Meet the Iron Tribe Product Team: Jake Naumcheff

Blog
Sarah Cook
March 20, 2017

From writing the workouts to talking with members one-on-one, the Iron Tribe product team has a heavy hand in creating the Iron Tribe Fitness experience. Most of them have been with the brand since the beginning (read Iron Tribe’s full story here) and have seen countless members have their lives transformed by better fitness and nutrition.

Their ultimate goal is to help shape everyone who walks through Iron Tribe’s doors through well-thought-out fitness training and motivation. Our first product team spotlight is Jake Naumcheff, the guy who essentially writes all the Iron Tribe workouts along with Kyle Sottung! Read more about Jake here:

Jake Naumcheff

Gym:

Iron Tribe Fitness Highway 280 (Birmingham, AL)

Hired in:

February, 2014

Age:

27

Hometown:

Birmingham, AL

College:

Southeastern Bible College, Beeson Divinity

How did you end up working for Iron Tribe?

I moved back to Huntsville in 2013 and was at a crossroads in deciding whether to stay with my former gym or come over to Iron Tribe. I had a phone call with Forrest, who took the time to answer some questions that I had and informed me about Iron Tribe’s commitment to connecting God’s blessing with God’s purpose. That was ultimately the deciding factor, and I was lucky enough to be hired at the Huntsville location a few months later.

What had you done prior to working for ITF that made you better prepared for this job?

I had worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for about six months at Randolph High School, which gave me a great opportunity to see a more structured approach to strength training and periodization. Following that I worked for another popular fitness branch for about 4 years. Both of those jobs helped me hone my skills in having an eye for proper movement as well as learning to relate to people and athletes.

Where do you add the most value to the ITF Product Team?

That’s tough because all of the people that I work with are so qualified and bring so much to the table. If I had to pick one area where I bring value to the product team, it would more than likely just be experience. I’ve been committed to fitness for a long time now and I’ve seen, coached and programmed more workouts than I could possibly count. I think all of that adds up and allows me to do my job in a way that can’t be taught in a classroom.

What is the hardest thing about your job?

That’s easy. Juggling all of the moving parts that have to come together in order for our programming to work and meet the needs for all of our athletes. There’s so many pieces that we have to take into account when we program a workout (only 7 rowers, 5 bikes, 25 minute time cap, overlapping movement patterns, limited exercise library, etc…) that finding a good balance to fit everyone’s needs as well as something we’re proud to put out to our athletes can be a challenge.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is going into any of the gyms we have and being able to watch and observe so many different people with such different goals and aspirations going through the same workout and getting closer to reaching their goal because of it. It is a truly humbling thing to know that when I write a workout, up to 5,000 people may take part in it. That reminds me that what we do is so much bigger than me and makes me want to work even harder to deliver the best product I can.

It is a truly humbling thing to know that when I write a workout, up to 5,000 people may take part in it.

Tell us your favorite ITF moment

That would be when ITF 280 reached 300 members. That was a goal that we as a team prayed about every day and God answered. To this day, that was the best staff and team that I’ve ever worked with and I’ll never forget it.

What is your favorite type of ITF workout?

Anything with a heavy barbell and a high-skill gymnastic movement.

What is your least favorite type of ITF workout?

Anything that is a short all-out sprint. I don’t like to go fast!

Which exercise is your favorite to coach?

Snatch

What do you think is the most important thing clients need to do to have success in this program?

Consistency and hard work. I tell people this all the time, but the number one thing you can do to improve and see success with our program is nothing more than to come into the gym on a consistent basis and make the most of your time by working as hard as you can that day. That may not be a popular answer, but there’s no substitute for putting in the time and effort that progress requires.

there’s no substitute for putting in the time and effort that progress requires.

Name the last thing you’ve done to stay on top of new information in fitness/strength and conditioning

I am currently in the process of pursuing a CSCS. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now and I hope to have it finished by the end of this summer.

Which leaders in fitness influence you the most?

James Fitzgerald and Dennis Berry. James is best known as the founder of OPEX and has influenced me greatly in how I approach program design and energy systems training. Dennis Berry wouldn’t be considered a leader in fitness for a lot of people, but I had an opportunity to work with him and he showed me how to truly invest everything you have into the people in your gym and leave them walking away from the gym better than when they came in.

What do you think is going to be the next big fitness trend?

PUSH! In all seriousness, I believe HIIT (high-intensity training) will be the next popular trend because it targets a group of people who don’t want to lift a lot of weight or walk on their hands but want to break a sweat and burn calories. Those people right now are not being targeted as best as they could be and there’s a market for it.

What is your biggest pet peeve in the gym?

Clutter. I’m OCD about things not being put away or being left out and spread across the gym.

If you could give advice to the young/new coaches out there, what would it be?

Learn to care about your athletes. Learn to care about them enough so that you put in the time and effort to better yourself as a coach for their sake. Learn to care about them more than yourself. That took me a long time to realize, and while I’m still improving in that area, it’s the number one thing that has changed the way I see my role as a coach.

What’s the most important thing you do to stay on track with your personal fitness goals?

One thing that I have always done in the past is to guard the time that I have set aside for working out. It may mean that I have to miss out on some other things, but making it a priority has always helped.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of your job?

I’m a bookworm and I love to read, but specifically I enjoy studying theology. I also enjoy hiking and finding new sports to play whenever I have the opportunity.

What has been the most impactful life event for you in the last 5 years?

Getting married a little over a year ago. My wife has also become fitter than me in the past year, too. So that’s been fun.

Stay tuned for more up close and personal conversations with the ITF product team!

Sarah Cook

Sarah oversees social media and internal communication for Iron Tribe Fitness. Her goal is to share the mission of Iron Tribe so others can be transformed by the program, and ultimately become the healthiest version of themselves.