KIM - Feb 2015
"I’ve always been a plus sized gal, and I have always been good about getting to the gym my entire adult life even though I didn’t look like it. Last July, I had been taking dance fitness classes 3-4 times a week for several years as well as following a strict reduced calorie diet, but I just wasn’t seeing any results. I went to countless doctors and always got the same advice, “See a nutritionist (or join Weight Watchers) and keep up the aerobic exercise classes.” I would always ask the doctors about stepping up my strength training and got the same look of pity, the same look that said, “This lady isn’t doing any of the activities she claims. Just look at her!” So, I had made the decision to go try strength training. I had heard the horror stories of coaches yelling at you until you collapse in a heap of tears, so I was pretty intimidated, but determined. Then a friend posted information about a local nerd gym’s upcoming movie night with themed workout to follow the next day. I’m sorry, excuse me, nerd gym? Hey, I’m a nerd! I’m listening! I visited the website and scheduled my evaluation immediately. Best decision I made in years!
Everyone high-fives each other at the end of class with, “Hey, you killed it today!” or “Amazing job today!” You are welcome in this space.
I immediately realized that yes indeed, I needed weight and strength training in a major way. I started coming to classes. Nobody yelled at me. I was the largest, slowest and weakest in the class. I’m the only one that gave me a hard time about that. Everyone high-fives each other at the end of class with, “Hey, you killed it today!” or “Amazing job today!” You are welcome in this space. Always. The coaches make you feel that way. The other members make you feel that way. My first evaluation workout was tough, but I finished at 11 and a half minutes. My flexibility and strength quite frankly, sucked. Once sitting on the floor, getting up was an elaborate process that wasn’t pretty. That was July.
Now it is February, and I just redid my evaluation workout at 7 and a half minutes. My flexibility is so much better. I am strong now and getting stronger. I get up off the floor in a much less elaborate process and it is officially no big deal.
To say that this wonderful gym full of wonderful people has changed my life is an understatement. I have fitness, community and friendship in my corner now. Does your gym do that?"
Tyler - Jan 2015
"The gym [Nerdstrong] we go to is amazing. One of the reasons I never got into working out was that most gyms don't actually want you there. I've had memberships at other gyms before, and I'd go a few times, get overwhelmed with no direction, end up on the elliptical for 45 minutes, then bail. Nerdstrong Gym is all class based, so I'm going 3-4 times a week, getting an hour long, guided workout, and working with an awesome, incredibly supportive group of people. My first night, we did a baseline workout. It KILLED me. As I was sitting outside, trying to to throw up (I failed), people showing up for the class after our appointment approached me and talked to me about my workout and how I was feeling, and told me that that aspect would definitely get better. It wasn't pity, it was genuine empathy, from people who had been at the exact same place I was. Every other gym I've been to, I've felt judged. None of that here."
KIMI - Sept 2014
I am a cosplayer. That means that my free time is spent creating costumes and dressing up as characters from pop culture, mostly my favorite comic book characters. The big problem? I wasn’t in superhero shape. I come from a background of competitive sports and physical fitness, but my lifestyle changed drastically when I left college to become a full-blown adult with a “real job.” Now firmly in my 30s, my sedentary life had changed me from someone who could swim 4 hours a day into someone who got winded going up a flight of stairs. I love my job, but I didn’t love what it was doing to my body.
Enter Nerdstrong Gym. I was finally tired of feeling out of shape, so I joined after seeing the amazing results that my friends were getting. That first workout was a shock. I couldn’t believe how weak I had become! I couldn’t even do a proper squat because my hips couldn’t support my weight! Andrew, the coach that started Nerdstrong, was very patient and helpful. He created workouts that fit my abilities but were still challenging. I could start to feel changes in my body after only a few small-group sessions, and after a few weeks I started attending more workouts. For the first time in my life, I was having FUN going to the gym! It didn’t feel like a chore and I looked forward to each workout day.
Andrew is an amazing coach. Trust me, I’ve trained with a lot of coaches in my time. He is fun and encouraging, but doesn’t let you give anything but your best. He designs creative workouts and is great at tweaking them for each individual person’s ability level. The gym culture that he has created at Nerdstrong is positive and encouraging. You really feel like you are part of a community where everyone wants you to succeed.
Five months later, I couldn’t be happier with the results. I’m now going to the gym at least three times a week, and feel better than I have since I was a teenager. My body looks toned and strong, I’ve lost almost two inches off my waist, and I actually weigh less than I did in high school! All the hard work continues to pay off.
"Not only do I look like a super hero, I feel like a super hero."
Thank you, Nerdstrong!
DAVID - April 2014
I had the follow-up for my annual physical this morning. One year ago I was so ill, my blood work and body composition were alarming to my doctor. I was moody, lethargic, had a host of shitty minor and major symptoms, and just generally felt terrible, body and mind. Today: optimal numbers across the board in my blood work, including cortisol levels (despite current stress), and body fat down from 25% to 13%. My amazing doctor was so thrilled and proud, *she waved my office visit fee.* And she doesn't take my insurance, so it's usually expensive. She said, "with these numbers, you're going to live forever." I assume she was being hyperbolic, but I can get behind that.
This is what I've done this past year. Most of it is due to Andrew, and my time at this gym:
1) I eat much better. Enormous amounts of protein, good fats and green vegetables, much less sugar, candy and refined grains than I used to eat (not "none," mind you, just much less). Almost no soda. Lots of water. I avoid soy entirely - my body responds very badly to it (this will not be true of everyone). It's expensive, I won't lie - I've had to re-arrange my budget a great deal to allow for it.
2) I take a small handful of supplements, exactly as suggested by my doctor, based upon the details of my blood work. I rarely miss a day.
3) I meditate. I try to do this every day, but mostly I manage to do it 3-4 times a week.
4) I work out at least twice per week at the gym with a trainer and friends, go for lots of short walks, and try to make certain I hit a minimum let's-not-die-of-sloth level of activity each day.
I don't normally brag about this kind of thing. But I feel so good today, much better than I did a year ago, probably the best I've felt since my 20s (which were a very, very, very long time ago). I've still got plenty of work to do, but this response from my doctor made me feel really, really great. Thank you Andrew & Marla & the whole crew for so much direct support, participation & encouragement in getting fit and eating well this past year.
For the last 8 weeks I’ve been participating in the Whole Life Challenge with my gym, Nerdstrong Gym. The Whole Life Challenge consisted of exercising for at least 10 minutes a day, cutting out processed foods, sugars, diary, and anything artificial, stretching, reflection, and meditation. It was a chance to see how those things affect my body, mood, and whole life. I finished the 8 weeks on Saturday and had such positive results. I’ve been feeling so good! I kicked my Diet Coke habit. Sugar isn’t controlling my life. I lost 2 1/2 inches in my waist, and added 20 reps on the benchmark workout which consisted of 2 minutes rowing, 2 minutes of pushups, 2 minutes of sit-ups, 2 minutes of thrusters with a one minute rest in-between exercises. But more importantly, I feel more connected and in tune with my body and what it needs.
Yesterday during our Beautiful Warriors workshop, I shared my experience and results. I also mentioned that I’d taken “before” pictures for my own reflection and was planning on taking “after” pictures to compare. It was then suggested that I share those pictures. PANIC!!!! NO!! While, I’ve been in a good place in regards to my body for the last year or so, I still panicked at the idea of posting my before and even after pictures and protested it. I don’t want to be that exposed. This group of women wouldn’t accept my excuses and shared their experiences of body acceptance to convince me. I’ve worked hard to be healthy and that’s something to celebrate. This is why I love all the Beautiful Warriors. So much support and love! Thanks for the encouragement and helping me to learn that sometimes bravery is posting pictures of yourself in your underwear.