Movement Minneapolis member since: Early 2013
What’s your athletic/fitness background?
Soccer / Volleyball / Track throughout college. Still play soccer once a week. Didn’t touch weights until I walked into MM.
What brought you to the Movement?
Libby, my sister-in-law, knew Jen Sinkler from rugby and began working out at MM. Libby brought my wife, Jen. I followed soon thereafter.
Do you remember your first workout?
We didn’t have an orientation back then — we were thrown into class with everyone else — but I was impressed by the amount of individual attention. I had never touched a kettlebell much less tried a kettlebell swing. I was absolutely worthless that first day. For a guy who feels he can hold his own pretty well on a dance floor, I could not for the life me find a rhythm with that swing. But half a dozen different pointers later and I started to feel more comfortable.
You’ve said that you’re not a “typical” member — what did you mean by that?
When I think of a “typical” MM member I think of someone in the Powerlifting program, or perhaps in the awesomeness that is the Women’s Only class, or just someone that wants to get stronger and follows the instructions on the whiteboard to a tee. I am not that person. I like to dabble. I want to climb the rope. I want to do muscle-ups on the rings, on the dip bar, the pull-up bar, and everywhere else. I want to see if I can do that “cool and weird” shit I see other people doing on Instagram. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. If I can’t, it gives me something to work on but if I can — wow — I love that feeling of realizing you can do something you didn’t even know was a thing!
The gym is a great fit because no matter what I feel like doing, everyone is always incredibly supportive. Sometimes I feel like doing something more structured and I might pick and choose elements from the board. Other times, I just want to play around. In either case, the coaches are there to provide feedback or even try it themselves.
At the end of the day, I’m really just looking for a community whose members all strive to improve whatever it is they’re working on while encouraging others to do the same. MM is that community.
What’s been your favorite Movement moment so far?
There have been a ton of great moments but I think my favorite moment was attending the Acro Yoga workshop. I remember standing in the hallway and just listening to all of the genuine belly laughter coming from the gym. Most people were trying something they had never done before and absolutely loving life. I think that moment was a perfect reflection of the MM culture: Get fit, make new friends, and try new stuff.
Tell us about your most memorable PR.
My first PR was breaking the 400lb deadlift barrier. Whereas I am now much more excited about progress in muscle-ups and levers, that 405lb DL was my first experience setting a tangible goal for myself that at first seemed completely out of reach, and then achieving it.
Do you have a favorite exercise/workout/training style?
My favorite training style is calisthenics. I am game for any exercise that involves just my bodyweight. That said, every now and then I feel the need to just pick up something heavy. I love playing with the inch dumbbell and doing heavy carries.
How about your least favorite exercise/workout?
The Turkish Get Up.
Do you prefer training solo or with a partner/team?
You know — there’s a time for each. Sometimes it’s nice to move at your own pace, not be distracted by conversation, and just enjoy sweating in your own space. Other times, you want that support, you want someone telling you to push, or simply find inspiration by watching others reach for their goals.
When did you know you were hooked?
I think I was hooked from Day 1, but it’s the little day-to-day feats that keep me coming back and hungry for more. Hold this position a fraction of a second longer, add 5lbs to that lift, eek out one more rep doing that.
What do you think people would be surprised to know about you?
At one point in my life I spoke Dutch, German, English, French, some Spanish, a tiny bit of Japanese, and an even tinier bit of Russian.
Any secret/hidden talents?
Yes, but they shall remain hidden.
What are you training for/what’s your next training goal?
I have so many but I would say that my immediate goals are to clean up my front lever, nail the back lever, and get a strict muscle up. Long-term I would love to achieve the human flag.
How can people find/connect with you?
@misteramber on Instagram.
Do you have any advice for people starting out?
“Go hard or go home” is great if you can dedicate all kinds of time to working out. I don’t have that kind of time so I abide by “Doing something is better than nothing.” And guess what — it works. I get to the gym once or twice a week. I try to mess around at home for at least 20 minutes every day. It might mean slower progress, but it’s progress nonetheless. Also, have fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re not coming back.