The Ark School of Fitness

Click to register for The Gainesville OpenThe Ark School of Fitness is a strength and conditioning facility located in Gainesville, Florida. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission is to make healthy lifestyle choices accessible to individuals of any socioeconomic background. We provide, health, athletic, and nutritional education at a reduced, low, or no-cost structure.

Inside the Gym:

We specialize in Olympic Weightlifting and Conditioning. We believe that the Olympic Lifts (The Snatch, The Clean, and The Jerk), are crucial for athletic development, and that they should be an integral part of physical education.

Often times, being “in good shape” is correlated to a person’s aesthetics, to their appearance.  At The Ark, we focus on athletics, on having a deep understanding of how to move our bodies efficiently and safely, and to do everything possible to increase the length and quality of our lives. Achieving an aesthetic ideal is a byproduct of becoming a more capable person. Set attainable performance goals in the gym, and the physical transformation you desire will be realized.

Apart from being strong, we also want our athletes to be well conditioned physically. Our Weightlifting Program is coupled with a Conditioning Program that employs a plethora of movements, including but not limited to, running, rope work, calisthenics, power lifting, and plyometrics.

Outside the Gym:

The Ark is also working on projects to help increase quality of life in our larger community, by building outdoor gyms, and by providing free spaces to perform workouts and get coaching; this is our Athletic Community Project at work. Whether you are following our calisthenics program (our free on-line bodyweight workout blog), or something you threw together yourself, we hope that having access to infrastructure will encourage movement and healthy living in our community, as well as provide a cultural space which is safe, constructive, and encouraging.

We’ve built our first prototype adult fitness park on our property. This space is available free of charge to all visitors, and you can join us every Tuesday night at 7PM for our FREE community class. You’ll learn how to use the equipment and implements we provide in our fitness playground, and you’ll be better prepared to use this equipment independently with confidence. You can look to our calisthenics blog for ideas, or just check out the workout we have written up on our chalkboard outside.

Furthermore, The Ark is currently seeking motivated teens to participate in our Youth Weightlifting Program. Students who receive free or reduced lunch and attend either middle or high school may train with us free of charge. The mission of the Youth Weightlifting Program is to provide a constructive outlet for energy, and to produce incredible young athletes poised for success in life and sport.

If you would like to help us on our mission, while also achieving your own fitness goals, e-mail to schedule your free introductory session.

Here are some of the services that you can take part in right now:

FREE Community Fitness Class, every Tuesday at 7PM. Just show up a little before 7, we’ll be ready to receive you. This class focuses mostly on conditioning, calisthenics, basic gymnastics and track work.

FREE Yoga every Saturday morning at North East Park, at 8:30AM. Meet us behind the softball fields, next to the children’s playground, underneath the lone loblolly pine. CLICK HERE to link to the Facebook page. CLICK HERE for a map.

Sign-up for a FREE INTRODUCTORY SESSION. Join us for class and see what it’s like to train at The Ark. Regardless of your experience level or age, we have the tools to help you realize your athletic potential, and we will help you get into the best shape of your life!

Community Class


The Ark Facility

Workout of the Day:

141024: Asstastic

Michael : 2014/10/24 09:42 : WOD


1A) 8X3 Banded Deadlifts@50% of 1RM Deadlift, R60
1B) 4X8 Bench Press, AHAP, R60


10 rounds for time:

10 Deadlifts (135/95#)
10 HR Push-ups


On-toe-split Jerk 3X3, (5 minutes)

***Notes: Heavy but perfect. If your foot work sucks, walk yourself into position, close your eyes, and memorize what PERFECT position feels like, then begin the drill.

3RM Clean and Jerk, -5, -10 (25 minutes)

5X5 Hang Clean Pull (15 minutes)

***Notes: Load the hammies. Get leverage over the bar at the knee.

5X5 Clean Deadlift (15 minutes)

***Notes: PERFECT form. We are not pulling a 3RM Deadlift here. This is a CLEAN deadlift. Focus on foot pressure through the first pull (back of the balls of the feet into the heel), leverage over the bar at the start of the second pull, and heel pressure through the second pull into the power-position. Do not pull to finish (don’t shrug), instead, you should end at the power position, with the knees slightly bent with the hip loaded.

3X5 Bent-over row @-10% of Monday across sets (12 minutes)

3X10 Strict Pull-up, R60 (10 minutes)

3X1:00 Weighted Plank, R60 (5 minutes)

***Notes: This session should not take more than an hour and a half. Come in and get shit done. Manage your rest time. Do not take more than three minutes between CJ attempts, do not take more than two minutes on accessories. One minute rest, STRICT, on last two pieces.


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