For as long as I can remember, sports and fitness have always been a major part of my life, including playing basketball in college. However, after marrying into the military and moving around frequently, my fitness and overall well-being was no longer a priority. I became pregnant with my son and ended up gaining 50 pounds during that pregnancy. My body had never felt like my own since. Between recently moving to Savannah and not feeling comfortable in my own skin, I was desperate to find a sense of community and get my confidence back. Enter Down Home CrossFit! From the first time I walked in the door, I could feel the positive vibes. Although I was nervous and hesitant, everyone made me feel welcome and kept me coming back. The coaches were able to show me scaled movements so that I could keep up with everything happening in class. In a few short weeks, I was shocked at what my body was able to do!

Soon after joining, I learned that personal training was available. I felt like I needed that extra accountability and push to really take my fitness/wellness to the next level. There are no words to express how grateful I am to my trainer, Carlie. On days when I would normally have not shown up because I didn’t “feel like it,” she held me accountable. She knew when I wasn’t doing my best and would draw it out of me. She shut down my complaints with positive energy. I found myself replacing my negative self-talk about my body and my fitness abilities with confidence and that competitiveness that I used to have in sports. It certainly helped that the changes to my body were becoming evident to my coworkers, fellow crossfitters, and especially my husband.

After 20 sessions of hard work in the box and out of the box with nutrition, I lost 18 pounds, 6% body fat, and 15 and ½ inches. More importantly, I feel more comfortable in my body than I have in an extremely long time, I have more energy to chase around my very active 2 year old son, and I’m healthy. Nothing can replace the feeling of treating your body the way it was meant to be treated. I am a better mom, wife, friend, and all-around person from this experience. Thank you Carlie, and thank you Down Home for putting my life back on the right path!

Ashley Alvarado
I met Sunny in 2015 at the Gulfstream 5k sign up. This was the beginning of my annual destroy my body and then the next 2 months I will work out hard and get in shape for my PT test for the Georgia Air National Guard. I have done this for years, but have been noticing it has getting more difficult to get away with this. I was overweight and was having trouble even getting up the stairs at work.
Sunny was at a table and explained CrossFit, Boot Camp and what Down Home was all about. I was definitely interested, but didn’t follow through. The 5k came and I failed my goal of running the whole race and then I failed my PT test the first time in my life. I knew what I was doing on my own was not working and I needed help. So I decided to get out of my comfort zone and talk to Sunny and Jake.
I was training for a specific goal of passing my PT test, so I thought Boot Camp was the program I needed. It is a 1/2 hour fast pace, aerobic workout, with mostly body moves (pushups, mountain climbers, and burpies), running and light weights. I quickly fell in love with the energetic feel of Boot Camp. It was pushing me to levels I couldn’t physically do on my own and making me feel good that I was actually doing something about the goals I have been saying for years.
This is not a gym, but an actual community. Sunny and Jake were able to inspire me to never giving up and keep getting better each and every day. They both wanted to see that I reached my goals but they also cared about me as person. What was actually crazy to me was that the other athletes would stop what they were doing to give me inspiration at times when I was having a tough time. What is even crazier was that I was noticing I was doing that for others too.
After a month of boot camp I retook my PT test and passed it shaving a minute off my run time. I also noticed I was running up the same stairs at work now. Along the way, Jake and Sunny hired other coaches to help them. These coaches in their different ways continued to inspire and help me as I now set out new goals to reach.
One of those goals was learning about nutrition. I wanted to know about how what food you put in your body not only changes your weight, but also affects your heart , body and mind. Nobody knows more about what your food is doing to your body then Jake. Through conversations and tips from him, other coaches and teammates, I was able to shift my eating habits that have been horrendous for decades.
I loved the boot camp side but I quickly realized that to see really serious change, the CrossFit it side was where I needed to be. This is an hour long workout with body movement exercises, running and heavier weights. What is great about Down Home is they are more worried about you getting the technique right, then you just throwing around heavy weight. The coaches motivate you to do your best, but never pressure you to lift more than what you feel is safe for you.
It was wild to see the shift and transformation in my body. What once was flab was now starting to become muscle. I now work out on the CrossFit side but I still love boot camp and fit it in whenever I do not have the time to do a full hour workout. I just took another PT test recently and I reached a run time I haven’t seen since Air Force boot camp. I have an eating plan in place; run 5k’s, I feel good about myself and have able to quit other bad habits along the way. Down Home has definitely changed my life.
Jake, Sunny, the awesome coaches they got and the teammates that will be around you can do the same for you. It will not be easy and it is hard work. But if you want to get serious about changing your body, your life and having a ball doing it, come down and visit Sunny, Jake and the other coaches and make Down Home your new home.
Chris Randon
The thing that brought me to Down Home was the challenge to push myself to be much more physically fit.I knew that strengthening my core could potentially alleviate my chronic low back pain. After just two weeks of being at Down Home my lower back issues gradually disappeared! I also just wanted to join a community of like minded individuals that would help motivate and push me to my limits and also offer me an opportunity to push others to theirs.

My first impression was holy crap this place is big. Everyone also just seemed really laid back and the atmosphere was just so positive – I knew right away it was a place I would love. The coaching staff has always been very helpful and supportive. Unfortunately I’ve experienced being “ignored” at other facilities.

Since I’ve started crossfit everything has improved: stamina, strength, mobility, balance, and especially my ability to embrace the suck of a workout. I also can’t stress enough how my back issues have been completely resolved. My energy levels have definitely increased, and I’ve been educated by our crossfit community on how to eat a much smarter diet. Down Home Crossfit has made me feel alive again and i’m really looking forward to making more gains in my health and fitness.

My favorite thing at Down Home is seeing everyone, including myself, grow as an athlete. I love seeing the transformations and progress week after week. That to me is more fuel to my fire. More motivation to keep on doing what we are doing, and the pride that goes with one’s accomplishments. The camaraderie that you have with the people to the left and to the right of you. Those people that can relate to the struggles that we all go through, and are willing to be there to have each others’ backs in the process of forging a better you. That to me is what keeps me coming back every day.

Ivan Perez
I read once that there is no force equal to that of a determined woman and I can give testimony about that! Whenever I get an idea in my mind I won’t stop until my task is completed. And once it is completed, I will work harder to exceed the initial goal. The day that my husband and I walked through the Down Home doors I had already set my goals. I wanted to get back to an active life, I wanted to lose weight and I wanted to be fit again. I can’t deny that I was full of insecurities when I stepped into the box… but I have learned by experience that this whole journey of becoming strong isn’t only about shedding pounds. It is also about shedding those insecurities and fears that had been holding me back.

My first impression of the Gym was great. It was very welcoming. As soon as I met Coach Sunny and Coach Jake, I said: “They seem cool” and they ARE! What I didn’t know is how knowledgeable and how passionate they were with what they do. I have been to three other CrossFit boxes since 2013 and this is the first time I have seen a program so well structured. They have a method to their madness and IT WORKS! In 5 months I’ve lost 25 pounds, I have become a better version of myself and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me at Down Home.

Down home CrossFit has improved my life in many ways. I have always been a positive, self-motivated person with high self-esteem, but now, all that has developed to another level. Now, I am Stephanie to the 5th power! The energy I feel and the changes that I see in my body make me want to share this awesome feeling with any person that stands next to me. And believe me, I do! For every person that tells me: “oh, I wish I could do CrossFit”, “I wish I could lose weight”, or “I wish I had the time” – for all of those… I have a speech ready because I used to be that person until I said enough is enough and I placed MYSELF as a priority again. It’s not about being selfish; it’s about doing what I realize I have to do. So if you ask me, why is that I want to spread the word so badly? Let me tell you it is NOT about spinning the prize wheel every week! It is about making this world A HEALTHIER one, one person at a time.

Stephanie Murati
I retired from the military ten years ago and always wanted to maintain a good level of fitness. Well, after two knee surgeries, arthritis in my knee, and another medical issues, my body had lost that “loving feeling”. I joined a gym and took several aerobic classes and never really saw any real changes; except for the money leaving my bank account every month.

I stopped paying for the gym and started telling myself that, “I knew what I had to do in order to lose the weight”, so I started going the gym at the Air Station – running outside and doing a circuit or two on the weight machines would surely help me to become a fraction of the person that I was before.. WRONG!
Having completely lost sight of what my body could actually do had left me and I was becoming discouraged. I knew what I didn’t want to look like in my clothes, but had become discouraged as to how I was going to get there. Everyone had an opinion on what I “needed” to do, heck my best friend is a person who runs 11 miles before work!

One day my coworker asked me to join her for a class at Down Home – I of course said yes – heck how hard could the boot camp be as I had done others and never felt the challenge.
Well, lets just say my first day at Down Home hurt my feelings.

My first 30 minutes were probably the most eye opening experience of my post military life. I was able to see/feel where I stood physically and mentally. After those 30 minutes, I knew I had to accept the challenge of making my body and mind better.
In these past 9 months, I have seen results in not only my body, but my self-confidence is back. I look forward to seeing what I’m able to do, compared to what I couldn’t do a few month ago. The camaraderie is phenomenal!

I turn 50 this year and I plan on being Fabulous at Fifty and not Fat at Fifty!

Lis Jenkins
Since I could walk, I have been involved in some kind of sport. The usual adolescent line of activities, soccer, dance, karate and so on. As I grew older, that transformed into middle school and high school sports, where I ultimately chose lacrosse as MY sport. After 4 years of hard work, lacrosse brought me a scholarship to college. I found myself working on a team of 20 something other girls, probably running the highest amount of miles in my life, and lifting 3-4 times a week. I thought I was in the best shape in my life.

Somewhere around junior year, things didn’t work out with playing lacrosse. I became a “non athletic regular person” or NARP as we liked to call them. After the absence of intense workouts for about a week, I found myself lost physically. Going to a conventional gym with free weights, treadmills, and ellipticals just wasn’t going to cut it for me. I missed the comradery of having teammates pushing me to my absolute limit, physically and mentally. That is when I discovered Crossfit. One of my sorority sisters introduced me to “the box.” It was intimidating but I was stoked to see a new playground of weights and a new support system. I fell in love instantly, and that lost feeling disappeared.

Once I left my college Crossfit gym, I never thought I would find another gym where I felt like I could excel and progress as an athlete; until I found Down Home. I just married, recently moved to Savannah, was a full time graduate student, and knew no one. The first time I stepped into Down Home, the sense of welcome was overwhelming. I slowly realized, yup, this is the gym for me. I became a member at Down Home the summer of 2015, and at this point I have the highest amount of personal records since starting crossfit! I have Down Home to thank for that. The one aspect that truly changed my life was Whole30. I recognized the program from previous interest, but I never committed myself to the challenge. I never worried too much about my weight being a life long athlete, but when I was improving my times on metcons and moving up in lifts, not to mention losing about 6 pounds I was convinced and proud I finally committed myself to my wellness because Down Home, the coaches, and the members here kept me accountable.

I made a choice. I chose to disregard the fear of failing and the fear of feeling uncomfortable. I chose to own up to my goals. I chose to stop making excuses for not showing up and putting in the work. Down Home is my fitness family inside and outside of the gym. I am the best version of myself and Down Home has supported me through this transition and is helping me reach my fullest potential.

Renee Adams
I first found Down Home CrossFit about four months ago while looking to join a “box” again after doing CrossFit on my own for 8 months out of my garage; but my experience with CrossFit goes back to September 2013. Aside from some glory years around seven years old I have always struggled with my weight (I guess its not really a struggle when you don’t really care about it). I have always been the bigger kid in class from elementary to my college years. I played baseball from second grade to high school, but you really don’t workout at all for baseball (at least I didn’t); so as the years went by I kept packing the weight. I never cared for working out or taking care of myself in any sort of way. Working out was for those with huge egos who only cared about how big they could get but were as dumb as a box of rocks. Sadly, there is some truth to that. But nonetheless, physical activity was not part of my daily life. Around 2011 I began playing racquetball quite obsessively but there is only so much you can do chasing a ball in an enclosed room. My summer job during college had me traveling cross-country driving 15+ hrs. with about an average of 4hrs of sleep per day for about 3 months at a time. This dramatically impacted my physical state and my weight skyrocketed. The lack of physical activity paired with very high stress and very limited sleep took me to a peak weight of 301 at age 24. It was around August 2013 that I decided I need to do something about this and I had seen some stuff online about some “new” workout regimen called CrossFit. I did some research, and went to a local CrossFit gym (Ranger CrossFit) to get more information about this crazy stuff people were so addicted to. I was offered to try out the gym for two weeks to test it out and see if it was something I wanted to be a part of. Needless to say, I was destroyed……by a 400m warm up run….. Sad, I know! After two weeks I was hooked and I haven’t looked back since. Fast forward through moving to Austin and working out of my brothers backyard, moving to Lake Charles and joining a CrossFit gym, moving to Savannah and joining a CrossFit gym, having to leave that gym and working out of my garage for 8 months this is when I end up on the phone talking to this girl who seemed to have had WAY too much coffee for the day but was excited for the opportunity of having me come in and talk about being a part of Down Home. Meeting Sunny and Jake on day one confirmed my decision to join the gym. When I first came here I had over a year and a half of CrossFit “experience” so I knew what I was looking for. Being the analytical person I am, I wanted coaches who knew what they were talking about; people who knew the how’s’ and the why’s of what we were doing. I can’t emphasize enough how important the mobility classes are and how they have made a huge impact on my daily training. I can honestly say that joining Down Home and being part of this great community of people has enhanced my journey in every way. It has kept me pushing forward, pushing my limits whether it is physically or mentally. Even when I go through slumps and don’t feel like doing this anymore (it happens), the community keeps me moving. The past two years of this crazy CrossFit life have been the best investment I have done for myself. I am currently at an 85lb weight loss and feel like never before. I am looking forward to what the future holds for me at Downhome and I am proud to say that I am a part of The Home Team.
Luis Guardiola
My job moved us back to Savannah in 2013 after getting married and we decided to have a baby. While Raquel was pregnant with our little boy I was a member of a gym and had the pleasure of working out with Stephen Staton (aka SAS) for about a year. During our time of working out we experimented with all kinds of different bodybuilding.com programs and while we both got stronger neither of us were very happy with the visual results of all our hard work and decided we needed to get into a CrossFit box just for a few months to get ready for beach season. My wife heard me talking about joining CrossFit and really wanted to join as well. She was timid at first because she hadn’t worked out during or post pregnancy and really didn’t want to jump right into CrossFit. While searching for a box that would suit my scheduling needs, Raquel reached out to her good friend Darcy who owns a box in Effingham. Unfortunately (or fortunately) she didn’t have a timeframe that suited us and recommended we visit Sunny and Jake. Raquel, SAS, and I all joined and were immediately impressed with the programming, the nutritional guidance and mobility class. Raq started out doing boot camp while SAS and I did cross fit. We would discuss the workouts and how we felt we did each day but there was still some disconnect with our experiences. It wasn’t long before Raq moved over to CrossFit and this is where our fitness story really began…
DownHome CrossFit has brought us A LOT closer as a couple than we ever were before… Not just watching, but participating in my wife’s transformation has been an awesome experience. I use to see her struggle with little to no energy just to make it through the day along with being depressed about having a “just had a baby/embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit” body. Now she’s a squatting, real-pushup-doing, Olympic lifting badass and it makes me so happy to watch her progress every day. She has lost the baby weight, lowered her body fat % and has never looked better. In the box, we motivate each other and our communication as a married couple has never been better too… CrossFit helps us start conversations when, without it, we use to get lost in TV-land after the kids went down for bed. We discuss the next day’s WOD, how we felt we did that day, and our nutrition. Just recently, I have been focusing on my flexibility and Raquel always reminds me to stretch at home. If all that wasn’t enough, I almost forgot about the most important “push” that we have to give each other… getting out of bed to actually get to the box! Without my wife, I probably would have only attended half the workouts!
Being able to share the accomplishments we have had at DownHome with each other instead of just telling each other about them makes a world of difference and we would strongly recommend it to anyone.
Welch Family
My journey began in May 2014 in Charleston, SC. I was completely out of shape, diagnosed with diabetes, over weight and completely sedentary sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week. I was absolutely exhausted by my lack of energy. Something had to change and fast. One of my friends invited me to try the new gym that had just opened up down the road from my house and I took her up on it. I mean what could I lose right? Five short months later, after catching the CrossFit fever, I was hooked. I loved the challenge I faced at each and every class, how I felt after each one and the family community that I gained in the process. In August, a change in employer had me leaving Charleston, my CrossFit home, my new family and relocating to Savannah. I was eager for the new opportunity but also nervous about leaving my fitness escape and first CrossFit family.
I tried several local CrossFit gyms in Savannah and just didn’t find a place that fit me. They were either too competitive, too unwelcoming or just didn’t focus enough on proper form. I had actually given up on trying to find a new box and felt very down on myself until I met Sunny and Jake at a local 5K event hosted by my new employer. They were knowledgeable and welcoming at their booth and I was so excited to try out their new gym. The rest is history!
I’ve been a member at Down Home since May 2015 and I wouldn’t trade my box for the world. Jake and Sunny are amazing and take pride in making sure they demonstrate and enforce the proper techniques and body position. Their programs are so varied, there is a fit for everyone. Each class has members of all shapes and sizes, all working together to better ourselves. The class programming is easily adaptable for everyone from scaled to Rx and Rx+. I really feel at home here.
When I first started CrossFit, I never knew all the things that my body is capable of. I love coming in each day and pushing myself to be better. I’ve had so many new personal bests here. I know the difference has been the supportive and welcoming environment and the proper techniques and body positioning I’ve learned.
I am not one to keep track of weight on my bathroom scale. Instead, I see the differences in how my clothes fit, how much stronger I’ve become and the new things I accomplish at each class. With the small changes that I’ve seen in my body, I can honestly say, I’ve gained a lot more self-confidence as well.
The coaches and members at Down Home have become like family to me and I definitely feel supported and cared about when I walk through the doors and after I leave. This is definitely one of my happy places. I cannot wait to see all the things I will accomplish in the next week, months and years to come. There’s no place like Down Home.
Frances Fair
I came to Down Home with no previous CrossFit experience looking for a challenge, and I have never been disappointed. The biggest challenge I faced was changing my routine. I had worked up on my own to running 30 minutes per day during the week, but I was still tired after long days at work and would fall asleep easily, missing adult classes offered late in the evening at other facilities. When Sunny and Jake opened up so close to home and offered a class I could take right after work, I seized the opportunity to begin a healthier lifestyle.
I have been excited to see changes in strength, fitness, and muscle definition. I regarded weight loss as secondary to an overall lifestyle change and instead placed my focus on other numbers, like beating my time or max weight from a previous WOD. Loading 50lb bags of feed was customary growing up, but squatting or lifting more than 200lbs was not. Now that I can, my next goal is a 300lb squat. Strict pushups are another accomplishment, and my goal here is to complete any WOD including them without having to rest.
I know I’ve lost weight, but I don’t know how much because I don’t own a scale. Clothes fit better and are somewhat easier to find in the store now. I’m having some pants taken in and have given other clothes away because they’re too large. I got into an old pair of jeans a few weeks ago. I didn’t notice any physical changes initially, but then several small things seemed to happen at once. In reality, these small changes have been the culmination of a lot of hard work and have taken time to achieve. Change fuels the excitement and self-motivation, which is why I haven’t missed a weekday since they opened. I’m there on the weekends too, unless I have to work.
Down Home also comes with a really great support group, fellow athletes who will run that last lap with me or count reps when I’m on the edge of exhaustion. I have really enjoyed meeting new friends who share similar goals and interests.
Down Home is the best investment I have made since college. Throughout our lives we make multiple investments in homes, cars, education, and other things, but we’re only given one body. Why pay less attention to the maintenance of the body than the maintenance of anything else you “need” to get through life? Socrates said “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” The ancient Greeks knew the value of functional fitness. I knew it wouldn’t be easy when I started, but I also knew the results would be worth the hard work. I’m pleased with the accomplishments I’ve already made, but I’m more excited to work with great coaches in a great community, and each day look forward to being better than the day before.
Katherine Lancaster
It was New Years of 2015 and everyone was busy making resolutions and I was still having my beer. I took a week’s time to decide the one thing I wanted for a healthy life was to leave smoking. The only exercise I used to get was walking. There were days where I used get up from my chair and feel dizzy because of weakness (call it being lazy). I always used to have joint pain, and most of the day, I was a 30 year old grumpy man. At work, I used to experience severe back ache resulting in fatigue. 10 hours of work a day needed a lot of mini breaks to keep me going!
All this changed post-June, when I walked into my first Bootcamp class, 6:00 a.m. in the morning at DownHome. I still remember the Work Out of the Day having 3 rounds and quitting after the 2nd. That’s when I realized how bad my body has been. I had a long chat with Sunny that day and trust me, I felt so motivated to be back. Since then I have never looked back!
Every Bootcamp morning is something to look forward to. Every workout has improved me, my body and my lifestyle a lot. Learning the right form for every workout is something I wouldn’t have never learned in an ordinary gym. It has been just 2 months and I have already seen tremendous changes. Now, I eat healthy, talk about workouts with friends, my body posture has improved a lot and I take shorter breaks at work. I am proud to say that it’s been 8 months since my last smoke and Bootcamp is pushing all the residual toxins away. I have lost 1.5 inches off my waist and 20 pounds since the day I joined. Again, my intent behind being a part of Downhome is not only for weight loss but also for healthy living.
I have to thank Sunny, Jake ,Down Home and all my Bootcamp buddies.

This change has been for the best!

Rahul Menon
How has being a part of the Home Team changed your view of Fitness?
I always had this idea that fitness was subjective to whatever athletic circle you were in. Since joining the home team I have realigned my views and come to fully believe in the definition that fitness is the ability to do “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains” not just, “oh I can lift more or run faster than you”. It requires you to be able to do all of it together.

How has being a part of the Home Team changed your view of Health?
I actually now have a view on health. Before I was just kind of like ah I will eat at Wendy’s today and have a salad (full of junk) for dinner and it will be ok. Then lay in bed angry because I ate a bunch of trash. But to me health is not just a physical thing, you also have to be in a good mental place or it doesn’t really matter what type of nutritional uptake or physical regiment you have. Don’t get me wrong you can’t sit around eating Twinkies and Moon Pies and be healthy just because you are happy, but being able to go someplace and lift heavy things with people you can laugh and joke with who also support you in your goals, that is a recipe for good health.

Do you feel this is a lifestyle change?
HAHA yeah and I knew it was when at the end of my first week of CrossFit. I was like man I am so sore and tired I, hey everyone come be sore and tired with me. It has been a long time since I have been this happy overall. I used to go to work, go home (do more work), and play with my lil guy. On my free weekends I just sat around the shop doing more work. Now with my involvement in Down Home I actually socialize outside of people I do work for. That plays a big role in my overall view of personal health, and it makes the program very easy to commit to.

Has your perception of yourself changed since participating in one of the Down Home Programs?
I don’t think I perceive myself any different than before, I will say my confidence in being able to push myself past the mental give up point has returned. I am a pretty hardheaded individual and that is not what I am talking about. I have been known to push through an injury just to prove a point. What I am talking about is when you have a 200meters run left and your mind is telling you no you are done, but being able to just dig down and leg it out. (Plus I am down to take my shirt off in public now LOL.) But in all seriousness I am more discipline in a lot of aspect of my life now, and I can attribute that to mental side of my training program. It has definitely been an all around

Have your goals changed since starting Down Home?
YES YES YES they have. When I first joined I was looking to drop some weight and increase my physical ability. Now I am registered for my first SPARTAN Super race and looking to do the trifecta next year. I am also looking into talking to my coaches about being able to give back to the community in the future, but for now I need to focus on getting my ability into a constant RX level before that happens.

At what point did you realize that the changes you were making in your personal life were becoming habit?
Just before we started the Whole30 challenge, one of the guys that work with me gave me a package of Oreo’s, and I told him thanks but no thanks. As lame as it sounds everyone that works around me know that Oreo’s and HARIBO Gummy Bears are my go to junk food. I have gone from bouncing around at 205-208lbs to around 175lbs and that’s just the beginning.

Stephen Dohse
In March of 2015 I had to stop running due to IT band pain. I was so devastated because I had finally reached a point where I enjoyed exercising and wasn’t always looking for an excuse to avoid it. So, I began researching bootcamps so that I could continue to maintain my fitness level without running long distances and I found DownHome. From the first day, Sunny and Jake were so welcoming and made me feel like I was a long time member. I fell in love with the fast paced, always varied workouts that the bootcamp program provided and was excited to change my fitness routine from the standard cardio (running and elliptical) I had been used to.
I had been intrigued by CrossFit for about a year when I joined DownHome, however I was too intimidated to try it because I had never used a barbell in my life. With encouragement from the coaches, I made the transition from the Bootcamp program to Crossfit and it has been the most positive experience. I remember the first Crossfit class I attended I had to ask Jake what a “front squat” was and, as always, he was more than willing to walk me through the movement and help me perfect my form. Over the past 4 months I have achieved many fitness goals and set personal records. I can now do a pull up and I even did my first “Rx+” workout yesterday. Also, CrossFit has strengthened my legs so that I can run long distances again and am successfully training for my first marathon.

The thing I love most about DownHome is the community. I wake up at 4:45 am because I look forward to the workouts and the camaraderie between fellow athletes. Everyone always encourages me to do my best and to push beyond my comfort zone. The great community at DownHome is definitely a testament to Sunny and Jake who foster such a positive environment.
DownHome is about more than just working out, it’s about a healthy lifestyle. I had considered myself to be fairly healthy and then I participated in the Whole30 challenge and it became very clear how much junk I was actually putting in my body. After 30 days with no grains, sugar, or alcohol I felt like a “million bucks.” I lost 7 lbs and 3% body fat as well as had more energy and never felt bloated after meals.
I am excited for what my future at DownHome holds as I strive to reach new goals and become a more well rounded athlete and person.

Eliza Perlik
Sunny is one of the best CrossFit coaches I have ever worked with. After having participated in CrossFit for about two years, Sunny was the first one to actually stop and ask me what my goals were. From that point on, I only saw gains. Within three weeks, I was able to do my first strict pull-up, increased my PRs by 10-15 pounds with pretty much each movement, and improved so much with gymnastic moves. She not only helped improve my technique but she made me trust in my form and strength and helped me achieve things that I didn’t think I would ever be able to do. Stick with her programming, listen to what she says, and eat clean, and you will see the many benefits that CrossFit offers!
Susan W.
I first met Jake and Sunny Clough when they were both coaches at our crossfit box here in Memphis. I had heard about CrossFit through a friend who had been working out for a few months, and I had seen the drastic difference it had made for him (plus I watched the Crossfit Games on ESPN and saw how ripped ALL of the athletes are) , so I thought I would drop in and give it a try. Jake was the lead programmer and Sunny was a coach, and from literally my first class there, they both were the perfect combination of instructing and demanding that helped me perform by best every single workout. I remember doing push-ups during that first class, and I was the new guy, but Sunny stood watching and coaching, and every rep she was belting encouragment and pointers. She didn’t quit the whole WOD! I quickly learned this was the norm, as coaches they never let me take the easy road out, always pushing me further than I ever thought I could go.

When I first started Crossfit, the olympic lifts were intriguing but sometimes felt a bit scary because they are techical lifts. Plus, I had not done any of this type of lifting in over 10 years. Jake and Sunny have trained and studied physiology, exercise science, and performance (Sunny was in school and coaching during her time in Memphis), and they bring their academic background and expertise to the box so that everyone learns the movements correctly. To me, this is what really set them apart from what I had read about other Crossfit places, the emphasis was always on technique, doing the movements properly everytime, and pushing yourself as much as you can but ALWAYS doing it correctly. My life has changed because of Crossfit, both physically and mentally as well. I played football in college, and have always been pretty active, but I can say after doing this for about a year now, I have never been in better shape my entire life. Nagging back pain that I have experienced for years is gone. The mental challenge of crossfit has helped me attack issues in my professional and personal life in a new way. It has also brought about an amazing group of people who I now consider my friends! For anyone considering crossfit, I would say give it a try. Jake and Sunny are seasoned veterans, they will make you feel welcome and right at home immediately, but at the same time, you will find them starting to push you toward your own personal health goals immediately.

Dr. Blake Bergernon
Hi, my name is Amanda Bryant! In March of 2015, I became an athlete at Down Home CrossFit, and it has made an enormous impact on my life. Physically, I’m stronger, and I have achieved my weight loss goals. Mentally, I’m more confident, focused, alert, happier, more productive, my energy level is up, and I even sleep better!

Down Home CrossFit has dramatically changed my perspective on health and fitness. My workouts are now focused on becoming stronger and practicing correct form of movements rather than only aiming for weight loss. Calories are old news! Down Home has taught me to think before I eat. Many times I catch myself reading ingredients in public now. The better you eat, the better you feel! This lifestyle is all about balance.

When I first joined Down Home, I wrote my main goal on a sheet of paper. I look back at that sheet of paper now and it has completely changed. My goal is no longer only weight loss. The goal that I try to achieve weekly is to be the best version of myself. Strength training, clarity, and a boost of energy while being encouraged by Sunny and Jake is the absolute perfect start or ending to my day.

My perception of myself has changed a lot since joining Down Home. Walking into my first CrossFit class back in March, I was extremely intimidated. That intimidation has now changed into looking forward each morning to see the WOD. There are no words to describe how thankful I am that my husband and I took the plunge and joined Down Home CrossFit. If you’re on the fence about joining, do it! It will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. Down Home CrossFit has made me believe in myself!

Amanda Bryant
Meet Stephen Staton. He has been on the Home Team since March of this year. We are super proud of all that he has accomplished up to this point. He just got through our Whole 30 challenge where he lost a whopping 20 lbs! I know he is super proud of that accomplishment, but there’s much more to Stephen than that. Let’s hear what he has to say…
What is your proudest accomplishment thus far at Down Home CrossFit?
– Beating Boyd’s PR deadlift!
What does the term “CrossFit” mean to you?
– CrossFit to me is a commitment to total health and wellbeing without taking short cuts. There is no easy way to true success. In a world with all the marketing gimmicks and quick fixes to health problems that don’t work, one stumbles upon CrossFit and is pushed to their limits mentally and physically.
How has Down Home CrossFit impacted your daily life?

– I have been tremendously more active. My mobility and strength is better than it’s ever been. ! I also have more sustained energy throughout the day and I love that. It’s noticeable with my activity levels with the kids and wife!

What is your favorite movement?

– Pull ups or chin ups. I have never been able to do one so now that I can I love rep’n them out! Close second would be the compromising positions Jake puts me in on mobility day, but I don’t think there are names for some of those moves.

Do you have a favorite WOD?

– I don’t really have a favorite named WOD, I like some of the custom ones.

What advice would you give to a newbie just starting?

– I’ll speak to the overweight newbie because that’s what I was/am. Congrats on making the first step and showing up. Stick with this and it will work! I know the classes are tough and you feel like you are going to die, but the death rate from CrossFit is much lower than that from obesity. Remember, weight loss is not only about output, but input too. I’d say it’s probably 20% work and 80% diet. Seriously, if you haven’t had a chance to talk with Jake about nutrition do yourself a favor and chat him up – he knows everything and really seems to have a passion for it! Trust me when I tell you that you’ve certainly found the right place. Down Home CrossFit is where it’s at!

Stephen Staton
I tried crossfit before. In a college city, full of football players and guys focused on getting big. I liked the movements, but I hated the atmosphere. So after a month, I quit going.

3 years later, I needed to get back into a gym, and do something other than running so I decided to give one of the free classes at DownHome a try. That was over four months ago, and I haven’t regretted it once. After the first class, I was hooked. Intimidated by what looked like complicated and heavy lifting, but hooked. I went back that same day to sign up for their fundamentals class and Sunny and Jake instantly made me feel at home.

Through out the fundamentals course, Jake broke down the olympic lifts into simple movements that I could understand and follow. He and Sunny made me feel comfortable lifting heavier weights than I thought possible while consistently emphasizing proper form. When my form faltered, they called me out on it and helped me correct it. No one ever laughed at me or made me feel stupid when I didn’t understand the lift, or the WOD.

After completing the fundamentals course, I was already seeing changes. I was stronger, happier, and more well rested than before. I committed to being in the gym every day it was open and giving it my all. I started waking up and looking at the workout for the day before I went in every day. In the classes, I found a group of athletes who were also committed to making themselves better. There was a healthy dose of competition between us, but mostly some of the best cheerleaders I’ve ever come across. Sunny and Jake have created an atmosphere of encouragement and support. When I was the last one to finish a workout, everyone else was still there – encouraging me the entire time. When I missed a day of working out, someone always told me they missed me. Having that level of involvement was a game changer for me. People wanted to see me thrive at what I was doing, and I wanted to see them thrive at the same things.

A month into crossfit, I had lost 5% body fat, converted 8 pounds of fat to muscle and lost 2 pounds over all. Even better than that, I felt better about myself. I noticed new muscles when I was blow drying my hair and felt confident enough to work out in a sports bra. Sunny and Jake both pushed me to make even bigger changes in my life. I started working out harder and participated in a Whole 30 clean eating challenge. Eating better made a huge impact in how I felt, and how I looked. I had even more energy than before and I could work out harder, for longer. At then end of the 30 days, I even did my first pull up!

I walked into Down Home looking for motivation and the encouragement to be better. I walked out with so much more: lasting friendships, improved self confidence, a desire to be the best me and the knowledge of how to eat better. Down Home Crossfit legitimately changed my life. If you’re even the slightest bit interested, show up! Give Sunny and Jake the chance to show you how life changing Down Home Crossfit can be. It won’t always be easy, but they will be right there encouraging you the whole time and it will 100% be worth it!

Colleen Fellows
I first walked into DownHome while searching for a new CrossFit home. I had recently moved to Georgia and had tried both of the other CrossFit gyms in Pooler. Those gyms were not a good fit for me and as a result, I had basically given up CrossFit for about 5 months. When I learned there was a new box in the area, I was eager to give it a shot. I gave Down Home a try and I’ve never looked back.

Immediately, I was excited about the size, openness and cleanliness that I saw when I walked in. When I got the tour, I realized it had a lot more to offer than any of the other gyms I had tried. The coaches were friendly and knowledgeable and the members were welcoming. I knew before the first workout was over, this was going to be my box.

Being a home team member and getting to work out with the coaching staff has definitely improved my life. I am eager to go to class every day and I generally get a little bummed out if I have to miss a class due to my schedule. The coaches have worked with me on proper form and mobility techniques, which have only benefited my workouts and helped improve my performance.

Down Home is improving my future by motivating and supporting me on the road to achieving my fitness goals and coaching me on the proper ways to get there. I am learning about nutrition. I am getting stronger. I am getting leaner. I am gaining more confidence and most importantly, I am setting strong examples for my children.

My favorite thing about DownHome is the Home Team. There is such an amazing group of people that choose to better their lives at DownHome. This is truly the friendliest, most supportive and motivating group of people I have had the pleasure to workout with. I definitely feel like they are my second family.

Also, personal Training with Coach Carlie has been amazing. She listens to my personal goals and programs our sessions to meet those goals. Adding PT to my regular workouts was a good call and one I definitely recommend. I have seen definite progress in my Olympic lifting and members are noticing and commenting on my performance in class. That is a great feeling. I know what hard work I have put in, but having others see it, really makes you feel good.

I really cannot say enough about DownHome. I have a true sense of pride when I talk about my gym, my coaches and my HomeTeam family. Thank you, Jake & Sunny, or bringing your knowledge and experience to Pooler.

Francis Fair