TESTIMONIALS to our awesomeness!

Testimonial from Janice Piro


     I first started private coaching with Paul Chapman a year and a
half ago because I was getting frustrated with the squat snatch.
Also, I wanted to work on ring muscle ups, not really believing
that I would ever actually DO one, but I wanted to give myself a
chance at it. That was a year and a half ago. Since then, I have
gotten much more comfortable with the squat snatch and can
perform this lift pretty well, knowing where to correct myself
when it doesn’t go as it should. My squats are much better, too.
Previously, I was one of the athletes that always got the
“LOWER, JANICE!” instruction by a coach whenever we were
doing a move with a squat in it. (I haven’t heard that in a very
long time now…yeah!) We are still working on ring muscle ups,
but I am getting closer, and I now believe I will actually be able

to perform this gymnastic one day.


     Besides those specific things, I cannot say enough about how
much Coach Paul has helped me overall, not only with
correcting my lifting technique in general, but working with my
mobility and with my confidence under heavier loads. Good
technique and mobility are paramount to safety, which is a big
reason I will continue to work with him. (I plan on being a
CrossFit athlete for many more years, so that means I need to
stay injury-free.) Coach Paul is expert at seeing exactly where
my technique needs improvement. Even if my technique is
pure crap, he never overwhelms me with too much instruction
all at once. He corrects one or two things at a time, building to
the next and the next. He has an excellent ability to
communicate exactly what he needs me to do. His care and
attention to his private coaching is evident as he always comes
prepared with something he has thought out for us to do in that
session. I also appreciate his up-beat, incessantly positive
attitude. He tells me what I am doing right, as well as what
needs improvement, so I never feel like a complete idiot. His
confidence in my abilities is contagious, which helps me reach

levels I otherwise may not.


     Since working with Paul, I have noticed more general
improvements, too, such as:
-Having more focus in my WODs
-An improved ability to critique myself
-Executing more purposeful WODs (I know what one or two
things to specifically work on within each WOD)

-Having more confidence overall.


     No matter what kind of CrossFit athlete you are… experienced
but wanting to improve upon your weaknesses, or wanting to
improve your technique to avoid injury, or a new CrossFit
athlete wanting to ramp in and avoid developing bad habits…I
highly recommend private coaching with Paul. He is truly

outstanding and I guarantee it will be fun!



Rebels is an Inclusive Community



There are so many wonderful things to say about Rebels that I’m having difficulties initiating this. The first thing that attracted me to Rebels, as we relocated to the Clearwater area from across the country, was their experience with the Functional Movement Screen. This was HUGE to me because I knew this meant the coaching staff was educated and understood how to correct dysfunctional movement patterns. AKA: They can correct your front squat, improve overhead mobility, and train to move your body optimally while decreasing chance of injury. I consider myself selective with fitness providers so without hesitation I signed up thinking it would be a healthy environment to meet people in my foreign surroundings.

My journey at Rebels commenced with a long departed athletic background and extinct confidence that had been suppressed by an adulthood of stress and worry, which toxically consumed my life. I was volatile in chasing athletic goals, to no avail. I tried it all: bodybuilding, marathon running, Olympic Weightlifting, and some CrossFit. I turned away from CrossFit and carried a looming “chip” on my shoulder that developed from groundwork of poorly managed boxes, uneducated coaches, and a plethora of stereotypes. The only thing that ever kept my interest was Olympic Weightlifting but I never managed to accomplish my goals or be consistent enough to see results. When a stressor would occur, it controlled me. In the snap of a finger, I would self-sabotage, give up on my goals, and consort with anything but my wellbeing. This was a vicious and familiar cycle which lingered for years, and ultimately led me to believe I wasn’t capable of achieving my goals. I will mention it never stopped me from setting more goals. Every attempt felt like I was setting myself up for yet, another failure. (I compare it to a child sticking their finger in a light socket, receiving a tingling-painful-shock, yet sticking their finger back in the light socket the next day because their curiosity will not be hindered—you are expecting the shock but you do it multiple times anyway). I refused to give up because I genuinely enjoy training and largely believed, deep down, was a capable athlete.

The beginning of my membership with Rebels was extremely humbling. I was very frustrated and hard on myself because I had to start at ground zero (sub-zero if you will). I frequently wanted to give up and destructive thoughts ran through my mind constantly, “I will never be able to perform a pull-up anyways” type-mentality. The Inclusive and genuine environment at Rebels is what kept me coming back. Everybody who enters (no matter where you are in your journey) has the opportunity to be coached, gain knowledge, and genuine support. Even in a box of numerous participants, I am always greeted by name, provided personal instruction (with superb visual, verbal, & tactical cueing), and receive quality instruction from approachable coaches. Rebels’ inclusive and engaging staff has established an exceptionally supportive community of athletes who encourage me and motivate me to be the best version of myself, to never give-up and keep grinding!

With experience at previous CrossFit programs, it was the opposite: an exclusive environment to only the “best” performers, nobody greeted or knew my name because I was just a number, etc. I absolutely believe in the environment Ed, Sam, and the coaching staff provide and it’s unique in that everyone can flourish personally, physically, and mentally. I have said multiple times that Rebels deserves recognition on a higher level for the community they have created. Everyone has the opportunity to be better and it’s because of the owners and coaching staff. This is the first time I personally witnessed an environment that proves CrossFit is for everyone.

I have been with Rebels and living in Florida for 8 months now (seriously, my spouse strongly encouraged me to find a gym the very weekend we moved to Florida and drove me around Clearwater to gym shop before we unpacked the Uhaul). The holistic experience of Rebels has been life changing for me!  I have finally learned to believe in myself and acquired a mentality that “no challenge is too colossal to overcome”. It will be tough, it will hurt, but if you can just push through the hard stuff—which will inevitably end; you will be a stronger and better person physically and mentally. I am happy to express, for the first time in my adult life, that my fitness journey is no longer an oscillating bungee jump cord—THANK GOODNESS! I I genuinely thank the Rebels coaching staff for the environment to openly communicate my goals, my flaws, and for the guidance to help me overcome barriers. I ALWAYS knew I had the potential to be a strong, confident, capable woman (which is always a work in progress). I just had issues bringing it to the surface.

So with that I say THANK YOU for the community, education, encouragement, and genuine solicitude you provide for your members! Personally, I thank you for helping me find my lost qualities of confidence, motivation, and passion—I’ve been hunting them for years now. Everything that has improved in my strength, performance, and physique is a direct reflection of the trust I have in your staff and the influence you’ve had on my internal development.

With Humility and Gratitude,
Janette M.


Ginger’s a Rebel!


Ginger, on the left, with her teammates and friends, Jana and Shannon


(A letter to the owners and coaches of CFR) 

Dear Sam, Ed and all the Rebel Coaches:

I don’t really know how to put into words what it means to me to be a part of the Rebel family. It means the world to me! I have been a rebel for about [2 years] and it has been life changing!  I feel such a connection with fellow rebels! I cannot express the amount of inspiration that I get from you, Ed and each coach there…not to mention my fellow rebels! For 15 years I have lived (or existed…not really lived) until I made the decision to walk through that door and try and regain a part of my life and health back.

IMG_4024.JPGGinger Disney








Since joining, I have become healthier, stronger both mentally and physically, faster and accomplished things that I never thought I could do. I have started to enjoy doing things again…seeing real live people again and not just stare at my four walls at home…it has helped bring me out of a depression and given me something to look forward to and enjoy!! You guys have had faith in me and pushed me to be more and do more and reminded me what being an athlete was about…this is smoothing that I truly appreciate and can’t thank you enough for. I fee like slowly,  I am regaining my self-confidence, my individuality and my life back. I am happier, which in turn has made me a better person, a better mom and friend. I have accomplished new things and participated in competitions, adventure races and 5K’s. I’ve made new friends long the way and love the support of the CF community from our box…our family.

Ginger Running


Thank you Sam and Ed of all you have done for all your support, encouragement and inspiration me (and others) and also for allowing me to bring They with me when I need to .  I really love you guys!!  I will continue to be a rebel for as long as you have your door open!!


 A note to Ginger from CrossFit Rebels:
We know you are currently recovering from your latest challenge, and we wanted to remind you that we’re here as soon as you’re able to train. We love you. The box isn’t the same without your spirit and love for the sport of CrossFit (and softball :).  Heal quick!

CrossFit Rebels…Patience, Understanding and Knowledge

shannon 2_edited_edited

I think it’s important to take responsibility for your actions, so let me start by explaining what happened, and how I injured myself in the first place – it was a hectic day, as always, and I found myself getting to the box a little late.  The WOD that day included deadlifts, and our standard warm-up was posted on the board.  However, being in a rush, I didn’t take the time to warm-up properly – instead, I jumped right in to heavy (for me) deadlifts.  Well, you can guess what happened next – a sudden, severe, shooting pain in my lower back! 

So, if I would have just taken the time to warm up properly, I could have avoided all of this!  Instead, I found myself going between discomfort and severe pain for the next few weeks – it would hurt whenever I sat for prolonged periods, and I thought I definitely wouldn’t be able to work out.  I kept waiting for my back to get better, and days turned into weeks.  After two weeks without much / any improvement, I was really bummed out.  If you’re reading this, you can probably imagine how depressing it is to miss weeks at the box due to a nagging injury!

One day my husband came home and told me that the coaches had been asking about me, and they were worried about me.  Ed had been checking in with my husband, and asked him to get me back into the box.   So, I came in to meet with Ed, and explained what had happened. 

Ed could not have been more helpful, patient and understanding.  I felt like I just needed to “suck it up” and get better, but I didn’t know what to do, or where to start.  This is where Ed came in.  Ed conveyed to me that I had to be patient, and work through this the right way.  First we discussed my injury in detail, and with his background in physical therapy, he was able help me understand the injury, and the healing process.  Ed told me what I could do for myself at home to speed up my recovery, through stretching and icing my back.  Then, when I started to feel better, he gradually got me back into my workouts.  I couldn’t believe this, but every day when I came in, the staff had a personalized workout for me on the board, scaled to accommodate my injury!

When we were talking one day, Ed mentioned that another member of our box had a similar injury but came to Ed right away, and was already up and running again . . . it made me wish I had come to him sooner!

As I started feeling better, Ed, Sam and the other coaches were always checking up on me, to see how I was doing and feeling.  It was so comforting to know that they took such a personal interest in my well-being.

Now I’m back 100%, and feeling great!  Crossfit has been such a fun, rewarding experience, based in large part on the fact that I get to have a great workout while hanging out with my husband and kids (who also Crossfit), our awesome coaches, and great friends. 

In short, I feel so fortunate to have such knowledgeable, kind and supportive coaches like Ed, Sam and the rest of the coaching staff.  I was so impressed by the way that they went so far out of their way to help and check up on me, without ever being asked to do so.  When we were first looking into Crossfit, we looked at a few other boxes first.  Then, we came to Crossfit Rebels, and immediately saw the difference – the quality of coaching, the facilities . . . even basic training, which is such an important step, but one which other boxes lack.  Once we visited Rebels, I knew right away that this was the perfect place for me and my family! 


Bud says…

Hello, Sam, Ed, Paul, Wendy, et. al.

Since I am beginning year two of my CrossFit Rebel experience I thought it
appropriate to communicate with you as to that experience. Joining Rebels
(thanks to my son Chet) is, probably, one of the better decisions I have
made as it relates to physical and mental fitness. No question, the regimen
is very challenging, and thank goodness for Rx. You all have been very
encouraging as I have attempted, often with great difficulty, to meet your
standards of practice. I have found your “box” to be a very welcoming
place offering new friends – much like a family. Everyone has been
friendly, helpful, patient, kind, encouraging, and, most of all, caring. I
couldn’t have asked for a better scenario if I had tried, and I
whole-heartedly endorse and recommend the Rebel “box” to everyone. Having
said all of the above, I want to thank all of you for making me feel good
about my decision to join the Rebels. It has been an outstanding, many
faceted, experience and I look forward to this new year with great
expectation. Thanks again.