Our team of Coaches all have one thing in common: we truly care about each of our athletes! Our Coaches consist of former collegiate athletes, high school coaches, medical professionals and fitness professionals.
Owner / Head Coach
My passion for fitness began back in high school where I was a three sport athlete, but it wasn’t until my first year of college that I realized the impact I could have on the lives of others. I graduated in 2007 from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville as an Exercise and Wellness major. During my last semester I started working at Monroe Physical Therapy and The Training Room and would spend the next 10 years running group classes, personal training and assisting Physical Therapists.
I was introduced to CrossFit in 2010 shortly after finishing the Louisville Ironman. After my first CrossFit WOD, I was hooked and I knew this was something I could see myself doing for a long time. Two months later in October I went to Indianapolis to receive my first Level 1 certification. I then coached classes, competed in local competitions and spread the word to everyone I know about CrossFit. Over the course of the next couple years I completed the CrossFit Endurance seminar and the CrossFit Mobility seminar. Fast forward 6 years to 2016 and that love for CrossFit, fitness and the passion to help others lead my wife, Stephanie, and I to open StrongArm CrossFit.
- Bachelors of Science in Exercise and Wellness, SIU Edwardsville 2007
- CrossFit Level 1
- CrossFit Level 2
- CrossFit Endurance
- CrossFit Mobility
- Former Certified Personal Trainer, American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- 2010 Ironman Louisville Finisher
- 2010 Kansas Half Ironman Finisher
- Multiple Marathons and Triathlons
STEPHANIE ARMSTRONG, PA-C
Owner / Coach
- Masters of Medical Science, Physician Assistant, SLU 2010
- Masters of Biology, Washington University 2008
- Adv. Cardiovascular Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life support, and CPR certified
- CrossFit Level 1
My love for CrossFit began after my husband introduced me to this amazing sport in 2011. CrossFit was the perfect way to get me back in the gym and motivated once again. I played soccer at McKendree University and after graduation found myself missing the daily routine and coaching I had while being a collegiate athlete. CrossFit filled that void and helped me find my love for working out once again.
After undergrad, I went on to receive two Master’s degrees, one from Washington University and the other from Saint Louis University. My second master’s degree was a Master’s of Medical Science in which I earned my Physician Assistant degree. During these stressful 4 years, CrossFit was my saving grace. It gave me an outlet for my stress and helped keep me healthy. As a practicing Physician Assistant, I have continued to use CrossFit to help keep the athlete side of me strong and keep my stress levels down.
In 2016, my husband and I decided to take this wonderful journey and make one of his dreams come true and open StrongArm CrossFit. Shortly after opening, I realized I could be more than just a business partner and could combine my love of helping others be healthy with my love of CrossFit. I became a CrossFit Level 1 trainer in early 2017 and have loved every minute. I now get to inspire others to be the healthiest, strongest versions of themselves.
I have always had a competitive side to me. I grew up playing various sports and ended up playing softball at Southwestern Illinois College and University of Missouri-St. Louis. I received my Masters of Science in Accountancy from UMSL and passed the Certified Public Accounting exam shortly after graduating. I married my high school sweetheart in 2010 and quickly had two children by 2013. After having our 2nd child I needed something to spark that competitiveness and motivation in me. I saw a friend posting transformation pictures and bragging about Crossfit; I had to see what all the hype was about….the rest is history.
Crossfit has changed my life, period. It has completely changed my attitude towards exercising and fitness. Crossfit challenges us all to get out of our comfort zone, do things that scare us, push ourselves further than we ever have and ultimately, achieve goals we never thought were possible.
We do all of this alongside our friends who are there motivating us each time we step into the gym. We become stronger at the gym and even stronger in everyday life. I truly enjoy working out and doing it with such an amazing support group. StrongArm CrossFit has become a family for me.
Deciding to become a Crossfit coach was a no brainer. I remember my first pull up, box jump, and double under.
The joy/rush I feel after I hit a PR, or learn a new skill is so awesome that I wanted to be able to help our members feel that same excitement. I love seeing the members’ progress and the look on their faces when they get their first kipping pull up or handstand pushup. The support for all, no matter the age or ability is such an inspiration!
Don’t have any regrets. Make the time, find the money and don’t be afraid.
I have been involved in athletics my entire life. I was a 4-sport athlete in high school and ran college track at the University of Kentucky. I graduated from UK in 2003 and was fortunate enough to get a job at Belleville West High School in the Fall of 2004. I teach Special Education. I am also the Head Boys Track Coach and Head Boys/Girls Cross Country Coach. I love my job and I love watching students achieve their goals.
Before CrossFit, running had been my primary fitness routine since college. However, I always struggled staying consistent and I was not reaching the fitness levels that I was hoping to attain. I never had a true “why” to work out for. In February of 2016, I reached out to Coach Drew about joining his group classes in Millstadt. I really needed a kick-start in my fitness journey and working out in Coach Drew’s classes was the perfect fit for me. I joined StrongArm CrossFit in November 2016 and haven’t looked back. I love everything that CrossFit has to offer and I appreciate everything that it stands for. I enjoyed my first year with Coach Drew so much, that I decided to get my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1) certificate so that I could coach classes at StrongArm CrossFit. I have been coaching classes since March 2017 and I have loved every bit of it.
I have played sports and been competitive my entire life. During high school I played three sports but my true passion was baseball. After attending one year of college I was lucky enough to get into an apprenticeship with Ameren. Two and a half years later I became a Journeyman Lineman and have been employed there ever since. Doing a physical job and playing some competitive softball were about my only form of exercise.
My dive into the world of CrossFit began in 2012 after sustaining a back injury playing softball. I was only 31 years old, had to receive injections into the lower part of my back and go through a rigorous Physical Therapy routine. I decided at that point I had to do something to strengthen my core as I didn’t want to deal with a lifetime of back issues. I then joined a newly opened CrossFit box and was a member there for almost 4 years until I took some time off after the birth of my son. When I was ready to get back into it I started looking at other boxes in the area and came across StrongArm CrossFit.
I can honestly say I was welcomed with open arms immediately. The one thing I love about CrossFit is how everyone is willing to help and encourage each other. After about six months I talked with Drew about doing some coaching.
I have always had a passion for helping others and now after passing the Level 1 course I get to be there on a regular basis coaching and motivating others the same as coaches did for me when I first started. I am proud to say I am now part of the StrongArm family.
Remember the first rule of CrossFit: To always talk about CrossFit. Spread the word!