A Years Fitness Training at Joe’s Garage Gym: The Good, The Bad and the bruises!

This was written by Ulrike Schoening on her one year anniversary at the Garage. Have a read because this is why, we at Joe’s Garage Gym do what we do. This is an awesome story, a great testimonial and a very funny read:
Last week I celebrated my one year anniversary at the garage. In a way I feel like I have been training there forever. I cannot imagine not having the garage in my life. When I started in February 2013 I have never really regularly trained anywhere. Sure, I have been to a gym and done a few of those abs and bum classes.
Nothing ever sticked. Nothing ever made me want to come back badly enough. Then my friend Gisele asked me, if I wanted to come for a run at Joes Garage. It was deloading week, 3.4k run plus some ab work. I was hesitating, as I was absolutely not a frequent runner (still don’t love running).
Joe was so welcoming, the run was not as bad as I thought, the ab work out was good too (mind you this was before dish rocks were introduced). I decided to do a trial membership of 4 weeks. Four weeks of excruciating pain, awkward sleeping positions to find some sort of good stretch, t-rex arms and walking hills down sideways. But also a daily sense of accomplishment that I have yet made it through another workout that I though I would not be able to do. One of the first WODs I had to do was Barbara. Which was an absolute B*** of a wake up call. I managed to get 3 rounds done and then the class was over. I was devastated. I couldn’t even finish the work out!
Something in me awakened that day,  the fury of not conquering Barbara fueled my determination to once and for all become a fitter, healthier person. I knew it was only uphill from there, I could only improve.
Joe from the beginning on is such an understanding and welcoming coach. He does not once make you feel like an absolute beginner (Though looking back he once told me he thought I would never come back after that disastrous Barbara workout!). He patiently always took his time to show me new movements, lifts and also always had a look out for my weaknesses such as my shoulder and hypermobility in my hips (yeah betcha most of you only found out you had issues like these once you joined the garage).
After the trial I signed up for the full membership and never looked back. I have been going pretty much daily since I have first started (with the exception of the odd vacation, hangover or two) and when there’s a day I don’t go, I feel this itching and I absolutely miss it. Do you ever have this feeling in the morning where you just don’t want to leave bed? You are absolutely not feeling your job that day and all you want to do is curl up under your doona? -This is a rhetorical question, I know you have ALL been there! Well, ever since I have started at Joe’s, these days have become less and less. It’s amazing what this sort of exercise does for your mentality. Whenever I have one of these ‘doona’ days I get myself out of bed and to the garage. By the time I get there I see those familiar faces, which ask you about your life and how you are and I already feel so much better. After the workout I don’t even know where the ‘doona day’ feeling came from in the first place and I am enticed to start a new day fresh.
The help and support you get from the garage is never limited to just the gym. Whenever I have an injury, Joe goes all ‘Dad’ on me, making sure I get treatment right away, calling a few times throughout the day to check up on me. It’s the sweetest thing. When my car broke down a while back, everyone offered me a lift, a solution and a towing company. Living so far away from home (home is Germany) , I enjoy the garage family!
The physical changes have sneaked up on me- without even realizing I have trimmed down lots (not that I was overweight or anything beforehand), I put on clothes I wore last year and they are simply too big. My buddy the Chinese convenience store owner next door pretty much tells me every day how much weight I have lost -“Ullika, you look really good. How much you loose? 10 kilos? (I love this man!)” It all happened in a healthy way where my body has been slowly adapting, so it’s not like a crash and burn diet. I have achieved a sustainable change.
After 1 year and the gym I have come a long way. I have been doing this at first cause I felt I had to. Now I just really love doing it. I have never been this positive. I feel I can do anything and I no longer put up mental boundaries of “I can’t do this”.
Joe, you have showed me I can do so much more than I thought I could. All in all, (I do not want to make this any longer than it already is): Joe’s has increased my quality of life immensely and made me a happier, healthier and –duh- fitter person.
I am also really thankful to the team around Joe, which has been a big part of making this an amazing environment as well.  Dani, Emma, Emma’s eye for helping me win the coffee run challenge (shout out to my partner in crime Reed), Sam, Henry, Si, Christie and all the new brilliant coaches at the garage.
Special thanks to the 5:45am and 7am classes, thanks for being part of this as well! xx To many more years at the garage!

Garage Crew Member of the Month Focus – Ulrike Schoening

When Ulrike joined us she was a 10-12 dress size she is now an 8.
In March 2013 we recorded an estimated 1rm of 42.5Kg Deadlift  based on a 6 rep max of 35kg 9 months later we recorded a true 1rm of 70kg, we also recorded a back squat estimate of 37.5 using the same parameters. In december we recorded a true 1rm back squat of 62.5Kg ( which is awesome… as every body knows that to be lean fit and optimal health every girl should be able to squat at least their bodyweight)
Who are you? Joe’s Garage Gym’s German Representative, Ulrike/ Rika /and all other variations of how people pronounce it. (Looking at you, Sam!)
How old are you? 25
What are you passionate about? At the moment I am passionate about binge watching all seasons of Dexter on Netflix. He’s my favourite serial killer. Is that bad?
Why Joe’s Garage? Really, no thought or research has gone into it, Gisele talked me into a ‘run’.
How long have you been training with Joe and or Joe’s Garage? 1 year, wooohoo!
What is your favourite workout and why? Annie- (50-40-30-20-10 double unders and sit-ups)
If you could live anywhere where would it be? I have chosen this place!
What are you reading? Movie reviews & food blogs What do you watch? Obviously Dexter, House of Cards, Back to the Future
What are you listening to? Whatever clever list Pandora puts together for me, from Empire of the Sun to New Radicals to Frank Sinatra to good old German Hip Hop.
What’s your vice? If you ever see me with a Jim Beam in hand run for your life. All help is too late.
If you could have dinner with anybody who would it be? Calum Gair Stephenson, cause I bloody miss his sassiness plus his filthy mind at 7am
Tell us a secret? What? No.
What have been the benefits of training at Joe’s Garage?
Endless. Basically increased everything. But not increased belly. That’s definitely decreased. What is the key to happiness? Who made these questions up? I really don’t know but someone please tell me
What is your next goal? Really hoping to be able to do chin-ups without a band, a lot of work ahead of me

Whhoooohooo!!! Ulrike a member of the month prize is winging its way to you!!!!!

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