About Us

In 2011, after George's tour to Iraq, he decided he needed a change. He had always loved working out and training, and needed a way to express his love for it. He took a trip to Wisconsin with his brother in law, Scott, who had just gotten a new job working full time for the Army. In Wisconsin, it seemed like the right place to start a new chapter and begin personal training. 

iraq
tire-pull-up

George loved waking up early and training before the sun was up. He'd go into work with Scott, his brother in law,  and they'd workout either at the YMCA or at the unit pushing trucks, throwing tires, carrying rocks, and ripping pull ups. He'd study all day for his personal training certification. After a few months it was time to take the test. He took it and passed, despite his massive amount of nervousness. A few weeks after that he got an intern position at Paradise Spring Spa and Fitness as a small group coach. What was supposed to be seven week internship lasted only two because of the knowledge and competency George demonstrated. Here he learned new ways to train, developed his encycolpedia of movements and alternatives for people with limitations or who exceeded the standard.  

He trained hard and learned everything he could from Paradise, and it worked. He was fit, he could move, his clients were doing well and he made a name for himself. There was only one thing missing; maxmial strength. It was no good to be able to move and run really far if he could not move heavy loads. As a Soldier, he may need to pick someone up and move them around or out of a truck. So, he started strongman training. He bought a tire that he could not flip, he made sandbags and found a keg and axle bars. He'd pull sleds and swing heavy kettlebells. Kept his conditioning but added 10lbs of muscle in less than a year. By the end of the summer 2013 he could flip the tire all day with no issues, his deadlift and squat went up nearly 100lbs each, and he realized he was no slower or in worse shape from adding these movements and putting strength first. Then in 2014 he got the news he was being to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 

sandbag
squatching

In Guantanamo it was a struggle to stay healthy, fit, and strong. The gyms were globo style, not functional, it was hard to perform circuit training. There were no strongman implements, and people who tried to train with him often quit. The 12 hour days of sitting outside in the caribean heat were draining. He went back to his roots and redsicovered Westside Barbell and Louie Simmons.  He got certified as a Westside Barbell personal trainer and learned the methods hidden behind the walls in Columbus, Ohio. He learned GPP, true dynamic effort, maximal effort, and repetition effort. All encompassing training. 

When he got back he started working a CrossFit gym in West Bend as the powerlifting coach twice a week. But that wasn't enough, so he asked to start coaching CrossFit. Reluctantly, the owner agreed on the basis George get Level 1 certified. He did, and coached for almost 5 years. George found the community is what kept people coming back, not the training. He realized how much loved coaching people who wanted to learn and be a part of the family. 

car-deadlift
nationals

George was always fascinated with strength, so much so as to compete in strongman and make it to the national level. He realized CrossFit classes were often missing the little things that can make athletes better, so he'd try to blend some things in that he'd learned and figured out. Most members realized the importance. George realized he'd strayed away from his true self, and that was not acceptable. Come March 2020, the gym had to shut down from covid, and in the same month George learned he was going back to Guantanamo Bay. It was perfect timing to leave or be told to leave the gym. The community had fallen apart under new methodologies that didn't sit right with a lot of the members, and as the gym emptied, so did George's heart. 

He was sent to Guantanamo in September and hated it more than the first time. It was stressful for no reason. It jaded him, made him less tolerant to people who tried to abuse their authority and take advantage of people or situations. Once he came back, he stayed away from coaching for a semester to try and focus on school and getting back to normal. However, he missed it. His girlfriend would implore he find a coaching job, but he didn't want to teach CrossFit or work at a YMCA. There was only one option left. In November of 2021, he saw a building for lease that he'd always said he'd buy if it ever went up for sale. It was time to put his money where his mouth is. 

squad-gtmo
champagne-spray

He hesitated! He waited too long and he called twice it was already leased. Well, George had done research already, had the LLC, an excel sheet of equipment, loans were being worked on, and he just needed a place. He found it, 1530 Corporate Center Drive Suite 3, West Bend WI. Radiant heat in the floor sold him, and he got insurance before he signed the lease; he knew it was the one. It was time to rebuild the family that scattered to the winds in 2019-2020. It was time to be a better gym owner and coach he'd seen. There would be 24 hour access for people who work different hours and deserve better training than globo gym. Programming would be available and they could go in and get their work done. He knew how bad it felt to work night shifts and have no access to a gym after dark, and that was unacceptable. 

He worked hard over winter break, enticed other people to come help to be a part of the building of Sharpened Athletics and gave them access to the gym for free until the grand opening. People saw what he was trying to do and helped so much. It filled George's heart again and he realized he'd found his place in the world. On March 19th 2022 the doors officially opened and training had begun with 10 members on the first week. The family was back together, and Sharpened Athletics was in motion. 

Iron sharpens iron, so we all get sharpened together 

grand-opening-2