Manta Ray Highlight: Justin Ashbrook

Manta Ray loves to highlight our members for their achievements to celebrate their success and motivate others on their own personal journeys. Justin Ashbrook is a long time member of EFC who has had an amazing physical transformation that he earned through his dedication and hard work. Here is a testimonial from Justin himself. Congratulations Justin – we are proud of you and thankful to have you as part of our Manta Ray family!


Justin Ashbrook


Growing up all through high school I was always active and playing sports, back then I did not put much thought into staying in shape it just kind of happened, as it does for a lot of young people. After high school I put on some weight and got into running and starting lifting weights to try and combat the bad eating and lack of activity. This did the job, and through my 20’s and into my early 30’s I was in relatively good shape.

As I got later into my 30’s things gradually started to change. I was still pretty consistent with my running and going to the “globo” gym, but the routine, lack of intensity and my progressively worsening diet started to catch up with me and I ballooned up to around 185-190lbs and was a tight 34-inch waist. I just couldn’t seem to make any progress in the right direction no matter how much I worked out.

Crossfit had been something I had heard about but wasn’t sure how a 10 minute workout could do more than running 15 miles and going to the gym 4 times a week. Finally Holli (my beautiful wife) got me a Groupon for this placed called Evolve Fitness Clearwater, so I showed up at 5:00am and got started and very quickly got hooked. I loved the atmosphere and all the new things I was learning how to do, things I had not done in a long time and mostly things I had never done. The push and the competition from the other athletes was something I had not experienced since playing sports in school. When I came in every morning all I wanted to do was get better at Crossfit, which was the only thing I had on my mind. Never really thinking about losing weight or getting in better shape, I just wanted to increase my squat, do chest to bar pull ups or figure out how to do double unders. Next thing you know 6 months had gone by and I was sitting on the couch with my daughter and she laid her head on my lap and said pointing at my belly “Daddy where did my pillow go?”

Up to that point I had not been on a scale or thought about my pants size, I found the closest scale and jumped on I was down 20-25 pounds and 2 notches on my belt. That’s when I realized what was going on, I loved Crossfit because of the challenge and the comradery and the side effect was being in the best shape that I had been in since high school.

Evolve Fitness Clearwater has changed my life for the better in so many ways I cannot list them, 3 years into it and it is still just as fun and challenging as day 1.