Krista VanCauwenberghe


I started going to the gym in February 2018, shortly after moving back to the area. However, I had been following the Southwest Strength instagram for a while before that, thinking to myself “how are these people so strong!,” and “I want to be able to do that.” I have always been athletic and highly competitive. After high school I was able to stay active playing rec sports and running, but it just wasn’t the same. This gym fulfills my competitive side. Waking up at 6 every morning to go to the gym and trying to be better/stronger/faster than I was a week ago. The competition with myself and my goals has turned into my favourite way to start my day. 

Stepping into the gym for my first class was super intimidating. Even though I have been to several gyms before, this was the first time I’ve ever been in a class setting like this. However, the coaches and other members were more than welcoming and it didn’t take long until it felt like I belonged to this awesome community that Sara and Nathan built. 

My main goal when starting at the gym was to get stronger. Since starting, I have put on over 10 lbs of muscle in 18 months and have lost an inch or two on my waist (wish I took before measurements!) I have doubled almost all of my lifts since starting (back squat, deadlift, clean, etc) and have improved on skill work such as pull ups and toes to bar. The first couple months I felt like I could barely get through a scaled workout. Now I’m doing almost every workout RX. Skills that I never thought I would ever be able to do, like BMU and strict HSPU are attainable, realistic goals now. It is obvious that Nathan and Sara truly care about each and every member. They have a way of motivating you, and making you want to push to be your best. Not only that but they are very knowledgeable and emphasize form. They can modify any workout to suit your skill level, and if you have an injury or limitation they always know how to work around it in order to provide a safe, yet still efficient, workout for you.  I quickly learned to trust the coaches, show up every day, put in the work, and the results will show. The best thing about this gym is that it’s sustainable. My lifestyle overall has improved. My previous lifestyle included being a full time student, working 2 jobs and running a few miles regularly for exercise- living off granola bars and veggies because it was easy, always being in a calorie deficit, and thinking this was “healthy.” I now eat to fuel my body, giving it the macros it needs to fuel me for the gym and my physically demanding job. Overall, my energy, mood, confidence have all increased. I feel like I finally have a balance between working out, food, work, and life. And I also don’t have knee pain when I run now- thanks to stronger muscles! 

The coaches and members at this gym are some of the nicest, most supportive people I know. Whether your new to the gym scene and want to increase your quality of life, or your a high level athlete looking to step up your game, I would recommend these guys over and over.

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