For the past five years, Unified Fit has been uniting the community in competition and is still going strong.

Topher Barretto, event coordinator, said the recent competition included 20 two-person teams from seven different gyms.

“There’s still a calling for it,” said Barretto, citing a dip in fitness events because of the pandemic. “It gives people that enjoy the sport of functional fitness an outlet, something to test what they do in the gym.

“It’s nice to kind of test yourself every now and then to see where you stand. And then, at the same time, it’s the only time that all the gyms get together to work out together, have fun, have a little friendly competition. “

Starting Saturday morning and extending into the afternoon, General Fitness Competition hosted the Functional Fitness League BFF Series, which began at Gov. Joseph Flores Memorial Park in Tumon and finished at the Unified gym in Tamuning.

“I’m really glad that Unified Fitness puts these competitions on because it gives athletes a venue to show off their fitness, but also it shows the community this is fun,” said Steel Athletics owner JJ Ambrose, who teamed with Zach Gee to win the Men’s Performance Division. “I think that competition was actually really well run. I saw that there were multiple volunteers from different gyms.”

Ambrose, 36, in previous competitions, had competed against Gee, 25, but had never entered a competition as a team. But, very early in the competition, Ambrose recognized the synergy.

“It was really easy to sync up. We both have our ideas. And we were on point that day,” Ambrose said. “About a month ago, we started working out together more. So our movements were more synchronized, and we had a general idea of ​​what we were capable of.

Ambrose, saying the skills in this competition suited them better than in previous events, liked the diversity in challenges. He said previous events were geared too much toward CrossFit, which he said is different from general fitness, which gave some gyms an advantage, such as in the gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting portions.

Ambrose also said he found some of the events “super low-tech,” requiring competitors aiming for the top of the podium to “work really hard.”

“For instance, they had a 400-meter run relay that I thought was really cool and unique,” ​​he said. “You don’t see that very often. You had to run a 400, tag your partner, and they ran. And then, after a few minutes of rest, we started a sandbag workout, basically throwing it over your back.”

Barretto said Ambrose is constantly training and feels he “never has an offseason, by the looks of it.”

He also said Ambrose and Gee excelled in the competition.

The competition, which pitted gyms against each other in feats of strength and agility, had two-person teams going head-to-head in five divisions: Men’s Performance, Women’s Performance, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Fitness and Men’s Active.

After four outdoor physical challenges, the competition relocated indoors, where athletes participated in the final two events — a gymnastics-based exercise and Olympic-style weightlifting.

“I think their gymnastics is the part where they need to work on, but they they have really good strength and endurance,” said Barretto, complementing the Ambrose-Gee team.

Before transferring to the gym, Ambrose had a strong feeling Steel Athletics was going to win.

“We already had won two out of six events, so I knew our chances of taking it from there were really high,” he said. “Given what our strengths and our weaknesses were, I knew going into the next four workouts that we pretty much had it clinched. We weren’t the strongest Olympic lifters in the gym, by any means, but we knew that we were going to out-lift our main competition, which would be Unified.”

Once the final reps were ruled upon and points tallied, Steel Athletics emerged as the overall winner. The gym claimed gold medals in all but the Women’s Performance Division, which belonged to the Unified duo of Taylor Crisostomo and Ivee Illao.

“They’ve been training together for a long time,” Barretto said of Illao and Crisostomo. … “When they work out in teams, it’s almost like working out with themselves. Because they know each other on what their strengths are, their weaknesses, they know how to communicate with each other.”

He said good communication and a complete understanding of each other’s dynamics is why they win nearly every event.

“As a coach, it’s so cool to see so many people come onboard what you’re doing,” Ambrose said. … “If I can get other people to win inside my gym, that just means there’s a lot of buy-in here.”

“For me, it is so cool that people trust and believe in the gym, and they’re willing to put in the hours and the methodology into what it takes to win,” said Ambrose, adding that proper nutrition and dedication are core principles of his programs.

Ambrose said he was pleased some of his gym’s older athletes did so well.

“James Brown was our oldest competitor. At 41, he won the Active Division,” Ambrose said. Brown won the division with teammate Mike Batista.

“I thought that was just so bada- -,” Ambrose said. “James is one of those guys who has proven the naysayers wrong.”

“I don’t like to put limitations on age or gender,” Ambrose said.

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