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The Ohio Strength - Home of CrossFit Italian Village Coach Team & Story

Learn about our coach team & story – we are here to help you achieve your fitness, nutrition and lifestyle goals!

Ryan McFadyen owner of Ohio Strength - Home of CrossFit Italian Village
Our Founder

Ryan McFadyen

Growing up, Ryan participated in many sports-gymnastics, soccer, baseball, football, basketball, wrestling, rowing, and track. He focused on football and track in high school.  Then he rowed crew at The Ohio State University. During his undergrad studies, he was also proud to be a part of the three-man team that won the 2008 American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiology Quiz Bowl. After college graduation, Ryan was looking for something to fill the void that collegiate sports left behind. He was drawn to the competitive, yet supportive, team-like environment found in the CrossFit gym. He fell in love with the culture and decided to dedicate his life to introducing it to others. “The discovery of CrossFit brought my passion, experience, and education together into what is now Ohio Strength.” “Now that Ohio Strength has been helping clients for over 8 years, we’ve had the opportunity to really figure out who we want to be as coaches and as a gym. We’ve learned that life is so much bigger than simply being competitive in CrossFit. We’ve seen marriages, births, job changes, and dealt with the loss of loved ones together as a fitness community. We support each other to lead productive and healthy lives through the coaching of balanced and active lifestyles that include great nutrition, fun and effective workouts, and sustainable habits. When someone joins Ohio Strength, we want them to be a member for life, and we keep that in mind every day as we strive to foster deep and meaningful relationships, deliver incredible fitness results and focus on continuous improvement of our offerings. I sincerely hope that we have the opportunity to meet with you to help you navigate your own fitness journey for years to come!”


Bachelor of Science in Education: Exercise Science Education, Nutrition minor

Master of Business Administration

CrossFit Level 1, 2, 3 (CCFT), Judges Course and Scaling Course

USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach

Sports Nutritionist, ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition)

Licensed Massage Therapist

RYT 200 (Registered Yoga Teacher)

Prokreate – Pre and Postnatal Strength Seminar

Red Cross CPR and AED.

Our Coaches

Rebecca coach at Ohio Strength - Home of CrossFit Italian Village

Rebecca Babiak

Master of Science in Exercise Science
Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach
American College of Sports Medicine Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and AED

Rebecca’s fitness history starts with eleven years of commitment to dance. She was a bunhead, living, eating, and breathing ballet. The commitment to performance and perfection contributed to an unhealthy relationship with food and a dysmorphic body image. After discovering the disorder, her mother forced her to quit dance in high school. “Ballet was my identity,” Rebecca explains, “Losing it, even though it was for my mental and physical health, left me lost and depressed. I needed another physical activity to fill the void.” Rebecca started going to step aerobics at a local gym. She loved being able to exercise without the excruciating attention to what her body looked like in skintight clothing. Rebecca knew the physical activity was essential to her health and happiness. Now she knew it could take a form other than ballet.

Up until two years ago, Rebecca was resistant to CrossFit believing that it was too high-risk for injury. “I had no interest or intention of doing it. But over the years, I realized my own workouts were trending in that direction.” When owner Ryan McFadyen offered a generous free trial period, Rebecca gave it a shot. After the fundamentals classes, she was hooked and regretted not trying CrossFit sooner. “Any physical activity, if done improperly, puts the participant at risk for injury. CrossFit gets a lot of publicity, both good and bad. In actuality, the comprehensive focus on fitness and activity modifications make it effective for all populations. I’m absolutely in love with it and now know what it feels like to be part of an athletic team.”
Bruce Timko coach at Ohio Strength - Home of CrossFit Italian Village

Bruce Timko

CrossFit Level 1
Red Cross CPR and AED
Being raised in the Timko household, the three most important things were faith, family, and sports. Growing up Bruce traveled and competed in a variety of sports including basketball and golf in High School. Bruce went on to play golf at The Ohio State University for four years, where he was introduced to organized Olympic lifting and HIIT workouts for the first time. Bruce loved how these types of workouts pushed him and his teammates both physically and mentally, and how the experience brought them closer as a team. After graduating college, Bruce really started to miss that community while working out, and quickly became tired of going to a local gym and working out on his own. He began looking into other alternatives and started talking to a friend about CrossFit. She recommended that he check out Ohio Strength. It did not take long to realize what made CrossFit special. It motivates others to strive to improve themselves in all areas of wellness, all while building a fitness family to support each other. Having the opportunity to help others have this same experience in a fun and welcoming environment is what motivated Bruce to become a coach, and he hopes he can be a part of helping them achieve their fitness and wellness goals.
Greg Friedberg coach at Ohio Strength - Home of CrossFit Italian Village

Greg Friedberg

Bachelors in Neuroscience
Current M.D. Candidate
CrossFit Level 1

Greg started CrossFit back in July 2018 on the same day he began his first “real-world job” post-undergrad. No better wake-up call to the real world, right? He credits CrossFit for being his saving grace at the time, as the stress of adjusting to a whole new life was weighing pretty heavily back then. The Ohio Strength family was everything he needed – and has helped him maintain a sound mind, sound body and healthy lifestyle ever since.

To him, joining a CrossFit gym wasn’t a matter of “if” but “when.” His passion for fitness is admittedly wide-spread. He attributes his love for weight training to years of experience in sports such as football, baseball and track + field. Also, after a short stint in gymnastics, he says he developed an appreciation for the human body’s power and potential. This led him to pursue a career in sports medicine, for which he is currently studying at Ohio State. Additionally, his involvement in a student-led fitness group during college inspired a love for HIIT-style workouts – and he also avidly enjoys yoga and cycling. “CrossFit offers the perfect combination of everything I could ever ask for: community, fitness, empowerment and support.”
Matt Pekarek coach at Ohio Strength - Home of CrossFit Italian Village

Matt Pekarek

CrossFit Level 1
Red Cross CPR and AED

Matt has always thrived in a team environment, having grown up playing soccer and baseball outside of Cleveland, Ohio. When he ventured down to Columbus to study at The Ohio State University he struggled to replace the vibrant and inclusive community of the team sport environments he had thrived in throughout youth sports and high school. That all changed in the summer of 2015 when he drove by Ohio Strength and decided to stop in after work. After speaking with the coach, he showed up early the next morning and has been coming back ever since.

Matt believes in the power of Ohio Strength to serve as a social seam in the community, uniting individuals of diverse backgrounds and experiences in the shared pursuit of health and wellness. It is this mindset that drove Matt to pursue his L1, positioning him to play a role in building and sustaining a dynamic culture that promotes personal growth at the gym, at work, or at home.
Phil Lafleur coach at Ohio Strength - Home of CrossFit Italian Village

Phil Lafleur

Bachelors Degree
CrossFit Level 1

Phil has had a lifelong passion for physical fitness. Starting at a young age, he participated in football, basketball, and baseball. In high school, his involvement shifted to football, lacrosse, and track & field. Opting against playing football in college, Phil still maintained a strict daily physical fitness routine after his high school sports career ended.

Phil found CrossFit in late 2018 and was immediately hooked. The challenges, growth, and positive community atmosphere experienced on a daily basis at Ohio Strength was something he had been searching for since graduating from the University of Dayton in 2017. After a few years in the corporate world, Phil decided to take a sabbatical from his job as a technology consultant in late 2020 to explore a career in the fitness industry. He felt helping people improve their physical and mental health would be a more fulfilling venture, specifically through the methodologies of CrossFit and functional fitness.
Shelby Cavazos coach at Ohio Strength - Home of CrossFit Italian Village

Shelby Cavazos

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health Promotion
Current student in The Ohio State’s Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program
Graduate Enrichment Fellow
USA Weightlifting L1
Red Cross CPR and AED
Growing up, Shelby participated in multiple sports and found CrossFit to fill the void after graduating high school and leaving team sports. CrossFit fulfilled her need for a highly intense workout with a motivating, supportive community. What she loves about CrossFit is that the workouts are constantly varied, functional, and adaptable. In undergrad, she was a teaching assistant for adaptive sports skills, which further fueled her passion that fitness should be accessible to people of all abilities, and is proud that the CrossFit community wholeheartedly believes that as well. After joining the Army in 2017, Shelby had even more of a reason to continue on in CrossFit to stay fit and prepared for her role as a Medical Service Officer. She moved to Columbus in May of 2020 to start her doctoral program, and found her home here at Ohio Strength. Shelby has a goal to obtain her CrossFit L1 and L2, as well as her certificate in adaptive training in order to support accessible and inclusive fitness for all.
Ellen Onders coach at Ohio Strength - Home of CrossFit Italian Village

Ellen Onders

Crossfit L1
CPR and AED certified

Ellen grew up in a family of runners, which is where her fitness journey began. From a young age she was attending road races, cross country meets, and marathons, to watch her mom and sisters race. Naturally, she followed suit and became a distance runner herself, running her first full marathon in 2014. Since then, Ellen has completed 5 full marathons and numerous halves, but says she had always been secretly curious about CrossFit. In 2019 Ellen joined Ohio Strength after being encouraged by her boyfriend who wanted her to meet his “gym friends.”

After a couple months, Ellen was hooked and realized that almost all her preconceived notions about CrossFit were wrong, “I wish I hadn’t been intimidated for so long, everyone is just there to have fun and get better, whatever that means for them.” Ellen has seen huge improvement in her athletic ability in her 2 years as a member, which she credits to the variety in the programming and the community. “I finally found a community of like-minded people who want to get better and want to see me get better too. It’s really motivating to be surrounded by that. I’m excited to be a part of the coaching staff and create an even better experience for the next member.”

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