Coaches

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Jared Knowles, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Weightlifting, OPEX CCP Level 1 Assessment & Program Design

Jared started his athletic journey with wrestling at Lake Region High School here in Florida. He started CrossFit in 2009 when he was living in Naples. When he moved back to Tampa in 2011, he started his affiliate in his carport. Growing too big for just his driveway, Jared moved CrossFit Thumbs Up to its current location and has been growing since. Jared’s passion for coaching is evident in the time and effort he puts into both programming specifically for the members of CFTU, but also personal programming for private clients. He is a follower of James “OPT” Fitzgerald, the first winner of the CrossFit Games, and is CCP Level 1 Certified in the Assessment and Program Design courses offered by Opex Fitness (formerly OPT). He is proficient in Olympic Lifting and has his CrossFit Level 1 Certificate for weightlifting. He is our fun and fearless leader!

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Lauren Knowles, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Nutritional Therapy Consultant

Lauren found CrossFit in 2011 after becoming frustrated with her usual workout routine of going to the gym, taking a class here and there, and even hiring a personal trainer. She decided to try something new to get the results she was looking for and went to CrossFit with a friend. After becoming hooked as many people do, Lauren decided she wanted to continue to pursue training and assist others with their own training. She got her CrossFit Level 1 Certificate in June 2013 and has been a Coach at Primal Empowerment since then. Lauren is also CCP Level 1 Certified in the Assessment course with as part of the OPT program. She has participated in several competitions and took her highest placement of 2nd place in the female RX division of the One More Rep competition in May 2015.

Lauren is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant through the Nutritional Therapy Association. She is trained in assessing the bio-individual needs of her clients and provides solutions based on a properly-prepared, nutrient dense, whole foods diet.

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Joel Maestas, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Level 1, CPR Certified

Joel is a former multi-sport high school athlete and overall sports enthusiast with a passion for training people to succeed. He first discovered CrossFit in 2011 while deployed to Afghanistan as a Soldier in the U.S. Army. Shortly after returning to the US he discovered his passion for coaching others and helping people reach and surpass their fitness goals. In 2013 he earned his CrossFit Level 1 Certificate and officially began his journey as a CrossFit Coach. He is also currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science.

Joel is a strong believer that everybody is an athlete, and that all athletes’ needs differ by degree, not by type. Of his many talents as a coach, one of the most notable is his ability to quickly and accurately identify an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses, and correctly cue them to help them maximize their potential. He takes time to ensure that each and every person he coaches thoroughly understands the proper form and movement of each exercise. He considers himself a student of movement and fitness and is always seeking to learn new ways to help athletes reach their full potential.

Yoonmee Hampson, CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2), NASM Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Mobility Trainer, CrossFit Scaling Certificate

Growing up as a former benchwarmer on the soccer team and a rather pokey sprinter in high school track, Yoonmee initially wrote off CrossFit as “not for me.” But her curiosity got the best of her, and in 2011 she dove right into the deep end by getting her CrossFit Level 1 Trainer certification before she even joined a gym. She trained on her own for a while, but it wasn’t until 2012 when she finally joined a CrossFit gym and experienced firsthand the amazing, supportive, and friendly CrossFit community that she fell in love. Coaching since 2013, her mission is to help people to become the best version of themselves both in and out of the gym by delivering a positive, challenging, and fun experience through appropriate and effective programming encompassing fitness, nutrition, and community.

Yoonmee’s favorite CrossFit wod is CrossFit Disco. She loves hang cleans and pistols, but dislikes wallballs. She excels at introducing new members to CrossFit movements and helping women through their lifetime fitness journeys. She loves reading good books, the beach, coffee shops, and Korean food.

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Amanda Diotalevi, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Amanda was introduced to CrossFit in January 2014, and never looked back. She started right here with us at CrossFit Thumbs Up. The fact that there are always new skills to develop and goals to hit is what keeps CrossFit exciting for her. Plus she is always up for some friendly competition in the box! Amanda has competed in a few local competitions, and once grabbed the 1st place title in her division. While on vacation she loves dropping in to new boxes and meeting athletes from all over. Amanda has her CrossFit Level 1 Certificate and loves helping members work on skills that seem out of reach. Coaching those towards a healthier, more active life is amazing to see every day.

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Christina Damin, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Christina has been an athletic person as far back as she can remember. She played sports throughout school and was on the dance team in college. While still living in New York, she attended a gym and tried boxing for about a year before moving to Florida. Since August 2012 when she was first introduced to CrossFit from a coworker, she has been hooked! Christina received her CrossFit Level 1 Certificate in June 2014 and has demonstrated her ability to instruct others and help them in making strides on their athletic journey. One of her many strengths includes endurance as she has completed five half marathons to date. She has participated in several local CrossFit competitions as well and works excellently on a team!

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Mark Sollenberger, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Mark has been an athlete his whole life from participating in several varsity sports to completing a marathon. After starting in the business world and putting on weight while working out in traditional gyms, Mark found CrossFit in the summer of 2012 and has been fully committed since. Despite traveling nationally for work, Mark finds local boxes to work out in wherever he goes. He received his CrossFit Level 1 Certificate in August of 2015 and enjoys helping Crossfit ThumbsUp athletes perfect their form as well as get the most out of each work out. Mark has competed in multiple individual as well as team competitions locally, winning one.

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Michelle Hall, Certified Yoga Instructor

Yoga has been an essential part of Michelle’s life since 2012. As a runner and now CrossFitter, her practice has helped her gain strength and flexibility, preventing injuries and enhancing performance. It has also been a form of stress management helping her focus and better manage everyday stressors.

Michelle completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training with Pose by Pose Yoga in 2015, which exposed her to many forms of yoga such as gentle and power yoga. She has been teaching ever since and has over 130 teaching hours. Her practice focuses on a challenging, yet relaxing Vinyasa sequence followed by deep stretches for all athletes. You can expect to leave her classes with an invigorating workout, greater range of mobility, clear mind and peaceful heart.