. It’s light weight too.
  15. Not so sure about the second workout. Box jumps and burpees are the bane of my existence. The wall balls and goblet squats are good though. I can’t do a pull-up, but I can always do a body row. Man, I bet everyone else can do pull ups.
  16. It’s ok. I’ve got this. You’ve GOT THIS!
  17. Here we go. Beat the clock. Beat the clock. Beat the clock.
  18. I’m killing this. Look at me go.
  19. Wow, there’s a lot of reps.
  20. Ok, I’m slowing down.
  21. Need to drop the bar. No one else has dropped the bar. Shoot! I’m never going to finish.
  23. Other people in the class are pep talking me. Thanks guys. I CAN do this!
  24. Oh no, people are starting to finish. Hurry up!
  25. Ok, 10 more reps two times.
  26. 12 reps. That’s 10+2.
  27. Ok you’ve done 5 more. That’s almost halfway to 12.
  28. Wait, what number am I on?
  29. Oh, they are taking a video? Don’t make a stupid face. Don’t make a stupid face.
  30. Annnnd done. YES! I finished in time!
  31. Excuse me while I lay on the floor.
  32. NO! The five-minute break is already up? What was I thinking coming in today? This is awful.
  33. Ok, here we go. Again.
  34. If I pass out please note my time.
  36. I bet I can be that fast if I really try.
  37. He’s pushing harder AND rooting me on. That’s really cool.
  38. Ok, I’m not that fast. YET.
  39. I need a break. Maybe I’ll tie my shoe. They’ll never know.
  40. Tori just yelled “let’s go guys”. She caught me. She KNEW!
  41. Goblet squats. Yes.
  42. Hmm are my pants see through?
  43. Man my legs hurt. Pull it together you’re almost there.
  44. That new girl is crushing it! I should give her a high five.
  45. 2 minutes left. It’s you versus burpees.
  46. My lungs are burning, Everything hurts. I’m dying.
  47. I want to collapse.
  48. DONE!
  49. How many rounds? Honestly, after two all I could focus on was not dying. Let’s go with 2 ½.
  50. Maybe it was 3. Did I just short myself? Oh well, it doesn’t matter.
  51. Excuse me while I drown in my own sweat.
  52. Good job… good job… fist bump… high five
  53. Andrew just asked how it was and I said awful. I mean, honesty is the best policy, right?
  54. It WAS awful
  55. Ok, cooled down. Time to drive home. I wonder if my legs still work?
  56. You know what, that was actually really fun.
  57. I crushed it.
  58. I’m a badass.
  59. I go to the best gym.
  60. I can’t wait to do it again.


Madeline has been a Fit Crew client since November of 2015 and is a marketing professional.
“Training” vs. “Working Out”

“Training” vs. “Working Out”

Training Versus Working Out
It’s almost the New Year, which means that soon people will start thinking about trading out delicious pies for protein and picking up a gym membership. This also means that in a few months, many of those same people will be frustrated and unmotivated, and the gym membership tag they were once to excited to use will be just a plastic decoration on their key ring.

In the past, I’ve been asked how I stay motivated when it comes to fitness, and I’d be willing to bet that this is a common phenomenon with Fit Crew clients. Whether you’re a professional athlete with Niels, a personal training client with Andrew, or a group class warrior with Tori, Judy, and Andre, there’s a level of discipline and motivation that is inherently different when it comes to our clients compared to the average person. You can notice it from the moment you walk in the gym and it carries over into the conversations we have once the gym is locked up for the day.

So what’s the difference? What’s the secret to the motivation and dedication at Fit Crew? The answer is pretty simple, and if you’re a client already, then you’ve likely seen it on the website, in advertisements, or even heard it at the gym:

We Don’t Workout, We Train


Boom. That’s it, really. It’s a five-word statement that sets us apart and contributes to the success of our clients. You could say it’s a matter of semantics, but in reality training and working out are two completely separate concepts that fall under the umbrella of physical activity. The main difference between the two lies in intent, and intent is key when it comes to motivation.

“Working out” or “exercising” is the most common type of physical activity. It’s a random approach to fitness and health, and while it contributes to overall health and wellness, it’s hard to sustain long term. It is being physically active for the sake of getting tired and sweaty, without a clear goal in mind. Most people who “exercise” will walk into a gym without a plan; they watch TV while on the elliptical, hop around on a few machines, grab some free-weights to try and get a pump, maybe try out a group class, take a shower and sit in the sauna, then leave. They come back the next day and do the exact same thing over again- or they might stay on the treadmill for an extra hour to try and work off a heavy dinner from the night before. Unfortunately, even if they do stay consistent long enough to see results, their results will plateau, leaving them bored and frustrated.

“Training” on the other hand is where the fun and satisfaction comes in. It’s not so much about what you’re doing in the gym; it’s about why you’re doing it. Training has a performance objective in mind. It involves picking a long or short-term goal, and then compiling specific movements and workouts in a way that will help you accomplish that goal. When you train, you structure a routine to take your skills and performance to levels that wouldn’t be attainable by just wandering around a fitness center and doing what you “feel like”. When you train, you have to have a bit of grit in you. When things get tough, you become tougher. If your goal is to successfully complete a new movement, smash a PR, or finish a workout within the cap, you know you’re going to have to work for it, and it likely won’t be easy. If your goal is health and longevity, you understand that 20 minutes walking on a treadmill every day isn’t going to do it. If your goal is to be the top performer in a marathon, a lifting meet, or an athletic competition, you understand that you won’t get there overnight and that there is a method to the madness- a calculated process. It is the process of training that brings the results, and for many of us, it is the process that we fall in love with. A PR may feel great, but it feels even better when you look back on the weeks and months of hard work that led up to it.

This difference between working out and training is why Fit Crew’s group workouts are so varied, yet consistent. While you’ll never do the same workout twice, you may notice a focus on rowing for one period of time and then plyometric the next. It’s why over the course of a year you may find yourself miraculously getting your first double under or pull up (it wasn’t a miracle, really). It’s why you’ll start performing even better in your tennis matches or hitting PRs in the gym. It’s why your once stubborn pounds will come off, week after week. Focusing on training works, and it keeps our clients coming back.

If you’re “working out” and finding that you don’t have the motivation to keep it up, or you aren’t seeing the results you want, then it might be time for you to change your mentality and give training a try. You won’t find anyone staring at a TV or talking on the phone while on an elliptical in our gym (we don’t even have TV’s), but what you will find is a group of motivated and dedicated individuals who share the common goal of wanting to be better and do better, and a team of professionals that are there to support and guide you.

Happy training!



Madeline has been a Fit Crew client since November of 2015 and is a marketing professional.