Broad, Inclusive Training in Center City Philly
Everything you need to hit your fitness potential.
Building a stronger community.
For nearly 10 years, I worked in communities around the country trying to address the lack of access to health and fitness.
In 2014, I moved back to Philadelphia with the goal of making sure that being healthy wouldn’t face barriers depending on your zip code, bank statement, skin color or sexual orientation.
Subversus is a commitment to breaking those barriers and discovering that in doing so, we can all create the community we need and deserve. This isn’t a gym, it’s a movement. Subvert the acceptable and become exceptional with us.
Our non-profit empowers citizens returning from prison to become fitness professionals.
UliftU is our passion project and 501c3 nonprofit — an educational program designed to train formerly incarcerated inmates into certified functional fitness coaches. Graduates of the program go on to Coach at our gym as well as around the city.
UliftU addresses three critical areas of health:
- Creating a path to sustainable employment for returning citizens and creating greater representation of the BIPOC community in fitness.
- Operating free fitness programs in North Philadelphia led by our Graduates in under-resourced neighborhoods.
- Ulift-Youth, our program working with kids currently in the juvenile justice system, pairing them with UliftU trainees and graduates for fitness training and mentorship.
At Subversus, we believe fitness is about more than just the workout. It’s about empowerment and overcoming. When you’re with us, you are a part of something bigger than just being a member of a gym. You’re helping our UliftU coaches reintegrate with a fulfilling career. UliftU is a Best of Philly award winner for 2021 for “best community fitness leader”.
Our inclusion statement
How we practice inclusion
1. Non-gendered word choice. We do not refer to a barbell as a “men’s” bar, but rather by it’s weight – 20kg, nor do we seek to classify individuals by their gender identity.
2. Pronoun sensitivity. All members are asked for their preferred pronouns upon joining. Staff must know and use them.
3. We celebrate and focus on every BODY, not just the “best” athletes. By drawing attention to accomplishments and progress of all athletes (and yes EVERYONE is an athlete) and reminding people of that journey we stay true to our culture.
4. Welcoming everyone: Fitness can be intimidating, as Coaches we go out of our way to make sure that everyone is welcomed and connected. We also offer a scholarship program for membership.
5. Diverse Coach development. Athletes must see themselves represented by their Coaches, therefore you cannot expect a diverse community without a staff diverse from the standpoint of race and sexual orientation. We actively seek to train and hire Coaches with deep life experiences and backgrounds.
Progress, Not Perfection
Proven Functional Training Methods
No gimmicks, no shortcuts. Our daily workouts can be scaled to any level, but they're designed to make you work. Learn how to squat, jump, lunge, press, pull and move effectively for a stronger body and tougher mentality.
Continuous Coaching Development
We invest in our leaders every day so they can become the most effective and independent trainers. Their diverse backgrounds and shared passion for personal growth are at the heart of our fitness mission.
Active Community Building
We seek to make fitness accessible to underrepresented, undeserved and chronic disease communities. In addition to our gym, we offer daily free programs at area Recreation Centers and weekly programs to the State Prison system.