May TBFers of the Month: Brittany Greunke and Shelley Russell

Our May TBFers of the month are Brittany Greunke and Shelley Russell. They've continued to impress us ever since they started coming to Throwback, about 2 years ago. Now in coaches workouts, they push the three of us just as much as we push them. Their most recent feat, setting the female 16min partner record at 4,287m! They are so badass, a plain white background for their photo wouldn't do. We settled on this laser beam one because tbh, nothing is more badass than laser beams. Check out our Q&A with them below.

  • Name: Brittany Greunke
  • Hometown: Winside, Nebraska
  • University: University of Nebraska- Kearney
  • Favorite Exercise: Rowing
  • Favorite Throwback Recess Game: TBF Dodge for sure!
  • Favorite Movie from Childhood: Hercules
  • Favorite Throwback Jam: Mo Money Mo Problems - The Notorious B.I.G ft Mase and Puff Daddy 
  • Name: Shelley Russell
  • Hometown: Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
  • University: Elon University
  • Favorite Exercise: I'd have to say rowing, although it's definitely a love/hate
  • Favorite Throwback Recess Game: TBF Flip
  • Favorite Movie from Childhood: The Parent Trap
  • Favorite Throwback Jam: Gettin' Jiggy Wit It - Will Smith
  • Throwback Classes Attended to Date: 580

1. What inspired you to want to make a change in your exercise habits?

Brittany: Once upon a time ago I wasn't happy with how I felt and how I saw myself in the mirror. So I decided to commit to working out/getting active for 100 days in a row through an online workout challenge call #Workitout100.  After a couple rounds of at home workouts and going to the gym next to my house, I joined Class Pass and shortly after discovered Throwback. Then a couple months into that routine, I decided to commit to an unlimited package at Throwback to get ready for a Bachelorette weekend in Vegas. And now I have completed about 4 or 5 rounds of the 100 days, am an Ambassador for the #Workitout100 program, and am pretty much always at Throwback bothering Brian, Ryan, and Java.

Shelley: When I first moved to NYC, I knew I needed to make a lifestyle change. I wasn't feeling healthy in terms of what I was eating, and I knew that I had to add physical activity into my life in a big way, especially since I do a lot of sitting at my job. Over the past five and a half years that I've been in this city, I've tried everything from weight machines at the gym, to group fitness classes, to the dreaded elliptical. Luckily I found Throwback, and that was that.

2. What changes (in your body and fitness level) have you noticed most since starting Throwback / your new exercise routine?

Brittany: My endurance and strength are definitely HUGH changes I have noticed since coming to Throwback on a more frequent basis.  When I was coming to Throwback during my Class Pass time, I was able to keep my split in the 1:50s (because I have crazy long legs and rowing is 60% legs).  However, I am now able to keep a consistent pace in the 1:40s during TBFPhysEd and even am able to touch the 1:20s for 100 meter splits.  Also being able to use a green kettle bell during High Pulls or Kettle Bell Swings is something I never thought I would be able to do a little over a year ago.  And this is without a doubt in my mind in direct relation to Brian, Ryan and Java continuing to encourage and challenge me in every workout. However, my disdain for burpees has not changed. Nor will it ever.

Shelley: At first, I slimmed down a bit. Now after having been coming to TBF for almost 2 years, I feel toned overall, and I'm getting stronger each time I come. I can see myself moving up in weights, or working towards physical achievements I never thought I'd accomplish -- like my first unassisted dead hang pull-up! 

The biggest thing I've noticed about my fitness level after coming to TBF is my endurance. I'm not a runner, but I've been able to PR in 5K and 10K races just by coming to TBF every week.

3. If you could share one diet tip, what would it be?

Brittany: Water does WONDEROUS things.  Not only does it help keep you from feeling parched throughout the summer days, but it also helps you stay healthy and helps increase your metabolism each morning.

Shelley: Aside from the obvious balanced diet of fruits/veggies/protein...etc., I'd have to say portion control! I can have most things that I really want to eat, as long as it's in moderation.         

4. You can't be perfect with the diet all the time... What is your favorite cheat food? 

Brittany: Nachos. No question. I can demolish a plate of loaded nachos by myself. I have NO shame admitting that either.

Shelley: Mac & cheese, or chocolate cake! (not at the same time).          

5. What do you enjoy most about Throwback?

Brittany: The community and culture that are found at Throwback for sure.  And also the fact that I can complete an intense workout and know that I had a smile on my face pretty much the entire time from having so much fun doing it.  I get to take a timeout from the stress of being an adult and just play games during TBFRecess that come from a nostalgic time when life was 'simpler'.

Shelley: There's a community at TBF that doesn't compare to other gyms. I love the friends I've made in class. We are constantly pushing each other to improve and challenging one another in friendly competition. 

6. Any workout ideas, contests or events you'd like to see incorporated? (serious or humorous)?

Brittany: TBFLava meets American Ninja Warrior. I KNOW people have jumped around on their living room furniture as kids while imagining that the ground was lava. Add that 'No Go/Danger Zone' while traveling through a course performing a circuit of exercises throughout, with an overall goal of how many laps a team can make or first team to complete the course. I've planted the idea seed. Now dream up the logistics Ryan. 

Shelley: I'd have to defer to Ari on this one, who I hear puts something in the suggestion box after almost every class ;)