get in the garage
Gate 14 began in the northern third of a three-car garage in an apartment by the sea. We had no dream of opening our own gym. The thought of "clients" was far from our mind. We were two former athletes who knew the shortest distance between us and our fittest self was simple: a (very) steep hill, a set of hand-me-down weights, and an insatiable urge to test the limits of the human body.
We were kids that grew up on Fourth of July circle pits in the sand, summertime sprints up Sand Dune hill, and marathon circuits of after school skateboarding. We were raised on equal parts soccer pitch, SST Records, and Pacific Ocean. So we never felt the draw of cookie-cutter gyms or "boxes." We saw past the veneer of superfluous amenities. We weren't interested in WODs or personal trainers. We knew that behind all the bells and whistles was a better workout that we could build on our own.
We sprinted the Gate 14 hill. We caught our breath in five-minute planks. We pushed weight around our garage. And then we did it again. And again. And again—until we couldn't breathe. Slowly, our Gate 14 workouts grew infamous. Brave neighbors left notes on our garage to see if they could join our "crazy workouts." Friends and family canceled pricey gym memberships and saw more change in a month than they had in years on the elliptical. We fine-tuned our approached. Invented our signature Composite Training regimen. Tacked benchmarks to the walls. And soon our hill was dotted morning and night with new bodies sprinting towards Gate 14.
Alfred Brown IV
Al's approach to the health and fitness of his body is as informed by his lengthy experience as a coach and athlete as it is his career as a scholar, writer, and musician. A precocious kid raised in the mirage of Manhattan Beach, California, Al gravitated naturally to all things left-of-center. He felt just as at home in the books and records he found at Either/Or Bookstore and Scooter's Records as he did in the open space of the soccer field. His innate curiosity lead him to study art and literature at Princeton and Columbia Universities, where he also earned numerous honors on the rugby field. These days, Al infuses each of his endeavors with lessons gleaned from the others. As a coach for Mira Costa High School's Boys' Soccer Team, he encourages his players to embody the spirit of local hardcore punk bands like Black Flag and Descendents who raised havoc here in the late '70s and early '80s. And as a scholar and assistant lecturer at the University of Southern California, he explores literature as if it were the boxing match Hemingway made it out to be. Composite Training is a physical manifestation of these many endeavors, and the workouts reflect it. You'll find him comparing the pace of a sprint to the improvisations of Greg Ginn, and the dread of a heavy barbell to Donald Barthelme's sense of "not-knowing." Gate 14 is an extension of Al's insatiable curiosity, and a direct criticism of the current mainstream approach to fitness. While his workouts may specifically target the body, they're deeply rooted in changing the mind.
Ediz began as a student of Composite Training and graduated to believer in, advocate for, and eventually co-founder of Gate 14 alongside Al. Raised in Manhattan Beach, California Ediz grew up with a passion for punk rock, a love for the ocean, a thirst for travel, and an extreme aptitude for video games. After his graduation from UC Berkeley in 2008, Ediz spent many years in the video game industry. A lifelong athlete and fitness enthusiast who grew up playing soccer, Ediz balanced his time in the office with time spent in the weight room. But after countless hours spent in big box gyms, bootcamps, and "high" intensity training, he felt resigned to the idea that his days of peak fitness were well behind him. A return from San Francisco to Southern California led Ediz to Gate 14 and the realization that his previous approach to true health and fitness was marred with mediocrity. In the garage, working hard alongside Al's growing gang of G14s, Ediz realized it wasn't about the time put it, but rather the quality of time put in. Within months, previous fitness benchmarks were shattered and years-long plateaus overcome. Composite Training allowed a framework for him to push his limits both physically and psychologically, and soon what started as a desire to get fit became a desire to share fitness with any and all comers.