10 Things with RoarkGyms


Unless you have been living underground, you will have heard of Roark Gyms. Im sure you have seen the images of girls collapsed next to the rowing machines and you might have been lucky enough to see the Roark Men dashing down Roeland street doing the Parliment run. I have been training at Roark Women since it opened a few moNths ago and I have absolutely loved it. Even though I have been going for a few months now, I still leave every session feeling like a baby Giraffe. At Roark, there is no giving up, no tolerance for bad form and no way you will not be challenged to your fullest. In the last few months I have learned what it means to dig deep and I have gained a healthy respect for the Burpee. Roark is not only about strengthening your body, the sessions are also designed to challenge your mental strength, not a lot of gyms can say that.  I have been getting a lot of tweets asking me about the kind of training they do there, what is their philosophy, will they get like super buff bru, etc. I have decided to kick off the first ’10 things’ with Roark Gyms and answer your questions once and for all.


DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 10 WORDS:  Intolerant of bullshit/excuses, passionate about hard work.

ROARK? TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE NAME:  It’s from a literary character whose principles I admire tremendously. He’s a man with uncompromising integrity.

HOW IS ROARK DIFFERENT TO MY LOCAL GYM? : It’s vastly different from commercial gyms in that each member is individually assessed, and their performance scrutinised. Our programming is second to none, and I believe the environment of both the men’s and women’s gym is one where there is no room for ego or the aesthetic focus commercial gyms have. It’s a healthy environment in which we worry about performance first, and trust that the rest will follow.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHEAT DAY SNACK? : Savoury – stale Ghostpops. Sweet – Jason’s Cranberry Danish.


IS IT EVER TOO LATE TO START TRAINING? : Absolutely not. Our gym, through careful and constant planning, caters to all levels and ages. To consider yourself ‘too far gone’ is the saddest state of affairs imaginable.

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR GIRLS TO DO WEIGHTS ANYWAY? : The answer is two fold. The first is best illustrated by an example which was given to me by a friend whose view on training I greatly respect – if you ask a group full of women to close their eyes and to picture themselves walking into a room in which they want to impress someone, be it a date or a job interview, watch what happens to their posture. Every one of them will push their shoulders back and stand with a high chest position, thereby assuming perfect posture. This is the exact same posture that must be used when performing any of the lifts/movements we practice.

The second is that your body wants to train this way. It wants to lift, push, pull and jump. Its what it’s designed to do. The reason we have such incredibly fast results is because the body reacts immediately to the movements we use, as this is the way a women’s body is designed.

HOW OFTEN DO THE ROARK MEN STOP TRAFFIC WHEN DOING THE PARLIAMENT RUN DOWN ROELAND STREET? :  I’ve seen at least two accidents along Roeland Street as a result of driver distraction. It’s like one long moving billboard.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I TRAIN FOR ROARK TO BE EFFECTIVE? : A minimum of three times per week, but we recommend four if you do nothing else but train with us.


Called Out In the Dark – Snow Patrol

The Wolves – Ben Howard

Bigger Than Us – The White Lies

Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch – Good Vibrations

Kanye, Jay Z and Nicki Minaj – Monster


Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 7.13.42 PM

No. People see the pictures of our members sprawled out on the floor after workouts and they think what we do is too difficult for them. What we do is difficult, but it’s difficult for everyone. There is no one who leaves feeling fine, and this is regardless of athletic ability. Our workouts are specifically planned to be inclusive of athletes of all ability, fitness and strength levels. As a basic example, if you were asked to do a movement repeatedly for two minutes, with the goal to do as many of that movement as possible in this time, it wouldn’t matter if you managed to complete 50 repetitions and someone else managed 10, as long as you both worked as hard as you could during that period.

Pictures Courtesy of Roark Gyms. Tweet them: @Roarkgyms


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