Thursday, December 3, 2015

Unlimited Class Memberships are Almost Gone

We understand that there will be a host of people that are going to be really upset when they hear this news.  They just missed the boat... For those who have been with us since the beginning, they can feel relieved that they got in early.  Here's the thing.  Our facility is only so large, and we are already the largest Parkour Gym on the West Coast.  Here is the other thing... there are only so many qualified coaches in our given field, and in order to keep the quality of instruction on an outstanding scale and SAFE, we need our people to be focused on a smaller handful of committed clients.

When it comes to elite level athletics, we cannot have the same business model as a regular gym franchise - which can usually boasts low prices, a variety of trendy movement classes, and a steam room.  What we do is very different, and very specialized.  Most gyms are in the business of helping people lose weight.  We can certainly help you there.  What we do will DEFINITELY help you lose weight.  But aside from that, we are in the business of creating some of the strongest, fittest beings on the planet.  And we can start you as young as 3 years old.  

It's not everyone's goal to be in the top 10% of strongest, fittest beings on the planet.  If anything, most people would rather just be thin, and fit into their clothes.  And that's okay!  We understand we serve a very small percentage of the population, and we're okay with that.

Parkour, Freerunning, Aerial Arts, and the types of Tumbling and Martial Disciplines we offer are very unique and are within pioneering fitness fields.  We have come to the point where we feel we understand our market.  We know who you are.  You aren't satisfied with appearances.  You need mountains to climb, rivers to swim across, and a challenge worth your time and effort.

So we're moving that direction for YOU.  Thank you for sticking with us and giving us the opportunity to serve you in the greatest capacity possible.

Just to clarify FAQ's:

1) What if I already have an Unlimited Membership? Will I lose it?
A:  Absolutely not!  You got in early, you get to keep it!  Hurray!  But if you drop your membership, we will not be able to reinstate the unlimited status.

2) Are any current members going to have to pay more for their membership?
A:  Nope!  Your bill will stay the same.  If you decide to drop, then you will be subject to new membership prices/terms that will be released early 2016.

3) Hey I'm new!  I'm wanting to signup for an Unlimited Membership.  Can I do that?
A:  We have 25 left that we are willing to sell.  After that, they are gone for good.

4) Why exactly are you not selling Unlimited Memberships anymore?  It's such a great deal, and seems like such a shame to get rid of it.
A:  Thats the thing... It IS a GREAT deal!  But GREAT deals are not meant to be for anyone.  They are reserved for the firstlings of the flock, the first people who saw it, the first people that got in through the doors.  It doesn't mean you won't get a great deal too.  You came in later, so you pay more, BUT you didn't have to go through some of the growing pains of our business!  So it evens out in the end.

5) Do you think you'll ever bring it back?  Ever?
A:  No.  We have carefully, meticulously, strategically planned out this move.  We wouldn't have announced this if we didn't have a long term plan in place.  Progressing our students and our clientele to the highest capacity possibly is always the goal, and every move we make is to honor and maintain the integrity of the institution.  Which means having the highest quality instruction on the market, and proven methodology to progress and inspire our clientele.

6) What about the TRIBE membership?  Is that being discontinued?
A:  No.  This will remain our ONLY unlimited membership.  We will actually be adding more classes under the TRIBE, and it will also remain the most amazing and affordable strength and conditioning membership available on the market.  Our $20 pricing will be changing to $50/month and will include open gym.  This is not going into effect until early 2016 and will be announced within the coming months.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

FFACT Parkour Instructor Certification

Ever wonder how people like Coach Nate Davies achieve their level of expertise?  Do you also wonder how they are able to pass that knowledge on to others and make a living doing so?  FFACT is our Parkour Instructor Certification program, and I'm here to tell you about it.

When we first opened Free Flow Academy one of our missions was to find and develop some of the most qualified and experienced Parkour coaches in the world.  Our certification requires practitioners to have trained a minimum of 2 years, and have completed at a minimum, our 3 day intensive Parkour Certification, which involves a physical and written test, and a complete progression breakdown of every skill taught and approved in our Parkour classes.  

In a nutshell:  The Free Flow Academy Certified Trainer program is devoted to Movement Science Excellence.  Our program is designed to instill a strong foundation in human anatomy, body mechanics, safety protocols, kinetic patterning, and progression breakdown while maintaining the values and history of Parkour. 

To better serve your questions we put together this FAQ list - which can also be found on our Certification website HERE:

What is FFACT?
FFACT is an acronym for Free Flow Academy Certified Trainer.  Free Flow Academy is the original Parkour gym in California, and is the largest Parkour gym on the West Coast.  Our academy started out much like any other, we were a group of athletes, who needed a place to train and cultivate our talents.  After opening our doors, our classes expanded, and over the course of time, we needed a systematic and proven approach to train other qualified professionals.  Our clientele is extremely important to us, and as trainers, our highest priority is to keep our clients safe.  We take prospective coaches to the next level and teach them to incorporate proven and effective methodology that is backed by Science.  Our team of professionals consist of biomechanists, researchers, developers, creative artists, youth and adult programmers, and entertainers.  All of which play an important role in creating safe, effective, and entertaining settings that optimize the clientele learning experience. Proper implementation of skill progressions are an important part of being a coach, and are meticulously covered during the certification process.  Things that will be covered are skill progressions, human anatomy, terminology, building confidence in your students, history, philosophy, conditioning exercises and programming, and much more. 

Is FFACT recognized in other other parts of the world?
Free Flow Academy is recognized world wide within the Parkour community.  In addition, Free Flow Academy and many FFACT Instructors work directly with California State agencies, implementing Physical Education programming throughout dozens of districts.  

How do I use FFACT to land jobs as a Parkour Instructor?
Many gyms all over the world are incorporating Parkour into their programming.  Gymnastic gyms, rockclimbing, martial arts, crossfit, primal fitness, circus arts, and many other types of gyms have already brought Parkour programming in some form or another into their business model.  If they haven't already, then they will. However, over the course of the last few years particularly 2012-2015, many gyms have shut down their Parkour programs and/or have renamed them under other forms such as "Urban Gym".  This is due to liability issues and insurance companies not allowing Parkour to be taught at facilities that are not properly equipped or staffed. Having a FFACT Cert gives you legitimacy as a coach, and reference to draw from when you are questioned about your qualifications.  Furthermore, the knowledge you obtain from our Certification course will give you the tools you need to properly implement a safe and successful Parkour program at any gym.  Simply do a search on your local gyms and find out what kind of programming they offer.  If they do not have a Parkour program, perhaps you can bring one to table. We give you the tools to do that.  Starting a program at a gym is a great way to segue into opening your own Parkour gym.  

How long is the Certification?
The Certification is 3 days long 9am - 5pm each day.  Plan on bringing plenty of food, snacks, and water. 

What should I wear to the Certification?
You should wear comfortable workout attire, as the Certification includes a written AND physical test.  Wearing low soled exercise shows such as feiyues are also helpful.

How much money can I make as a Parkour Instructor?
Our Certified instructors make anywhere from $15 - $35/hour, depending on the class/size/budget of the program.  Privates usually range from $40 - $120/hour depending on level of experience and expertise.  This amount varies depending on what gym you are working for, but for a full class (6-8 students) instructors generally report an average of $20/hour, or per class.   

What is included in my Certification?
Skill Progression Key Ring, entry into our Certified Coaches database, Official Certification, 3 day intensive with physical and written test.

How do I work for Free Flow Academy?
Our hiring process involves Certification, plus one of the following - 3 month apprenticeship, or 2 month internship.  Apprenticeship's are for prospective coaches who desire to Coach within a program or department that currently exists.  Internships are for prospective coaches who desire to start a new program or department that does not currently exist.  In order to enroll in either program, you must have a minimum of 2 years experience in that particular discipline.  You must be a current member of the gym in order to enroll in our apprenticeship program, unless your qualifications are a B.S. in Movement Sciences or you have a certification or educational level that is equivalent.  

How do I start my own Parkour Gym?

Starting your own Parkour Gym is an incredibly rewarding experience, but can also come with some steep challenges.  We're here to support you on your journey.  Our Level I Certification does not cover the basics of starting your own Parkour Gym.  This is covered in Level III, and like all things, before considering taking on such a large undertaking, you'll want to have a strong foundation.  We believe in setting you up for success, and something like starting a business is a long term investment.  Being informed, and understanding market trends, Google analytics, market research within your area, knowing and understanding compliance laws at the Federal, State, and County level, dealing with leasing contracts or buying commercial property, obtaining insurance, managing a team of employees, marketing, accounting/bookkeeping... are just a few things that you'll need to know when starting this venture.  Our job is not to discourage you.  Our job is to keep you safe, minimize your risk of lawsuits, and set you up for a successful and sustainable future.   

Monday, August 31, 2015

Movement Discrimination - How to deal with it...

I first heard the term "Movement Discrimination" 4 years ago, while discussing some of the challenges within the Parkour community with my training/business partner Corey Romines.  I was a bit taken aback, the first time I had someone approach me and tell me I couldn't climb a wall.  This wall was about 10' high, sturdy, made out of cinder blocks, and as far as I could tell, was perfectly safe for me to climb, wall run, and walk upon.  At first I was a bit embarrassed - I hadn't been scolded like this since middle school...

This experience was the first of many, I have been scolded by many people since I started training in Parkour, and it's never welcoming.  Generally it's someone with no authority approaching you and telling you how unsafe you are being, and how you need to get off (such and such wall, or rail, or step, or tree). 

The first thing to remember, is that NO ONE has the authority to tell you how to move your body.  The next thing to remember, is that most people have NO IDEA what you are doing or trying to achieve, so it's important to remain calm, and respectful, and take this opportunity to educate and enlighten the person with NO AUTHORITY or KNOWLEDGE on the matter.  And most importantly, Know Your Rights.

Someone tell this kid to sit down and stop skipping rocks!  Throwing is unsafe and unacceptable and people shouldn't do it!  Tell this kid he's a bad kid and the only thing he should do is sit and watch, because interaction is not a human thing to do!!
And I don't mean get on a soapbox and start preaching about the importance of movement, and how Parkour has completely revolutionized the way people view and approach the human body in terms of function, capacity, and training methodology...ect... What I do mean is to take that moment to make a connection with this person. 

One thing I like to do is ask questions.  Whenever there is a challenging issue in society, it's important to start asking questions. And the folks who have assumed authority, have in fact placed themselves in a position to answer such questions.  After all, if you are going to try to control any person, or govern a territory, you must be prepared to answer some basic questions to maintain that authority.  Here are some ideas for matter of fact questions (remember to be sincere - do not resort to sarcasm and seek to humiliate the person - as this does not help you or them - but it's okay to be secretly amused.  This is inevitable.)

1) I see this space as an opportunity for growth.  My movement may seem counter culture, and look differently than how you would interact with this space, but is my diversity in movement offensive or criminal?
2) I saw this wall here and wanted to challenge myself by climbing it.  Is it against the law to do so?  Is this something I could go to jail for?  Are you going to call the police if I continue climbing this wall?
3) I enjoy running, jumping, and climbing rather than simply walking... it stimulates my mind, and I enjoy it.  Is there a reason why such activity is unacceptable and prohibited?
4) I'm attempting to connect with my environment, what types of activities and movement would you suggest I do?  (If they proceed to give you ideas like... walking on the pathway, or sitting), you can educate them on the challenges of biomechanical disorders that stem from sitting too much, walking on flat surfaces, so on and so forth... and how you have chosen to avoid and prevent those disorders by moving in a primal and functional way that is backed by Science, and widely accepted in a variety of movement communities across the globe.
5) I believe I have the right to move through this environment.  I choose to move through this environment using a variety of mechanical functions that strengthen and stabilize my body.  Would you like to join me?

The point is, open it up to discussion.  Let's actually hear what the person has to say.  It's likely, in some instances, they'll have a really good explanation of why you shouldn't be there, doing what you do, but much of the time, they won't have an explanation, and their controlling nature stems from a very limiting belief that humans shouldn't move.  That's the belief we need to question, and resist.  With that said, I'll share a personal story from this weekend:

This past weekend we went up to Oregon City for a wedding.  We took the kids up along the Willamette River, skipped rocks, climbed boulders, and found our way to a nearby park, that had a swing set, ducks, geese, and pigeons. 

There was lots of open space, big trees, and lots of room to stretch out, run, move, and climb.  No one was around except for us, which made the park even more spacious.  We had a cartwheel relay race, the kids played on the swing set, and my brother climbed to the top of the swing set and busted out some pullups, because he's awesome like that.  My husband practiced some skin the cats, and I practiced some lemur locks.  The swing set was sturdy, the trees could handle our loads, which were light and minimal.  We weren't doing any damage, and we were having fun moving and connecting.  Within a few moments, a man rode up on his lawn mower (but he was not mowing anything) and scolded us, telling us "We were setting a bad example for the kids" and that "We shouldn't be doing any of that stuff".  We assured him we were trained and that this was how we liked to move.  He went on to say "Well not in these parts you don't".  He then went on to ride away on his lawn mower, leaving a trail of exhaust, to tell our kids who were about 25 yards away that they were being unsafe, to NOT run, and to stay away from the trees because the limbs might hurt and stab them.   I wasn't quite sure why this man would think the tree limbs were so threatening.  After all this, I felt it was safe to say, this man was clearly disconnected from his environment and didn't have any logical reason to tell us to stop.  So we didn't.  We ended up having a cartwheel contest, and then proceeded to do what we do.

Someone tell these flying birds to settle down, because they're making the other birds feel bad.  Look at those giant wings taking off and flying up so high in the sky - as if that's something special, and something to be proud of.  Those other birds have wings too, but they choose to not use them because it's obvious how unsafe it is to fly.  Be a good bird and do nothing but watch, observe, and listen, because that's what they are supposed to do.  That's what they are made to do. 

So there you have it.  If you're new to Parkour, and you train outside, you're going to have people tell you to stop, get off that, don't do that, you're being "bad", and all that.  Just remember that it's important to be mindful of others, and your environment, but ultimately, you get to decide how to move your body.  And we encourage you to connect with your environment and your surroundings. It's what humans do.  There is nothing bad or inappropriate about it; rather it's healthy and it's awesome.

Train Hard and Play Safe!
- Miss Elle 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Survival Science - Women's Self Defense Program - Combining Martial Arts & Parkour

Free Flow Academy is developing a Women's Self Defense Program called "Survival Science" and will be getting ready to launch quad pack of free videos, and a complete video series with 20+ videos for purchase, as well as host comprehensive 4 hour seminars on the subject.  These past few months have been physically and emotionally exhausting as we have studied over 100 sexual assault cases and counting, personally interviewed survivors of sexual assault, and are taking our techniques to the street.  You read that right, we are going out into the streets and inviting people to take a free lesson in self defense, in exchange for being a test subject.

The process?  From our research we have compiled a list of commonly used attacks, and what we've done is create techniques that can be taught to people with no martial arts or parkour experience, and use it to combat and escape from an attacker that is 2 - 3x your size and/or strength.

These past few months we will have data compiled in over a dozen cities, including cities from Seattle to San Diego.  If we have the budget we'll head further East, but for now, we come out of pocket, putting our research to the ultimate test.

We're really excited to bring this program to the community as we believe it will help keep women and young girls safe.  I for one have come home bruised and scraped up from rolling around on the ground, with rocks and sticks stabbing into my back with guys that are 225 lbs on top of me, holding me down.  When I first felt it was necessary to actual go out and test in this manner, I knew it would be rough, but if we are going to develop a product designed to help save lives, then we better deliver.

Lon (Left), Colton (Middle), and Elle (right) - the creators of "Survival Science" roamed around Old Sacramento and State Capitol Park this afternoon introducing themselves to strangers and asking them if they wanted to partake in a free martial arts lesson in exchange for being a test subject.   Michael Poole - Photographer/Filmmaker has joined the team in order to create a cinematic and high production value approach to the project.

Monday, May 11, 2015

High Desert Adventure Retreat - Nor Cal

We began with a 5 mile night hike into the high desert wilderness led by a flaming torch. 

For Folks who love the outdoors, this one's for you.  Free Flow Academy is now offering what we call "Adventure Retreats".  That's right.  We promise you an Adventure, a Retreat, and overall - good times.  We feel what we offer at the gym is all just prep work for the real deal - the outside world.  Because let's face it, it's just not healthy to always exist in a box, and always exist in a bubble, where we get to move things around, to suit ourselves and our limitations.  There is no sense in creating false illusions of what we are capable of.  The gym is great for prepping, and the gym is great for rehabing.  But let's not mistake the gym for what it is.  PREP and REHAB.  So we trainers tend to get a bit philosophical when it comes to training - especially when discussing the realm of "Functional Fitness", which is our industry/niche.  The term "functional" is always being discussed, and quite simply, debated.  So I'm going to keep it really simple.  I think bullet points are always great for defining things and keeping them simple so here goes - how we define "Functional":

- Utility/Application/Alignment to Real Life Circumstances
- Translates to a variety of movement and/or fitness disciplines
- Useful work loads that serve a purpose

I think I'll hold it on just those 3 bullet points.  I may update/revise later - but for now, let's just stick with that so we can move forward.  We believe our Adventure Retreats are the next level - to actually understanding how we move and we can truly adapt to our environment.  The greatest teacher is Mother Nature.  Why?  Because she's fierce, unforgiving, and commands respect.  Mother Nature is humbling, and reminds us of how small we really are, but also, gives us some real insight to the vast network we belong to.

This Adventure Retreat was designed to rebuild us from the cellular level.  So in that case, we started with walking.  Hiking on uneven terrain with packs serves a few specific purposes.  For one, when we walk on uneven terrain, it builds up all the little micro muscles and stabilization muscles in our feet, ankles, and calves.  Add some weight to that, and you'll soon discover some of the weaknesses and overcompensation in your gait pattern.

We ate only organic, mostly plant based food.  High carbs, high protein, and whole foods were our fuel.  The fuel that you take in makes all the difference in the world, helps prevent injury, and excessive soreness, as well as gives us the energy and vitality we need to stay strong and focused throughout the entire process.

Variability was also key - as this is a movement exploration experience.  We hiked, ran, backpacked, kung fu, parkour, archery, tracking, bouldering - it was non-stop movement.  But the difference is we took on different load profiles - working different muscle groups.  Keeping things diversified increases longevity, and delivers a more well rounded experience.  

We rose at 5am to the sound of a Native American Flute, then ran up a ravine, to practice tai chi and qi gong, and finish off our meditation while watching the sun rise over the mountains.  

We practiced archery - and also should mention we took kids as young as 4 on this Adventure.  We tallied around 20 miles of hiking on foot.  11 miles with packs.  If this kid can do it, so can you.  Although this kid is a beast.  And you could be too.
Parkour of course!  We had a QM session, Climbed trees, rock hopped, and took on additional loads (held rocks while we parkoured)
We discovered a small cave and had some fun exploring the inside, slipping into small crevices to discover a new world. We also learned some bouldering techniques to give us some moment of applied movement and exploration.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercises help with circulation, increased metal clarity and focus.

Our backpacking crew consisted of a team of 20 people - varying ages.  Yes there was a woman present on this trip (I was taking the picture).  I would LOVE to see some more women on treks like these.  It has been suggested to me to organize a women's adventure retreat.  I think I say "Challenge Accepted!"

We learned about tracking animals, and all kinds of wilderness survival techniques, such as star navigating, and creating shelters.  We had Jeff Adorador from EarthWalker teaching us continually about how to use/adapt to our surroundings so that we may thrive.  His words were simple - "The more you know, the less you need".  Wise indeed!

This video pretty much sums up our trip - we even had ants for snack!  I'd have to say they weren't bad!  Sort of sweet, and a little sour.  It was not what I expected... surprisingly kind of good :)  Consider checking out our upcoming Adventure Retreats and take on the challenge of being transformed from the cellular level! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Balancing Act of Nutrition

You've heard it before... baking is a Science, while cooking is an Art.  Anyone who bakes has their fair share of chemistry lessons, while cooks have their their fair share of innovation and resourcefulness.  The body and the food we put into it is also a Science and an Art.  The body is a chemistry lab, but is also a machine, and an ever changing form that can be molded and sculpted by our own will, by the environment, or by our genetics.

I haven't posted much on food, mainly because it really is no one's place to tell you what to put into your body.  Your body, your needs, your choices all belong to YOU.  Free Flow Academy encourages gardening, or at least being connected with your food and knowing where it comes from, and eating whole foods, organic when available, and reading labels.  Other than that, we don't stress specific diets.  Paleo, Vegan, Gluten free... the list goes on. We aren't going to tell you what's right for you.  However, as individual trainers, we each make our own diet choices according to what we believe is best for our bodies, and for the tasks and functions we wish to achieve.  I can't speak for all the trainers and our staff, really I can only speak for myself. So here's my break down, in case you are wondering:

1) My number one priority in my nutrition is OPTIMUM IMMUNE FUNCTION

This area has been a battle for me.  When I was in my teen years I was really into big gains, pushing to my max, eating tons of carbs and protein, and burning fuel as fast as I could.  I'd work out, go to work, do homework, go to school, when I was tired, sick, and could barely stand.  If there was anyone who pushed their limits, both mentally and physically, that was me.

Fast forward a few more years... I was 19 years old, doing the same thing I always do - push/drive myself into the ground.  I had 3 jobs, Dean's Honor Roll at my university, and of course training in martial arts 6 days a week 2-3 hours a day.  I had the energy to do all these things, so I did them, because I could.  If I wasn't being ultra productive, then I didn't feel valuable, and I didn't feel like I was meeting my potential if I didn't crawl into bed each night exhausted.

Then one day my hair started to fall out.  My hair fell out in huge chunks, and I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata an autoimmune disorder.

I was pretty upset about the whole thing.  Losing your locks at 19 wasn't my idea of enjoying my prime years.  Soooo, let's just say I did some research.  I started to look inward, and make some changes.  I made some big changes to my lifestyle, and the first thing I did, was look to balance my hormones and my lifestyle.  As soon as I made those changes, my hair stopped falling out and grew back.  

Since that time I have spent over a decade monitoring and trying to keep my hormones and lifestyle in check.  3 pregnancies (including giving birth to twins, vaginally, no c-section), and entering my 30's has been a continual "check your engine for maintenance" light.  I must admit, I still push myself, but I'm more on the side of steadily improving myself, rather than driving myself into the ground.

Now I have 4 beautiful boys, I'm in my 30s, and own a company with nearly 30 employees.  Sounds like a freaking LOAD of work.  Well, it is and it isn't.  Here is where my nutrition lifestyle comes into play.  First and foremost my nutrition is prioritized by the following factors: #1 is immune function, because if I don't have the ability to take on my work load in a manner that minimizes stress, and allows me plenty of time to eat right, rest, and avoid the common sicknesses and ailments that come around, then nothing else matters.  There is nothing lively about being sick all the time, and there is nothing good nor glorious about being exhausted and tired all the time.  If my immune system has been compromised, then I need to figure out a new way to treat my body, because there is nothing more detrimental to your quality of life than being sick.  


I choose a nutrition program that really keeps my brain active and sharp.  Your brain burns a minimum of 25% of your total intake of calories.  Your brain has A LOT to do, so if you feel "spacey" or have difficulty concentrating, I propose that you are not eating for your brain.  If anything you are probably not eating enough, and/or not enough of the right foods.  Our bodies are a chemistry lab, and a machine that regenerates it's own cells.  And it is our brain that is the control center.  It's really important that if you have to do any kind of problem solving, that you have optimum cognitive function, and I really can't stress this area enough.  There are tons of geniuses out there, but I wholeheartedly believe that their are plenty of people who aren't tapping into that genius, because they aren't putting their cognitive function as a priority when designing their nutrition plan.  Rather they focus on "fat burning" plan.  Or "get ripped" plan.  All of which in a nutshell are pretty much shallow focuses if you don't consider the body as a whole.  We are so much more than how many fat cells, or what percentage of body fat we are.  If you think about the thousands of nutrition plans out there, you have to ask, what's the point of all that?  For me, my first question is always, "How does this support my immune function?  How does this support my cognitive function?"  Because if it doesn't serve those two areas, or compromises/diminishes those two areas, then it's NOT WORTH IT.


Normally, people within the fitness industry design their nutrition plan around this area of focus. PERFORMANCE.  They want to do know what they can DO.  How they can LOOK.  This is the part that really sells, and is the part marketers like to focus on.  For me, this is #3, and there is no way it's going to ever move up from there.  In my earlier years, like my teens, Performance Function was number one.  I'd do whatever it took to perform, but it came with a very serious price.  It's a lesson I have learned/relearned many times over the past decade, and it has taken me some big life lessons to really truly prioritize.  Here is where I feel wisdom really comes into play.  There are a lot of areas of focus when it comes to performance, whether you are training for a marathon, a tournament, a cage fight, a physically demanding trip - you name it, there are tons of things you can be training for.  I for one, am a mother of 4, wife, business owner - so I need to have lots of energy.  But you won't see me loading up on B vitamins or energy supplements.  I don't drink coffee, nor consume caffeine in any form, other than perhaps the occasional bit of chocolate.  It is my belief that the body creates energy all by itself, all you need to do is let it do it's job, by giving it the right fuel, and letting it rest when it needs.

For me, my performance function is longevity - essentially I need to have enough energy to get through the entire day, alert, and totally present.  Crawling into bed exhausted shows that I exerted way too much energy, and didn't intake the right amount or right kinds of fuel.

That pretty much sums up my own personal nutrition plan.  Many clients wonder about specific areas, like how to lose weight, how to get a 6 pack... and there is nothing wrong with wanting those things. But keep in mind that your body is designed a very particular way, and what works for one person, won't necessarily work for you.  I'll conclude by posing a question: What do you want from your body?  I think that's one of the key's to deciding how to design your nutrition plan.  Once you become very clear about exactly you want out of your body, then you can really start to prioritize and design a plan that works amazing, and is also sustainable.

- Elle Beyer

Free Flow Academy partnered with Lincoln Community Garden to bring free gardening classes to the community (Organic gardening workshops and Composting/Vermiculture workshops are offered quarterly)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Film making and Parkour

There are several reasons why I believe film making and visual media content is important.  For one, it's the most powerful and influential tool that we have today.  Media and visual content influences the way we think, but more importantly, the lessons and/or warnings we learn in life come from stories we tell.

When I was in film school, I was fascinated with the way films are in fact a combination of all the arts - while fusing the latest and most innovative technology that is available on the market.  It's part science, engineering, and art - but it also serves as a unique relic of our time, our perspectives, and tells a great deal about each demographic it serves.

As I gained more insight into the world of producing, I realized that making films was intricately woven into the much grander tapestry of economics.  It's an art form that is not only a collaborative art process, a brain machine of ingenuity - but also an artifact that has the potential to fuel entire industries for generations.

Since having opened Free Flow Academy, and for the past 3 years, been working on growing and building a sophisticated artistic community - one that first and foremost understands their body, their needs, and limitations, while encouraging people to fulfill their highest potential.  Then delivering an environment that is invariably persistent in self-expression, and exploration.  We do our best to combine the Science of methodology, with the Art of expression and style.  Now with our community numbers growing higher than ever before, our next step is to create opportunities for those athletes and artists, to share their talent.  Teaching/Coaching methodology will always be necessary to carry on our disciplines, but the fact remains that we still need Artists to inspire, to bring to life that which we have worked so hard to achieve.  This is where film making comes into play.

In a nutshell, I fell in love with film making, and respected the power that it held, which led me to the belief that you shouldn't make movies just because you feel like it.  Making movies is simply way too much work to do for the hope of money, or glory, or fame.  You don't sculpt a marble statue of David, just because you felt like it one day.  You do it because you hope to leave behind something iconic.  You do it because you feel you need to offer up something that serves as a kind of hieroglyph.  Just like our ancestors drew paintings on the walls of caves, we have the ability to communicate to the world that will come after ours has died and diminished into the ashes of time. You communicate your way of life, the dangers both real and imagined in our world.  You tell your story, with the hope that your story lives on and inspires others.

- Elle Beyer

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Demo Team Minimum Requirements

Season 2 Tryouts are coming up Saturday January 24th.  12:30pm for Kids and 2:30pm for Teens/Adults

NeoFlow Requirements

1. All team members will be required to have an Extended Membership plus Tribe (or
an equivalent family membership or greater).

2. All team members will be on Autopay (unless otherwise discussed with Elle, Nate or

3. All team members will be expected to take 3 classes per week: Demo Team
practice, an additional parkour or tumbling class, and 1 strength, balance or landings

4. All team members will be required to purchase a uniform before first performance!
No uniform, no performance. The uniform will consist of a black pair of pants (of
your choosing) and a NeoFlow t-shirt, available for purchase at the front desk.

5. All members will be required to participate in the Spring Showcase and any
scheduled rehearsal dates. (see calendar for dates)

6. If you miss 3 or more practices or performances you will no longer be able to
participate on the NeoFlow team for the remainder of the season.

7. If you are unable to make the performance practice before a scheduled event, you
will not be able to perform at the event.

Team B Requirements:

1. Front Flip on Ground
2. Back Flip on Ground
3. Side flip on Flat
4. Back handspring
5. Front handspring
6. Round off Back flip AND Round off Back handspring
7. Handstand 5-10 seconds open floor, or 60 seconds on wall (nose and toes)

1. Must have knowledge of and be able to execute ALL vaults (see skill sheet at desk
for list)
2. Climb up, no elbows
3. Precision, 1.5x height
4. Cat leap, 3ft to 6ft at a distance of 1.5x height
5. Must be able to properly execute a Parkour roll
6. Tack to dive roll
7. Wall spin

1. 5 pull ups, 5 chin ups
2. 3 muscle ups
3. 5 no swing leg raises
4. 5 dips
5. Pull over
6. 10 solid pushups
7. 5 controlled squats with 1/2 your body weight weight vest OR 30 controlled squats
with no additional weight

Team A Requirements:

1. Front Flip into Foam Pit, with landing mat
2. Back Flip off Panel Mat in Foam Pit
3. Cartwheel, regular and one handed
4. Round off
5. Spotted Front Handspring
6. Spotted Back Handspring
7. 40 second Handstand on Wall

1. Know how to do the following Vaults: Safety, Monkey, Thief, and 2-step reverse
2. Climb up with no knees
3. Precision length of your height
4. Cat leap, 2ft to 5ft, height distance
5. Parkour Roll

1. 2 Pull ups
2. 10 knee tucks on bars
3. 2 dips
4. 5 solid push ups
5. 20 slow-controlled squats

Uniform (only if you weren't on Season I Demo Team) - $60
Monthly Membership - Extended $105 (includes the Extended Membership & Tribe membership)
Occasional travel/expenses (Team Trip 1x per season) - $80

Practice Times:
Monday 5:30pm-7:30pm (Team A team practice) & an additional class (Parkour or Tumbling Class of your choice), and a MINIMUM of one Tribe class per week.

Wednesday 5:30pm-7:30pm (Team B team practice) & an additional class (Parkour or Tumbling Class of your choice), and a MINIMUM of one Tribe class per week.

**6 months
**You can expect to have 1-2 days per month for performances, service oriented project, or photo/video shoot.
**Be a LEADER, represent the gym well. Be respectful at all times to yourself, to all people, in all environments.