Don’t Just Lift, Get Lifted at SF's Newest Strength + Meditation Workout

Don’t Just Lift, Get Lifted at SF's Newest Strength + Meditation Workout


Lifted combines guided meditation with challenging strength training exercises for a complete, 90-minute mind and body workout. Six-pack abs and a chiseled mind? Sign us up.

“With the rise of military style beat-downs, people are looking for more balance and wellness in their workout," founder and owner Ryan Allen said. “Strength training and meditation may sound incompatible at first, but they are actually very complimentary."

Walking into Lifted is like entering a gym and spa at the same time. But don't let the enticing aromas and immaculate layout fool you; The wall of kettlebells and Ryan's chiseled arms are sure signs that this workout is not a massage. Designed for a maximum of 6 people, classes foster camaraderie and personal attention.

We started the workout by lying on our backs, eyes closed, listening to soothing music. Ryan coached us on a few breathing exercises to stay in the moment. We inhaled “vitality" and exhaled “waste" as we took time to recognize each body part. “I use centering exercises before training, this leads to better body awareness while training and the ability to focus on the exercises at hand," Ryan shared. Little did we know that “awareness" was about to go into hyperdrive!

In an instant, the melodic tones changed to old school R&B, and we were on our feet. We knocked out a few warm-up exercises and Ryan demonstrated the first circuit of the evening: a three-headed Hydra of kettle bell swings, one-legged dumbbell rows, and partner squats with resistance bands. We did each exercise for 45 seconds, repeating the circuit three times. Ryan reminded us to focus on our breathing throughout. Easier said than done.

The second circuit featured side lunges (of course involving a kettlebell) and kettlebell pullovers and push-ups (the brave few opting to add a resistance band to the mix). Despite the constant grunts and sweating, our group was still smiling and actually laughing. We finished the strength workout with a challenging abs series during which each of us ended up graciously accepting a lighter kettlebell.

While most high-intensity training classes wrap up classes with a quick stretch, Ryan dedicates a good 15 minutes to cool down. “I include guided meditation at the end of class to calm the nervous system, to lower blood pressure, to relax muscle tightness and, most importantly, to bring self-awareness to the forefront." We left sweaty yet relaxed, and were very sore the next day. Both our spirits and glutes were lifted!

// Lifted, located at 600 14th Street on the corner of 14th and Dolores, is offering a New Client Special featuring unlimited classes for two weeks for $100. Email Ryan at to learn more.


  • Exercises are done barefoot or in socks
  • Bring water; towels are provided
  • Wear comfortable clothing for a variety of movements
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