Sunday, April 20, 2014



Originally from Chicago, Emily was first introduced to Crossfit in October 2010 while stationed in Northern California.  She's technically a nurse in the Air Force, but Emily's first coaching experience was working one on one strength training with Rocky Balboa... leading to his ultimate defeat of then-Russian communist villain Ivan Drago.  She moved to San Antonio in August 2012 and jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the RCC coaching team.  "River City is the first CF gym I walked in to in San Antonio, and I couldn't be at a better place."  Get her talking or listen while she's coaching and you can still hear that Chicago accent loud and clear.  She also has in-depth experience with all things-America.

There are few things that she truly loves in this world... And they are in this order:

1) America 2) Crossfit, 3) Chicago, 4) Helping others get better.  

She also enjoys other crazy things such as heavy barbell movements and "Fran."  

 In addition to obtaining her level I Certification at Jason Khalipa's gym back in 2010, she's been to a gymnastics clinic led by Karl Paoli.  Her celebrity encounters don't stop there.  She has also spent one-on-one time with, and has inspired the genius of her hometown musical artists in Chicago, leading to such songs as Kanye West's "Workout Plan" and Lupe Fiasco's "Superstar".




Erica Villarreal found CrossFit in March of 2008 and grew to love it very quickly. By January 2009, she earned her CF Level 1 Certification and became a Coach. Erica’s passion for CrossFit fused with the desire to help people change their lives through fitness and nutrition, led her and her husband, Eric to open their very own box. In June of 2010, River City CrossFit was born!

Certifications she has earned include:
CrossFit Level 1, CF Running and Endurance Certification, CF Gymnastics Certification, CF Rowing Certification, CF Olympic Lift Certification




Eric's priority is a quality level of functional or metabolic efficiency for every client. His focus is on the general condition of a person's mind and body, to be free of illness, injury, or pain.
Eric began coaching because he believes in the life-changing benefits of functional fitness. His goal as a health coach is to teach and inspire individuals to make long-term lifestyle changes, and he has found that CrossFit’s commitment to functional movement makes it the perfect program for individuals of all ages and walks of life. 
Focusing more on a lifestyle people can improve their health via exercise, enough sleep, maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding alcohol use, and smoking.

Come in and challenge his beliefs! He lives to help people create adaptation between the ears. 







Who is Gabe Sanford? Lover. Protector, Coach, Badass

Origins unknown. As a young child he was forced into dog fighting. He showed amazing physical prowess and even at 6 years old there was no pit bull out there that could beat him in the ring. He retired at age 8 the undefeated underworld dog fighting champion. He decided he needed to go back to school to further his career. It was there he would meet his wife.

Recruited heavily to be a Coach for River City CrossFit, winner of multiple coaching awards including the prestigious Ignacio Award of Coaching Excellence.

Once while on vacation in Spain he saved a woman from being injured by power cleaning a bull. To this day the people of Pamplona celebrate May 14th by placing sexy womens undergarments on his statue in the town square.

Only man to be on the cover of Latina Magazine, for 4 a row

His first year as a cop the citys crime rate dropped 14%



"After spending 9 years in the San Antonio Fire Department I was introduced to Cross Fit. Thinking it would be the same as all the other "fad" workouts, i took it upon myself to give it a try. After session #1 I then realized just how out of shape i was. Kinda scary actually, when you think about just how tough firefighting is physically, mentally, and emotionally. Fire Fighting requires us to face potentially extreme conditions on a daily basis, so being in top physical shape is a must.  After going to Cross Fit 2-3 times a week for several months, I figured it was time to step up my game. I heard about River City Cross Fit from a coworker of mine at the same firehouse so went ahead and signed up in April 2011. The coaches/staff at River City are not only friendly, but are also very positive and well educated. October 2011, RCC ( River City Crossfit ) had an individual paleo challenge, which at first i was a little hesitant to sign up for but figured what the heck. The Coaching staff then had a brief nutritional class about the paleo "diet" ( actually a lifestyle ) and what it was about, then off to the races we were! 33 days later I had went from 187.6 - 173.6 losing an amazing 14lbs, going through a fantastic body transformation, and winning the paleo challenge! Im down to a size 32 waist jeans, which I haven't seen since high school, and feel better than ever. Every workout is a constant battle to strive to get better, stronger, faster and stay in top physical and mental shape ! I will continue my Cross Fit journey with the RCC family as together, we grow stronger everyday  !"





Arturo Castellanos was introduced to CrossFit in 2008 and is a CrossFit Level 1 certified trainer. As a native San Antonian he faced many life challenges that are associated with a low income family. Growing up Arturo was raised to understand that life isn't easy and you must put in work to achieve your dreams. Arturo has been an athletic his whole life, and was competitive in a number of sports in high school.  Arturo served in the US Army as M1A1 Tank operator, worked as a deputy for the Bexar County Jail and currently is a police officer for the San Antonio Police Department since 2003. Arturo has a passion for helping others and as a CrossFit Coach he has the ability to have everyday people like himself, exceed their physical expectations. Arturo knows that CrossFit will make you better in all aspects of life, not just fitness.




 "In early 2008 at the age of 40 I was in the worst shape of my life!  Weighting more than 240 pounds with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, I thought to myself…”Self, you know it’s probably a good time that you do something about all these health issues you are having!”  I made a decision to do a 10-day CrossFit trial at a local gym BUT when it was over I walked away!  Even at the worst time in my “physical” life and with all the signs of bad health, I still hadn’t completely decided to make a change.  It would take another 16 months before it hit me and when it did…I was ALL IN!!!  On Tuesday, August 11, 2009, I walked back into that same CrossFit gym and joined! I was now a CrossFitter!  A CrossFitter in bad shape but a CrossFitter nonetheless. Ironically the following Monday, August 17, was the beginning of a 7 week Paleo challenge. I signed up for the challenge and in those 7 weeks of eating clean and doing CrossFit WODs, I lost 30 pounds.  I won the challenge for most weight lost!  Through CrossFit and Paleo, I have lost approximately 45-50 pounds, putting back on approximately 20 pounds of muscle.  My blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are excellent and I’ve been medication free since June 2010.  I have maintained my current weight for about two years and I’m in the best shape of my life!!!

    So what was my motivation?  My motivation was being 42 years old with a 16 year old son and a 3 year old daughter who are going to need me to be around for a very long time.  I would hate to miss a birthday, a graduation, a wedding and even grandkids because of something I could have and should have prevented!  

    Since becoming a CrossFit athlete, I've compete in different completions around Texas in the Master's Division. In 2011, I competed in my first CrossFit competition in Dallas, Texas at CrossFit Dallas' "All Cities Open" finishing in the top 10 of the my Division. In 2012, I competed in Austin, Texas at "The Fittest Games" taking 4th place in the Masters Division.  In 2013, I competed in "The Fittest Games" again moving up two positions placing 2nd.  My final standings in the 2013 CrossFit Open was 4th in the 45-49 Master's Division of The South Central Region and 93rd worldwide.

    As a coach at River City CrossFit, I take pride in what I do and do my best to lead by example with my coaching and training.  I enjoy talking to existing, new and potential athletes about how CrossFit has made a change in my life and how it can change theirs!"



 In 2007 I was introduced into CrossFit by a friend who knew the problem I had with trying to get fit and never really finding anything that worked. I was about to turn 30 years old and really wanted to change my lifestyle. At first

 I was skeptical about CrossFit and I even remember making some wise cracks about it. I set an appointment for a baseline and showed up for a workout. What happens after my first "WOD" was something that I had never expected. It took everything I had in me just to finish. I had started the workout with two dumbbells, and I remember finishing it by just moving my hands above my head because I could no longer lift the dumbells (which at first I thought were light). Needless to say it kicked my butt and I was instantly hooked!
From that day on, I signed up and showed up every day that I could . I followed the program and learned all I could to progress and grow stronger.

In 2008 I attended the CrossFit Level 1 trainer course and began coaching. Since then I have dedicated myself to continue learning and teaching others what it takes to get fit. It has become my passion.

In 2011 I took the CrossFit Endurance course and quickly found another passion. I soon put together a program to teach others running skills and endurance training. I prepared myself and other individuals to run a 10k and a 16k trail run called Hells Hills. It was a success! I watched these athletes start a program that I helped put together, commit to it, and grow stronger and faster with my help. To see people grow healthier with your and help is great reward.

It feels good to share the knowledge that I have about health and fitness and contribute to changing someone's life. In my opinion, anyone with the right determination can be a CrossFit superhero. You may lead and ordinary life as a maintenance man, a teacher, a doctor, a police officer, or a stay at home parent, but when you get in our gym you will do amazing things! As your CrossFit coach, it is my job to help everyone make the impossible, possible.


River City CrossFit is located at :
10813 Nacogdoches Rd
San Antonio, Texas 78217

Business Phone: 210-413-1137

Erica Villarreal
Owner / Head Coach

Eric Villarreal
Owner / Head Coach


Monday & Wednesday

6am-9am (class every hour on the hour)

3pm-7pm (class every hour on the hour)


Tuesday & Thursday

6am-9am (class every hour on the hour)

12noon (class)

3pm-7pm (class every hour on the hour)



6am-9am (class every hour on the hour)

3pm-6pm (class every hour on the hour)

6pm-7:30pm (Advanced)


Saturday & Sunday


10:30am 12:30 (Advanced class)