FAQs

Our most FAQs. Have one that’s not on here? Email us!

How are you different from…(bootcamp, spinning, cardio kettlebell, TRX, barre, Zumba, indoor parkour class, etc.)? 

We don’t lead workouts, we Coach. We are not a flavor of exercise, we are a Path. We are not a class or camp with 20+ people following a headset, we are sessions with a Coach and a team working on getting awesome together. We Coach from a progressive curriculum, provide personal attention and a small team experience, and have the ability to meet you where you are in your body, or just today. Our sessions have helped people both get over major injury, deal with chronic injury and mileage, and still achieve a level of fitness and ability they never before considered possible. We have people who are still surprising themselves after not just months, but years.

What do you do in your workouts?
Everything that matters, nothing that doesn’t. Each workout is complete. Each session will move your strength, cardio, mobility, and movement needles. Workouts vary based on the Focus, the day, the training cycle, the Coach, and who is in the room. We crawl, throw, lift, run, jump, roll, balance, climb, squat, swing, punch, kick and more. We cycle workouts and balance exercise patterns so that you can bring “the heat”, feel and see real change in body and ability, and do it all without breaking down. 

How much is training?
Group Sessions=a good yoga class; Small Group= good small group training; Private= good personal training. But here’s the kicker: we have countless stories of people who ditched their personal training at $75 to $150+ a session and achieved more from our Group and Small Group sessions at a fraction of the cost. And had more fun, learned more, and stuck with it longer.

Should I do Group, Small Group, or Private Training?
Depends on your preference, goals, and ability. Some people like a mix of Small Group and Group. Others start with Small Group and then move to Group after a few months. Others use Private Coaching in addition to either for achieving specific goals.

Check How do I Start? for more info.

What should I wear and bring?
Workout clothes, mat, towel, and water bottle. Loose fitting clothes are best. Many wear long shorts or yoga/climbing pants. Indoor shoes or willingness to go barefoot. A yoga mat and a water bottle are always useful. If you sweat a lot, bring a towel.

How many times a week should I come?
Our path is 3x week. This is where real transformation in your body and ability happens. Our most amazing member stories are written on ~ 3x week. Because life happens every day some weeks may be fewer, others may be more.

Do I have to go barefoot?
Nope. Many of us do, but you do not have to workout barefoot. If you have foot issues or are worried about past issues, bring dedicated indoor shoes.

The Modern Body’s feet are weak and asleep. Do your feet, ankles, knees, or hips hurt frequently? Are you prone to plantar fasciitis, turned ankles, knee pain, other lower body injuries? Is your standing balance wobbly? Wake your feet up and strengthen them. The best way to do it is simple: give them an opportunity to do their thing au naturel  in a safe, controlled place. Many have stepped out of shoes and discovered their feet can help do and feel things they’ve never felt before.

If you are interested in learning how to transition to minimalist footwear the right way, contact us.

Who trains at Gymnasia?

I hate going to the gym. I love coming to Gymnasia.” –Sharon

Our members are here for many reasons: an alternative to personal training, they hate the gym thing, the are doing all the “right things” but still downward sliding, like that there’s actually a philosophy and methodology, like the awesome people, want to learn to do cool things, don’t like wasting time and energy, have big goals to accomplish and need guidance, want to train more effectively, are passionate about a sustainable movement path and want a like-minded tribe. The list goes on.

Most folks are 35-55. 60% women and 40% men. Many are active and athletic and our Path helps them continue to stay on top of their game. Some only move with us. Everyone lives a life that demands energy, strength, and self awareness, and have little extra time to while away on fruitless exercise errands. Enter Gymnasia!

Wisdom is in actions, not in words. We also pride ourselves on delivering scalability and universality. We’ve helped countless people who’ve been injured at other programs, work up to and through that injury. In any given session, you will see a wide array of abilities and people, each getting the work their body needs for where they are on their path, or just that day. We help each other defeat our mind demons and physical hang ups.

Read some testimonials here!

Are you good cross training for running, biking, or swimming?
Yep. What we do is uniquely well-suited to build not just the strength and stamina to help you run, bike, swim, faster, longer and better, but we’ll also help you build complementary fitness that endurance sports don’t, so that your demanding goal doesn’t pound bad mileage into your body. We’ll make you feel and move better, stronger, longer in your race. Many of our members have had PRs, or finished races, erased injuries, and accomplished goals they never would have thought possible while only doing their endurance thing. We’ve proved over and over that bodies need more than endurance miles to stay on the road for the long road. Good news, too: Strength & Movement doesn’t take nearly as much time as triathlon training takes.

Are you good cross training for …?
Yep. We’ve had members tell us that they feel more alive, present, and able in their running, dance, power lifting, martial arts, basketballing, skiing, softballing, yogaing, running, childbirthing, shoveling, every-daying.

We train the fundamental, underlying patterns of Strength & Movement. Our completeness rewards us with ability across movement and sport contexts. We don’t build superficial or specialized fitness,  we build Deep Fitness. We will make you stronger, more powerful, have have more stamina for everyday awesome and ready for any adventure you wish to take on.

Are you a kettlebell studio?
Yep. That is, we use kettlebells (the tool) for a variety of things and Coach Kettlebell Lifting (the discipline), but they are just components of our path. We also use bodyweight, other weights, medicine balls, boxes, ropes, rings, bars, sandbags, mats, blocks, lumber, swinging clubs, dodge balls, kick pads, tires, and more. Outside we use fences, stairs, shovels, backpacks, boulders, benches, trees, fields, hills, curbs, rocks, logs, and whatever is in front of us.

That said, we use KB to teach you to move loads. Over 10 years of training, learning, and coaching with KB, we’ve developed our own proprietary system and curriculum for KB lifting to suit our our principles and fitness path.

And, if you want to learn the discipline of KB Sport, join our GKC Kettlebell Club. We have internationally ranked athletes and Coaches in the sport and discipline of Kettlebell Sport lifting.

Hot tip: If any of the following are part of your kettlebell experience…

  • if your kettlebell is measured in lbs,
  • if your swing gives you an awesome shoulder and quad burn,
  • if kettlebell hurts your back,
  • if your kettlebell instructor can’t tell you her ranking (or doesn’t know they exist),
  • if your kettlebell is all about how much intensity and tension you can squeeze into your body,
  • if your kettlebell experience was with 30 people flailing along with a group instructor who also does the barre and cardio kickboxing class.
  • if you were taught the “American Swing” or the “Russian Swing”, or to look down on one or the other. An exercise is not specific to a nation’s borders.
  • …we’re sorry, but you probably haven’t actually experienced Kettlebell.

If you are looking for somewhere with a kettlebell, they are easy to find. Kettlebell Lifting? Well, just because you have a yoga mat doesn’t mean that you are doing Yoga.

Bottom line on KB? We will show you what’s what.

I won’t get bulky, right?
Nope. All of our workouts will make your body naturally strong and able, and that means naturally lean and mean. Or: less fat and more muscle mass on men; and less fat and lean, toned muscles on women. You won’t get bulky.

We not a powerlifting or bodybuilding studio. They are gold standards for packing on meat. We respect bodybuilding and powerlifting. We understand the principles of both, and use them on occasion. But our path builds lean strength and movement patterns, not bigger muscles. Even so, we’ve actually helped many heavy lifters lift more weight, or remove the mileage from their lifting path.

And and another thing. Are you a woman? We strongly believe that modern feminism should step up and confront the negative tactics of women’s health and fitness marketing. If we lift kids, pets, briefcases, suitcases, snow, dirt, stones, grocery bags, kayaks, canoes, beach gear, camping gear, logs, and furniture, why would we only ever pick up a 3lbs (pink) dumbbell for a workout (or never one at all)? Why do we have that deep-seated fear of getting “bulky” from natural movements? Here’s an idea

In summary, Gymnasia = naturally, lean, toned muscles for men and women. More importantly, Gymnasia = awe-inspiring, universal athletic ability and a bulletproof body for humans.

 When is the cardio class?
Every session. There is growing awareness that “cardio” can be trained without spinning your wheels in place or slogging it out along the sidewalk, but a lot of people still haven’t experienced it. All of our workouts have cardio. We’ll have you breathing harder than a rat on wheel! We prefer the physical ability you are building: Stamina/Endurance. “Cardio” is your body’s reaction to intensity, not a quality of fitness.

And done right, real movement can deliver far more results per breath than any cardio-only program could. We’ve helped too many members actually achieve the results their 5xweek cardio blasts couldn’t. A recent ACE study looked at a particular kettlebell swing workout and found that the only thing that could approximate its cardio intensity was “cross country skiing, uphill“. And try rope jumping, or running with a sand bag, or whole-body intervals. Oh yeah, we got your cardio, mister/sister!

What’s more important is that you realize there is an intensity continuum, and a complete path will engage all points along it.

When is your ab toning and bun lifting class?
Everyday. Are you looking for the best toning and sculpting class ever? Here you go. We are it, hands down (on the ground and start crawling). Ever stop to think why people use words like “tone” and “sculpt” and “rip”?

How can I change my (insert undesirable body part here) as fast as possible?
Do what we do. Spot reducing is a persistent myth because it’s useful for selling 90-day magic bullets, future landfill, and DVDs. Practicing Strength & Movement will change your whole body and mind. Heck, it’ll change your chemistry, right down to DNA expression. You are a whole person, we prefer to address every fiber of that being.

What’s the best exercise for my core?
Everything we do. Your abs, your core, your center, your axis, your dantien, your 3rd chakra, your whatever-you-call it is truly at the center of nearly every movement we perform. If you do what we do, roll how we roll, your “core” will be engaged as it’s meant: as the epicenter of movement. One of our mantras is “move from your center”.

In addition, some of the crawling, folding, bridging, planking, tucking, hanging, and rolling we do has elements of what’s typically called ab/core work. If we have to show you our bellies to prove that not “doing abs” is an effective means of 6-pack training, we will (then you have to show us yours so we can see how effective your method is).

This gist of this answer also applies to the “What’s the exercise best for…” any other body part, too.

What’s the Fountain of Youth?

Butt strength! Sadly, there is no fountain of youth, but gladly there are two Mountains of Youth: your glutes. There’s a reason that humans can universally recognize a good butt. The glutes are the biggest, strongest, most useful muscles in the body. They are your true core, your nexus for moving through life.

Back hurts? Glutes. Knees hurt? Glutes. Posture sucks? Glutes. Balance wobbly? Glutes. Move slow? Glutes. Can’t lift the loads of life? Glutes. Wondering why your yoga, skiing, biking, running, and sports aren’t feeling like they used to? Glutes. Hate the way your jeans fit? Glutes! If you build your butt with natural movement patterns, your entire body not just look younger, it will be younger. And you will look amazing in clothes or out of them.

Are you like Yoga?
Yes and no. We do a lot of bodyweight movements that echo modern yogic approaches (many of which actually draw more from European Gymnastic traditions than Eastern mind/body ones, but we digress). We see Yoga as a state of mind, an approach, not a workout discipline. Any movement done with the right mind, brings more awareness to and connection between your body and mind. It doesn’t matter if you are moving a weight, or moving on a mat. In that sense, everything we do is totally Yoga.

Many yogis immediately “get” our workouts. Many of our members and coaches have some or much yoga in their life. And if you are looking for a yogic class for active recovery or a weekly re-centering, we do that.

This is our Yoga. This is our Kung Fu. This is our Path.

Are you like CrossFit?
Yes and no. We are at ease speaking performance training and get the competition mindset. Like CrossFit, we also lift weights and medballs and our bodies; we use intensity; we value broad physical ability; we believe that fitness  shouldn’t be an errand, but a life anchor.

But we don’t practice fitness as a competitive sport. We don’t believe that performance is the apex of fitness (the path goes far beyond athletic output prowess). We don’t practice all movements or workouts with all-out intensity, or that a good workout means collapsing on the floor. We don’t follow the WOD/muscle confusion programming format and instead use our own system. We also avoid some exercises found in the CF curriculum because they don’t meet our requirement for having athletic/therapeutic balance.

We are fans of many coaches who used to or still do associate with CrossFit. We think CrossFit has done much to promote elements of the strength & conditioning world to modern fitness culture. Many of our Coaches have done some or much CrossFit (and even attended their weekend certifications). Some work as PTs fixing Many of our members are former CrossFit members. But ultimately we all sought a different answer to the fitness question and found our Strength & Movement path.

What diet do you recommend? 
A food-based one

We are omnivores, pescatarians, flexitarians, vegetarians, vegans, localvores, cavemen, Mediterraneans, anti-inflammatory and many of us even find a way to eat without identifying with a particular label (it’s possible!). We recommend learning principles of good food and then learning to build them into patterns that fit your life and body. We also help folks do this.

Our wildly successful Clean Eating program is a principles-based program, not a one-sized-fits-some prescription. If you want guidance and coaching, we do that. Contact us for more info.