Austin Fit Field Trip: Blackbird Fitness
The AFM crew gets low with Blackbird Fitness.
The AFM staff with Marlo Kovach, founder of Blackbird Fitness, and her dog, Scotch!
2400 E. Cesar Chavez
Kristin: Walking into Blackbird Fitness, you immediately know that you are going to have a one-of-a-kind workout experience. The building, located right off the hip, happening East Cesar Chavez, has a massive blackbird painted onto the outside of the building. It automatically made me feel empowered!
After our intros with the owner, Marlo Kovach, we were off to our "sliders" class. Marlo isn't only the owner of Blackbird, she's a well-rounded, certified trainer with an extensive background in personal training....and she was our instructor for the morning. Sliders are essentially plastic (friction-less) pads that you can "slide" across the floor doing body-weight and weighted movements. For the next hour we used these sliders to go through a full-body, circuit workout with minimal rest between movements. The movements, ranging from pushups to lunges into a shoulder press, were not difficult movements per se, but by the end of each rotation, each of us was fatigued. Like most workouts, pushing yourself gets you the results. But having a trainer like Marlo gives you the mental edge you need to keep going, keep pushing, and get a great workout!
Devyn: I don’t know if it’s just me, but I instantly feel more cultured and artistic every time I cross over onto the east side of Cesar Chavez. This trip was no different, and Blackbird Fitness fueled their gym with inspiring art the moment you step out of your car. When I opened the door found under the large, black bird mural on the side of the building, I found myself in a studio with unique painting and colors vibrating from the walls. Dressed in all black and a look on her face like she was going to show us business, Marlo Kovach was a stark contrast to the brightness the yoga mats and equipment provided. By the end of the workout, I realized Marlo was the blackbird herself.
After years of personal training experience, Marlo was confident she could take on Austin, Texas. In the 3 years since she opened Blackbird Fitness, the art pieces weren’t the only gains being collected; she now has a steady flow of regulars who are not only looking to complete their personal goals, but rather continue making new ones. For Marlo, it’s not about what you could do before, or what you can do now; it’s about how high you can fly, and how you’re going to get there. For us, our goal was to dominate her sliders class. In a series of several core movements made by sliding our hands and feet, my core was aching by the end, and the soreness felt accomplished. Marlo was amazing at explaining the techniques, making sure we didn’t pose incorrectly, and watched over us like the mama bird she is, to make sure we got the best workout we could. It was a great and empowering way to start my morning! I can’t wait to return to Blackbird Fitness and try some of their other classes, including yoga. I’m ready to fly!
Weston: I've seen sliders around at different gyms in town, but I never really knew how to work them properly. They never really slid all that well! Marlo had an intense total body circuit worked up for us. We did two different rounds of four exercises, four times each. My muscles were burning! I thought the sliders they have at Blackbird were outstanding. They glided easily and had nice cushion on top that made it really comfortable when placing your hands on them. I loved how focused I had to be when doing the movements. It was all so new to me, so if you like trying new ways to keep fit, give their sliders class a try!
Anna: Blackbird Fitness is a unique studio located in East Austin. The space is decorated with cool murals and is the perfect size for the circuit and yoga classes that it provides. We went through a circuit workout with sliders led by Marlo Kovach. The small slider pads (by EZmoves – typically used for moving furniture) were placed under our feet or hands in order to do various moves and target stability while doing the bodyweight workout. We did two circuits with 4 rounds of moves and four moves per round, lasting 45 seconds each. The circuit included planks, pushups, lunges, presses, curls, etc. but all with a special twist… or should I say slide! At first glance it seemed simple. However, try doing 45 seconds of mountain climbers with your feet slipping and sliding or circling your hands while in a plank and you will feel it. Definitely a challenge, but also a lot of fun!
Marlo kept us moving the whole time and did an awesome job at explaining the moves and watching our form. She’s a great trainer in the fact that she’s focused on improving her clients’ lives in every way. Marlo really wants to see her clients’ personal growth, as well as mental and physical accomplishments as they work with her. I will certainly be back to Blackbird Fitness to try out another circuit or core class with Marlo and probably a yoga class as well. If you want a fun workout that you can feel, spend an hour with Marlo. Blackbird Fitness will have you smiling and sweating!