James Ellis
James Ellis

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

Owner / Operator

James Ellis

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!

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.

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.