About Us – 2019 CrossFit

About Us



20NINETEEN CrossFit is powered by TRU-Strength Fabrications. Not only is 20NINETEEN CrossFit an affiliate box but we also have the products custom-made by TRU-Strength Fabrications on display and available for sale in our showroom. So you can not only complete your WOD (Workout of the Day) but you can also purchase ANY of the equipment you see!!

Mike Gillis, Owner & CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Mike, aka Gillie, began building “stuff” at 5 years of age. As he grew, so did his perceptions on how to make things bigger and better.  When his high school welding teacher made him an apprentice half way through his semester, he knew he had a knack for creating things with metal.  It wasn’t until he moved to Phoenix, Arizona did he get to re-explore his fascination with metallurgy.

Originally a native of Ontario, Canada (eh?), Mike is an avid hockey player and even when time seems to get away from him, still makes it a point to get out on the ice as well as spend time with his wife Natalie and their 4-legged children, Nestle and Lizzy.  Mike made the transition from working at Daimler Chrysler to working at The Thing Shop when he moved to the Valley.  It was here that he invented, re-designed and fabricated various items for the VW Things and his enthusiasm for metal works was revived.  Entering the world of CrossFit and discovering the lack and availability of unique and innovative equipment, Mike was able to find his niche, merge his two passions and opened up TRU-Strength Fabrications, a leading supplier, designer and fabricator of CrossFit equipment.

Jeff Huff, Owner & Personal Trainer

I have been involved in CrossFit for 4 years. I enjoy CrossFit because of the physical and metal challenges but most of all I enjoy the community of CrossFit! What a great feeling knowing you all work at accomplishing a goal together. We pick each other up when fallen down and best of all we all do it together. By the way my favorite dessert it fudge brownies. Simple and fun…

Graham Montgomery, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Originally from the Midwest, I grew up playing competitive hockey and lacrosse. My father owned a retail chain of fitness stores and my mother a gymnastics center, so I have always been in and around the fitness scene.  I still play hockey weekly, hike, and love the water where I surf and wakeboard.  In the winter you can find me snowboarding or skateboarding with my daughter since we live in sunny Arizona.

CrossFit is a passion of mine and has allowed me to get into the best shape I have ever been in since high school.  The community of CrossFit has resulted in so many new friendships since I have been in it now for almost 5 years.  I am grateful of our community and members at 2019 CrossFit and the ability to help all of them achieve their personal fitness goals.  I am looking forward to my daughter in the next few years starting to compete as she has grown up in the CrossFit gym and shares the same passion as I do for the workouts.

Ricardo Castañón, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer & USAW Olympic Weightlifting Coach

I served 20 Honorable Years in the United States Army. I was deployed to Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. When I started my CrossFit journey in 2012, I was only in it to get into better shape. I got bit by the competition bug and stated competing in competitions in Missouri, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

I am passionate about coaching and helping people achieve their goals in fitness and helping make their lives healthier. I ensure that my athletes are doing the movements correctly before having them move on. I love being a part of the Community and always help out veteran organizations as much as I can. I also enjoy volunteering at competitions and judging athletes.

Right now I am currently attending Universal Technical Institute and working on my Ford Certifications so I can work in a dealership. My certifications include the CrossFit Level 1 trainer and the USAW Olympic Weightlifting Coaches course. I plan on doing more certifications in the future.

Tiffany “TJ” Jakubowski, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I have always had a passion for anything athletic and being active has been a huge part of my life. Through school I played competitive sports. I always put everything I had into whatever sport I was playing at the time. After college I spent a few years running half marathons. I found running to be more relaxing than anything; it became time where I could relax and tune everything else out. For once I was being active without being overly competitive…. then I found CrossFit. I thought I was in decent shape when I walked through the doors on my first day, but I was so wrong. After my first day I was hooked and my competitive side was once again sparked. Walking through those CrossFit doors changed my life. I didn’t just find something that challenged me mentally and physically, I also found a family.

I do CrossFit because the community is amazing and I love to challenge myself on a daily basis. I coach CrossFit because every day the people who walk through those CrossFit doors are making a choice to better their lives and I love being a part of that.

Aron Keeling, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

CrossFit, “Constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.” My name is Aron Keeling and this definition is exactly why I love CrossFit. My whole life I have been in and out of sports, you name it, I have most likely played it. Even to this day, I love trying new things and picking up new hobbies. CrossFit is definitely a sport to keep you conditioned and ready to be able to go out and try new things.

I joined my first CrossFit gym in 2013 and have been doing it ever since. Mid 2015, I started a new chapter in my CrossFit life and decided to become a coach. I fell in love with CrossFit all over again. Watching new member’s fitness levels increase as they come in month to month has truly put a smile on my face!

Christian “Doodle” Keeling, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Hi, my name is Christian.  I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from ASU and hope to continue my education in the future.  I love to learn new things and I love to do anything outdoors like camping, hiking, and going to the lake.  I also have a huge soft spot for animals, especially dogs.

I discovered CrossFit when I was 18 years of age, but could not afford to sign up until about a year later.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made!  After 2 years of doing CrossFit, I decided I wanted to share my passion for the sport through coaching.  I truly believe CrossFit can be for everybody no matter what age/athletic ability.  I enjoy coaching people and watching them do things they never thought they could!

Dan Layton, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I’ve been involved with CrossFit for around two years now and it’s made such an amazing impact on my life as a coach and athlete. My best friend Tony Macella was the first to introduce me to CrossFit and at the time I was doing a general bodybuilding program that I came upon from a fitness magazine and was training for Spartan Races. I remember thinking, “Yea, I look good but this isn’t enough. I need to be able to perform!”

And so my journey for true fitness began. I started from the basics and by being able to get into complicated positions correctly through mobility and studying human mechanics, I bought my own equipment but soon realized I was limited and wasn’t lifting as heavy as I would like. This led me to shop around for an affiliate to join. After a while of membership and tremendous growth, my passion to be a coach was noticed and then I pursued my Level 1 Trainer Certificate. I took and passed my Trainer Course Test in August of 2014 and then was presented an opportunity to coach my own class, which I gladly accepted.

I love everything about CrossFit; I’m actually a little obsessed with it. The fact that no matter what box you are from, you are part of a huge community of like-minded people that share the same passion as you in some degree, is just astounding to me. Being a coach is just the icing on the cake, cause not only am I a part of the community, but I’m a role model and a huge part in bettering an athlete’s fitness and quality of life.

My own personal goals are probably cliché and you’d hear it at any box worldwide but I would like to compete in Regionals and eventually the CrossFit Games at some point in my lifetime. I also have a passion for art of all sorts and human mechanics – basically how a body functions and how it should properly move. I am currently a college student and probably will be for years and I work as a sales associate at Reebok, which is the biggest sponsor of CrossFit as a brand, so it’s pretty convenient!

2019 Group