My visit to the Boulder Movement Collective

by Ryan Wagner

I recently visited the Boulder Movement Collective, Colorado’s first Ido Portal inspired training facility. For a long time now, I’ve wondered why Boulder, or Colorado for that matter, didn’t have a movement-focused training gym. After all, Colorado is such a mecca for the super fit, that it just seemed natural to see some sort of Ido Portal influence in the area.

I’m pleased to say that the BMC is a wonderful addition to the already colorful mix of fitness options here in the Boulder/Denver area.

The gym was founded by owner and head coach, Matt Bernstein. A former firefighter, Matt discovered Ido Portal by way of CrossFit and was inspired in February of 2016 to open the gym.

After attending BMC classes for about a month, there is plenty that I can write about, but for the time being, I’d like to tell you a bit about the gym itself.

When you step inside, the first thing that you’ll notice is a shoe rack. It may seem a little out of place at first. Perhaps more at home in a yoga studio than a gym with weight plates stacked against the back wall. But as Matt explains, going shoeless not only helps us to move better, it helps to keep his gym floor clean.

Checked in and now barefoot, you now have an opportunity to scan the room and walk around a little prior to class starting.

At first glance, they gym resembles a Crossfit box. Then again, maybe a Crossfit box resembles a movement gym. In other words, there isn’t much there but a handful of Olympic rings and some bright yellow monkey bars that span the width of the room. The space is roughly cut in two by a hardwood floor and a rubber matted floor, near the back of the room.

Notably absent is the jungle of workout machines and rows and rows of treadmills that have now come to define the contemporary gym.

As you walk past the check-in counter, you pass by some mirrors, but not many. Afterall, mirrors can be very helpful in providing objective feedback on your movement. At the back of the room there is a long pull up bar spanning the width of the back wall. And this wall, as you can imagine, is prime real estate for handstand training. It has a smooth wood finish that is gentle to bare feet.

From the back of the room, you can see just how much light the floor-to-ceiling windows on the front of the building let in. Coupled with the large garage door to the side, the Boulder Movement Collective feels open and airy.

Now following the back wall towards the bathrooms you’ll find all the accessory equipment that you knew was hiding somewhere – the rubber straps, the weight plates, the yoga blocks, the gymnastics mats, etc. An assortment of barbells is neatly arranged and squat racks close by.

As you can imagine, when it’s time for more traditional strength training like back squats and deadlifts, the barbells and racks are quickly moved out from their storage space and onto the main floor.

Now, walking back to the front of the room, you have almost seen the entire floor space. You’ll be wondering if this is the cleanest gym you’ve ever stepped in. The 2 bathrooms are immaculate and the hardwood floor free of debris. Even the storage space full of miscellaneous training equipment (an often neglected spot in most gyms) is clean. I’m not counting the chalk handprints on the ground :).

And as you circle back to the front desk, you’ll see a sign that you missed when you walked in – it was right next to the door. It reads “Check your ego.”

It’s those 3 words that effectively sum up the teaching philosophy behind the BMC. That each time we move there’s the opportunity to be challenged and humbled. And that to gain the full benefit of training here, you need to let go of your expectations and be open to trying something new.

I look forward to seeing how the Boulder Movement Collective does in the coming years.

By Ryan Wagner

My visit to the Boulder Movement Collective by