(916) 798-3338

Rick, Age 30


I had found Ted while I was in search of a gym and coach that I wanted to work with for fitness and personal life goals.  My goal was wanting to get into law enforcement and be a police officer for one of my local agencies.  I had met with several various styles of gyms and coaches. After talking with Ted for some short time, and a few classes to see how he worked with perspective clients, I knew I was in good hands.  Finding someone that was technically sound was very important, but my physical longevity and safety was more important to me than anything.  I did not want to risk giving up time on working towards my dream and goal of becoming a police officer by getting hurt from an outrageous work out or unsafe physical movement.  Ted was able to change the movements and keep the work outs fun with out them becoming stale.  Personally, I owe a lot of my physical preparedness for my career of being a police officer to Ted for making me a well rounded individual ready for any physical activity.  With Ted’s personal life and professional experience, I found myself in great hands for someone who wanted to prepare me for success.

Sadly however, after I had worked hard and fought for a dream career with only a handful of years on, I sustained an injury on duty that would ultimately end my career.  This marked a huge turning point for me in my life and also strengthened my belief in what Ted is all about.  For the better part of two years I relied on Ted for physical training to try and rehab my injury to the best of its ability once I was allowed to find my new limits.  Ted was there for every text, phone call, or dropping by to keep him updated on how my progress was with my injury.  I knew that Ted always had my best interest in his mind and heart.  Never was I left with a feeling of being unimportant or not worth his time due to my injury. At many points I had the feelings that I failed in several ways and was not worth his time, but Ted helped pull me back up to be the best I could physically and mentally.  I felt more confident with what Ted was thinking and wanting to implement into my long term recovery more than anyone else once the dust had settled on the end of my career as a police officer. I was left with trying to find a new goal including a sense of normalcy and physical fitness, which Ted was there every step of the way.  Ted has created a way for me to work towards my physical goals in every way possible, while putting a smile on my face and creating much needed levity in my life.

I trust Ted with my physical well being and fitness goals more than anyone else, which is why I continue to work with him.  I implore anyone who is looking for an amazing coach and person to work on their goals with to check out what Ted has going on.  Ted has a way to help anyone who has the desire and commitment of becoming a better version of themselves.  I have viewed the changed lives of others by working with Ted and what he stands for also.  If you give him your time and dedication, you won’t be disappointed in the results.

Thanks Ted for everything and what you continue to do!

Patrick Day

Patrick Day, age 70, retired


I believe, at one time or another, we’ve all had a life changing experience. You know, the kind of experience that makes you wake up, take notice of your lifestyle and realize you need to find a different path. Oh, not just for your own sake, but for the sake of all who love and depend on you. Well, my experience occurred in 2011, when I suffered a stroke. Fortunately, it was relatively mild and there have been few lingering effects. However, I had already experienced two previous TIA’s (warning signs), so I decided something had to change. Family to the rescue!! My two kids started with a diet intervention. Both were vegan at the time and convinced me that good health starts with a healthy diet. The change was not easy for a lifetime carnivore, but, with my wife’s wonderful support and adjustments to her diet, as well, we made the change. Next up, exercise…..

Until I retired at the end of 2014, I was in a high stress job, which, to some degree, contributed to my health problems. To manage my stress, I ran in the morning and, over the years, even found time to train and complete marathons. But I knew I needed something more. My son had been working out at a crossfit gym in Roseville and suggested mom and I should give it a try. After an introduction to owner/coach Ted Hawkins, a discussion with him on background and goals, we joined the group for a Saturday workout.  So, we thought we were reasonably fit, but that first workout convinced us we had a long way to go. Now, we might have said, “Ok, we gave it a try, now let’s try something more age appropriate.” The workouts were very challenging and we had heard about how crushing some of the workouts could be. We thought crossfit is for young athletes and we just didn’t fit that category. But Ted convinced us that his crossfit gym was different. Workouts would be scaled to our ability and age. Ok, we decided to give it another try. We came back the following Saturday and, you know what, Ted followed through on his promise.  Gradually, over ensuing Saturday workouts, we found our fitness and mental outlook improving. Sure, we sometimes had a tough time keeping up, but with great encouragement from Ted and the rest of the Benchmark community, we continued to make progress. 

Well, you might think, all gyms are alike…..good coaches and encouraging members. What’s different about Benchmark? In my mind, it starts with the owner/coach Ted Hawkins. I can say, without reservation, Ted brings it all to each and every workout we have enjoyed over the years. His 30 plus years of experience covers not only every aspect of strength and fitness training, but a healthy diet and human anatomy, as well. He also takes the time to know you and your family personally. He gets to know your strengths and weaknesses and structures your program to maximize your potential.  He always takes time to address your individual needs before, during and after the workout. Safety is a primary concern and Ted will go to great lengths to make sure you are performing each movement correctly, even if it means repeating over and over again until you get it. Oh, and this is not just me talking….I’ve heard it from the other members of the gym. So, no matter how well you perform, he’s always there to instruct and encourage. 

You ask, “…but what has he done for you?” Well, after I retired, I started going to the gym four days a week and, during the past three years, have emphasized both fitness AND strength. Well, during that time, my 1 rep max for a back squat has improved from 120 lbs. to 230 lbs. During the past year, my 1 rep max for the deadlift has improved from 210 lbs. to 260 lbs. and my bench press has improved from 145 lbs to 158 lbs. Honestly, at my age, I never expected to get stronger, but, the results are there. Fitness? Well, core strength, aerobic capacity are all much improved.  Without a doubt, I am in the best shape of my life. 

None of this has come without hard work. Ted is phenomenal and will do everything they can to help you achieve your goals, but you have to put in the work. I like the line from the marine commercial, “the few, the proud…..” We’re a small community, but all are dedicated to good physical fitness and we’re fortunate to have a wonderful coach to help us stay that way. 



Kathryn Christensen, Age 60

When I first started going to the gym and doing high intensity workouts, I would come home wiped out for the rest of the day. Now, I come home feeling great and ready for whatever the day brings whether it’s taking my grandchildren to the zoo or going mountain biking with my husband. I feel great, and I have lots of energy.

I have been training with Ted Hawkins for about 3 years. Ted was my coach as I trained for my first powerlifting meet at the age of 58, and to my surprise, I won the masters division. I continued training with Ted for my second powerlifting meet 6 months later and won both the masters division and my weight class. Since then, I have continued to work on my general strength and fitness.  I have gained muscle and lost fat resulting in confidence in how I look as well as gaining strength and balance. At the age of 60, I can say I am in the best physical condition of my life. 

Recently, Benchmark Strength and Conditioning moved to a new building. We now have access to several new pieces of equipment, and a high tech tool called MyZone. I have received information about my body and my fitness level that has been very helpful. MyZone has been extremely motivational and gives me an added layer of accountability to my training.  Ted is very knowledgeable about fitness and strength training. He programs movements to build strength and fitness and is able to scale the training to accommodate injuries or other limitations. His coaching is holistic and includes discussions and guidance about sleep, nutrition and even breathing, as well as training in the gym. I have been so excited about all the things we have been discussing and doing that, when I woke up at 2 am the other night, I had trouble going back to sleep with all the thoughts bouncing around in my head. I look forward to my time working with Ted, and I am excited about the progress I am making. My goal is to continue to improve my strength and conditioning so that I will be healthy and strong for many years to come. I plan to continue working out and lifting weights well into my 80s. I know that because of the work I am doing, my bones are strong so I don’t need to worry about osteoporosis and my balance is good so I am less likely to fall as I get older. But for now, I am enjoying my time in the gym and being able to participate in the opportunities that come my way. Last week, I did a kickboxing class. Maybe next week I’ll go Rock Climbing.