I’ve been sitting on my couch now for a good 30 minutes double fisting tea and kombucha trying to find the perfect way to describe Real Human Performance(RHP). Drafts to this point include an analogy, “If a kinesiology lab and a training gym had a baby and then dressed it in a buddha onesie it would be Real Human Performance,” a list of adjectives, “purposeful, intentional, scientific, intelligent, fun,” and a tiny drawing I made of a small man dancing. It’s difficult to pinpoint just one description of this community-driven Mariemont based gym because it’s truly so diverse. It is diverse in everything from the background of those that own it, the offerings, and the clientele. The common theme that acts as the foundation for RHP is a strong dedication to scientific practices and outcomes, and a focus on holistic health and training.
RHP was founded by four health and wellness professionals with impressive CVs from varying backgrounds. The gym provides a range of offerings, and sees clientele from all age groups and walks of life. Come one, come all. Molly and I checked out two fitness classes and a pranayama workshop, and then chatted with two of RHP’s founders Jen Wright and Chris Wissman. Here is what we learned about RHP’s offerings.
FIT is taught by Chris. Molly took this one. When teaching FIT, Chris studies people’s movement patterns with the goal of finding and addressing asymmetries. It wouldn't be weird in this class for Chris to ask you to pop off your shoes and work barefoot. He does this so class participants can truly experience the sensory points in the foot, and establish a strong foundation. During this class, participants start with a dynamic warm-up that wakes up the body, both physically and mentally, through not only physical stretches, but also breath techniques. Participants then circuit through different planes of movements.
F-EX classes are taught by RHP instructor Bryan Barthelmas who dances like a Justin Timberlake backup dancer. This is the highest compliment we have ever given anyone on this site thus far. There are three types of F-EX classes. I took Fusion, and it was a blast. Fusion is a high-energy cardio dance class. I think we’ve made it clear that I’m not a skilled dancer, and typically I shy away from dance activities. Real talk though, this class was so fun, and not intimidating at all. Also, I was sweating a lot. Ryan (my man) came with, and he was loving it as well. We even did the grapevine which is the only move I remember from adolescent tap dance classes.
We wrote a previous article about Kori Ruth who runs RHP’s yoga program. In addition to the “Real Yoga” classes we described in that article, RHP also offers Mindful Yoga Therapy. Mindful Yoga Therapy is a post-traumatic growth program rooted in yogic practices of breath control techniques, meditation, mindful movement, integrative restoration/yoga nidra (yoga sleep) and gratitude. The RHP team offers these classes on-site and also facilitates MYT off-site with a number of Veteran groups, including The VA Medical Center and The Joseph House. It was through this work that RHP connected with various Veteran’s groups across the city, and started to become a go-to place for recovery and growth. Today, the gym has about a 25% Veteran membership base. The team often works in conjunction with individual’s doctors or physical therapists to provide intentional treatment that aligns with their health efforts outside the gym walls. They also stress that everything they do is tailorable.
Pranayama means breath practice. RHP is one of the few places in Cincinnati offering extensive offerings of classes and workshops on these ancient and highly effective techniques. We will do future articles outlining this topic. Jen teaches these classes and is adept at teaching advanced techniques while also making class accessible to beginners.
RHP also offers various recovery modalities including a new thai masseuse and corporate programming. They offer both drop-in classes and membership options, and various special events throughout the year. For example, a summer field day is coming later this year, and an on-site yoga school is coming in August.
RHP is a great spot for those looking for community, those that feel like boutique fitness just isn’t quite the right fit for them yet still want tailored attention, and those that are interested in holistic health. It’s not uncommon at RHP for a member to come in to a fitness class and leave with a new breathing technique for sleep, a yoga move for their hip, and a supplement recommendation. You can check out a list of their offerings here.