Meet Mako's Trainers & STAFF

At Mako Athletics, our coaches make your training worthwhile. They are experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated to all our members. Whatever your goals are, our team can help you achieve them -- one workout at a time.

Coach Brandon

Owner & Head Trainer/Programmer

Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3); Primal Health Coach; CrossFit Kids; CrossFit Competitors

Coach Brandon

How long ago you joined the Mako Team and why?

I began with Mako when the doors first opened in 2013. As the Head Coach I have had the great opportunity to work with some really awesome coaches throughout the years. The Team has never been stronger than it is now.

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?

In High school, I played football and I wrestled. I joined the first CF gym in 2008 while riding my bike past a small garage in my home town. One workout was all it took. I did everything from that movement to make CrossFit a priority in my life.

What do you like to do outside of the gym? Hobbies?

I play the guitar, spike ball, corn hole. And really anything else that gets me out on the beach.

What should members expect from your classes?

Professionalism, passion, and compassion. The same they can expect from any coaches class at Mako.

What would you say to somebody that is thinking about joining the gym? Or somebody without CrossFit experience that would like to try it out?

It’s never easy to start anything that’s worth it. Our gym, our staff ,and our community are ready to welcome you on your fitness journey no matter where your starting from.

Anything additional you want to add?

To be successful at Mako you only need to have two thing in common with everyone else- the willingness to work hard, and have a good time.

Coach Brandon

Owner & Head Trainer/Programmer

Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3); Primal Health Coach; CrossFit Kids; CrossFit Competitors

Coach Brandon

How long ago you joined the Mako Team and why?

I began with Mako when the doors first opened in 2013. As the Head Coach I have had the great opportunity to work with some really awesome coaches throughout the years. The Team has never been stronger than it is now.

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?

In High school, I played football and I wrestled. I joined the first CF gym in 2008 while riding my bike past a small garage in my home town. One workout was all it took. I did everything from that movement to make CrossFit a priority in my life.

What do you like to do outside of the gym? Hobbies?

I play the guitar, spike ball, corn hole. And really anything else that gets me out on the beach.

What should members expect from your classes?

Professionalism, passion, and compassion. The same they can expect from any coaches class at Mako.

What would you say to somebody that is thinking about joining the gym? Or somebody without CrossFit experience that would like to try it out?

It’s never easy to start anything that’s worth it. Our gym, our staff ,and our community are ready to welcome you on your fitness journey no matter where your starting from.

Anything additional you want to add?

To be successful at Mako you only need to have two thing in common with everyone else- the willingness to work hard, and have a good time.

Coach Kyle

General Manager

CrossFit Level 2 Certificate (CF-L2)

Coach Kyle

How long ago you joined the Mako Team and why?
I joined Mako in 2013. I was bored with the normal gym routine and wanted to make working out fun again. Walked into Mako seeing EZ doing MU’s and thought to myself…This is awesome! Where do I sign up!!!

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?
I played soccer on a travel team and some in college. I still play in a friendly league. I saw Coach Nik hitting some CrossFit workouts at the UWF gym and asked if I could join him. We’ve been hitting workouts ever since!

What do you like to do outside of the gym? Hobbies?
Still like to play soccer. Hobbies, anything outdoors. Always down for an adventure!

What should members expect from your classes?
Hit a killer warm-up and then a fun workout! Have you leaving feeling better than when you came in!

What would you say to somebody that is thinking about joining the gym? Or somebody without CrossFit experience that would like to try it out?
The hardest part is walking in the door for the first time. Come in to see a class, meet our athletes and coaches and you will see our passion is making people healthier and happier!

Anything additional you want to add?

Come visit us today to see how we make fitness the best hour of your day!

Coach Carlos

Social Media Manager

CrossFit Level 1 Certificate (CF-L1)

 

Coach Carlos

How long ago you joined the Mako Team and why?

I joined the team in the summer of 2017- a little over 3 years ago. The reason why I began coaching is because the people that coached me when I was a member at Mako made a huge impact in my life; they helped me become healthier, fitter, and happier. I wanted to change people’s lives too like they did to me!

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?

I played 4 years of NCAA Collegiate Golf at the University of West Florida- GO ARGOS! Growing up I played a lot of Soccer (fútbol) and Tennis; however, Golf was my #1 sport. I was a member of the Venezuelan National Team since I was 15 years old and traveled to 6 different countries representing Venezuela.

After I was done with College Golf, I still needed something to keep me competitive and active- that’s when I found CrossFit. One of my best friends (thanks @sixtov9!) told me to go with him to a 6:00am Class at Mako and never looked back!

What do you like to do outside of the gym? Hobbies?

I like listening to Music, spending time with @carlabiglione and our dogs, hanging out with friends, and getting creative with a Camera!

What should members expect from your classes?

Members should expect to have the best hour of their day from my classes. Or at least, that’s my goal every time I step on the floor. I try to keep it fun, dynamic, and challenging. Also, you should expect a litty playlist playing while I am coaching!

What would you say to somebody that is thinking about joining the gym? Or somebody without CrossFit experience that would like to try it out?

It’s a life changing experience. You’re going to meet a lot of likeminded people with similar goals than you. It’s fun and different! The hardest part is to get started- then you will be on a journey that will improve your health and life forever!

You do not have to be athletic, young, or active to start CrossFit. Everybody starts from somewhere! That’s the cool part about it- it’s an activity that everyone can enjoy!

Coach Ashley

Operations Manager

CrossFit Level 1 Certificate (CF-L1); USAW-L1; Crossfit Mobility; Precision Nutrition Coach

Coach Ashley

How long ago you joined the Mako Team and why?
I joined the Mako team a year and a half ago after I moved here from North Carolina. I chose Mako from a handful of other gyms in the area after some questionable experiences elsewhere. In NC I coached full time, and after moving here I was having trouble finding a gym that I felt would help me grow as a professional. After researching Mako on social media I decided to drop in. That experience allowed me to see the Mako difference and I knew I had found the right place for me. I currently commute an hour one way to work at Mako (it’s that worth it), but will soon be moving closer!

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?
After playing soccer in college, I found myself with a huge hole in my life. A friend I worked with introduced me to CrossFit & I’ve been hooked ever since.

What do you like to do outside of the gym?
Outside of the gym I enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, and just being outside in general. This year I hope to fill my first Elk tag in Montana!

What should members expect from your classes?
Members should expect attention to detail and a sense of community when attending my class. I do my best to make everyone feel comfortable while conducting a punctual and professional class

What would you say to someone that is thinking about joining the gym or somebody without CrossFit experience?

I always try to tell people CrossFit is for everyone. I’ve trained clients from 5 to 75 years old. CrossFit takes the decision to become healthier and turns it into a sense of community and belonging to something greater than yourself.

Coach Aaron

Head Olympic Lifting Coach

CrossFit Level 2 Certificate (CF-L2)

Coach Aaron

How long ago you joined the Mako Team and why?

I joined the team at Mako a little over 2 months ago to start the Barbell Club. Having been a part of the community since the doors opened 7 years ago, I wanted to play a bigger role in the continued development of the gym's culture.

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?

I grew up living and breathing soccer and hockey. After high school, I played 4 years of NCAA D1 soccer at Xavier and Wright State University. After college, I played 3 years professional in the USL with the Cincinnati Kings.

I found CrossFit right after graduating from high school and used it as my main strength and conditioning program in my off-seasons. After ending my professional career, I started training full-time. During that time, I developed a love for the sport of weightlifting, and for the last 4 years, I have been training primarily as a weightlifter. After my first year of competing, I started to coach.

What do you like to do outside of the gym? Hobbies?

When I’m not in the gym coaching or training, I love to cook, listen to music, play the guitar, and spend time with my loved ones and friends.

What should members expect from your classes?

Anyone who works with me should expect to be challenged. I hope is that everyone leaves feeling like a stronger and more well-rounded athlete. I create an environment that supports and holds people accountable to their personal goals.

What would you say to somebody that is thinking about joining the gym? Or somebody without CrossFit experience that would like to try it out?

For anyone who is considering joining the gym, I’d tell you that it is 100% the best investment that you can ever make in yourself.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone other than yourself. It can be very intimidating the first time you walk into a gym, but just know that everyone here, including the best athletes, started in your same shoes at one point.

CrossFit and Weightlifting are both sports that anyone, at any age, and any skill level can do.

Coach Ginger

Personal Trainer 

ACE Certified Personal Trainer
CF-L1
CF Kids
Precision Nutrition Level 1

Coach Ginger

How long ago did you join the Mako Team and why?

About 1 month ago. I was Looking for new coaching opportunities and Mako has always had a great reputation in this area. I knew the community, coaches and members were going to be awesome!

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?

I started playing basketball when I was 7 and played all throughout high school. I ran track and cross country as well. After high school I got into the gym doing typical body building style workouts. One of my friends suggested I try CrossFit. I went to one class and was hooked! The friendly competition and community kept me coming back.

What do you like to do outside of the gym? Hobbies?

I spend most weekends on a boat, either fishing or just enjoying the beach with family and friends. When it’s not boating weather I like to hunt, spend time cooking good food, participate in local races like the Double Bridge Run, and just enjoy spending time with family and friends!

What should members expect from your classes?

A positive attitude and bumpin music.

What would you say to somebody that is thinking about joining the gym?

Or somebody without CrossFit experience that would like to try it out? Just walk in the door and try it. The community and coaching will speak for itself and it will be the best investment in your health you could ever make!

Coach Kim

CrossFit Level 1 Certificate (CF-L1)

Coach Kim

How long ago you joined the Mako Team and why?
About 1.5 years ago because I love sharing the gift of fitness.

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?
I played NCAA Division II soccer at UWF. After soccer, I needed an outlet and a couple of my former teammates convinced me to try out a month because I would get $100 off using the refer a friend program and I couldn’t stop.

What do you like to do outside of the gym? Hobbies?
I like to spend time with my dogs, go biking at the UWF trails, and eat unlimited sushi.

What should members expect from your classes?
Attention to detail and serious gainz

What would you say to somebody that is thinking about joining the gym? Or somebody without CrossFit experience that would like to try it out?
It was a little intimidating at first, but there's no replacement for the confidence that I’ve gained from getting stronger and learning new skills. It helped me to excel, not only athletically, but personally and professionally, while also providing me with a huge support system of like-minded people.

Additional comments:
Come get a gnarly pump w/Coach Debbie

Coach Nate

CrossFit Level 1 Certificate (CF-L1)

Coach Nate

How long ago did you join the mako team and why?

I joined the team about a month ago. I joined to give back what I was given when I first started CrossFit and to help people achieve their goals.

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?

I don’t really have an athletic background other than basketball pick-up games and spending 6 days a week in the gym but the daily gym routine is what turned me to CrossFit. I watched the 2015 games and loved the combination of gymnastics and weightlifting plus the competitiveness behind it. So about 3 1/2 years ago I heard about mako and did a drop-in class and I fell in love with it.

What do you like to do outside of the gym?

When I’m not at the gym or working I like to do home projects play basketball bike ride and most of all spend time with my wife and son

What should members expect from your classes?

Anyone taking my class should expect to be pushed and encouraged towards their fitness goals and to feel comfortable to ask for any help or advice about the class. I want them to leave the class feeling like the are one step closer toward their goals

What would you say to someone that is thinking about joining the gym or somebody without CrossFit experience?

I would tell them that mako has the best coaching around and they will not find a better community of people. To those who have no experience, I would say that CrossFit is for everyone! It doesn’t matter what your background and it’s never too late to start your fitness journey.

Coach Wes

CrossFit Level 1 Certificate (CF-L1)

Coach Wes

How long ago you joined the Mako Team and why?

I joined the team in February of 2020 and I joined because I’ve always considered Brandon (and Mako Athletics) one of the best coaches in the area to learn from and I wanted to be on the best team in Pensacola.

What’s your athletic background and how did you get started in CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in 2016 as a change of pace from normal Globo-gym lifting. Before that and growing up, I played pretty much any recreational sport that I could.

What do you like to do outside of the gym? Hobbies?

I enjoy playing sports, playing music, anything on the water, and video games

What should members expect from your classes?

I always try to be energetic, encouraging, and consistent for everyone that takes my classes. I’m always available for any questions you may have about CrossFit or anything else fitness-related and if I don’t know the answers, I will find out for you.

What would you say to somebody that is thinking about joining the gym? Or somebody without CrossFit experience that would like to try it out?

Give it a shot. We’re here to make fitness accessible to all. You’ll most likely discover you’re physically capable of a lot more than you ever thought.