Soon: Bodytriber moves to LA

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Tav Byerhoff, Tribal trainer and leader, has opportunities opening up to him in Southern Cal. Tav grokked Bodytribe within minutes of his sojourn into our sanctuary, and has since added a great deal to the growth of the Bodytribe way (and our ever evolving idea of fashion). Our huge loss will be LA’s gain, and I hope they figure that out pretty quickly.

So for this week’s blog, take it away, Tav!

I put together a conditioning group that meets two days a week (in all honesty it’s part of my personal workout that I invited a very small number of people to be a part of, and on a certain level I feel guilty for charging them to attend but a girl’s got to eat, right?). It’s high volume and high intensity and it’s frankly kind of retarded.

After a couple of weeks however, the workout facilitated two important and unexpected epiphanies. Besides the increases to my strength and endurance, it reminded me why I fell in love with exercise in the first place. There is a transcendent effect on the mind that occurs perhaps ONLY when the body is exposed to the utmost threshold of it’s physical ability. It’s just as powerful and real as any other enlightenment and it’s beautiful. For a long time now I have been working within a definite comfort zone, an understood and calculated mix of max effort and GPP training. Intense but short in duration or long in duration but not too intense. Not too focused and not too creative, actually.

(Tav is featured a bit in our upcoming Brutal Recess DVD)

But recently something inside of me asked me a question. It said, why? When was the last time you (me) felt truly challenged by a work out? When was the last time you (me) felt scared? Having gotten to know my zone I realized that I was refusing to see it as being anything other than what I have experienced thus far. It was defined, a museum piece, no longer alive, it was limiting. So I sat down with my zone and I said ‘zone, I like you and I know you and you are so much a part of me and my strengths. But maybe there are parts of you that I don’t know yet’. And then I started to write some things down on paper, an incantation to a demon, and I met it – at least part of it. I put together a solid two hours of mobility and max effort and repetition method and GPP work that I had never done before and built a 4 week plan around it

The first night was hard. The second night was intense. After the third night I almost broke into tears in the deli isle at the co-op realizing that I could no longer take the lives of other animals when we feel can life so completely. So now I’m a vegetarian. And this is just it. This is the whole point of exercise. It is not to get buff and sexy and pose in the mirror while you brush your teeth (although that is obviously a fantastic side effect to fitness), it’s to further ourselves emotionally and physically and spiritually and then give back to others when we’re able.

The journey of physical fitness is very much a hero’s quest following the same cycle of all epic myths. In the course of a workout or a life time of fitness, the hero (you), is called to adventure, finds friends to help on the road ahead, goes down that uncertain road to do battle against an unimaginable foe (your inner dragons, demons, ogres, weights), and returns victorious with treasure (again, you), to share it with the world. So I took this away from my experience: firstly, that intensity and challenges in the gym are not just physical experiences, they are deeply emotional and must be if your are to get everything there is to get out of them. Secondly, they don’t stay there, they leave with you and go where you go. They become you and you them and you grow to unbelievable new heights in the process. Thirdly, I have had the fortune of realizing this along side other people, my allies on the epic quest, my tribesmen and tribeswomen who I count as co-heroes in the myth of our lives and for however long it lasts, it’s been awesome…

(From Tav’s Youtube page, Ritual Fitness)

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Showing 7 comments
  • Ed Pierini

    It was my pleasure to be on the receiving end of your fitness knowledge Tav. My very best for your good faith, fitness, fortune and health in your fitness pilgrimage to your new “home”.

    Be safe.

  • Zac

    I, for one, am excited about the possibility of the Bodytribe philosophy being spread to other locales. The one thing I dread about my theoretical eventual relocation from the Sacramento area is the separation from Bodytribe it will bring. Knowing that there will be others who have been touched by it and who will build upon what they have learned there elsewhere is comforting. Knowing that Tav will be spreading the seeds of the physical subculture in LA will makes me happy. Hopefully I can eventually do my part wherever I end up…

  • jack

    Hey Tav! Looking forward to joining your gym in LA! Where is it?


  • jack


    Here’s my email.

    Look forward to joining your gym!

  • Dan Holt

    Tav is an awesome guy. His mobility is just amazing. It appears he’s mimicking a kangaroo. That’s something I want to practice and master now.

    Dan Holt

  • Dan Holt

    Those morning sessions were great. I remember many of the people attending telling me how they were improving and while they may not be looking forward to the next day’s grueling work they went because they knew the benefits in the long run.

    You could really take advantage of such a program and charge for more people to come. The loyal people that are apart of the gym wouldn’t get the charge increase.

    People are charging $600 for a monthly training assessment at 24 hour fitness and you give people far greater results with just a two day a week grueling morning mobility workout. How much do you charge them? Very little.

    Dan Holt

  • Erin H.

    I can’t put a price on what I’ve been getting out of those Tuesday-Thursday night workouts, but all along, I was sure you were undercharging us. But the price isn’t the point, is it? The point is that the last four months have reintroduced me to parts of myself I forgot were there. I feel stronger, more capable, and more positive than I have in a long time, and I’m just starting out on this part of the journey. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and introducing me to these physical rituals. Best of luck building up your LA tribe!

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