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Joey Swidler

Joey is proud to be the Director of Programming and Community Outreach for Rise Youth Athletics!  With over seven years in the fitness industry, Joey has coached over 10,000 hours of Olympic Weightlifting, CrossFit, and teen strength and conditioning classes.  He has experience running strength and conditioning programs in several schools in both an extracurricular capacity, as well as in a Physical Education setting.  He particularly enjoys working with youth athletes, where the goal is not only to build a solid foundation of fitness, but also to instill values of dedication, communication and hard work.    

As a certified CrossFit Kids coach and youth weightlifting specialist, Joey understands that youth athletes need general movement instruction before developing specific skill sets.  His goal is to provide kids with a GPP (general physical preparedness) background so they can become well-rounded athletes.  Many youth athletes have been sport specific (i.e., only baseball, only wrestling, etc.) for most of their lives.  This can have an inhibiting effect on athletic potential, as well as increase likelihood of injury.  Via a strong foundation of fitness, he hopes to tap into the athletic potential of each his youth athletes! 


  • CrossFit Kids Trainer
  • CrossFit Level 3 Trainer/Certified CrossFit Coach
  • CrossFit Specialty Certifications: Olympic Weightlifting, Nutrition, Running & Endurance, Kettlebells and Gymnastics
  • USA Weightlifting Advanced Sports Performance Coach
  • USA Weightlifting Club Coach (awarded to coaches with two or more national level athletes)
  • Clinical Weightlifting Coach through Dr. Quinn Henoch and Juggernaut Strength
  • Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) Mobility Specialist with Dr. Andreo Spina
  • CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Traveling Seminar Staff Member
  • CPR/AED Certified through the American Red Cross
  • Bachelor of Arts- Indiana University
  • Master of Arts- New York University




Michele is the Executive Director and Lead Coach for Rise Youth Athletics. After over a decade as a lawyer, she needed something more, the corporate world wasn't enough. Coming from a long line of educators, Michele was always vested in children and understood their role as our future leaders. From her own experience growing up, Michele knew it was sometimes hard to truly recognize yourself, and in turn, the power and impact you hold as an individual.  Academics always seemed to be the conventional pathway to self exploration and it wasn't until Michele started participating in a new exercise program that she realized the key to knowing who you are is submerging yourself in the uncomfortable and the unknown, testing your perceived physical limits.  It may seem odd to equate fitness and athletics with the concept of self, but imagine reaching new heights and conquering unattainable goals.  Pretty amazing and empowering...and the views, well they'll take your breath away.  

With that, Michele began coaching kids.  She knew the impact the fun, risk-taking, free play had on her own life, imagine the life of a child.  She brought the long forgotten concepts of free play and fearlessness back to a safe, group class environment where kids could truly be kids, unplugged, inquisitive and back to the basics.  With two years of coaching under her belt, Michele opened Gantry Kids & Teens, offering classes and camps, "Building a Lifetime of Fitness" for kids ages 4-16 in NYC.  As her business began to grow and expand, so did her desire to be of service.  If she learned anything from her parents, it was to always always be of service. No matter how minor your contribution may seem, it may mean the world to someone else.  Michele was involved at the inception of Rise Youth Athletics, guiding the organization to take the power of fitness to the NYC Schools.  Often found behind the scenes, facilitating, fundraising, directing and networking, Michele continues to coach for Rise Youth Athletics providing a strong female role model for NYC's boys and girls, helping them access the power that lies within each of them. 


  • The Brand X Method Advanced Kids Trainer
  • The Brand X Method Teen Weightlifting Trainer
  • CrossFit Kids Trainer
  • CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
  • CrossFit Endurance Trainer
  • AADP Certified Health Coach
  • CPR/AED Certified through the American Red Cross
  • BA in Sculpture - Towson State University
  • JD/MBA, licensed in New York and New Jersey


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Franklin reigns from the boogie down Bronx. As a kid Franklin was always considered a “big kid.” He struggled with his weight for much of his childhood. Weighing in at 260 in his sophomore year of High School, he decided to try something different. The following year he became a part of the Brooklyn Barbell Club as a youth athlete looking to improve his skills on the wrestling mat and above all his life. Franklin is a graduate of this program.  Maybe under a different name an at a different time, but he attended classes and gained the self-esteem to change the trajectory of his life.  Soon after graduating high school, Franklin was accepted in the Coach’s Program at CrossFit Virtuosity where he developed a passion for physical and personal development. Now he works with kids ages 5-18 and adults by putting into practice what he has learned. Franklin continues to pursue great physical feats by focusing on abstract movements that turn the world into a jungle gym. He recently earned his BA in Anthropology and his BS in Public Administration from the City University of New York at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  Franklin's dream is to take Rise Youth Athletics on the road and developing programs across the country.  


  • The Brand X Method Advanced Kids Trainer
  • CrossFit Kids Certification
  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CPR/AED Certified through the American Red Cross
  • NYS EMT-B Certification
  • BA in Anthropology - John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • BS in Public Administration - John Jay College of Criminal Justice