Syn Martinez is the man behind Afrobrutality, Afrobrewtality, and Afrobrutality Radio . He is a social media ninja, designing master, brutal programmer, and all around cool guy. First thing I do in the morning is check his Instagram (@afrobrutaliy) - his designs are sick and he pairs them with some great print ("Believe in your fucking self" is one of my faves).
I have felt like a stalker getting ready for this post, researching Syn, listening to pod casts on Squats and Espresso ( here and here), reading articles, looking at pictures, and going back through his Instagram. Learning more about who he is, and how Afrobrutality came to be, has been inspiring. He works hard, believes in himself, and surrounds himself with great people.
Back in the early 2000's Syn was working from home, eating McDonald's for breakfast, Chinese food for lunch, and watching a lot of movies. Fast forward 115ish pounds and a wake up call workout with his crew, and he knew he needed to make a change. He worked out with his crew, ran some 1/2 marathons, lost 120ish pounds, and got into triathlons. In 2007 he organized a group to compete in the Urbanathalon in NYC and designed their shirts. They were a hit.
Syn learned about CrossFit after a Nike Sparq competition in 2007 and ended up doing the Mainsite WODs for all of 2008. That's when he noticed the training programs, the Level 1 Certs, and the affiliates on the side of the website. There were two established CrossFit gyms in NYC: CF South Brooklyn and Crossfit NYC. He was invited to his first Fight Gone Bad at CF South Brooklyn in 2008 and then did workouts with his crew where they could find the space. Pretty soon his crew was being invited to more competitions in the tri-state area as Crossfit Harlem. They walked in and ruined your day. They were monsters.
Syn's goal with his programming is to create monsters. He loves barbell chippers, running (remember he was triathlon trained), and heavy barbells. His programming is meant to piss you off and get the best out of you. He is a brutal coach because he cares. He's not going to let you lift 65 pounds for 6 months, he is going to push you. His goal is "to help the average individual feel like they could go to the games tomorrow".
I was introduced to Syn through boy Phil (@mrbillup500). He started following Syn and Afrobrutality awhile back. Phil even got tatoo advice from Syn at one point (I'm telling you, this guy knows EVERYTHING). We met face to face at GMU for the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regionals where he was selling Afrobrutality gear. I got two tank tops and instantly needed more. I went home and ordered more online - tough to choose though since I dig most of his designs. Syn also supported Phil's journey to Nationals in Colorado by donating to his travel/meet fund.
Over the next few months I started following Aftrobrutality on Instagram. We became friends on Facebook - sorry folks, Facebook says he has maxed out his friends. I was instantly hooked. He interacts daily with his fans and he constantly posts really dope designs. I sent him messages here and there and he always responded, which was cool cause he is one busy guy. I just wanted him to know I appreciated what he was doing and what he stood for. After staying in touch for a few months I reached out and talked to Syn about becoming "The People's Athlete" for Afrobrutality. He wants to help the average athlete. That's me, average athlete. My goal is to lead by example and show the average person that you can do this too. You can make time for yourself, you can lift heavy ass shit, you can be fast, you can do a pull up, and you can be bad ass. He was on board! Little while later I let him know I would be in New York and maybe we could meet up. His response? Sent me his cell#, stayed in touch the whole day, and he set up dinner for my family with some of his crew and Skully the Pitt. Not only did he set up dinner, he shut down SpaHa Soul (a great soul food restaurant) in East Harlem so we could have the place to ourselves! Syn means business, if you are loyal to him, he is loyal to you. I felt like royalty, I have not met
He did the design for The Outlaw Way singlets - you can check that out here.
He designed for Bob Harper.
|Bob and his boys|
Kevin and Matt reppin their Brutality gear.
|Kevin Ogar and Matt Hathcock|
So we got to chatting the other day and got a some more information for your reading pleasure.
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