Although scores of fitness enthusiasts dream about competing in one of the many obstacle course challenge shows that appear on TV, few aspiring athletes even know how to prepare for such an arduous endeavor. Climbing, parkour, and sports-based skills are all helpful assets for a successful obstacle course competitor, but these avenues lack the realism and intensity needed to hone the body to a truly functional condition. In order to become as strong, balanced, and skilled as possible, athletes must test themselves on actual obstacle course elements. Enter The Serpent. This multi-obstacle grid offers the perfect blend of strength, technique, and skills-based challenges in what is one of the most effective functional fitness tools ever created. Serving forward-thinking gyms as well as motivated private individuals and high-level athletes, Serpent provides an incredible innovation in total-body fitness by bringing professional-level obstacle course training to the masses.
How it works
The majority of Serpent’s clients are gyms, health clubs, and private training centers. That said, anyone with a little bit of free space and a strong desire to push themselves can own The Serpent. Currently, Serpent is fulfilling custom orders on a first come, first serve basis. We’ll start by asking a number of questions designed to help us gauge your exact needs, and from there we will work to provide you with the perfect obstacle course setup for your specific situation. To get the ball rolling, send us an email via the Contact page containing a few brief sentences about who you are and what you’re looking for.
THE SERPENT TEAM
Tom Crisp, Founder and Chief Course Designer:
While modern obstacle course competitions have exploded in popularity in recent years, the story of The Serpent began over a decade ago in an unlikely location: Camp Pendleton. This is where Serpent founder Tom Crisp—then an 18-year-old Marine Corps private—first discovered his talent and passion for navigating obstacle courses. Crisp learned that in order to be successful, obstacle course challengers needed to consistently practice on hugely difficult elements that were designed to be impossible to complete in one run. By focusing on technique and fitness rather than just raw physical ability, Crisp was able to elevate his obstacle course game far beyond what he previously thought possible. The young Marine was on to something.
Fast forward several years and two combat deployments—one with First Recon—later, Crisp parlayed his fitness and talent into a natural career path working in Hollywood as a stunt performer. In addition to working in front of the camera, Crisp became heavily involved behind the camera with stunt rigging. It wasn’t long before Crisp found himself building obstacle courses for the wildly-popular American Ninja Warrior TV show. This role allowed Crisp to apply his talents as a course builder while simultaneously giving him a firsthand view of the habits, techniques, and styles that made various competitors successful. Once again, Crisp saw that those who relied on physical ability alone often failed, while competitors who focused on both fitness and skill were thriving. It was then that the young Marine-turned-stuntman decided that a standardized form of obstacle course training needed to be created and made available to the public.
As it turns out, Crisp was not the only one looking to set his sights on obstacle-course-based training: many athletes and weekend warriors, bored and frustrated with ineffective workout fads, have been searching for a new way to test and tune themselves. Even those who had no aspirations of competing on American Ninja Warrior became motivated by the idea of pushing themselves in a challenging and fun manner. As such, when Crisp first introduced an early iteration of a custom obstacle-course design, the idea was incredibly well received. What began as a simple drawing turned into a working prototype, and the evolution continued until The Serpent was born.
Tom Chowanec, Certified Personal Trainer and Program Director:
What's better than one Tom? Well two, of course! The other half of the Serpent partnership—the aptly named Tom Chowanec—brings a wealth of personal training and fitness knowledge to the Serpent team. The proverbial peanut butter to Crisp's jelly, Chowanec's inclusion as a founding member of The Serpent team brings vast experience in the athletic, fitness, and rehabilitation arenas; as such, his abilities will stand in good stead as The Serpent continues its expansion.
Extreme Sports have been a passion of Chowanec's since early childhood, with the young athlete racing motocross and BMX until the age of 16, then competed in downhill mountain biking from 19-21 years old, as well as a ton of time surfing the waters along the Southern California coast. Todayʼs passions include trail/desert motorcycling, snowboarding/skiing, and surfing.
At the age of 18, Mr. Chowanec suffered a motorcycle vs. automobile accident. The condition was serious, which included a broken sacrum, lumbar spine, and left shoulder, as well as fractured ribs. Internal bleeding contributed to the collapse of both of his lungs, twice. Rehabilitation included breathing and walking again. A left shoulder replacement and low back spinal fusion were to come 12 and 15 years later. Given this experience, the passion for rehabilitation for others is personal for Tom.
Chowanec received his certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in April of 2000. In 2010, Tom enrolled back into college to complete the fitness specialist certification at Moorpark College. He is currently working as Head Trainer and Director of Strength and Conditioning at SportFit Westlake, where Chowanec currently trains numerous professional, national and Olympic Athletes. He also works with top high school/Collegiate football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, cross country, and track & field athletes. With almost two decades of continuing education and experience on the fitness floor, Chowanec has developed a very effective, science-based training system that suits the needs of each individual or athlete.
The purpose of SportFit Westlake is to provide the means and know-how to accomplish any personal fitness and athletic goals. Helping individuals and athletes recover post-injury or surgery is our specialty. Our facility is equipped with premium equipment with years of scientific research and development behind their products. Through proper nutrition and committed execution of our training system, any realistic goal will be accomplished.
In August of 2014, Chowanec and Tom Crisp were introduced and became fast friends, connecting over similar passions. Crisp wanted to build a space-sufficient trainer for obstacle courses for SportFit Westlake; the end result became what is now known as The Serpent.. The response from athletes and clients in the community has been overwhelming, realizing the potential this might have for athletes and gyms world wide. On January 1, 2018, both Toms launched SportFit Systems to build The Serpent and other fitness products. Their mission is to provide safe, strong training systems to help athletes and clients improve their abilities while helping decrease the chance of injuries. SportFit Systems looks forward to the adventure of building products and longtime relationships across our great nation and around the world.
31360 Via Colinas, Set 102,
Westlake Village, CA 91362
JOIN THE NEWSLETTER