Team of Expert Coaches

Armor coaches are dedicated to helping you safely and effectively accomplish your goals in an engaging environment. All of our coaches have several years experience participating in CrossFit and coaching others. Each coach has completed an extensive internship designed to take full advantage of the experience and knowledge of our in-house Doctor of Physical Therapy, Zach Rynders.

STAFF
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Owner + Coach

Joe Stewart

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I started my CrossFit journey at Armor Athletics because I needed purpose in my fitness. I was immediately challenged and encouraged by the coaches and members. I thrived off of the healthy competitive nature and was accustomed to that from my time in the military. I quickly decided to become a coach since I have always been passionate about instructing and watching others learn and achieve success. I have been a coach here at Armor for almost 5 years with my CFL2 certification on the horizon. I truly believe in the Armor way of health and fitness which has consistently enabled me to endure the rigors as a professional Wildland FireFighter. As one of the owners, my intent is to build upon the culture and community we have forged through the years by helping our coaches endlessly pursue education, training, and knowledge to perfect our craft and ensure we are providing our members with elite instruction and programming to safely build strength, endurance, and overall wellness.

Owner + Coach

Samantha Stewart

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I have always had an active lifestyle and loved volleyball, swimming, running, and yoga. CrossFit was unlike any exercise I’ve done, and it pushed me beyond what I thought my limitations were. I gained strength and learned the importance of functional and adaptive fitness for health and wellness. I started my teaching/ coaching journey with a Yoga Instructor (200RYT) Certification in 2018 and went on to complete my CrossFit Level 1 Certification. My husband, Joe, and I were provided the opportunity to become the owners of Armor after several years of membership. Our mission and vision includes continuing to provide exceptional coaching for our members and cultivating an inclusive environment. We want to support and guide our members to help them be the best version of themselves. I’m very grateful to be a part of the Armor Family!

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Coach

Zach Rynders, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy
CrossFit Level 3 Trainer
The Ready State Movement and Mobility Coach (formerly known as Mobility WOD)
USAW Level 1 Trainer

When I started college to become a physical therapist I had no plans of coaching. However, that quickly changed when I realized how much impact a coach could have on a client’s life. Being surrounded by some of the best and brightest clinicians, coaches, and researchers granted me the opportunity to see the positive impact an expert therapist and coach can have. I realized if I really want to make a difference I needed to gain as much experience as possible and never stop learning. I began coaching CrossFit and weightlifting in 2011 and started physical therapy school at the same time. I did not feel qualified to be in charge of somebody else’s health and fitness until I had 5+ years of CrossFit experience, competed as a national-level Olympic weightlifter, played a division 1 college sport, and had a degree in kinesiology (human movement). I still considered myself a white belt, but knew I was ready to start coaching some classes. My passion for coaching and training others grew from there. I found blending the skillset of a physical therapist and a coach provided me with the unique opportunity to teach others how to live happier and healthier lives. Helping others is easily the most rewarding thing I can do. Through education and experience, I have provided myself with the tools to do exactly that. I received my Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from The University of Puget Sound. During my time in undergraduate and graduate school I conducted and published research on movement evaluation and injury risk assessment, exercise psychophysiology, and neuroscience. Understanding how the body moves and functions, I am able to use movement as a diagnostic tool to significantly improve performance, prevent injuries, and help individuals recover from pre-existing injuries. I diligently work with all clients on an individual basis to provide a safe and effective training regimen that is tailored to each person’s current fitness levels and goals.

Coach

Jess Kimball

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I was always an active kid, participated in sports and grew up on a farm, helping in the fields hauling hay bales or moving lumber. I was introduced to crossfit by a friend that knew I enjoyed physical fitness and intensity. After my first class I was hooked. On fitness, of course, but also showing up everyday to a community that encouraged you to do things you never thought your body could do. After years of participating in crossfit and learning so much about the body and the importance of functional fitness and health, I was inspired to share with everyone the same passion I found in crossfit years ago. I wanted to be able to help people achieve what they never imagined they could, and learn the importance and effects of moving every day has on your body in such a positive way. And in the same way I did, in a fun, energetic and encouraging community of like minded people.

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Coach

Paul Cretella

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

After leaving the army, where a certain level of fitness was mandatory, I just kind of kept going. Early on, I would run and do some lightweight/bodyweight stuff. I started thinking, ``How could I get more out of this?`` Get stronger. Lift more. As I age, I see fitness as a buffer against the aging process, so I will keep going for as long as I can. You don’t stop because you get old, you get old because you stop. I was given the opportunity to become a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer through the fire department I work for. When I started training at the gym, the previous owner offered me the chance to coach. I found I enjoyed it and the rest is history.

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Coach

Jessica Gamble

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. My earliest memories include camping in the mountains and fishing for salmon bigger than myself. I grew up playing competitive soccer and showing horses. I planned to accept a scholarship to play soccer at a division one university, but I sustained a triad injury to my knee and was forced to change plans. I moved to Washington to attend college and accept a job training horses. I quickly met my husband, Jake, and he managed to convince me to stay in Washington. We now have three wonderful kids named Michelle, Zoey, and Caleb. Due to a severe hip injury after having kids, I was not able to continue to pursue my active lifestyle. My husband suggested I try a fitness program designed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Armor Athletics. I learned that I was able to increase strength while helping my body heal properly at the same time. I pursued coaching because I am passionate about helping others the same way the Armor team helped me. It is incredibly rewarding to watch people overcome personal obstacles, accomplish new goals, and have fun along the way!

Coach

Molly Yoshikawa

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

To be the best teammate I can be is the core of who I am, and Armor Athletics has given me a community to thrive in this capacity. I grew up helping at the family-business’ warehouse and participating in team sports, where I was fortunate enough to play softball at the collegiate level. Little did I know, my best athletic years were yet to come. I knew small tid-bits about fitness but nothing of immense value. A good friend convinced me to try my first CrossFit class at Armor, and boy, did I embrace the philosophy! The knowledge and enthusiasm were exactly what I thrived on, and the new-found push from the coaches and fellow members alike became addicting. Soon I could see changes in myself on multiple levels. I could move my body like never before, my mobility increased where I thought I was just “stuck being inflexible,” I could see changes in body composition, and the best part; I had a new confidence in feeling great both physically and mentally. I became a coach because I want to pass on the experience and motivation that Armor Athletics has given me. To be the support and encouragement for people who just want to leave the day a little bit stronger and healthier. Teaching what I love is one the greatest fulfillments I could ask for.

Coach

Tom Bailey

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I spent my childhood in Louisville, Kentucky – riding horses, buckin’ hay bales, and running around. I enjoyed being active so throughout school I played team sports as well as mountain biking and rock climbing. During my early 20’s I became more interested in individual sports like running and swimming, but I missed the community and encouragement that came from the team atmosphere. Around that time, I had also begun the process of becoming a firefighter and knew I needed to be in good shape for my future career. Fortunately, I discovered CrossFit! Not only had I discovered something effective at helping me improve my strength and mobility, but I was also introduced to a great community of people who would encourage me in my life. After having been a participant in CrossFit for the past few years, I am looking forward to the opportunity to coach and encourage others in their fitness journey. My goal is to be approachable and encourage you in any way I can, not only in fitness, but also in life!

Coach

Anthony Valenzuela

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Before joining Armor Athletics in 2019, I lived a sedentary lifestyle. I had back problems, poor mobility and was overweight. Starting CrossFit at Armor helped me combat the consequences of my previously unhealthy lifestyle almost immediately. With consistent training, I became faster and stronger, but more importantly, my quality of life improved. As a coach, I want to teach you how to move better and help you reach your personal goals while still learning and improving myself.

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Tacoma Crossfit Gym Armor Athletics
Location and Phone Number

5206 South Tacoma Way

Tacoma, WA 98409

253-777-9714

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