When you say the word Spartan you may think of Gerard Butler covered in dirt and blood, sweating under his helmet with deep cut lines defining his abs portraying King Leonidas. Even if that is not what you think of, the word Spartan means to most a warrior, a fighter with steadfast determination to fight ‘til the last breath.
Say the word fitness and it may take you time to try and define what that word means. You can come up with hundreds of definitions as to what fitness is, but again, when you say Spartan, you know immediately what that word means. Fitness has become an overused term that people throw around with no meaning behind it, no thought process, the latest fad that has hit the internet.
Spartan + Fitness = The best decision of my life. Spartan Fitness is a place that defines the spirit of those warriors we read about and idolize. Spartan Fitness takes science, proven method, mobility and process and makes you a stronger person both mentally and physically. The method is simple, the science is proven. Take a weight and move it, forward, backward, laterally; movement with resistance, proven exercises that are fundamentally sound in the results they provide.
I came to Spartan knowing before entering the building that I would be challenged like never before, I was right. I needed a change, I needed to regain my health. I was at the lowest point I had been at, battling depression and anxiety and having left a job that provided no sense of purpose. At just a month before turning 40, I stopped making excuses and contacted Chas. My weight was the heaviest it had ever been. 6’3” and 233 lbs. at 22.5% body fat. I knew that Spartan was the place I needed to change everything, my thought process, my overall focus of health and fitness and the person that I could be. After meeting with Chas, the plan was in place. Regular weekly group classes and personal training with Ian Valiton. Ian and I worked together for several weeks getting back to basics. Hard work, pushing through mental barriers, and being challenged to be the best that I could be.
After 6 months of joining the Spartan family I am now at 200lbs. and range around 14% body fat. I am physically stronger overall than I have ever been. My endurance is at a level I have not seen since high school football. Every time I walk through the door I am greeted by Chas and the workout he has for us Spartans that day. Spartan Fitness is a place I am proud to be a part of. There is no sense of judgement and no one standing in front of a mirror embracing their own vanity. Spartan Fitness is the place where men and women are taken out of the norm and forged into Spartans, those who stand out in a crowd, those who meet a challenge as an opportunity, those who embrace the words written on the walls as you walk in. EMPTY YOUR TANK, NO EXCUSES, and FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE!
I can’t recommend Spartan Fitness highly enough! I was fortunate to train there during the summer of 2016 while living in the Berkshires and it was awesome. Approaching the age of 40, my fitness level had been on a slow and steady decline and I was determined to do something about it. I set as two goals racing (not just finishing) a 5k and completing a Spartan Sprint race at the end of the summer. The training classes and community of members at Spartan Fitness helped me achieve both.
The classes are always different, fun, and challenging. The owner, Chas, does a great job at tailoring each class to the varying fitness levels of the participants while encouraging everyone to push themselves to achieve more. I always left the classes feeling like I had a great workout but energized for the rest of the day.
While losing weight wasn’t my top priority, I did track my weight and overall body composition over the course of the summer and was pleasantly surprised to lose over 18 lbs and lower my body fat percentage by 10%.
As for my main goals: In the 5k, I placed 2nd overall in my age group in a time that I haven’t been able to get close to in over 3 years. I also finished the Spartan Sprint and was able to run (and smile) the whole race! I know that the training I did at Spartan Fitness was instrumental at helping me reach these goals.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the great community of people that train there. They are amazing – very welcoming, supportive, and fun. If you live in the area and want to get fit, you’ve got to check it out.
As an avid runner and powerlifter i was always looking for new ways to increase my speed and distance and overall strength. I had done a couple Tough Mudders but felt I had gotten in over my head after registering for two ultra marathons and the Worlds Toughest Mudder 24 hour race.
I called Chas and said exactly that, “dude, I’m in over my head and I could use some help training for these. Can you help me?” And with that phone call the “outside the box” cross training began. And from Foundations class to Spartan Bootcamp to Cardio Blast, every class offered a challenge and at the end of class I was looking forward to the next class and the next challenge Chas would have for me.
Since starting training at Spartan Fitness in spring 2013, I’ve completed my first marathon, UltraMarathon, trail UltraMarathon, 2 back to back laps at Mt. Snow’s Tough Mudder and ran in the Worlds Toughest Mudder which ended my 2013 race season with the longest and toughest run to date. In the Worlds Toughest Mudder I completed about 45 miles as well as 176 military style obstacles within 24 hours. Chas I couldn’t have done it without your help!
The people that take classes at Spartan Fitness are all different from young to old, beginners to extreme athletes. There is a place for everyone at Spartan Fitness and I’m proud to be a member.
I came to Chas at Spartan Fitness due to his reputation as a specialist in corrective exercise. I had recently torn an Achilles and needed help recovering my strength and proprioception. Chas took the time to perform a full assessment on me that highlighted a weakness in my shoulder that explained my recurrent rotator problems as well as the compromised functioning of my lower left extremity. We worked together and Chas brought me from barely running to finishing the Mt. Snow Tough Mudder. I have a background in Sports Med and I can attest that Chas not only has a high degree of knowledge but that he also has the ability to leverage his wide knowledge base to increase the overall level of fitness and function in his clients. (I have found that these are two distinct attributes in trainers… Chas has both in spades!) I have recommended Chas to many people including family members and I recommend him to you! This guy is a top level trainer and it is a blessing to have him in The Berkshires!
I have been working out with Chas for 4 years now. I started training one on one with him after hurting my back; I was 2 years away from turning 40 and knew it was time to get myself into better shape. I had always worked out, mostly doing cardio with some free weights but never had a focused exercise plan. Chas assessed my strengths and weakness and customized my workouts and most importantly he made sure I was doing the exercises correctly.
When I started with Chas I could not do 5 pushups and could barley lift more than 10 or 15 lb weights and I certainly had no idea what a squat thrust jump was. His workouts were tough but they made me stronger and leaner. We worked together to set goals (flipping and dragging the tire, running a 5K and increasing weight on various exercises) to name a few and eventually through hard work accomplished each one.
At Spartan Fitness I train one on one with Chas and also partner up with other members for additional workouts and attend classes 3-4 times a week. I am the strongest I have ever been and we continue to set new goals and challenges. His workouts and classes are always different and challenging. The studio is great and has a variety of different workout tools including a climbing wall, rings, rope and tire. Chas encourages members to work out together; there are group hikes, snow shoe events and races that get posted on the event wall as well as other non workout gatherings like game night and concerts. I highly recommend Spartan Fitness and Chas for any fitness level and fitness goals.
Kathleen Friend MD
Integrative Psychiatry of the Berkshires
Chas Gonnello, owner of Spartan Fitness, is awesome! He has been my personal trainer for the past several months. What I really appreciate is his extensive knowledge and common sense. He is able to integrate ideas from many sources and is not one to jump on the latest ‘fitness craze’. He is the real deal and fun to work with. Chas is a great guide if you want to improve your fitness. I cannot recommend him enough.
I had to write and say thanks so much for the sets of exercises and the training you gave me before I left here for Haiti. My job ended up completely different than planned! Instead of working in a Cholera hospital, Medecins Sans Fronters sent me to a tiny sea side village called Le Borgne on the other side of the island to Port au Prince.
The earthquake did not touch this place but the cholera hit hard, and with it being so isolated we are small team who have set up 2 cholera hospitals and mobilized a force of volunteers from villages in the mountains to provide; filtered water to people, a place for people to wash their hands and to give rehydration salts to those affected with cholera, to keep them going on the trip down the mountains (carried by family) to one of the cholera hospitals.
So I have the amazing job of meeting with the volunteers once and week and finding out what follow up is needed and then spending the rest of the week hiking up to remote areas that have no road access. It is an amazing privilege to see how these people are supporting their own community with the result that the cholera is now almost over.
If it wasn’t for the training you gave me I would not be able to do this job!!. Last Friday and I had to do 1 ½ hour of mountain climbers to get up the side of a mountain and then continue hiking for 6 hours. The rocks were covered in wet slippery mud (the Haitians clamber up effortlessly!!!). Then yesterday I had to cross a river in 9 different places and at times the speed of the water gave the resistance like the lateral band walks you made me do under all my protests! So the workouts you planned for me have become WAY MORE than just keeping me in shape while I am away from home.They have made it possible to do my job, to get to places and meet people and provide materials that allow small communities prevent the cholera returning or support those who contract it so they can make it to hospital and LIVE.
Thanks Chas and SPARTAN fitness, it means a lot to me to have the chance to give back in this life and now, also to have the physical fitness to be able to do so.
Take care and best wishes from an almost cholera free Haiti!