Sitting down, waiting for my shuttle bus to come and take me to the Sacramento MEPS where I’ll be getting ready to leave for bootcamp, I think back to the Cap City journey I’ve embarked with the amazing Cap City family.
This gym is absolutely amazing. From amazing coaches, to hands on teaching, to loving and supportive gym teammates.. This gym is beyond perfect. Capitol City has seriously contributed to a part of my mental & physical growth. Coach Sean, Stacy, Ant, and Trevor all have tremendous patience and kindness that transfers over to their teachings.
I would’ve never thought I’d be making another family when looking for a gym. Capitol City isn’t a regular gym. We’re a family. I’m proud to call myself a #capcitybbc (Capitol City Barbell Club) member. This gym is going to make it somewhere. Everyone is destined for greatness & success here. It’s nothing but positivity here. Everybody’s driven by this hunger – hunger & determination for a better lifestyle & a better future.
I can say, whole heartedly, that Capitol City Strength & Conditioning will always hold a spot in my heart and in my life. Irreplaceable relationships have been developed, lifelong friendships have been built.
I’m not certain if this would even pass as a testimonial, but I can assure you (whoever is reading this) that Capitol City is a gym that will impact your life in a positive way. There’s honestly no place like home. I’ll be back soon, everyone!
“…I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”
Are you stoked to throw on your workout clothes and head to the gym? No? Then you need to get to Capitol City Strength and Conditioning!
After moving from the Bay Area to Sacramento, I was on the hunt for a new gym. I had left behind a great Crossfit gym in American Canyon, and was a bit anxious to find a spot where I enjoyed both the workouts and the people.
I’m so lucky to have found Capitol City Strength and Conditioning! I had visited 3 other gyms in the Sacramento area, and none were as friendly or knowledgeable as the coaches (and members!) of Cap City.
Trainers Sean, Trevor, and Anthony worked with me individually the entire first week, evaluating my current fitness levels, modifying workouts based on my experience, and correcting my form when necessary. The coaches’ attention to detail and form is outstanding, and they are incredibly encouraging!
It’s not just the coaches that make Cap City great! All the members are friendly, welcoming, and supportive, regardless of your fitness level! The gym provides plenty of laughs as well as PRs, and it’s always a joy to step in the doors for a workout. This place is never boring!
Aside from great members and coaches, Capitol City differs from many traditional gyms in that they offer individualized programming based on your fitness goals. No need to stick to only one style of workout program for your entire gym life! Capitol City offers the following programs, customized to fit your needs: Olympic Lifting, Power Lifting, as well as their General and Advanced Conditioning Classes. You can switch between programs as you like – I’ve had a chance to try all of them, and they’re fantastic! It’s been incredibly fun and refreshing to try different class cycles depending on my fitness goals. Additionally, being able to walk into the gym, knowing all my exercises are pre-arranged, and under the guidance of a trainer, makes exercise SO EASY.
I’ve seen vast strength improvements with my 10 months at Cap City, as well as being able to try programming I might not have been able to experience at a traditional Crossfit only or regular gym. If you’re looking for a welcoming gym, with experienced trainers, and an opportunity to try a variety of programs, Cap City is the place for you!
If you are looking for a gym to push your limits, gain serious strength, and to be a part of a great fitness community, this place is for you.
I was an avid ‘garage workout’ enthusiast for many years, my workouts consisted of routines found on YouTube, fitness blogs, and DVD’s. I thought I was pushing myself but I wasn’t really gaining the results I wanted. Then Capitol City Strength and Conditioning was recommended to me by a member and I was introduced to a whole new level of fitness.
This is a gym where your fitness level, your form, and your overall wellbeing are taken into high consideration. My first week was spent working one-on-one with one of the trainers. We focused on form – a lot. I learned I had been making many mistakes lifting at home. Once my form was corrected, I was able to lift more and feel a lot better the next day. This is part of the way Cap City is different: instead of pushing you through a series of lifts or a ‘WOD’ with only a brief set of instructions, the trainers take the time to help prevent injuries by making sure you perform your movements correctly, every time.
We progressed through several different lifts throughout the week and I was feeling pretty good. Now I’m not saying the workouts were easy – they weren’t. I was pushed to do different lifts and routines that I was not used to. The trainers evaluated my strengths and weaknesses and made me tackle those weaknesses (legs) I had been ignoring for many years. I was being pushed out of my comfort zone and it made me feel weak, but only at first. I gained strength each week with the guidance from trainers who want you to progress steadily and safely. That is the beauty of this place, you have a trainer by your side to push you to your limit, make corrections as you need them, and congratulate you at the end.
I started in the General Conditioning class and learned the basics of correct weightlifting. A few months later I decided to join the Advanced Conditioning class to learn the Olympic lifts and add in higher intensity metabolic conditioning. I have never done anything so intense in my life! Every workout has been a challenge. But they have been fun, they show you what you are really capable of, and they get results. I have seen a wide range of improvements in my personal fitness levels from raw strength to performing Olympic lifts that I could not have done if I were working out at home by myself.
And on those days when you’re just not feeling it and you’re struggling to finish a workout; you will most likely hear your name being shouted out to get that last rep in or other words of encouragement from your fellow members. Also, when you hit the new PR or finish a full workout for the first time, or just show up after a hiatus, the members here are happy for you. This gym has a great community of fitness enthusiasts who are supportive, friendly and appreciate a good sense of humor. They know what it is like to step outside of your comfort zone and know that there is no success without some failures. After all, we’re all working toward that same goal, we all have to go through the same struggles and we all need that little extra push sometimes to get it done.
Whether you are looking to getting into working out for the first time or searching for a new challenge this place is for you. This gym has transformed my fitness level beyond what I thought I was capable of and it will do the same for you.
What I love most about Capitol City Strength and Conditioning is the quality of coaching that I get every single time I show up. I am never asked to do something that I do not know how to do, but I am ALWAYS being pushed to go outside of my comfort zone and to make some real progress! I am always looking forward to going to the gym. When I was attending commercial gyms like 24, I never felt like I could make any real progress. I never pushed myself hard enough, and always found an excuse for why I wasn’t losing the weight. Coach Sean is dedicated to what he does, and he cares about all of his athletes. He knows us all by name and wants all of us to succeed! All of the coaches are certified and friendly, and the athletes at Cap City are awesome too! We are all a family! We have no ‘egos’, and any ‘pride’ you have is left at the door. When you walk in here, you are overwhelmed with encouragement and have a feeling like you can do hard things!
I grew up with an athletic background, but I was never in very good shape. I was always eating poorly while working out, or I wasn’t working out at all. I eventually got up to 192 lbs, and I was only 5’3”. I had virtually no confidence, and I felt like I could not wear any of my clothes anymore. My breaking point was when I had to buy a size 13 jeans, and they were still too snug. I knew I needed to find something that would push me beyond my limits and help me find the confidence to succeed. Then, in the summer of 2013, I found Cap City!
I started out slow with General Conditioning, but when I lost some weight I decided it was time for more. In January of 2014 I found Olympic Weightlifting, and I haven’t looked back since! I had to go through the strength building program, and it was rough. I couldn’t do a single pull up or pushup off my knees! For me, Coach Sean in particular was a huge motivator. He helped me find the drive to work my way up to a level where I could compete, and I am forever thankful for that! My max Snatch went from 65lbs to 60kg/132lbs, my Clean&Jerk went from 80lbs to 70kg/154lbs, and my Back squat went from 100lbs to 200lbs, all in just around 8 months! I’m currently weighing in around 159lbs, and have lost a TON of body fat. My confidence has gone up, and I even scored a husband in the process!
The key thing here is that I chose to stick with this. I showed up, and I never gave up completely. There is no ‘magic pill’ or ‘overnight fix.’ You need consistency, you need to show up. You need to be willing to work hard and the success will come! I am the happiest and healthiest that I have been in my life, and I will never look back!
I hate being terrible at things. That comes with the territory when you’re the classic “overachiever”. You want a birthday gift? Let me find you the greatest, rarest birthday gift that no one will ever get you, because I want to win at gifts. I want to win at being an awesome friend. I’ll come rescue you at 3am when you’re drunk and need a ride. Because I need to win.
Winning at those things has always come naturally to me. I take to being social like a sponge to water. I am a butterfly in that way.
Fitness? Not so much.
I’ve always loved the word “can’t”. Over the years it has become a close friend of mine. It’s easier to say “can’t”, because trying would mean risking being terrible. And I hate being terrible. It’s much easier to crack the joke, say “I can’t do that”, laugh, eat a taco and drink a beer. I’ll sit here and watch as you struggle to lift and move things. It’s far more delicious and less sweat inducing from this vantage point, here in my comfy chair at full recline. I didn’t want to take the risk. I didn’t want to try.
I wouldn’t have to let everyone know I’d be terrible at it, look like an idiot, be the exhibit in some weird experiment. “Look at Catherine, guys! See how out of shape she is? Let’s watch as she attempts to squat, falls over flailing on her way down, landing with a big splat.” Cue laughter.
This is what I honestly believed for years. Exercise? Get out of here. I hated running. I hated sweating. And even if I could get over both of those things, I wouldn’t know where to start. I had never honestly exercised in my entire life for more than one or two days, and even then the goal wasn’t truly trying to build strength or muscle. It was just trying to get through it and not accidentally die in the process, afterwards regretting every moment and already planning my lack of return.
About two years ago, I met Stacy. We worked together at a law firm. She was short, cute, bubbly, and strong. She was also annoyingly persistent. “When are you coming to my gym? My gym is awesome. You should come work out with us. It’s a lot of fun!”
The gym is that place where people are tortured and pushed until they feel like dying, right? Yeah… I’ll pass. You have a weird idea of “fun”, lady. For two years she hinted. Every time I turned her down. I’m too poor. I’m too busy. I can’t. The real answer? I was afraid.
About six months ago, I moved in with Stacy and got to know Sean and some of the members of Capitol City Strength and Conditioning. It was easy for me to sit back before I met people at the gym and just think “these people are high on the ‘kool-aid’”, like Cap City was a cult that specialized in brainwashing people into falling in love with lifting. But in reality, as I got to know people, I realized there was no Kool-Aid or cult. People just genuinely really liked supporting each other and pushing each other to achieve whatever they wanted to. Like a weird family. Just with more lululemon, protein, and peanut butter.
As I got to know people, I trusted them. I trusted that even though I’d never, ever go to the gym, if I did I know they’d be decent to me. If I did, no one would look at me like, “What in the world is this girl doing here?” If I did, maybe Sean could help me. Maybe.
I finally gave up resisting in April after being asked to be in my friend’s wedding. I didn’t want to be terrible at bridesmaid-ing and part of that is looking decent. Looking decent means going to the gym. Going to the gym means sweating and being terrible. But for once, I was going to try. Why? As Sean told me, “You’re probably going to be terrible. Everyone is terrible when they first start something. Beethoven probably sucked a lot at the piano. You’re not Beethoven. You’re never going to be Beethoven. But if you go to the gym, you’ll gradually not suck as much. But in the beginning… yeah, you’ll probably be terrible.”
Over the past three months, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m weak. I already knew that one. I also really suck at a lot of fitness-related activities. Anything involving upper body, anything involving a resistance band, anything involving lunges.
I’m also a lot stronger than I thought I was. I can lift more than I thought I could. I can run harder and faster than I thought I was capable of. I can push my body harder than I thought imaginable. I like the way I feel about myself after I do. I can do a lot, as it turns out.
All of that is because of this gym. It’s because of these people. It’s because of people like Sean, who know when to push and know when to ease. After the first week at the gym, I couldn’t move my legs. Squats had rendered the connection between my brain and body useless. So what did Sean do when I had to do squats? He literally held my arms, went down in a squat with me, and helped me push my body back up. Because that’s the kind of guy he is. He sees that I hide behind “can’t” because I’m afraid, and instead of giving in (like I often allow myself to), he makes me see that I can.
What I’m trying to say is this – yes, I could find a cheaper gym. I could find a gym closer to my house. But I wouldn’t want to. Because I want MY gym. I want people who notice when my squats have improved, or my upper arm strength is getting better. I want people who remembered how horrible I felt after the first day of squats, and see how much I can do now.
What I’ve learned most of all from the last three months is that I still can’t do a lot. Can’t is still a favorite word of mine. But I can do more than last week, two weeks ago, or a month ago. And I will do more, because I’ve got the right people who push me, motivate me, and believe in me. They believe in me more than I believe in myself. They’ll believe in you too. You just have to try.