I first began my fitness journey at TFW in 2021. Before that, I was a competitive swimmer, but when COVID happened, swimming stopped like so many other things. After months of not having an athletic focus, I noticed that I was not happy with myself mentally or physically. My eating became an outlet for boredom and after gaining noticeable weight I knew I needed to change things.
My dad took me to my very first TFW class, which was a 5:30 p.m. session. When I first walked through the door, I was nervous to start, but then soon realized that everything was going to be okay. My anxiety subsided when I realized that not just my dad was supporting me, but everyone at the dojo was welcoming and encouraging. After just a short period of time the 5:30pm class became my new daily routine that I looked forward to.
While I continue along my TFW journey, I have really taken to heart two lessons. The first lesson is that fitness is key in life. Months after joining TFW, I was not only feeling great physically, but mentally I was much happier. My confidence was improving, and I once again enjoyed shopping for clothes, having gone from sizes 6 and 8 to 2 and 4. It is hard to imagine how much more optimistic you become when you realize you can achieve anything with hard work.
The second lesson, and maybe the more important lesson I learned, was about surrounding myself with people who support me. I noted that as I became happier, positive people were drawn to my life. I have since let many pessimistic people go and I no longer choose to engage drama and negativity. Being at TFW was key to this change because at TFW everyone encourages each other, and no one is ever condescending. Every member is supportive, which makes working out there great and even more, the environment at TFW really does feel like a second family.
Do you have fitness and health goals or adventures that you want to achieve like Viv?
TFW will help you physically and mentally prepare for the battlefield called Life.
“No one is too busy to Workout & Live Longer. Exercise doesn’t just take YOU time, it makes YOU time!"
- Martin Rooney
TFW has been a game changer for me in many ways. I started almost a year ago when we moved to Ponte Vedra from NC. My businesses up there had been shut down due to Covid, and I was fairly depressed. I went and got a physical around this time a year ago as well. My doctor told me my levels were all out of wack, and all the beer I drank during Covid was weighing on me…quite literally. It was time for a change. I was in a huge rut, and in terrible shape to say the least. One Sunday I was scrolling Facebook, and someone on a page was asking about local trainers. Well, Phil’s name came up three times in that post. I looked up TFW, and read a little about it. I’d never heard of a gym like this. I watched a couple of Phil’s animated videos and was like damn, this guy is passionate. I was instantly intrigued. I thought maybe I could do this…or at least give it a shot. There was an email there, and I thought I’ll just shoot off a message and see. I sent the email explaining my situation, and asked for some details. It was a Sunday afternoon so I thought maybe I’ll hear back in the next few days if at all. Not only did Phil respond right then and there, he was already coaching me. We set up a time, and I went and checked it out. Phil was like “you get some free classes to try it out. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to stay. No strings attached.” What did I have to lose, right? From the moment I stepped into the Dojo, I could feel the energy. Needless to say I had a long way to go, but everyone just lifted me up, and I was off to the races. From the owner down to the coaches you are treated like family at TFW.
Fast forward a year, and you’ll find me in training 4-5 days a week. I don’t even remember that out of shape guy from last year. So far I’m down 15 pounds of fat and up in muscle mass quite a bit. I’m actually to the point where I feel guilty when I miss a day. I can’t say enough good things about TFW. It’s not “just a gym”. It’s a way of life, and it shines through from the top down. Energetic, extremely knowledgeable, and always smiling coaches (Lori, Johnny and Jacob are the best) makes for a fun 45 min workout. I could be having an off day, or be in a bad mood, and I’ll walk out sweating and smiling every time. The fact that it’s for your physical and mental health, not just burning calories, is a huge plus.
Motivational stories, mental health, pushing the importance of hydration, proper sleep, nutrition, building muscle, losing fat, holding yourself accountable, being positive, and marking your progress the whole way. I owe TFW a huge thanks. The Coaches have helped me become a better version of myself. The groups are small and fun, and the people working out next to you are all awesome. I’ve even got my wife and daughter training now, and they love it as much as I do.
Whole mind and body fitness…that’s what they preach. If you’re in great shape and want to maintain it, or if you’re completely out of shape like I was, just come in for a class and try it. It’ll hook you too. You won’t regret it.
Are you looking to make changes to your health and fitness like Andrew Brothers?
Experience the TFW difference today. Group, private and semi private training available.
The MARVELous Transformation of Lax Captain America Jack Reed
My experience at TFW started in the fall of my sophomore year (August 2019). I was motivated to be a part of something with my lacrosse team, and to have a little fun. I had no idea the impact TFW would have on my life without me having to go into a Steve Rogers transformation portal.
I was 5’11 and 160lbs when I began my TFW journey. I jumped right into the training sessions hoping to put on weight and become a stronger athlete. The coaches customized a plan for me which included nutritional guidance, a daily protein, water and caloric goal and or course a training program. The TFW Coaches pushed me, motivated me and believed in me from the start. The progress I was making by consistently following the plan was tremendous. I trusted them more and more as I became stronger both physically and mentally. I began to see the benefits of having a positive mindset and how to establish more discipline in my day to day life. Constantly hearing affirmation of my Coaches voices in my head, I began to have even more success. I’ve been now training for three years and making great choices nutritionally outside of the weight room my results have been extraordinary. I am currently 6’1 and 210lbs. I feel stronger adding 20 lbs of muscle and I am ready to hit the weight room in college and continue pursuing greatness in my athletic and academic career. The physical and mental fortitude I have developed from training will show me the way.
While at TFW, I met wonderful people in the community and found a passion for personal fitness. I made connections that will last a lifetime with people from all walks of life that value the same things as I do. Training For Warriors has provided me with what I needed. I grew close to the coaching staff and look forward to working with them during my college breaks. Coach Squats, Jacob, and Johnny show great love for what they do and make the TFW experience complete. They always have a great story and a positive message. TFW provided me a safe space and everyday I spent there was enjoyable.
LET’S GO PVHS CLASS OF 2022!
Do you have fitness and health goals or adventures that you want to achieve like Jack Reed?
TFW will help you physically and mentally prepare for the battlefield called Life.
Training For Warriors has been fantastic for my physical and mental health for well over 6 years. The culture and community created by the coaches and students are very supportive, encouraging, non judgmental, and highly motivational. The TFW program has helped me climb to the top of my with my strength, fitness and health goals.
I joined TFW 18 months before turning 60. I told Coaches Phil, Tyler and Johnny that I wanted to climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro before my 60th birthday with my 2 daughters. The summit reaches a monumental height of 19,341 feet tall! All of the coaches and 5:15am Familia helped me stay focused, helped me improve my strength and endurance so I could attack my upcoming adventure. Sure enough Mt. Kilimanjaro proved to be quite a monumental challenge but I conquered it and made it to the summit! And that was almost 5 years ago!!
TFW motivates me to get better with my nutrition, to adopt healthy habits, and minimize “not so good” habits. I’ve learned to train smart but yet train hard. The emphasis on recovery, sleep, and working around injuries, and not pushing through them has made a big difference. Most importantly I feel strong, fit and healthy going into year 65!
LET’S GO TFW!
Do you have fitness and health goals or adventures that you want to achieve like Kiko?
TFW will help you physically and mentally prepare for the battlefield called Life.
Passionate about all things strength, fitness, health, and coaching people of all levels, ages, and abilities. Everyone has something extraordinary inside of them and to get them to realize and bring out their abilities and talents drive me to be a better Coach. I love spending time with my family, going on road trips, and attending Las Vegas Raiders games.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family. Blessed to have 4 beautiful children Mya 10, Ava 7, Keira 5, and Derik 3, and my best friend and gorgeous wife Erika
Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do? I am the Head strength and conditioning Coach and owner of Training For Warriors Ponte Vedra Beach. My wife and I are owners and I Coach Girlpower NFL flag football in Ponte Vedra. I’m also the head strength and conditioning Coach for Varsity boys and girls lacrosse at Bolles. In addition, I am also partners with SISU supplemental company and our very own pre-workout formula. What I love most is doing what I love, with the people I love most. When you love what you do you never work a day in your life!
Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community? Cowford Chophouse and Valley Smoke
Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community? 9.5 years
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why? Fiji Islands. Why Not?
Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows? Varsity Blues. Yellowstone and Cobra 🐍 Kai
Q: What advice would you give to people? Always give your best, your best will NEVER fail you
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community? The community, weather, and all things golf carts
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years? Doing the same thing… continuing to make a positive impact on other people’s lives.
Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10? The DREAM in which I’m living in.
Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME? Family. Love. Laughter.
“Although it may be easy to see that your ACTIONS have consequences, don’t forget your INACTIONS may have even more.” – Martin Rooney
Just after New Years 2020, I started thinking about my health and the way I looked and felt…overweight and frustrated with my wardrobe—nothing fit anymore. I wanted to start a fitness regime but I didn’t know where to go or what to do, so I just started walking.
Unable to stay motivated I went to social media for advice. I asked for opinions on fitness venues between TFW and “another local place”. The answers were mostly unanimous for TFW and one person even tagged Phil Squatrito to get in touch with me. Phil and I met, talked about me and my goals, talked about what to expect. I stepped on the InBody (eek!) and he gave me a trial period.
I arrived at my first class as a bundle of nerves. I finally got the nerve to get out of the car and go in, but I did not know a soul so I turned around and walked out. Phil saw me and bolted out the door and stopped me asking me where I was going. I went back in and actually really enjoyed myself. “Don’t let the start stop you”.
I found my place in the 6:30 pm class and consistently showed up every single week, 4-5 days a week. The more I showed up, the better I got, the better I felt, and the more success I saw. My clothes were fitting better, and I was simply just happier. My first weigh-in at 3 months resulted in 28 pounds down! Yay me! I was so nervous about doing different classes with the different coaches, but was quick to realize I was nervous for nothing. All the coaches are so caring, supportive, and top-notch. The camaraderie throughout the dojo is like nothing else. Everyone cares, everyone helps, everyone supports everyone. In the seven months that I have been with TFWPVB I have learned so much….fitness and proper techniques, nutrition, the importance of water, and the importance of sleep (I still struggle with that one).
The more I go, the more positive results I see, and the more motivated I am to reach my goals. Reaching my goals is not instantaneous…it is a process that takes time, and I am in for the long haul. I am seven months in with a total weight loss of 32 pounds, 6.9% body fat loss, 1.6 pounds of muscle mass gain. Overall, joining TFWPVB was the best decision ever and I feel great!
Do you struggle with some of the same things as Beth? You CAN make that change and TRANSFORM your life also!
“Instead of worrying about something you did in the past, or something that might not happen in the future, do something NOW!” – Martin Rooney
My journey to TFW actually started months before I walked through the dojo door. It began in March of 2016 when I found myself lying in the cardiac intensive care unit of a hospital in Oregon. My doctor explained to me that I had had what he referred to as a “widowmaker” heart attack and I had a shiny new stent now propping my artery open. I was 55 years old and terrified. I knew that while I had survived that day, I had to make drastic changes in my lifestyle if I wanted to live. I have children and grandchildren that I want to watch grow. I had so much to live for! So change I did. I made all of the dietary changes I knew I should have made years before and I started walking. We moved back home to Ponte Vedra in September of 2017. I was walking 5 miles a day and had lost 100 pounds. I felt better than I had in years but I knew I needed more. Resistance training and the structure of a proven program were so important to me. Encouraged by a friend who worked out at another TFW location, I walked in. I was more than a little intimidated, but was met with the most welcoming atmosphere I could have hoped for. The positive mindset and messages, the constant encouragement, not just from the coaches but from everyone, have made these people like family to me.
I had a second setback with my health when I was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma late in 2018. I had a month of radiation in early 2019 and am so grateful that I am in remission. Through it all, the supportive atmosphere at TFW has sustained me. Whatever modifications I needed, the coaches were there to help and encourage. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without them. But I am here today, having maintained my weight loss, stronger than I’ve ever been, feeling better than I ever have. None of this would be possible without “my people” at TFW. My day never feels quite right if I don’t start it with the 6:15 workout. We truly are a family, encouraging and pushing each other to go a bit farther. I could not be more grateful!
Do you struggle with some of the same things as Margaret? You CAN make that change and TRANSFORM your life also!
Adversity in life is inevitable. We all face challenges in our lives, some big and some small. How we respond to those obstacles, not the obstacles themselves, is what defines us. We all have a choice, : we can feel sorry for ourselves and come up with reasons of why we can’t, or, we dig a little bit deeper into the playbook and find those silver linings amidst the storm of why we WILL succeed. Here is the remarkable story of Michael Carrigan and how he chose to control the controllable, search for those silver linings, and become the best version of himself as a husband, father, and executive.
Michael has been a part of our TFW Familia for nearly 7 years. He has always worked hard while in the weight room, but work travel, nagging injuries from not taking the best care of himself, and the stresses of life always had him lacking in Vitamin C, aka consistency. His career over the last ten years required constant travel and entertaining customers over dinner and drinks the frequent interruptions to his exercise and diet regimen took a toll on his health and fitness. As we say at TFW, a little on top of a little can add up to a lot either for or against you. The cumulative effect of all these choices over prevented Michael from reaching the goals he set for his own fitness and his goals as a father. He was thriving with his business, but other equally important areas of his life were falling behind.
When the pandemic struck., Michael had a choice to make as we all did ,he could have used it as an excuse and continued down the path of poor health choices like so many did. Instead, I’m proud to say that he took ownership of his life and found the discipline to commit to getting it done every single day. He overhauled his diet and strengthened his family and personal relationships, all while helping lead his company through the challenges of the pandemic.
I believe when the light goes on for someone it stays on for the rest of their lives. The habits we create and the changes we make with our fitness, health and relationships are often permanent ones. Now, nearly two years from the beginning of the pandemic, Michael has lost nearly 15% body fat, packed on pounds of lean muscle mass, and is in the best shape of his life in all three phases: mind, body, and spirit. Michael now maintains a healthy diet, has cut out alcohol, and follows his strict workout regimen regardless of whether he’s at home or on the road. Before he would take out clients for dinner and drinks at the bar, but now he wakes up early and finds a barbell. His golf game has improved dramatically, his nagging injuries have subsided, and he continues to evolve and work to improve himself. His Vitamin C is now at levels so high he’s on fire all the time. The best part of it all is that he’s a better father, husband, leader, and role model.
When talking with Michael about sharing his story, he wanted everyone to know that his accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without all the help he received from so many along the way. He’d like to give a shout out to his coaches here at TFW, Johnny Castro and Jacob Burns, for making sure he gave his all every day at the gym. He’s also like to thank Emily Mitchell for the hundreds of hours spent improving his flexibility so that he could avoid injury and lower his golf scores. When the waves of adversity crash upon the shores of our lives we all have a choice to make. We can let the storm take us out to sea or we can fight back, open that playbook and search for that silver lining!
Do you struggle with a similar lifestyle like Mike Carrigan? TFW is your SOLUTION!
The camaraderie, encouragement, vast knowledge base of the coaches and the true sense of family is palpable!!
In late 2017, I drove by Training For Warriors and was compelled to call the number on the outside door. I felt the time was now to turn my recent setbacks into my greatest comeback! Up until this point I had torn my Achilles, had back surgery, and dealt with back complications which lead to weight gain, loss of strength, and conditioning. I then met with Coach Squats and he assured me his team would be able to accommodate my modifications and help me get to where it was I wanted to go. That’s when I began my fitness journey. I consistently have trained 3-5 days per week now for 4.5 years and have never felt better. My strength and conditioning are greater than ever. I have had no setbacks with my prior injuries and I feel great. My body composition is now in the ideal range for a healthy male 16.7% and I have more than enough energy to keep after my kids. The best part of all of it is my results have been contagious. My entire family now embraces an active lifestyle, we eat healthy together, and even get in some virtual TFW workouts from our living room! My kids even get excited about eating broccoli!
At the beginning of 2020, Coach Squats convinced my wife to give TFW a try. Ready for something new that works, Becca agreed and began training in January. Soon thereafter, the pandemic struck and we were forced to all go virtual.. Lucky for us, the TFW Coaches went ALL IN with a virtual training platform. During that time my family and I trained hard, ate clean and were motivated throughout those 11 weeks. Amazingly enough with little equipment at home, when Becca got back in person to TFW she had improved her level of fitness, body composition, and muscle mass.
Both my wife and I feel better than we have in a long time and appreciate all that TFW has done for us!! Both mentally and physically…we are feeling our best! The challenges, stories, enthusiasm, variation of training sessions and constant motivation (even on days we aren’t feeling super motivated!) are proof that things never get boring at TFW!! We are extremely grateful for all the coaches and Familia we get to train with. The camaraderie, encouragement, vast knowledge base of the coaches and the true sense of family is palpable!! The TFW coaching, culture, community and results make al the difference. We are looking forward to continuing our fitness journey with Training For Warriors.
If you are looking to improve your fitness level, energy level, or just becoming a better parent TFW is the solution!
People who exude passion and drive for what they do are like unicorns. This week’s Ponte Vedran of the Week is a unicorn recreated as an incredible husband, father of four, fitness coach and an inspiration in the Ponte Vedra community. Phil Squatrito, also known as “Coach Squats,” has a vigorous passion for fitness and thrives on seeing people of all ages become the best and healthiest version of themselves.
His love for the Ponte Vedra community extends into sports with the Ponte Vedra High School boys and girls lacrosse and coaching i9 Sports Girl Power Flag Football. He not only supports but leads fundraisers to help locals in need and is an icon on what it means to “pay it forward.” In the Dojo and out he’s his student’s biggest cheerleader with words of encouragement and celebrations of success. He has this energy that gets people excited about ALL THINGS … including Halloween! Once you meet him you will grow to love and respect all his crazy energy, all things TFW, a pimped out golf cart and maybe, just maybe, even the Las Vegas Raiders! Say hello to Phil Squatrito.
Name: Phil Squatrito (Coach Squats)
Occupation: Owner/Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Training for Warriors Ponte Vedra Beach
Where I grew up: Fairfield, NJ
A Ponte Vedran since: 2012
Other Places I have lived: Just NJ
My favorite thing about Ponte Vedra: It’s a hidden paradise
My least favorite thing about Ponte Vedra: becoming not so hidden
In my spare time I like to: Spend with my family, train, coach girls flag football, relax!!!
Ponte Vedran you most admire: My wife, Erika Squatrito
If I could invite anyone over to dinner – 2 Ponte Vedrans and one famous person – who would you invite and why: Athletic Director of Ponte Vedra High School to help make girls flag football a sport. Raiders Quarterback, Nathan Pederman, because I’m a die hard fan and season ticket holder. My famous person would be Raiders Tight End Darren Waller. His story of hitting rock bottom, turning his life around to become the person he is today is inspiring and incredible.
Favorite Ponte Vedra organization: Ponte Vedra High School boys and girls lacrosse and i9 Sports Girl Power Flag Football
What is Training for Warriors: The Training for Warriors system began as a fitness program originally created for some of the best combat athletes in the world more than 18 years ago. Today, the training methods of the TFW system can benefit anyone looking to lose fat, build muscle and feel good. TFW is taught by a global network of affiliated coaches and trainers that run the TFW system at licensed TFW locations. Now with over 275 affiliate locations in 30 countries, thousands of people per day are using the TFW system to bring his or her fitness to another level in order to fight this battle called life. Whatever your current fitness level, TFW can help. Even though TFW once increased the performance and self-esteem of the world’s top athletes, anyone can benefit from the TFW system. At TFW we believe you are a warrior too. TFW defines a warrior as anyone prepared to work hard, develop oneself and take on his or her particular challenges in life. The fun and exciting workouts of the TFW system are designed to help you develop the muscular strength and mental fortitude needed to take on those challenges and reach your fitness goals.
Favorite thing about being a Coach: The individual victories both big and small they achieve in their lives! Believing in people!!
How is TFW involved in the community with schools and charitable organizations: One of our missions at TFW is to pay it forward! Helping others when they need it most and when they least expect it is one of life’s greatest gifts. We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local schools and charities alike in our community during our 6 years in business.
Tell us about the TFW Guinness Book record: We helped lead our network to set a world record for most pushups performed perfectly for 1 minute straight at the exact same time around the world. More importantly in that single minute we raised nearly $40,000 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund!!!
Most embarrassing moment: Washing my hands accidentally with a urinal cake in a port-a-potty (yes, you read that right!)
Is it true your favorite holiday is Halloween? Yes!! I love seeing other people including myself get dressed up and the Halloween Deadlift party we annually throw at TFW, decorating my house and Dojo with my kids in September and the excitement it brings.. I also love golf cart trick or treating in Nocatee!!!
Favorite scary movie: HALLOWEEN Rob Zombie remakes
Something most people don’t know about you: When I was young I was overweight, did not eat healthy, and hated to exercise!!! I began training in 9th grade and it changed my life FOREVER.