New Programming and Renovations


Super excited about what we have going on at the gym.  You will not recognize it tomorrow, there is so much space.  Not only did that happen this weekend but we have some new programming coming your way.

We are taking a little different approach to programming...there will not be any "cycles", we will look at more benchmark workouts as well as focus on the energy systems.   We are adding a good amount of strength in the olympic lifts as well as focusing on moving weight fast.  Our goal is to strengthen our muscles and allow us to use that in everyday fitness whether in the gym or outside of the gym.  

EXTRA WORK:  At least two days a week, we will have extra work for you.   If you choose to do it then feel free to do it before or after class.  We created more space for YOU!  We want you to accomplish anything that you want and by creating the extra space, we feel that we do not need "open gym" times.  Just remember that class does come first and I do think it is important that you participate in the class.  

I hope you enjoy it and give us some feedback once we get going. 


There is Science to Running---How to be a more efficient runner!

"I have been in the running program since the start and have truly learned how to make running much easier on my body. In just a few short weeks my mile time has dropped from 10:35 to 7:20 just by learning the correct form and I have gone from a max distance of 1.5 miles to 8 miles with active recovery training. I highly recommend everyone looking to enhance their body knowledge and breathing during workouts to participate in the program next time it comes around. It has enhanced the ability of my overall fitness tenfold. " - Alice Lowe

WATCH A YOUNG CHILD RUN. Almost all children under the age of 9 are experts. You'll notice: a high heel pull, their feet strike quickly and efficiently under their center of gravity, they have a high cadence, and they use a slight forward lean which is supported by an engaged core.

Now watch a typical adult try to run. When you stop laughing, think about what has happened to our beautiful running forms that we all had when we first started going to school. Then look at people as they stand in line to get their coffee in the morning. Look at the angle of their hips and shoulders. Are they level? Look at the placement of their feet. Are they under the center of mass, equally balancing the body weight? Look at their neck and their chest. Is their head slouching forward? Is their chest slightly collapsed from the weight of their overhanging head? Now think about how you stand. Think about how you run. 

Our modern habits have KILLED some of our natural capacity and skills. After 12 years (or more!) of sitting all day in school, our hip flexors, hip capsules, and trunk muscles become atrophied and/or stiff and made it harder to simply stand correctly. And when standing correctly becomes difficult, all movement becomes difficult. 

After another decade of sitting down at work and staring at our CELL PHONES when we're not staring at our computers, even easy, everyday movements put uncomfortable strains on our bodies and hurts our spines, hips, legs, and feet. And how do we fix the problems we feel while standing (or trying to run?) by sitting back down to recover from the stress of standing up. 

And if you think that doing two or three or four or five hours of CrossFit each week improves your long term diagnosis, think about how much time you spend in the box versus how much time you spend sitting down. Think about how much time you spend looking at your phone each day. And think about how much you cringe when you see the WOD contains 200, 400, or (OMG!) 800 meter sprints. An excellent hour in the box cannot compensate for eight hours of hunching over a keyboard. If it did, you wouldn't hate those sprints so much. 

"Before the running program, the run part of any workout was the most dreaded part for me.  Now, while I'm not exactly doing cartwheels when I see it, I'm slightly eager to take off because of how far I've come and how much better the program has made me at runs off all different levels"  - Bryan Kennedy

Coach Jon has created the PORTSIDE RUNNING PROGRAM to:


  • Address how we stabilize the spine in a neutral position
  • Promote an efficient running form that focuses on a sustainable economy of motion
  • Develop the lost art of good breathing mechanics
  • and rebuild our feet, in order to gain a better sense of how we move throughout the day.

The PortSide Running Program is not simply a schedule of runs that increase in distance slightly each week, like other cookie cutter classes. It is not a Couch to 5K program you download for your phone. 

The majority of the Program focuses on skill acquisition. We practice breathing skills. We learn to stand efficiently and functionally. We practice drills to reinforce optimum running mechanics. And we develop mental skills to assess and organize our own form throughout the drills and sprints and longer runs.

By the end of the PortSide Running program, because they have acquired the skills to improve their efficiency, our athletes are faster, go further, and feel better, And you should see their stance when they are getting their coffee in the morning!

If you're interested in joining us, talk to Coach Sara and sign up for the next program. 


RESULTS…RESULTS….RESULTS…When you talk about exercise and results, what does that look like?  The results depend on your achievable goals and how you go about getting the results you want.  I often see people day in and day out workout.  Whether they choose to do CrossFit, Bootcamp, or run/bike/swim, there are reasons that the scale isn’t moving or clothes aren’t fitting different.

  1. Do you go “HARD IN THE PAINT”?  What the heck does that mean?  “To approach a problem, obstacle, or challenge with supreme confidence ofsuccess through a commitment to use all facilities available to one'sself to achieve a goal”

    1. I love this saying, probably because I have basketball carved into my brain.  When you approach a workout, there has to be a goal and your heart rate has to change.  In short, the higher the intensity,  the higher percentage of your max heart rate, the more fat you will burn.  So, do you go HARD IN THE PAINT or do you just get by?

    2. There is nothing easy about going hard and sometimes it is uncomfortable.  Get uncomfortable and TRUST THE PROCESS!

  2. Have you dialed in with your NUTRITION?  You have heard the old saying that results are 80% nutrition and 20% exercise!  This is so true.  

    1. You can ask a few people at PortSide and until they made the decision to change the way they consumed foods, they weren’t getting the results they wanted.  Whether its Paleo, Counting Macros, Zone Diet, or Nutrient timing, research it and make the decision to DIAL IN YOUR DIET!

  3. Do you drink enough water?

    1. When you first wake up you should be drinking a glass of water.  YES, even before your first cup of coffee.  It will help jump start your metabolism and will speed it up.  Who doesn’t want a fast metabolism?  

    2. Do you part and drink water throughout the day.  Always have it accessible and DO NOT try to drink it all right before and during your workout!  By then, you are already dehydrated.

    3. Drink at least your body weight in ounces if you can.  Start with half if you already do not drink a lot of water.


    1. You will have an easier time getting “toned”

      1. Losing excess body fat

      2. You have to increase the size of muscle cells to get toned

    2. You will burn more calories and lose body fat


  5. Stop with the Excuses, We are here to help

    1. Anyone can come up with any excuse to not work hard.  It is the ones who make a commitment and are open to changes that see the RESULTS!  



Missing about half of them but here is a pic I took of the Ladies a little while back! 

Missing about half of them but here is a pic I took of the Ladies a little while back! 


What are we doing today?  Please, no burpees!  Come on Sara, we just did that the other day.  Be kind to us, we are sooooo sore, what did we do?  This is how we start the 7:30 am class and I wouldn’t change it not one bit! 

Trust me when I tell you that these ladies are pretty BADASS!  There is nothing I can not throw at them that they will not or can not do.  People always ask me what is so different about your 7:30 class.  I always tell them, the only thing we do not do are the Olympic lifts.   All other lifts we do because it is so important to lift weights and even better for you to be the machine doing it.

These ladies squat, deadlift, press, push press, floor bench, and just about anything else I throw their way.   I love how competitive they are and how POSITIVE they are with each other!  To see these women work so hard and (to sometimes, dance to the music) puts a smile on my face! 

I rarely get convinced to change a workout but these ladies can sucker me every time.  Our stretching chatter can be very comical but when we are working, we are WORKING!  Most of the ladies have stuck with me for a couple years now and some for three.   A couple of them had issues with scoliosis and their posture is completely different and it has benefited them immensely.  Cancer sucks, but WE kick its butt everyday!

Why are you so scared to commit to a healthier YOU?  I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed with this class.  For all the women out there that want to make a change and see results, contact Sara at


Mobility or Injury?

MINDFUL STRETCHING with MALLISA MOTT!  Mallisa will be leading a session on Sunday, October 30th at 4pm!  You do not want to miss out...time to work on mobility and keeping your muscles and body safe and injury free!

MINDFUL STRETCHING with MALLISA MOTT!  Mallisa will be leading a session on Sunday, October 30th at 4pm!  You do not want to miss out...time to work on mobility and keeping your muscles and body safe and injury free!

There is more to fitness and being in shape then "Pure Strength".   So often we come to the gym, spend about 15 minutes in a warm-up and "stretch" the specific muscles we will be using for each movement we perform that day.  BUT, is that enough? 

Flexibility and Mobility matter!  You are going to have a hard time doing the movements if you cannot move in a way that allows your body to be in the right position.  There is a difference between "flexibility" and "mobility". 

Flexibility:  Is simply stated as the length of a muscle

Mobility:  Is how the joint moves

We talk a lot about the importance of mobility but do we ever spend time on it outside of the box?  I will use myself as an example.  I have been having issues with my left knee.   Pain in the back of the knee, even heard a pop running.  I also had a lot of pain deep under my knee cap.  I self-diagnosed myself with a meniscus tear.  Finally, called the doctor and scheduled an MRI.

While I do have quite a bit of tendinitis in my quads and gastrocnemius which affect my knee, I also have a popliteal cyst which is small but is formed from fluid.  Well, I was very excited and surprised that all my major tendons were intact! 

Moral of the story, the doctor told me all of my issues were because my muscles and tendons were extremely tight.  HE SAID YOU NEED TO STRETCH MORE AND CONSISTENTLY!  So, 400 bucks later, I was told to work on my MOBILITY!  GO FIGURE!



Give me 6 weeks!

A coach once told me to "TRUST THE PROCESS" 

Well, I am asking you to do the same.  Give us 6 weeks, 3 days per week, and we will help you change your body and most importantly your mindset.   I could post picture after picture with all the people who have bought in and changed their body composition.  Above is a picture of Ramona, she is on her 3rd bootcamp and gone from a size 22 to a size 14/16! The results have been amazing.  

October 10th, YOU CAN BE THE NEXT STORY!  Write your own journey and become a healthier YOU!  We offer a 5am and a 6:30pm bootcamp that meets M-W-F!  Spots are limited to 30 for the 5 am and 20 for the 6:30pm.  Sign up below to secure your spot! 

Do something for Yourself, and let us help!


What is this about Meal Prep?


What is it about meal prepping that is so great?  I say that in a sarcastic way because food was never much of an issue for me.  Don’t get me wrong -- I am not a poor eater, but I didn’t really gain or lose weight based on what I ate.  If I wanted a hamburger, I got one with fries and a soda.   So, what led me to write a blog about healthy eating and a lifestyle change?

I hear many people talk about being on a “diet,” which could be anything from Paleo, to the Atkins diet, to any other yo-yo dieting scheme.  You can lose weight on any diet if you really put your mind to it and follow a program.  I am not big on the word “diet” because for me, it’s about a change in eating habits for a lifetime.

I finally made a decision to eat in a more healthy and clean manner, but how was I going to accomplish this?  I wake up at 5:20 a.m., snooze until about 5:30 a.m., and then jump out of bed to coach the first Crossfit Portside class at 6 a.m.  Then, I call my aunt to see if she is coming to the 7:30 a.m. If she comes to class, I always asked her to run through McDonald's and grab me two breakfast burritos because I would be starving.  Bad habits are easy to break, but you just need the right steps.  So, for all the busy, on-the-go people out there, I am going to take you on my meal prepping adventure and hope that you will jump on board with me.

                  1. First, make a plan

Write down two nights before your shopping day what proteins (meats, poultry, and fish) that you want to eat that week, carbohydrates (vegetables are the most beneficial carbs but that isn’t limiting), and what fats (oils and nuts but again not limiting). 

                  2. Second, start simple

No, it is not easy eating the same thing over and over but you have to start with a base and then you can get creative from there.  Start with chicken and fish for proteins, rice and broccoli for carbs, and use butter or bacon for the fat.  Once you get the hang of things, then really adjust seasonings and food choices.


3.     Third, Write a grocery list and stick to it

It is so easy to wander around a grocery store and see something and just put it in your buggy whether you need it or not.  Find deals and know where to go.  I like Sam’s for my meats, fish, some veggies, and fruits.  I go to Rouses for most anything else.  

4.     Fourth, Pick a day to meal prep and spend the time doing it (JUST DO IT)

I usually meal prep on Sunday.  That seems to be the best time for me.  You could split it up and do some Sunday and some on Wednesday, but that’s a preference.  If you have a crockpot, pull it out because it can and will be your best friend.  While you cook a bunch of chicken in the crockpot, you can be preparing other things as well.

5.     Fifth, Invest in some meal prep containers (easy to freeze and heat in the microwave)

I bought some containers on amazon that were cheap but are really good.  Once you have all of your containers ready, then you can just plate them and freeze what you want. 

  Last weekend, I spent $137.84 on groceries.  I prepped 44 meals for one person. 12 days for breakfast, 16 days for lunch and dinner.  My average total per meal was $3.14ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  Oh wait, it gets even better! If shared between 2 people, it was 22 meals.  Six days of breakfast and eight days of lunch and dinner.  Average total for two people per meal was $1.57HOLY COW, so do you see where this is going?  Not only do you have healthy meals and snacks at your disposal, you are saving plenty of money on groceries. 

You can make it as simple as you want.  It has made life so much simpler and allowed me to relax more and enjoy my time at home.  It can take a lot out of you cooking every night and constantly going to the grocery store.  Make a decision and DO IT!  You will see benefits health wise, financially, and perform better at anything that you do.  So, don’t wait, START MEAL PREPPING! 

If you want to get more in depth about counting macros, Robby D’Angelo with the Struggle is Real is your guy.  Contact me at and I can give you more info about Robby and what he does as a transformation coach.

Competition "Friend or Foe"? 2015 Pensacola Beach Brawl!

Pensacola Beach Brawl

There is a new aura at PortSide lately.  Athletes are walking taller, holding their shoulders back, their heads up, and have the look of determination and success on their faces. There is a sense of “WANT TO” that I have never seen before. Passion and excitement fill the gym every time the doors open and we begin class. I ask  myself:  Why?  BUT the answer is clear -- the athletes are seeing success in more ways than one. They feel more confident, stronger, faster, and healthier, but what sparked these new feelings?

This past weekend 11 athletes competed at a well-known southeastern regional CrossFit competition called the Pensacola Beach Brawl.  Competitors from the CrossFit games and Regionals were there amongst the others from all over the southeast. This wasn’t a ‘mom and pop’ competition; it was a “GET YOUR MIND RIGHT” competition, and our athletes did just that.  I could go on and on about the Beach Brawl and how proud I was of everyone but I want you to hear from them.

Q: What was your overall experience like at the Beach Brawl?

“I had a blast at the PBB this year.  It was my first team competition and I couldn’t have picked a better event.  All of the other athletes and spectators were encouraging and the experience was so motivating.  Being in an arena with athletes who have been to the CrossFit Games was pretty incredible”  - Beth O’Neil

“The Beach Brawl is the absolute best competition in the southeast and the crowd proves that.  It is run to a ‘T’ and they stay enthusiastic throughout the entire weekend” –Garrett Raskett

Q: What did you think was the hardest workout for you as an individual?

“The hardest workout for me was the “reverse.” I knew we needed to try and catch-up after our poor performance on the first workout so I wanted to go hard and fast for my team! My forearms and legs were shot from a 40 cal row, then I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to help Sara with the few snatches I did because of how exhausted I was, and the box overs….they were just a joke. I kept spinning around like a girl in a tutu, then stepping over the box and doing it all over again---I couldn’t think, I couldn’t feel my legs, I am not sure if I was breathing at all, and I had no clue how to stop spinning before I did another box over (I kept thinking to myself, what an idiot, but keep going!!)” – Melinda North

“Most difficult workout was the chipper, more specifically the box jump overs and finishing up with the 20 cleans at 155#.  My leg and body was taxed at that moment.” -Justin Edwards

Q: What surprised you the most about competing?

“The biggest surprise about competing is the level of competition and the overwhelming support of everyone there.”  - Justin Edwards

“The thing that surprised me the most was how difficult it was to run in the sand.” –Johnny Byrd

“I’d have to say the thing that caught me by surprise was how encouraging other teams were towards each other. It wasn’t like normal opponents I had faced. Everyone was there to compete to his or her best ability, but they also were supportive to each other.” –Kristin Young

Q: Would you compete again?  

I could quote everyone that competed this weekend and say ABSOLUTELY!

I am looking forward to the next few months and the excitement that I hear at PortSide.  There are already new faces ready to go for the next competition in November.  Whether you compete or not, do scaled or rx’d (prescribed) workouts, or whether you are first or last, doesn’t matter at all!  What matters the most is that you gave effort and put forth your best foot forward, that’s what counts.  I watched a team go before us in the sand run and I knew that it would be a struggle for them.  They were the last to finish but I felt more accomplished cheering them on until they finished then I did finishing first in our heat!  To me, that’s what CrossFit competitions are all about.

Until Next Year Beach Brawl 2016!

CrossFit PortSide

CrossFit - Who Cares!

I am not much of a writer but I have wanted to write a blog for a while now, so here we go!  I am the owner of CrossFit PortSide in Gulfport, Miss. and a former collegiate basketball player and coach.  I played at the University of South Alabama from 2000 to 2004.  I was the starting point guard for all four years and helped guide a program from the laughing stock of the Sun Belt to two Sun Belt titles my junior and senior season.  While there, I received a degree in Physical Education.

I soon shifted gears into coaching.  I mean come on -- I was a point guard and a floor general so I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I had an opportunity to work under Carol Ross at the University of Mississippi for 3 seasons.  Not only did we compete at the highest level for women’s basketball but we made it to the Elite 8, knocking off defending National Champion Maryland and then Oklahoma in the process.  We had a stellar All-American in Armintie Price but that team knew what hard work was.

Now I had a Physical Education undergrad degree and received a Master’s Degree in Health Promotion at Ole Miss!  Still with my eye on the prize, I took a coaching job at the prestigious Louisiana Tech University.  If you don’t know about La Tech then you don’t know women’s basketball: 3 National Championships, 13 Final Four appearances, 3 Wade Trophy winners, 16 All- Americans, 21 WNBA players – and the list goes on and on!  Oh, and my boss was the Teresa Weatherspoon, Wade Trophy winner and WNBA great!  Coaching basketball was all I wanted to do and I that I thought I would do.

La Tech vs. Fresno St.

La Tech vs. Fresno St.

Life takes some crazy turns.  My neighbor in Ruston asked me one day, “Hey, my brother is opening a CrossFit gym, do you want to come try it?”  HELL NO, my mother does CrossFit so I am sure it is not for me.   Sorry Mom, you are a stud in your own right and can do anything but I wasn’t feeling it!  Then I went and damnit I was hooked!  Thanks Kelly!

I thought I knew what being in the best shape of my life was. I played a college sport; I was in shape.  No, no I wasn’t.  I was pretty fit for basketball but not fit for life.  I trained and ran a half marathon.  I HATE running but Ole Miss was so beautiful so I ran.  I looked sickly.  I had a million people tell me that I needed to eat.  I did eat but I was so dang skinny and had very little muscle at that time.    I am competitive so CrossFit was the perfect outlet for me. 

I AM IN THE BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE!  CrossFit is the perfect combination of strength training and endurance that I have ever come across.  If I had known about CrossFit growing up, I would have been a much better college athlete! 

CrossFit has brought me many things.  It brought me home to Gulfport.   It has given me the opportunity to spend time with my family and especially my nephews.  It has given me friends that I will have for a lifetime and it has allowed me to do what I love, and that’s COACH AND MAKE A DIFFENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES!