- Justin BiaysDirector of Programs and Head Coach
- Tanya MerchantOwner
- James MerchantOffice Manager
- Taryn BrennanDietitian
Director of Programs and Head Coach
- B.S. Exercise Science
- CrossFit Level 1
- CrossFit Conjugate Method
- USAW-SP L1
- CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist)
- TSAC-F (Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator)
- OPEX CCP L1 Program Design
- OPEX CCP L1 Assessment
- OPEX CCP L1 Nutrition
- OPEX CCP L1 Life Coaching
Justin brings a passion for fitness rooted in years of athletics and military service. A native of Castle Rock, Colorado, Justin played three years of varsity football at Douglas County High School. Upon graduation, he enlisted with the United States Army as an 11B (Infantry) and served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Realizing quickly that standard gym routines did not sufficiently prepare him for the duties he was expected to perform, he found his love for functional fitness and began learning how to incorporate it into his own training. When he returned from Afghanistan, he decided it was time to try CrossFit, which led to him competing in the 2016 CrossFit Regionals (South Region) in the team division.
After separating from the US Army in 2012, Justin attended Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition. Justin is also the founder of Dark Horse Performance, an online remote coaching/programming company.
2016 South Regional (team) 28th place
2015 Turkey Challenge Pro Division 10th place
2016 Turkey Challenge Pro Division 10th place
2015 Alpine Legends 2nd place
2015 Triple Threat 2nd place
2016 Triple Threat 3rd place
- BA Economics with Finance concentration, University of Virginia
- CF-L1 Trainer
- CF-L2 Trainer
Although Tanya spends her days helping others get their financial plans in order, she has always had a passion for fitness. In college, she received her group fitness instructor certification through the University’s recreation program. She later received her personal trainer certification through NASM and trained athletes who wanted to make gains without feeling intimidated by their trainer.
Don’t let her small size fool you, though – Tanya may be only 5 feet tall, but she has been known to lift almost twice her weight on the barbell! She was first introduced to CrossFit by a personal trainer in a globo-gym, and after her first real WOD, she knew she had found something great.
Outside of the box, Tanya enjoys hiking, camping, biking, obstacle course races, fun runs, and exploring Colorado (and the world!) with her husband and two sons. Bonus fun fact: Tanya was the youngest of seven Directors at the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, where she worked for three years and planned the opening of their 30,000 square foot facility in Portsmouth, VA.
Read about some of Tanya’s adventures in camping here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/24/travel/camping-escap
2015 Denver Pound-4-Pound – 3rd place, Individual Women
2016 Denver Pound-4-Pound – 3rd place, Team
- B.S. in Accounting, Virginia Tech
- CrossFit Level 1
A B.S. in Accounting probably isn’t the first thing most people put in their bio! My case is a little different though. When you see me in class I won’t be in front training, I will be in the class participating. As Office Manager, its my job to make sure “the doors stay open.” We’ve set some pretty high standards for the trainers at CrossFit Barkada, and I’m not up to par! I love CrossFit and am excited to be able to help bring a new box to Aurora, but that doesn’t qualify me to be training new athletes. Look for me sweating beside you in class or in the back office!
Aside from my love of CrossFit, I’m an avid outdoorsman. Hiking, biking, camping…You name it, I love it! I feel its important to stay in shape so we can truly enjoy ourselves when we do the things we love. I enjoy putting my fitness to the test by participating in mud runs and half marathons. CrossFit hasn’t just made me a better outdoorsman, but its made me a better father and husband too. Testing my resolve, my strength, and my dedication. Those are lessons that apply to all aspects of my life.
Taryn Brennan is a Registered Dietitian with a background in Exercise and Sport Science and Pediatric nutrition. Taryn specializes in food allergies, food intolerances, celiac disease and gastrointestinal disease. She has worked with infants, children, athletes of all ages up through aging adults. Taryn is a native Coloradoan with a distinguished collegiate basketball resume who now pursues her love of sport and competition as a player on the nationally ranked Glendale Raptors Women’s Premier Rugby Club. She is active in the CrossFit community while enjoying all of the athletic activities that Colorado has to offer. Taryn knows that eating is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.
Everyone is told “eat this, eat that, not too much of this, need more of that.” Figuring out what you need to eat is more specific to who you are and what you do. Making sense of it all is the hardest part! My mission is to find out who you are, what your goals are and how I can help you overcome your struggles. By using creative and individual approaches, I will help you make sense of the world of nutrition.
Services & Pricing
- Back to Basics/Fundamentals
- 60-minute consultation with dietitian
- General Nutrition Recommendations based on client needs (weight loss, muscle/weight gain, diet clean up, etc.)
- Individualized macronutrient calculation
- Vitamin, mineral and supplement review
- Next Level Nutrition
- Initial 60-minute consultation with dietitian
- Current diet analysis from 3 diet record
- Individualized macronutrient calculations
- Vitamin, mineral and supplement review
- Goal setting based on results from diet record
- 2 follow up sessions for check in and Q&A (30 min each)
- Supermarket Savvy
- 60-minute tour at local grocery store
- Learn to read labels, shop on a budget, shop in season, etc.
- Shop for a specific diet (paleo, gluten free, vegetarian)
- Sample grocery meal plan