Matthew Ellis – Owner/Head Strength Coach/Shot Put and Discus Throw Specialist
Originally from Coventry, Matt learned the meaning of hard work at an early age growing up on a small ranch owned by his father and mother. Hauling 50 and 100 pound bags of grain, cutting and stacking firewood, loading hay bales, and walking with full 10 gallon buckets of water quickly became part of his daily chores.
After playing many traditional sports like basketball, baseball, and soccer while growing up, he fell in love with track and field his Freshman year at Bishop Hendricken High School. Matt was a member of three indoor and four outdoor track teams at Hendricken and was named captain of his Senior indoor and outdoor track teams. He continued his track career at Stonehill College for another four indoor and four outdoor seasons being named a captain his Junior and Senior year. At one point, Matt held every school throwing record at Stonehill except javelin. He was a conference champion in the shot put and discus. His senior year Matt was the highest ranked Division II discus thrower in New England. Between his high school and collegiate track career, Matt has thrown every implement; Indoor and Outdoor Shot Put, Discus, Hammer, Indoor Weight, and Javelin.
After graduating in 2002, Matt began working at M-F Athletic Company and Perform Better in Cranston. This is where his practical education and love of weightlifting, powerlifting, and all things training started to flourish. Matt decided to leave his position at M-F in 2009 to pursue his love of training athletes and opened Primal Athlete Training Center. Matt has an aggressive, blue-collar style to his training that improves strength, endurance, and explosive power in all athletic movements.
In addition to owning and training athletes at Primal, Matt has spoken to thousands of coaches and athletic directors at many of the largest state and regional coaching clinics around the U.S. on topics such as functional training, peaking athletes for the championship season, kettlebell training for athletes, proper active warm-up, mobility drills, proper in-season and off-season training, and proper technique in the various throwing events. Articles written by Matt have appeared in coaching magazines, books, and websites around the world. Matt is a Certified Underground Strength Coach under the legendary Zach Even-Esh and is also a certified kettlebell instructor. He is also the former director of Bill Falk’s overnight throws camp at Rhode Island College and is a member of the National Throws Coaches Association and the National Pole Vault Coaches Association. Matt is constantly investing in his coaching and training education to bring the latest techniques to the athletes he trains.
Matt is a life long RI resident, a dedicated husband, and is the dad to two wonderful boys, Will and Jake as well as a tubby English Bulldog named George.
Ahnise Kassab – Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Dan Freeman – Strength and Conditioning Expert/Javelin Throw Specialist
Dan has been studying and going to school for exercise science and sociology for the past 5 years at UNC Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina and is a Division 1 Collegiate Track and Field Athlete.
He is recently the School Record Holder in the Javelin, and an NCAA Regional Qualifier (2014).
He was an All-State Athlete for Javelin and Shot Put in high school at Bishop Hendricken in Rhode Island.
After losing 40 pounds going into his freshman year of college and seeing the great benefits of it, Dan fell in love with exercise science and strength and conditioning.
Dan is a strength intern for the UNC Charlotte strength staff helping train Cross Country and Middle Distance Track and Field, Soccer, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, and Tennis, under 3 different strength coaches with specialties in Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and Athletic Performance.
Primal Athlete Training Center has been his home for lifting and learning since the summer of 2012 after going through many injuries.
“Without Primal Athlete Training Center I would not be competing. It has helped mold me to where I am now.”
The coaching world was introduced to him in the throws events that same year, working with athletes age 9-63.
Certified in Functional Training, CPR/AED/Blood Pathogens Certified
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