Chris Carlsen is the founder of Iron Lion Performance. He is a former Division 1 athlete, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S). In addition, he is a Strong First Girya Kettlebell Instructor (SFG, Beast Tamer) , and holds specialized certifications in Fitness Therapy (ISSA) , Functional Range Conditioning(FRC) and Pre-Post natal. He has also completed the Complete Olympic Lifting Workshop with national record holder Wil Fleming and continually searches out the best coaches to sharpen his craft.
Growing up in Queens, New York, he spent most of his childhood playing football, baseball and basketball on the streets with his neighborhood friends. Despite being driven at each sport he tried, Chris was drawn to one in particular: football. He excelled at the game, and during his senior season , he was an all-county wide receiver at Holy Cross High School. His academic and athletic abilities earned him a scholarship to Iona College.
Aside from football, Chris discovered another passion while in college: strength training. After enduring challenging workouts that improved his speed and power, he learned firsthand the benefits of a sound strength training program. With his new-found knowledge and fervor, Chris sought to help others achieve their own fitness goals, and upon graduating, he received his personal training certification. He subsequently gained employment at a large, corporate gym in New York City. It was there that Chris honed his training skills, and built a strong reputation and clientele.
Although Chris trained as an athlete, he quickly realized that many of his clients could not initially perform at such an advanced fitness level. More importantly, many of them had pre-existing injuries and poor movement patterns, both of which negatively impacted their workouts. As a result, Chris figured that his expertise in strength training alone would only get him so far. In order to fully help his clients reach their goals, he needed to educate himself in the area of physical assessment. In his journey for information on movement therapy, Chris discovered Gray Cook and his Functional Movement Screen (FMS): a system for evaluating one’s flexibility and mobility. Chris learned the FMS assessment and purchased the entire “Secrets Series” by Cook, which was a gateway to the work of various strength coaches, including Pavel, Mike Boyle and Eric Cressey. These coaches were, and continue to be, the leaders of a larger movement towards functional, movement-based training within the fitness world. Chris adopted their philosophies, combined it with what he already knew and created a training system that brought his clients myriad success. It a system that he has cultivated over the last twelve years of being a professional coach.
T.S. Elliot once wrote that: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Chris wholeheartedly prescribes to this notion, which is why he continues to learn and grow as a trainer and manager
Jason Harrell is the newest addition to Iron Lion and will be adding his strength and conditioning expertise to our awesome coaching staff. An athlete all his life and former Div. II athlete, Jason completed his undergraduate degree for from Wichita State in Sport Management and worked for the Kansas City Royals for two years after graduating. Once he landed in New York, he decided that a desk job was not for him, became an experienced strength coach and is now pursuing his graduate degree in exercise science and nutrition
As a NCSF certified personal trainer he has completed three mentorships with the Institute of Motion while also becoming a Functional Movement Screen (FMS II) Specialist, Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) Mobility Specialist, and StrongFirst I Kettlebell (SFG) instructor. In addition to being a certified Precision Nutrition coach, and along with his extensive background in anatomy and physiology, Jason is a pre/post natal certified coach and has helped many expecting mothers during their journey.
Hayley Bridgewater – Hayley is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), a Strong First (SFG) Kettlebell Instructor, and a Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms). She is a Precision Nutrition Coach (PN1), a Somatic Exercise Coach (SEC), and was in the premier class of Certified Wreckbag Trainers. Hayley found her way into the strength training field through a long career performing and teaching dance and gymnastics, giving her special interest in endurance athletics. When not in the gym, she immerses herself in the community that she loves, as a staff writer for BORO Magazine and is a grateful member of the SleepNoMore/McKittrick Hotel family.