Zak & Callum’s Origin Story

How We Launched The CrossFit Gym In East Tamaki

Dec 2021 will be the start of our 10th year (9 years since we incorporated Renegade S&C ltd). Watch the video to learn how we launched the CrossFit Gym in East Tamaki.

We met each other in 2009 when Callum came to work with us in a traditional gym.  We were a couple of young guys who were both at the ends of their respective sporting careers. Callum is a former NZ Rugby & BMX Representative and Zak playing for the New Zealand Ice Blacks.

We enjoyed working out and we had chosen to pursue a career in health & fitness but by 2011 we were already getting over the traditional bodybuilder style of training. Monday Chest, Tuesday Back, Wednesday Legs. Also, there was a massive gap which we were missing which was the comradery that we were so used to from playing sports our entire lives. Traditional gym training was pretty isolated and lonely; there was no team vibe.

Then one day a friend came in and introduced us to this new concept of training. The workouts looked pretty crazy to us, but the challenge was exciting, and the cool thing was we all got to work out together, just like a team. The workouts absolutely rolled us. I think it was a variation of “filthy fifty” (50 reps of several different exercises) we were all left lying flat on our backs. It was then and there that we both knew we wouldn’t be going back to traditional gym training.

Once we got the bug we knew we had to share it, so we started out in the Car Park of the gym on Saturday mornings. We didn’t have any of the proper equipment, we didn’t even have a true understanding of the methodology, we just knew that it was the most challenging and enjoyable style of training we had done in years.

We kicked off by recruiting a group of traditional gym members to come and join us for some sessions, and sure enough, they loved everything from the challenge, the variety and the comradery community aspect.

This is how and when Renegade was born.

One of the early challenges we had was that we didn’t entirely agree with the CrossFit model. We saw these gyms out there charging a fortune but we didn’t believe they were providing enough value to their customers. There was also a stigma about CrossFit being dangerous, which we knew wasn’t true so we set out to be better than any of the providers out there.

We started diving deep into the methodology and the art of movement learning everything we could. Attending every course and seminar, reading and reaching out to experts… We spent every other second actually training and immersing ourselves into the CrossFit world. We wanted to ensure our members that they were getting their money’s worth and they were getting coaches that could help transform their lives.

We never really trained in a CrossFit gym prior to getting started, so we spent 1000’s hours learning through trial and error, which ultimately has made us better coaches. We made mistakes so you didn’t have to. We had to research 100s of different progressions, struggle and fail ourselves. Through this struggle we have become better coaches, through this, we understand the needs of our members as we have also been through the struggles ourselves.

We decided that we weren’t going to do things the same way as the other gyms out there. We were different from the traditional gyms and we wanted to be the best value CrossFit gym there was.

This is where the name Renegade came from.

crossfit and functional fitness auckland - renegade fitness
crossfit and functional fitness auckland - renegade fitness

For the next 10 years, all we have cared about is providing the highest level of training and coaching we could. Both of us coaching 10s of thousands of hours in group fitness classes and personal training.

In this time we grew our team and attracted some incredible talent to the gym. Our amazing coaches shaped our history and contributed to us sending 4 teams to The CrossFit games (which is a whole other story).

In the past 10 years we have grown from doing workouts in a car park on Saturday mornings to expanding to a 100sqm, then 200, then 300 then finally the 800 Sqm Functional Fitness Hub that we now have today in East Tamaki.

We have gone from 1 class a week to over 50 classes and grown a small group of people who wanted a challenging workout to a sensational community that on a daily basis get to challenge themselves and see what their bodies are physically capable of inside and outside of the gym and have fun with their mates while doing it.

Did it work?  We still have members of our community that were there with us on Day 1. Are they better, fitter, faster, and healthier? You bet!  A testament to The Renegade Brand. A truly sustainable approach to fitness.