It all started as a young athlete in the rural community Kaslo BC, Canada.
Sports became more than a hobby it produced a sense of belonging, identity - a safe place for a youth struggling to fit in with peers outside of sports.
I began lifting weights as a 13 yo to get bet better at hockey. My first resources were body building magazines my father bought me and an old dusty bench press that my dad purchased at a garage sale.
I would watch sports highlights in my basement every night fantasing about becoming a professional hockey player and on commercial breaks I would cram in as many sets of bench press, chin ups, bicep curls and sit ups as I could then return to highlights becoming more an more inspired by my favorite athletes.
Exercise was not only empowering as an athlete (watching the body adapt and get stronger but it also became an essential outlet for dealing with stress and coping mechanism for navigating high school.
Sports had a strong presence in our community, but it was easy to get sucked into rural community culture of drinking, partying and not partaking in that culture made you a bit of an outcast.
My initial foray into the world of fitness climaxed with accomplishing my goal of being the fist athlete from my rural community it being drafted to the Western Hockey League. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitutes the Canadian Hockey League as the highest level of junior hockey in Canada/United States.
Beyond the external physical transformation and success in athletics. What you couldn’t see is that I had chronic and debilitiating back pain as 15 year old.
I could not stand for more than 10 minutes without being in agonizing pain. I also found sitting very uncomfortable. It was becoming harder and harder to play hockey without discomfort in my lower back.
This was from blindly pushing my body daily (running/body building) without understanding of how to train properly Shortly after I was drafted My parents took my brother and I to disney land. After the first day I desperately wanted to go home because I could not stand for more than a few mins without back pain. When I returned home, My hockey coach called and said that I needed to make sure that I was in the best shape of my life for the upcoming season and strongly recommended that I go train with a strength coach about an hour away in nelson.
This was going to be my most important off season to date because I had to report to training camp for my drafted team in top shape so I happily obliged.
This experience with my first trainer is what lead me down the path I am on today.
I’ll never forget walking down a steep flight of stairs to get into his basement gym. He took one look at me and said your body is f*cked isn’t it? (alternative -your body is in a lot of pain isn’t it)
Within seconds of meeting me he was able to discern incredible details about my body without any prior knowledge of me. You sleep on your right side don't you?, you cross you left leg when you sit? you shoot left? Your back hurts doesn’t it?
After my first session with him the pain had drastically subsided from stretching/releasing tight muscles, identifying poor posture, just to name a few glaring symptoms. A few sessions later the pain was completely gone. I couldn’t believe how quickly my body had transformed from a state of from chronic pain to zero pain.
Eagerly as we worked through the first few sessions together I asked him excitedly when we would get to train and lift weights with the other hockey players (as I needed to be in the best shape of my life) which was my reason for coming in the first place.
He chuckled as he told me “your not going to touch a weight for the entire summer”... You need to stretch and you need to earn the right to lift weights
At this point I completely trusted everything he “Ed” so even though I was a little shocked, disheartened and confused, He convinced me that what he had in store was better than jumping straight into training which is what lead to my initial dysfunction in the first place.
So that summer all I did was stretch for 75-90 minutes a day and lie about executing the offseason training program that my Drafted Team sent me.
Fast forward to the start of that season after 3 months of stretching, breathing and focusining on my nutrition. my body felt the best it ever had despite the fact I had done nothing conventional to prepare.
As a result I played the best hockey I had ever played.
My pain completely went away permanently. Each day I relished in the fact that I did’nt have to live in nor was I doomed to a life of chronic, miserable and
It was such an incredibly transformational experience that touched me so deeply I knew from that day forward, I wanted to have that same type of IMPACT on others lives. I wanted to share the message with more people and let everyone know there was a solution to chronic pain. And there is life more abundant on the other side!
This experience prompted me to study everything I could about the body specifically how strength and flexibility discrepancies effect natural movement, posture and performance. It also lead to a greater interest and appreciation in nutrition as removing certain foods from my diet cleared away my chronic acne and joint inflammation which was a major struggle all through puberty.
Fast forward 4 years and my passion for hockey began to wein slightly while at the same time my interest in the human body/health was at an all time high.
Unsure of how to start my career at 19 and establish a clientele as a trainer I thought sharing my experience with other athletes would be a great starting point.
There was only one problem. As a broke athlete I did not have the $5000 usd to take the course I wanted and obtain insurance to train atheltes… Meet crossfit.
At the same time as Ifaced my dilemna a crossfit cert was coming to vancouver I saw it as a cheap and easy way to obtain insurance and start being able to train athletes using what I knew already.
I’ll never Forget attending the first crossfit certification thinking that I knew everything and was going to teach them a thing or two about fitness…
What actually happened was that I got my ass kicked repeatedly and every hole and gap in my fitness was exposed. It was the single most humbling experiences of my life.
Crossfit opened up a new world exercise competency’s (gymnastics, olympic lifting, etc..) to explore beyond standard weight training with barbells and dumbbells.
Captivated and enthralled - it was like being exposed to an entirely new world of fitness. New movements and modalities to explore each day!
I began to experiment and apply crossfit to my own training and to the training of my clients with the first business I was part of.
Over the course of my early career first (5 year’s) with experimenting with crossfit and and utilizing small parts of what I knew prior too CrossFit, I realized that the conventional group fitness model that most Crossfit gyms at the time were utilizing (no onboarding, no prequalification, limited progression/ascension models) essentially throwing people into advanced movements that were beyond their capability was not beneficial for most adults. Infact it was very problematic.
Clients who were paying for results were not progressing with their fitness. Injuries would pop up and I felt like I was not offering the best service that I could.
This is eventually how Maverick strength was created - After many years of what I viewed failed group coaching which was modelled after industry standards at the time of running large group fitness without adequate onboarding, exercise progressions and regressions. Some clients were getting result’s, but many were not and it just didn’t sit right with me.
Eventually that business relationship dissolved and Maverick Strength was created.
Maverick strength’s mission evolved ask and answer the question how do we offer a premium service to our members in not only a one on one but also a group setting?
Offering a premium service in an individualized setting is much easier than a group. However when a member is ready for group training we believe that the easiest way to stay committed to fitness long term is to be part of an inspirational and motivational Community- which is why we are so focused on our group training program because it offers the most popular long term solution to fitness from our experience.
Joining a gym shouldn't be intimidating. We will help you feel comfortable getting started.
Cody Abbey started Maverick Fitness because their story was the same story many of our their face. They too had to overcome all the obstacles that keep people from living a healthy life.
We don’t believe in quick fixes or gimmicks. We care about your long-term success above all else.