Sobriety Through Fitness | Fitness and Addiction Recovery


The Barbell Saves Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a clear and simple focus, support the well-being of individuals in recovery from substance use through using a community-based exercise program. We believe strongly that by building a strong, positive, sober community around people in recovery, we can increase the overall well-being of every person involved. Engaging in exercise classes can be both cost-prohibitive and intimidating for some, we want to remove those barriers, to bolster success and long-term sobriety. Participants will forge connections with each other and support a sober lifestyle. Peer support and encouragement is a foundation to our approach and is guided by coaches who are also in recovery. Additionally, we will focus on positive nutrition changes for members to further enhance their well-being.

The Barbell Saves Project offers an inclusive environment that celebrates individuals from marginalized and highly stigmatized groups in recovery from substance use disorder. We welcome individuals of all physical ability and body types. We continue to learn, grow, and improve as an organization to be increasingly just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive.

Executive Directors

Rob Best

Rob Best

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Rob was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up playing baseball and hanging out with his two older brothers. In his 20’s Rob became addicted to opiates and would spiral out of control for the next decade. At 31 years of age he finally got clean and started down a path of sobriety, fitness, and healthy living. Since then, he has owned two CrossFit gyms and has helped countless people both in fitness and in recovery. Now, The Barbell Saves Project allows him to combine those two passions. Rob is happily married and the father to two bright, curious and funny boys. He is excited to see people use fitness and the positive community in the gym to support their quest for sobriety and healthy living.


Tammi Saunders

Tammi Saunders

Head Coach

Tammi’s love of fitness began in 2013. After a long hiatus from exercise and healthy things, she began working out in a CrossFit gym a few days a week. At the time, she smoked heavily, was extremely unfit, and wasn’t even sure she was going to stick it out. She shares that back then, she couldn’t do a single pull-up, push-up , or run 200 meters without having to stop. By the end of her first year she was attending class regularly and not only was she getting stronger, faster, and fitter, she was getting mentally tougher. She began to look at life in a different way, she developed a new mindset. She got comfortable being uncomfortable and adopted a “do hard shit” mentality, which translated into every area of her life. In 2018 Tammi took her passion for fitness full circle and became a CrossFit Level-1 trainer. She has never forgotten what it’s like to be new, unsure, and apprehensive, and she has a knack for making people feel welcome and at ease. Tammi is extra good at “aggressively encouraging” everyone. Tammi has experience as a high school life coach, working with at risk students, and a domestic violence victims advocate. In both roles Tammi developed and crafted her ability to build relationships, connect clients to resources and to help clients learn to advocate for themselves . Building trust through compassion and a natural empathetic way, and connecting with others is her strong suit. If you see Tammi outside the gym she is most likely looking for the best protein pancakes in the valley.

Eric Hagg

Eric Hagg


Born and raised right here in the great hot state of Arizona, Eric started his coaching career in 2014. Eric states “I coach because I love movement, all kinds of movement, and I can’t stop moving. I coach because I love helping people learn the right movements. I coach because I love to connect with people, I hope I learn from them and they learn from me.” He enjoys coaching for The Barbell Saves Project to help people connect the mind and body together with the community to bring forth healing from addiction. Eric believes movement is the medicine we all need in life. Away from gym He loves to hang out with his four children and help them explore, navigate, and learn in this big world. In his free time away from kids, Eric enjoys going mountain biking, playing pickleball, and other outdoor activities.

David Perez

David Perez


David was born and raised in Long Island, New York. He grew up with a loving family who were supportive of one another. As a young teenager he became addicted to opiates along with drinking, and soon enough gang activity. Over the years he had ups and downs but his life eventually came crashing down and he hit a rock bottom. By then, he was a father to a six-year-old girl and was not able to feed himself, let alone take care of her. At the age of 29 he decided to check into rehab and get his life together. Since then, he has and continues to work hard in many aspects, especially to have an amazing relationship with his family and most importantly his daughter. Fitness and recovery have been a major part of his life, he believes “the two go hand and hand and have been my saving grace”. David said “when I found the Barbell Saves Project, I knew instantly this was my new home. Between helping others and having the opportunity to share my passion with others in sobriety, I’m excited to see where Barbells takes us in this journey.

Daniel Roberts

Daniel Roberts


Recovery has taught me the miracle of manifestation and the power of perseverance. It has taught me the blessing of everyday life and the power of the community we surround ourselves with. I am grateful every day I get to step foot into a gym because each mastering of the movements and itty iterations of weight increase is a tiny triumph, one that I never anticipated. The turning point in my life was being told I would never walk again. The catalyst in my life was learning how to. I have spent the majority of my life in hospitals and in physical therapy offices learning the nuances of human grit and determination. My fitness feats aren’t incredible, my squat numbers are not leaping off the page and my double-unders rarely make it under my feet more than a few rotations. I won’t be the first to finish a workout hardly ever, but I will be the last to give up almost always. Every good story has an antagonist and protagonist, I don’t necessarily have an enemy in my life, if anything I have a diabolical teacher, one who I am grateful I have had the chance to sit at the learning desk of life and be bestowed with little granules of gratitude.

Brittany Reppert

Brittany Reppert


Brittany is an Arizona native who grew up right here in Phoenix, AZ. She lived a relatively normal life with her parents and two siblings. Brittany was an honor roll student and worked hard to get good grades in the advanced placement classes she was placed in. Unfortunately, she experienced childhood trauma which led to struggling with eating disorders and addiction starting at an early age. At 15 years old, her addiction took off when she was introduced to methamphetamines by another girl at school. Quickly her life spiraled out of control. By the time her father passed away when she was just 20 years old, she was an intravenous heroin user who would rather spend her nights on the streets. Life for the next 10 years was nothing but stints in jail and prison.

Brittany found fitness during her last stay in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. She would spend countless hours running and working out. Upon her release she was desperate to keep the outlet she had found. Her brother told her about a gym for people in recovery. Brittany walked into her first Barbell Saves class in June of 2021 and never left. Today she continues to work hard on her recovery and being the best version of herself possible.

When not in the gym, Brittany enjoys hiking and going on adventures, painting, and doing anything art related.

Amanda Hoskin

Amanda Hoskin

Operations Manager

Amanda is a native Arizonan who grew up in Tucson, Arizona. She attended the University of Arizona where she graduated in 2012 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies and Human Development. On June 10th, 2013, her recovery journey brought her to Phoenix. Since then, Amanda has been very active in the recovery community including bringing meetings into treatment centers/hospitals, planning statewide recovery events, and being available to anybody looking to get sober. Prior to working for The Barbell Saves Project, she worked in the outpatient behavioral health field, primarily assisting with court-ordered mental health treatment.

Amanda first came to The Babell Saves Project on June 21st, 2021. As someone who had not worked out in a while, she initially felt very intimidated by the gym atmosphere. What kept her coming back, however, was the community atmosphere and supportive environment. Amanda says that while the fitness and physical changes have been beneficial, the improvement in her mental health has been vital to her recovery.

When not in the gym, she enjoys spending time with friends/family, doing puzzles, completing home improvement/DIY projects, and hanging out with her sweet dog, Scout.

Bryan West

Bryan West

Media Director

Bryan West is the Media Director for The Barbell Saves Project and CrossFit Uru. He takes photos and videos of members and staff and is a licensed drone pilot. Prior to joining the team, Bryan worked as a morning reporter for KPNX, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix. His reporting won two Emmy awards, a Murrow, and a duPont. He attended Northwestern University in Chicago where he studied broadcast journalism.

Bryan has been sober since August of 2018. After a DUI, he had his last drink in hopes of living a better life. He loves running, hiking, and anything Taylor Swift.

Board Members

John Koch, President

John Koch


John Koch is the Director of Community Engagement at Community Medical Services and serves as the Vice President on the board of directors for Barbell Saves. Mr. Koch leads Community Medical Services (CMS) national business development efforts and is also an advocate of those experiencing substance use disorder at a government level. Since starting with CMS, John has helped work with a team to open forty-nine opioid treatment programs nationwide, as well as opening the first 24/7 opioid treatment program in the United States.

John is an alumni of Arizona’s Valley Leadership program, which helps lead the change on pressing issues such as health and education. He also volunteers his time dispensing the life saving medication naloxone to those experiencing homelessness throughout Phoenix.

Kim Despres, DHA, RN

Vice President

Dr. Kim Despres is Chief Executive Officer of the dynamic nonprofit organization, Circle the City. Circle the City provides innovative healthcare solutions to men, women and children facing homelessness in Maricopa County, Arizona. Dr. Despres oversees the operation of Circle the City’s two recuperative care respite centers, two outpatient healthcare centers, and a fleet of mobile medical units that provide care throughout the county. Circle the City serves approximately 8,000 people a year. Currently in its 10th year of operation, Dr. Despres has led the organization through tremendous growth and the expansion of its service lines.

Dr. Despres brings over 37 years of diversified experience in healthcare practice, management and leadership. Her background includes nursing leadership and operations, including nonprofit, acute care nursing, home health, infusion therapy, case management, human resources, pharmacy, quality assurance, and physician relations. Dr. Despres works collaboratively with community partners, local health organizations, county, city and state leaders. She is currently serving on the Community Advisory Board for Arizona State University College of Health Sciences. She has served as a speaker/presenter at numerous professional conferences, community events, and is routinely featured in local and national media coverage

Dr. Despres has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Grand Canyon University, a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration, and a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Hayley Avino, DNP, FNP-C, CF-L1


Dr. Hayley Avino is a Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner (Arizona State University class of 2021), American Academy of Anti Aging Functional Medicine Fellow, seasoned Registered Nurse, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. Dr. Avino carries diverse professional, critical care, and leadership experience having worked as an RN for nearly a decade in Emergency Rooms throughout the country including a medical mission to Haiti prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner and Chief Operations Officer of a health and wellness practice.

While obtaining her doctoral degree, Hayley was awarded ASU’s Doctor of Nursing class of 2021 Outstanding Scholar Award, ASU Health Innovation Exhibition Winner in Fall 2020, acted as a student leader, mentor for others, and participated in the Arizona AHEC COVID Scholars Program. Hayley’s personal and professional story related to substance use disorder were weaved together through several media releases including The Morning Chalk Up, ASU News, Yahoo, and more. Dr. Avino was a featured guest on several blogs, podcasts, and The Herren Project Live show, a conversational platform that focuses on addiction, recovery, wellness, prevention, and education. Hayley was a podium presenter at the Association for Teaching, Prevention, and Research virtual healthcare conference on March 9, 2021 in conjunction with her doctoral dissertation, The D.R.E.A.M.E.R. Project.

Currently, Hayley serves as the Chief Operations Officer and practices Functional Medicine in Scottsdale, AZ at PREVENE Wellbeing. Dr. Avino challenges current practice to advocate for a holistic change to enhance patient outcomes as well as preventative, innovative, and sustainable health efforts for the communities she serves. Additionally, she serves as Secretary Board Member of The Barbell Saves Project non-profit organization located in Phoenix, AZ, is an Adjunct Faculty member, preceptor, and mentor for DNP students at ASU, and is an auditor of an ongoing research study surrounding the impact of CrossFit on long-term recovery from substance use disorder.

Robert Grant


Robert Grant, a former Senior Finance Executive at The Boeing Company, retired in 2020 after a 34 year career spanning Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA), and Boeing Defense and Space Divisions and programs including Helicopters, Tilt Rotors, Fighter Airplanes and Test and Evaluation activities. Grant’s last assignment was Vice President & CFO of Manufacturing/Safety and Quality, and BCA Affordability. Prior to that assignment Grant was Vice President/CFO of Commercial Airplane Programs at BCA.

Grant holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with a business minor from the University of Miami, and an MBA in Finance from Drexel University. Grant is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University.

Tony Roy

Tony Roy works in Customer Success at Reputation where they help brands forge strong relationships between their customers and communities by focusing on collecting, analyzing, and acting on feedback to fuel constant progress. After receiving a business degree from the University of Minnesota, a lifelong passion for golf and the outdoors brought Tony to Arizona where he was introduced to functional fitness. Over the past several years, Tony has witnessed the incredible power fitness has to provide healing and recovery to those struggling with substance abuse. His desire to make an impact stems from a passion for health, fitness, personal growth, and the ability to change your mind through your body.

Dan Greenleaf, MA

Dan is a quality manager of outsourced services at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. For the past seventeen years, Dan has provided direct service, served as the National Treatment Network Representative for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for the states of Idaho and Arizona, and promoted increased access to care through health plans. He is passionate about helping individuals struggling with mental health and substance use concerns to remove barriers preventing them from living their best life. Based on lived experience, exercise and being supported by healthy people are foundational to his life and well-being.

Colleen McGreggor

Colleen has devoted her entire professional career to working in the public health and human service space, devoting herself personally and professionally to ensuring equity for vulnerable populations and most specifically, those facing mental health and substance use challenges.

With blended and diverse experience across public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors, Colleen has seen amazing things achieved through the collective power of people. She is a community engager and mobilizer who gets energized interacting with people, building community capacity, improving community health and being a part of positive social change.

Colleen is passionate about transforming healthcare, building equity and inclusion and harnessing the collective energy within communities to improve overall health and well-being. Finding her own recovery from substance use through strength training and sports conditioning, she is deeply driven to build that individual, family and community capacity to promote and support healthy living through the adoption of an active, healthy lifestyle.

Rebecca Duffy

Rebecca Duffy, LPC

Rebecca Duffy, LPC has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Western Washington University and a Master’s of Science in Counseling from University of Phoenix. Rebecca is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Clinical Manager at EvolvedMD. Rebecca continues to work to best serve the community with focus on integrated health care and behavioral medicine. Rebecca recently graduated from the prestigious American Express Leadership Academy at ASU Lodestar.

In her spare time Rebecca has raised money for Breast Cancer Research by completing the 60 mile walking adventure known as the “3-Day.” She has also completed three full marathons raising money with Team In Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is originally from Washington state and still considers the Seattle area her “home”. Rebecca loves to spend spare time with her daughter and friends, and enjoys cooking and reading.

Michael Klinkner

Michael Klinkner, MSW, LCSW

Michael Klinkner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He completed his Master of Social Work Degree at West Virginia University after completing his Bachelor’s degree at Washington and Jefferson College. He is currently the Clinical Director at Evolve Counseling & Behavioral Health Services, an outpatient practice with offices in Gilbert and Phoenix. Michael has been dedicated to helping people find balance and improve their mental and physical well-being for over 25 years. In addition to providing clinical services, Michael teaches graduate level courses for the School of Social Work at Arizona State University.