Teacher Tuesday: Ryan and Brian of Throwback Fitness

throwback fitness

Need a fun (& sweaty) workout? Missing the good ole days of high school gym and college intramurals? Throwback Fitness offers just that. Co-founders and instructors Ryan Wilke and Brian Gallagher team teach together bringing their enthusiasm for fitness and love of all things 80’s nostalgia to the unique class. The class has gained a loyal following, so much so that the guys decided to quit their day jobs to open up a brand new studio for Throwback Fitness located at 303 Fifth Avenue between 31st and 32nd Street . 


Read on to learn more about Throwback Fitness and co-founders Ryan and Brian from our ambassador Jane:

About the Class:

Class is split up between “phys ed” and “recess.” The phys ed portion utilizes erg rowers and basic strength training moves while the “recess” portion is a game-oriented activity like “flip-cup” with a fitness twist. “It was created by just normal guys who understood the exercise habits of normal people – we never lived at the gym and we don’t think anyone else should,” says Ryan.

The class is notable for its fun, non-intimidating vibe – high-fiving, cheering for your teammates, and icebreakers at the beginning of class. The teachers focus on team fitness rather than group fitness, based on the principle that teams encourage each other more.

About Ryan and Brian:

Brian, originally from Philadelphia, and Ryan, from North Carolina, met years ago at work here in NYC.  Long time fitness fanatics, they were inspired to create an effective full body workout. After experimenting with class structures this past summer, they launched TBF in October 2013. The guys now have quit their “desk jobs” in finance to focus full time on Throwback Fitness.

How did you come up with this unique workout? Our whole mindset when we first thought of this, was trying to get people away from the whole body building type mentality  – chest on Mondays, cardio for an hour. It ends up being 90 minutes a day in the gym – it’s too much. We didn’t have that time as finance guys.

Favorite exercises?

Brian: I love burpees. Everybody hates them but I love them.

Ryan: Muscle up because it took a lot of practice and it’s such a great upper body exercise. (Note: I didn’t know what the muscle up was so Ryan showed me. Basically a muscle up is a pull-up, just keep pulling yourself up over the bar to the point where you’re almost over the bar.)

Were you guys athletes growing up? What sports did you play?

Brian: I played baseball and wrestled for a year

Ryan: I actually did track, cross-country and played golf.

What do you eat during the week to accommodate your busy schedules?

Ryan: Little sugar, little processed foods during the week. On the weekends, give yourself a break.

Brian: Mine is pretty close to that. My big thing I try to do is when I eat alone, I eat clean. If all the meals I eat at home are super clean, I can bend a little bit when eating with others.

 Fitness advice for people looking to get back into shape or just start working out regularly?

Brian: I always like to tell people, small changes and make small adjustments. If you try to change someone’s lifestyle all in one shot, chances are it doesn’t stick.

Ryan: Find a workout you like.  Use that to benchmark yourself, to constantly improve yourself.  If you have a quantifiable goal, use it to get in shape.

Get in Touch: Follow Throwback Fitness on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Ready to kick it old school with Ryan and Brian? Sign up for class today. Not a member yet? Here’s your chance.

Contributed by Jane Rosales. She recently completed her first marathon, and loves taking classes at boutique fitness studios in NYC. Read her blog and follow her on twitter.

The best fitness studios, classes, and experiences are on ClassPass. Work out where you want, when you want, and how you want, all with one membership. Join our community on Facebook and Instagram!