Hoppin’ Happenings at Frog Fitness – Past Events that you might have missed that we are bringing to you!
The Tampa Bay Strongman Classic took place on a gorgeous sunny day with a cool fall breeze. It was the kind of day Floridians long for all year long. A perfect day for competition at Quaker Steak and Lube in Clearwater, Florida.
Donnie Kiernan founded The Tampa Bay Strongman Classic in 2011 after he returned from a tour in Iraq. It became a yearly event sanctioned by the United States Strongman Corporation. Additionally, it is nationally known as the best strongman event in the Southeast.
Competitor Joseph Brooks had this to say about Donnie and the Strongman competition. “Donnie Kiernan is a good friend of mine who spares no expense at putting on a great show. He partners consistently with some of the finest organizations in the Tampa Bay region to put on a show that is always entertaining and full of competitive, high-caliber athletes from all over the nation. I plan on defending my title for as long as I can while my body is still capable of putting on high quality performances. I invite anyone who wants to come to Tampa Bay to try their hand at this competition. You will have a phenomenal time and you will be able to compete against some of the finest strength athletes you will ever meet.”
It was our honor at Frog Fitness to be a sponsor of the 5th Annual Tampa Bay Strongman. Even more to have our FROG used as part of the competitions medley.
All eyes were on The Frog throughout the day! We made several Frogs available so the competitors could practice before the final competition. Joel Metzger along with the rest of the team worked with each athlete explaining proper form and technique. It was exciting to see the positive response of so many of the Strongman athletes as well as guests.
After the event we had the opportunity to interview several of the winners. They each shared their thoughts on The Frog.
Joseph Brooks, the winner of the lightweight class began competing in Strongman competitions only two years ago. A good friend and former Rugby teammate invited him to dead-lift his Saturn! Afterwards, Joseph became hooked on the sport and went on to compete in the 2015 USS Nationals. Joseph describes the Strongman as multi-faceted placing demands on athletes which require sufficient levels of speed, stamina, and in some cases agility in order to excel in their class. He says, “If you’re a person who likes variety in your training while still prioritizing strength, Strongman is the lifting sport for you. It is less one-dimensional and cut and dry than power-lifting or weightlifting, and that is the appeal in competing in or spectating a Strongman contest.” This Strongman competition marked Joseph’s second year competing in this event. He took 3rd place last year. This year, he then secured a first place victory competing against a former champion of the 220 class. He also competed against several national Strongman competitors, and last years champion. Congratulations Joseph!
When ask his opinion of THE FROG Joseph said, “The Frog is a curious piece of equipment. Equal parts ab wheel and exercise in mobility, it appears to be an interesting tool that promotes abdominal stability and coordinated movement of the upper and lower body simultaneously. It is not a common fixture in strongman events, but what I noticed about the equipment was that it exposed lots of general mobility and abdominal weaknesses in the athletes who were competing. As a piece of equipment, I acknowledge that it is a good way to test out one’s ability to stabilize and utilize the abs while performing simultaneous movements with the upper and lower body.”
Sarah Lanzillo, this year’s heavyweight Champion, spent some time on the FROG before the big event. While in the military her hobbies were basketball and weightlifting. She refers to herself as a “gym rat”! Sarah heard about the Tampa Bay Strongman Challenge in 2015 and signed up immediately. She then took 4th place in her first ever competition! Every Monday Sarah is at Elliot’s Open Gym at Strength Camp Gym in St. Petersburg. She trains under Elliott Hulse. One day he asked her what she planned on doing with her training? She explained that she was looking at Power-lifting and Strongman competitions. He agreed right away to sponsor her for Strongman. Since then, Sarah has dedicated herself to training with the best in the sport, absorbing knowledge from those more experienced than herself. In June, Sarah took first in a Strongman competition. With her Tampa Bay Strongman Classic placement, she has achieved her second championship in a matter of only a few months. She plans to finish out the year participating in at least two more upcoming events. Congratulations Sarah!
After winning her latest championship Sarah had this to say about the FROG, “After Joel showed me how to properly use the implement it became more of a hip exercise for me. In my mind I wanted to keep my back parallel with the ground, tuck my legs under me, and explode from the hips. It was more than just a core workout it was a whole body workout. I truly believe I won that event because of the training with Joel!”
Everyone at Frog Fitness appreciates this opportunity. We could not ask for better endorsements! We know that the FROG is capable of assisting athletes at every level in every sport. It means so much to hear it straight from the athletes themselves!
After the event Donnie shared, “The Frog was mocked, ridiculed, and, most of all, FEARED by the 70 competitors at the Roman & Roman Tampa Bay Strongman Classic at first. Few, if any, had a chance to train on this new implement, so they were showing up blind to the competition. In the end, a newfound respect was earned for the Frog by many athletes, as it exposed weaknesses that have not yet been addressed and even excelled some of the well rounded athletes to a well earned victory.”
Frog Fitness would like to congratulate all the winners and competitors of the Tampa Bay Strongman Classic 2016.
The winners of this years event:
- HW – Kiel Digganaro
- MW – Joseph Hernandez
- LW – Joseph Brooks
- Masters – Chris McMath
- Novice – Michael Hernandez
- HW Women – Sarah Lanzillo
- LW Women – Shamaira Fitzgerald
For a list of all competitors visit this link.
Looking forward to many more events in the future!
We started to get worried as we heard that many of the title sponsors were backing out of the event due to inclimate weather. The Houston area had been flooding off and on for the past few weeks so nobody really knew what the turnout would be for this first time event called The American Fit Expo.
We pulled our rig in and began to set up in a small ballroom that hosted a prom the last time we were there for The Ironman event, so again we aeren’t really sure if we would get our money’s taking a chance as a title sponsor for the AFE.
We were situated near two of the biggest names in the industry, Kali Muscle and CT Fletcher and we had another big name right in the center of our booth, our spokesman Mike O’hearn with his sidekick Stryker, so the table was set once the doors finally opened Saturday morning at 10 AM with the sun shining none the less.
The crowd started to pour and we began to notice right away that this event would be different than others. You see…the internet was already buzzing with “The Frog” and people were VERY curious to try it instead of walking right past not knowing what the hell it was.
With a viral video that had received over 1M hits in less than 48 hours of a young man completing “The Jadeveon Challenge” (100 yards non stop on The Frog) people were actually really excited to come by and see this thing in person, however many were still intimidated to try it.
As per usual, I was on the microphone challenging people to come in and give it a try. I had every type of person you could imagine tentatively come in and see what the excitement was all about. There was a blind girl who was a paralympian in Judo, a 6’7’ basketball player, parkour practitioners, fitness models, moms, grandpas, entire families, Ninja warrior competitors and of course a bunch of bodybuilders and fitness models… and here is the exciting part…
EVERY SINGLE PERSON LOVED IT!!! If you need proof, watch any of the two dozen or so exciting and funny video testimonials.
If that wasn’t enough, the human leapfrog himself, Cade Cowdin (former D1 linebacker, gym owner and Frog team member) did one of his jumping exhibitions, which even stopped the great CT Fletcher form his flurry of activity, to give Cade a thumbs up as he stood atop a 75” platform after jumping on it in front of a frenzied crowd of onlookers.
As things began to settle late Sunday afternoon, the promoters of the event approached myself and Rich and thanked us for taking a chance on this first time show. “You guys were the first to step up, you had THE MOST exciting booth in the whole show and we would love nothing more than to have you back because EVERYONE is talking about The Frog. We really do think you guys have The Next Big Thing In Fitness” were the marketing director’s words.
When my partner, CEO/Inventor of The Frog signed to be one of the title sponsors of the 2016 North American Ironman Championships I was honestly a bit concerned as to how these “elite” athletes and their coaches would respond to our product.
Don’t get me wrong, I know The Frog kicks everyone’s ass that dares get on it, but these are some of the most conditioned athletes in the entire world. These athletes run a full marathon (26.2 miles) bike 112 miles and swim 2.4 miles….that’s conditioning and I was a little concerned as to how the product we love so much would resonate with this elite group of cardio freaks.
As one would expect many of these competitors were a bit weary to try anything that may cause pain or soreness before such an important qualifying event so we then looked to their coaches for validation of The Frog.
The “Coaches Challenge” was issued as Richard and I addressed the athletes from the platform. We asked questions to the coaches and competitors like
“If you had a fitness product that would give you a competitive advantage would you use it”?
“How do you do a dry swim”
“Is a strong core important to your specific sport”?
The energy went fro “what the hell is The Frog”? To, “I need to at least pass by the booth and see it in action”
As a part of the coach’s challenge we offered a 500.00 prize to whoever won a race…Yes, you can race on The Frog! The coaches lined up, took off, got a fantastic workout…dismounted with a smile and said…..
“My athletes will be training on this thing from now on”!
“I can’t believe how hard I’m breathing after such a short workout”!
“I thought this thing was a joke, but I was way wrong”.
BAM! The validation and acceptance we were looking for happened as a result of knowledgeable, fit, passionate people actually stepping up and trying it and not “judging” it while it sat there doing nothing.
The bottom line is when an athlete, regardless of their physical dominance in their given sport, challenges their body in a way not common to their current protocol…they get stronger, more efficient, cardiovascular conditioning and so much more, especially if it’s The Frog were speaking of.
A proving ground is all any up and coming product needs. A place for the real world to determine whether or not said product deserves any consideration from the demographic you are going after. Well, so far, EVERY proving ground we have delivered The Frog to it has risen to the challenge and that challenge is challenging some of the most fit people on the planet. Let the keyboard warriors say what they will, but we are getting from behind our computers and taking this product anywhere, anytime that anyone wants to put it to the test.
Our only question now is…who will be next and will anyone ever get off it after a few short minutes and say anything other than…”shit, that thing just kicked my ass”!
Could that person be you? Only one way to find out….You feeling Froggy? If so, LEAP!
Frog Fitness has an unsubstantial passion to take the elite athlete to the next level. We were given an opportunity to train with the Tampa Bay Storm arena football team after their light day of practice. The first person to hop on The Frog was Leigh Baker, Head Athletic Trainer. He finished twenty yards gassed but with a believer grin.
Brandon Lang, The Football Operations Coordinator for the Storm, would send players over one by one as they received a personal training session developed and coached by Joel C Metzger. After less than three minutes on The Frog the players were dripping with sweat and smiling with excitement. They instantly understood the effectiveness of the position and motion The Frog offers. Shortly after their session they were already creatively using The Frog, adapting it to their personal workouts.
Every player walked away from their session with a full body pump as well as an excited and motivated outlook on adding The Frog to their training program. Approaching four hours on the practice field appetites where increasing. Understanding how taxing The Frog is to the body and how important fueling the body is for an athlete Frog Fitness catered a post practice meal geared towards replenishing the muscles. PDQ, People Dedicated to Quality brought a feast that would disappear in minutes but perfect for an athlete’s appetite. The Frog Fitness team was extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the Storm. They would like to thank Derrick Brooks and the staff of the Tampa Bay Storm for Hoping on The Frog.