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

​Briget's Story: Assessment Day

I have been a member at The Queer Gym since June of 2016. I suffer from chronic pain due to an autoimmune disorder. I have tried many forms of bodywork, acupuncture, yoga, dietary adjustment—you name it… I found myself at a crossroads – continue dealing with the pain by lying down or build some strength and learn to trust my body again.

the queer gym

One day my fiancé and I were brainstorming about what I could do to change the ongoing cycle of suffering. Harlow had recently started training at a Krav Maga gym and was finding a lot of satisfaction in strength training. They encouraged me to get off my butt and try out the Queer Gym.

I have been going to classes at this badass gym about 3-5 times per week ever since. I am finding community and developing a whole new connection and trust dialogue with my body. However, I had been feeling that my limits were very clearly defined by my mind. Like I was never actually going to get stronger, and that it was ok to only work a little hard in classes.

On October 1, I went to my first assessment day. I was a little nervous going into it, but when I walked in and saw familiar faces I settled in and decided to just enjoy it.  The 10-minute AMRAP showed be that I COULD actually do legit burpees—and more than one at that—which was far from the truth when I first joined. Then it was on to the one rep max discoveries. I was able to deadlift 145 lbs! WHAT??? And 130 lbs for my back squat; you gotta be kidding me!

the queer gym

On Monday morning after assessment day, I went to the 7 am Oakland Booty class and man, I kicked butt. I was sore as all hell, but something had clicked for me. Seeing what I was capable of at the assessment boosted my confidence and gave me a new sense of willingness to really do my work out. I was not afraid to add more and more weight for my front squats. I did a TON of box jumps—like actual jumps. Amazing! Up to that point I had only been able to do the step-ups, which is totally legit, but it felt great to push myself to the next level.

The next day at Kick Ass Cardio, nothing could get in my way. Hell, I even felt good about jogging up to the pole and back. I worked hard and sweat hard and knew that I could push myself.

The assessment day really created a shift in my workouts. I feel like I found a new willingness to work hard and push myself. I felt really supported at the assessment and like I belong at the gym and in this community.

I highly recommend participating in the next one. It is fun, social, and inspiring. Who could ask for anything more?

See y’all at the gym!


The Gym's Coming Out Story

Yes, we are the first and only queer gym in the Nation, but for the first 3 years of business we weren't "out" about it. 

We always knew we were gay, but were'nt sure how everyone else would take it.

  • Would we be accepted?
  • Shunned?
  • Are we even SURE we're the first and only lgbt gym in the Nation?!
the queer gyn

I guess that was step 1: find out if we were really the first and only lgbt gym...maybe this was just a phase??? 

After hiring 2 marketing firms and a shit ton of my own research...YUP! We sure as hell were! There were other gyms that were lgbt owned. There were other gyms that were "straight," but just in a gayborhood. So yup, we were the first and only lgbt gym and we were ready to come O-U-T BITCHES! 

So in year 3, we came out and claimed it! At that point, we were like, HELLLLAAAAA gay! You know when you're like, just coming out and you just start to vomit rainbows on EVERYTHING! Yeah! Kinda like that. We came out in full force! You could always find us at the clubs, all the prides. If it was gay, the queer gym was there! 

And well...not much has changed since then. We're still hella gay. We're still the first and we're still the only. And we're OUT more than evah.

Today's National Coming Out Day and if you're ready to come hang OUT with us...then click here and in here.

...Oh and here. We'll even throw in some deals:

free classes all day!

the queer gym

Check out our schedule. Just show up! 

A Non­-Science­-y Look at the FULL Impact of Yoga

We tend to think of yoga as exercise. But it’s so much more than that.

What more? Glad you asked.

Without getting too science­y here’s all you need to know:

There are two parts of our nervous system which work together to help us cope with daily life: the Sympathetic Nervous System and the Parasympathetic Nervous System.

  1. Sympathetic Nervous System: listens to all your problems­ JK! The SNS takes care of our “fight­ or ­flight” response. It’s basically always looking to see if we’re in danger and is ready to act.
  2. Parasympathetic Nervous System: the PNS is the “rest ­and­ digest” mechanism of our body. It slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure and allows us to come back down from a stressful situation.
the queer gym

I’ll give you one guess as to which one we use more.

Yup. In today’s world, we’re all a big ball of SNS. We’re always on, always on the go, stimulated, bombarded, phone in hand, checking email while ordering groceries online, oy-­freaking-­vay.

Then we hit the gym and we grunt and sweat and push ourselves which stimulates our...SNS.

Most of us don’t tend to our PNS.

Different Types of Yoga Have Different Purposes

  • Intense yoga (vinyasa, flow, power yoga) activates the SNS.
  • Restorative yoga (slow movement, connection to the breath) activates the PNS.
  • Meditation (bringing attention to the body and the breath) pulls us away from stressful thoughts and activates our PNS.

What we really need is balance:

The PNS and SNS are connected like a seesaw­ when one goes up, the other goes down. In today’s society, our SNS is always on, we are always stressed, anxious, thinking about the next thing on our to­do list. Our system is out of balance.

Giving attention to our PNS brings great balance to our seesaw.

What’ll You Get Out of Deep Relaxation Yoga which targets the PNS?

Again, without getting too science­y, here’s what you gain from deep relaxation yoga:

  • Helps with anxiety and insomnia
  • You respond differently to stress (less stressfully!)
  • You come out of stressful situations better and faster
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced stress hormones (cortisol)
  • More effective digestion

Just starting out? Know this:

Restorative yoga may not come easy. It may take time to settle into it. You may feel agitated at first. Unable to sit still. That’s okay. Take that as part of your journey. I promise over time, things will shift. Become easier. It may take a month, it may take a year (it took me nearly two years). You’ll get there. Once you experience the effects that calming the PNS has on you, there’s no going back.


PS. If you wanna get science­y, check this out: http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/benefits­yoga­parasympathetic­nervous­system­1519.html

John's Journey

Why This Gay Guy Loves His Queer Gym

I joined The Queer Gym 7 months ago. I was new to the neighborhood and newly dumped. I was also working a job that I will charitably call stressful. It was not uncommon for me to be stuck at a computer for 12-hour days, fueled only by the company candy drawer and beer fridge.

I was depressed, had no physical energy, and despite being single and hypothetically “ready to mingle,” felt massively insecure about all the extra weight I had gained during the slow death of my 6-year relationship.

the queer gym

Then, as I was riding the bus from my new apartment to my stressful job, I saw a gym with a rainbow flag on the door and rainbow-painted bike racks out front. Sure, my office had a gym, but it was a depressing beige cube filled with my coworkers. And on top of that, I had no idea what exercises were best.

Having trainers tell me what to do while I worked out with other homos didn’t just sound like a more effective workout, it sounded like it might actually be fun. I was right on both counts. Since joining, I’ve lost 40 pounds, 7% body fat, and 6 inches from my waist. But it’s the second part, the fun, that has been most meaningful change for me.


The truth is, I’ve never really felt good about my body. I was a chubby kid and an overweight, gay teen. I was bullied for both. That bullying made me hate my body and hate the gym. Exercise wasn’t fun. It just meant looking weak and out-of-shape in front of other people followed by anxiously changing in a locker room full of straight dudes who could kick my ass.

Although I eventually shed a lot of the weight, I carried around those attitudes about my body and working out until I ended up at The Queer Gym.

Sure, getting into an exercise routine was hard. I thought my first 15-minute assessment with Nat was going to kill me.

I could do about 3 burpees before collapsing red-faced on the floor.

But my struggle was celebrated! All the trainers respected where I was at in my personal fitness journey and encouraged that I could improve if I kept getting my ass in the gym. So I did, and I found that spirit of encouragement was shared by all the members, too.

I don’t feel self-conscious sweating, straining, and sometimes flaming out (or flaming out) in front of my gym fam. We cheer each other on as we groan our way through that killer last rep, congratulate each other on our progress, and commiserate together as we foam roll whatever is sorest after class. We laugh about how much “that sucked” before saying we’ll see each other at the next class.

While you were sleeping...these #harcorehomos were not!

A video posted by The Perfect Sidekick Queer Gym (@thequeergym) on

This hasn’t just helped me meet my fitness goals, it’s also lead to positive internal changes I wasn’t expecting. I’ve started to internalize the spirit of encouragement I found at The Queer Gym. If I don’t judge the other folks in my class for struggling through new, challenging exercises, why would I judge myself? If they can so enthusiastically cheer on my progress, why can’t I cheer myself on?

I’m very happy with the changes I’m seeing in my body, but I’m happiest in the changes I’m experiencing in my relationship to my body. The more I push my body outside its comfort zone at The Queer Gym, the more comfortable I feel in it.

I’ve learned to love and accept my body—even when it’s sweaty and sore from all the burpees. And I can’t wait to see what my body and I do together at The Queer Gym in the coming months because we’re just getting started!

If you want to start a new relationship with your body, I’m at the gym first thing in the morning 3 days a week and on weekends; and I’m happy to cheer you on, too!


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).

VICTORIA 40 lbs healthier and counting...

VICTORIA 40 lbs healthier and counting...

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.

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.  


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.


Sign up Phi's Yoga class here!

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