Brewerytown: Laid-Off Teacher Gets Back on His Feet by Opening CrossFit Gym

For most people, being laid off from a position as a high school social studies teacher would be a stroke of bad luck. For Brian Terpak, it was the universe’s way of telling him to open his own CrossFit gym.

What started as an after school CrossFit club at the Girard Academic Music Program with his students three days a week is now Steelworks Strength Systems, a full-fledged CrossFit gym, or box, at 2601 W. Girard Ave.

CrossFit, for those not in the know, is high-intensity circuit training, with varied workouts such as deadlifts, pull-ups and aerobic exercises in a short amount of time with very little rest in between. This is all coupled with a culture and community atmosphere of pushing your limits.

A gym member writes down the weight of his completed reps.
A member writes down the weight of his completed reps.

“This is a space of community, where people from all over the neighborhood come around who might not have found each other before,” said Terpak. “They have this space to bleed, sweat, and grow together.”

He added, “When done right CrossFit, can be great source of health and fitness.”

He promised that anyone who enters his gym will achieve their fitness goals.

[vimeo 146093057]

– Text, images and video by Donte Kirby

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