This New Strength-Training Gym Makes Being a Newbie Way Less Scary

IGNITE class | Photo via Facebook

IGNITE class | Photo via Facebook

What with all the grunting, bulging muscles and weights that weigh more than you, walking into a barbell gym to strength train on your own when you have little to no experience can be a bit intimidating. But Northern Liberties’ newly opened War Horse Barbell Club has taken the scary factor out of the equation with their strength-training program, designed to get average Joes and Janes — who may or may not be new to the gym world — in the best shape ever.

We chatted with co-owner Chris Semick to get the lowdown on the gym and what folks can expect and, as he explains, the 2nd Street facility offers a few different services: one-on-one personal training, open gym (geared toward folks in the competitive powerlifting and bodybuilding worlds), and IGNITE, their small group workout classes for regular folks trying to get in tip-top shape. They’ve also teamed up with Fishtown’s Grace and Glory to offer a weekly yoga-esque class called Reload to all their members.

The IGNITE program — i.e. the less-scary alternative to hitting a strength-training gym solo – consists of 45-minute small group classes led by a trainer. As the website says, “You will deadlift. You will squat. You will pull, press, jump, and sprint. You will swing kettlebells, and smash our battle ropes.” And yeah, that might sound a teeny bit frightening to a newbie, but as Semick says, “When people walk out, we want them to feel a little better. No one should walk out feeling like they’ve been hit by a bus.”

As Semick explains, the gym’s focus — especially with the IGNITE program — is to help people build a strong foundation and work up from there. So it only makes sense that before you make it to the regular IGNITE program, you’ll have a one-on-one session with a trainer (complimentary) and complete a six-class Foundations class to get you up to snuff. Then, once you’ve done that, you can hit up the IGNITE class however often you’d like, and before you know it, you’ll be a strength-training master. The gym currently offers IGNITE classes Monday through Fridays at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m.

You can learn more about the gym here.

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