Fresh Tactics is a podcast about fitness and physical culture, with the occasional (ok, more than occasional) sidebar about movies, cheat meals and generally shooting the shit.

The hosts, Zach and AJ, run CrossFit Hinge in Seattle, Washington and are both instructors for Kettlebell Rx.

Zach has been in the fitness industry since 2006. He is a co-owner, along with Jeff Martone, of Kettlebell Rx, and is also the head of programming. He has two dogs that he treats like children, and still thinks cargo shorts are a good option in the year 2018.

AJ is a Canadian, and has been doing CrossFit since she was a teenager. She treats the gym dogs more like partners in crime and can often be found commiserating with them over Zach’s bad jokes. AJ moved to Seattle in 2015, and as you will hear, is still holding tough on that Canadian accent.


Are the best athletes really the worst coaches? Does spectacular athletic ability make it harder to teach the average athlete or client? AJ and Zach discuss which movements are their favorites to coach, how different learning styles affect their teaching styles, and how much they have learned over the last decade.


Zach and AJ talk about finding your “Coaching Voice”, and how to develop one’s coaching identity. Contrary to the name, this applies to almost everyone who has a profession or a passion and would like to develop their skills and their unique personality as it applies to their job. Spoiler: it all comes down to vulnerability.


Zach and AJ discuss what it takes to organize and run a non-profit. Or as Zach states “30 minutes to non-profit.” Listen in on some of their tips and experiences, as well as get a better understanding of why they chose to start 206 South.


Zach and AJ discuss the tenth annual Pipehitters Classic event – touching on a little history and giving the highlights that made this years event another great one!


Zach and AJ discuss creating shapes with one’s body in gymnastics, and creating angles with the Rx style of Kettlebell lifting.

Coaches and athletes alike, if you want to go in-depth on the Hinge and why it is important in all aspects of fitness, give this one a listen!


Who better to help fill in the blanks of Zach’s origin story than his partner in crime?
This week, we were graced with the presence of Dr. Margaux Chan. Before Margaux went to medical school and started her residency, she loved kettlebells, coaching and helped Zach to discover the magic of Kettlebell Sport and breathing cycles.


Teaching New Athletes Efficiently

AJ and Zach break down their Kettlebell Foundations program, and elaborate on why they use kettlebells to teach their new athletes. Do you let your newest coaches teach your newest athletes? Do you make sure that your athletes know how to use their posterior chain? How do you foster community from the very first day that your clients walk into your gym? Coaches, this episode is for you.


Zach and AJ shoot from the hip on this one and get a little sidetracked at times, but generally manage to talk about recovery.

From your first day of working out to seasoned athlete, they cover all the Do’s and Don’ts of recovery (and there is a lot of “do as I say, not as I do” in this one) and reveal their top 3 priorities for recovering well.


Zach and AJ explain what Kettlebell Flows are, and why their Flow classes are different from the kettlebell flows you might see on instagram.

If you’re interested in variance in your fitness classes, Girevoy Sport or any aspect of kettlebell training, this one is a must listen!


Analisa Naldi has been in the fitness industry for almost 2 decades, is a StrongFirst team leader, owns her own gym down in the Bay area, and is one of those people who just radiates sunshine and good vibes wherever she goes. We go all over the place in this episode, so sit back and get ready for some knowledge bombs! We talk kettlebell training, CrossFit, sports psychology, coaching and all things athletics.


Are you a street level coach?

This one is for the coaches and business owners out there. Do you have a dream of training an amazing team of coaches so that you can sit back and run your business? Or are you like us, and dreaming of going back to being on the floor for every class?

Zach and AJ talk about the origins of the term street level coach, how to determine whether you are one, and how to approach your coaching and career development appropriately.

Zach and AJ interview David Rief. David is a chiropractor in Portland at Milwaukie Spine and Sport, and is an accomplished Olympic lifter who has been in the sport since 2002. He talks about the “major extinctions” in his athletic life, how to approach training in order to keep it sustainable over the lifespan, and why it’s important to bark during training (nope, that’s not a typo).

A couple of notes on this one: This was our first interview that we recorded and the sound quality is not awesome (although there are some very soothing bird noises in the background). Also, AJ was pretty sick during this interview, so she stays fairly quiet – except when she gets excited about the Jurassic period and interrupts everyone.

They’re back, with better mics! Zach & AJ discuss the benefits of isolation exercise & bodybuilding for athletes in CrossFit and other sports. Spoiler alert: there are many.

Zach & AJ talk about their favorite bad days in the gym. Zach does say “just a quick background…” and then talks about himself for 15 min (4:00 – 22:00). He also tries to talk about Fortnite, and says it completely wrong (we are geeks about different stuff)

Around the 25 minute mark, we start actually talking about our favourite “things went really wrong” stories in the gym. If you’re a gym owner or a coach who is having a bad day, this one is for you. You’ll walk away with a smile, reassured that this does actually happen to everyone, and inspired to keep doing what you’re doing.

At the end of episode 2, Zach’s question was “What is your favorite diagnostic movement?” and it turned into a whole episode!

Zach and AJ spend the first 10 minutes of the show talking about the dogs, and then start talking about Prebok and dorky CrossFit stuff. For a long time. 20 Minutes of dorky CrossFit stuff.

At the 28 minute mark, we finally start talking about diagnostic movement and the importance of hinging. Zach rants a little bit at the end, but in an educational kind of way.

Zach and AJ talk about three types of Strength Training:




And how athletes in every sport need all three (to varying degrees).

These thoughtful, intelligent insights are interspersed between stories about Zach’s Coach (and AJ’s Grand-coach), Jeff Martone and some serious shit-talking.

As for our questions of the day – AJ’s is Millennial-themed (ugh, Millennials) and Zach’s question is so deeply thought-provoking it turned into the topic of Episode 3.

Get to know Zach and AJ in this inaugural episode of Fresh Tactics