move well
get strong
live empowered

Hello, I’m John!

While you may know me as a Scottish Highland Games athlete, stone lifter, or strength coach. I started out as a tall, skinny, awkward kid who always lacked confidence, especially in the gym. After begging my parents to get some home equipment, I got my first set of plastic-covered cement weights from Target when I was 12. 

Somehow my fascination with improving my health, fitness, and athleticism turned into a persistent passion. Unfortunately, some misguided enthusiasm resulted in chronic back and shoulder injuries that sidelined my athletic career and limited my quality of life well into my 30s. 

So, I dove into my quest to learn as much as possible about the body with the help of mentors, tireless self study, constant personal practice, certifications, and a degree in Exercise Science along the way. Unknowingly, these injuries and setbacks would turn into what fuels me in teaching others to live an empowered, pain-free, active life. I love sharing the strength and movement principles that I have created and honed in my 20+ year career. 

If you can relate, we should talk. 

Let's Work Together

At the heart of it all, I like helping you become stronger and more resilient. How that looks? It's up to you.

1 On 1 Online Trainings & Immersions

The Sanctuary Of Strength In Bend, OR

Self Guided Trainings, Programs, & Clinics

Coaching For

New Sanctuary Of Strength Location:
Coming Soon!

The Sanctuary of Strength in Bend, OR

what my clients say

I'm so grateful for the people I've been able to help along the way.

Keith Clayton
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"I have been consistently working out with the exceptional trainers and members at this gym for 2.5 years. It is one of my favorite communities of all I'm involved in. The culture here is fantastic.From a mobility/strength standpoint, the knowledge and programming are world class. John and Aaron are already supremely knowledgeable yet continue to learn and update constantly. I'm becoming very strong, stronger than I ever imagined I would be.I've gone from a "non-gym guy" to a person who will always be part of a fitness community."
Kelly Thiel
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"I've been training at Empowered Strength for 9 months now. The atmosphere there is just wonderful - John and Aaron are so friendly and unbelievably knowledgeable. But the truth is this - after training with John for 9 months, I have NEVER been stronger, and I just hit my mid-40s!! I feel fantastic!"
David Lutz
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"Wow...what an A+ experience! John is so knowledgeable and passionate about helping people move better and get stronger. If you are working out for the first time or an elite level athlete, you will see improvements in your physical fitness and body image! Thank you John for helping us bring our workouts to a whole new level. I will be recommending everyone to Empowered Strength."
Natalie Andino
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"Empowered strength changed my life in just 90 days. The trainers and members here quickly became like family to me! The amount of knowledge and growth that I experienced in a very short time cannot be matched. I learned to listen to my body, trust it, push it without injury and strengthen it in new ways I had never experienced. When I was consistent, coupled with their expert instruction, I saw growth in little and big ways, every single week! They have some top of the line trainers who want to train you, love you and support you in a very well rounded way. They put so much emphasis on properly breathing, stretching, and warming up each small joint so that your body can perform at its best every single workout. Try them out, you will NOT regret it!"
Chelsea Prather
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"Empowered Strength is so much more than just a gym. It's a place to help develop strength and resilience in all areas of life. The coaching staff walks the talk, and the community is very supportive and motivational. I definitely leave class feeling empowered and inspired to learn more and move better!"
Nick Heuer
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"One of the best gyms I have ever been too. Empowered Strength provides a wonderful community to be able to work on personal goals in a fun and interactive way. This is one of the best opportunities in Bend to take back control of your health and become a stronger human being in a multitude of ways."
Schuyler Malakoff
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"Been a member for a little over a year now. As someone who's struggled with feeling self-conscious, I can say Empowered Strength enjoys the distinction of being the only gym I've ever felt comfortable standing inside of. The coaches are always super-friendly and professional, and the culture among the other members is supportive and non-judgmental. Thanks to John and Tash, I'm in better shape now than I've ever been in my life. I am truly thankful to have found this place. Easily recommended."
Tess Ball
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"Empowered Strength classes have been a fantastic re-entry into lifting. They’re well-designed, supportive and interesting. I always feel safe while being kindly nudged out of my comfort zone. I really appreciate the progressions and the focus on moving well, rather than doing more for the sake of doing more. Would highly recommend!"
Chance Whiteley
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"I've been working with John online for just shy of a Year. I came to him with a seemingly impossible challenge; I wanted to transform myself from a guy with a broken down back into a healthy highland games athlete. He met that challenge head on and not only has my back recovered when many said it wouldn't, but I am stronger and more mobile than i have ever been in my life. Also, by addressing imbalances I never knew I had, my hips and knee are better than they've been in 10 years. I'm a believer."
Andrea Adams
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"John, Tash, and Tanner make you feel welcome from the moment you walk in the door, regardless of your history with strength training. If you’ve never lifted a kettlebell in your life, this is the perfect place for you. If you are a master of strength training and are interested in going deeper, this is also the perfect place for you. Empowered Strength approaches strength training with the goal of creating a pattern of sustainable and healthy movement for each of their members, so you end up receiving a fantastic physical exercise as well as an education on how your body functions best. If you truly want to be stronger and learn skills that you can carry with you for the long haul, this place offers the best coaches, approaches, and community that you could find."
Kim Hughes
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"Amazing. Simply some of the most elite trainers in Bend...we are blessed to have them at our fingertips! John, Tash and Tanner know what they are talking about! They are more than trainers, teaching you how to best "pump iron". Oh goes so much deeper than that. So much knowledge and skill they have, because of their education and training, as well as their own trials and triumphs. They want to see you succeed and believe in yourself! To be Empowered! Empowered to do whatever life demands of you, but more importantly, what you desire in life! Life is too, only get one chance at it! Live your best life and get trained by THE BEST! Thank you Google search, for the random chance of searching "small group fitness strength training" and having Empowered Strength, pop up! Call it luck, or destiny?! I'm not sure, but I've found my home. I have a long way to go, but these guys make me feel at home and cared for. They make me feel like family that truly cares about my well-being. You won't be disappointed if you have the mindset to get strong and realize the importance of it. Have an open mind, think outside "the box", have a positive attitude and trust them!"

*Currently filled until September of 2021. Waitlist spots avaliable.