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OUR STORY

Our personal experiences shaped how we view fitness, which is why we have a specialized approach to exercise. You are unique, and so are your goals and challenges. We strive to meet you where you are and customize the workouts to you, because we believe that YOU CAN!

Discover what other professionals are in our network and which non-profits we partner with.

THE ORIGIN OF FIRE FOR EFFECT ATHLETICS

JAMES

OWNER & HEAD COACH

Being a gym owner wasn't always the life plan. However, after exercise saved his life, James decided that he wanted to give the power of exercise and health to others in hopes that it would impact their life as much as it did his. 

James was always active as a young person. He was involved in several Varsity sports in High school, and eventually played semi-pro football for several teams around the country. While in college at Penn State, he felt a calling to join the military. He left for the Marines in 1999, and decided to go combat infantry. He's served in 6 tours overseas in areas like Iraq, as well as several other missions across the globe. After years of marching, humping (aka rucking), and daily PT, his body started to take a toll. At the age of 30, he was having a hard time standing for 5 minutes due to back pain, and needed a walking cain to get around. He had tried several medical procedures, to no avail, and the doctors were now recommending serious spinal surgery. They told him afterwards, he would "never lift heavy or play sports again". They explained that he could swim and do yoga, but that would be the limit. 

His heart was ripped out of his chest. The weight room was a second home to him for so many years, and he didn't know who he was if he couldn't be the strong Marine anymore. Before committing to surgery, he had a second opinion, who recommended a functional fitness gym. He walked in thinking that it wasn't going to do anything, but he decided to stick with it for a little while. He was in pain the first day, and the second day, but by the end of the month, he started to notice some changes. He eventually was able to walk without the cain anymore, and soon enough, he was pain free. 

From that experience, he was able to avoid the major back surgery, and dedicated his life to offering others the same outcome that he had. Not only the physical benefits were felt. He also found a new found community of people that he was excited to connect with. His struggle with depression and PTSD was helped as he connected with others who cared about him. When James planned to open a gym, he wanted to create a place for other veterans to find a new found community and support. 

Since then, he's coached several athletes to podium in state-wide and national events, trained new recruits in the military, served on CrossFit Strongman's seminar staff, and so much more. We want to work alongside medical professionals to provide the best care for clients, so that all avenues of approach are met. His greatest joy is watching someone who think's they can't, do what they never thought imaginable!

TRACEY

GENERAL MANAGER

"Active" is Tracey's middle name. She was a varsity athlete for 4 different sports in High School and then went on to compete in triathlons after college because she's always had a love for endurance sports. Then she found CrossFit when she was 23, and fell in love with the weightlifting and physical challenge. Exercise always was a part of her life, until...

...it wasn't. Soon after she turned 25, she fell 10ft during a workout and tore her ACL, fractured her femur, and destroyed half of the cartilage in her knee. It was a major injury that left her unable to walk for months. 

She chose to have ACL reconstructive surgery 2 months after the incident, and from the extensive damage done to the leg, she was unable to walk for another 3 months while healing. Physical therapy helped her get back to walking, but she wasn't able to fully exercise by the time her insurance stopped paying for PT. She found that there's a generous gap in coaching from injury to sport readiness. She wasn't willing to accept that she won't be able to lift or run again, so she started slowly back at the gym. She took time to research rehab exercises, and modified the workouts to fit her ability at the time. 

After 1.5 years, she felt like she was back to her peak sports performance, and continued to run triathlons, compete in CrossFit competitions, and lift heavy. She quickly connected with James, and shared in his vision to create a holistic gym that met people where they are at physically and mentally. She has been an integral part in creating the atmosphere and community at the gym by creating a welcoming environment where everyone is treated equally. Each person is deserving of the same amount of attention, coaching, praise, and care. 

Her work is a labor of love, and it's evident in all that she does.

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ADAM

OPERATIONAL MANAGER

Adam is where exercise meets methodology. He is a wealth of knowledge and precision. His gifts are putting the theoretical into a practical sense, both in exercise and in construction. 

He started his journey by joining the Navy at 21, and went on to serve over 4 years. He took his job seriously by aiming to be in peak physical condition by working hard in every training. They saw his dedication to detail and trained him as an aviation electronics technician working with aviation components and jet turbines. They trusted him with multimillion-dollar pieces of equipment to support the Pacific fleet and its squadrons. He found a new found sense of belonging and purpose with other veterans and took his role seriously.

 

During training, the military pushed his physical limits, and he fell during an obstacle course, causing a major injury to his knee and hip. He had ACL reconstructive surgery, but wasn't awarded any PT to recover afterwards. He took it upon himself to complete his recovery, and discovered the restorative power of exercise.

 

After the military, he worked as an elite tennis coach leading classes across the East coast. He decided to deepen his knowledge by getting his degree in Exercise Science and Kinesiology from Temple University. He quickly found a home at FFE with a shared passion of exercise and caring for people's mental and social wellbeing. 

He gives every client the utmost precision in his training and finds unique ways to connect body mechanics to everyday experiences to help people relate better to fitness. He's gone on to lead multiple clients to compete at national Strongman competitions, tactical athletes like FBI agents and military members, Olympic Rowing teams, and expectant mom's. He also leads the charge in training our interns, 1:1 coaches, and provides continuing education to our staff. 

His attention to detail is unparalleled and he is able to customize any workout to fit any injury or adaptive needs.

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