Climbing to New Heights: From Soldier to Star Trainer

By Omri Rachmut | bike photos: Kelly Marshall


"So, how did you end up in NYC?" 

That has got to be the most asked question I’ve heard in the past eight months since moving to New York. But, before we delve into that, let's take it back a little bit to where it all began...

I was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. Movement is what I am all about. Growing up with an active lifestyle, I had many hobbies: Muay Thai, downhill mountain biking, and rock climbing were just some of the things I was doing instead of my school work. Dedication was never an issue, however, the problem was that it was only around for the things I enjoyed — and not necessarily for the things I struggled with, or that were considered “important” at the time. That, however, was all about to change. 

After graduating high school in the summer of 2006, I joined the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), where I served as a Paratrooper for three years; and this is where my journey begins. 

Experiencing many stations in my service, I began as a New Recruit in basic training, on to becoming a Combat Medic, and from there, moving up to becoming a Commander and Team Leader. These positions allowed me to take part in major operations, such as operation “Cast Lead” in the Gaza Strip, and have made me realize many things about myself. Throughout this experience, the most important and valuable lesson that I took with me was the understanding that when combined, a strong mindset and a powerful and healthy body can become an unstoppable force.

After finishing my service in November 2009, I moved to the States, helping out my cousin with a retail business. It did not take long to realize that this was not what I was going to do with my life. I soon decided to go back to school to pursue “higher education.” The obstacle was clear immediately that I had chosen to go into school as a Business major — it took me exactly one hour of Accounting class to say to myself “Yeah, I don’t think so.” (It was probably a bit more blunt in my head, but kids might be reading!) This led me to my decision: Instead of living by what is practical for others, I would take what I love, and make it practical for myself. Fast forward to five minutes later when I became an Exercise Science major. The decision was easy, and probably the best one I have ever made.

I thought to myself, there’s something I am passionate about, that makes me happy, inspires me to be better — why not go about life that way? Why not live life the way you intend, and want to live? Why only enjoy the things you love between Friday through Sunday, rather than the entire week?!

After becoming a Certified Trainer, I lived in West Hartford, CT, where I sharpened my skills as a fitness professional under the amazing guidance of Kathy Armstrong-Crouch, Personal Training Director at the JCC; a person who had a huge impact on my training style and attitude. 

By the beginning of the summer of 2014, I had decided that I had had enough of the “small pond” type of life, and made the decision that it was time to swim in the ocean — and what better ocean than NYC! I packed my bags, loaded my car, and went all-in on my passion. I began my NYC adventure with Personal Training, and instructing Krav Maga (the method of self-defense used by the Israeli Defense Forces). 

A very good friend of mine once told me, “Good things take time, great things happen all at once.” And that is exactly how I can describe the opportunity that was presented to me when I received an email inviting me to the Instructor Training Program at Barry’s Bootcamp

I was beyond honored to be considered to join such an amazing and elite organization; they have welcomed me with open arms, and constantly challenge me to become better and better with every day that goes by. 

Since starting my career as an instructor with the Barry’s family, I can only say that life will really be what you decide to make it. All you have to do is make up your mind, and know that where you envision yourself going can and will be accomplished — as long as you are committed to push past the pain, hardship, and whatever it is that might come your way. 

Don’t ever back down from something that challenges you — make life happen. 



Omri Rachmut is a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp in NYC, trained in Krav Maga, and was previously in the Israeli Defense Forces. He is committed to giving others his dedication and positive energy, through training and creating relationships with his Barry’s clients — and everyone in his life. He would love you to come out, and sweat with him!


Find Omri at Twitter @OmriStrong, Instagram @OmriStrong, Facebook Omri Rachmut, and