“My big, my goal… if someone asked me, “What’s your goal for the gym?” I’d say “I wanna get the 50 people in the company that don’t workout, that have never worked out, into the gym. How do we do that?” I can get anyone that wants to workout in the gym, and I can…that’s easy, that’s not hard. And I can get people fitter, stronger, blah, blah, blah, that’s fun. It’s good. But I wanna get the person that is sedentary. And they’re embarrassed, they’re nervous. They’re intimidated. Whatever it is that they have more negative self-talk than you could ever fathom. How do we get that person in the gym and they… to realize that we’re all on the same playing field? And you step foot in the gym, and you’re fighting the same fight we are.” – Austin Malleolo
Austin Malleolo is a three-time winner of the Northeast Regional (2011-2013) and six-time CrossFit Games competitor, including individual finishes in the Top 10 in 2010 and 2012, and a 5th place finish as a member of Team Reebok CrossFit One in 2017.
Austin got his start in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, and over time, has added an ever-growing list of achievements to his name, including becoming a CrossFit coach, earning his exercise science degree, excelling in his role as a flowmaster on the CrossFit HQ Seminar staff, becoming the head coach at Reebok CrossFit One and owner of Reebok CrossFit One Nation, and developing an online training program, The Ham Plan.
Each year, Reebok brings together CrossFit Games athletes to introduce Reebok’s brand campaign, apparel and footwear for the upcoming year. It’s an opportunity for athletes to give feedback, train together, and spend time with each other in a relaxed environment. I was excited to sit down with Austin at this year’s Reebok Athlete Summit in the Bahamas to chat about how CrossFit has shaped the corporate culture of Reebok, how Austin’s experiences as a youth taught him the importance of personal responsibility and surrounding himself with the right kind of people, and why he is so driven to keep accomplishing more.
In this episode we discuss:
- How Austin’s relationship with Reebok began
- What prompted the move of Reebok’s headquarters from Canton to Boston
- What CrossFit has done for Reebok employees
- How Reebok subsidizes their employee’s gym memberships and incentivizes them to attend
- Austin’s goal to get people who have never worked out into the gym
- Austin’s belief that corporate responsibility for preventative healthcare is the future
- How CrossFit has impacted Reebok’s culture
- What Austin was like prior to starting CrossFit
- How Austin learned to take responsibility for his actions and surround himself with the right people
- Austin’s introduction to CrossFit through the benchmark Fran and how he went all in
- His desire to reach people and kids that have fallen off the straight and narrow path, and what he would say to help them
- The importance of surrounding yourself with a good team so that you can positively impact more people
- What a typical day looks like for Austin
- Why Austin keeps up such a high pace with so many commitments
- The advice Austin would give to an aspiring affiliate owner, aspiring competitor, someone who is just starting out with their coaching career, and someone who is afraid to get started in the gym
- Three things Austin does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
- One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
- What a healthy life looks like to Austin
Ep 28 – James Hobart on teaching, competing, and the real purpose of CrossFit
Ep 47 – Coffee Talk with Katrin, Jen, and Kelley at the Reebok Athlete Summit
Ep 59 – Annie Sakamoto on the evolution of CrossFit and setting an example for future generations
Ep 68 – Pat and Taz Barber on CrossFit, Coaching, and Kids
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
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Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.