Gabe Free has been with Balance since 2015, and was recently promoted to Director of Personal Training at Balance Gym Capitol Hill! He first got into weightlifting to become a better athlete for rugby, football, and lacrosse in high school. He went on to play D1 rugby at Penn State for 4 years while earning a degree in Kinesiology - exercise science. He has trained D1 NCAA and Olympic athletes, top ranked Triathletes, and a multiple time national champion high school rugby team.
What makes your training style unique?:
My deep education of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, neuroscience, sports psychology, cardiovascular health, and nutrition give me the ability to train just about any population. Anyone can memorize sets and reps and exercises, but when you can really understand how the body and mind respond you'll be a pro.
If you could change one behavior you see in your clients, what would it be?:
Fear of trying new things or things they're bad at. Anyone can learn from this! Fitness is about smashing weaknesses. It's a necessary mental hump to get over that everyone struggles with.
What is your favorite exercise? Why?:
Probably back squats. Commonly used as an analogy for life, squats are about standing back up after something takes you down. It takes a lot of mental toughness to get crushed under the bar and drive it back up. I swear to science squatting heavy will make you a better person ;)
Briefly describe your weekly workout schedule. Is it seasonal? How many rest days do you take each week?:
I play rugby for a mens team which is in-season in the fall and spring. During winter/summer off season I train 4/5 times a week. In season probably 3 times a week mostly to maintain strength and keep the joints healthy and mobile. In-season we have games Saturday, and off-season I like to ski, sail, hike and bike around DC.
What is your favorite outdoor Washington D.C. activity? Do you have a favorite hike or run?:
My personal favorite is sailing in the Chesapeake. I try to play golf when I can. love biking around the city as well and taking my dog to dog parks.
How do you recover from a tough workout?:
Immediate protein shake with electrolyte/vitamin powder added. Post workout meal I go for 25g of lean protein with as many colorful vegetables as possible. Eat a rainbow! Vegetable/fruit color variety will help with your micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Your pre and post workout meals are the most important of the day because your brain is most vulnerable to adaptation; you can never skip these! If possible a nap immediately follows the meal. The greatest things you can do everyday for your health is lift, eat and sleep - In that order!
What is your favorite place in DC to get a healthy meal?:
I'm currently digging Farmbird on H St. All organic ethically raised chickens with lots of healthy vegetable sides and fairly priced.
Do you have anything on the horizon you would like to share?:
I have been at Balance Gym since 2015, and was recently promoted to Director of Personal Training at Balance Gym Capitol Hill. I'm looking forward to growing the training department and growing fitness in the community I grew up in.