Meet Our Coaches: Todd Nief - South Loop Strength & Conditioning

Todd Nief

Owner, Director of Training, Lead Coach

Where were you born?
Kansas City, Kansas

Where did you grow up?
La Grange Park, Illinois

What schools did you attend?
Lyons Township High School
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering)

When did you start CrossFit?
Fall 2008

What made you start CrossFit?
I grew up playing soccer and my training consistently largely of lots of running and pull-ups – just kind of doing various “hard” things that I found online. My knees were in constant pain after graduating from college, so I was searching for exercises to do instead of running. I came across CrossFit – which I had heard of previously – and jumped right into doing the workouts posted on www.crossfit.com with absolutely no idea what I was doing.

When did you come to SLSC?
Well I guess I started the thing in 2012.

What do you enjoy about SLSC?
Owning a business is a constant “reality test” for your ideas. As much as I often wish things worked the way I thought they were going to, or that my plans would be fantastically effective out of the box, I’ve never learned more about myself, other human beings, or how the world really works than I have trying to grow SLSC and get people involved with best practices and principles in training.

What do you enjoy about coaching?
Any sort of higher order, emergent phenomenon – like trying to improve someone’s health, fitness, body composition, or performance over time – provides innumerable opportunities for exploration and learning. While it’s easy to have catchy and reductionist statements about training, they’re almost always incorrect. The constant battle to find best practices, produce results, and not fall prey to your own ability to lie to yourself and fool yourself about what’s going on is endlessly challenging and uniquely fulfilling – even when it’s not always fun.

What would you say to someone who is considering trying out SLSC but is unsure?
It’s really easy to wait for the “right time” – which never actually comes. It’s also really easy to do more and more and more and more research – we’ve got tons of pages on this site trying to answer questions and provide context for what we do. However, the people who find success aren’t the ones who wait or the ones who research forever. They’re the ones who take action, then allow their research to interplay with their real life experience. They can attack their goals from both a practical side and a theoretical side, and iterate quickly over time to give them the best results possible.

Certifications

  • Certified CrossFit Trainer (CrossFit Level 3)
  • CrossFit Specialty: Competitor, Gymnastics, Kettlebell, Movement & Mobility, Running, Powerlifting
  • DNS "A" Course (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization)
  • DNS Certified Exercise Traininer (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization Exercise Level 3)
  • FMS Level 2 (Functional Movement Systems)
  • GRIP 1 & 2 (Global Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention)
  • GRIP Performance 1
  • OPEX CCP Level 2 (Formerly OPT)
  • Poliquin BioSignature Level 2
  • POSE Running Coach
  • PRI (Postural Restoration Institute): Myokinematic Restoration
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1
  • SFMA Level 2 (Selective Functional Movement Assessment)
  • USA Weightlifting Level 2

Social Media

Instagram: @toddknife

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