This blog is about workout importance, best workout ideas and everything related to fitness. Train at Awaken to get the body you've always wanted. Gain gymnastics strength and flexibility. Classes in Denver or online.
I am an online entrepreneur and a digital nomad who came to Denver to train bodyweight fitness at Awaken. I was here for six weeks and trained more than sixty hours. This is my experience ...
I hated group classes.
But training at Awaken completely changed my mind.
Compared to personal training, classes at Awaken are just as effective.
Maybe even more so.
None of the pitfalls. All of the upsides. Plus training together with cool people is a lot of fun.
It was one of the things I've learned during my time at Awaken. Below you'll find the six most valuable take-aways from sixty hours of classes.
I hope to be back soon for hour 60 to 120.
#1: A Group Class Done Right: More Than The Sum Of It's Parts
If you want to learn something, you'll make progress faster if someone corrects your mistakes.
In the average group class at your average gym, this does not happen.
In the case of gymnastics, which relies heavily on form, a lack of instruction can lead to injury.
Let me give you an example:
Before I came to Awaken I trained at a different gym. It was common to see students crash into the floor face first. For example, a woman fell flat on her face and the instructor did not notice because he was taking a selfie.
This happened often. Students were allowed to train with bad form and were not corrected most of the time. The result was that students would fall often. Several ex-students mentioned that preventable injuries were the reason for leaving that gym.
My experience at Awaken was the complete opposite.
During my 60 hours of training I saw exactly 0 accidents due to bad form. And I think it's because the teachers are very hands-on.
It does not matter if you're in a group of five or twenty-five students, the teachers keep an eye on everyone and correct you when necessary. They make sure you are doing things right.
The classes were also a lot of fun.
Everyone has a positive attitude and wants to work smart. Training with like-minded people is more enjoyable than 1-on-1 coaching.
What if you're a new student?
If you are new the coaches at Awaken will take extra care to make sure you are doing things right. This saves you a lot of time and will make you progress fast.
After class they are available for any questions you might have.
#2: Prehab Your Joints
Awaken Gym in Denver has an unique approach in their teaching style compared to other programs.
You start your fitness journey with mobility exercises. This is taught very thoroughly and attentively, as a precursor to harder strength training.
Mobility is of course your ability to demonstrate strength through a full range of motion.
If you're so stiff from sitting behind a desk that you can't move your hips or shoulders, doing strength training might make it worse. Mobility exercises prevent that from happening.
Guys in their thirties who have lifted for ten years are usually stiff as a board. Their size comes at a nasty trade-off: they lose the ability to move naturally. Their movement is restricted and if they wait a few more years their whole body will be cracking and aching.
I like lifting and did it for a long time. But so many men who were ten years down the road from me had joint issues that it scared me. I realized that I did not want to go down a road of battling debilitating knee or back pain for the rest of my life.
Every physical therapist can tell you horror stories about how people's knees, hips and shoulders give out. Rehabilitating exercises might restore some function in the affected tissues but not always. This happens after an injury has happened and when someone has been in pain for a while.
Classes at Awaken take the opposite approach. You train the weak links of your body, the parts most likely to break down under load. You start slow and build gradually to strengthen the whole range of motion, not just the ones that make you look good in a Speedo.
The emphasis on mobility suits me better than lifting as much as I can and hope that I do not end up injured.
Luckily the tools that Awaken gave me will help me do just that for years to come.
#3: Do You Even Warm-up?
Another weightlifting dogma:
"Warm-ups are for wimps."
My lifting buddies and me lived by this.
Just slap on the weight and push away until your face turns blue. Then laugh at each other.
Turns out that if you spend ten to fifteen minutes preparing the body parts you are going to train, you can work harder. Taking twenty will make you ready to absolutely crush it.
You also feel better afterwards because, well, you did not shock your nervous system by pushing it to its limit right of the bat.
Yes, I have done warm-ups before at other gyms, be it in MMA or CrossFit. But looking back those exercises did not warm me up at all.
At the average CrossFit gym, you might swing your arms around loosely and then jog for a couple of minutes. This raises your heart rate but does nothing to prepare your body for what's to come. And by diving right into the weight rack afterwards your nervous system receives an unnecessary shock.
A proper warm-up readies your weak links for the action to come. Doing this every single training at Awaken gave me a blueprint of how to warm-up when I'll be training by myself. I actually look forward to warming up now.
#4 Go Slow and Steady
During the fourth week of my stay in Denver I crashed. I could not get out of bed. My body felt like it got hit by a truck and then bombed by a fighter jet.
Anxiety set in: what was going on?
I called in sick. That was easy since I'm my own boss.
Than I called my brother. He's a world-class juggler-acrobat and has been training and performing for the last fifteen years.
The conversation went something like this:
Brother: "Hey man, it's finally nice weather in the Netherlands. How is that gym in Denver?"
Maarten: "Eh, my body is having a breakdown."
Brother: "Oh, that doesn't sounds too good. How much have you been training?"
Maarten: "Oh, most days two hours, sometimes three."
Brother: "Oh, you used to do three hours a week right? That's a harsh transition. You must be eating a ton to keep up."
Maarten: "Not really. I'm trying to cut weight."
Brother: *starts laughing* "Well, you must be sleeping like a log then."
Maarten: "I can't. It's 100 degrees in my bedroom at night. I get six sweaty hours at most."
Brother: *goes into lecture mode "Listen, no wonder your body is breaking down on you. You increased your training hours five-fold! While eating and sleeping less!"
He proceeded to explain that if you want to train every day, you have to eat and sleep well every day as well.
Brother: "My first year in circus school, I slept ten hours a day just to keep up with my daily eight hour training regimen. My roommates regularly passed out at the dinner table or would go bed right after, at 9 PM. Our social lives were non-existent."
He also ate a disgusting amount of food. I quote: "Yeah, I ate three pounds of pasta loaded with cream and some spinach. And that was just my lunch."
He urged me that on my current food and sleep schedule I should take way more recovery time and do lighter trainings.
I reluctantly agreed, fully expecting that it wouldn't help and I would feel like a bag of liquid poop for the rest of the summer. What can I say? I'm dumb and stubborn.
Turns out my acrobat brother was right and I was wrong. After a few days of sitting on my butt and eating like a whale in mating season my body spontaneously recovered. I picked up some prehab classes the next day and everything was fine.
The next time my body throws the towel in the ring, I'll check if I've been eating and sleeping enough to sustain training. Maybe I'll even cut down on training hours a little.
#5: Working With a Partner Is An Essential Skill
"A little more," my training parter says.
I softly push her in the middle of the spine so her back straightens. She sinks deeper and deeper into her pancake and relaxes into the pose.
Partner work is a common occurrence during class at Awaken. Many exercises are done solo and some are done with a partner.
He or she checks your form or helps you get deeper into a stretch.
If you're the one doing the exercise, you have to be conscious of what you're feeling. Your body awareness has to increase.
Otherwise you cannot communicate to your partner if you need more or less.
On the other hand, spotting someone else teaches you a lot about form.
If you see someone retract their shoulders in a pushup, your brain automatically goes "don't forget to protract your shoulders."
Your knowledge develops. Your understanding of correct form deepens.
You learn from spotting someone and when I get to my next destination, I'm all for finding training buddies even if it's just for one session.
#6: There's Always Something To Learn
The advanced students at Awaken know some very cool tricks:
Yet they are normal people with busy jobs and many obligations.
Someone who started training a couple of hours a week for fun and then ends up doing great feats of strength and flexibility, that's just impressive.
I saw students of two-three years casually perform handstand presses, the human flag and great-looking stuff on rings.
I'm at the starting point of my gymnastics journey and it's very inspiring to see where this can lead. It brought something I consider advanced mentally within my reach.
Those advanced students started out in a similar place as me and worked at it for some years to get where they are know.
That is something I'll take with me when I'll fly to my next destination and keep on training by myself with the techniques and lessons I learned about bodyweight training in Denver at Awaken.
Handstands change more than just our current view. The art of learning a handstand changes our perspectives, help us overcome fears and insecurities, they challenge our beliefs of what we can do with our bodies, and they become a life-long journey.
For yogi Adrian McCavitt, handstands became his passion, his calling, and his profession.
Since he began practicing in 2013, Adrian has come to learn so much about handstands that he’s now able to perform 30 different hand balance positions! Since Adrian is leading a workshop at Awaken this summer, we thought we’d get to know him a little better and experience the passion behind his practice.
What was one of your first most exciting/shape-shifting experiences you discovered with movement?
I’d have to say it was the first time I really started to feel the weightlessness of balancing in a handstand. There really is nothing quite like the feeling. And knowing how much work goes into finding that balance is so rewarding.
What do you love about practicing handstands? How has it changed your life? I love the ritual of my practice. It keeps me grounded and centered. I always have more to work on so I am always humbled by the experience of practice, yet also fulfilled by the confidence that comes with achieving a new skill that I have spent countless hours working towards. It has changed my life in so many ways, but most notably in my accountability to myself and my practice. Most of my decisions are governed by my love of hand balance and how it will affect my ability to practice. The rest I get from the food I eat, and my personal interactions and relationships with others, all which play a role in my practice.How did you begin training handstands? I had just earned my 200 hour yoga teaching certificate and my brother took me to the circus for my birthday. There I saw a hand balancer perform on top of some 9 foot canes where he did a few variations of hollow-backs and one-arm handstands, and I was head over heels in love with it from that moment on.
What will the focus of the Awaken Denver Workshops be?
Alignment alignment alignment! It is the master key that opens all of the hand balance adventure doors. We will go through multiple conditioning techniques to develop the strength for handstands, but without proper alignment, you’ve just built a pretty boat that doesn’t float. What do you tell people who are afraid of getting upside down? Good! It means you’re willing to acknowledge that you’re not invincible, which is an important understanding. But you don’t have to be invincible to get upside down. We will focus on acquiring the skills and coordination necessary so the confidence of ability will eradicate the presence of fear.What’s your best advice for beginners? Keep it simple. 15 mins a day is better than 2 hours on a Sunday. It’s just about consistency. This is relevant to both the beginners and the advanced student.Do you think you’ll be balancing on your hands when your 80? Of course! I’ll actually be 87 in September :)Does handstand training help with other movement disciplines? Yes, it absolutely does. I had been climbing for about 5 years before finding hand-balance, but after a little while, handstand training replaced climbing completely. I had a few years hiatus from climbing, but when I tried it again I was similar in skill to before I had stopped. Hand balance is such an amazing conditioning tool. What you learn in handstand training can be applied to most movement disciplines and it will prepare you for so much, especially if it has anything to do with grip strength, core, and coordination.You’re vegan! What’s your favorite meal? I like efficiency and simplicity, so pretty much anything in burrito form. Rice and bean burrito, spaghetti burrito, peanut butter and jelly burrito. I do also love Thai food. (Thai leftover burritos are the best!)What are you working on in your personal practice? I am going back to basics, cleaning everything up, and focusing on areas I missed the first go around. The more you learn about hand balance the better you can forensically diagnose your own practice and expose any weaknesses. I have some seemingly lofty goals, but I am working on them via the basics. The fundamentals are there for a reason.How do yoga and hand balance complement each other? I think hand balance can be considered yoga with the right intention behind it. If the practice is used to improve and elevate your internal environment, quality of mind, and general disposition to the world, I consider that yoga. On a purely physical level, there are plenty of techniques, movements, and stretches that run parallel with hand balance which I found were imperative to get me to where I am now. And certainly the flexibility of yoga has opened the door to more contortion-style hand balance for me. I owe a great deal of my practice to the system of yoga.
We’re so excited and honored to bring Adrian’s knowledge and experience to the next Awaken workshop, August 25-26. Check out our Facebook Group Page to stay up to date!
Spots for the Adrian Workshop in Denver are filling up, so reserve your spot here today and take your own practice to the next level.
At a certain point in life, you realize you just need yoga. Maybe you need it for the physical workout, maybe you need it for the spiritual connection, maybe you need it for the mental focus, or all of the above. But at some point, often when you’re feeling at the lowest end of the end of your rope, you give in and accept your friend’s longstanding invitation to try a class, even if posing on a matt and intentionally sweating all over yourself has never been your thing.
Because you just need it.
What you most likely needed when you went to your first yoga class was mindfulness, calm, peace, concentration, connection, at least as much as a super sculpted back.
Awareness brought you to this practice, and once you start growing that awareness and bringing it to other parts of your life, there’s no going back - you’re hooked, changed forever.
Kind of like when you fall in love for the first time. After that deeper chamber is opened, nothing is the same.
As you continue learning and growing in your personal practice, you may want to try some new things. You may even move out of the yoga world and into other areas of physical practice. That’s the point, isn’t it? To carry your practice with you? There are, after all, so many fun and exciting ways to challenge your body and keep that lean yogi physique you’ve worked so hard for.
But it can be tough to find a physical practice that shares the mindful aspect of yoga, while at the same time giving you the body you want, or better. Or it was, until adult gymnastics hit the scene.
Gymnastics and bodyweight-based strength and mobility training is like yoga for people who want to get seriously strong.
Even though practicing yoga builds strength, the focus is on cultivating flexibility first and often lacks equivalent attention to strength in flexibility. This comes from building not only the muscles, but the connective tissues. Conditioning the tendons and ligaments is just as important, or more so, than conditioning the muscles, but this deep tissue work is absent from most yoga practices. In gymnastics however, mobilizing these crucial areas - weak spots for most modern athletes like knees, elbows, ankle and toe joins, wrists, forearms, and facia - is part of comprehensive training.
Then there’s core strength. Gymnastics, more than any other sport or training technique, including yoga, demands absolute core activation. It’s simply impossible to hold yourself on the rings or attempt a manna progression, or do a pseudo planche pushup (i.e. Chaturanga on steroids) without the kind of abdominal contraction that forms beach lines in no time.
While yoga practitioners have a better starting point than most modern athletes, gymnastics takes that foundation to new levels of strength and flexibility, and is perfect cross-training for yogis who want to add some impressive skills to their repertoire.
But what about awareness? The mindful approach to the body and fitness that’s so refreshing about yoga? This is probably the biggest similarity between yoga and gymnastics. Neither can be done without an intense awareness of and respect for the body. Being in shape is great, but only if your mindfulness matches your muscles.
At a certain point in life, you know you just need yoga.
And at a certain point in yoga, you know you just need more.
More happens when you take the foundation you’ve built on the matt and add a touch of rings, beam, parallel bars and pommel horse. It doesn’t get much more holistic than that.
Take your practice to the next level and join the Awaken Tribe in Denver!
When your alarm goes off at 5:24am, and your fluffy cocoon has finally reached the exact perfect temperature for the soundest sleep, and you’re 99% convinced that getting out of bed right now could end your life, what makes you put your feet on the floor and stand up to get to a 6am class? How is putting on tennis shoes to run a bunch of stairs after a full day of work actually making you a happier person? And why in God’s name would you detox when it’s the holiday season!?
These are the kinds of questions that run through the head of the unmotivated. To some of your friends who are, let’s say, motivated by other things, a lot of the choices you make probably seem absurd. They probably think you’re crazy for getting up to do ag walks on a Saturday morning, or for choosing Mod Market over Chipotle. And they definitely think you’re weird for loving that slightly sore muscle feeling that let’s you know you’ve been getting after it in your training.
Your friends might not get why you do what you do, why you decline the invite out at 9pm because you’re starting your bedtime routine, or why you insist on flipping over everything you buy at the supermarket to see what’s in it. As long as you get it, that’s what counts, that’s what will get you across the finish line and keeps you committed to your own goals.
So what are those things, your why’s? What drives you to excel in your physical training and health?
Is it the way your triceps perfectly fill out your t-shirt sleeves or how your favorite Fall jeans slip on without having to break dance around the room? Do you work out to perform better in another sport or activity? Do you love the confidence of being fit or is the challenge alone what keeps you coming back? When you know what you’re in it for, then you better know how to keep yourself in it.
Because whatever your goal is, the key to staying motivated is momentum. Most simply, momentum is you, constantly saying Yes. Yes to the things you know you need to excel, which also means it’s constantly saying No to the things that will impede you. It’s the ripple effect of all your tiny decisions. That’s momentum.
It’s the forward propulsion, the jet stream, the wave that keeps you up and going and flying and floating and soaring and surfing over all the things that might slow you down on the way to where you’re going. Which is why it’s good to know where you’re going, what you’re after, what you’re saying Yes to again and again.
And if you don’t know, that’s ok too. Just start, and trust that momentum will catch up with you. Because momentum can’t happen without starting, and keeping going. You build momentum by continuing. By believing that you can go one more step, hold one more second, pull just a little harder, keep your balance just a little longer, by deciding that doing whatever you can is better than deciding you can’t.
When you find motivation, you find a spark. When you find momentum, the fire starts to burn and spread. You start to see what you could actually achieve. A two minute handstand, a hollow back press, no more puffy bloated belly, new confidence, becoming an awesome rock climber or a world famous performer. Whatever seemed unreachable for you starts to seem within reach, and that’s the fuel of momentum, of knowing what you’re in it for.
Because when you keep saying Yes to what you want, even in the moments when a No would be easier, you find another kind of strength, one that will carry you wherever you want to go. Join the Awaken Tribe in Denver – $45 and 5 classes starts the journey!
When you live in Colorado, winter isn’t a season to shun, it’s the season of fun!
Awaken is a great place to get in shape for snow sports. Many of us have been waiting all year, or at least since May or June, to get back in gear. However, we may not have been training for winter sports conditioning in Denver. We look forward to ski season, but the physical impact on our body sneaks up on us and the next day we’re sore, our knees are achy and our backs just want to lay on a couch.
But no worries. There’s a a number of snowstorms ahead of us and plenty of time to crosstrain for our favorite snow sports. Here are some of the best Awaken classes to take to train for ski and snowboard season in Colorado.
Flexibility and Dynamic Stretch
Hands down, if you’re engaging in winter sports you should be taking these classes. Most injuries happen because of inflexible, unconditioned muscle and connective tissue. Meniscus and ACL injuries are some of the most common among skiers, and while injury may not be prevented, the severity can certainly be lessened by good preparation. Jammed and sprained wrists are common among snowboarders, which can also be largely prevented with a little time stretching and strengthening the muscles around the wrist. Even general soreness and tenderness can be avoided when giving the muscles and tissues what they need before and after a day on the mountain.
Winter sports in Colorado are leg intensive, which means the stronger your legs are, the better you’ll be on the hill. But these classes aren’t just a bunch of squats and lunges. Legs classes will condition and strengthen all the lower muscle groups from your glutes, hamstrings and quads to your ankles, feet, shins, knees and calves. If you’re looking to improve your ski or snowboard game this winter, legs class will help you level up.
We couldn’t move much on the mountain without our hips. Whether you’re a snowboarder, snow shoer, downhill, cross country or backcountry skier, hip mobility is a must. If you’ve never taken this class, consider this ski season the perfect opportunity to see the difference hip prehab can make on your body’s performance. The hips are intricately connected to the lower back as well, which is another common pain point for winter sports athletes. Strengthen your hips, and your back will thank you.
Core core core! Our center of gravity shifts constantly in downhills sports, which means we need to be able to shift with it, or we’re in for a spill. Stall bar classes include a lot of core exercises to help improve our overall stability and agility on the slopes.
Header Photograph by
Making these classes a priority each week will go a long way toward protecting your body from unnecessary injuries, big and small. And you’ll probably notice improved control, stamina and confidence in your winter sport of choice as well.
At Awaken Gym we are BIG believers in positive peer pressure when it comes to sticking with our students and their weight-loss goals. If you want to thrive in the new year and meet your Denver weight-loss expectations, this healthy "buddy system" really works.
It's an all too familiar situation: you promise yourself to honor a weekly gym routine and count every last calorie in an attempt to start your Denver weight-loss goals. But no sooner than you started, you're back eating Voodo Donuts at the office and grabbing afterwork happy hour liquid dinner. Whoops - diet over.
We all go through seasons. Just like the trees, our bodies shift with time, our circumstances, our inward environments, even the weather.
Sometimes these seasons are exciting and fun, and sometimes they’re hard and take us in difficult directions. Sometimes they start out exhilarating and end up in exhaustion, weakness and extra pounds. We may begin a journey feeling our best, and finish wondering where to find the best weight loss fitness in Denver so we can get back to feeling like ourselves.
This year, why not try a different approach? If you can get a buddy or a partner to exercise with you, there's a good chance that it will be much more effective. Studies have shown that partnering with someone who is serious about slimming down will help to increase your chances of doing the same. If you feel tempted to cheat then you can phone or text your buddy for support. You can also help each other stick to the goals you've set by keeping each other accountable.
It's important to remember that we will still weather the seasons. We don’t need to be bummed when we encounter them because each one is an opportunity to cultivate resilience, strength and determination in our minds and our bodies. Instead of getting discouraged by the few (or several) additional inches, or letting them tempt us to give up on our fitness goals altogether, we can use them to make us stronger. Awaken Gym and your buddy can help you do it.
Gymnastics Strength Training is the best weight loss fitness in Denver because building muscle burns fat.
Many people think you have to get in shape or lose weight before you can become strong. “Lose the weight first, then tone. It’s pointless to work muscles you can’t see,” they think.
This is not true. Weight-loss training and resistance training are the same thing. When we approach weight loss fitness in Denver from a strength-building perspective, both goals will be achieved, and more efficiently. Diets are helpful and necessary, cardio too, but building muscle is the longest lasting and most effective weight loss fitness technique.
After working out for 15 years in all sorts of ways, I never got so lean as when I was training GST consistently, or had so much fun. And it’s lasted. Even when I slowed down my training to half of what I’d been doing, my muscle remained and the weight stayed off.
And then another season came, and I embraced it. I had very little time to work out and my only criteria for food was that it taste great. I ate whatever, took a break from regular workouts, and did my thing for over a year. It was great!
But eventually, it became not so great. I felt my weakness, lack of energy and I wanted to not be so bouncy - physically that is, ha ha. So I amped up my weight-loss training in Denver by going back to Awaken.
Instead of seeing my break season as progress lost, I accepted it as part of my journey and embraced the opportunity to amp-up my Gymnastic Body.
I’ve been in a good routine for a couple months now, and while I notice I’ve lost some things, I’m seeing an increase in strength and a decrease in jiggles. This is all it takes. This is how resilience works. One bit of progress at a time. You don’t bounce back all the way right away, but one inch at a time.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” -Bob Marley
Header Photograph by
Nothing is forever, even your belly fat. See what your body’s capable of with the best weight loss fitness in Denver. If you’re ready to shed the dead weight and sprout new strength, start your weight-loss fitness journey at Awaken gym.
If you are as investigative as we are, we're sure you've caught yourself scrolling through the endless advice on the web when it comes to personal training in Denver. We will do our best to answer this question for you.
Humans are social creatures, and no matter how much Americans might aspire to rugged individualism, we can achieve our goals much more easily when someone cheers us on. That’s why everyone from CNN Money to the U.S. Department of Labor has predicted the industry of personal training to grow.
Some hire a trainer to help them reach health or fitness goals. Others want supervision to recover from an injury. Still others need a trainer to help them push past a plateau. In Denver, a city known for its fitness and health culture, personal trainers keep local athletes in peak performance. Most gym-goers pay a fee alongside regular membership.
Should I Hire a Personal Trainer?
If you’re thinking about hiring a personal trainer, you’ll want to consider not only your goals but also their background and training. Currently, there is no standard certification for personal trainers, and skills vary widely. Personal trainers often set their own rates, so you can’t guarantee quality simply from high cost. So what should you go on?
How Awaken is Different
At Awaken Gym, we believe that every student deserves personalized feedback. That’s why each time the gym is open, we are running focused classes that help you meet your goals—from nailing a perfect-line handstand to developing lower back flexibility through a strong bridge, Gymnastics requires a strong, solid foundation, so Awaken instructors offer real-time feedback on your form and movement to help you can build from no matter where you begin.
Each of our instructors have also attended master seminars with GymnasticBodies, the curriculum developed by Christopher Sommer, GB founder and US Junior National Olympic mens gymnastics coach. Awaken Denver is proud to be a GB Master Affiliate, and athletes from Hong Kong, Italy, Argentina, and New Zealand have flown across the world to take advantage of the instruction we have in Denver.
When you come to Awaken, your everyday classes feature the highest caliber training, so you don’t need to hire a personal trainer. Every membership at Denver’s Awaken Gym—whether a drop-in package or a 6-month commitment–includes this benefit!
You don’t have to wander among machines and kettlebells trying to figure out your own exercise. At Awaken Gym, our instructors give you clear guidance on how to reach your goals from the moment you walk onto the floor.
That said, if you are interested in taking a specific skill training further, our instructors do offer personal training. From handstands to side lever, from ring work to injury recovery, our instructors offer tailored programs that support your GymnasticBodies training.
Header Photograph by
Learn more about the insanely talented instructorsand the wide range of classesthat Awaken Gym offers.
Our workouts should reflect our goals. As we head into a new year, and everyone’s thinking about goals and fresh intentions, (especially for our bodies after all the holiday parties), it’s helpful to ask “What is my goal for my body?”
Is it to drop weight? Gain weight? Decrease fat? Increase muscle? Do we want to tone up, trim down or simply maintain what we’ve got? Is our goal to get in the best shape of our lives, or learn new physical skills? Whatever our goal is, Awaken Gym in Denver can help us get there.
Awaken’s unique approach to fitness will challenge your body in new ways, which is the best way to get new results. Mentally, emotionally, and physically, we’re built to respond and adapt to change and opposing energy. So if we want to get in the best shape of our lives this year, we’ll want to make sure we’re sufficiently challenged, not just maintaining the status quo.
The experience of working out at Awaken has changed the minds and bodies of tons of Denver athletes already. This year, you can be one of them.
Never had much upper body strength? Adult gymnastics training in Denver at Awaken will help you get that. Never been able to see those little lines around your tummy? Working on new skills in every class at Awaken will bring them out of hiding. Always wished you had more flexibility? Even one stretch class a week at Denver’s Best Gymwill make you more limber and comfortable in other activities.
These kinds of outstanding physical results, from students with no previous gymnastics training, are why Awaken has been awarded the Denver A-List’s number one spot for two years since it’s opening in 2013.
But looks aren’t everything. Awaken students love their gym because it’s fun too. Voted Westword’s Best of Denver and 5280’s Top of the Town in 2015, it’s clear Awaken has something special to offer adventurous athletes in the Mile High city. Even the fitness expert at Fox31 in Denver found Awaken to be one of Colorado’s Best gyms for getting ripped and having fun.
Header Photograph by
How will your workouts reflect your goals in 2018? If you’re ready to find out what the best you looks like, come join us at Awaken gymnastics in Denver and get to it!
Each and every Awaken Gym class is designed to educate, train and support students in the gymnastics practice, wherever they are in their fitness journey.
While most people think gymnastics as a sport is only accessible to the young and already fit communities, GymnasticBodies creator, Coach Christopher Sommer, knows there is much the gymnastics practice has to offer every athlete, at any fitness level. Awaken instructors carry this belief into every class, providing detailed instruction alongside careful observation and demonstration, so that every student leaves class with a better physical and mental grasp of each skill.
While instructors do their best to meet each student’s needs and provide balanced support throughout each class, it’s up to the students to make the most of the time and instruction. Here are a few things students can do to get the greatest benefits from every class at Awaken:
Listen to instructor cues
Awaken is unique because instructors aren’t simply telling students to perform this skill or do that drill. Instead, they’re breaking down every movement so that athletes can better understand the muscle activations required in every technique, and painting a vivid picture of what the movement should look like once we’ve mastered it. There’s a wealth of information in every class if we’re paying attention.
Pay attention to your body
In order to get the most out of any class or progress at any gymnastics skill, we have to pay the utmost attention to what our bodies are feeling and how our muscles are responding to each movement. In most fitness environments, except for maybe yoga, this kind of attention isn’t given to the body, only to the skills. We do, do, do, without really thinking about how our bodies are responding to the movements. This is a huge detriment in gymnastics. When we can learn to pay close attention to our bodies and how they’re performing, we’ll begin to understand ourselves and the practice better, and progress more quickly.
If you don’t feel it, say so
If we’re doing a handstand drill on the ground that’s meant to engage our traps and upper back, yet we don’t feel anything in our traps or upper back, we should call the instructor over and mention it. If we’re doing a stretch in flexibility class that is meant to open up our shoulders and we feel nothing, we should say so. Instructors aren’t mind readers, so if we’re confused about what we should be feeling or think we may be performing a skill incorrectly, we’ll do ourselves and them a favor by flagging them over and asking.
Awaken classes are interactive. Rather than chatting it up about our weeks in between sets, it’s a time to listen to the valuable instruction from teachers and ask questions that will enhance our practice. If something comes up for us during class, we can raise our hand to ask the instructor, approach them during a break or after class and ask. Awaken wants to empower every athlete with not only the skills but the knowledge to build a solid foundation and gymnastics practice.
Ask for modifications
If there’s a particular skill that’s just not coming for us, we can always ask for a modification. Most times, instructors will offer modifications for advanced skills, but it’s certainly ok and encouraged to ask for modifications for any skill at any level. Often we have tweaks or injury flare ups that instructors aren’t aware of. It’s a good idea to ask for modifications if a particular movement isn’t accessible or comfortable for us at this time.
Seek partner feedback
Our partners are a valuable source of feedback for us, both for our own gymnastics skills and our spotting technique. In this practice, being a good spotter is just as important as grasping a particular skill, and no one can give us that feedback better than our partners. We should ask for and give as much insight as possible from our partners during class. Doing so will help us both gain and provide maximum benefit in each class.
Even if there’s a skill we’re not sure we can do, we should try it. It’s often scary to attempt something like parallel bar swings or parallette handstands when we’re not sure if we have the strength, but half the battle in gymnastics is getting our bodies used to the movements. Don’t be shy about asking for a heavy spot when needed, and make the attempt. Your coaches are there for you and next time, there will be less fear.
When we can give our best to every class we’ll gain the best from every class. There’s a lot to learn in gymnastics and each class we take can get us closer to the gymnastics practice and gymnastics body we want, if we make the most of it.
Header Photograph by Keziah Kelsey, Awaken ladies developing their straight arm strength using LARS.
Remember that you can make the most out of each class at Awaken Gym in Denver Colorado,
There are a lot of gyms that advertise the best strength training in Denver. Awaken Gym is for real, though.
Unless you’ve come from a gymnastics background, and maybe even if you have, you’re guaranteed to experience at least one training exercise (and probably several) that are completely new to you in the very first class. This is because, while strength training comes in many forms and flavors, gymnastics strength training in Denver is uniquely designed to develop every muscle in the body.
Having regularly practiced some form of fitness since high school, I was familiar with many workout styles and even got certified as a personal trainer at one point. Still, in almost 15 years of training and training others, I never knew what real total body fitness was until practicing gymnastics strength training. Discovering Awaken truly was an awakening!
Rather than focusing on only the biggest or most easily trained muscle groups, gymnastics strength training zeros in on the small, often neglected muscles like the serratus, medial glutes, diaphragm, brachioradialis (forearm flexor at the elbow), wrist and finger muscles, and more.
Sample classes at Awaken Gym the best strength training in Denver.
Gymnastics technique requires strength in every one of these obscure muscles. But activation and recruitment can be a challenge because most athletes aren’t used to using them. In fact, at first these muscles can be difficult to find. After four years of training, finding and engaging my serratus is still a challenge! That’s why I keep coming back, because the best strength training in Denver is at Awaken Gym. No other fitness facility teaches students to have such an extensive range of motion and total body engagement, not even yoga.
When you work out this way, it shows. Most of us don’t get strong just for the heck of it. We want to use our strength to do something exciting and we want to see that strength on the outside. The day I realized I had the six pack I’d always wanted was a day of huge victory in my own fitness journey. Not that I hadn’t tried for it before, but average ab workouts fall short, which is why they don’t give us the results we want.
Most athletes trying to get good abs do core exercises which consist of primarily outer, upper abdominal moves. But the abdominals are a actually a much bigger package. In addition to the rectus abdominus that most strength training programs focus on, the core is also comprised of internal and external obliques, erector spinae (along the spine) and an inner layer of stabilizing muscles called the transverse abdominus. Gymnastics isn’t possible without engagement and strength in all the abs, which is why that glorious outline I’d always dreamed about came true when I started training consistently.