Carbon-neutral gym opens in South Lake Tahoe |

Carbon-neutral gym opens in South Lake Tahoe

Adam Jensen
Joe Proudman / Tahoe Daily TribuneElevated Fitness owners David Kumpe and Bridget McGrath will host the grand opening of their business today.

Workouts at a new gym in South Lake Tahoe begin with a physical assessment and end with chilled, cucumber-infused hand towels.

In between, it is all about getting strong while minimizing the impact on the environment, according to the owners of Elevated Fitness, which will hold its grand opening today.

Located in the Village Center next to Tahoe Sports Ltd., Elevated Fitness is billed as the third carbon-neutral gym in the world and the first in the U.S.

Getting away from large gyms that encourage plastic water bottle use and tend to use a lot of electricity in lighting, air conditioning and perks like flat-screen televisions are some of the ideas behind the business, which was started by owners David Kumpe and Bridget McGrath.

“It can be run cleaner, it can be run better for the planet,” McGrath said during an interview earlier this month. “Carbon-neutral was the goal and it’s a tough goal,” she added.

The gym’s lights will be powered by a fleet of spin bikes equipped with small generators and inverters that turn churning pedals into humming electricity and offset the gym’s carbon footprint by sending power back to the electrical grid.

“Just one bike will provide all the lighting for the commercial space,” McGrath said.

Recycled rubber tire flooring, low volatile organic compound paint, low-flow toilets and a water bottle service round out the gym’s green specifications.

On the fitness side of things, Elevated Fitness focuses on group training and classes, while prioritizing proper movement of the body as a whole and avoiding isolating a single muscle group.

“Outside of the gym there is never a time when you’re using one muscle,” Kumpe said.

Looking at the body as a complete system helps participants avoid injury and increase overall fitness, Kumpe said.

The use of odd objects such as sandbags, kettlebells and ropes for all-around strength training encourages Elevated Fitness members to become “life-strong” rather than “gym strong,” Kumpe added.

The concept means people can put the skills they learn in the gym to use in mountain biking, climbing or anything else they hope to do, Kumpe said.

“Fixing the movement so everything feels better, that’s the idea,” Kumpe said.

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