Owner of Los Campeones Gyms
2721 East Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Phone: (612) 333-8181
2746 Blaisdell Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55408
I grew up on a farm in South Dakota with my brother and sister, we were raised by my (single) mother, as my father passed away when I was just six year old. I worked the farm from a young age and took on all the conventional “farm kid” chores plus many of the responsibilities which would’ve otherwise been handled by my late father.
I was accepted to a Bible college in Canada and planned on attending after high school but it closed unexpectedly. That caught me off guard, I didn’t have an alternate plan, I didn’t have anywhere to stay and I wasn’t sure what to do.
I entered a bodybuilding show right after graduating from high school and won, I was approached by a bodybuilder from Minneapolis that offered to mentor me. His name was Erik Fromm and he had competed in top national shows many times and was also a trainer and worked with many people at Los Campeones and that is how I came here. After eight months of mentorship, Erik died of an accidental drug overdose and I was the one that found him. At the time I was living with him and his fiancé, after he died, his fiancé moved away and I didn’t know what I was going to do. Fortunately I had just met Dr. Kevin, who a lot of you know, that owns a chiropractic clinic Lyn Lake, he took me in and I lived with he and his family for a few months until a house that he owned opened up and I lived there for 2 years, until I met my wife, Amber.
I took what I learned from Erik and started training clients and over time, built it up to training a lot of people. After a few years of training I was approached by the former owner of Los Campeones gym and he offered to sell the gym for very little because it was a essentially going out of business. So I bought it and slowly turned it around, instead of going to college I saw running the gym as my college. For years it was just my wife and I working at the gym, I opened and closed the gym for a long time, looking back it is like a blur. Over time, I was able to turn it around and start hiring people to help. In 2014 I was looking for a bigger location to move the gym to because the previous franklin owners had no interest in selling, but then I walked into the Blaisdell building and I knew it wasn’t big enough to move to but it was big enough to open a second location. Everything fell into place so well. It was crazy. I never thought about having a second location but it’s like it happened on its own and now the Franklin expansion is done and it’s still hard to believe what this has become.
I think the reason the gyms have succeeded is because of how we make people feel. We treat everyone with respect and make them feel like we want them to be here. We’ve developed real friendships with many people here, we are a real community. People all want to feel like they are a part of something. And to many, this is the only thing they are really connected to.
This gym has been here for 34 years. Many local gyms have started and gone out of business in the time that this has been here. There is obviously something special about this place for it to have lasted this long.
These gyms mean a lot of different things to a lot of people. For some people this is really their home and family because they have no family. For some people it is the core of their rehab from drug addiction or their criminal past. A lot of good people call this their workplace, many of the trainers were unhappy where they were working or training before and here they are able to really live their dream of being a trainer and helping people while earning a good income.
When I bought the gym I didn’t even think about having other people working here, I was only thinking about my dream and owning a gym but now one of the things I’m most proud of is creating jobs and providing employment.