June 26, 2016

Coaches

Matt Fencik – Co-Owner/Head Coach

Being active and competitive has been a part of my life since I was born. The Fencik family is a sports family. My dad was drafted to the New York Giants but only played a short time. My uncle Gary Fencik played for the Chicago Bears for 12 years and was the starting safety for the best defense EVER, the ’85 Bears. My other uncles were All-American football and baseball players. My mom’s side was also very active and competitive in swimming and still hold records in Ohio.

When I was little, even though my dad told me I was too young, I’d sneak into his weight room and lift weights. I wanted to be an NFL player one day. But that obviously didn’t happen… so I moved on to other sports until I found CrossFit and Weightlifting. I now know this is my calling – not only to be the best athlete I can be, but also to pass on all my knowledge and experience to others.

I started my first coaching job as a Strength and Speed Coach at D1 Sport Training in Savannah, Ga. At first they let me write my own workouts (CrossFit-style) for the athletes, but then corporate came in and said I had to follow their workouts. Needless to say the athletes didn’t like it, and neither did I so I left, moved to Atlanta and found CrossFit Peachtree. Over 3 years, I worked my way up to Head Coach, and now I’m very proud to say I am the owner of this great gym and community!

Education
– Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University

Certifications
– CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
– CrossFit Mobility Trainer
– CrossFit Powerlifting Trainer
– CrossFit Strongman Trainer
– USAW Sports Performance Level 1 Coach
– Attended Outlaw Barbell Camp

Awards
– Finished 2nd Place at Georgia Southern Strongman Competition
– Finished 4th Place at Georgia Southern Strongman Competition
– 94kg Gold Medal at Cookies and Kilos weightlifting competition 2015
– Qualified for 2015 American Open but did not attend
– 94kg Gold Medal at HD Classic 2016
– Sinclair Award(best lifter) at HD Classic 2016
– 94kg Gold Medal at Barbell MAYnia 2016
– Sinclair Award at Barbell MAYnia 2016
– Qualified for American Open 2016 and will attend

 

 

Wes Neal – Co-Owner/Gym Manager/ CF Coach

Tired of the big globo gym experience, I was not getting the results I wanted. There was no sense of community, and I was  was fed up having to fight for equipment. One night a group of friends took me to CrossFit Peachtree for the Wednesday night intro class. It was hard, but I was hooked. A year and a half later, I’ve lost more than 50 lbs. and am getting stronger every day. I’m so passionate about what CrossFit has done for me that I was approached to become a managing partner in the gym. Now it has become a family affair – my wife Lindsey is also a member, and my two kids are seen running around the gym all day, picking up on movements and having a blast!

Education
– Bachelor of Science in Finance at Kennesaw State University

Certifications
– CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

– CrossFit Kids Coach

– USAW Sports Performance Level 1 Coach

 

Awards
– 3rd Place Barbell MAYnia 2016, 105+kg

– 1st Place Cookies & Kilos 2017, 105+kg

 

 

Clayton McKenney – CF Coach

Shortly after hanging up the cleats on my baseball “career,” I found myself at a loss for regular competition and camaraderie. I spent ~6 months trying to adjust to the globo gym routine and working out on my own but quickly got bored and lost motivation. Thankfully, my sister-in-law (ex-UGA soccer) never stopped bugging me to check out a CrossFit gym. So I did, and I found a gym in Athens (shout-out to C3) that was perfect. I was totally hooked. I loved the intensity, the people, and the competition. It was exactly what I had been looking for.

Even after this all started in 2012, I am still as passionate about CrossFit today as I was then. I love the process, and the coolest part of it all is that this kind of fitness is a life-long journey. There is always a way to move more efficiently, get stronger, learn a new skill, or push yourself further than you thought you could. I really believe in what we do and what this style of fitness can do for people from all walks of life and athletic backgrounds.

The icing on the cake for all of this, though, is the sense community I’ve found in each gym I’ve been to. It is a very powerful thing to see people of all ages from all types of backgrounds converging in one place towards a common goal. Being a part of such a community has been nothing short of a blessing for me.

Education

– Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance

– Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics

– University of Georgia Honors Program

 

Certifications

– CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

 

Awards

– University of Georgia Varsity Baseball Team

 

Erin Whittaker – CF Coach

I started gymnastics at the age of 3 and continued until I was hit by a bus on my first day of college. I was used to having gymnastics practice 19 hours a week with track or diving practice for 10 hours a week on top of that. After my accident, I could not work out for close to a year. I tried many different things, working out on my own, rock climbing, dancing (yikes), and pilates. Although I enjoyed each thing, none of them could hold my attention longer than a few months. I ended up gaining 20 pounds in college and wanted to find a sport to commit to. I had heard rumors of CrossFit and that gymnasts tended to really enjoy it. I finally got the courage to walk into a box and have been going 4-5 days a week since! The diversity of movement, the community of people, and the goal setting is what has kept me coming back for more.

I coached competitive gymnastics for six years during high school and the beginning of college and really enjoyed teaching and working with individuals to meet their goals. Last March, I decided to get my CrossFit Level 1 so that I could continue my passion of coaching with CrossFit.

Certifications

– CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

 

Robert Hall – Olympic Weightlifting Coach

Coach Robert Hall comes to us from Savannah, GA, where he has been a member of the prestigious Team Savannah for 18 years.

As a competitor, Rob has traveled across the globe, winning the Junior Nationals, the Junior Pan Ams, the University Nationals, the American Open, and other local, national, and international competitions.

As a coach, Rob brings 8 years of experience to the table, coaching at the Youth, Junior, University, and Senior National levels. Additionally, Rob has coached multiple Masters Champions.

He will lead Barbell Club Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and is also available for supplemental instruction, by appointment.

 

John Easterling – CF Coach

Growing up in Alpharetta, Georgia, I was always playing sports year round from baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and rugby. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school did I start playing rugby. I was fortunate enough to have success early on from winning a state championship, southeast regionals, and competing at nationals out in Salt Lake City. From there, I attended Auburn University where I was able to continue my rugby career as a student-athlete. For the next four years I was able to grow on and off the pitch, from being named captain my last two years to earning my bachelor’s degree in Finance.

 

I found crossfit when ESPN aired the 2011 games, watching Josh Bridges dominate the beach workout. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until January 2013 that I would take the leap and join the local box (Crossfit On the Plains). I thought this was the perfect way to supplement my rugby conditioning, and immediately fell in love with the process. As everyone says, “I drank the cool-aid”. Once I graduated and moved back to Atlanta, I decided to pursue my Level One. I wanted to learn what crossfit was genuinely all about, “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity”. From the intense workouts, the camaraderie, and being a part of this amazing community, crossfit has changed the way we look at health and fitness. There is always something to improve on, become more efficient, or even learn a new skill. “Crossfit is a way of life. You eat well, you train hard, you push yourself. It teaches you so much about yourself” (Ben Smith).

Education

– Bachelor of Science in Finance

Certifications

– Crossfit Level 1 – Trainer

Awards

– MVP 2013 Southeastern Conference rugby champs 7’s

– 2013 SCRC All-Conference First team rugby

 

Leah Casciano – CF Coach/Powerlifting Coach

 

Certifications

– CF Level 1 Treainer

– CF Weightlifting Level 1 Trainer

 

Awards

– 2015 Fittest Woman in Puerto Rico

– 2015 2nd Place IPF/Puerto Rico PL Federation 63kg

– 2016 Elite Women’s Team Wodapalooza

– 2016 Runner Up Florida State PL Championships 63kg

– 2016 3rd Place USAPL American Open Championships 63kg

– 2017 Runner Up USPA Nationlas 60 kg

– 2017 4th Place IPF World Championships 60kg