Fitness Battalion Crossfit and Boot Camp


  • Mike-Maddalena

    Mike Maddalena

    CrossFit Certified Instructor
    CrossFit Kids Certified
    CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified
    Boot Camp Instructor
    CPR Certified

    It seems like fitness has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Growing up in a small suburb of Boston, there wasn’t much to do, not even a movie theater. As a kid, you were either playing sports or probably getting into some kind of trouble—and there weren’t any computers to keep kids inside. Obesity wasn’t even a word in most people’s vocabulary.

    Athletics never came natural to me like it did to some kids. I always had to work a little harder and practice a little bit longer, just to be halfway decent…but I never gave up. Except for a couple of years in college, there wasn’t a season that went by since third grade that I wasn’t playing some sport, be it baseball, soccer, basketball (which I’m horrible at), track and field, and crew.

    After graduating in '92 from Ithaca College (Go, Bombers!), I found myself uninterested in pursuing a career in my degree-related field of TV/Radio and wondering what in the world I was going to do. In 1995, someone recommended I think about becoming a Personal Trainer. Always having had a love for working out, it seemed like a perfect fit and I was surprised it had never even crossed my mind before. Less than a year later, I had my certification and have been doing this ever since.

    For over eleven years I had a pretty successful training business, even roughing it through the economic rollercoaster of recent years. I loved what I was doing, clients were great, people got great results. There’s nothing more satisfying than being a part of someone else’s success, and I’m lucky enough to be in a line of work where I get to see that on a regular basis. Could it get any better?

    In 2007, I decided to bring some boot camp-style training I had been doing over the years to Piedmont Park—so much fun. One day, I was doing some research for new training ideas and came across The things people on the site were doing looked pretty cool, and fun, so I thought I would try it out. Little did I know that moment would be so life-changing. I started doing CrossFit training on my own, and was immediately hooked. It was fresh, challenging, and every day’s workout was a surprise—no more doing the same routines over and over. And the results were incredible. Being in consistently good shape for many years, you only expect to see minor improvements, but with CrossFit it was drastic! I dropped that last bit of bodyfat I never thought I would, but, even more importantly I felt and was stronger than ever before--and this was just in the first 4-6 weeks! I almost couldn't believe it.

    Within a few months, I found myself at the “mecca” of the CrossFit world, CrossFit Santa Cruz, for the CrossFit Level 1 Certification seminar. This was another life-changing event. I got my butt kicked(!!!) and probably learned more useful information, in what was one of the most intense weekends of my life, than I had over the course of the last twelve years at continuing education classes.

    Fast forward to a little over a year later in 2009, and I was an affiliate opening up my own CrossFit gym. Today, my clients are getting better results than I ever imagined, and I am more excited than ever of what is to come for everyone that walks through the doors of Fitness Battalion CrossFit. I hope you’ll be one of them.

  • Kyle-Hiddleson

    Kyle Hiddleson

    CrossFit Certified Instructor
    CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified
    CrossFit Gymnastics Certified
    Boot Camp Instructor
    Certified Jiukido Jiujitsu Instructor
    Contemporary Wushu Instructor
    CPR Certified

    I started training martial arts on a whim when I started at Georgia Tech, and that whim has lead to a hundred other decisions that have come to define my life. A decade as a competitive martial artist, training 30 hours a week in half a dozen different martial arts, and several years as an instructor of those arts has taught me more than a few important things about fitness and the human body, and each one is an integral part of what is now my approach to CrossFit. The most paramount of those lessons is that a person's body is capable of far more than they give it credit. Whether you are getting kicked in the head and fighting for consciousness or fighting for breath while getting slapped around by that second round of Fran--because you have trained it to, your body will be there to do all you can will it to. A fact that I prove to myself year after year fighting through injury.

    My time with martial arts has brought me plenty of injury, including more than a handful of broken bones, but in 2009, after breaking my back for the second time, I had a surgery that put me out of commission for a full year. I picked up CrossFit on a whim coming off of that relatively major reconstructive back surgery, and it has turned out to be another one of those chance decisions to redefine how my life turns out. Beyond finding an arena in which I can push myself to my absolute limits, in CrossFit I have found an amazing community of people who I consider friends and family. I have a profound level of enjoyment for teaching people how to feel physically better and become stronger, and CrossFit gives me yet another outlet to share that with people.

    I look forward to sharing that pain and that success with all of you. :-)

  • Tiffany-Dollar

    Tiffany Dollar

    CrossFit Certified Instructor
    CrossFit Kids
    Boot Camp Instructor

    Growing up, I loved sports. I am one of two girls in my family; my poor dad. BUT thank goodness my dad was determined to have an athlete (even if it was a girl). From the age of 5, I started playing softball and cheerleading. By age 9, I had picked up basketball as well. I was that girl that played outside in the neighborhood with all the boys instead of playing dolls. Funny thing about that; even thought I was athletic, I refused to go to school without my hair being curled. You could say I was a girly-girly as well. Uniqe, I know. Throughout my childhood, this continued. I would go from softball games to beauty pageants. I had the best of both worlds.

    After college, I really stopped working out and exercising like I used to. I would stay active, but I wasn’t nearly as fit as I was previously. I had fallen into the mentality that skinny was fit. WRONG. It wasn’t until September 2011 that I realized I wanted to be strong.

    One Monday in August of 2011, I called Fitness Battalion and spoke to Mike. I had decided the previous night that I needed to do something “fun” to workout. That next day, I started bootcamp. Man, did that suck. My first two weeks, I would go home after bootcamp and lay in my living room floor. Some nights, I was too exhausted to even cook dinner. The craziest thing is that I loved every minute of it. After a few weeks, I could tell how much I was improving. I was able to go the whole 45 minutes without stopping. This was AWESOME! What happened next took me by surprise.

    Several of the bootcamp instructors started talking about CrossFit and how I needed to at least try it out. After feeling like I had no choice but to at least give it a try, I took Foundations. Oh boy, did that suck. Those bottom to bottom tabata squats will get you. HAHA. But I showed up to the gym that next day, ready to do my first CrossFit WOD. Nothing has been the same since.

    From the first day that I walked into the "box" I have felt at home. CrossFit has become my second home, my place of serenity and the place I find such happiness. What makes me so happy about CrossFit? That athletic girl has found a way to come out again in my adult life. I can lift weights I never imagined, do pull-ups and even climb a rope. I have also made some amazing friends, watched my body change and become a machine. Shoot, I even met my boyfriend at a CrossFit competition. Fitness Battalion has brought some of the most amazing people into my life, and I love every minute of it! Strong is the new Skinny!

    FBCF Instructor Profile: Tiffany from Fitness Battalion CrossFit on Vimeo.

  • Carolyn-Ballard

    Carolyn Ballard

    Boot Camp Instructor
    CPR Certified

    In 2008 I graduated from The University of Georgia with a degree in psychology, an addiction to lifting weights, and perhaps a small hangover. Never mind the degree or potentially excessive alcohol consumption - the best thing that I discovered in those 4 years was a personal trainer. Since my college-sized wallet was quite displeased with this addition to the budget, my college-sized brain decided to make the most of it. I began asking to learn as many new movements as possible and took detailed notes following each session.

    Post-college I decided I wanted to share my passion for fitness with others and became a trainer at a fitness center for women. In 2009, I continued to expand my knowledge of training styles by hiring a CrossFit Certified Personal Trainer. That same year I also decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Nutrition. Fitness Battalion and I finally crossed paths in early 2010 when a good friend of mine, the one and only Jon B, told me about an opportunity to become a boot camp instructor. I have been a proud member of the Fitness Battalion team ever since.

    Although I am not yet a Registered Dietitian, I thoroughly enjoy sharing my knowledge of nutrition with others and welcome all questions from the Fitness Battalion community. I am always accessible by e-mail or can easily be located in the park - just listen for my laugh.

  • Lawrence-Palmer

    Lawrence Palmer

    CrossFit Certified Instructor
    Boot Camp Instructor
    CPR Certified

    CrossFit and boot camp classes have improved my life in many ways. My physical transformation is the most obvious change, but I’ve also made important changes in less apparent but equally important ways. My cardiovascular respiratory endurance has greatly improved, I’ve gained confidence in my abilities to overcome difficult tasks, and I’ve also taken on a more nutritional and balanced diet. It has been a highly rewarding journey, and one that I would recommend to anyone who is serious about making improvements in their life.

    Growing up in Jamaica, I was always active -- whether it was playing tag, swimming, or soccer. I moved to New York when I was 14, where I got involved with organized sports and fell in love with basketball. I went on to play basketball in college for two semesters where I led the team in assists and steals.

    I eventually moved to Atlanta where, no longer having a sports season to train for, I found myself completely out of shape. I started casually running but didn’t have a serious routine to make a difference in my weight. After doing some research online, I came across some articles and videos regarding CrossFit. I noticed that many of the training techniques were similar to the drills I ran in my old basketball and wrestling days, only the CrossFit videos made the workouts seem both more intense and more fun! I immediately found Fitness Battalion. After speaking with some of the trainers and members, I decided to get started.

    My journey began in boot camp August of 2010. Like it is for most new members, my first few weeks were very hard and humbling (to say the least). I vividly remember many hot summer evenings struggling to keep up with the other members. But, I knew that I would see results if I committed to the program. Within 4 months, I lost roughly 25 lbs and started seeing improvements in my cardiovascular respiratory endurance -- and I was just getting started. Some days after boot camp, I found myself running an additional 2 to 3 laps around Piedmont Park. Never before did I enjoy running unless it was back and forth on a basketball court!

    In January of 2011, I made a full transition to the CrossFit gym. Once again, I found myself struggling to keep up with some of the seasoned athletes, but I knew I would improve if I applied the same determination and intensity. Well, determination and intensity without technique will only go so far. Along the way, I received valuable and helpful tips from other members and several of the excellent Fitness Battalion trainers. I learned how to perfect my lifts, how to mentally fight through hard workouts, and how to identify my weak areas and come up with a plan to address them. It has been very rewarding to reach my fitness goals and make great new friends along the way.

    My goal is to now inspire other people, whether at boot camp or CrossFit, the same way I have been inspired. If there’s anything I can assist you with please don’t hesitate to ask. Whether it’s to run your 1st race, lose weight or improve your health, I would be delighted to help you reach your goals.

  • Matt-Ames

    Matt Ames

    CrossFit Certified Instructor
    Boot Camp Instructor

    Like most of the other instructors at Fitness Battalion, I really didn’t see myself heading down the path that led me here until I had just about arrived. But to me, one of life’s greatest thrills is surprising yourself by just how much you are capable of accomplishing. This is one of the many great gifts that CrossFit and Fitness Battalion have given me these past two years.

    Growing up as a kid, fitness wasn’t a goal or even the subject of a conscious thought for me. But I was lucky, because it was the by-product of an active (OK, hyperactive) disposition and a passion for all things sports. Whether it was football, basketball, tennis, waterskiing, racing my bike, or some other spontaneously reckless activity (there are lots of broken bones in my past), I got a pure, unadulterated joy from wide open running and competing as hard and as fast as I could. It was an experience totally detached from the over-parented and over-scripted experience that I see too much of with kids being introduced to sports today. And it was awesome.

    Fast forward to high school and college, and the concept of fitness as a goal in and of itself finally dawned on me – but not in a way that bore any relationship to the true meaning of the term. Once childhood innocence gave way to the realities of adolescence, my appreciation for joyous, reckless abandon was taken over by a much more specific and calculated purpose: looking as good as I possibly could at the beach. Concepts like power, agility, flexibility, and overall wellness were as foreign to me as an ancient language. Instead, it was all about what I could see and flex in the mirror, baby! And so, for nearly twenty years (!), I spent hour upon hour in a soul-less corporate box in front of a mirror doing bicep curls and other beach-muscle isolation exercises and telling myself that I was working to be “fit.” I bet a lot of you know exactly what I am talking about.

    All of that changed in the spring of 2010. My wife Elizabeth and I (we had just gotten married the previous fall) were both bored and uninspired with our fitness routines and decided to explore the boot camp phenomenon. That led us to Fitness Battalion boot camp…and the rest, as they say, is history. My beach muscle workout routine got a very rude awakening to the concept of real strength, real power, and real fitness. There is nothing quite like red-lining through a six minute full-throttle, maximum effort, ears-ringing workout and then collapsing into a breathless heap at the finish. It was painful and humbling, but snapping out of my old workout trance was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. Fitness Battalion takes you back to that all-out childhood reckless abandon. But even better, it’s abandon with a purpose. You are training yourself each and every day to struggle to climb yet taller and more difficult mountains – only to collapse into yet another breathless heap at the finish line. But when your alarm goes off the next morning, you can’t wait to get after the next set of challenges, in whatever form they take.

    And that last part may be the best part for me. While it’s fantastic that you squeeze the most you possibly can out of your workouts, it’s even cooler to squeeze the most you can out of all of the wonderful experiences of life. Talk to enough veteran Crossfitters and most will tell you they attack life with a greater sense of determination and adventure than before they got started. It’s amazing what all of us can do once we realize that we can.We only get to do it once, so we may as well do it with the throttle wide open, breathless, and racing towards the next challenge.

  • Elizabeth-Ames

    Elizabeth Ames

    CrossFit Certified Instructor
    Boot Camp Instructor
    CPR Certified

    CrossFit is the perfect combination of the sports I have been involved in throughout my life and is more challenging than any single sport I have ever experienced. And, it is perfect for me because I always love good, friendly competition.

    As a kid, I was involved in ballet and gymnastics, working on flexibility, kipping pull ups, handstand holds and the hollow body. In high school, I was a competitive cheerleader. Our coach had the foresight to make us join the weightlifting class with the football players. So, while cheerleaders at other schools were working on toe-touches, I was ripping out max dead lifts, box jumps, and hill runs. After college, I started working on endurance through long distance running. Now, I have run 15 half marathons (and this number is ever increasing) and 3 marathons under my belt. Long distance training has taught me that a hard workout is as much mental as it is physical.

    I had no idea that there would ever be a sport that could combine these sports, but I have found it. CrossFit is an incredible combination of Olympic weightlifting, endurance, and gymnastics; all with constant variation and high intensity. And, if you ever find yourself bored (which I have yet to be), wait until tomorrow, and CrossFit will throw a new skill into the mix for you to try to master.

    My life changed forever the day I found Fitness Battalion. After my last marathon, I did not want to ever see another pair of running shoes and decided to try something new. I signed up for boot camp and was instantly hooked. Through boot camp and, later, CrossFit, I found that variation and intensity of each class made me a better athlete than any workout regimen I had ever done. The friendly competition of having someone working out beside you, or running past you, pushes you harder than any workout by yourself or with a personal trainer. And by the way – these people who have been working out beside me (and pushing me) have now become some of my closest friends. It’s amazing how going through such a fun and challenging experience like CrossFit can bring people together.

    Through CrossFit, I have gained strength and endurance beyond my wildest dreams and know that I will have a lifetime of continuing to push myself to new levels. I have also found that Fitness Battalion has brought more than new physical strength to my life. It has also brought a new found confidence and determination to all aspects of my life. Through instructing at Fitness Battalion, I hope to help others find these life changing benefits of boot camp and CrossFit.

  • Deena-Isom

    Deena Isom

    CrossFit Certified Instructor
    CrossFit Kids
    Boot Camp Instructor
    CPR Certified

    I was never an athlete growing up. I began dancing at 3 years old (ballet, tap, and jazz) and continued lessons until I graduated high school. I played church league basketball through elementary school, but rarely made a shot. I was on the track team my freshman year of high school, but the only thing I was ever awarded was scholar athlete, not any points in a meet. Also, I HATED P.E. I had nightmares about the President’s physical fitness test. Like I said, not an athlete, but, I did love to dance. I was a cheerleader in middle school, and fell in love with colorguard in high school. In fact, I was on the flagline with the Redcoat Band while I was attending The University of Georgia. So, my physical activity came in an artistic fashion, instead of on a competition field. Furthermore, I was never “skinny,” and after graduating from UGA and no longer having a physical outlet with flagline or dance, I rode a rollercoaster of about 30 lbs. and 3 sizes. I would try fad diets or exercise routines, see some results, start to slack, and the weight would come back.

    It was on one of these weight upswings that I found Fitness Battalion. A close friend of mine was seeing great results with another boot camp company, so when I found Fitness Battalion Boot Camp, I thought, "This could work." I was out of shape and nervous that first cold morning in Piedmont Park in early 2011. Like most, it kicked my butt, but it was also a ton of fun. The next day, I was so sore I could barely do a 50 meter bear crawl or 30 seconds of scissor kicks. However, in time, I grew stronger and faster with the help and encouragement of the fabulous FB trainers. I started CrossFit that fall, and now I’m doing things I never would have thought I could do a few years ago - like running half marathons on a regular basis, lifting my body weight over my head, and competing in CrossFit competitions. I can climb a 15’ rope, which I could never do in PE as a kid! And, I’m not some standout, just your average CrossFitter. Being a part of FB has truly been life changing. Beyond being stronger and healthier than ever before, I have found a new passion for exercise and nutrition, particularly in terms of CrossFit theory and methods. I no longer worry about some number on the scale, but what my body is capable of doing with proper fuel and training. What makes FB so special, though, is the people; we really are like family. Everyone is so genuinely encouraging and kind, they make you feel at home from the beginning.

    I was so honored when Mike asked me to join the FB team. I hope to help others achieve their goals and fall in love with fitness (and FB) like I have.

  • Jon-Bonus

    Jon Bonus

    CrossFit Certified Instructor
    Boot Camp Instructor
    CPR Certified

    I joined Fitness Battalion Crossfit sight unseen in June 2009--I hadn't even set foot in the gym, hadn't met Mike, and hadn't any idea as to what Crossfit was. The following is how it all came to be.

    I had just moved to Atlantic Station and was finishing up with a boot camp at Hammond Park, near my old apartment--I had actually started that boot camp cold turkey (read: I drove by and saw a handwritten sign on the street that read "Boot Camp" with a phone number). It was a rude awakening discovering the wonders of the Great Metabolism Slowdown of the Mid-Twenties. I had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that my body wasn't liking the queso dip at El Azteca 4 times a week. So...after 2 months of boot camp and changing my eating, I saw decent results (sleeveless shirts at the pool baby!), but little did I know what CrossFit was going to do to me.

    Fast forward again to June 2009: after going on a run around my new place, I passed a random gym (not FB CrossFit) with yet another "Boot Camp" banner somewhere around Northside Drive and 10th. Using my Georgia Tech degree and vast knowledge of the internet, I googled "gym bootcamp northside 10th st" and gave the number a call thinking it was the gym I passed. Luckily for me, it was actually Fitness Battalion CrossFit! They had just opened up a couple days before, and after talking with Mike on the phone for a few minutes, I went ahead and signed up--like I said before, without even setting foot in the door!

    Over the next several months, I got into the best shape of my life--I was stronger and faster, and it didn't really feel like working out! I felt challenged, I got the competition bug, and I felt like I was working out with friends all the time. No more wandering into LA Fitness, running on a treadmill for 30 minutes and hiding the speed, distance, and time display with my towel. So glad those days are over!

    If you'd like to hear more about my story and/or see some progress pictures that I took along the way, feel free to contact me at