AUSTIN, Texas — We all want to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors in Austin. That's why we live here. But we also want to feel confident about how we look.
Going to a gym does not have to be intimidating. It can be fun! Angela Gargano, a fitness expert and four-time American Ninja Warrior, joined us for a tour of three Austin gyms you can go to to feel and look good.
"I'm really excited to take everyone through these three different gyms," Gargano said. "I feel like so many people think that getting fit has to be about getting the bikini body, or they might go to the gym and feel a little bit intimidated."
"There's really tons of places that you can go. And, especially in Austin, it's so friendly. There's such an amazing community and everybody encourages you to lift you up," Gargano added.
Our first stop was Austin Ninjas.
"[We have] a lot of parents that come in here just to have their kids do it and then they're like, 'Oh, wait, that looks like fun, I want to try that,'" said Jennifer Halla, owner of Austin Ninjas.
"You can take your time if you want," Gargano joked as KVUE's Rob Evans tried out the course.
"A lot of times we have ninjas who have been on 'American Ninja Warrior,' like Nick," Halla said.
"I was on the show twice, season 10 and 11," said Nick Fordney, the youth programs manager at Austin Ninjas.
He said his favorite part of working at the gym is that everyone starts at a different level and "it's really fun to watch them grow."
Our second stop after Austin Ninjas was Squatch Frontier Fitness.
"This is actually the reason I moved to Austin," Gargano said. "This team has an amazing community and are really, really big on functional movement and training."
Danielle Gertner is a community leader at Squatch. She said one of the words that she would use to describe the atmosphere there is "play."
"I feel that, especially as a woman going into the gym, I think back to when I first started working out, not necessarily knowing what to do or who to talk to. There's so much magic waiting on the other side of that fear," Gertner said. "And if you want to get from point A to point B, you don't have to know exactly how to get from point A to point B. You just have to decide that you want to get from point A to point B."
Stop three on our tour was Atomic Athlete.
"We don't have any requirements for fitness or for age or for anything," owner Jordan Smothermon said. "The only currency that we have here is effort. That's all we want from people."
"One of the most common things I hear from people, they think that they're not ready for our program. And so they'll say, 'Well, I need to train before I come in here.' But that's exactly what we do for people: we train them," Smothermon added.
And clients have seen results.
"We have had so many emails," Smothermon said. "The mother of two who thinks that, you know, her days of being able to train and be fit are behind her and now she's squatting, you know, 185 pounds. It's little things like that that almost matter more than that kind of like cool high-speed guy who's young and athletic and makes it through that Special Forces pipeline."
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