Welcome to The Sweatshop. I drove up to the Sweatshop Dallas really having no clue what I was getting myself into. I had been in communication with one of the personal trainers and marketing director who both were very friendly and excited for DallasFitSpot to promote and review the spot. I knew they had boot camp classes and personal training during the day, but I had no clue what the actual space and experience would look like. I knew the gym was in Oak Cliff/Dallas area, and close to Bishop Arts, but I really had imagined something completely opposite to what I truly experienced. I pulled up to what appeared to be a very grungy worn out gym. I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t nervous. Walking up, I imagined this being the type of place that a fighter would train at in order to kill and beat his opponent. I pictured everyone having massive muscles with tattoos covering their entire bodies. Now, I was accurate about the tattoos, but the intimidation factor quickly fled my mind as soon as I actually stepped into the gym and met both Joel and Josh (owners and trainers).
(Do not be alarmed by the skull. It looks scary (to me), but it’s not.)
I was greeted by Joel when I first stepped into the gym. I had been communicating with him for around 3 weeks regarding the gym. He gave me a tour of the place, showed me the different juices and programs they have for their clients, had his son give me a walking tour around the building and really made me feel a part of the Sweatshop family. After the tour, I met his brother Josh (who also trains-pictured in photo below) and learned a lot about his passion and heart behind fitness.
Josh formerly served in the navy and turned to fitness to help deal with depression. He used fitness as a journey to overcome obstacles in his life, and wants to share the victories he’s experienced with his clients as well. It’s a mind-shift and a lifestyle change. It’s not just something you do, it’s part of who you are. Fitness is an integral part of life. As I was listening to Josh, I felt extremely empowered to workout, realized that it’s not a chore but an accomplishment and an exhilarating experience to fulfill in life. Josh should be a motivational speaker to youth and anyone struggling with finding joy and needing the push and drive for success. As locals to the Oak Cliff area, Josh and Joel use their gym to train members of the community who are like family. Growing up in the area and having clients as former classmates is like a high school reunion every day, according to Joel. It’s really great to see two brothers fulfilling a dream and making a positive impact in their community.
The gym itself is very rugged and raw. There’s nothing fancy about it at all. I think that’s the beauty of it though. You go in, you’re there to work, you get a good workout in, you hang with the crew, tell a few jokes, hear some old school rap music, and go on with your day. There is a 5:30 bootcamp class (rough-because it’s so early), personal training during the day, and more classes in the evening. The gym is also open at 5:00PM M-F for personal workouts before any classes.
The actual workout was killer. I was only able to do part of my first workout, and felt very out of shape after the first 10 minutes. I did about 35 minutes and felt like I had just completed a marathon. Josh made fun of me and told me I moved like I weighed 200 pounds. That was a wake up call! So I pushed harder and made sure I wouldn’t hear that comment again. The boot camp class was as equally intense as my personal training session. The group was fun. They would joke around with one another while working hard. I really liked my experience here. Like I mentioned before, it’s not at all what I expected, and I am thankful for that.
-Meal Plan options
-Loud music (if you like that-helps with motivation)
-Powerful belief in the benefits of fitness
-Raw Gym (aka, dirty and old equipment-if you like a new feel, this is not the place for you)
-Shared guys/girls bathroom
-Language- if you are offended by offensive language, this is not the place for you. There is cursing, but it is not over the top.
-Too far for me 😦
218 S Tyler St, Dallas, TX 75208