When we first launched PAINKLLR we were trying to figure out how we could generate brand awareness organically. We knew no one knew us, so getting athletes to respond to our messages proved to be challenging. We saw local competitions happening and thought, hey we could do that? Maybe if we hosted our own, athletes would come and they’d get to know us and the community would grow to know our name as well.

We did our homework to understand how fitness competitions work (since we had zero experience in that area). We took bits and pieces from local and larger competitions and adapted our own version. We asked ourselves, how would we like to experience it? Since the beginning, PAINKLLR has always made a promise that our events will leave athletes with a feeling.

From this idea, PAINKLLR Throwdown was born.


This was held at Trojan Crossfit in Los Angeles. We had set the goal pretty high for ourselves, (as we tend to do) wanting to get 100 athletes to compete…we only achieved 48 athlete sign ups! Even though this number was far less than what we had wanted, the experience we made sure they left with and the feedback we received was above our expectations.

As you can imagine, getting participants as an unknown brand was our big bump in the road. We had actually thought it would be easy to get athletes to sign up and hit our goal number. That was not the case. So, we discounted entries, called other gyms, and pretty much tried every tactic we could think of to get people to the event. We were really hoping to get a few big names, and this event is actually where we met Desiree Rogers.

Thankfully, the day of the event we had over prepared for any scenario and situation that could possibly happen. Luckily, no major issues happened and we only hit a few minor hiccups on the day of which were easy to smooth out and not affect the competition.

The competition was a success yes, but we were actually told we looked like chickens with our heads cut off the whole time. Since it was our first event, we were a little afraid to let go so we kept trying to make sure everything and everyone was good instead of letting the team we hired handle their part. Eventually we learned, and now we have a solid team to rely on during our competitions.

The overall experience was great. There will always be things that we can improve on or do better, but for our first event it was as good as we could have hoped for. Athletes told us on their way out how much care they could see was put into the event and gave us feedback on their overall experience. Which we would carry with us into later events. From the athlete pack, to the media, our competition stood out for a first timer. Participants knew it didn’t feel like just another local competition. Which is exactly what we were going for.

After PAINKLLR Throwdown we wanted to keep that momentum going, so we planned our next competition only four months later!

If you’re familiar with us, or new to us, you can see we continued with our PAINKLLR events and we’ve tried to make each one bigger and better. We have always made sure that our workouts are tough at our competitions. To put into context, we had bar muscle ups in our scaled division (it was only a few, but they were purposely put at the end to see if anyone could use the thrill of the competition to get their first muscle up during a competitive setting). We now have adjusted our workouts so that we are more conscious of having more well-rounded events that test all skills vs focusing on specific areas such as strength.

From Redline, where we made the experience a higher-level competition to Paincave, where there was something for everybody, we want to make these events feel like so much more. They truly are experiences through our eyes and hopefully our athlete’s eyes.

Act, move, never stop.


Pictures by @fraziergraphix

Video by @tyuan

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