Black Dog Fitness
The inspiration for Black Dog.
He was with us for just two short years and passed away in 2018 at the age of 16. We adopted him from Five Acres Animal Shelter just before his 14th birthday. Oreo and I had an amazing bond and I'm certain he came into my life for a reason. He taught me so much and impacted me in ways I never expected. Senior dogs are just the coolest like that. Oreo showed me patience, persistence and presence.
He loved to go for walks and rides in the car, and for quite some time he also loved to play ball. He sure didn’t act his age when we adopted him. They know. I swear they know. And they soak up every minute of the new chance for love and happiness. But who actually rescues who? I know the answer to that. Life is just better with a rescue animal.
So, why the focus on kettlebell training? Personally, kettlebells have helped me grow stronger, physically and mentally. Kettlebells have shown me discipline and have provided me with the inspiration to be better. I always have something to learn. I enjoy the details. I understand that if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.
I’ve been necessarily plugging away at my business Dragonfly Fitness since 2012, but I’ve felt a need to do something more...in regards to a few things that I care about. I love coaching kettlebells, helping people get strong, and I feel compelled to give back if and where I can. 2020 has been a challenging year and there's going to be a bit of a climb before these things happen, but it's the ultimate goal.
Owner, Black Dog Fitness
StrongFirst SFG Level 2 Certified Kettlebell Instructor
Precision Nutrition Certified, Level 2
Certified Personal Trainer, American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Athletes for Animals, Board Member
“Black Dog Fitness combines something I love...coaching kettlebells and helping others get super strong...with serving a greater purpose, on many different levels.”
Is training at Black Dog open to everyone?
Yes! Black Dog is a co-ed kettlebell training gym in St. Louis Hills offering private training, small group training and training for coaches. All of our training here will be led by a coach. We’re here to help men and women of all fitness levels get superhero strong, while making a difference and giving back to our community!
Are your coaches kettlebell certified?
Yes. Renah Jones, Owner, is the only StrongFirst Level 2 Certified Kettlebell Coach in the St. Louis area. All other coaches who join our team will be certified personal trainers working towards their kettlebell certification, while coaching based on the same principles of StrongFirst.
Do you offer private kettlebell training?
Yes, we do offer individual private kettlebell sessions for:
Kettlebell enthusiasts who want to learn more about the kettlebell or who want to focus on specific movements.
Coaches who do not have a kettlebell certification, but would like to learn the best ways to cue and coach their own clients.
Coaches or anyone working towards the SFG certification.
How is group training structured?
Our kettlebell training system will give you the opportunity to progress and level up, always challenging you! Movements for your specific training will be determined by your level: white, blue, brown and black.
Start your journey with us in the white level to master swings, goblet squats, single arm presses, and the get-up. Stay with us long-term to earn your black level mastery and progress to double snatches, jerks, and kettlebell athletic drills. Time spent at each level will vary from person to person, but will always challenge you!
Will the training you offer only use kettlebells?
Our training here is focused on kettlebells, but will also include a variety of challenging bodyweight movements and some barbell movements such as deadlifts.
What’s your membership investment?
Private training rates vary depending upon needs. Currently, our small group training is being offered at Francis Park with several options.
Can I use my Dragonfly membership for classes at Black Dog?
While Black Dog is a part of the Dragonfly family, it is operated separately of Dragonfly. Business operations and training is structured differently, and Black Dog has a mission all its own. We look forward to combining communities and spaces from time to time though! (If you have specific questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Do you offer youth training programs?
At the present time we do not have plans to offer general youth training programs. As a part of our giving back program, we do have plans to work with an organization to develop a youth program for kids at risk of being bullied.
What are the causes that Black Dog will support?
Rescue animals: We will not only spread the word about pet adoption, we also plan to donate profits from our group training to four local animal rescues that we have partnered with.
Military service members: Current and former U.S. Military service members suffering with PTSD and physical disabilities will be welcome to join our group training at no charge. We will work with several organizations on this opportunity and will reserve spaces in our group training programs just for them.
Youth who may be at risk of being bullied: We will work with a youth organization to select youth for this weekly/monthly program just for kids to help build confidence and strength.
While Black Dog will cover some of the staff costs associated with the above, we will really only be able to support these causes because of members who join us to train!
Is this a non-profit gym and will all of my membership fees be donated?
No, we are not a non-profit gym. However, Black Dog will donate profits from our training programs. After we pay our expenses (rent, equipment, utilities, staff, etc.), we will donate profits to animal rescue organizations that we have partnered with. It will take us a while to cover our opening expenses, but we will get started as soon as possible.
So, you’re donating profits…why?
Running a fitness business is hard (or any business for that matter). The competition is tough. The hours can be odd and the days can get long. It costs a lot to operate, and there’s always room for improvement. What can I say? I was inspired by an amazing senior rescue dog…to be a little better and to do a little more. For me, Black Dog is the perfect way to combine the things I love: helping people get strong with kettlebells AND giving back.