Dr. David Skolnik PT, DPT
I had the opportunity to work with Shay when I was practicing in Portland, OR and have kept in touch with her ever since! Shay has a deep commitment to her craft - not just to bringing high quality, results-oriented training to her clients, but to truly building a community within her gym.
Too many trainers think the "perfect training plan" is what people want, but Shay understands that what people want is to be seen, heard and feel like they are the hero in their own journey.
If I were still living in Portland, I would ABSOLUTELY send patients to work with Shay after they finished their Physical Therapy treatment plan.
Dr. Lizz Ruegg PT, DPT
I highly recommend Shay Emmons and Inner Beast Strength and Conditioning. As a Physical Therapist who values collaboration and partnership in the care of each patient, Shay has exceeded my expectations and most importantly those of her clients. Keeping in mind the importance of the mental, physical and emotional aspects of wellness, she is able to motivate and support each individual on the road to achieving their goals. We have collaborated over the years on several individuals and share a strong drive to keep people moving and healthy. I value her ability to meet someone where they are, take their goals and life into consideration and teach them how to be stronger, healthier humans in the world.
Dr. Nathan Redington PT, DPT
Shay is a very well-rounded strength and conditioning coach, both with skills in the gym and with interpersonal skills to meet you where you’re at. Having worked with Shay in the past, I was impressed both by their ability to communicate like a clinician and really break topics/movements (like the deadlift, and “core”) down to a simple description that was easy to comprehend. As a Sports Physical Therapist my clinical priorities are efficiency of movement and adequate tissue loading, regardless of age or athleticism. I would refer any group of individuals to Shay based on their experience with either of those two concepts. The gym bird, sidewalk signs, and equipment variety are a nice plus to the gym atmosphere.
Having a personal trainer has been a goal of mine for many years now. I finally pulled the trigger and hired Shay, she came with glowing reviews from my chiropractor’s office, and I’m so happy I did! Within my first month all my pain complaints I came in with were gone. I am so impressed with Shay’s knowledge and commitment to her clients. I recommend her to everyone, she has a exceeded my expectations in a trainer!!
I am in awe & inspired everytime I step into the gym. It is not only incredible to feel so encouraged and supported during my own individualized work out, but also to witness the compassion, dedication and drive Shay gives to everyone in class.
I have been suffering from a bulging disc and pinched nerve in my lower back for about 10 years. Every time I had started to get physically active again I would have a set back due to discomfort and pain. I was in a cycle of physical discomfort, depression and low self worth. I am so grateful I reached out for support and found Shay. She listened, evaluated and created a specialised program for me. Her hands-on, individualised approach in a small group setting has allowed me to see drastic changes over just a few short months. My pain/discomfort has decreased by almost 75%. Along with that, my well being and self worth continues to grow alongside my physical health.
As a queer person I feel so comfortable and safe at Inner Beast. I am so excited to see where the rest of my year journey here will take me and I am so grateful for Shay for creating such a safe, inclusive space for me to connect with my inner beast and continue to grow into the bad a** that I am.
I think of where I was when I first started training with Shay at Inner Beast. I had come to a point where I knew I had to make a commitment to wellness for the rest of my life. No more months of HIIT classes that exhausted me, no more time off procrastinating life, work and self-care. Training with Shay has underlined that self-care is the most important, difficult and rewarding thing we can offer ourselves in this life. As I lift heavier weight I’m aware of how I carry my body differently. I move through life with a newfound ease and clarity. I have confronted my fears of not feeling strong, good or happy enough. I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for myself by putting effort into doing the things that make me feel good even if they challenge me in the moment. By no means is powerlifting coming easy to me but taking care of the one body I have for the rest of my time here is 100% worth it. I want to acknowledge how much I admire the self that brought me into train with Shay. If it wasn’t for the low-points, the bad years, trauma etc., we wouldn’t take the risks to feel something better. For that I am eternally grateful to work with such an informed, strong and caring coach such as Shay.
I have never liked working out very much. It has never felt natural to me, I worry that I’m doing it wrong and I’m going to hurt myself… and this reluctance has never been helped by the uncomfortable, bro-y, competitive culture that you find at other gyms. Training at Inner Beast is different … With Shay, I feel like I’m working with an expert in how my body works, to make it perform better. At other gyms I’ve felt like I’m disappointing some 22-year old who’s never actually struggled to stay in shape, and can’t understand why my body doesn’t do everything theirs does anymore.
I’ve been working on correcting pain from years of bad posture and bad lifting habits with Shay, and the progress I’ve made over 6 months has been so much more specific, long-lasting, and real than with any other training program. My pain is diminishing AND I’m getting stronger. Shay is supportive, knowledgeable, and conscientious. I highly recommend training here.
Finding Shay and Inner Beast has undoubtedly changed the trajectory of my life and health. Since working with her in her awesome, no BS gym with some truly down to earth great folx, I’ve felt stronger, more self-contained, confident and clear about who I am and how I deserve to feel in my body and in the world. She is dedicated to personalized care that stretches beyond strength and conditioning. She attends to the ways we’ve adapted over time and creates individualized programs that helps repair and restore in addition to strengthening and conditioning. As a mental health therapist, this has been the missing piece for me in setting healthy boundaries, believing in myself, and understanding even more about the body and Nervous System’s roles in how we live our lives. I love Shay, what she has created, and I cannot wait for every workout.
Shay is amazing. I can’t recommend Inner Beast enough! I have struggled with chronic pain from several back injuries for a very long time. I have tried everything to mange the pain. Every type of exercise, every modality of pain healing. This is the first time I have ever had any sort of long lasting relief.
Shay has paid very close attention to my limits and has worked with me, adjusting my program as needed as we worked through the injuries. When I first started I couldn’t even do most of the movements without pain let alone holding any weights. Within months I’m lifting weights I never would’ve imagined I was capable of, my pain has radically decreased, my body feels stronger and I can sleep through the night without muscle spasms. I can’t believe the progress I’ve made in such a short time.
If you'e looking to growing your own physical and mental strength go here. Everyone's fitness journey is different, mine has been up and down along with a few reconstructive surgeries. I started going here about a year ago and in that time, Shay put a plan together that matched my goals and my body that has made me stronger than when I was training alone. Its the right mix of someone pushing you, encouraging you, and supporting you outside of the gym. I'm injury free, lifting heavy weight, and in a space really working on myself, a year ago that wasn't the case. If that's something you want to do for yourself and you have injuries or have had bad gym experiences you should check out Shay and Inner Beast.
Inner Beast Strength and Conditioning is a little slice of gym wonder! No bros, no $hitty music just rad humans getting stronger. The owner, Shay, is an amazing trainer. She is excellent at knowing the best exercises to make your body strong. Shay also explains the different techniques or moves within your personally tailored program so you know exactly what muscles to fire through her demonstrations and cueing. She constantly giving feedback so you avoid injury.
I'm a stronger persona because of Shay and the gym community she has created.
Invest in yourself.
Shay is the real deal! I've been working with her for about 4-5 months, and I'm extremely satisfied with the results I've seen so far. She has gently helped me rehabilitate my recent shoulder injury and not-so-recent hip injury, and I can now lift heavy without pain again! I've also lost 10lbs on her nutrition program and I feel great. She is very patient and answers all of my questions (and I ask a lot of them). I'm constantly impressed with her extensive knowledge and skill and am excited to see what I can accomplish with her help!
I have arthritis in my neck and shoulder and was living with a lot of pain before I started training with Shay. Years of repetitive movement from teaching Group Fitness classes, combined with the increasing discomfort of living with arthritis, had left me feeling weak, defeated and broken. I had to pull back on the number of classes I was teaching, the weight selections I was lifting, and I had to modify movements. I knew something needed to change. There is no reason to live in pain. Thankfully I was introduced to Shay through a fellow Group Fitness instructor who had trained with (and raved about) her. After our first meeting I knew why. Shay was able to determine right away where pain was in my body, and what I needed to do in order to strengthen and move forward beyond that threshold. After working with her I am not only pain free, but I am the strongest I’ve ever felt in my life. Shay looks at the overall picture – not just your physical activity, but an in-depth look at your diet, your hydration, your sleep (or lack thereof) and your stress. She cares passionately about her clients, and will do everything she can to get them healthy, strong and maintain that as a lifestyle.
For a year I talked about getting strong and didn’t act on it. Inner Beast magically manifested into my life and I took this opportunity seriously. After only a few workouts I developed an unprecedented level of mental strength and confidence, and a couple months in I’m getting a sixpack – wow, now those are results!
If they allowed more than 5 stars I would give it! If you are having chronic pain I HIGHLY suggest seeing Shay. I have two herniated discs, and have had chronic pain for years. I started going to Inner Beast 2.5 months ago and I woke up this morning without pain (big deal). On the days I have had pain, Shay has been able to modify my workout to help me get some relief. I'm not going to tell anyone you'll get a miracle if you start working out here, but I will say you'll get to work with someone who actually cares and is willing to do the work to keep you moving forward.
Before I started here I saw someone commented, "Just give the woman your money already" and I have to say, I concur.
I've been really enjoying working out with Shay for the last few months and I've seen great results so far. It's a great, welcoming environment where you can put in some serious work. Shay really pays attention to each person's needs and idiosyncrasies and comes up with a plan to build strength and balance, and that feels amazing. When I joined, I thought I would be dragging myself to the gym kicking and screaming three days a week, but honestly I look forward to it every time.
Shay's the best. She knows her stuff and wants the best for her clients. She's helping me to regain my identity as an athlete, and that's priceless. I also have back issues and she has tailored my workouts to accommodate for and strengthen my back. For the first time, I don't dread going to the gym! Go with Shay.
I could do it myself, I said. I'm smart; I could research the workouts, watch the youtubes, use the app on my phone or my watch or the workbook or the spreadsheet. And sure, I (technically) worked out. I went to the (big anonymous) gym, and did the things, and it was (mostly) fine. And, sure, every now and then I would push too hard or too fast and then have to take a few months out to fix my shoulder/quad/calf. And yeah, maybe it got a little stale. But I was (mostly) fine. And then life got crazy. After a year and some change without a gym, I started to not even be (mostly) fine. My hips hurt. My back hurt. I couldn't really walk long distances, much less run. So I decided to make the gift to myself of finding a place and a person and see what I could do when I really brought my whole self there.
At the evaluation, I told Shay I wanted to go into my fifties as strong as I possibly could be, to show my kids that body positivity doesn't have an age or a weight but a joy in what your body can do for you. And sexy-shoulders wouldn't hurt, either.
Shay listens, and she watches, and makes the plans for you, for where you're at, with an eye for where she knows you can go, and what needs to heal along the way. Most of the time, she knows what I'm capable of better than I do. And after four months with Shay (five months? six? I'm not really sure) I have made more progress than I did the entire time from 2017 to 2019. I'm lifting heavier, with better form, and more intention. I'm learning more supporting exercises, and more about my balance and my body and my posture. I'm improving in areas I hadn't known were holding me back and I'm sleeping better and standing taller (didn't know THAT was gonna happen) and walking smoother. All in a no-fuss, clean, bright, open, safe small-gym environment (usually just 4 of us at a time) where there's no gatekeeping, no mansplaining, no side eye, and no pretending to be something you're not.
I still remember feeling so proud and humbled and badass and supported by Shay, during the one powerlifting meet I participated in. It really meant so much to me.
Especially during a blip of my life where I felt so much dysmorphia after having a baby and the depression that bred.
I felt autonomous and in control of me. It was amazing and has absolutely carried through to today.
I’m now healthy, present and kicking ass.
I am so grateful to have discovered Inner Beast during a season of transition when I have a lot to confront, expel, relinquish, conquer, and move through. Shay brings so much passion and skill and personal investment to her training. She offers a thorough professional assessment, actually listens to your story and goals, and crafts an individualized program that meets you where you are and helps you find your own inner beast. I look forward to going to the gym, and I feel stronger every day. Thank you, Shay!
Working with Shay for the past two years has transformed my approach to my overall health, physical body and attitude. As a female over 60 I was hesitant to do weight training ...but it has been the best exercise program for me to build strength, balance and improve my posture. She holds you accountable and pushes you when you don't think you can do more...but you really can!
Shay’s practice is holistic, thoughtful and no bs. I came to Inner Beast with no athletic or workout experience and little understanding of my own strength. In the time I’ve worked with Shay, I’ve gained a better relationship with my body and am learning so much about how to trust and push myself in ways that before felt hard or impossible.
In the past I have been intimidated by “gym culture” - Inner Beast has proven to be a supportive space that meets me where I’m at, accounts for my unique goals and celebrates incremental growth.
Shay is a direct, gentle and encouraging instructor who’s methods are designed to build confidence and produce sustainable lifestyle shifts.
I love working with Shay and am so glad I found this community.
I can't recommend Shay enough! In 6 months I completely transformed my body and way exceeded my expectations. I always thought I was pretty fit, but after training with Shay I honestly feel so much better in every way--all my back pain is gone, and I just feel stronger and more confident. I came to Shay because I was getting older and starting to feel like some basic things that I used to take for granted were becoming more and more difficult--hiking and just doing chores, for example. But I completely reversed that and honestly now feel stronger than I've ever felt in my life. It's given me physical strength but it's also changed the way I feel about getting older--I don't feel at the mercy of aging, I know that I can stay strong and fit as I get older. I would never have been able to accomplish this without Shay--she really pays attention to what you need and how to get you there. She designed a program that was tailored to my body and she pushed me just hard enough to make amazing progress but never too hard to make it feel daunting. I made steady progress week by week and looking back it feels like it was easy. Totally recommend Shay!!
Shay is the best! I came in with a lingering spinal injury and some chronic health issues feeling like a problem and at Inner Beast all I'm finding is solutions and confidence. Shay has given me a program that grows with me, that fits me perfectly, and that doesn't leave me feeling wrecked all weekend. I have had several previous trainers and Shay provides the best care and consistency, hands down. If you feel overwhelmed in large "bro vibe" gyms, definitely give Inner Beast a visit!
Shay is above anything a professional. Getting results in a way that makes you feel good about yourself make everyday with her enjoyable! It is the best part of my day seeing her ! Shay has a way to make your training session at 5am something to look forward to! Her workouts don't leave you hating exercise and still helps build muscle! Try her out and you will not regret it !
After years of debilitating back pain it was clear there was only one solution - get strong and stay strong. I am so grateful I found Shay at Inner Beast to help me get there. Shay is so knowledgeable and empathetic, and she provides the perfect balance helping me gain strength faster than I could have imagined while making sure I use my back in a way that is safe and smart. I’ve only been working with Shay for a few months and I’m already the strongest I’ve ever been with so much less pain!
Shay is an attentive, encouraging, and compassionate trainer. And she teaches me how to be this way with myself. She gets to know my specific combination of needs and quirks. She expects a lot. I have never been a gym person, but I found myself unable to repeat or maintain previous solo exercising programs. I felt stuck and everything hurt. So, I decided to ask for help and set up an assessment with Shay. I have never regretted it for a single moment. After several months training with Shay, I have increased strength, balance, and body awareness. Most things don't hurt anymore, and the rest are getting better. Shay and Inner Beast are for you if you like a low-drama gym that is welcoming of all shapes and sizes of bodies.
This gym is tight. If you’re the type of person that just googled “powerlifting” and found this place and these reviews, go head and just come. I guarantee you won’t regret it. Shay is so sick - she’s funny and cool and she makes you feel comfortable from the first day. Everyone in the gym is doing completely different programs suited exactly to our needs. I told Shay the first time we met that I wanted to go to this gym so that if there was ever a time someone was trying to mess with me I would be strong enough to take care of myself and I totally am twice as strong as I’ve ever been and it’s only been about 3 months. The results are incredible and working out there is actually fun and not a chore like at every other gym I’ve ever tried. Just give the woman your dang money already, it’s worth it!
About 7 years ago, I started working with Shay to get help strengthening my shoulders and overcoming my fears of dislocating them. I also wanted to feel more physically fit, healthy, and confident. Shay is an outstanding trainer/owner/human and has created a remarkably supportive community at the gym. She is perceptive, wise beyond her years, and tailors an individual program to meet the needs of each client. I’ve never felt stronger. If you’re interested in strength training or powerlifting, you need to check out Inner Beast.
I came to Shay as a last ditch effort to try and improve my chronic joint issues, back pain, and recurrent neck injury. She creates workout programs that are designed specifically to support your particular body issues, and let me tell you, she is really good at it! I never thought I would be into weight training... but after two months, my lower back pain is markedly better, as is the pain caused by a meniscus tear in my knee (I did a 2-day, 20 mile hike with no problem recently, + can run a few miles again), and I really just love the feeling of the workouts - I always look forward to my gym days. For anyone with loose joints (or any other body imbalances), I cant recommend this kind of training highly enough. Feeling my body get stronger and hold itself together better is really rewarding, grounding and relieving. + Shay roots for you all along the way (as much as she maybe wants to come off as a hardass, she's really a big teddy bear ;))
A weak back and poor posture due to a desk job, I turned to Shay for help. Not only has she helped my posture, she has also helped me reach levels of strength I didn't know I was capable of. Early morning sessions with her is what I look forward to every week! It's worth every penny at Inner Beast!
When I met Shay she asked what my goals were in joining the gym. For me it was weight loss, back pain relief, and learning how to move and exercise after having two kids. She said she hoped I would gain some confidence along the way as well. I am happy to say that in 6 months we were able to accomplish all of these things! I’m sleeping better, can keep up with my kids and I’ve lost 20 pounds. More important to me though is I feel better mentally and physically. Shay is the best, the other folks at the gym are delightful, and the music is great. I also love that there is no ego. Thanks Shay!
I feel absolutely great about the two and a half years I have spent training with Shay and the Inner Beast family. Looking back, it is easy for me to see the strength and mobility I have gained through Shay's personalized programs. I can also see that I have more confidence in myself and my ability to try new things and to push through hard tasks. Shay has truly created an awesome gym environment which is fun, supportive and inviting to all kinds of people of various abilities.
This is the gym for you if, like me, you hate gyms. I came to Inner Beast after unexpectedly falling in love with powerlifting... but NOT with the drama and toxic masculinity at other gyms. I love the small group private training feel of Inner Beast, It’s basically like having a 1-on-1 Personal Trainer but doing your workout with 3 other people. Which, especially in these COVID times, is pretty ideal. Everyone is on their own program, but doing it together is way more fun (even in masks!).
Shay is really hands on and knowledgeable (and adjusted my whole program when I needed to rehab my work-stressed out body), and everyone who goes to this gym is a delight. It’s mostly women (and a few cool, feminist guys), so you get to skip the weird shaming or ego pageants that happen at other places. This place is ideal if you want to really get strong in your body, and have people who care about to help you get there. Highly recommend!
Love working with Shay! She is highly motivated, funny, smart and will keep you honest with yourself and your workouts. She's great at helping you track your eating and even meal planning. If you have injuries, such as myself, she will take the time to research and REALLY figure out what the best plan for you will be. She takes a great deal of pride in being able to help people! Definitely check her out!
I love working with Shay!! She is incredibly knowledgable, supportive and a joy to be around . Her gym is conveniently located and full of light.
After a few months of training, I am aware of my increased strength, balance and stamina. I actually look forward to my very early morning sessions.
I recommend Shay highly.
Shay really lives the life that she helps others achieve. I felt that she pushed me the perfect amount and would listen when I would tell her I thought I had hit a temporary limit. At the time I was in school for massage and it was really cool to talk about the muscle groups and the terms we were both familiar with. Nutrition was really easy to follow and I was actually full throughout the day. I felt like our goals were really realistic and I was satisfied with the progress I made by sticking with her plan. I wasn't a morning person but would come work out with shay anyways and she dealt with my cranky ass like a pro!
I literally regained my youth! Shay is great. She knows what she's doing. She believes in what she's doing. She combines her weight training and physical therapy expertise to deliver real results while working around injuries and limitations. And her gym is a down to earth place with a real sense of community. Working with Shay is one of the best things I have ever done for myself.