5 Reasons That You Should Train at Marmon Muscle

I was taught growing up to never “toot my own horn”.  It’s something that I have never been comfortable doing.  A former coach once told me, “Be humble.  Let other people talk about how great you are.”  It’s a philosophy that I have resided to my whole life.

A few weeks ago, I was meeting with a mentor of mine and we were discussing business and consumer trends.  He hit me with a simple question.  “Do your customers know/understand what makes your different from everyone else?  Do they understand the resources that they are paying for?”  I explained that I had our staff bios on the website, pictures of our facility, and some testimonials from our athletes, etc.  He stopped me mid-sentence and said, “You need to make it crystal clear.”  My initial reaction was “How do I do that without sounding like an arrogant douche bag?”  So after careful consideration I decided that a short, sweet, simple list was the way to go.

I present to you “5 Reasons That You Should Train at Marmon Muscle”…

1.  We CARE! 

There is a difference between being nice and caring.  Being nice to people does not mean that you care about them.  Caring about a person means telling them what they NEED to hear, when they NEED to hear it.  This could be words of encouragement or praise, instruction, criticism, or a simple “Thank you” or “I appreciate you”.  Telling people what they WANT to hear to make them happy is NOT caring.  It’s bullshitting them and we refuse to do it.  Our athletes are our top priority.

2.  Our Coaching Staff

  • David Marmon – I have 15 years of strength & conditioning experience beginning as an undergraduate volunteer in the Auburn University Athletics Department.  My undergraduate degree is Health Promotion with a Business minor from Auburn University.  I have my Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from Georgia Southern University.  I am credentialed through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), the USA Weightlifting (USAW), and CrossFit HQ. I have programmed for and coached both male and female Division 1 collegiate athletes in a variety of sports.  I have worked at the University of Miami, Georgia Southern University, the College of William & Mary, the University of Iowa, Indiana State University, and the University of Washington.  That experience consisted of 12 hour days, supervising hundreds of athletes, and working directly with sport coaches and sports medicine professionals.  Following my experience in collegiate athletes, I worked for a physical therapist where I learned how to assess/evaluate human movement and prescribe corrective exercise programs to individuals or all ages and demographics.  I worked with a very diverse clientele that included competitive athletes, working professionals, and retirees.  Ultimately, I have over 20,000 hours of hands-on experience coaching athletes.  I spend a minimum of 1 hour per day on continuing education to provide our athletes with latest information on performance training and nutrition.  In addition to coaching, I am a competitive CrossFit athlete (who tries to train daily), a father, and a husband.
  • Britta Marmon – Britta is a former Division 1 Soccer coach & athlete.  She was an All Big-10 Goalkeeper from 2001-2004.  She coached at Indiana State and the College of William & Mary.  Her experience as a high level athlete and sport coach serves as an huge benefit to our community of athletes.  She understands the recruiting process, athlete development, and competition.  Her experience and knowledge is a huge benefit to our youth, prep, and college athletes.  Britta handles the administrative responsibilities at Marmon Muscle and coaches multiple CrossFit classes.  Britta is credentialed through CrossFit HQ.  She is a competitive CrossFit athlete who trains daily, a wife, and a mother.
  • Michelle Massie – Michelle holds the longest tenure on the coaching staff having been with us since we opened in 2010.  Michelle is our Director of CrossFit Kids and coaches several of our CrossFit classes.  Her professional background prior to strength & conditioning was in preschool education.  Her multiple years as an educator gave her a strong understanding of instructing children, handling behavior issues, and dealing with parents.  Her skill set is invaluable to our CrossFit Kids program.  Michelle trained under me as an athlete and intern for 3 years prior to becoming a member of our coaching staff.  She has strong understanding of our system of training and terminology.  Michelle is credentialed through CrossFit HQ.  She is a competitive CrossFit athlete who trains daily, a wife, and a mother.
  • Cat Law – Cat has been a coach at Marmon Muscle since 2011 after a short stint as an athlete here.  She is a former multi-sport athlete that found CrossFit after the birth of her two boys.  Cat possesses an incredible presence and attitude every day that she steps out onto the floor to coach.  Her strong faith serves as her motivation to lead and inspire others.  Cat is credentialed through CrossFit HQ.  She is a competitive CrossFit athlete who trains daily, a wife, and a mother.
  • Stephanie Toothaker – Stephanie (aka “Drago”) brings 10 years of experience as a Physical Therapist to the Marmon Muscle coaching staff.  Her background of evaluating and treating patients of all demographics is a huge asset to our community of athletes.  Her understanding of good human movement has made her skills as a strength & conditioning coach that much more effective.  Our athletes have access to Stephanie for any issues or injuries that they are experience.  That resource is invaluable.  Stephanie is credentialed through CrossFit HQ.  Arguably the best athlete in our box, Stephanie trains and competes regularly.  She is also married to Coach Tom Toothaker.
  • Tom Toothaker – Like Stephanie, Tom is also a full-time Physical Therapist.  Tom has exceptional personal skills which make him an incredibly effective communicator.  His ability to take complex anatomical & biomechanical jargon and present it to the athlete in simple, understandable context is a huge benefit to our athletes.  He constantly makes himself available to assist our athletes with ways to treat injuries, improve mobility, or enhance their performance.  Tom’s personality combined with his education and understanding of human movement make him one of the top coaches in the region.  Tom is credentialed through CrossFit HQ.  He is a competitive CrossFit athlete that trains daily and a husband to Coach Stephanie Toothaker.
  • Iwona Kakareko – Born and raised in Poland, Iwona is our “international delight”.  She brings over 10 years of experience as a personal trainer and health & wellness coach to the Marmon Muscle staff.  Iwona’s specialties are women’s health & fitness and nutrition.  She authored the Marmon Muscle nutrition manual, “Firebreather Nutrition”.  She is an avid reader of Dr. Mercola and provides a wealth of general health information to our staff and our athletes.  I am constantly impressed with her class preparation and organization skills.  She keeps our athletes safe and on schedule.  Iwona is credentialed through CrossFit HQ.  She is a competitive CrossFit athlete that trains daily and a wife.
  • Ellen Womeldorf – Ellen is our CrossFit 101 coordinator and our resident endurance sport guru.  Ellen brings multiple years of experience as a personal trainer and a high school cross country coach to the Marmon Muscle coaching staff.  She has her CrossFit Level 1 certificate, her CrossFit Endurance credential, and her rowing credential through Concept 2.  She is a competitive ultra endurance athlete having completed multiple 24 hour races and Ultra Marathons.  Her special skill set is an invaluable asset to our community of athletes, as the rest of our staff are not endurance athletes.  Ellen is the mother to two wonderful teenage boys.

Our coaches are passion-driven people with special skill sets who are living this lifestyle everyday.  They have the same stressors and obligations as most Americans, but they choose to be exceptional.

3.  The System

At Marmon Muscle, we have systemized the way we train athletes.  We evaluate and screen all new athletes via our “New Athlete Evaluation” or “CrossFit 101”.  There is a progression/regression system in place for each lift or movement that we use.  We have movements categorized to allow for balanced programming that allows us to focus on all of the 10 skills of fitness and avoid overuse injuries.  All of our athletes have access to nutritional counsel or resources.  We have a structured warm-up and movement prep, as well as a post workout stretching routine.  Our system is a living and breathing thing that we are constantly tweaking to make it the best program possible.

4.  The Facility

We started with 800 square feet and $5000 worth of equipment in 2010.  In November 2014, we will move into our brand new 10,000 square foot with approximately $100,000 worth of state-of-the-art equipment.  The facility will include coaching offices, a meeting room, an athlete/spectator lounge, a kid’s corner, 4,000 square feet of field turf, 5,000 square feet of rubberized floor, an overhead door leading out to a concrete patio for outdoor workouts, a 60 ft Rogue Rig, 5 – lifting platforms with adjustable racks, 2 – sets of jerk blocks, 7 – Assault Air Bikes, 7 – Concept 2 rowers, 7 – Glute-Ham Developers, slideboards, sleds, yokes, atlas stones, kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, bumper plates, etc, etc, etc.  Our goal is to provide our community with the best, instruction-based training facility in the area.

5.  The Community

Our mission is simple… to serve our community by providing them with an environment that brings out the very best of them mentally and physically.  We take that responsibility very seriously.  Maintaining a positive, supportive environment becomes more and more challenging with growth, but we are committed to maintaining a staff and community of athletes that makes people feel welcome, safe, and nurtured.  A great community is a product of the wonderful people in it, as well as the values instilled from the leadership.  I have seen our amazing community in action: birthdays, competitions, Christmas parties, holidays, fundraisers, the Open, weddings, funerals, unemployment, or just when you are having a tough day.  This community does as much for the people in it as the training does.

Yours in Strength,



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