“Where I was at when I joined Gymnasium: I had started working as an organic farmer again, I had just been through a rough breakup, I was 20 pounds heavier after a winter bakery job, and I had gotten into the habit of drinking every day after work. I didn’t feel good at all and I knew it was time to rid myself of the bad habits and bad thoughts that were weighing me down.
When I resolved to change my food and fitness habits I found Gymnasium, jumped right in, and started the 60-day Clean Eating Challenge. My experiences as a farmer had taught me a lot about food and healthy eating, but I wasn’t really ‘walking the walk’. Even though I had an unlimited supply of vegetables, I was only really eating them around dinnertime. My breakfast and lunches tended to be full of sweet treats– I was relying on sugar rushes to get me through my day, and I would feel really crashed (and frankly, pissy) by the end of it. I decided it was time to get more connected to my food and body.
The plan helped me create a diet for myself based on fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts/nut butters, eggs, fish, and occasional meat. I quit eating processed foods and added sugars (including alcohol). I held myself accountable, tracked my progress, and told all of my friends about my decision. By eating more of my own vegetables I became a testament to the healing power of fresh, local produce. I grew the vegetables, and the vegetables grew me. I trained 3 days a week at Gymnasium throughout.
After 2 months: I can do 6 pull-ups. (I couldn’t do one before). I weigh 15 pounds less. I fit into my little sister’s jeans, I can lift more than my guy friends, and I have way more energy all day. I am more in control of my eating habits, more powerful, and more at peace with myself than ever before. I actually enjoy eating. I don’t feel anxious or guilty about food. I feel so free.
The 60 Day Challenge was the catalyst that helped me get myself in balance. By deliberately challenging my mental and physical self at Gymnasium, I am more prepared to deal with the physical and emotional stresses at my job. The repetitive motions, heavy lifting, kneeling, and long hours of standing don’t seem as hard anymore.
Gymnasium taught me this: Don’t underestimate your own strength. Set intentions, take baby steps, breathe, love your body as it is, and find ways to move that bring you joy. Nourish yourself, don’t starve yourself, and learn to forgive yourself. Embrace your power and nurture your unique God-given abilities. It feels good.
It’s an incredible fitness community that meets you wherever you’re at, and I am so thankful to have found it. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to make some changes in his/her own life. Happy eating; happy moving!
“I am a 55-year-old physician who enjoys Nordic and downhill telemark skiing, mountain hiking, jogging, sea kayaking, golf and mountain and road biking. In July 2013, I crashed while mountain biking and broke several thoracic vertebrae, a lot of ribs, my sternum and my helmet. That hurt! After 2 months of bed rest while the bones healed I was very weak, having lost all fitness and strength, with quite a bit of residual upper back pain. It was a chore to climb the stairs at home. I needed a training program to regain core strength and overall fitness and resume the movements of daily living. The program needed to be sensitive to my healing injuries as well as some pre-existing wrist and shoulder arthritis.
Looking around the web for a personal trainer, I came across Gymnasium. I stopped by and spoke with Josh. His view on whole body movement and strength and the possibility for small group training made sense for me. After just a month of three times per week, my results are outstanding. My strength has rapidly returned, and each session it seems I can move a little more weight and go through movements with greater limberness. My back and chest pain have rapidly diminished as my strength has grown. Even my chronically aching wrist and shoulder feel a lot better. They don’t like every exercise much, but chronic arthritis pain is notably reduced. Gymnasium’s coaches and the small group atmosphere have been supportive and fun.
In just a month I have rebuilt a lot of my strength, power, and stamina and become more limber–with less body pain–far faster than anyone thought was possible given my injuries. I recommend Gymnasium’s’ approach to better fitness and recovery without any hesitation. Their claim is true: Gymnasium is a great path to useful strength, conditioning, mobility & ability. I have indeed had a complete fitness transformation. The strength, balance and mobility I have gained are obviously great for cross-training in the sports I love to do.
[Post 90 Day update!]
I just returned from five days of telemark skiing at Alta ski area in Utah. I skied with a group of friends from college, all great skiers, most of whom were riding standard alpine skis. We skied steep double black diamond trees, chutes and faces all day every day in the famous Utah powder snow. Alta skiing involves a lot of long climbing and dropping traverses and straight-up climbs on and off skis. There are a lot of ‘no fall’ situations. To keep up with alpine skiers on telemark gear requires speed, endurance, balance, and a lot of deep knee bends. A good deep tuck held for a minute or two is handy to catch and pass the alpine guys. And all this done at 10,000 feet of altitude.
I am here to testify the Gymnasium approach to fitness prepared me for this ski trip better than any other fitness approach I have ever tried, which usually was just biking, running and Nordic skate skiing. At the end of every day I was tired, sure, but not sore, and still not sore the next morning of every day. My endurance and recovery were remarkable. As I skied, all I could think of was how well the training served me. The focus at Gymnasium on building core strength also really helped my balance in the bumps, steeps and at speed. I was just amazed and overjoyed at how effective an hour a day, three days a week, week after week at Gymnasium prepared me for this physical challenge. In my day job as a primary care doctor I spend a lot of time encouraging people to move their bodies. My experience is great testimony that the Gymnasium approach to movement and fitness will help a body recover from injury, improve strength ad ability for activities of daily living, and improve strength, balance and endurance for the sports we love to do. Thanks Gymnasium!
~Dr. James Meigs
“I had gained weight. I was so focused on my family and work, I just wasn’t finding time or motivation to do anything about it. Until a visit to my doctor led me to re-think where I was heading with my health.
My first day. It’s a few minutes before my first class and I am nervous. I hear a cool 80s song as I open the door. Two coaches are talking about the upcoming class.
I noticed a lighted library of books ranging from Chinese breathing techniques to prison workouts to the history of European sword fighting. What a nice collection of varied interests, I thought.
As I warm up, I see an older couple finishing up their private kettlebell routine. They chalk up their personal best on one of the chalkboards on the wall. I see that one chalkboard is filled with quotations, comments and words of encouragement written by various members. Another board describes the ‘theme’ for the day: Stamina.
The coach instructs us to get into a circle. The mild chatter quiets down as the group begins with a twisting and breathing exercise as ‘Simple Minds’ gets us into the mood over the gym’s sound system. This is pretty cool, I thought.
[Post 60 Day Challenge update!]
It’s been a hair over two months since I’ve joined Gymnasium. I clocked in at 228 pounds the day I signed up. Today I am 202 pounds. 26lbs in 2 months, I can’t believe it. Twice the results, half the time. At first I was skeptical because there weren’t any 45 pound plates, barbells and ellipticals. At the risk of sounding cliché, this isn’t a regular gym. After a few workouts I found myself crawling on all fours, doing planks, swinging kettlebells, hurling sandbags and performing an endless variety of floor work. The exercises and workouts are always changing.
What is key, is that since the classes are small you get a lot of attention from the coach. There are always two or three alternatives to each type of exercise. An experienced member might perform a more difficult version of a pushup exercise while a new member might do them inclined along a wall. Gymnasium recognizes that each person is different. Another thing which is cool is that the community at Gymnasium is very fun, social and lively. They organize many other fun events such as evening runs, a variety of seminars, kettlebell challenges and a Clean Eating Program in which I am currently involved. There is a great deal of personalization and interaction which is seldom if ever found at other gyms.
I am simply flabbergasted as to why I don’t see a lot more people doing natural movement exercises like the kind found at Gymnasium. I’ve done Kung Fu and lion dance for 13 years and I feel stronger than ever before. The other night I was crawling so fast I felt like a honey badger! Given my results I would never step back into a ‘regular’ gym—not if being strong and balanced, moving optimally and losing weight were my goals. I can’t wait for my doctor to run the follow up tests!“
“I had been struggling for years with my chronic alignment issues, but it was always the same – oh, my aching….(back, neck…which day is it??). Thanks to Gymnasium, that’s old news. Coming to Gymnasium meant I could leave behind the constant injuries, and my “Giant Corporate Gym’s” obsession with selling me whatever was trendy.
Since I joined Gymnasium, not only has my fitness improved exponentially, but I can now bend, lift, carry, and squat, in ways I couldn’t even when I was young(er). Now I can carry heavy suitcases upstairs (must be those suitcase deadlifts), and throw bags of mulch into my van without hurting my back (it’s just like the sandbag toss, only messier). That would have been impossible BG – Before Gymnasium.
Don’t let the low-key “it’s-your-path” Zen-speak fool you. They may seem mellow, but they will work you hard! (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) But you work smart, and the results are obvious right away.
But, just between us, what do I really love most about my Gymnasium workouts? I think I’ve never looked better. And that’s not a bad way to hit 50!” ~ Tamar
I just realized my 60 days has ended. I can’t believe how fast that went! Because my challenge period has passed I thought I should reaffirm how incredibly positive the experience has been.
My goals were to rebuild my capacity for resilience, so minor injuries would go away, and not upset my whole body, to improve my skiing by rebuilding all the strength I let fade away, and to safely get back to running 25-30 miles a week with better fluidity and flexibility. When I have dealt with mother nature to run, that is exactly how I feel. The distance is TDB but I am sure it will fall in place as it gets nicer out.
The skiing—my goodnesss the skiing. I am ripping harder and skiing longer than I ever have. My form has improved as a function of my strength and flexibility. I am driving my skis with my core and getting my skis WAYY out from under me on each turn because my hips let me do that now. I translate every movement we do to the mountain. My amazement—”did the have skiing exclusively in mind?” I wonder—is really a deep appreciation of how universal the movements we train are. I can’t wait to my next set of surprises when I start sailing.
I just wanted to say thank you. I didn’t start working out at Gymnasium with my wedding in mind. It was part of a summer commitment to stop being so sedentary, to get moving and get healthy. But it’s had such a profound impact and it all showed at the wedding. I’m more confident. I’m moving better. I have more energy, more endurance. I feel comfortable in my own skin. My clothing fits better, too!
I used to never dance at parties. I felt so awkward on the dance floor. But at my wedding it came easily. I think that’s thanks at least in part to all of the movement I’ve learned at Gymnasium. At one point my best man came up to me. We had a 10-minute hora set that got pretty crazy at its center. He wasn’t in the middle and got winded. I was at the center of things and could have kept going at the same intensity for a lot longer without feeling it much at all.
The way I carried myself, I used to be pretty timid, but I was so confident. I was walking around like I owned the place, hugging everybody. A professor from undergrad that I’m still close to hadn’t seen me in a while. She said she was shocked because I was carrying myself differently and making a lot of eye contact with people. The first thing I said was that I’d been going to Gymnasium and feeling more comfortable in my body. I feel not just outer but more inner strength too.
My wedding ring, we’d sized it a six, seven months ago. It didn’t fit because the muscles in my fingers have gotten bigger! I had to put it on my pinky where it was a little loose but safe enough to wear for the night.
I know I’m the one who put in the time and the effort. Nevertheless, a big thank you to you and everyone at Gymnasium for guiding me and supporting me up to this point. It’s so great how you’ve been able to create a community with a real sense of camaraderie. Now I’m looking forward to all of the increased power, stamina, and strength that come with the next three months!
Thanks again for everything! ~Baruch
I have always loved the movement tradition of yoga and also wanted to add in a workout that would challenge my body in different ways and be safe and effective. I tried the gym, boring, then I tried at home extreme workout DVD’s, crazy, then I just gave up for a while. When I found Gymnasium I knew I had found what I was looking for. Josh and his staff have a fantastic command of how to challenge the body safely to not only give you a phenomenal workout but also to build structural and functional strength and flexibility for everyday life.
I and my friends have noticed that my body looks amazing and more importantly I feel amazing. I think that Gymnasium is the cutting edge of modern fitness and by far the most effective and enjoyable workout I have ever done!“
“Gymnasium is a delight in the universe of exercise and fitness. At 44, I was fit and healthy but bored with how I was exercising. Whatever I did, however healthy and challenging, felt one-dimensional in terms of overall fitness. At the suggestion of a friend I visited Gymnasium and have been going regularly ever since — I am officially 45 now.
I used Gymnasium to prepare for a 4-day hike to Yosemite to climb Half Dome. The work at Gymnasium prepared me for all the physical and mental challenges I encountered on the trip–and there were many. Most importantly, Gymnasium instilled a confidence in me about my body that I have never had before. In a strictly physical sense, I feel like I can accomplish what I want to and do it with grace, joy and without injury. This is something I had on the top of Half Dome and will continue to have. The Yosemite trip was a clear goal that Gymnasium helped me achieve. In addition I have found these little surprises in my day to day life that I continue to be delighted by:
You will not find your traditional weights and benches. Instead, you leave your shoes at the door and use your body in unique and fun ways. There are jump ropes, kettlebells, bags of sand, huge ropes, and more. I cannot recommend Gymnasium highly enough.” ~ Eliza
“There’s nothing worse than having to travel during your training–especially if it’s three weeks before an athletic event. Yeah, that happened to me.
I’m an internationally ranked Kettlebell Sport athlete. My dilemma: I needed to go to Massachusetts near the end of my training for a major lifting championship for an entire week. I called all around the Newton, Waltham, Cambridge, and Boston areas and couldn’t find what I was looking for/in the proximity. I probably called and Googled over a dozen Kettlebell studios. However, the competitive style of lifting that I practice requires a certain kind of Kettlebell that nobody in the area had, let alone the heavier competition grade weight that I use. It was like calling someone speaking the same language as you, but using a different dialect.
Enter Gymnasium. The studio had everything I needed and–best of all–housed some of the warmest people you could meet in 10F degree weather. Josh, the owner, warmly welcomed me into his studio for a week and even took me to lunch to ask about my competitive endeavors. In fact, one of the coaches–Ken–even gave me a ride home one day to save me the bus fare! What a nice group of people!
Gymnasium has the most unique atmosphere of any gym I’ve ever encountered: It’s a wonderfully eclectic mixture of all my favorite caveman-style training equipment in a Zen-like atmosphere out of a Kung Fu goon (school). No sight of “gym bros” to be found nor “my-or-the-highway” trainers around here. The classes that I observed in the corner of my eye during my lifting practice exemplify what training should be: An exploration of movement and a development of skill to enhance the human experience.
Josh and Gymnasium team: keep it up. It was a pleasure to share our passion for Kettlebell lifting and I appreciate the hospitality during my week of training. You guys rock! To everyone else: this is a truly special space.
A workout is never the same from day to day, keeping me on my toes and the mind-body connection alive and well. I am always excited to see what else is scheduled, and though we joke about stilt-walking and unicycling (lots of laughing, by the way @ Gymnasium)… you never know what they might throw at you ;>)
I have brought in two friends who were so entrenched in what they were already doing, and who left completely energized and open to trying something different, finally!
Thanks Gymnasium for continually coming up with innovative ways to challenge me physically and making me stronger.”
It was a result of adding the Gymnasium workouts since it is focused on body weight exercises, kettlebells and stretching, it provided an opportunity to work on my biggest issue; FLEXIBILITY. The marriage of movements helped me to:
I have been lifting and playing sports for years and after a knee injury I had worked my way back but, I could not get all the way back to where I was – where I felt really strong and balanced. I have continued my routines and added Gymnasium to my regimen and it has categorically upgraded all of my efforts in my routines. How much you ask – As I said look at my deadlift and see!
“I am a mother of preschoolers and I was looking for a new place to keep myself in shape and sane. I was reluctant to re-join a regular gym because I get bored and I have a hard time coming up with a full body workout on my own, particularly one that I can complete in an hour. I stumbled across Gymnasium when I was headed to CVS and I gave it a try. Wow, it is perfect.
The studio is clean and filled with really interesting and different things: kettlebells, weighted bats (not their real name!), sandbags, etc. The classes are full of moves I have never done or even heard about before in all the boot camp and big gym classes I have done in the past. These are moves that engage my whole body and are different and interesting enough to engage my mind so that I am not gritting my teeth and thinking about what I will do after class. The owner Josh has a very diverse and amazing background in many different disciplines. He is completely approachable, as are all the instructors. I came in without knowing anything about what they were teaching and they all spent a lot of time showing me the proper way to do the moves. When I leave here, I always feel like I got in a great workout and I look forward to going back each time.“ – Maggie
“I arrived at Gymnasium after a period of pronounced inactivity. For the past five years, or more, I’d belonged to gyms I didn’t frequent, where I mostly did a single cardio machine and then planned my escape. If I took a class, I found myself focusing on all my deficits.
Then, a friend introduced me to Gymnasium. During the first trial class, I still found myself dwelling on all the things I couldn’t do, but with their encouragement, I felt encouraged and supported to keep going. I feel as though I accomplished nothing short of a personal miracle in the eight months that I’ve been going there (I’m 59 and had no regular exercise regime when I started).
Now, I’ve lost over 22 lbs and I’m constantly amazed at what I’m able to do, and I look forward to each small group training session as a chance to push myself a little further.
I am able to accept new challenges, confident that the trainers at Gymnasium are paying close attention to my form and alignment. I have increased my stability and functional strength, and, for the first time in a very long while, I feel great about going to the gym.
“I keep meaning to say how happy I am that I discovered Gymnasium last year. I felt so strong and vibrant going into my birth. What a great feeling!
When I was in the pushing stage of labor, which only lasted half an hour, I kept thinking, ‘I was just swinging kettlebells two days ago. I am so strong. I can do this!’* I give huge credit to the workouts at Gymnasium for the speed of Aniela’s delivery. Seriously. I’m recovering well, too!
Thanks so much for what you do for us. You’re not only helping us build strong bodies, but you’re also helping us build a strong community. Can’t think of a better combination.” – Elizabeth (and Stan & Aniela!)
*Editors note: Elizabeth was snatching KBs and swinging from gymnastic rings at 39 weeks! Wow!
“I have been going to the Gymnasium for a little over a year and I love it. It takes a lot of me to say this because being active is not a natural thing for me. I generally prefer to sit or walk slowly than work out.
Before the Gymnasium, I belonged to a gym that I hardly ever went to. My wife was a member of this same gym and this still couldn’t get me to go very often. I just didn’t like the vibe there. When I did go to the gym, I would run on the treadmill, then do some resistance training on body parts that I enjoyed working on. This meant that I rarely did any leg or ab work.
I recognized that it was important to move my body and get exercise so I started searching. I found the Gymnasium by chance through an online search. I signed up for the trial and attended my first class. Wow, it was challenging. But I felt so great, so energized after it was all done. I had felt so great that I came back the next day for another class! I was a little sore but not as bad as I thought.
Each consequent class was challenging for me but I always felt great afterward. I noticed gains in strength and endurance after only a couple weeks. For me, that’s remarkable.
Each class is conducted in an interactive small group format. Everyone is friendly and supportive. We’re each doing the exercises at our own pace, taking breaks when we need to. We’re not trying to match anyone else’s pace. For me it’s like a form of meditation. I do the movements better when I’m fully present. And I’m encouraging myself to do more rather than being pushed to do something I’m not quite ready to do.
The movements engage my mind and body. My understanding is that we’re training our body parts to work together. So often in our lives we will do exercises or participate in activities that isolate one body part which if done enough can lead to imbalance. The movements we do at the Gymnasium enhance strength and endurance. So I get a more complete workout, naturally.
What I’ve been noticing more and more is that I’m inspired to move my body. I may be sitting at my desk at my office and then decide I want to get on the floor and do leg swoops, or hold myself in a plank position, or something else. This is a big thing for me because as I said earlier, I tend to not want to move much. I’ve also noticed that my posture is better and have tons more endurance and lung capacity than I had before.
I’m really thankful that I’ve found Gymnasium.” ~ Nat
“I love playing tennis, but unfortunately for several years, my body didn’t. Each part of me would take turns giving out. My knee, my ankle, my calf, my elbow, my wrist, my lower back. Sometimes I would play with elastic bandages all over, and other times I would just have to stop for several weeks. I knew I needed to get stronger, but going to the gym for extended periods of time was just not what I call fun. And how do you even know you are working out in a way that even benefits you?
I’ve been to Gymnasium about 30 times and I love it. Josh is tremendous. He figured out how to offer a comprehensive full body workout that includes strengthening and cardio, in the LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME POSSIBLE. That is my kind of workout! In and out! Gymnasium gets you stronger, gets you more agile, gets you faster. When I am up at the net volleying, I now feel like I can move as fast as my head wants me to, AND I am not getting injured. And did I mention that they play good music and there are a lot of other nice people working out alongside you who encourage each other? One last benefit. You don’t need to buy a membership. The business model does not make feel guilty or you waste money if you don’t go. Pay by the class, or purchase packages. How can you not try it?
For a while, with all my injuries and stiffness, I was just thinking, well, I am getting older. Now, after going to Gymnasium, I think, wow, I am getting better!” ~ Stephanie
“My husband and I have established a weekly date night around one of Gymnasium’s classes. We both work full time, and have two small kids, and need a night to ourselves to reset from the week. What better way than to get together with a small group of people and sweat it out? (We do go out to a dinner afterwards).
They structure unique workouts that always get the heart pumping and the sweat flowing. And the people we’ve met have all been wonderful. We are so thankful for the community that is building behind CVS!“
~ Nancy & Tony (regular Yogis, sometime runners, and Nancy also loves her Barre classes!)
“I have a fairly broad background in various forms of physical training. I majored in Exercise Science for my BS degree, I was a Master Fitness Trainer in U.S. Army, I’m a Pose and RRCA certified running coach, and I also have various CrossFit instructor certifications. Also, I’ve been involved in physical training, in one form or another, since 1975. So, over the past 36+ years, I’ve seen exercise fads come and go, and I’ve witnessed the growth and development of the ridiculous excesses so common in physical training communities today.
I was frustrated with many aspects of CrossFit, and even more so with other more generic gyms and workouts. I was definitely looking for a new direction, and I was very concerned that I wasn’t going to find anything that fit my needs. After meeting with Josh, I immediately knew that the training they provide at Gymnasium was exactly what I was looking for. At Gymnasium, the training focuses on movement, skill, and technique first, and intensity second. Gymnasium workouts will prepare you to move, function and thrive in the real world, and these workouts are best suited for people who have a real life, and wish to get the most out of it.
Since I joined the Gymnasium, I’ve never looked back. The training is great, and the Gymnasium community is even better. I’ve come to think of the Gymnasium as my second home, and I also think of the members of the Gymnasium as family with whom I actually enjoy spending time (just kidding, Mom).” ~ Ken
“Gymnasium is fantastic. The workouts are varied, intense (but modifiable), fun, and focused on functional strength, fitness, and flexibility rather than just doing hundreds of boring exercises to burn calories.
They’ve done an awesome job of fostering a sense of community there as well, and there are other offerings like a weekly running group. All the trainers are great too. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone looking for something different, and for something that really gives results.” ~ Elena
“I was looking for an engaging way to build strength, flexibility and get into better physical condition. After trying kettlebells in an adult education class at Gymnasium I was hooked and signed on with a coach for private training.
Kettlebells give me the advantages of lifting weights without the boredom, plus they are a whole-body workout challenge. Although it is a bit of a stretch to afford a weekly private sessions, I can’t think of a better way to spend the money.
My coach Anna is fantastic at her job. My sessions are well planned, inspiring and fun. Best of all my progress in 9 months thrills me. Thanks Anna.” — Mary & Ron