Meet the Iron Tribe Product Team: Jessica Parks

Apr 3, 2017

Sarah Cook
Sarah Cook
Apr 3, 2017

Jessica has been with the Iron Tribe brand for several years — first as a member, then as a coach and now as a member of the product team. Jessica has honed what it means to deliver a consistent experience for our athletes and we're so fortunate to have her on the product team! Check out her full story:

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Jessica Parks

Gym:

Iron Tribe Fitness Homewood

Year hired:

2011

Age:

31

Hometown:

Hoover, AL

College:

Exercise and Sports Science at The University of Alabama

Q: How did you end up working for Iron Tribe?

A. After returning from some time away from Birmingham for my husband's military training, I knew I wanted to try something new and more in line with what I studied at school.

I was also burned out coaching gymnastics for 10 years — I just needed something new. I googled Fitness, studied Iron Tribe online, and knew this was what I wanted to try next. I didn't feel comfortable applying for a job though at first because I didn’t know all aspects of their program (particularly the barbell/weights).

I am very thankful for my long process of member to coach — I think it has put me in a position to relate to our members as well as be extremely connected to the community.

I joined the gym as a member and instantly fell in LOVE with all aspects of the gym (members, culture, workout, coaches). I worked out as an athlete for a good 6 months or so, then started having conversations with one of the staff about maybe coming on as a coach and applying my years of gymnastics coaching to the team.

I am very thankful for my long process of member to coach — I think it has put me in a position to relate to our members as well as be extremely connected to the community.

Q. What have you done prior to working for ITF that made you better prepared for this job?

A. Studying Exercise Science in college — learning anatomy, biomechanics, the effects of exercise on the body to elicit change have prepared me to train our athletes smart. I also think it allows me to be a better communicator when explaining specific movement and all body parts involved. My years of gymnastics and gymnastics coaching, though, might even be a better prep for my job here at the Tribe.

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To realize not everyone is motivated the same way, to communication styles, to understanding how power is generated through angle changes (same for gymnastics training as for Iron Tribe training) and then tie in my years of building lesson plans for gymnastics and structuring 3 hour practices, it was a smooth transition on those regards. It also didn’t hurt that I had been practicing my “Coach Voice” for 10 years :)

Q. Tell us your favorite ITF moment/memory

A. What a tough question. Probably going to be when I got to tell one of my morning athletes at Homewood that they won the Transformation Challenge and that they were going to go on a cruise! This athlete worked her TAIL OFF and I got to be with her every step of the way. Seeing her success in 40 days was an inspiration to me and the icing on the cake was setting up a hidden camera and getting the whole thing on film!

Q: Which exercise is your favorite to coach?

A. Power Cleans

Q. What do you think is the most important thing clients need to do to have success in this program?

A. Consistency. You don’t have to be a superhero when you come in the gym...you just need to get in the gym.

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Q. If you could give advice to the young/new coaches out there, what would it be?

A. Surround yourself with great coaches that inspire you, mentor you and push you to be a better coach. If this is not an option in your environment, just realize it is up to you to sharpen your tools through your own hard work and dedication to your craft to get better every day.

Q. What are your interests/hobbies outside of your job?

A. Family (Married to Eric for 8 years and have a 2 sons), gymnastics, music, off-roading/camping trips with Eric (we love Colorado!)

Stay tuned for more up close and personal conversations with the ITF product team!

About Sarah Cook

Sarah oversees social media and internal communication for Iron Tribe Fitness. Her goal is to share the mission of Iron Tribe so others can be transformed by the program, and ultimately become the healthiest version of themselves. Graduating from Auburn University with a journalism degree, Sarah has a passion for storytelling and the written word.

Sarah Cook