This City Could Be America’s New Fitness Capital (w/Justin Cotler)

Today we’re talking to Justin Cotler, a longtime CrossFit coach and affiliate owner who works with top athletes like Fittest American Woman and CrossFit Games podium finisher Kari Pearce. Justin joins me to talk about building a new destination for functional fitness athletes in Las Vegas, the ins and outs of coaching CrossFit Games athletes, how COVID impacted gym ownership in America, and much more. Even if you don’t follow competitive CrossFit closely, Justin gives some great insight into the coach’s mindset and how to get the most out of your training, so stick around.

Before we get into that, I want to give a quick shoutout to today’s episode sponsor, Athletic Greens. I first tried Athletic Greens back in 2012. It was already a massively popular daily supplement, and since then, they’ve undergone dozens of formulation tweaks, each an improvement on the last. It’s the rare all-in-one greens supplement that’s NSF-certified — a must for competitive athletes — and also tastes delicious (I’m probably a bit biased because I love the subtle notes of pineapple and vanilla). Interested in trying it? Visit Athletic Greens to get a free gift with your purchase. 

Justin Cotler BarBend Podcast

Learn more about our sponsor and try Athletic Greens for yourself! (We may receive commissions on items purchased through links on this page.)

On this episode of The BarBend Podcast, host David Thomas Tao talks to Justin Cotler about:

  • Moving his family and life across the country due to the pandemic — and owning a New York City-based gym remotely (02:30)
  • Asking Kari Pearce to move her base of training — and why Las Vegas is so good for elite athletes (07:00)
  • “When you come to Vegas, it’s really absolutely incredible for training” (11:00)
  • Why Justin wants to build more than just a new gym (14:29)
  • The training cycle for elite CrossFit athletes in a given season (21:15)
  • The mental fortitude needed to train with your competitors (24:30)
  • How could Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr actually lose this year’s CrossFit Games? (28:00)
  • Could Emma Cary be CrossFit’s next big thing? (29:00)

Relevant links and further reading:

 

Transcription

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

Tia right now is on a level that no one in the sport has ever reached before.

David TaoDavid Tao

Would you say that at a level higher than Mat was?

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

I was just about to say that, yes, I do. I think she’s even better.

David TaoDavid Tao

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast,” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host, David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by barbend.com.

 

Today, I’m talking to Justin Cotler, a long time CrossFit coach and Affiliate Owner who works with top athletes like Fittest American Woman and CrossFit Games Podium finisher Kari Pearce.

 

Justin joins me to talk about building a new destination for functional fitness athletes in Las Vegas, the ins and outs of coaching CrossFit Games athletes, how COVID impacted gym ownership in America and much more.

 

Even if you don’t follow competitive CrossFit very closely, Justin gives some great insight to the coaches’ mindset and how to get the most out of your training. So stick around.

 

Before we get to that, I want to give a quick shout out to today’s episode sponsor, Athletic Greens. I first tried Athletic Greens way back in 2012, it was already a massively popular daily supplement. Since then, they’ve undergone dozens of formulation tweaks each an improvement on the last.

 

It’s the rare all-in-one green supplement that’s NSF certified a must for competitive athletes and also tastes delicious. Interested in trying it? Visit athleticgreens.com/barbend to get a free gift with your purchase. Now on to the show.

 

Justin, thanks so much for joining us. It’s funny I felt bad that we haven’t had you on the podcast before because we go…Way back you’ve written for BarBend and now everyone has to hear us just talk for a half hour so sorry to in advance to the listeners now. Absolutely kidding. Thanks for joining man. How you feeling?

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

It’s my pleasure, good man, doing well. It’s an honor to be on. I was it was funny man. I was looking back last night I looked online and I saw one of the old interviews that we did together back in 2016 with me, you and Ian. Talking about super team dynamics and grid and all that stuff. Yeah, it is it’s we’ve been hanging for a while and we’ve been talking for a while so for sure, good to be back on.

David TaoDavid Tao

You’ve been in the space for a while. For a while, you were synonymous with the CrossFit community in New York City. Now you’re out in Las Vegas. You’ve taken your talents elsewhere, as they say.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

[laughs] It’s been a crazy year, man. I’ll be honest with you. It wasn’t a planned change prior to COVID. Obviously been at Dynamix a long time. We still own Dynamix. With everything that happened in New York and the shutdown, and with now our two kids and stuff, one thing led to another. We ended up looking at each other and saying, “OK, what’s going to be best for our family?”

 

Ultimately, we had some connections here in Vegas. I came out here, looked at some places. It worked out. Now it’s crazy, because it’s like the snowball started down the mountain. Now it’s been wild, everything that’s happened with all the athletes coming here and Underdogs Athletics getting going.

 

It’s been pretty amazing. I feel it’s happened pretty organically. I love it. I’m along for the ride. It’s pretty cool.

David TaoDavid Tao

I want to talk about what you’re building in Vegas in a second. First, a lot of folks know you as a coach of elite athletes, but you’re also a gym owner. This is not a new ballgame for you. You’ve been in that space for a long time. You’re still own CrossFit Dynamix, which is in Queens, New York, but you’re owning it from a distance.

 

That’s not something you hear about. You oftentimes hear about gym owners that either live right above their facilities, right next to their facilities, heck, sometimes in their facilities.

 

What is it like owning and running that business remotely? It’s got to be tough enough normally. In the time of COVID, I’m sure there are additional complications. How do you set that up?

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

I will say this. We have an amazing team. It would not be possible without our team there. We’re a bit lucky in the sense that obviously we’ve been around for a while. It’s a 10-year-old affiliate. The community is pretty entrenched. Listen, COVID — it’s been brutal on all of us. For gym owners, it’s crazy.

 

We were able to figure out a business model that is working, or I should say surviving. That’s what gym owners are doing right now is surviving. New York, it’s getting better like other places in the United States, but we’re still at what 33 percent or 50 percent.

 

The issue with Dynamix is square footage. We’ve got the six-foot rule. As long as we have the six-foot rule, it’s hard for us to get people in.

 

As far as being here and owning remotely like I said, I wouldn’t be able to do it without my GM, my head coach who have been with me for years and years and are my eyes and ears there. We talk all the time and get a bead on what’s going on there and we do community town halls with the members to make sure we’re staying on track as far as what they’re looking for.

 

Now that things are getting better and there’s no longer travel restrictions, I’ll be able to go back and forth a little bit more. It’s not ideal, but obviously it’s doable and it wouldn’t be doable without the amazing people I have there and the amazing community.

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s talk about the Las Vegas move here, because it’s more than just…I promise the listeners, this isn’t me talking to an old friend about why he moved across the country. There’s a fitness component there. You initially moved to Las Vegas. I know Kari Pearce, one of your athletes. Third fittest woman on earth made the trip out there. That was, I think late 2020 was that correct?

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

 

July.

David TaoDavid Tao

Mid 2020, middle of the pandemic pre-CrossFit Games last year. Now it seems like you’re building a new, you said it happened organically, but it’s a new center for elite athletes out there.

 

Tell us about how it went from you and your family and obviously Kari relocating out there to suddenly we’re seeing Las Vegas as this destination for elite CrossFit Games athletes in less than a year. Walk us through that.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

It’s wild. When we made the decision to come out here, we sat down with Kari, my wife and I sat down with Kari. We said, “Hey, listen, this is what we’re planning on doing. We’d love for you to come with us. I know that’s a big ask obviously.”

 

Literally within 24 hours Kari was like, “OK, I’m good. Let’s go.” Kari came out with us and when we got here, it was obviously established living in a new house.

 

We’re trying to figure out where we’re going to train because we don’t have a facility out here, and I was able to speak with the owner of CrossFit Culmination. They’ve been unbelievable. It was about getting Kari prepared for the games when we first got out here and her training partner at the time was another one of my athletes.

 

He won the masters qualifier 35 to 39 Ryan Elrod last year. Ryan helped us immensely getting, because he’s been in Vegas for a little while.

 

He and his wife are Cirque du Soleil performers. We had some connections, but when it all started to snowball was when we decided to go to Sacramento for the first stage of the CrossFit Games, stage one. Kari’s manager, Cooper Marsh from Lab Management. He had an idea, let’s do stage one to sea level, because obviously, Vegas is 2,500 feet.

 

Kari spoke to Margaux Alvarez and she said, “Yes, if I were you, even if it helps you five seconds, I’ve lived in Vegas a long time and whenever I go anywhere else, I feel great.”

 

We decided that was what we were going to do. We put it together that Kari, Bethany Shadburne and Danielle Brandon, we’re all going to be able to do the workouts together. Now, obviously they weren’t able to do them together together. They had to do them successively, but to be able to feed off of each other.

 

We went out there and obviously Kari did extremely well, and made it to the second stage. I think that Danielle and Bethany were impressed with the process, and the relationship that Kari and I have. Right after that was over, they were like, “Listen, we want to come out to Vegas. We want to help Kari prepare for stage two, but we also want to talk to you a little bit about the possibility of working with you in the future.”

 

Long story short, they came out here, obviously Kari did extremely well stage two, and we had some further conversations and they were like, “Listen, we love what you do, we want to be around it. We want to move to Vegas.”

 

It was like, “OK, that sounds awesome.” Then it was like, OK, they’re coming.

 

Matt Dlugos, one of my athletes I’ve been coaching for a while, he set the world record on test three of the quarterfinals, young kid, 23 years old, I think has Brent-Fikowski-like talent, and I say Brent Fikowski because he’s 6’4″. Nicolas Bidarte, he won South America, he decided to come and then Tola Morakinyo.

 

The buzz started and you know how that is, when things start to happen and people start to hear things and now we’ve got people from all over the world that are inquiring and interested, and then the idea of creating something like a fit hub, essentially, which is obviously the trend that’s going on now, we’ve seen it in Tennessee and we see it in Boston, and why not Vegas?

 

People think Vegas, they think the strip, but when you come to Vegas, it’s really absolutely incredible for training. You’ve got Red Rock Canyon, you’ve got Mount Charleston. It’s beautiful year around. You can train outside, it’s at elevation. Within 40 minutes, you can be at 8,000 feet for trail runs and mountain biking, cost of living is great. It lends itself to a year-round, high-level training center.

 

It also lends itself to elite athletes to be able to come and train, especially in this space. It’s still a niche sport, it’s not paying like the NFL or the NBA. The athletes do have to be extremely conscious about that. I got to tell you, it’s been awesome.

 

It’s all happened in such a short period of time and now with starting Underdogs Athletics in the online program, which I’ve been thinking about forever, and then finally decided it’s time. It’s great, man.

 

The next step will be a facility. I’ve been in close talks with Tommy Hackenbruck and Zach Forest. I think the three of us are going to partner up and put something special together here. Now it’s just finding the facility and getting that straightened out.

David TaoDavid Tao

We’ll get back to the conversation in just a moment. First, a quick shout out to our episode sponsor, Athletic Greens. Athletic Greens is the daily all-in-one supplement with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, adaptogens, and more to help your body perform at the highest level.

 

It mixes easily, tastes delicious, and is a personal favorite way for me to start the day, and yes, I am actually a repeat customer. Visit athleticgreens.com/barbendtoday to check it out. Now back to the conversation.

 

That was my next question. Because when you first came out there, you were working with the team at CrossFit Culmination and you were basically like, “Hey, I have this one incredibly elite athlete, can we carve out some space and time for her to train and do what she needs to do to prep for the Games?” Now suddenly, you got a lot more than one.

 

It takes room to train athletes at this high level because every week…different modalities, there’s a lot going on. As you’re planning out this space potentially was Zach and Tommy who are two OG names in the CrossFit space. You go back to 2009 seeing those guys competing, maybe even before that.

 

What are your thoughts on this space? It’s going to be a gym that is open to the public, or is this going to be dedicated to your high-level athletes or to athletes maybe visiting Vegas for training blocks?

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

Sure. It’s definitely going to be open to the public, without question. We do want to open a community gym. At the same time, we want it to be an elite training center, for sure. It’s going to be essentially home to our CrossFit affiliate. It’s also going to be home to Underdogs Athletics as well.

 

We’re really interested in bringing athlete camps, seminars, being a destination spot for drop-ins, that type of thing. Obviously it’s going to be a special facility, but we’ve got to find the right space and that’s the big thing right now because we want to have a space that has the square footage to be able to handle that type of capacity and all of the specialty stuff that we want to do.

 

We’d love to be able to hold powerlifting comps and Tommy, he’s really interested in that. We want to do some things that haven’t been seen here before. I feel like Vegas is an untapped market for that. There’s a lot of gyms, but I feel like what we can create can be special. That’s the goal.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

Vegas has long been known as a Mecca of bodybuilding, because you have so many high-level bodybuilding competitions that are centered out there, although a lot of that changed during COVID. There’s a lot of movement. As things get back to normal, Vegas is where a lot of high-level bodybuilders relocate.

 

There have been big powerlifting meets out there. There have been a lot of very large weightlifting meets out there. In our minds, we don’t necessarily associate it with CrossFit just yet, so it’s interesting to see that you’re building that facility. It can also cater to other strength sports.

 

When you’re thinking about outfitting a facility like this, you talked about, you need to have a setup to where you can have powerlifting meets, things like that. At the highest level of CrossFit, there’s a lot of equipment, and weird devices and rigs and all sorts of stuff you need.

 

What are some of the considerations that you’ve been thinking of? Because it’s not enough to have just the pull up rig, you have to have the pegboard. You have to have places to do tire flips, things like that. Take me through that process as far as, do you have a checklist of equipment and outfitting it?

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

Yeah, we do. We have a list put together. One of the keys for us, and what we’re looking to do is to partner with an equipment company, essentially almost be like a showroom out here in Vegas, which would be great, which would help us be without fit for the facility.

 

Like you said, when you’re talking about the games, we’ve seen all of these very interesting apparatus come out, the worm and the pig, and the this and the that. We’re dealing right now, I should say, we’re dealing mostly with individual athletes, but you know me, I love teams too. [laughs] That’s a whole separate list of equipment. There’s a lot of stuff.

 

The facility that we would be looking at is something that they could handle that type of equipment list. It’s definitely going to be on the bigger side. It’s something special. We’re being very diligent, and we’re being very picky about what we want. It’s not just like, “Oh, that’s great, let’s just go there.” No. We’re deciding very meticulously where we want to go.

 

What I also think is really cool now is you got the West Coast Classic, they just moved to Vegas. Now, we are seeing that super high-level CrossFit competition come here and just being able to piggyback off that. We’re looking for the Fall to be able to open.

 

I think there’s a lot of great things going on and it just seems to, like I said, keep rolling. I go along for the ride. It’s great.

David TaoDavid Tao

That’d be nice for athletes to feel like to have a home-field advantage which is very rare at this sport.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

Yes. You’re right. We’ve discussed it, which is why the majority of our athletes are staying here. The only athlete…Nicholas has to go home, his visa’s running out. He has to go home to Argentina. Unfortunately that semifinal is virtual because of what’s going on in Brazil. It’s pretty scary with COVID right now.

 

I have another athlete, she’ll be in Granite Games. Her goal this year was just to make quarter. The fact that she made it to semis is unbelievable. She’s a converted weightlifter and it’s her first year doing competitive CrossFit, Emily Nussbaum’s her name. She finished 78th in the world in quarters. That’s pretty awesome.

David TaoDavid Tao

There are a few of those who have done pretty well. We can go into detail on converted weightlifters.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

Everybody else…We had a discussion, I said, “Listen, there’s nothing like waking up in your own bed, there’s nothing like you guys are acclimated to the elevation, you’re acclimated to the dry air. It’s a situation where it is absolutely a home-field advantage and we have to take advantage of that.”

 

That’s a great point that you bring up. Yes, that’s definitely been addressed. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

You think of everything. The nuance is very big with what you do. Let’s talk about training programs for your athletes and what your lead athletes are actually doing. They are training together, they’re living in close proximity. Pretty soon they’re going to have a home-based facility which is very exciting.

 

Are all of your athletes doing similar kind of programming? What kind of level of individualization are they doing?

 

I see on social, Bethany and Kari and any other, they’re working out together. There’s some overlap clearly in their programming. I’m curious how much.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

Sure. The biggest thing was, depending on where we’re at in the season. When they first got here we did about three months. That was right around the end of the year, right around the end of 2020, the beginning of 2021. Everyone was extremely individualized doing pretty different things and focusing a lot on weaknesses, a lot of weakness training.

 

Then as the season has ramped up, once we got through the open, things started to look a little bit more similar through quarters. Now for semis in games, the programming becomes so different at that level. You’re starting to get heavier weight, higher skill, some of the odd object stuff.

 

That all saying like, “the hay’s in the barn,” we focus a lot on the weakness training. Now it’s just getting better at the stuff that they know that they can do. I feel the key with what we’ve done here in Vegas, is you can’t recreate the intensity of the atmosphere of those athletes training together if they were doing individualized training by themselves.

 

If they were off in the corner, doing their own thing, and then this fixture…Obviously, there’s still going to be some skill stuff that some of them have to do by themselves. Listen, Kari doesn’t need to do five million handstand push-ups. She’s unbelievable at them, where Matt Dlugos, who’s 6’4″, that’s always going to be something that he needs to do. This is an example.

 

Having the ability to be able to level up each day with each other, it’s immeasurable. That’s the advantage of them being here. That’s the advantage of living here, training here, being together. You just can’t recreate that atmosphere. Right now there’s a lot more of that going on and I’ve become more of a stickler about it.

 

When I started to see somebody doing their own conditioning, or somebody doing the MetCon by themselves, generally there will be a talk after that, I’d be like, “Listen, there’s a reason that you’re here and the reason is, to be able to get pushed and get better with everyone else. Everybody else wants that, so let’s take advantage of it.”

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s a very different situation, doing a workout on your own clock versus someone else’s time. It’s like, three, two, one, go. “You are in a lane, in a gym…” I’m doing air quotes, people can’t see me do this, but hear the air quotes.

 

“You’re in a lane, the person to the right of you, the person to the left of you, they’re doing the same workout. Even though everyone has different strengths, and even the elite athletes are at different levels and progressions, it’s a competition. Everyone wants to finish first, right?”

 

It’s like in weightlifting, hitting a PR in the gym, on your own time is a heck of a lot different than hitting it when the clock is running at a competition and you don’t get to determine when do you start. It’s vitally important.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

Yes. Phenomenal point. When you’re at this level, where these athletes are, it’s the small minutiae that makes the biggest difference. Now, listen, you see examples of people that can do it by themselves.

 

Rich did it for a while by himself before he created the Mayhem community. Fraser was on his own for a little while, but then you saw what happened when Fraser and Tia got together. You see what happens when these high-level athletes get together and start to be able to push each other.

 

It does take an immense amount of mental fortitude because ultimately, they are your competitor. There has to be an acceptance there. There has to be a little bit, letting go of the ego every day but at the same time, they want to win. Which is great, which is why it’s so special, because every day, you don’t want to see your buddy beat you. You want to win.

 

For them, every single day in the gym, the fact that there’s a competition there. It also will prepare them for being on the competition floor because when I say, three, two, one, go, it has that feel of a semi-final or of the Games.

 

Listen, I’ll tell you the honest truth. Some days in the gym, I’m like, “Oh, my God.” When I wrote that workout, I did not expect anyone to go that fast. It’s incredible to see the level of human performance on a daily level that these athletes are able to put out, David, it’s awesome.

 

I know you’ve been in this a long time, and you see some incredible things but to be able to see that on a daily basis is pretty special.

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s actually move beyond and look past your roster of athletes, which is growing and may look a heck of a lot bigger and a heck of a lot different if we were to talk a few months from now or after the 2021 season.

 

Who may be outside of your training group and of your athletes, do you think is looking really strong heading into the 2021 game season?

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

We all know Tia is Michael Jordan of the Games.

David TaoDavid Tao

She took time off and still won the CrossFit open. Come on. That’s not a normal thing.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

 

What’s scary to me is, Tia used to not be a very good open athlete. She wasn’t very good. Now, she wins everything. We’re all realistic in the sense that, Tia, right now is on a level that no one in the sport has ever reached before.

David TaoDavid Tao

Would you say, she is at a level higher than Mat was?

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

I was about to say that. Yes, I do. I think she’s even better than that. He’s the best male of all time. We can all say now that he passed Rich with winning five and now with a level of CrossFit [indecipherable 27:34] , but I think Tia is the best of all time.

 

Here’s the thing, anything can happen. It’s not likely in the sense that she’ll make a mistake, but she could. She could make a mistake in a competition. God forbid, I don’t want her to get hurt, but at the end of the day, you have to be able to finish to win.

 

That’s always a possibility so you never know what’s going to happen there. All things being equal, you’d have to have someone perform at an absolutely extraordinary level and you’d have to have Tia make mistakes for people to be Tia, if we’re being honest.

 

Aside from that man, it’s wide open. It’s absolutely awesome. I’m blown away by some of the young athletes. I’ve had my eye on Emma Cary for a long time as someone who I thought would be a successor. I was thinking even a successor to the great American CrossFit or Kari.

 

Obviously, Haley is in that mix too. There’s something about Emma that it wouldn’t surprise me if Emma was the next. She’s everything that I see, everything that I read, everything that I watch. She seems to have it all put together at 17 years old, which is wild.

 

There’s a level of maturity there that is impressive. She is great. I’m going to be curious to see — Horvath had a phenomenal quarter-final — if she can get back to the form that a couple of years ago looked like she was going to threatened Tia. That on the female side, then you’ll have your…

 

We’re not talking about, when you said outside of my roster, because my women are savages and I expect huge things from them this year.

 

On the men’s side, it’s really exciting this year. I’m super stoked about the fact that we’re going to be able to see a new champion. You’ve probably got 10 to 15 guys legitimately in the mix depending on their performance, but also depending on programming.

 

With Mat, it really didn’t matter what the programming was. There were very few things you’d be able to take advantage of that he had weaknesses in, and it seemed like if he did have a weakness the next year, he didn’t have it anymore.

 

On the male side now, there are guys…There’s nobody there who’s flawless, which makes it fun, because at any moment the points could switch depending on what the event is. It’s exciting. It’s definitely an interesting year.

David TaoDavid Tao

If you were a betting man, male podium. I’m not going to hold you to this, but throw out some guesses for that, to wrap things up as a fun exercise.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

 

Yeah. Excluding my guys?

David TaoDavid Tao

Excluding your guys. No, no, put your guys on there. You can include your guys. I got to ask, because you live in Las Vegas now, I got to ask for your bet. I got to ask for your fix here.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

Yeah, I do. I love it. On the male side, listen, all arrows point to Justin Medeiros. At a young age, a lot of maturity, extremely strong and also willing to hurt, which is huge in this. Evidenced by the trail run that we saw him, he gave Mat everything he could handle there. I know his coach and Adam Neiffer is awesome. He’s a great dude.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

We’ve had him on the podcast as well. We only have the best Elite CrossFit coach.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

 I know you do, but I love Adam and they’re doing some phenomenal work there. Noah has got be licking his chops a little bit, because Noah the last several years, it’s like a situation where you go in, and in the back of your mind, you no match there.

 

This is his opportunity. He’s also now 30, it’s one of those situations where if it’s going to happen it’s got to happen soon.

 

Beyond that, Fikowski, Vellner, I don’t know. Those guys, it’s been a little while since they’ve been out in the upper echelon. I’m curious to see if those guys can get back there, they’re extremely talented. BKG extremely talented.

 

There’s some new young guys out of Australia. Crouch who won the quarter. I’m curious to see. I hedge my bets there, like a million people. I do think you’d be a little bit crazy not to think that Justin and Noah will be in the mix.

 

Beyond that, you’re going to see it wide open. A very large amount there of other competitors that could sneak in.

David TaoDavid Tao

One thing that’s always exciting about the men’s side is, you tend to see a little bit more of a podium shift year-to-year than on the women’s side. Traditionally on the women’s side, it has been pretty consistent.

 

There were a couple of years in a row where it was the same podium, for more than one year in a row. On the men’s side, you tend to see some people drop off the podium, some people make big leaps. It’s always been a little bit more exciting on the men’s side, as far as the unpredictability, at least over the past five or six years.

 

This year without the big dog at the top, one might assume you’re going to get more of that, although, you’d be a fool not to count out anyone who made the finals last year.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

 

Absolutely.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Justin, where’s the best place for people to follow along with you, what you’re doing with Underdogs Athletics and as things develop in this new Vegas hub your building?

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

They can find me @justincotler on Instagram, and now @underdogsathletics. We’re posting a lot of content there, a lot of training content. I just released my first competitor program. We shut down registration. We’re doing a first eight-week cycle with the crew that signed up, which is great.

 

After semi’s, I believe it’s towards the end of July, we’ll open it up again for registration. That’ll be great. Right now if people come to visit Vegas, we’re still at CrossFit Culmination. They can come out and see us there, if they want to come and hang with the crew a little bit.

 

Definitely, reach out to me if you want to get to me on Instagram at either @justincotler or @underdogsathletics. I’m excited to see what happens. It’s really cool. The whole evolution of what’s been going on since we’ve been here, and I appreciate your support.

 

I love writing the op-ed pieces for BarBend. It’s been fun for me. I appreciate everything.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

The feeling is mutual. Thanks so much for joining us on the conversation today. Excited for you and what’s to come for a busy back half of 2021.

Justin CotlerJustin Cotler

 

Thanks, David.