Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Elevated Fitness is First Carbon-neutral Gym in the U.S.

Posted on January 20, 2013
Filed Under Green Businesses

Elevated Fitness in South Lake Tahoe, California, creates electricity through human power. From their spin bikes to their water-rowers, all of Elevated Fitness’ cardio equipment use small generators and inverters that capture the human energy and convert it to usable electricity that is delivered back to the grid. Because they generate more power than they consume, Elevated Fitness becomes only the third carbon-neutral gym on the entire planet, and the only one in the United States.

Elevated didn’t stop there. Using a green business model from the ground up, their entire facility is constructed with eco-friendly materials from low-VOC paint to recycled flooring and reclaimed wood. Elevated also uses low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and will soon include low-voltage LED lights that run off of a battery pack recharged through human power.

It’s also their actual training philosophy that separates Elevated from the typical gym. First, Elevated has almost no stationary equipment. “Most gyms are actually set up to guarantee failure”, says David Kumpe, Owner and General Manager. “We spend all day sitting at our desks and driving in cars. Then when we go the place that’s supposed to get us fit and what do we do? We sit on the chest press machine, sit on the leg extension, leisurely ride a recumbent bike, then lay down on an ab bench. Whatever your goals, this will NOT do it.”

There’s no sitting at Elevated. Concentrating on group training and classes, Elevated programs all the workouts, just as a trainer would for a 1-on-1 client. They prioritize movement, not muscles. Instead of segmenting the body into separate parts, Elevated looks at the entire body as one unit, so the work put in translates into being life-strong, not just gym-strong. They focus on functional, dynamic, multi-joint exercises using odd objects such as sandbags, ViPR, kettlebells, ropes, suspension training, and other innovative implements not found in most conventional gyms. The other upshot of this style of training is that it is fun. Elevated Fitness believes working out is not a chore, but something to look forward to.

This carries over to their core business value of “Be a Good Egg”. From giving significant discounts to civil servants like police, fire, teachers, and military, to being heavily involved with local charities and causes, to hosting game nights and seminars, Elevated Fitness believes in giving back. “Most of our actions and decisions are made not necessarily for business reasons, but because they’re simply the right thing to do”, says Bridget McGrath, Co-Owner and Business Manager. “We’re welfare activists at heart and feel that this is the best avenue to pursue that. This allows us to follow our passion for fitness, and also feel good about the social and eco-wellness we’re formulating, with Lake Tahoe being the perfect venue.”

Elevated Fitness was once an old Foot Locker which was discovered by the new owners during renovation. Pretty cool, heh?

It is located at 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd, #8, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. They hold FREE classes on Saturdays and a full class schedule leading up to their Grand Opening June 30, 2012. For more information, contact Bridget McGrath, Owner, (888) 935-3828,

Living and training in Los Angeles, David and Bridget were exposed to a lot of fitness ideas and techniques. They knew that they wanted to open their own exercise facility incorporating the latest in science-based training and cutting edge modalities that you wouldn’t find in a typical gym. But they had also always been socially aware and involved with animal and environmental issues. They knew that they wanted to follow a green business model from the ground up and L.A. was not doing it for them.  Time to move. Bridget’s family had a house here in Tahoe, so she’d been coming up here her whole life. David grew up in Colorado, so he loved the mountains and an active outdoor community. Tahoe was naturally their first choice of where to build their dream.

The combination of factors, from the natural beauty of Tahoe and the active lifestyles of its residents, to the socially-minded and eco-friendly atmosphere, to the lack of a truly elite training facility made Tahoe the ideal spot for Elevated Fitness. There is actually NO better place for America’s first carbon-neutral training center.

Bridget McGrath began her professional career in finance preparing due diligence background reports and later acted as a consultant in mezzanine finance. She secured her first personal training certification while conducting a subrosa investigation. As a former competitive swimmer and athlete, training became a love which she longed to have more time to pursue, driving her eventual departure from finance. She has been a Personal Trainer, Aqua Therapist, and Swim Coach for over ten years. She has also managed and mentored other trainers in various roles, including Fitness Manager, Personal Training Manager, and Swim Director at two of the top luxury gyms in the United States. A passion for environmental welfare led her to open America’s first carbon-neutral gym.

David is a lifelong athlete and fitness enthusiast. He played sports his whole life, eventually earning All-American honors in Lacrosse. He has been certified as a personal trainer for over 15 years, working at some of the top luxury clubs in the entire industry. He also served as an Assistant Strength Coach for two professional sports teams and trained on several movie sets and appeared on numerous TV shows. During all of this, he found time to get an MFA in Film Production and also worked in the entertainment industry as a film and video editor. Always staying on the cutting-edge of fitness drove David to open Elevated Fitness, America’s only carbon-neutral gym and Tahoe’s most elite training center.

Both Bridget and David hold so many health,  fitness and nutritional certifications, including CPR and First Aid, that this page isn’t long enough.  Let’s just say they are more than qualified to live the life they live, and we welcome them to Lake Tahoe, the land of hard core athletes who are grounded in community.

We live in a special place. A place so beautiful it nurtures the soul and creative spirit. A place so breathtaking it inspires conservation. A mountain culture that masters the fine art of living. Welcome to this place we call home. Welcome to Lake Tahoe. Meet the local artists, individuals, businesses and events that define our unique mountain culture and embody Tahoe's creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
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