Victoria's Journey

I joined the gym about 6 months ago because I was out of shape, tired all the time and basically realistic about the fact that my twenties were filled with drinking heavily a few nights a week and eating burritos at 2am and that was no longer a sustainable lifestyle.  I’ve also got a pretty high stressed job that weighs heavily on me a lot of the time and I needed an outlet that was positive.

BEFORE: Victoria with her nephew.

BEFORE: Victoria with her nephew.

I played basketball all through high school and the first couple of years of college, so I knew that I could get into shape given the right circumstances.  Those circumstances mainly consist of someone telling me to do exercises at a frequency and intensity that I am currently not motivated enough to attempt on my own.  I don’t necessarily need someone to yell at me, but I do benefit from someone just telling me to do something in a way that leaves little room for me to come up with some lame ass excuse as to why I can’t do it.  Plus, I look at the trainers as coaches and in my experience arguing with your coach is pointless and just gets you into deeper shit.  So when Nat tells me to do something insane (fyi, Nat-wheelbarrows fucking suck),  I just go along with it and pretend that if I complain too much it’s going to be even worse.  The other circumstances would be convenience and cost.  I live super close to the gym.  I can wake up at 5:43 am and make it to a 6am class; and I did the math and in a lot of ways I can’t really afford to spend a lot of money on a gym every month, but I can justify it if I am using it regularly. 

Since I joined in March I’ve been averaging about 4 visits a week.  Most of those are the 4 on 1 semi private sessions with a class or two thrown in.  I think the assessment days were a big push for me to get stronger.  Before I tried to max out on the squat, deadlift and bench I was severely underestimating how much weight I could lift.  When I understood what my 1 max rep was I was able to ramp up the strength training in classes to a point that I’ve seen a ton of progress in how much I can lift and as a result my overall fitness has improved.  I’ve lost a good amount of weight and gotten in infinitely better shape since I joined and started to be more conscientious about what I eat.  A lot of that realization came from conversations with Peter and Nat about the fact that what I eat is an important part of any plan to try and get into better shape (I haven’t done the Whole 30 solely because I want to be able to drink beer, but I think if I could get over that issue I’m sure it would be super beneficial).

AFTER: Victoria with our trainer, Roland sitting in as her nephew :)

AFTER: Victoria with our trainer, Roland sitting in as her nephew :)

Some of these conversations with the trainers have also just helped me focus.  I’ve been losing weight and gaining strength consistently for about 6 months, but I haven’t really had a goal or a focus to what I’ve been doing.  I’ve just kind of been working hard and eating right and taking the good things that have come out of those habits at face value.  Like a lot of things that I do when I’m living my day to day life I was just putting my head down and getting shit done and not thinking about the larger picture. 

Last week, Nat asked me what my goal was, essentially why I am showing up 4 days a week and busting my ass and I realized I hadn’t really thought about it.  We talked through it for a while and nailed down some details and came up with a plan to keep me motivated and to keep me moving towards some short term goals.  I don’t think that “hey dude, I see you moving, but where are you actually trying to go?” conversations would happen at many other gyms and it’s been an unforeseen benefit for me here.

VICTORIA 40 lbs healthier and counting...

VICTORIA 40 lbs healthier and counting...

I’ve never really felt uncomfortable at other gyms, I didn’t seek out this particular gym because it would be more welcoming to me, more of a community or a social outlet.  I chose to join for the cost, the structure and for the convenience.  But even though I didn’t necessarily join for the reasons often advertised as the best things about the gym, I have found the community to be very welcoming and I think that the level of comfort that I feel there allows me to work as hard as I possibly can.  Sometimes I don’t want to answer an icebreaker question at 6am, but I get the point of why we do them and I want to have everyone feel comfortable more than I don’t want to answer whatever question one of the trainers is throwing at me before I’ve even been awake for 20 minutes.  


The "Howdy Neighbor" Sale

Howdy Neighbor!

We see you all the time driving by, walking your dog and going for a run. Now we wanna see you in here working out on with us. Since you've been in awesome neighbor to us for the past 4 years we have been in the Ivy Hill neighborhood, we wanna do a little something more than just let you borrow a cup of sugar.

How about 30 days of unlimited group training for just $94.606 <---our zip code, get it?!

queer gym

All you gotta do is email us at to book a time to get your membership all set up and you're good to go! Thanks for everything Ivy Hill. We are lucky to have awesome neighbors like you! 

Sale ends September 30th. New Members only. Members refer your neighbor and you get a free month when they become members too!


Our New Yoga Teacher

The lowdown on Phi's new deep relaxation yoga class and why you should try it. 

queer gym, yoga

Hands up if you've heard this before:

"I can't do yoga. I'm not flexible."

Forget everything you think you know about yoga.

The things we will do in this class haven't even crossed your mind as being "yoga". We will sit. We will breathe. We will do poses that are designed to calm you down from the inside out. They will feel so luxurious it will be better than any spa treatment you've ever had.

There will be candles. There will be lavender­ scented eye pillows. We will enjoy music, we will enjoy silence.

"My body feels like cement, it is so heavy and relaxed right now," said one of my
students after a deep relaxation class.

"But I thought we were going to do yoga today," said another student.

We did, son, we did.

You will sleep better than you have in years. You will wake up feeling refreshed. You will notice that you are more alert and energetic during the day. Over time your mind it will slow down, quiet down. So that you can be my present in each moment.

You will stop worrying about the little things. You will learn how to notice if your mind is getting anxious and you'll know what to do to calm it down. We will do all of these things gently and with self love.

Notice that I have not mentioned flexibility even once. Touching your toe to your ear is not a prerequisite for yoga. But if you can do it, that's awesome and you can entertain us after class.

How things will go down:

First you'll be like, "What is going on? Why are we just sitting around, this is not exercise, I am not even sweating. WTF. Where is my workout?!"

Then, you'll be like, "Whoa. I feel really, really relaxed right now. Did someone spike my water bottle?"

Then you'll go home and you'll sleep like a rock.

But then, you'll still be like, "Are you sure this is yoga? I mean I'm at the gym, shouldn't I be, like, working out? How'm I supposed to burn calories?! Shouldn't we do something hard?"

Our society teaches us to value "hard work" and look down on "relaxation". If we work 50 hours a week, we're better than the lazy­ass working only 35. If our workout has us wobbling back to our car, that means we done good.

The truth is, some classes rile you up, some classes calm you down. It's really important to have a balance of both.

But how many of us make time for a class that's all about chilling?

I'm just as guilty of this­ it took me years to see the value of relaxation as equal to hectic sweaty workout, to choose restorative yoga over core­ power­ vinyasa­ flow yoga at least some of the time.

Why deep relaxation yoga is more than just sitting around:

Deep relaxation yoga targets your nervous system, the part of it gets us to calm down.When your nervous system is in a state of calm,you have lower cortisol levels (stress hormones), less chances of illness and disease, better digestion.

And, for you hard­core gym­goers, check this out: incorporating deep relaxation yoga to your workout regimen allows your body to start repairing all of the micro­tears that it gets from doing really strenuous workouts. This means you'll actually work out better and more effectively, with a healthier body. What?

All this to say, no matter what you think yoga is, come try this class.

Tell me what you think. Don't hold back­ trust me, I've heard it before. Hell, I've thought it before. Like I said, it took me years to really see the value of this kind of yoga. And now here I am teaching the thing.

Hope to see you in class.


Source: newyoga

Drop It Like It's Hot!

I like it when you drop the weights and this is why:


It's empowering as fuck.

We don't always get a lot of opportunities to just make some fucking noise and unleash our beast mode. Dropping the weights and hearing that big thundering sound doesn't just sound cool. It feels cool. Like, really fucking cool. It gives you that sense of like, "Yeah I'm a bad ass. I just lifted that shit" and not in a bro-y or douche-y kind of way, but more in a "I'm feeling strong and unfuckable within a world that's always fucking with ME!"

Yeah, it can be a little loud and sometimes a little intimidating, especially for newbie gym people. Still, I think it's an important thing to teach members not just because of safety reasons (sometimes the best thing to do is get the fuck outta the lift and just safely drop it), but also because it's our duty as your coaches to strengthen you not only physically, but fucking spiritually too. 

So go on and not only lift that shit, but "drop the mic" on 'em! 

Source: the queer lgbt gym

When's The Best Time To Work Out?

Morning Workout Perks

  • Other responsibilities will not get in the way of your workout.
  • Morning workouts wake you up.
  • They also help you sleep better at night.
  • Cortisol, the stress hormone that also stores fat peaks in the AM, so a good morning workout will combat its effects. 
  • Working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can burn up to 20% more body fat (but be sure to eat within an hour of finishing your workout). 

Evening Workout Perks

  • Body temp is important and your body temp is the highest in the evening, which means your body is nice and warm instead of cold and stiff in the morning. This is good to know if you have injuries or mobility issues. If you work out in the morning, you gotta be hella warm.
  • Reaction time is the highest and heart rate and blood pressure are the lowest in the PM, which combined together improve performance and minimize injury.
  • Your body produces more testosterone in the PM, which is better for strength training.
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The point

The bottom line is find a realistic and consistent workout schedule no matter what time. Pro tip for AM Workout people: Don't fuck around with the warm-up. Pro tip for the PM people: Treat your workout as an unbreakable appointment. Now browse our schedule and book them workouts! 

Suck At Accountability?

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The problem with gyms, working out, fitness, getting our shit together, etc., is ACCOUNTABILITY. We don't all necessarily need it, but we all do better with it. We get that. You join a gym anddddd then you don't come--but you keep paying every month. That's whack.

We don't want that. We don't want to just take your money and never train you. That's not a good transaction for us. We want to see your ass each week at the gym. That's MUCH more fun! So here is how we go about accountability: 

Every week we run a report. That report shows who has not been to the gym in the last 2 weeks. If your name pops up on that list and we don't know where you're at, i.e. traveling, sick, then we start to....

  • call you
  • text you
  • facebook you
  • tweet you
  • go to bars, find you, and bring your ass back here.

YEAH! Like that! LOL. This is part of the reason that 96% of our members actually come to the gym every week. Sometimes life just gets the best of us and our self-care is the first thing to go out the window, so a little reminder to get your ass to the gym goes a long way for our members. 

Insider scoop: Most gym business models are built on the fact that you're not going to be coming to the gym. And in fact, they DON'T call you in fear that they'll remind you that you're paying for something you're not even using and their phone call will prompt you to cancel. We're the complete opposite of that. So if regular gyms in the past haven't worked for you, chances are you might just need a little accountability. We got that for you. All you gotta do is come get it now.

Book your First Visit Now.

Who Comes Up With The Class Names?

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I do!

This is a question I often get asked because our class names are a little ridiculous. The class names? Well, mostly I come up with them, but some of them came from shenanigans during classes. 

For example in our So Knotty class—a foam rolling class that can hurt like hell if your muscles are tight—you hear a bunch of groaning and moaning and things being said like, “Oh shit! Right there,” “that hurts so good,” and “go harder.” Naughty = KNOT-ty, get it? I mean it sounds more appealing than “deep stretching class.” Boooring!

I don't want to name my classes some corny-ass, over-used name like “buns and guns.” Been there, done that and that's cheesy AF. 




What's A Class Workout Like?

So here's what to expect in an actual class:


We get around in a circle and go around sayin' our name and preferred gender pronoun (she, him, they, etc.), and then the trainer comes up with some silly-ass ice-breaker question to get us to know each other a little better and get the party started riiiggght!






The workout will vary depending on which class you take, but regardless of which class you're taking, these things will never vary.  

  • The workouts will always be designed in the middle so you can scale up or down depending on your level.

  • Modifications will always be available, just ask us for one. Don't be shy.

  • One thing to focus on here since you're new to the gym is to find your sweet spot, a.k.a. the middle ground of kicking ass and getting your ass kicked. Once you do, you'll know how hard to push yourself in your workouts. 


The cool-down

Never, ever, ever, just ditch the cool-down. The cool-down should be taken just as seriously as the warm-up and the workout. Most injuries happen right after the workout, and that's because people just straight out ditch the cool-down!! So don't ever ditch it, okay? Promise? During the cool-down, we foam roll and we take you through some stretching. We also tell you about the latest events and FYI's going on! 




So there you go! Now go on and book some classes