AlterCenter is an alternative fitness center dedicated to helping drive consistent change & progress in our students' lives. To that end, we offer private, semi-private, and small group training, so that our students always have direct access to our expertise, and we have the space to work with each person individually.
We're interested in working with people who are willing to train consistently, and who are willing to learn - as opposed to just being led through exercise.
How you engage with us depends upon your goals, experience, and lifestyle. You can focus on one track of development, or create variety across disciplines in your training schedule. We offer training in the following categories and disciplines:
+ Explorer :: hiking, running, climbing, general mobility training & bodyweight conditioning
+ Warrior :: Muay Thai kickboxing, Russian Combat Systema, advanced strength & conditioning
+ Artist :: pilates & dance training
+ Maker :: yoga, meditation, nutrition & cooking
Weekly Produce Box
A weekly supply of fresh living foods with recipes to help you make the most of them.
Living foods are the foundation of the Alter diet. Fresh, local, seasonal, organic foods nourish a healthy gastrointestinal tract and immune system; support adaptation to place (environment) and time (season); and promote greater life force/ vital energy.
Boxes are available for pickup each Tuesday from early afternoon to evening. Each Box provides one person with a week’s supply of the best fresh fruits and vegetables that we can obtain from local farms.
Tara Firma Farms Pastured Meats & Eggs
AlterCenter is a San Francisco pick-up location for Tara Firma Farms' CSA boxes, which include pastured meat & eggs. Learn more about Tara's commitment to the health of the animals, the environment, and her CSA members on their website. Sign up directly with Tara Firma to start receiving their boxes on the second Thursday of each month.
Monthly Nutrition Talks
On the fourth Friday of each month, join us for Healthy/Happy Hour, where we'll discuss nutrition and review cooking techniques that make it easy to stay on track, while enjoying fresh juices and healthy snacks.
Bodywork & Recovery
Massage and Bodywork Methods
Hendrickson Method / Orthopedic Massage
Active Isolated Flexibility Training
The far-infrared sauna can be beneficial for exercise recovery, detoxification, increasing circulation and reducing inflammation. Sessions of 20-45 minutes in length can stand alone, or be contiguous with bodywork, yoga, or other exercise.
Physician-journalist Michael Mosely becomes a guinua pig for exercise researchers in the U.K. who demonstrate, among other things, that a certain gene sequence can predict how his body will respond to exercise. Along the way, he also learns:
why Tabata / HIIT intervals are so effective
what an "exercise non-responder" is, and why these people should exercise anyway
how to be sure that sitting doesn't getcha, in spite of your regular exercise
As most who are interested already know, our champ Gilbert Melendez lost a very narrow, split judge's decision in his UFC title fight against Benson Henderson this past Saturday in San Jose. Gil fought like a champion: dominated the fight by controlling the cage and dictating the pace to frustrate a tough and tricky opponent. Sharp, composed and in top shape, he made the UFC champ run from him for most of their 25 minutes, patiently staying true to the gameplan and executing great technique. He fought bravely, never backed down, gave everything he got right back to Benson and left the Octagon mostly undamaged. Partied with the team and fans all night. Like a champ.
And, he lost by only one point on the three judges' scorecards. Of course, we all feel crushed. Of course, I wish I could have made him stronger, faster, able to fly, etc. But, I don't think there is room for regret on anybody's part. In our eyes (and the press in attendance), he aced the training, won the fight, beat the champ, and proved undoubtedly that he is, as he has been for years, at the very top of the game. May his doubters now rest.
In a pre-fight interview, one of the other fighters said, "You learn more about yourself in fighting than any other sport", and I'm inclined to agree. Not only does combat take the courage of facing danger with intelligence and heart, it requires the discipline of facing the crushing training to overcome your weaknesses every day, for weeks, months, years, and eventually achieve both the skill and opportunity to do it. Combat sports are at a level where great talent alone is not enough to compete at the top – one needs a tribe of family, coaches, therapists, training partners, teammates, sponsors, friends and fans. My only disappointment is over how easily the obvious success of our 13 grueling weeks could be dismissed by a few judges. Gil's performance was an expression of the best training camp we've had to date – the team effort this time was exceptional as everyone was inspired to exceed their limits. For my part, I was able to get him stronger than ever because he dedicated himself to conditioning and recovery from the start. And I'm especially grateful for the invisible support from Albert Salopek's sports medicine, Alexis' flexibility training and his fiancée, Keri Taylor's nutrition (and life!) support.
But, as much as anyone puts into it and as deep as one may go, at the end of the day it is a game, a sport ruled by judges, a pursuit of exceptional human ability, a competitive entertainment industry ultimately controlled by human opinion. Staying on the path after disappointment such as this demands devotion to the higher value of this path: a chance to push the limit and find out what one is made of – a chance to be ultimate. And now, too, it is a challenge to find strength in loss, to find grounding and rise again from it. We all accepted this deal and so, despite how this chapter has ended, I feel grateful, feel stronger. My thanks to all who shared and supported the journey.