Christa's Big Fucking Deal

“No, no, no,” my grandma says, shaking her head. “No. You shouldn’t do that - that makes you too masculine.”

I raise my arm and flex, grinning at her. “Well, I want to be masculine.”

“No,” she repeats, more forceful this time. “You need to be feminine. You used to be prettier. Now you look too hard.”

Christmas Eve, 2016.

My family is generally of one mind about me lifting: don’t do it. My mom, dad and grandparents worry that it’ll make me too “bulky” or too “boyish”. They offer this unilateral opinion every time I mention a gain - what I deadlifted this past week, how much weight I lost on Whole30, how deep I got into my squat. They offer this opinion without prompting, as if I’m perpetually asking for permission.

The women in my family are decidedly girly. My mother subscribes to the fashion model of Stevie Nicks, while my grandmother applies her German precision and coldness to impeccable tailoring and tasteful colors. My aunts go bolder, with sequins and nails and big hair, but still fall on the feminine end of the spectrum. My cousin is picture-perfect femme: tall, with long blonde-streaked hair and a killer body she wraps in designer everything. I don’t fit.

Me being hella girlie.

Me being hella girlie.

I was decidedly not them, and so I deleted my body from the conversation. When I was young and fit, I ran. I was popsicle slim, flat-chested, and entirely uncomfortable. Mind over matter, I told people. Boys, football players lifted in the weight room and I laced myself into my shoes and took off. I enjoyed severing the tenuous link between my legs and breath and my head and focused on tuning out my body’s signals that enough was enough to push just that much further. I learned discipline. I also learned to ignore pain, and only celebrate when I was decidedly beyond my limits.

the queer gym

Fast forward through a mind-body connection based on money, hacking grad school, a cross-country move, a period of anxiety so pervasive it takes a year to come back to any kind of baseline. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I am tired. I am eating my feelings. I remember a gym my friend told me about, queer-owned/run/friendly. I desperately need something to change.

 
the queer gym
 

My first few classes are brutal. I am out of shape and stiff. I fall down several times. I can’t look anyone remotely attractive in the eye (and there are many of you, you should be proud). My body remembers a level of fitness I can’t possibly achieve in 50 minutes. This is dumb, I tell myself. They’re all better and stronger than you. You’re shit. You’re nothing. This is never going to work.

Slowly but surely, it does, because I pick up a barbell and, shocker, I love it. The first time I really drop into a squat I break into a sweat - not out of effort, but panic. Too deep! Too much! How can I possibly get up out of this? I do. I do it again. It’s fun. I get better.

I find my edge. Slowly, I clue into my body - what aches versus what is pain, what is stiff and what is a true limit, what is fatigue and what is a stubborn no-I-can’t-too-hard. I dig deep into my hips and shoulders and dredge a well of grief and fear. I start to see external changes that flatter my bruised ego, and I’m able to do more.

 
Me signing the Hundo Wall after completing 100+ workouts

Me signing the Hundo Wall after completing 100+ workouts

 

I make friends. I learn to love my trainers. I quit therapy. I look forward to the gym.

My family doesn’t recognize me. I am untethered from their expectations. I look in the mirror and I see lats, and biceps, and quads, and an ass that I built. I am proud of my broad shoulders. I have facial angles and a hawklike chin. I am excited to get bigger. I am finding space to breathe and be free. I am happy, for the first time in my life.

This is a big fucking deal.

Me Before

Me Before

Me After

Me After

Why Working Out Is Like Sex

Working out is like sex: you can either go LONG or you can go HARD, but you can't do BOTH. 

In other words, the harder the workout is, the shorter the workout is. That's why a short 4 minute tabata is done at a much higher intensity than say a 15 minute AMRAP. 

the queer gym

So rule of thumb:

  • If there's a LONG workout on the board, PACE YOURSELF! [like making love]
  • If there's a SHORT workout on the board, GO HARD! [like f*c%ing]

Make sense?

 

Hard Core Homo VS. Cardi-OH FUCK!

OK, so in 2017 we added a new class called, Cardi-OH FUCK! It's 50 minutes of straight up cardio! That's right. Cardio all the time, well, for 50 minutes. Because this is another ENDURANCE class, I bet some of you are like, uhhh don't we already have an ENDURANCE class? Isn't that what the Hard Core Homo class is about? 

the queer gym

Uh....close, but NO.

The difference? 

Hard Core Homo is MUSCULAR endurance. Cardi-OH FUCK is CARDIOVASCULAR endurance.

Both are endurance based, which means that both classes will help you "love someone looong time," but Hard Core Homo will have your muslces burning, while Cardi-OH FUCK will leave you breathless.

What does a class actually look like?

In Hard Core Homo you'll do full body weight training workout like pushups and squats with weights. In Cardi-OH FUCK you'll do more stuff like running, jumping rope, rowing. 

So check out and sign up for both classes here and tell us what you think.

How Many Classes Should You Take A Week?

the queer gym

Not sure how many classes a week you should take? Don't worry, we got you! This is a tough answer and one I recommend that you chat with a coach before you go on and make some shit up on your own. Ideally, I want all of you working out 4 times a week, but here are some recommendations:

If you're only working out 4 times a week:

  1. Upper Body Class [oakland booty]
  2. Lower Body Class [hella arms and abs, kick ass]
  3. Cardio Class [hard core homo, kick ass]
  4. Recovery Class [yoga, meditation, so knotty]

If you're only working out 3 times a week:

  1. Lower Body
  2. Upper Body
  3. Recovery

If you're only working out 2 times a week:

  1. Full Body [hard core homo]
  2. Recovery

Want More Strength? --you even know what that means?

If you've ever said your goal was to get stronger, please watch this video. Did you really mean strength ooooor are you actually wanting muscle endurance? 

What's the difference? Watch this video. 

Why's this important? Uh...well....because when your coach asks you what your goal is, you might want to be on the same page.

Just watch the video.

 
 

Free Shit

Rewards

Each time you sign up for workouts on a desktop, you get 1 point. Each point is worth a $1. You don't get the points if you sign up through the app. Shitty, I know. We're working to resolve this issue right now.

Account Credit

You can earn account credit when you refer your homos and homies. Example, you get $100 bucks each time your referral signs up. 

How to redeem?

You can see and use your reward points and account credit by logging into Mindbody on a desktop or you can buy them at the gym from any coach. You can't see them or buy stuff. Again, we are working on fixing this. 

What Can you Buy?

  • Private Sessions $70
  • Semi Private Sessions $50
  • Guest Pass $10
  • Bars $3
  • Lacrosse Ball $8
  • Foam Roller $15
  • Gift Certificates
  • More coming soon...

What you can't buy?

  • Membership dues
  • No show fees

Questions? Email us at tlc@theperfectsidekick.com.

 

We Give Lots of Fucks

Yeah, we give lots of fucks about your feedback. We wanna know how we're doing every. damn. day. because it's that important to us. In fact, it's a metric that is closely watched because it measures not only how the gym is performing, but also how good our coaches are delivering awesome workouts to you. We don't have a suggestion box at the gym, but we do have one right on your phone: the Mindbody App.

After each workout, your app allows you to review your workout and your coach. Kinda like how you review your uber driver. You can give us 5 hearts and/or leave comments. You don't have to leave comments, but I'm not gonna lie...our coaches really dig them. The reviews aren't anonymous because if we ever really fuck things up, we want to be able to reach out to that person and fix it. Don't worry about hurting our feelings if you don't dig your workout. We grown.

I made a little video to show you exactly where to go on the app to review. Check it:

 

P.S. YOU CAN ONLY LEAVE REVIEWS IN THE APP. NOT ON THE WEBSITE. 

Why You Feel Like Dying After Missing A Few Days At the Gym?

Ever came back to the gym after missing a few days and felt like day 1 allll ovvvver again?! You're like, "damn! I was only gone a week or two!" Wanna know why? It's this nerdy thing called VO2 Max.

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VO2 Max is the max amount of oxygen your body can use. It's on of the fastest things that improved when you start working out. It's also one of the first things to go. That's why they say this workout thing has to be a lifestyle...In just 14 days of not working out, your V02 Max drops 10%. If you miss an entire month it drops to 15% and by 3 months of not working out you can kiss 20% of your VO2 Max goodbye. 

Think about this as the holidays are coming up. 

Don't just COMPLETELY stop working out. Traveling? Drop down and do a 5 minute AMRAP of burpees...that will get that VO2 Max from dipping! 

Book your next workout here.

Where Did Queer 101 Come From?

I want to tell you where Queer 101 came from. See in the beginning we were unofficially known as "the lesbian gym" and when we started to call ourselves an LGBT gym, shit got real. See I was just a really good L, I didn't too much about the Gs and the B's and I had no idea how little I knew about the T's. 

the queer gym


At that point, I had to decide if I wanted to just stay as "the lesbian gym" or if I wanted to actually do the work it took to truly be an all inclusive LGBT gym. I wanted to be the real deal and legit, so I was down to do the work. 


I called the Lyon Martin clinic and basically was like, "uh I'm trying to do this thing and I need to know what I don't know. Will you teach me?" They did. I literally sat in the clinic's director's office and was put through my very first ever queer 101. 


My jaw dropped at how much I didn't know and this was just on the cultural side. There was still all the clinical stuff I needed to know about, but that would come at a later time. So then I was like ok, cool, now I know...but then I was like, oh shit, my staff doesn't know and I'm not good enough yet to teach them. 


Soooo, I called Lyon Martin again and I'm like, "yeah you know that Queer 101 thing we did, can y'all do that for my staff?" They came out to the gym and put my staff through Queer 101 and since then, they've been required to go through this training twice a year.


Awhile ago, we decided to open up our training to the community because even though my staff was now killing it at building an inclusive, safe space...some of my members could use a little queer 101 love. From there,we let our members also invite anyone they thought could use a little queer 101.

the queer gym


And that's how queer 101 came to be and that's played a vital role in helping us accomplish our mission of making happy, healthy homos by providing a safe space with a community that gives a damn about you and your goals!

Queer 101 has now taken on a life of its' own. We currently are working with the city of Oakland and putting their tourism department through Queer 101. We will be working with them on building a queer 101 certification that businesses have to go through in order to be listed on their website as queer owned and friendly business. Business owners and employees will be able to learn about pronouns and how to better serve their queer customers amongst other things. 

Crazy how far Queer 101 has come and I'm sure has yet to go. DOPE! 


Now will you be joining us this Thursday at 730pm at the gym? RSVP here