Member Spotlight: Brian Papay

From Coach Pete: Brian Papay is the definition of driven. He is a regular at our 5am class and I’ve always said that 5am’ers are special people. Its takes a strong “why” to be at the gym at 5am all week, week after week. Brian takes any challenge head-on with everything he’s got. Just this week we did a sled workout that was intended to be a fairly slow pace but I knew what was about to happen after the 3-2-1-Go. As expected, Brian took off in a dead sprint to begin his mile sled drag at 70#. I found myself laughing out loud as I watched him fade into the 5am darkness. This scenario is pretty common, I overheard him once call this plan, “crash and burn.” In contrast, Brian’s extra training outside of the gym has given him a new perspective. He has been training for a 26 mile race which has forced him to slow his training runs down in order to build his trail volume. Its been interesting to hear about his race training. The picture that I am trying to paint is that Brian is heavily invested in his health and fitness. Stories like his are incredibly meaningful to me because I know where he started. Brian’s ability to work hard while remaining humble is incredibly motivating to those around him and he has been a great teammate to those in our community. Its been a pleasure working with you, Brian. Thank you for calling Roaster Barbell your home.
1 – What is your why? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I try to become a better person daily while being happy and healthy. I strive to be mentally and physically stronger to set a good example for my two boys.
2 – What is special about Roaster Barbell that keeps you coming back?
Its been life changing. Roaster Barbell woke this 40 year old man up. There’s something about this amazing community of hard workers that push and challenge you to become better daily. Together, we raise that bar, work hard, and crush our goals. Led by Coach Pete, a great coach and even better person. Its been a tough year for everyone (Covid) but the great positive leadership hasn’t gone unnoticed.
3 – When was your tipping point that helped you get started in fitness?
I just remember being out of shape and wanting a change. Found CrossFit at 230lbs. First workout was horrible and thought I was going to die but just kept coming back. A little over 3 years later I’m fairly fit and weigh 167lbs.
4 – What events are you training for?
Leave No Trace trail marathon on November 7th.
5 – What is your favorite thing in the gym?
I prefer cardio, light weight or body weight workouts.
6 – What is your least favorite thing in the gym?
Heavy weight workouts.
7 – Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully 50 and fit, moving like a youngster.
8 – What has been the most difficult obstacle on your journey?
Probably the lifestyle change. Putting my health as the priority. Building my daily routines.
9 – What do you look for in a gym?
Im at a point in my life where I try to surround myself with positive, inspiring, and great people. Community is high on the list of things I look for.
10 – What advice would you have for someone who is considering Roaster Barbell?
Give it a shot! Show up, work hard, and earn the results you want to see.



Thank you for taking the time to get to know Brian! If you would like to learn how you could become our next success story, just email Coach Pete at and lets begin talking about how Roaster Barbell and help you reach your goals!

Member Spotlight: Damian Beifus

From Coach Pete: If I were asked what characteristics would make a great teammate, everything Damian is about would be my answer. Damian is humble, hard working, intelligent, and selfless. The fitness world is full of ego as well as loud personalities and bold claims. Damian is none of those things, his personality is refreshing and extremely coachable. His performance on just about everything is exceptional but you would never know because he’ll never brag on himself. Damian consistently finds himself among the best performers in the gym because he shows up, gets to work, and listens far more than he speaks on a daily basis. Damian’s best characteristics have nothing to do with fitness though. He is genuinely a great husband, father, and friend and is an amazing role model for our community. Thank you for for being a huge part of why our community is so great!



1 – What was your motivation to join Roaster Barbell?

  • I had gotten out of shape and was looking to join a gym, I was never really sold on CrossFit but wanted something with structure, schedule, and accountability.  I was living in Berea, so I searched for a local gym; after finding Roaster’s website, I reached out to Pete.  In talking with Pete and seeing his experience (education) in exercise science/coaching, it made Roaster stand up above the others.  

2 – What is your why? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

  • Family – whether providing through work or leading by example, my family is always at the root of those decisions.  I take great pride in everything I do and am constantly striving to put forth the best version of me.

3 – How does your training improve your life outside of the gym?

  • It has also given me the energy to stay active with my son.  Work and life in general can be draining, but it is great having the energy to chase after and play with my 2 year old, even after a long day.  All those heavy carries pay off now when halfway through a walk my son insists on being carried home.

4 – Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

  • No set path, just continuing to enjoy what I do and those I surround myself with.

5 – What makes Roaster Barbell different than other training you have done?

  • It’s varied and a lot of movements/programming that I would never do on my own.  I would never do 100 burpees for time on my own, but knowing there are others around going through the same pain makes you want to keep going.  I had also never done any Olympic lifting prior to joining Roaster, so it has been a humbling yet rewarding experience working to get better at something new. 

6 – What is your favorite movement in the gym?

  • Concept 2 machines – I like the challenge they present mentally and how they can completely change a workout or impact other movements.

7 – What is your least favorite movement in the gym?

  • Lunges – really any variation, no thanks.

8 – What is your sports background? 

  • Soccer, I started playing around 3 yrs old and played competitively through college.  

9 – What is your proudest athletic achievement?  

  • I was fortunate to earn an athletic scholarship to play soccer in college, and currently still sit in the Top 10 for career games played at the school.  Seeing that hard work and effort pay off with 4 years of consistent and injury free play is my proudest achievement over any other athletic accolades.

10 – What advice would you have for someone looking to start at Roaster Barbell but is unsure?

  • Reach out to Pete and stop by the gym to see firsthand.  Pete does a great job evaluating and scaling movements to your abilities, the community is supportive and great, there is a ton of equipment (and more being added), the list of pros can go on and on, I wish I had found Roaster sooner.



    Thank you for taking the time to get to know Damian! If you would like to learn how you could become our next success story, just email Coach Pete at and lets begin talking about how Roaster Barbell and help you reach your goals!