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Train with Intention at 3D Performance

Herman Demmink III doesn’t do anything without purpose. Born in North Carolina but raised in Virginia, he spent his formative years playing every mainstream sport minus hockey and lacrosse – golf, gymnastics, volleyball, football, all of it. However, baseball was his true love and it was baseball that landed him at Clemson University where he lettered all four seasons. He was team captain, awarded Most Dedicated Player, and drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006, where he played for four seasons. 

Normally, professional athletes shift their focus post-career, but that wasn’t the case for Herman. 

“In my freshman year of college, I got my first sports training certification, so when I was playing in summer leagues and needed a part-time job, I wasn’t mowing grass or bagging groceries,” he says. “That started my true interest in training. I had to be smarter than everyone else when it came to training because, while I was gifted with abilities, I wasn’t the most talented player. I had to be smart. As the saying goes, ‘my smarter beats your harder.’” 

It was a mindset Herman developed early on, and both the Clemson and Phillies coaching staff noticed. 

“I showed up to spring training and they noticed I was physically mature, that I was doing things differently. My work was intentional. There was always a reason for doing what I did,” he says.

By 2007, Herman realized there was a market for his method of training. He worked for Clemson as a strength and conditioning coach during the Phillies off-season and took on clients by word-of-mouth. Professional athletes started following him back to South Carolina to train, and by May 2008, 3D Performance was officially up and running. 

Herman had graduated from Clemson with a bachelor’s degree in 2006 and was midway through a master’s program when, in 2009, he was released from the Phillies and offered a strength coordinator job on the spot. Instead of staying in Philadelphia, he accepted an assistant director of sports performance position at the University of Tennessee, where he ended up finishing his master’s degree in biomechanics.  Herman eventually became the unofficial Olympics director for UT as he was over all sports except for football, per the 2012 guidelines of the Bowl Championship Series. He stayed at UT until 2015, when he returned to South Carolina for a job in medical sales while continuing to train professional and emerging athletes.

“My wife, Blair, was pregnant with our first child, so I needed a job with insurance to take care of my family,” he says. “But my training practice continued to run because my athletes would come see me or I’d come here. That’s when I met Kristian Montoya. He was a coach at the gym where we ran 3D, so I asked him to come on board while we stayed in South Carolina.” Two years later, the Demminks moved back to Knoxville and opened the current space for 3D Performance Training. 

The key thing to know is that Herman’s approach to training – intentional, individual, intuitive – is not reserved only for professional or aspiring athletes. Yes, 3D Performance is home to Olympians and nationally recognized athletes through its Elite and Aspiring Elite programs, but it’s also open to everyday people who want to achieve a physical goal within the Performance Lifestyle program. In short, all are welcome as long as you’re ready to work hard.

“We’re the only gym that I’m aware of that combines science, experience, and real-world application. No client joins our family without one or multiple pieces of a movement assessment, a metabolic profile, or some other diagnostic test that gives us answers and direction for a desired goal,” says Herman. “You don’t have to be a professional athlete to reap the benefits of tailored programming. One of the things that’s important is that most people don’t know the difference between working out and training with a purpose. Working out is an activity, but training is with a goal in mind, activity with a purpose. There will be nothing here that doesn’t have a purpose.” 

Built primarily on word-of-mouth, the gym has little signage and appears to be no frills. After all, you won’t find rows of identical treadmills with TVs hung on the wall or a big room dedicated to group aerobics. Instead, upon entering, you know you’re in a place where hard work reaps big rewards. Whether you’re a working parent who wants to shave time off her 10K or a rising star athlete looking to land a college scholarship, 3D Performance Training could be the right place to turn those intentions into actions. 

“We don’t believe in one training philosophy. We like to utilize technology, resources, and testing to prescribe the best program for each individual’s needs,” says Herman. “We want to give people a chance to find out things about themselves they didn’t know were possible.”

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