What are the benefits of joining a community-based fitness gym?

First and foremost, CrossFit Cygnus offers the best value for your money, compared to any other type of gym. The primary reason is that we are locally owned and operated, and the goal of the members of our community-based gym is to provide help, support, and encouragement for each other. You’ll find the environment more welcoming and less intimidating.

Further, you’re getting your workouts programmed and lead by a certified coach and expert on a daily basis. Rather than walking into this gym without a plan, we’ve already written one for you and will lead you through it with the group each day!

At the end of each workout, you’ll receive a unique report card that tracks your progress. We also take snapshots of your workout every day and store them in our system. This is nice because it allows you to compare your progression from week to week so that you know when you’re making gains, and when your body may require some recovery.

A community-based group fitness gym is also better for your health than being at home physically inactive. There are many studies that have shown that individuals who exercise with others and share their thoughts are less lonely and suffer from depression less which has a direct link to physical health.

When it comes to making your lifestyle shift, you’re going to be in a group of people that are on the exact same page as you. You’ll get accountability from other members are also Richmond locals (who also want and need to make progress!). It’s a fun, social atmosphere where everyone is striving for the same goals!

Finally, another benefit of joining a local community-based group fitness gym is that it will help you stay in shape for anything since you’re getting a variety of new workouts regularly and constantly bettering yourself!

Through our experience of working with thousands of Richmond locals at CrossFit Cygnus over many years now, there are some other benefits too! You’ll find yourself going to the gym more often, you’ll feel better about yourself and your confidence will grow. This all typically leads to weight loss or a healthier lifestyle overall!

Feel free to contact us anytime with questions on how we can help you make a lifestyle shift! I hope this article was helpful in encouraging you to get involved with our group fitness classes.

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Mary Plowman

Registered Dietitian

“Our in-house Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach. Bio Pending”



Shauna Rogers


How did I find CrossFit and why did I stay? I would like to boast that I have always led an active and fit lifestyle, but that would not be true. My fitness journey began later in life when I was 39. I had 2 small children, 8 and 6, I was 50 pounds overweight, depressed, and in the absolute worst health of my life. I knew I needed to change. So, I tried all the fitness kinds, the dance kind, the biking kind, the bootcamp kind.  All those were great but they didn’t provide what I needed.

Three years later the gym I was a member of started doing a class I loved. I had no idea it had a name. We did cardio and used barbells and all I knew was that I loved the way I felt after I did the workouts. It was CrossFit. In the past 8 years CrossFit has kept me active, helped me lose 50 pounds, twice. (Yes twice, that’s a story to ask me if interested), gave me a community that holds me accountable and cheers for me when I succeed. I’m a true believer in the methodology of CrossFit beyond just losing weight. I’m talking about functional fitness and how food plays such an intricate part in fitness and the way our body performs and I want to share it.

Fast forward: I’ve been coaching the CrossFit methodology for 5 years and became Level 2 in 2021. I’m always interested in learning ways to help CrossFit athletes be successful whether it’s competing or being able to live unassisted as long as possible. It truly is for everyone.



Marie King


Marie is originally from Lexington, KY. She has lived in Richmond, KY since the age of 17 when she began attending college at Eastern Kentucky University. She holds a Master of Education degree and is currently an elementary teacher in Lexington. She has been married to her husband, Tyler, since 2007 and they have four children.

Marie has enjoyed fitness and being active most of her life. As a child and teen she was a competitive gymnast and cheerleader. After high school she began running and completed two half-marathons. During the years that she was pregnant with and mothering her first two young children, her fitness activity came completely to a halt. When her second child was six months old, she joined a local gym and while she enjoyed it for several years, she felt like something was missing. She tried CrossFit for the first time at CrossFit Cygnus in December 2020 and was immediately hooked!

Marie earned her CF-L1 in September 2022 and began coaching in June 2023. As a busy working wife and mama who lives with chronic autoimmune health conditions and has several past injuries, she fully believes in the methodology of CrossFit and has personally experienced and seen that CrossFit is for absolutely everyone! Her favorite part of CrossFit has always been the amazing family-like community at CrossFit Cygnus. She is excited to help others make fitness and health a priority in their lives and to help them reach their personal goals



Clark Lawson


Clark was born and raised in LaFollette, TN and moved to Richmond, KY in August of 2020.  He is currently a junior at Model High School.  Clark began doing CrossFit in 2016 as a way to lose weight and since then has grown to love the sport.  Clark gravitated to the Olympic lifting side of CrossFit and has competed in several Olympic lifting competitions, including some at the national level. Clark holds a Burgener Strength Level 1 Certification for the Olympic lifts and plans to earn his CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and USAW certifications once he is old enough to meet the minimum age requirements. Currently, he assists coaching the CrossFit Kids class alongside Coach Jana Milam and the Barbell Club class with Coach Jake Reitz.



Chris Shearer


Chris was born and raised in Winchester, KY.  Always having the desire to serve his country, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after graduating high school and served 5 years on active duty as an aircraft mechanic.  He deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom before leaving the Marines and returning home to work as a lead helicopter mechanic with Lockheed Martin.  Chris is married to his junior high sweetheart Holly and has two amazing girls Olivia and Lucy.


Chris started CrossFit in 2015 as a way to get back in shape following years of not working out after leaving the Marine Corps. After the first class, he was hooked. Chris has been coached by several CrossFit games athletes and learned both the functional and competitive sides of CrossFit. Chris and his wife joined Cygnus in December of 2020 and in July 2021, earned his CF L1 and started coaching. Outside of CrossFit, Chris is a Olympic distance triathlete and routinely competes in local endurance race events.



Jake Reitz


Jake is originally from Columbus, OH but has resided in Richmond since 2017 while attending Eastern Kentucky University.  He has since finished his studies and is currently working full-time at a local philanthropic organization.  Jake has a diverse athletic background, having spent several years in high school playing football and wrestling and on the rugby field at EKU.


Jake began doing CrossFit in 2015, using it as a way to improve his athletic performance in high school sports.  He worked extensively with Graham Holmberg, winner of the 2010 CrossFit Games, before earning his CF L1 in 2019.  Jake is also a certified personal trainer and holds a certification in one-on-one coaching through Two-Brain Coaching.  He officially began coaching in August 2020 in his hometown of Columbus before joining us at CrossFit Cygnus in October 2020.



Brandon Jones


Brandon was born and raised in Richmond, KY.  He graduated from EKU in 2017 with a degree in Parks and Recreation Management.  Brandon’s athletic background began with sprint triathlons and cross-country in high school.  He then transitioned into CrossFit and Spartan Racing, placing in the top 50 in the 2017 Spartan Race World Championship.


Brandon began doing CrossFit in 2013, using it to improve his overall fitness and to become a more well-rounded athlete.  He earned his CF L1 in the summer of 2018.  He served as Co-Owner and Head Coach of CrossFit Solafide in Clarksville, TN before moving back to Richmond and joining CrossFit Cygnus in September 2020.  


Brandon brings an immense amount of knowledge and experience to the CrossFit Cygnus coaching staff.  His years of training with world-class endurance athletes, coupled with extensive experience teaching and coaching CrossFit, makes him a very well-rounded and knowledgeable part of the CrossFit Cygnus team.



Hannah Davis


Hannah is originally from Corbin, KY but she and her husband Kyrk have called Richmond home since 2016.  She graduated from the University of the Cumberlands in 2013 and works in finance for the UK Federal Credit Union.

Hannah joined CrossFit Cygnus in 2022 and started coaching in December of that year.  In addition to holding a CF-L1 credential, she is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. a certified Adaptive and Inclusive Trainer, and has completed the Ready State Mobility 101 Course.

She began her CrossFit journey in 2014.  When that gym closed, she took a brief break before beginning again in 2017.  It has been a critical component of her life ever since.   She fell in love with the sport and developed a passion for showing others the improvement to quality of life CrossFit brings to all that train on a regular basis.

Apart from running track and cross country in high school,Hannah had no fitness experience and had been sedentary for many years before finding CrossFit.  She understands how intimidating it can be for someone with limited or no fitness experience to get started.  She wants to help you, coach you, and cheer you on as you begin and progress in your CrossFit journey!



Allison Sernulka


Allison Sernulka is an Ohio native, but has resided in Richmond, KY for the majority of her life.  Allison’s fitness background began in a dance studio, where she trained and taught well into her 20s.  In 2014, Allison completed her first CrossFit workout and was immediately hooked. Shortly thereafter, she decided she wanted to continue coaching and has since earned her CrossFit Level 3 Trainer certification.  With 8 years of experience in competitive CrossFit, she brings a wealth of knowledge to the coaching team.  Outside of the gym, Allison holds a Master’s Degree from Eastern Kentucky University and is currently employed as the Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness on campus.  Here is what Allison has to say about her CrossFit journey:



Jay Taheny


Jay Taheny was born in Upper Sandusky, OH but grew up in southeastern KY.  At age 18, he moved to Richmond, KY to attend college at Eastern Kentucky University and has since called Richmond home.  Jay served for 25 years in the KY National Guard, with one deployment to Afghanistan, but has recently retired and now manages the gym full-time.


Jay first started CrossFit in August 2013.  Like many others, he was drawn to the competitive aspect of CrossFit but quickly realized the immense health benefits associated with the regimen.  He earned his L1 and CrossFit Kids certification 2014 and began coaching soon thereafter.   Jay has since gone on to earn multiple CrossFit credentials including CF Gymnastics, Weightlifting, and the highly coveted CrossFit Level 3 Trainer Certification.  He has also completed The Ready State 102 Mobility Course and is a certified nutrition coach through Precision Nutrition.  Outside of the gym, he holds a Master’s Degree in Executive Leadership from Liberty University and supports multiple philanthropic organizations in the Richmond area.


CF-L3, TRS-L2, PN-1


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