By Tonia Boze, Head Coach/Owner of Terrain Gym
I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 20 years. In that time, I’ve experimented with many different training approaches, coached a variety of athletes with varying abilities and competed in fitness competitions. In 2007 I began mountain biking which is a huge sport in my hometown of Bellingham, Washington. It was then I knew I wanted to open my own training facility that was geared more toward outdoor sports such as mountain biking, climbing, skiing, etc.
A friend mentioned she came across a site that resembled the type of programming I was wanting to implement. Immediately after checking out SSD’s site (Mountain Athlete), I was intrigued. I signed up for the next opportunity to attend their programming course. This was a turning point in my career.
I respected Rob Shaul’s achievements, and liked the discipline and philosophy he shared. I agreed with the way he viewed gym based training as an essential part of preparation for mountain sports. What I learned from SSD’s course has been invaluable in the success I’ve seen in my athletes.
One example is found in Maria Dalzot, a professional trail runner. When I started coaching Maria she was already a champion athlete, with a resume that included a first place finish in the 2011 NACAC Mountain Championship in Mexico, and third place finish at the 2012 NACAC Championship in Vancouver.
Maria was only running and was continually fighting injuries. She approached me hesitantly but was willing to try the gym and our programing, heavily influenced by SSD.
That was a year and a half ago, and since then she has been completely injury free and achieved a first place finish in the USATF National Championships, as well as having taken first places and set course records in both the Fragrance Lake Half Marathon and the Cutthroat Classic. Most recently, she has been invited to represent the USA at the World Long Distance Running Championships in Zermatt, Switzerland on July 4th. Her recent success has been astounding! And she gives ample credit to the programming and coaching she has received at Terrain.
My training facility is surrounded by many other gyms. There are at least 9 gyms in just a 5 mile radius. Despite the saturation, we continue to grow. I attribute a lot of our success to the unique approach and evolving programming methods I have learned from SSD. SSD’s approach to the outdoor athlete is more effective than any other program. But it also works incredibly for regular people who want to make their lives outside the gym as healthy and productive as possible.