Why Agoge?

John Buddy Petitjean Birmingham, AL

I saw big time results without really trying!

I started at Agoge Fitness Systems back in January of this year. I started with the Progressive Strength Training and in May added Courage Martial Arts. I train four days a week. I eat pretty much like I normally have but today I realized I’ve lost 25 lbs. in the last two months. To say the least, I saw big time results without really trying! I’ve just been having fun. Dave, Jimmy and the whole gym crew have made the experience of going to the gym easy to fit into my lifestyle and I look forward to hanging with my classmates every week.

Weight lifting is helping alleviate my back pain!

Running caused me so much pain in my 30s. Weight lifting is helping alleviate my back pain, improve my posture, and make everyday tasks so much easier. Bring on the heavy weights!

Tine Bennett HatchTechnical Writer
Laura Eason Make Up Artist/Entrepreneur

Clients become friends and encourage each other.

Agoge Fitness Systems is not like any other gym I've been to. Dave Hall, Agoge's owner/lead trainer/my longtime friend, does the science and creates workouts that are all-around challenging and effective. YOU do the work, not a machine. Actually there are a lot of free weights, kettle bells, and Dave-made tools involved. Good form is taught and practiced; you keep a personal notebook to track your progress; awesome music is always in the background; and best of all, the FANTASTIC environment where clients become friends and encourage each other. Truly, it is the only place I've ever shown up at 8 a.m. consistently to get stronger. That's pre-coffee sometimes. How huge is that?!?! But I love it and I am better for it

My only regret is that we didn't start with Dave sooner!

Dave Hall has taken my, "I don't like to sweat" and "I am NOT GOING TO A GYM!" teenager, and has transformed him (within a week) to, "Mom, don't forget I have gym today" and "Mom, you'd be tired too if you just lifted your body weight!". Dave took the time to get to know my son and establish a foundation of trust to make this a positive experience. He appeals to my son's intellect so that the physical exertion has value and the correct execution is part of the challenge. I believe this experience will not only make my son physically "feel" better, but will improve his self image which will also make the world look like a brighter place. My only regret is that we didn't start with Dave sooner! Eternally grateful Mom - Pye Parson

Pye Parson Real Estate Agent
Samantha Hall Teacher

Training with Dave has increased my functional strength to such a level...that I often don't even notice what I'm capable of.

My closet has now broken TWICE in the last month. I know, I know, as even my 15 year old daughter told me: "Too many clothes, Mom." But listen to this: it was EASY to fix. This has everything to do with Dave Hall. Mostly because HE fixed it the first, major time, but more to my point is that when I needed to repair it by myself, it WAS NOT PHYSICALLY DIFFICULT. This is a big deal to me and the real reason I train at AFS. Life is strenuous, life is physically taxing. Closets break, groceries must be carried up porch stairs, children must be held, dogs must be caught. And this is just everyday life. Training with Dave has increased my functional strength to such a level that these things have become so much LESS effort, so much easier for me to do that I often don't even notice what I'm capable of. Today I noticed and I am impressed! Thanks Dave. XO (Full Disclosure: Samantha is Dave's wife.)

I never imagined learning so much from a personal trainer...I can't wait to see what's next!

When I approached Dave about training two years ago, I wanted what I suspect everyone wants- to look hot. Although I had diligently adhered to all the “proper,” and certainly popular fitness rules, i.e. heavy, long-duration cardio and a carb-laden diet, my body continued to cling to the flabby bits. I felt neither strong, nor energetic. As a single working mother, I couldn’t carve out additional hours for more training, so I engaged Dave to find an efficient and sensible path…which is exactly what he revealed, and more.

I promptly learned that Dave wouldn’t assess me solely on my fat to muscle ratio or the weight scale or tape measurements. Although helpful indicators, they only represent the physical manifestation of a person at one pinpoint in an entire lifespan. Instead, Dave aims for his clients to comprehend health and fitness as it relates to being wholeheartedly alive on this planet. His prime concern is the full package--the physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual personal growth of each individual client. Empowering individuals to become the strongest version of themselves requires stitching together and then fortifying all of these aspects. Woven together like a rope, their interconnection fosters play and service and resilience.

While training at Agoge Fitness, we have lifted heavy weights, explored breathing patterns and flexibility, addressed nutrition and sleep, exorcised some of life’s stressful demons, exchanged articles and books. Although the essence remains, I’m now firing on all cylinders; I’m stronger in several dimensions. I never imagined exploring new things (such as handstands, yoga, Olympic lifting) or learning so much (an intelligent approach to nutrition and mindfulness) from a personal trainer. But by embracing all the facets of one’s life (and not just the flabby bits), one may cultivate a better life. And I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Julie Maharrey Teacher
Laurie Hackney Librarian

I deadlifted one of my students!

At Agoge Fitness Systems, we're always talking about "functional strength." You know, the practical real world stuff like being able to carry 35lbs of cat litter or lift furniture without injury.

Well, the other day I got to really put that into practice. I'm the reference librarian of a local college, and one of our students, who just happens to be a bit on the heavy side, fell outside the cafeteria and broke her ankle. I had just arrived at work and was flagged down by another student.

The firemen and paramedics arrived to help her, but she decided she could not afford the ambulance ride. A friend arrived and we were faced with the task of loading my student into the car. She was unable to stand on her own and emergency services attempted to pull her up by her arms. It was not working out well. Not wanting to see one of my students suffer, I walked over, got into a good position, wrapped my arms around her, and lifted her into a standing position. That's when I realized I had deadlifted one of my students!

The emergency service workers were visibly surprised, and I was so pleased to have the physical strength to make my student's unfortunate situation a little less unpleasant. Thanks, Agoge Fitness Systems! - Laurie Hackney

Robbie Morgan Graphic Designer

I love this place. Agoge Fitness Systems is like home.

I found Dave Hall and Agoge Fitness Systems about 2 and a half years ago. Before Agoge, I had spent about a year training at a crossfit box which had gotten me into shape, yes, but had also given me an adversarial mindset towards my training. My body was something I had to “whip into shape” and a successful workout had to leave me nauseous and exhausted. Anything less than that was me “letting myself down”. Agoge Fitness Systems was like nothing I had seen before in my tour of big franchise gyms and crossfit boxes.

Walking into Agoge the first time, I knew I was somewhere special. Agoge is more than I expected. It is not so much a “gym” as it is a dojo of strength training and physical culture. Surrounded by sandbags, indian clubs, chalk boxes, and barbells, I felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself. There is a joy in the workout at Agoge. Dave Hall makes certain of it. No mindset of “crushing” your workout. No mirrors on the walls. Just the practice of mindfully engaging in the timeless pursuit of bettering oneself through the struggle between mass and gravity. I love this place. Agoge Fitness Systems is like home. Our coach and trainer Dave Hall is family. This is the place to practice being your best “you”. I cannot recommend it enough. 

Greg Boggs Entrepreneur

An incredible life coach and teacher, Dave changed my attitude towards life, taught me how to be the husband I needed to be and transformed me as a man inside and out.

Working out at AFS has been truly a life changing experience. I started the training after having not been to the gym in over 10 years. I was overweight, unhappy and the lack of confidence in myself was causing issues in my professional life and marriage.

What I love most about the training is how each session is so unique. Each day is something new with different concepts and workouts that keep you from becoming bored with the same thing. The group training concept also keeps it competitive, creates a great atmosphere and keeps everyone accountable to making themselves better each day. After 6 months at AFS I lost 40lbs, had won a Beast of Birmingham competition and started playing Rugby.

However, Dave is not just a great personal/group trainer, he is an incredible life coach and teacher. He not only molded me physically, but even more so emotionally. Dave changed my attitude towards life, taught me how to be the husband I needed to be and transformed me as a man inside and out.

Thank you for everything Dave, I have no idea how I could ever repay you for everything you have done for me. 

Dave is not only my trainer he's my friend.

Dave Hall is not only my trainer and client, he is my friend. His style is very different from what I've had in the past. He is realistic, inspirational, and takes practical application and real life to a much more applicable level.

Jeffrey Klinner Real Estate Agent
Bill Pautler Entrepreneur

Dave has completely transformed my life. The important thing is I have fun doing it.

Dave Hall and his company Agoge Fitness have been an incredible addition to my life. I have never been a “gym guy” and was not disciplined enough myself to pull off a regular exercise routine.

I knew I needed to get in shape or I was not going to be able to do the things I wanted to do. I started asking my friends what they were doing and got referred to Dave.

There was something about Dave’s approach that was so totally different, I bought in.

We started simple, walk a few blocks, check my heart rate as I go. Carry a kettle bell across the room. Push a sled across the room. I learned how to do a bear walk and play bear tag. I brought my 10 year old and we played lava tag in the gym. I have drug chains across the floor backwards, carried sand bags and lifted traditional weights.

The focus has always been on core strength and movement. Each week Dave helped me increase my core strength giving me a larger range of motion and better balance.

I am now much stronger, walk more upright, my fat is decreasing, my skin is better and my children say I look younger. I also feel better and have the energy to doing anything I really want to do.

There is no limit to the improvements that can and will be made.

Dave has done nothing less than completely transform my life.

The most important thing is I have had fun doing it.

Dave will not break you down, he works to build you up and make you stronger.

Dave Hall has helped me change my life. If you read his blog, you will hear him speak often of his tribe. The term tribe resonates with me because before I found Agoge Fitness Systems, I was never that comfortable in the fitness/gym environment. I tried to participate in the circus that is most gyms but just couldn't buy into it all. I only became comfortable when I found MY tribe, at Agoge Fitness.

Since I have been going there I have become stronger, leaner and more energetic and perhaps a bit wiser. The culture that swirls around Agoge Fitness is the perfect mix of pure, simple hardcore workout tools mixed with a gentle spirit that feels like home when you are there. There is no room for ego or judgement here and a student is only met with understanding and encouragement. Even when I'm not around for a couple of weeks because of travel or work, when I step back into the gym, Dave greets me with a warm smile and an awesome workout.

The learning never stops at Agoge Fitness. You will always be encouraged to improve in ALL areas of fitness: spirit, mind, and body. Dave will not break you down, he works only to build you up and make you stronger physically and mentally. 

I always have and always will STRONGLY recommend Dave Hall and Agoge Fitness Systems to any and everyone who will listen to me.

Ned Boggam Cinematographer

Agoge Fitness is an amazing place that has changed my life.

Agoge Fitness is an amazing place that has changed my life. The gym is so open and inviting, from the minute that you walk in. There are no misconceptions of the work you do, but it pushes me and makes me want to keep coming back. Dave Hall has worked wonders with me, putting me in a better physical shape and mental shape as well. I can't thank him enough for the help he has given me and making me a better man. 

Michael McKoewn Parts Rep/Roller Derby Referee
Bill Hawkins Director, AARP

Dave continues to enrich my life.

Dave is an extraordinary trainer and therapist. He has always been able to tailor challenging and effective workouts to my needs and capabilities. As one with the gift of encouragement Dave continues to enrich my life, help me achieve my goals and work out the knots which come from exercise and living.

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