The best supplement you can buy

Read this before? “Each morning, I (Pro athlete/Influencer), take my Max turbo boost mushroom dust with coffee. It helps my cognitive function, reduces fatigue and let’s me smell colors.”

We have, 24 minutes ago in our inbox actually. Supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry largely looking for short cuts (“optimization”) around what deep down we all now to be true. You can’t skip the basics. What you need is more and better sleep.

New supplement ad. Buy _________ and get!!

✅ Decreased insulin resistance

✅ Increased reaction time

✅ Improved neuromuscular efficiency

✅ Increased testosterone

✅ Improved immune system response

What is this magical innovation? A pillow. Now, want to sleep better? Try these tips:

😴 Find a consistent bedtime that allows you to get 7-8 hours of sleep

💻 Back up an hour from then and shut off anything with a screen

🥘 Back up an hour from that and try to have that be when you’re done eating

🥃 Limit alcohol consumption as well

🛌 Make your room as dark as possible and cool (~68 degrees)

😴 Then, to quote Samuel L. “Go the f**k to sleep

All jokes aside, our approach as a gym is to help you develop the tools to not only be strong and capable, but use that knowledge outside the gym. Recovery is crucial because whatever you do in the gym is dependent on your ability to recover from it to be useful for training. Subvert the system which says a pill is the answer.

Athlete of the MonthSeptember

Brian L!

Career: CPA

Years at Subversus Fitness: 2

Congratulations, Brian!

Congratulations to our newest Member of the Month, Brian!! Brian has been an athlete as part of Liberty Barbell Club for about 2 years now and has been training his Olympic Lifts as a dedicated member of the 6am crew (hence why many of you may not even see him!). He’s quiet and a hard-worker, so we’re excited to have you all learn more about him!

Brian always shows up ready to work, goes out of his way to help you out, and skillfully flings barbells over his head without touching the ceiling, which, given his height,  is an amazing feat to see! – Jose

Brian is the man. His consistency and dedication to putting in the work would be admirable enough by itself, but the fact that you’ll never hear him complain about it is what really sets him apart – and all of this at the unholy hour of 6am? Yeah, that’s a Member of the Month trifecta. Congrats dude, way to make LBC look good! – Chrissey

Brian jumped into weightlifting, the most technical strength-based sport out there, with no holds barred and committed fully to learning the sport. He has been diligent about his technique work & effort and his consistency is really starting to pay off! He has easily put 20kg EACH on his snatch and clean and jerk since starting, and is nowhere near being done. I love his quiet commitment because he is very rarely distracted, and stays prepared. Congrats Brian! – Coach Morgan

I haven’t had the opportunity to coach you very often, but I’ve heard great things from the other coaches. I know that you are consistent and show up for your training everyday with a positive attitude. So awesome to hear that your fellow barbell peers and coaches have recognized all of your hard work and dedication to our programming. Congrats once more on winning Member of the Month and on your recent PR’s. I hope to coach you more in the future.- Coach Luis

This is great! Brian is awesome— shows up for the 6am LBC sessions like clockwork, and is always ready to put in work, push himself, and listen to feedback from coaches and his team. Watching him improve his mobility, stability, technique, and STRENGTH (dude is moving some weight!) has been a real joy as a coach, and we’re lucky to have him back there before dawn most days. – Coach Justin

Nobody trains accidentally at 6am.. You have to be dedicated and committed, two things that Brian has in spades. He’s always working to improve, coachable and the results show it! Glad he’s getting some recognition as one of the hardest workers in the gym. – Coach Wylie

Congratulations, Brian! Well deserved and keep it up! – Coach Jesse

What is your day job?// I am a CPA at FMC in University City (no, I won't do your taxes...unless an audit by the IRS doesn't faze you).
When did you join Subversus?// Officially, for about 18 months. Prior to that, I had been doing drop in classes for about a year but the accountant in me did a cost-benefit analysis and it made more sense to join full-time.
What's your favorite and least favorite workout?// By far my favorite is max-out week. It's awesome seeing everyone in the 6 am group ring the bell after post-PR after weeks of buildup. Truthfully, I don't have a least favorite. The variety of the programming doesn't offer much chance to get familiar with a specific workout and breed contempt.
What do you crave after working out?// I do the 6 am class so post-workout indulgences are usually limited to a smoothie and an omelette. If I end up in the afternoon class, then it'd have to be a burger and beer from Race St. Cafe or a huge bowl of ramen from Tomo in Old City.
What accomplishment in the gym are you most proud of?// Honestly, just staying committed. I had previously been doing the standard gym model for a while and when i joined LBC it definitely took me out of my comfort zone. I don't think I ever anticipated a routine where I would be waking up at 5 am every morning to go and do things called "clean and jerks" and "snatches".
What's something about you that most people don't know?// I played baseball in high school and my senior year I performed the rare feat of fouling a pitch off into my face, thus earning me a bunch of stitches and a scar below my eyebrow. That effectively ended my baseball career since I knew I would never pull off anything as remarkable as that again.


In the fitness industrial complex of gyms, the term “no commitment” gets used as a proposed member benefit. No pressure, no commitment.

That’s not what we’re about at any level.

Commitment is how what you want actually becomes reality with us.

Commitment is what drives our Coaches to foster personal connections, superior movement standards and keep learning.

Commitment is how you will find strength and power you didn’t know you had with us.

Commitment is how we build a more just and healthy community, not with talk but at every level with our actions, hiring practices and language.

We’re not here to entice you with deals. In fact, you don’t want a deal, you want to feel something different and empower your body. It’s time to stop wandering aimlessly in a gym, wondering why you’re not getting what you want from training. You are capable of so much, and commitment is how we get there. It’s time to go pro. Let’s get started.

Athlete of the MonthAugust


Career: Professional Pimple Popper

Years at Subversus Fitness: 1

Congratulations, Cerrene!

Congratulations our newest Member of the Month – Cerrene!


All during quarantine-fit, Cerrene could be spotted pressing, squatting, swinging and pulling her trusty laundry jug and always with a smile. While we wait on the Tide sponorship deal to kick in, read more about why she’s great!


Cerrene is GREAT! Always ready with a smile and a thoughtful insight, she brings energy and positivity to every class! I love talking with her about the WHY of workouts, and she’s always ready to help someone else get better, or just feel more comfortable. She’s a fantastic community member and we’re lucky to have her. – Coach Justin


Cerrene has been such a great addition to the community! Not only can she help us with any random dermatological concerns we may find, but she’s been an active participant in maintaining our sense of family while we were in the depths of quarantine. During what is arguably the hardest time to try and connect with people, she consistently took zoom classes, participated in the sub23 challenges, and entertained us during happy hour. Getting to know Cerrene and being able to watch her integrate more into the Subversus crew was one of the small silver linings of the gym being closed. I’m happy to see her back in person, and hopefully never swinging a backpack again :) – Coach Morgan


Congrats on winning Member of the Month!  It’s well deserved! You stuck in threw these last few months and gave it all you with each workout. I love the fact that at any event we held online, you were always there and supportive. We are happy to have you as a member at Subversus!! – Coach Jesse


It’s been such a joy to watch you progress in and out of the gym! I remember coaching you during your first couple of Onramps and I’m so impressed with how far you’ve come. Thanks for being a great athlete to coach, a wonderful presence in and outside the gym and for always bringing your positive attitude to any situation. – Coach Luis


Cerrene is genuinely curious and coachable – two things that make her great to have in classes. She’s probably traumatized to do laundry after working out with her laundry jug for months but hopefully that Tide deal comes through. Seriously, we love her enthusiasm and support. Well deserved!! – Coach Wylie


She’s a friendly face, fun to workout with, and I will never look at laundry detergent the same way thanks to her rocking it during quarantine! – Emma

Cerrene always brings the most positive attitude to the gym (and the punniest jokes anyone’s ever heard)! I had no idea her and I started at the same time, and got to know her over Zoom classes. Now I love being in class with her and enjoying happy hour afterwards! So thankful the gym brought us together – Nadia



What is your day job?// Philly’s own Dr. Pimple Popper ;)
When did you join Subversus?// Just in time to work off all of that Halloween candy (October 2019)
What's your favorite and least favorite workout?// Favorite: Row, back squats, ab work, burpees...just kidding, nobody likes burpees (except Luis) Least favorite: the weighted carry to and from the Korean War Memorial
What do you crave after working out?// Pre-Covid: Dos tacos (RIP) Post-covid: all of the beer/cocktails-to-go
What accomplishment in the gym are you most proud of?// Surviving my first Murph
What's something most people don't know about you!// I consider a tub of hummus as an actual meal

Athlete of the MonthOctober

Tips for mindful eating!

We eat too fast. That’s simple right? You’ve heard it already and sure – you know you shouldn’t be eating over your keyboard as you read this, but have you ever known why? If you’re looking to lose or gain weight – the speed at which you eat can mean more in some cases than what you actually eat. Here’s why.


Chew your food!


Ideal food sources are made up of lots of nutrients, such as macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), as well other things like water and fiber. In order to eat them, we chew, breaking the food down into smaller pieces so we can access the nutrients. Chewing is not only how we make sure that we don’t choke and die, it’s the first step in digestion. The saliva in our mouth contains enzymes that help break food down further from a bite sized state. Without chewing, we miss a critical part of unlocking what’s good in our food.


You can make a super colorful, organically raised meal – but if you don’t actually chew it. Lots of the nutrients from that food pass you by meaning actually chewing and digesting something with less nutritional value can be more helpful for your body than inhaling a perfectly portioned meal. Chewing also releases pleasurable neurotransmitters in our brain – one of the reasons why chewing on things can be a response to stress.


Your brain and your stomach need to catch up!


When we hurry our meal process the process of satiety (fullness) takes time to catch up. We’ve all been there. It’s a big dinner, you’ve been waiting or preparing all day for it – time to eat and you scarf down everything in sight before you even know what happened and now you’re looking for sweatpants. Your body needs time to recognize what’s happening and adjust to feeling full because of it.


One of the easiest things you can do is start by adding 5 minutes to each meal. Time yourself for a meal to get a baseline, then add 5 minutes. Better yet, try and turn off the screen you’re looking at while you eat or doing it in a distracted environment. This will help you chew more (point number 1) and recognize how your body feels – leaving you with a better chance of fueling appropriately. One thing that I do (especially with desserts!) is put my fork down between bites – this simple act slows me down and creates mindful practice.


Get on a schedule


Especially, right now – our at home schedules are a mess. We’re eating/working/sleeping/making fitness all under one roof or even in the same room. That makes it really hard to work on a single activity at a time. In the case of eating though, routine is really important to our nervous system. Our bodies like routine and slower, smaller meals at predictable intervals give our body the chance to feel hunger and satiety cues as well as understand how food makes us feel.


Why it matters


I used to get a sandwich from a deli down the road from my office. Every day, I’d bring it back to work, eat it over my computer keyboard and within 30 minutes I would be doing everything I could to keep my eyes open. What was my response? Energy drink and cookies (not kidding). Because at the time I was working out 2-3 hours a day, I thought none of it really mattered, just eat. It took me awhile to actually start to notice this pattern – rather than, just throw sugar at the issue to wake myself back up (which wouldn’t work),  I started to change my lunch. I swapped out bread for sweet potatoes and processed deli meats for proteins I cooked at home. Then I found I didn’t need crave the soda and if I did need a pick me up, I switched to a caffeinated tea without added sugar.


The goal here isn’t to be perfect. The goal is to be mindful and by slowing down, we connect to our food, learn how it makes us feel and live healthier. All by just doing what mom told you when you were a kid. Share your food and chew it.

Leaving CrossFit

The past month marks our 11th year as a CrossFit affiliate. While this past year has been different than what anyone has expected, it will always be the most memorable because of who it pushed us to be.


In 2017, I started a nonprofit arm of our gym, UliftU, building from a legacy that preceded my ownership of then CrossFit Center City. Over the years, the CrossFit Foundation helped us attend the CrossFit Games, dialogue with other nonprofits, paid for L-1s for our UliftU Coaches, brought us out to headquarters in California last year and recently had committed to running an L-1 for our in prison program before COVID happened. When people assailed CrossFit for mistakes or pointed to the lack of diversity found within the brand, I defended CrossFit. I did so because of those actions and the friends I had made at HQ. I was proud to be a part of what I believed CrossFit’s future could be. I felt like it was enough. I now know I was wrong.


Our true measure is not where we stand in times of comfort and convenience, but challenge and controversy. Those are Dr. King’s words, not mine. The pandemic forced an awakening. By stripping away that which busied us to day-to-day, it forced us to sit and examine ourselves. What we found has shaken us, and rightfully so. Before, we convinced ourselves that progress was enough. It took a massive global loss of life from a natural phenomenon to make us recognize the loss of lives through unnatural means, human hands through racism, particularly for our black community.


This week, CrossFit and it’s Founder Greg Glassman have chosen through both their inaction and then Greg’s own words to show not only a lack of leadership, but the antithesis of it through hurtful and divisive speech. We cannot then say that because you demonstrated kindness in the past, that absolves you when the time is most vital for support in discussions of life and death. We all must do better and our own radical self-inquiry must challenge the desire to defend our actions and replace it with the question of how we could be wrong. We owe that to this moment, to the pain in our country and world is feeling right now, to something much bigger than ourselves.


That’s why we cannot remain a CrossFit affiliate and effective immediately are dropping our affiliation. The purpose of our entire gym has always been to stand for something greater than ourselves and just fitness. A place to find the strength to fully realize who you are, what you already possess. I wrote this week that our goal should be to build the strength necessary to dismantle systems of oppression, racism and hate. That is our Why. We will now build the future, grateful for past opportunities, but not bound by them when they prove no longer able to serve the needs of the moment. The road ahead will be hard but it brings the opportunity to contribute to stronger communities and a better world. 


Let’s get to work.


Wylie Belasik and the staff of Subversus Fitness

Re-opening schedule and sign ups

Please note some changes relative to windows to register ahead of time and new late cancellation fees.


  • Classes will be available for registration 72 hours prior to taking place. There will now be a $5 late cancellation fee if you cancel within 3 hours of the class start time. Waitlists will be added to the class in the order that you signed up for them.


  • These policies are in place as to provide as fair of access as possible for everyone into classes. We will add more classes as we are able to keep the gym clean and what we feel is responsible. We can’t thank you enough for your patience. We CANNOT WAIT to have you back in the gym, but your health and the health of our staff is what is most important.


  • Personal training is available by appointment as well during the off-hours when there are not group classes. Personal training cannot happen during group class time when we open.



Re-opening post 2: Class management

If you’ve seen the classic “The Big Lebowski”, you may remember the line.. “this isn’t ‘nam Donny, there are rules.”  Well, yes – they are rules now. Let’s get into them so that we can keep you and our staff safe and healthy.

  1. YOU MUST SIGN IN FOR CLASS. This isn’t negotiable and we won’t have a wodify kiosk any longer, so please use the app on your phone.
  2. Everyone will sign a new COVID-19 release prior to taking a class back at the gym. You’ll be prompted to do it in wodify and you can’t attend class without signing it. It will ask you if you’re symptomatic of COVID-19 and if you’ve had exposure to anyone who is confirmed in the past 14 days. Also if you are in the future, to let us know. New members potentially joining the gym will complete it as well going forward.
  3. Everyone will have their temperature taken when they enter the gym by a Coach. If you’re above 100.4, we love you, but you can’t come back for 72 hours.
  4.  If we learn of a member or staff who attended class and later tested positive, we will email class attendees who may have attended at the same time to inform you. We will not disclose the name of the individual should that take place as that is protected information.
  5. When you enter the gym, you’ll enter down the hallway through the back doorway. The front will be blocked off. Arrows/ tape on the floor will mark where you’ll go to walk through the gym. We’ve made it as simple as possible with minimal two-way traffic.
  6. You need to wear a face covering in in the gym and you’ll need to BYO chalk, no more sharing grubby mits.
  7. For class, you’ll have either a 10’x10′ spot on the main floor (Workout of the Day), bike and platform (Sustain) or your own platform (LBC). Equipment has been redistributed to minimize movement and we’ll have disinfectant + rags for cleaning. Nobody will share anything – if you’re an only child – rejoice.
  8. Coaches will move in designated walk ways that are outside of your areas to maintain distance.
  9. When you finish, you’ll clean up your equipment and either leave it or you’ll be instructed how to put it away.
  10. Gather up your things and then please head out, we can’t have extended congregating in the gym. We love you but for now – we have to limit that.

Also, for the love of everything holy, if you don’t feel well – please. stay. home. We have a shared responsibility to keep each other healthy and safe. We can clean everything, but without your help, it won’t matter – it’s all of our duty. Cutting corners or being sloppy can end access for everyone and we will ask you to leave if you aren’t respecting the community and these standards. After classes, staff will wipe down/disinfect the major touch points in the gym (doors, stairs, equipment) and twice a day we’ll do the full bathrooms and floor.

If weather/conditions permit- we will add outdoor workouts, but for now – the rules are unknown, so we’re sharing ours for the gym. If you have questions from the cleaners we’re using (non-toxic for your skin but fucking deadly as shit for the virus – that kind of thing) to any other policy, please contact me (Wylie). Thank you!!

Re-opening post 1: Programming

Let’s start by saying that we’re glad you’re here. Right now is such an amazing opportunity, the last few months have really driven home what is important and frankly showed what isn’t vital. To overuse the now common terms of essential and non-essential elements – we’ve applied that what your training is going to look like as we get back into the swing of things.


You all have been killing it at home, the efforts, the consistency – it’s really inspiring to see the commitment from small apartments, backyards, basements, driveways, hallways and more. You’re never going to look at an ottoman the same way again – now you’ll go over to a friend’s house and remark “damn, I could do some serious dips off that.” This is also an extraordinary  time in coming back to the gym.


  1. You’ve been doing a lot of higher repetition work in the mid-long time range. 12, 15 mins, and longer of workouts in the mid-intensity range. We used this because we’re balancing not crushing your nervous system and recognizing what most of you have had access to at home.
  2. Without getting too into the science weeds here… There are three energy systems, 1 – short/fast work, think 1-3 rep max work, less than 30s of an effort, lots of rest between efforts, 2 – mid-range, generally things that are what you’ve been doing at home, 3 – longer, aerobic work (30+ mins, lower heart-rate). You need a balance of all three to be a fit and healthy person. Using all three makes them each better even when you aren’t using the other two. Balance and recovery is how you improve – that’s what we’re doing behind the scenes for you.
  3. So, it would stand to reason that when you can have access to the gym – we’re going to put some more focus on splitting up those energy systems to start to safely prioritize balancing your fitness back out.


Here’s how we plan to bring you back.. Our first cycle back of the workout of the day will be more biased towards the powerlifts and strict gymnastics. Why? We want to build your strength back up, but with a plan. These sessions will prioritize this goal with some conditioning. The emphasis will shift so that we won’t always squat on a Monday or pull on a Friday so that it can accommodate varied work schedules for you all. These classes will be capped at 8 people to start and we’ll add sessions and space as is safe and appropriate. Our goal is for you to do the workout of the day 3-4x/week – not more to start. They will also be 45 mins long so that we have time to clean up.


The second part is building your engine back up and taking advantage of being able to get outside if you want. We’ll be writing 3 endurance sessions, our “sustain” program that can be done in the back of the main space/front of the barbell area on bikes at the same time as the workout of the day sessions. Your goal should be 2-3 of these sessions per week either in the gym or running outside. These sessions may include a simple dumbbell or kettlebell movement, but not always – the goal here is building the engine at lower intensity. The Coach on duty will be available for questions, but these sessions are programmed to be un-coached as simple yet effective and will follow the same time-frame as the WOD.


By balancing these two programs, we can take a gradual approach to safely ramping things up over time. It also makes sure that we can provide enough access to the gym and spread you all out enough for safety. Throwing you back into 6-7 days of our Workout of the Day is not the goal. The lower intensity endurance work is important as well, it will make you stronger.. Trust it. We’ll be keeping an eye on you and monitoring volume and we will step in and shut you down if you start blowing yourself up with volume and intensity. You’re here for coaching, please let us help you – your percentages nice, but for now we’re looking for excellence in form and movement – the weights will come.