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Art & Life with Andy Thompson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andy Thompson.

Andy, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in Plano, Texas. My passion for fitness began at a young age growing up with a competitive family. I excelled in freestyle in-line skating, gymnastics and track and field. I played all sports from soccer and football to street hockey, motocross, and snowboarding. I started as a personal trainer in 2002 at Gold’s Gym in Austin, Texas while studying martial arts in between work and regular gym workouts. I moved back to Dallas and became an assistant instructor at a Northern Shaolin Preying Mantis kung-fu school while going to school and graduating as an RMT at the Texas Massage Institute. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2005, I continued to work as a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Hollywood. During this time I decided to train for the Navy SEAL’s and discovered CrossFit and it’s effectiveness. I realized I wanted to share this amazing fitness methodology with everyone that crossed my path. In 2007 my roommate, Neil Mahoney (ex-Navy SEAL) and I affiliated with, and I started coaching my clients and friends in the park near the Grove in Hollywood. In 2008, with the help of some friends who believed in me, I opened up the first CrossFit gym in the greater Los Angeles area. Since then, I’ve trained all walks of life, from the average weekend warrior, to the competitive CrossFitter, to the moms and dads of LA, to the professional NFL, MLB, athletes, as well as professional artists, dancers, songwriters and musicians all the way up to training A-list celebrities on set for movies on the big screen. I’ve got to travel the world with clients, and I’ve got to travel the world in my spare time chasing my hobbies! Since then, I’ve looked to entertainment in skydiving, rock climbing, free diving, slacklining, and other focused movement activities that get me outside! Anything that keeps me in the sun and involves movement is what drives my fitness! In the big picture, life is all about experiences. I’m fortunate that fitness has brought me much of this, and I am eternally grateful for this lifestyle.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
To me, fitness isn’t about exercise. Yes, exercising is important for health, but living in a dungeon for 3 hours 7 days a week in order to look good on a beach on occasion isn’t for me. This is actually why I do CrossFit… i.e., short, intense, functional workouts, that get me where I want to go.

Don’t get me wrong, I love looking good, which helps with feeling good, but the most important piece of the puzzle is *feeling* good and moving well. There are so many amazing activities and experiences this world has to offer, and I can’t sit by and just admire everyone else living out these experiences. I have to feel them for myself. I am a creature of the sun, and I thrive in new experiences. The scarier, the better. I have a bit of a “counter phobia” to where I chase the fears that I have in attempts to overcome them. So far so good!

I do this because I know that “tomorrow” is not guaranteed. I have no reason to wait, and I won’t. Exercise isn’t a punishment for what I ate, it’s more of a celebration of what I can do, and I’m constantly testing those boundaries!

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities, and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
If I had any advice it would be this: If you truly love what you do, you will do everything in your power to be the absolute best at it in your own way. Once that happens, people will be automatically attracted to this, and the money will come. It might not come right away, but nothing worthwhile comes quickly. Patience and control leads to self-mastery which will lead to whatever you define as “successful.”

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can see some of the shenanigans, travels, activities and other hobbies on my personal blog/Instagram @andy86thomps. I have a 2nd personal Instagram for my art at @im_your_culprit, and my gym’s Instagram, @crossfithollywood, as well as my weightlifting shoe company @positionusa

You can support the endeavor by just saying ‘hi’ or giving me a high five if you see me around. I love being surrounded by people who are just happy to be around. That in itself keeps me lit and keeps me happy.

For training and nutritional inquiries, you can e-mail me at

Contact Info:

  • Address: CrossFit Hollywood
    310 S La Brea Ave. Unit C&D
    Los Angeles, CA 90036
  • Website:
  • Phone: 323-782-1045
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @treetops_la
  • Facebook: /crossfithollywood

Image Credit:
Sarah Williams, Jeffrey Cleary, Michael Mauldin

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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