FAQs

Am I going to be lost in class?

No. In addition to the Introductory Training you will undergo (in which you will learn/refine our basic curriculum of movements) we actually teach our Strength & Conditioning classes. You will be given instruction and direction every day, and will catch on quickly.

Do I need prior experience in order to safely participate in your training?

No. In fact, sometimes less experience equals fewer bad habits! We train all levels of strong-minded individual, and we would rather train those that need it than those that already have it.

How will I know what I’m doing when I begin taking classes?

Once you complete your Introductory Training (usually 3, 1-hour sessions), we’ll ‘clear you for action’. At that point, you can jump into classes! Once we clear you, we are confident that you will be able to participate safely and progressively in our group classes.

How many times per week should I train?

Down the line, it will depend on your goals and needs, as well as other factors. A great quote from Mark Twight is, “Don’t do the work if you don’t have the balls to rest.” Contrary to much of the current functional fitness mindset, more is not always more. For new trainees, 3 days a week is a great start. Once you are moving well, recovering properly, and making progress, add a 4th day!

I don’t want to bulk up. If I lift more than a 10lb. kettlebell, will I bulk up?

No. If you lift nothing but 10lb. kettlebells, all you will accomplish is not getting stronger. ‘Bulking up’ happens with LOTS of training, LOTS of food, and LOTS of weight. It’s not usually something that just sneaks up on you. You WILL look strong, have more muscle/tone, and your clothes will fit differently.

I want to bulk up. Do you guys lift enough weights for me to bulk up?

Bigger? Yes. Bulk? No. We lift, carry, and swing enough weight for you to get bigger and stronger. We also do enough smart bodyweight training for you to retain flexibility and range of motion. In our version of fitness, one without the other is a half-empty glass.

Some of the things on your website look scary. Are you guys mean?

No! We are aware that our perspective and aesthetic are a little unusual, but in addition to them being rooted in backgrounds that we are very proud of, we also believe that – in our case – different is good! Our gym houses the most helpful, considerate, genuine group of people I have ever worked with, and I began martial arts in 1998 and CrossFit in 2002!

Should I ‘work on my cardio’ before beginning training at Wolf Brigade?

NO! (Are there bigger capital letters than that?!) If you haven’t been training, there is no reason to start doing long, slow runs or unenthusiastic time on an elliptical prior to starting with us. Come in, learn to move properly, work hard, and the rest will sort itself out.

I’ve heard about kettlebell training, but never tried it. There are cheaper kettlebell classes out there. Is Wolf Brigade better?

Yes. While there may be some quality programs around, Wolf Brigade offers more experience, time in the trenches, and dedication to detail than any of them. Combine that with specific, attentive instruction in each class and it all translates into more progress for you.

Our group Strength & Conditioning training offers excellent value for money. Our classes offer the intensity and individual attention of personal training, with the added benefit of working with great training partners at a much lower cost than private sessions. While our pricing cannot be compared with a typical gym, shopping around similar crossfit-style training in Rochester will reveal our $125/month for ‘all you can eat’ classes is very competitive, indeed!

I used to be in good shape, but I’m not right now. Am I going to feel like an outcast for lifting less weight and going a little slower at first?

No, and don’t allow yourself to. Everyone starts somewhere, and a majority of our members began exactly where you are. The group is supportive (but not patronizing), no one will ever look sideways at you for taking your time to learn, and effort is always king. Output will come, but working as hard as you can starts from day one.

I’ve tried CrossFit. There were things I liked and things I didn’t. Is Wolf Brigade different?

Yes. For lack of a better way of putting it, we more closely resemble “old-school” CrossFit, with more basic weightlifting and more kettlebell lifting. We hammer the details, actually teach classes, don’t give a shit about your outfit, promote competition with yourself and much less with the clock or a training partner, and we know that “more” is not simply “more”. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we know how to make people strong, fast, powerful, empowered, and mentally strong, without throwing you into the fire and simply screaming louder.

I haven’t tried CrossFit, but everyone’s talking about it. Is Wolf Brigade kind of similar?

Yes, in the sense that ‘crossfit’ is a generalist training program that includes varied movements, rep schemes, and weights. The main difference is in the details, and the application of them. We favor quality and specificity over volume, and prioritize position, basic strength and quality of movement over speed and intensity with all new trainees. We do “Functional Fitness” better than 99% of the CrossFit affiliates in the Rochester area.

I don’t like the idea of CrossFit, mainly because I don’t want to feel like a reject in a room full of jocks with their shirts off. Does that happen at Wolf Brigade?

No, it absolutely does not. Although training shirtless may take a whole 5-7 seconds off the completion time of any given workout, we have found, scientifically, that training with all your clothes on in a group setting makes you way less of an asshole. So, you can risk possibly adding a few seconds to a conditioning workout, or up to 40% to your asshole-index. We choose to add the seconds and keep our clothes on.

I’m a martial artist that has never done any additional strength training, but would like to. Is Wolf Brigade a good fit?

Yes. Not only will our brand of Strength & Conditioning improve your ability to perform, endure, and excel in your martial art, but many of our movements are based on positions found in combat sports, striking, and grappling applications. Our background is martial arts, so our conditioning movements are always considering them.

What happens if I simply cannot perform the training on any given day?

While that very seldom happens, if it does it is addressed on a case-by-case basis. If an injury or a positional problem is the issue, it is addressed immediately and specifically. If desire to completed the designated task is the issue, then we expect someone to take a quick re-set and get back to work. Safety considered, once you walk in for the day, you’re in.

I participate in soccer/kickball/rock climbing/bike riding/skateboarding/martial arts/football. Will this type of training improve my performance?

Yes. Good movement is good movement, regardless of the field you’re playing on! Strength, coordination, position, and power earned in the gym transfer directly to our interests outside it. That’s the point!

I have asthma. Will I be able to train properly and still make progress?

Most likely. We have had many people with asthma begin training with us while still using inhalers, and through the use of specific breathing and focus (and the resulting improvement in cardiovascular health and lung capacity), they were no longer needed. Some very serious asthma may require different strategies. There is only one way to find out…

Do you write programs for people in other areas and/or with different goals?

Yes. Based on goals/needs, equipment available, training alone/with a partner/in a group/ on tour with a band, recovering from injury- you name it, and we can specifically address it. Contact us if you have questions.

Do you address diet? Will I still make progress if I want to follow my own diet?

Yes, of course we do. Diet is more important than training when it comes to general, long-term health. And while any new trainee will make progress when they begin, adopting and maintaining a simple, proven way of eating will serve you far better in the mid- and long- term than any “diet” (and certainly better than guessing on your own, watching TV, listening to Dr. Oz, or believing anything the FDA, grocery stores, or food packages tell you). We’ll guide you to keep it simple, keep it clean, and log your results.

Do you have a place where I can change?

Yes! Each changing room features carnival mirrors and armed guards. We’ve spared no expense to make sure you look thin and feel safe. (…yes we have large private bathrooms and a more common enclosed changing area for you to use.)

What can I do at home to help improve my training?

Eat great, move more. If there are basics you struggle with, ask for a home skill work program to improve them!

Do you offer personal training?

Yes. Private training can be used as supplemental/skill building to regular classes, or to begin learning something that you haven’t yet tried such as kickboxing, the Odd Lifts, and more. Contact us for appointments.

When will I start seeing progress?

You will start making progress the minute you begin training. You’ll start seeing it in the mirror shortly after, provided you’re eating like an athlete and not a high-school student.

I usually exercise every day. Is that too much?

Yes. Especially when it comes to proper Strength & Conditioning training. Rest and recovery are crucial components of making progress. You can’t work as hard as you can every day and expect your body to rebuild at the same time. We recommend 3-4 training days per week as a beginner, and as your base-level strength and conditioning improve, additions can be made when needed!

I’ve never been very flexible. Will this help? Will I be able to perform the movements?

Yes. Not all – but many – flexibility/positional limitations can be improved by performing basic movements at full range of motion, and spending the time on the accompanying mobility drills. We are very specific on both position and range, and are always happy to help people improve their performance.

Looking at the website, I don’t know that I can handle the volume/intensity/specificity of the workouts. What if I can’t?

If our style training is interesting to you, and the results seem appealing, you can. Putting forth the effort and attention needed to do things correctly will come naturally, and working in our great group will help you along. We are specific, much of the training is hard, and we are also among the best in the world at instructing, programming, and scaling all that we expect people to perform.

Does it get easier?

If done correctly, it never gets “easy”. As your strength and capacity increase, you become more confident, and less overwhelmed. The focus needed to make progress becomes a motivator, and not a fear. Just like martial arts, there is progress to be made forever. Who the hell wants “easy”?

Is there an age limit? I think I am way too old.

No there is not, and no, you are not.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for a class?

Please be punctual, clean, hydrated, ready to learn, and excited about the progress you are about to make. A strong mind and a desire to progress will take you as far as you want to go at Wolf Brigade.

This all sounds awesome. How do I start? How much does it cost?

Contact us to get started! First, we’ll schedule your introductory training. Once that is complete, you’re cleared for joining our Group Training. We offer a competitive rate of $125/month. We don’t take anyone for less than 3 months (but never contract anyone after that).

Is there a limit on the number of classes I can attend per week/month?

Only a “listen to your body” limit! We have found through experience that offering partitioned memberships (2 days a week, 3 days a week) may get us a few more members, but is a progress-limiter for many that choose that path. We keep a very reasonable rate ($125/mo.) and allow people to come as often as they choose.