James Ellis

Owner / Operator

12-Time USAW Senior National Qualifier

AZ State Record Holder, 77kg Weight Class (Snatch, C&J, Total)

2022 USAW Masters National Champion, 81kg Weight Class (Snatch, C&J, Total)

2022 CrossFit Quarterfinals Qualifier

2011-2012 CrossFit Team Regional Competitor

D1 Varsity Cheerleader, University of Illinois


CrossFit: L2 Trainer, Weightlifting, Kettlebell

USA Weightlifting: National Club Coach, L2 Sports Performance Coach


Precision Nutrition: PN-1 Certified Coach

National Academy of Sports Medicine: CPT/CES/PES

Grey Institute: Functional Movement Screening Specialist

B.S. Kinesiology, University of Illinois

About Coach

I've been a competitive athlete for over 20 years, playing soccer, wrestling, running track and field, rock climbing, and even becoming a D1 cheerleader before learning about CrossFit in 2007. It wasn't until a few years later that I fully committed to the CrossFit lifestyle, after losing handedly in a 10min "1/2 Cindy" workout to another trainer. From that point forward, I was hooked. I earned my L1 in 2010 and began coaching at CrossFit AMRAP in Crystal Lake, IL. My passion also extended to Weightlifting in 2010, where I signed up for my first competition and learned that there was an entire sport dedicated to the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. Since then, I've now competed in over 60 meets all over the country. I hold the AZ state records in the Snatch, C&J and Total in the 77kg weight class, and have placed as high as 4th in National competition, both as a 77kg and 85kg lifter. I founded Scottsdale Barbell in 2015, and in addition to my own lifting, I've coached multiple lifters to National events at the Junior, University, Senior, and Masters levels. I look at fitness as a life-long journey, and I hope to be engaging in functional fitness for the next 50+ years!

Turning Point

I feel like I've encountered many personal and professional turning points in my fitness career. Through each of them, I've had my fitness community by my side.

Motivation & Passion

As owner of Hammer CrossFit, my goal is to create the spaces for a community of hard-working individuals to build meaningful relationships through mutual suffering. The only way to be truly successful in life is through a positive attitude and sustained effort, and it helps to have a tribe of folks with a shared interest in producing short-term voluntary discomfort for long-term physical and emotional benefit.

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