Feel Stronger. Look Stronger. Be Stronger.


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Emily Socolinsky, Owner 

Emily is a certified Starting Strength Coach since 2010, a USA Weightlifting certified Level 1 Sports Performance Coach, and cycle certified through Madd Dogg Athletics. Emily holds a Masters degree in Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. As a strength coach and mentor, she has helped many clients explore their true potential through hard work and persistence.Emily was active as a professional dancer and teacher for over 20 years. During that time, she focused on strength training and a variety of cross-training methods that helped her grow and develop as a dancer and athlete. She began her dance training at the early age of 8 at the Baltimore Ballet and developed her training further at the Baltimore School for the Arts. She continued her dance studies at UMBC where she had the opportunity to study with a variety of dance professionals. Emily has performed with the Phoenix Dance Company, Nancy Romita and the Moving Company, Doug Hamby Dance, The Collective,  Kinetics Dance Theatre and Deep Vision Dance Company. In 2015, Emily began training in Brazilian Jiujitsu.
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Diego Socolinsky, Owner 

Diego is a certified Starting Strength Coach since 2010, USA Weightlifting certified Level 1 Sports Performance Coach, and has been training in a variety of disciplines for the last 30 years. His athletic background includes martial arts, rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, running and cross-country cycling.

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Jay Mund

Jay earned his Starting Strength Coach‘s certification in 2012. He coaches at Fivex3 Training, a strength and conditioning gym in Baltimore. Jay has competed in wrestling, running, and weightlifting. He holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from The Johns Hopkins University and works as a Behavior Specialist for children with autism in his other life.
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Craig Brooks

Craig Brooks began his career in the athletic arena at the age of 6 with boxing and football. In the 1984 USA Junior Olympics, at the age of 14, he won the gold medal in Boxing. Craig then earned a scholarship in football to attend college where he completed his BS in Fitness and Sports Management. Craig has coached fighters including three current world titleholders, Welterweight Division and Featherweight Division. Craig also coaches High School football as a Defensive Football Coach since 2010 in Washington, DC. Craig is a certified coach in Kettlebells via the International Kettelbell Fitness Federation (IKFF) level 2, National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and United States Olympic Weightlifting (USAW) level 1, United States of America Powerlifting (USAPL), CrossFit level 2 and Certified International Science of Sports nutrition. Craig competed in the 100% Raw Powerlifting Competition in April 2016, placing 4th in the Masters Division and 7thin his Weight Class. In 2018, he competed in the US Strengthlifting Federation (USSF), placing 1stin his Masters Division and 3rd in his Weight Class. He’s currently ranked 3rdin his weight class for the squat and nationally for USSF Powerlifting.

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Gretchen Mester,  Fivex3 Coach

Gretchen is a StrongFirst Level Two Kettlebell Coach and a Fivex3 Strength coach. She is an economics professor at Anne Arundel Community College.
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Ryan Hirschman, Fivex3 Coach

Ryan has been training with barbells for over ten years now, and has recently started coaching. He started as an intern at Fivex3 in the fall of 2019, and recently completed the Barbell Logic Online Coaching Academy Course in February of 2021. He has seen firsthand what training with barbells can do, as he used to be an underweight scrawny kid with constant back pain; and he has since gained enough size and muscle mass to not look like a baby giraffe.  His favorite lift is the press, as he has had to work very hard to dial in this lift, and thinks that there is nothing cooler than holding a heavy weight overhead (which is quite high up for a tall person like him).

Ryan lives in Northern Virginia and has been happily married for almost ten years. He has two very sweet daughters who never stop moving and love all things Frozen. He works in the cybersecurity field.