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Staff/TEAM | The Industrial Athlete Championship Series


The Industrial Athlete Championship Series is a one-of-a-kind competition that derives it’s challenges through the combination of CrossFit and SEALFIT programming along with mainstream strength and endurance events.  We believe that we have developed a 4-part series that allows all levels of competitors to compete and challenge themselves in this monthly point-based Championship program.

We use the term “Industrial” because we built this program with the hard-working true physical functionalist in mind.  Those that protect and serve our country and community via fire, police or first responder, as well as school teachers, chiropractors, steel workers and moms.  We all work hard, we all live in the grind and we all workout. This is our chance to test our limits and push into the uncomfortable in order to grow.  Get your team, or go solo – either way, this will make you tougher!

We have created a blend of different elements of CrossFit that will challenge but not eliminate our competitors due to lack of technique.  Meaning this – our series is tough because it’s supposed to be, but it’s not going to drop anyone due to the techinical side of CrossFit Competitions.  You may not finish first or you may not finish because you quit, but you won’t “DNF” due to lack of technique.

We want to put an emphasis on real-world functional physical application. The bottom line is this – we are here to develop a community of like-minded, active, healthy competitors who want to work hard and have good time doing it!  If it’s not fun, then what’s the point?

Our Programming is done in partnership with Mark Divine, owner of SEALFIT, US Tactical, and US CrossFit. Coach Divine is a former Navy SEAL and is currently a world class mental toughness and conditioning trainer to athletes around the globe.  Coach Divine has been tasked with developing programs to help prepare students for the physical and mental riggers of BUDS/SEAL training and is also the developer and head Commander of the world renowned KOKORO mental toughness and conditioning camp.



Derek Price, CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer

Derek is a native to Tempe, AZ. His passion for athletics helped him earn All American, Team MVP and Offense Player of the Year Honors in Football for MCC. His hard work was rewarded with a football scholarship to the University of Iowa (GO HAWKS!). He earned a B.A. while at Iowa and was then fortunate enough to play in the NFL for the Detroit Lions. A spinal cord injury and pursuant neck fusion surgery ended his career. Dr. Price left the game and went back to school at Life University where he earned his D.C. degree. Upon graduating Dr. Price served his internship in San Francisco, CA at a Functional Neurology Facility. Post-internship, Dr. Price relocated back to the Valley and is now the Owner and President of Preferred Rehab Medical Centers throughout Arizona.
Dr. Price enjoys participating in a wide variety of sports and believes in taking on difficult challenges as a means of personal growth. Some of the more notable endeavors he has completed include: CrossFit Level 1 certified coach, CrossFit affiliate gym owner (CrossFit Preferred, located in Gilbert, AZ), SEALFIT World renowned mental toughness camp and SEAL inspired Hellweek Kokoro graduate led by former SEAL TEAM 3 Commander Mark Divine where he was awarded Honor Man of class 17, Kokoro and SEALFIT coach and has been working tirelessly to become an OTS (Official Tranining Site) to teach the SEALFIT  and Kokoro Prep program at CrossFit Preferred, 4 x Ironman Triathlon finisher, 2 x Alcatraz escape swim finisher, Multiple Triathlon podium finishes in each distance event including a 1st place finish in Super Frog Navy SEAL half Ironman, 2nd Place Ironman Arizona 2009 Clydesdale division along with dozens of other endurance events and 3rd place Heavyweight finish in Phoenix Open 2011 Jiu Jitsu tournament.
Dr. Price is lucky enough to have married his best friend in the world and have three beautiful little girls together. He has also been voted “Best Athlete on Planet Earth” by his mother.

  • Lesser Known Fact: He LOVES cheese with a passion and you might even earn brownie points if you bring him a cheese sandwich!


Mike Gillis, TRU-Strength Fabrications, Owner/Founder

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, Charlie and Nestle. 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 to find his niche and merge his two passions.

Working hard, playing hard and training hard is the way Mike lives his life. Sharing this philosophy is what brought him together with the boys over at CrossFit Preferred and hence, the idea behind the Industrial Athlete Championship Series, or IAC Series, was born.  He too often dreams of being more like Derek Price.

  • Favorite saying: “That’s what we do!”



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