Success Stories


July, 2013

If someone would have told me a year ago that I would turn into a Crossfitter I would have first laughed and then asked “What’s CrossFit”?
It was exactly one year ago that I made a decision to seriously focus on shedding the extra weight from three pregnancies and get in shape. I knew that to reach my goals, I had to make a lifestyle change in my exercise routine and eating habits. I started personal training with Saro in June of 2012 and through CrossFit trainings and following a Paleo diet I was able to lose more than 40 pounds in 6 months, drop 3 dress sizes and feel stronger and more energized than ever.
I truly believe all things happen for a reason and that is why my path crossed with Saro. Every personal training session was challenging, motivating and a learning experience. I had never done a burpee, didn’t know what a kettle bell was and could barely run 200 meters! And while I looked forward to the trainings with Saro, I also feared I would not make it through the next workout – but I did every time because Saro pushed me past my “I Cant’s”. I’m glad I found someone who is as dedicated and knowledgeable as Saro because personal training is just that – personal! I had to put 100% trust in someone I didn’t know but I soon came to realize that Saro is a perfectionist who truly cares about teaching you proper form and, with time and dedication, get you to your goals. Over the past 12 months, Saro has taught me to believe in myself, to go beyond my comfort zone and most importantly, to have fun.
I’m glad I’ve made the decision to continue this journey and join Iron Fist Athletics. I always look forward to the next WOD no matter how challenging it will be. I’ve learned to appreciate every bruise, callous, blister and sore muscle because it reminds me of what I have accomplished and how strong I’ve become thanks to the rigorous CrossFit workouts. Thank you Coach Saro!

-Michelle Rendo

July, 2013

My CrossFit journey started in Oct 2011 when I started training with Saro.  At that time I was VERY overweight, on blood pressure meds and facing a family history of heart disease and diabetes.  I wanted and needed to make a major life style change for myself, my husband and 3 children.  For years, I considered myself an active person going to the gym 3x/week and playing tennis 2-3x/week but in reality I had very little strength or cardio endurance to speak of.  Saro designed a detailed fitness plan for me and I became a girl with a mission.
Saro scaled workouts to fit my ability and gradually increased level of difficulty/ weight as I progressed.  There was always a HUGE emphasis on correct form and technique.  I was pushed well outside my comfort zone during his workouts.  At first this was a shock to my system but as I gained strength both physically and mentally I became better prepared to get through his workouts. As the intensity of workouts increased so did my results. Saro set goals for me and worked with me to achieve them.  My first goal was to stand up off the floor without using my hands.  As my fitness level grew so did my goals.  Strict pull-up…check, pistol…check, 20/24” box jump…check.  I’m amazed when I think of all the fun things I can do now… handstand push-ups, rope climbs, ring dips, Olympic lifts, etc.  In addition to having more energy to play with an active family, CrossFit has helped me run better and have more strength and hustle on the tennis court.
The first 8 months I lost a substantial amount of weight.  Now 20 months later I’m the fittest I’ve been in my entire life. I always felt CrossFit was working.  I could see and feel the results; however the definitive moment came during my last physical when I saw the dramatic change in blood work/vitals from the previous year.  My results didn’t come easy.  I endured butt kicking workouts, sore muscles, calluses, bruises and gashes on my shins but I wore them proudly, as a badge of honor to my accomplishments.
Saro’s passion and knowledge in fitness is unsurpassed.  His coaching and personal attention is the reason I made incredible gains in my health and fitness.  The energy and camaraderie at Iron Fist Athletics is great and continuously helps me push my limits. I enjoy being around the positive and encouraging people who make up its community.

-Barbara McNaughton

November, 2013


My name is Christopher Miele and I have been with IFA for 6 months. Throughout my life I have always been an active person. I spent the majority of my early childhood and teenage years wrestling. Wrestling has taught me many things, mainly to always push yourself and to never give up. During college I found myself getting the urge to compete in something again, so I took the next step any wrestler would take and started training MMA. When I started training for my fights, I was introduced to interval training, this high rep fast pace workouts helped me to build my endurance. Once I got older, I realized that I had to focus more on my business. I stopped training and buried myself in the daily motions of life.
After my longest break ever from any athletic training, I found myself waking up in the morning with so much tension in my neck and back that it would take me hours to straighten out. I decided it was time to find something that a 29 year old could do to still keep that competitive edge. I wanted to push myself to the breaking point and most importantly make my body feel in shape and healthy again. I found out about Iron Fist Athletics from a friend and decided to try it out. After my first workout, I knew IFA was going to be my new home; the only problem was that my body was not reacting to the training like it used to. From all the years of not being active, I had become very tight, and my mobility was virtually nonexistent.
I’ve been training at IFA five times a week, and I feel again that competitive edge that I was looking for. The high intensity classes and team spirit push me to go harder and faster. One night after class, Coach Saro had a long conversation with me stating the only way I would get better at this sport and achieve my goals is by learning the proper form, as well as focusing on my mobility, and if I did that, everything else would fall into place. After a couple of months of taking Coach Saro’s advice, and his constantly staying on top of me in class, I found myself being able to do movements that I thought I would never be able to do. I would wake up in the morning with no pain (other than the muscle soreness that every cross-fitter feels the next morning). Not only did my body feel better, but I felt alive again. I found myself wanting to do better in every aspect of my life because my mind was put back into training mode. The camaraderie of this sport is second to none. It is unbelievable to be in a box on a daily basis with a wide variety of ages and lifestyles, and we are all pushing ourselves to our breaking points.
After a few weeks of training at IFA, I asked my wife to come and check it out with me. Since that day she was hooked. Now we both have something we can do together, and we can compete with each other, too! We find ourselves talking at the dinner table about the WOD and checking out the website to see the next day’s workout. My training partners at IFA have pushed me to do better every single day. They have grown from strangers to FAMILY.
Coach Saro is very particular about his gym and makes sure that it is ALWAYS clean and ready for the next class. The gym is definitely the most organized and immaculate gym I have ever been to.
I want to thank Coach Lannie, Coach Danny, and especially Coach Saro for sticking with me, and for teaching me to not only be a better athlete but to focus on the little things that will make a huge impact in the long run. I look forward to what IFA has in store for me in the future.

-Chris Miele

April 2017


Tired of the same boring cardio at your local gym? This was the reason I originally started Crossfit. I read and heard that high-intensity workouts for 15 to 20 minutes each will produce far better results than running on a treadmill or doing other cardio machines for an hour or more. I met with IFA head coach Saro a little over a year ago and found him to be genuine and easy to talk to. The box is clean, and the members are friendly. I intended to check out other boxes in the area, but when I got to IFA, I knew I was at the right place. As I suspected, the results from the high-intensity workouts were accurate, and to my surprise, I have gained a lot more strength. I still have a lot to learn and much to improve on, but I’m off to a good start.

I’d like to thank all the coaches for their continued guidance during training. They always pay close attention to detail and proper technique. In addition, they have taught me how to mobilize and warm up properly. To the members, you’re all an inspiration every day I step into the box. Thank you for your support.

For those who are reading this post who are interested in Crossfit, please know you do not have to be fit when you start and you don’t have to be an athlete. The IFA coaches will see what you’re capable of and scale movements when necessary. At IFA, you get the best coaches – they are your personal trainers. Every day you come to class, a workout is already set. These are not just a group of exercises that are put together without a purpose. They will help you in everyday life.

-Nes Mendoza