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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

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

Laramie Eckerdt

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

I grew up playing sports in high school and was always very active. I wanted to get back in shape after having kids, so I joined a CrossFit gym in Wyoming. I really enjoyed the community environment and quickly learned that I wanted to become a coach. I pursued coaching when we moved to WA and coached for a year and a half at another gym. During that time, I competed in numerous CrossFit competitions and started participating in Olympic weightlifting competitions. I learned to love Olympic Weightlifting and started focusing on increasing my proficiency in the Olympic lifts.

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Coach

Joe Stewart

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I started CrossFit because lifting at a gym and running became stagnant and boring, and I wanted to be challenged. I became a coach because I love teaching and helping other people achieve success.

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Coach

Jessica Gamble

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I grew up in Alaska playing competitive sports and participating in all of the cool Alaskan pastimes like fishing and camping. I moved to Washington during college to accept a job training horses. Due to a severe injury after having kids, I was not able to continue to pursue my active lifestyle. My husband suggested I try CrossFit with him at Armor Athletics, but I declined because I believed that CrossFit was stupid. Several months later, I hit the end of my rope with my physical limitations, so I finally signed up for On-Ramp. I quickly learned that I could get stronger and heal from my injury at the same time thanks to the expertise provided through the programming and coaching at Armor. It turns out CrossFit is really fun and not stupid at all! I pursued coaching because I want to help others in the same way the Armor team helped me. It is incredibly rewarding to see people overcome their personal obstacles, accomplish their goals, and have fun along the way!

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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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