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Meet Mike Baltren of Ambition Athletics in Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Baltren.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Owner Max Shank and I have known each other since ’06, coaching alongside each other at a different facility. In August of ’09 he knew about a training space that was opening up and we decided to try and start a gym. We began with minimum space, minimal equipment and minimal members but in the past 8 years we’ve expanded our square footage and grown to over 100 members.

To be honest we didn’t really know what we were doing in the beginning but I believe by simply being good people who genuinely cared about making people better we were able to grow. Over the years we’ve always hired staff from within and because of that created a tight team that works really well together.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Running a business is never a smooth road. If you’re going to have any success work is going to go home with you. That may be business related, customer service oriented, or the continuous learning it takes to be the best. Training and running a business is not simply 9-5, only 40 hrs. a week or just 5 days a week. Our biggest challenge has always been getting new people through the door. We have found that once people spend some time in Ambition Athletics they love it and the majority of our members stay for multiple years. Keeping them tends to be the easy part. Getting them to try it out has always been the obstacle.

Ambition Athletics – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a training gym that focuses on Movement, Strength and Education. We are known for our inclusive training environment and superior coaching. Think about it, regular big chain gyms are in the equipment rental business. For a small monthly fee you can use any of their loads of equipment. That’s how they make their money. At Ambition Athletics we are coaches. What does that mean to us? Well, any “trainer” can make someone tired and sweaty but a coach is here to teach and to guide. We build build relationships with people to help them get better every day.

Speaking for the company, we are most proud of the many lives we’ve changed. Many members have told us that we’ve greatly affected their lives for the better. There is no better feeling than knowing that you are in the business of changing lives and having an impact.

What sets us apart is our ability to help people of all different fitness levels, especially women. The majority of our members are women. Some have never trained before while others have for years. Even in a group setting we can help individuals identify what is most appropriate for them at this time and then progress forward at the right time.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I see success on a few different levels:

#1 We have slowly and steadily grown throughout the past 8 years and I plan to continue that.

#2 We change lives. We empower women to heights of strength and confidence that they never thought possible. We keep people of retired age moving on a regular basis and in many cases, from a physical activity standpoint, help them turn back the clock to a place they thought gone forever.

#3 I’m still a relatively young man but I’ve heard that the legacy one leaves will tell their story. I’m proud to say that we have been lucky enough to impact some younger (and older) people’s lives strongly enough that they too wanted to be a coach. As a coach, what could be better than inspiring the coaches of the future? I look forward to more of this.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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