michael.colin

michael.colin

What’s it like to train at Wasatch Fitness Academy?

When you first come into Wasatch Fitness Academy, you’ll notice that we prioritize learning skills, movement patterns, and paying attention to how things feel. Our goal is that you learn to move in ways which will serve you well for the rest of your life, not just for today and tomorrow, or losing 20 pounds of fat.


When we started Wasatch Fitness Academy, it was with a singular vision in mind:

Create an adult playground.

Yes, we want to get fitter and healthier. We want to ski harder (and more days) and mountain bike more skillfully. We want to demonstrate strength with heavier and heavier weights, and we want to carry all the groceries into the house in a single trip.

And there are a ton of programs, facilities, gyms, and trainers who can help you do those things. What sets us apart is a two-part drive:

1. Joy.

2. Intensity layered onto a foundation of quality. 

Imagine the fittest person you can think of, and I’ll give you the most important aspect of their regimen: consistency. Results take time, and consistency. It’s not patience, it’s not intensity, it’s determination, faith in the process, and doing the work, day-in and day-out. Consistency.

And has two big killers: joylessness, and injury.

Yes, there are people who can grind away, day in and day out, and get the results they want. But are they having fun? If yes, great. If not, why not? Simply put, if your training is joyful, you’re more likely to engage in it consistently, find enjoyment in the process, and stick with it for the long term. And that, right there, that’s the secret to success. You’re welcome.

So our classes always include some form of play – tag, Spikeball, crawling races. And our classes are non-competitive – we’re all in this together, and we’re each working from a unique starting point. Your score on a workout is only important as a comparison to the last and next times you do that workout; much more important is what you felt, what you learned, and that you had a damned good time. Yes, it’s possible to have fun while you suffer. In fact, it’s a good thing.

What do you mean, intensity on a foundation of quality? 

There are plenty of workout programs that feature intensity; in fact, if someone tells you that you don’t ever need intensity, tell them to beat it – intensity comes in a range of flavors, and can (must!) be scaled up and down to meet you where you are. But think back to the fittest person you can bring to mind…do you think they apply intensity?

But intensity without quality is an injury-maker. Physical therapists benefit from intensity without quality, and their task as they help you rehab is to build a foundation of quality and then apply more intensity (in the form of speed, or load, or challenging tasks). We’re here to help you avoid the physical therapist. (Disclaimer: I have several PTs on speed dial, and I visit when I need them. We all need them from time to time, but better to have it be on your terms, and not because of a major injury.)

But what does a class look like?

Most classes are an hour long. We spend the first few minutes in play, often with a ball, as we chat and check-in. Then we explore joint range of motion and control, getting the brain talking to the muscles so we’re prepped for the work ahead. This is often 10 minutes. Here’s what it could look like in 5 1/2 seconds.

Next, we’ll go into the first piece of dynamic work – still a warm-up, but often could serve as a standalone workout. We may do some kettlebell swings, squats, crawling, or shoulder strength and mobility work. This is another 10 minutes.

And then we get to the meat of the session: strength or skill work. We may work with carries, squats, pull-ups, presses, or kettlebell get-ups. Depending on the task, this could be as short as 10 minutes, or as long as 30.

Next up, some conditioning work. This is where the programming at WFA is different than the majority of programming for group workout classes: we select exercises and pacing for conditioning that have low likelihood of injury. When we’re doing conditioning, we’re aiming to build either short or long event capacity – either “redline” capacity (how hard can you go for just a few seconds to a minute?) or “endurance” capacity (how consistently can you put out effort for a 10-60m session?). In either case, the rule is the same: we’ve got to avoid getting hurt, so we can do it again in a day or two. Conditioning work may be as short as 5 minutes, or as long as 60.

What equipment do we use?

Ah yes, the toys. Here’s the list, in no particular order; follow the links to read more about each.

  • Kettlebells
  • Body Weight
  • Sandbags
  • Battle Ropes
  • Sleds
  • Clubs
  • Maces
  • Barbells
  • Dumbbells
  • PVC Pipes
  • PVC Pipe 2/3 full of water (“Sloshy”)
  • Various Bands and Tubing

We’d love to meet you, and show you what we do – rather than just tell you. Sign up for your free into session below.

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