Announcing the 2019 FitLo Empower Awards Finalists! Feb 1-17, FitLo Denver announced an open nomination for the most inspiring and empowering male trainers and fitness influencers in Denver who support women and advocate for gender balance and equality.
We are thrilled to announce that there were a whopping 100 nominations submitted with dozens of personal stories of how the nominees inspire, support and inspire. In total, 39 men were nominated. From Feb 22 – March 1, more than 3,000 votes were casted on the 39 nominees to select the final four trainers and top two fitness influencers. We are honored to acknowledge the nominees and finalists. We understand there are many more people who support, inspire and empower women, and, each other. Thank you to EVERYONE who advocates for women, gender equality and for each other! We are all equal humans. We are all in this together.
What are the FitLo Empower Awards?
This is special community feature designed to acknowledge people in the Denver fitness community who empower and inspire. In 2019 we are featuring men who support, inspire and empower women.
Why ‘Men Who Empower Women’?
Women supporting women is not only important, it’s one of the greatest movements of our time. Also important – the men who support strong and empowered women. This award is not just about men supporting women. This award and community feature is about acknowledging gender balance and equality.
Workout For A Cause to Support Women and Girls
Join FitLo Denver for donation-based workouts with the Empower Awards Finalists March – April. Donations will be collected for each workout and will go to a charity for women and girls. There will be a charity for each workout that has been selected by the trainer and hosting studio.
FitLo Empower Award Finalists: The Final Four Trainers and Workouts
Denver: You have nominated. You have voted. The finalists are…
WHO IS BENJAMIN: Benjamin (@benjammindimarco) is a Boulder native and now lives in Denver.
“Fitness has always been a big part of my life from skipping rope and roller skating in elementary school to running, cheer and dance in middle and high school. After graduation I became a hairdresser and put fitness on the back burner to immerse myself in my new career. At this time, I also got into a physically and emotionally abusive relationship which led me to major weight gain and lack of self love. After our breakup, I started private pilates sessions to find my focus and I felt like I found myself again. This led me to pick up momentum by working on cardio at the gym and to take up a personal trainer. I started feeling the confidence I had lost come back to me. Starting classes at Pure Barre almost 5 years ago was one of the best decisions of my life and I have been teaching Pure Barre on my days off from doing hair. I have found my voice as a teacher: helping others find their inner badass and better love for themselves is what it is truly about.” – Benjamin DiMarco
Join FitLo for a Donation-Based Pure Barre Class with Benjamin
- Date + Time: Sat, March 23 @10:30 am | 11:30 am | 12:30 pm
- Location: Pure Barre Stapleton
- Charity: Girls on the Run of the Rockies (Pure Barre Stapleton is collecting donations for Girls on the Run of the Rockies throughout March!)
FitLo Facebook Live Interview with Ben DiMarco
WHO IS JIM: Jim’s path towards becoming a yoga instructor is not your typical tale… after working in IT for 17 years he one day realized that it was not computers he enjoyed working with, but rather helping improve the lives of others. He has always enjoyed coaching, mentoring, and inspiring others to reach their goals. In 2018, Jim decided to take his first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training as a means to spread yoga to those who he knew may be intimated by the practice and the stereotypes that they might feel come with being seen at a yoga class. Jim’s goal is to demystify yoga and to make it accessible to those who could very much benefit from incorporating a yoga practice to their daily routine but may feel threatened, shy, or embarrassed to give it a try. Jim wants to encourage his students to understand that yoga really is for everybody and every BODY. His classes bring a fun and lighthearted ambiance to a challenging, power flow that leave students smiling and often unaware of just how much work they really put in!
“I take a more of a physical and functional approach to teaching yoga to help people find physical relief. I want to help people find strength through natural movements…When I was in teacher training, I heard a great metaphor for yoga: ‘It’s like a 401(k) for your body. Put in the effort now so that as you get older you can take a little out.'” – Jim Kelly( @jimyasa1 ), FLEX Yoga + Barre (@flexyogabarre)
Nomination Submission Stories: “Jim is the type of person you want to have next to you on your mat. He teaches a light-hearted, fun, and challenging class in a safe environment and makes sure you don’t take yourself too seriously…You can often find Jim taking one of [FLEX’s] pre-natal yoga classes with his wife because he believes in supporting her and the other women in class. Jim’s presence in the pre-natal class has encouraged other men to join in and has completely broken down any barriers or preconceived notions of gender roles and norms within the yoga community.”
Join FitLo for a Donation-Based Athlete Recovery Yoga Class at FLEX with Jim
- Date + Time: Thurs, March 28 @6:30 pm
- Location: FLEX Yoga & Barre Park Hill
- Charity: The Gathering Place
Facebook Live Interview with Jim Kelly
WHO IS CHRIS: After serving in the Army on active duty in Iraq, Chris (@chris.r.lindley ) returned with the vision of creating a gym with a focus on community and having fun in a supportive team environment. We asked Chris…
Why did you start or do you training/teaching? “I Initially became a personal trainer in college because I needed the income and it worked with my school schedule. Then in 2001, during graduate school, I partnered with my cousin and created a group fitness class called “fast twitch”, which is like HIIT. The class created immediate camaraderie among the participants while providing the space to make friends and get a killer workout. Fitness was now about more than just “income”. Postgraduate school, I was deployed to Iraq. While I was there I lead daily group exercises with my teammates. It was there in the desert that I truly realized group fitness classes are less about “fitness” and more about social interaction, the opportunity to make friends and build a support system, and to be around people who care about who you really are. My wife Corina and I decided we needed to open a gym in Denver to offer this same fitness experience to the community. When I returned from Iraq, it was the first thing we did.”
What do you hope to help people with or what kind of experience do you want to provide? “I want to provide a space for togetherness and community. There is so much false and fake information out there about what the fitness experience should be. People don’t think they are good enough or pretty enough, and are trying to live up to insane expectations that aren’t even real. At Endorphin, we have fun in a supportive, team environment where everyone is welcome. While the workout is important, it is secondary to the experience of community and camaraderie we try to provide.”
What do you focus on when faced with a challenge or failure? “I always go back to my why. Why the hell am I doing this? Because I love what I do. When faced with challenges as a studio owner, I go back to how I love being a teacher. I have taught, on average, 10 classes a week for the past decade, and those are the best 10 hours of my week. Teaching and connecting with the Endorphin community gives me energy. I got into this to help people. If all else fails, my wife and I always say, we’ve still got each other and the 3,000 close friends we’ve made along the way.” Nomination Stories: “Chris is an inspiration to all levels of fitness — those who are just beginning and those who are ready to move to the next level are welcome.”… “Chris focuses on strength and movement to become your best self and empowers women that strength is beautiful.”
Facebook Live Interview with Chris Lindley
Join FitLo for TWO Endorphin High Intensity Workouts with Chris
Endorphin Workout #1 Warriors
- Workout #1 Date: Saturday, March 30 @noon
- Workout #1 Location: Endorphin Eastbridge
- Charity: Girls on the Run of the Rockies
Endorphin Workout #2 Boot Camp
- Workout #2 Date: Sunday, March 31 @9am
- Workout #2 Location: Stanley Marketplace
- Charity: Girls on the Run of the Rockies
WHO IS BIRD: Bird cannot pinpoint the moment that his yoga adventure began, but he does recall that the first time he stepped on a yoga mat was quite a humbling experience. Bird is passionate about making yoga accessible to all ages and abilities. His favorite classes to teach are those with new students in them; he enjoys the energy created and finds that he learns more from his students with each class he teaches. Under Bird’s guidance, each student can expect a safe space and grounding class with excellent cues and breath. His creative sequences combined with fun music and light-hearted energy encourages his students to safely push themselves to their edge, open their hearts, and keep them coming back for more
“The first time I walked into a studio, I was addicted. Being a yoga teacher is my calling… I want 99% of my people to walk out with a smile on their face… If they leave with a smile I know I did my job.” – Bird Yarbrough
Nomination Story: “Bird is a legend… You can sense it from the first time you meet him… Bird truly wants success for others… One of his best qualities is his humility; he sees everyone on the same level, no hierarchy, no men-over-women or vice versa. Everyone is equal with him.”
Join FitLo for a C2 Yoga Class with Bird at CorePower Yoga Park Meadows
- Date: Sunday, April 14 @6pm
- Location: CorePower Yoga Park Meadows
- Charity: Angel Concept (www.angelconcept.org)
Facebook Live Interview with Bird
About the FitLo Empower Awards Finalists: Top Two Fitness Influencers
Alex Chapman, Founder Fitness on the Rocks, Fitness in the City, BE ONE Real Estate
WHO IS ALEX: Alex (@alex_chapman_denver) is the founder of Colorado’s largest fitness festival: Fitness on the Rocks, and co-founder of Fitness in the City. He is also co-founder of Be One Real Estate. Alex is passionate about making fitness about having fun, making a positive impact through the power of community, and advocating for equality. You will find him working out right next to you at studios and gyms in Denver!
Interview: Listen to the Explore Your Fitness Podcast Interview with Alex.
WHO IS BRYAN: Bryan (@bry_cash) is a professional firefighter and owner of Max Muscle South Metro Denver. ” Throughout his journey as a Firefighter he stays committed to health and fitness as a top priority in his life. When Bryan is not at the fire-house, at the gym, or at the Max Muscle store, he is investing time for charity and community outreach projects that promote a healthy life-style, educate consumers about Max Muscle and Max Muscle’s Nutrition Plans, helps others achieve their fitness goals, and promotes fitness as a lifestyle.” – Max Muscle South Denver
Nomination Stories: “Bryan has touched many lives through the power of health and fitness. Having a wife and two girls at home (and awaiting a third daughter), Bryan prides himself on being a role model always.” … “Bryan takes the time to educate you… He wants people to balance their workouts food and supplements in a way that is best for you as an individual.”
Congrats and High Fives to ALL the 2019 FitLo Empower Awards Nominees
Compass Fitness, Taylor Ames
CorePower Yoga, Bird Yarbrough
CrossFit Eminence, Kris Marcelli
Dynamic Fitness Co. , Jeff Vaden
e3 Fitness, Justin Holle
EDX CrossFit, Angelo Gala
Endorphin, Chris Lindley
F45 Sloans Lake: Chris Pieczonka, Jonnie Ellis F45 + Ryan Moriarty
Fit36 DTC, Travis Duffle
Fitness in the City: Adam Schafer, Rick Siegrist + Stefan Olander
Fitwall Denver, Jake Mendes
FLEX Yoga + Barre, Jim Kelly
FLY Kickbox, Cory Jagger
Flywheel Union Station, Vandon Jones
GenFit, Ryan Trificana
Kindness Yoga, Jerrod Fasler
LFT Live For This: Fitness, Zach (GONZO) Gonazales
Manic Training Highlands Ranch, Scott Jones
Performance Ready Fitness Studio: Karl Lauffer Performance + Mark Ruzycki
Pure Barre Stapleton, Ben DiMarco
The Rebel Workout, Michael Bales
Titanium Fitness Center, Anthony Nakamura
Alex Chapman, Fitness on the Rocks
Bryan Cash, Max Muscle South Metro
Chad Cantu, Chad & Co Salon & Performance Ready Fitness Studio
Derek Espiritu, Arcanum & RX Bar
Eric Hinman, “Retired” & Exploring the World
Jace Buzek, Well Set
James Parisi, Sound Off Colorado
Phillip Galaviz, Sound Off Colorado
Tony Ditirro, Performance Ready Fitness Studio & Pilot