Athletics: McElfresh opens new gym in Baxter – Brainerd Dispatch

There’s a new gym in the lakes area.
Logan McElfresh a 26-year-old 2014 Brainerd High School graduate opened Gold Standard Performance on Forthun Road in Baxter earlier this month.
McElfresh worked and helped open gyms in the Woodbury area prior to returning to the lakes area in 2020. He graduated from the University of Minnesota where he played football from 2014-2017 as a punter.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, McElfresh moved to the lakes area and found his passion in strength and conditioning training.
“I used to work for a gym company based out in Woodbury and working for them I learned the process and saw a lot of athletes develop into Division I and Division II type players that I never thought could,” he said. “And I always thought Brainerd had a huge athlete pool to draw but have missed certain aspects of training, so I had my sights on doing my own training and helping develop athletes at a young age. My gym’s purpose is to take sixth, seventh and eighth graders and help develop them into high school kids and they can hit the high school program running.”
McElfresh works with a lot of current Brainerd High School athletes and has spent time on the varsity football coaching staff since returning to the lakes area.
“When I moved back and took over the strength and conditioning aspect of things, we had about 40 dedicated kids in there and this summer we have 196 kids in there,” he said. “Just seeing the growth around it is huge for me. Trying to develop programs takes all the JV kids and the elite varsity kids in there to grow the program to a standard.”
McElfresh mentioned 2022 graduate Nathaniel Staehling, who committed to North Dakota State University, and incoming senior Caleb Lange, who recently committed to South Dakota, as athletes who spent endless amounts of hours in the weight room.
“To see them succeed is huge for them individually, and it’s cool to see the culture starting to change in the weight room,” McElfresh said.
In college, McElfresh said he wanted to become a strength and conditioning football coach at a Division I school.
“I realized the lifestyle wasn’t really what I wanted to do,” he said. “I wanted to work more with high school and middle school kids to develop them instead of getting developed kids. I took an internship as a sophomore and fell in love with working with kids and always wanted to open my own, but never knew where. Once COVID hit it was a good opportunity for me to come home and coach (Jason) Freed was becoming the new (football) coach and I had a good relationship with him, so it aligned well.”
McElfresh doesn’t have an end goal yet with Gold Standard Performance gym. He said he’d be interested in opening multiple locations when the time comes.
“Right now, I just want to have an influence on sports performance training across the whole Brainerd lakes area and work from Little Falls to Pequot to Crosby to Brainerd kids and give them a path to have the performance they can,” he said.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at



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