Partner Spotlight: Old Glory Gym
By: Christine Bean
This week, we sat down with Jason Sturm, owner of Old Glory Gym, to learn more about their unique fitness community, and why they are proud to be one of MightyMeals’ top partners in Northern Virginia since the very beginning.
How did Old Glory get its start?
Jason: My wife and I opened Old Glory in 2016 in Ashburn, Virginia. We did things a little differently, in that we did not take on any investors or huge loans; we financed our equipment, took out a small home equity loan, and the rest was just out of our own pocket. When we opened our doors, we had twelve committed members, and by the end of our opening day we had 40 members. Since then, it has been slow, continuous growth, and we feel extremely lucky to have that. We don’t focus on having the top coaches, the cleanest gym, or the best athletes, we simply focus on the bond that we create with our members. Our community sells itself; I am in the gym every single day and have an open-door policy with our athletes. They feel comfortable enough to come to me with any complaints and know that I will always listen and do my best to accommodate them.
What makes Old Glory unique?
Jason: We are a traditional CrossFit gym, in that we have rubber floors, pull-up bars, kettlebells and loud music with the garage doors open. However, we differ from other CrossFit gyms in the way that we structure our memberships and in the variety of fitness activities that we offer. I want to foster a desire for people to be in the gym by offering them several options all covered by their membership. For example, even if you have a limited “3 classes per week” membership, you can come in for “open gym” and use that as a class. We offer kettlebell club, barbell club, running club, and open gym that is available 5am-7pm Monday through Friday. We also have a driven personal training program. All of our coaches were fostered within the community before they were hired, because it’s very important to me to hire coaches who have proven leadership capabilities. I also require them to become a member at Old Glory for six months before I decide if I want to hire them. We have had regional-level CrossFit athletes contact us to apply, but I still need to make sure they’d be a good fit in our community before I can truly commit. We also have a “no BS” process for any potential new member. We require that everyone attends a free class so we can evaluate you before you enroll, even if you are an experienced CrossFIt athlete. If you aren’t an athlete, you are shadowed by one of the coaches during your introductory class, and then start the one-on-one “foundations” course, which consists of four personal training sessions and training on the nitty-gritty of what CrossFit classes entail.
What connected you to MightyMeals?
Jason: I have been in the CrossFit community for a while, so I was familiar with some of MightyMeals’ early competitors. However, I wasn’t thrilled with the quality of their food, and they didn’t always fit my macros. One day, out-of-the-blue, I received an email from Dan Graziano (MightyMeals Co-Founder,) introducing himself and giving me information about MightyMeals. He stopped by the gym with the turkey meatballs, and I was like, “yep, these are the jam!” I honestly didn’t care if any of our members liked the food… I wanted the turkey meatballs! We got the MightyMeals pick-up refrigerator in there immediately, started promoting it, and my athletes were hooked. They were amazed by the bulk food options, portion sizes, and freshness of the meals.
How does MightyMeals benefit Old Glory members?
Jason: We promote a macro-based diet, especially when we focus on nutrition plans for our athletes. Protein, fat, and carbs is what you’re focusing on when you talk about macros. MightyMeals is great at creating meals that give you a good blend. There is something for everyone; whether you want a higher or lower carb content, there are always multiple options to choose from. They really fit-in with what we are trying to do here at Old Glory; it’s a convenient, healthy, easy meal for my athletes that will keep them on track. They don’t have to worry about cancelling or pausing weekly orders; they can just order what they want when they want and pick it up right at the gym.
What is your go-to MightyMeals dish?
Jason: Right now, I am loving the Low Carb Breakfast in the mornings. The Bacon Cheddar Burger is seriously amazing and has probably been my favorite meal recently. If I need to “up” my fiber intake, I tend to gravitate towards the Falafel Romanesco. But, I’d say my number one, consistent, go-to meal would be Steak and Basics.
About Jason Sturm: Jason is a born and raised Virginia native who grew up in both Richmond and Northern Virginia. In 1998, he lost over 50 pounds in his pursuit to join the Army and serve his country. In March 2002, while training in the field, Jason, along with 14 other soldiers were injured in an artillery training accident. Jason’s injuries left him as a left, lower limb amputee and meant the end of his military career. After being medically retired in 2003, Jason began to work on rebuilding the muscle he was going to need to run as an amputee. Multiple 5k, 10k, 15k and 10 mile races later, Jason found himself, once again, searching for direction and focus.
In 2011, Jason began studying and performing CrossFit on his own. He established a “master list of movements” he felt he would need to master in order to join a CrossFit gym as he hadn’t seen any other amputees doing what he was doing at the time. Jason joined CrossFit Reston and this marked the beginning of his career change. In July 2016, Jason opened Old Glory Gym, home of CrossFit OGSC in Ashburn, Virginia. He is proud to be able to give back to the community by way of youth programs and support of local non-profits. Jason, along with his wife Rachel, have two amazing children, Sam and Annabelle.