An important message from Syphus CEO Mike Hackett


The Syphus Survivor finals are a few short days away It has been inspiring to watch you
push yourselves past your comfort zones in the name of competition, but it is also
important to keep in mind that competition should be a tool for motivation – not your
primary focus!

Six years ago, I set out to create a workout that would provide individuals feedback on
their own person fitness levels and to do so in a way that was done in a fun, team-like
atmosphere. It has been brought to my attention that recently we had a confrontation
where members were calling each other out for poor form and rep-skipping. Please
understand that Syphus Training strives for sportsmanship, not division.

When hitting the turf, please leave any and all exercise critiquing to your Turf Pro
(instructor). Our staff has a plethora of things to accomplish mid-workout from assisting
with forms, helping members navigate the patterns and above all creating a safe
environment in which to work out. It is a very delicate balance for the staff to allow room
for competition while also trying to streamline the “rules” of the game. While we know
that the very nature of Syphus is predicated on elements of competition and scoring the
main idea is that you are competing with yourself – not one another…no matter what
competition we may be hosting.

Your scores are greatly subjective no matter how objective we have tried to make them.
Indeed, your 800 level may be different than someone else’s 800. Not everyone has the
physical ability to perform the tasks EXACTLY as they were designed. All we ask is for
100% effort and integrity in their execution. To that, if someone is “shaving” repetitions
intentionally for the sake of scoring higher, so be it. As frustrating and disruptive to the
collective that this may be, we must remember that it is THEIR workout, too. If you
witness “score-seeking” my suggestion is to keep your blinders on and focus on your
personal task at hand. Leave it for your pro to try to make any adjustments – chances
are your Pro has already detected errors in form and is taking measures to address
them the wait they were trained to do so.

My best bet is that everyone who came to Syphus Training did so initially to better
themselves both physically and mentally and NOT to score higher than everyone. Our
goal should be to build each other up not to call each other out. If this is not in your
nature – that’s fine, you do not need to be a cheerleader – instead, try refocusing on
getting the best workout that you can for that hour. My philosophy is that if you cannot
compliment someone on their form and effort then simply remain silent and harness that
extra energy into your workout.

Above all remember that we are all cut from the same cloth. We are all Syphus Trainers
participating in a truly unique genre of exercise. I implore you to pivot your perception of
competition; we are competing together as a community rather than individuals. As you
will soon discover through Turf Wars and some new website updates on the horizon,
the idea is to better your abilities for the betterment of your Turf. Just as in any team
sport; you need to improve the aspects of your individual game to uplift your team to its
highest potential. While there are certainly all-stars on every team; individuality will only
get you so far.

Learning to perfect the smallest tasks is the first and most crucial step as it will lead you
to perfecting the hardest tasks later. Take pride in doing the small things right. In
Syphus-speak: You will not be able to do a Hack-It until you first learn how to perfect a
Peg Leg, Rev Bovine or a Diablo.

I assure you that if you turn your energy into becoming a catalyst for the group that it will
come full circle in fueling your individual workout. I have been a part of some of the
most amazing workout experiences on the Turf and they were all driven by the vibe of
the group pushing together as one. Take the opportunity to feed off individuals doing the
best that they can do, supporting of one another; becoming cogs in a machine that is
churning out amazing athletes.

Congratulations to the members moving on to round two of Survivor. I’ve seen the
names of who’ve made it past the first round and it will surely make for an exciting
finish. Best of luck to those finalists – if you get the chance to watch one of your turf mates
going this week, be sure to cheer them on.

Form First,

Mike Hackett

Creator and CEO of Syphus Training

Jim DeMercurio’s – Syphus Story

Over the past 15 years I have struggled on and off with sticking to a workout program. In my early 20s I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and was put on medication to control it. I knew exercise was an important part of me being able to keep these health issues in check so I started to run regularly, and signed up for many races, including 5ks,10ks, and half marathons. I didn’t run because I liked it; I actually hated most of the time I ran. I did it because I thought it was the best way to help regulate my blood pressure and to keep in shape. I also liked the competitive aspect of running and the fact I could track my progress race to race.

After years of this, I tried other programs as well, ones that were not just steady state activity, but were more about muscle endurance and high intensity training. I started to see a major changes in my body, but these programs lacked the competition I enjoyed from running. In early October of 2014, my wife heard about Syphus Training from a friend, and did her first workout. She called me on her ride home from the class, and told me that I had to try it. I did Initiation a few days later and was immediately hooked. The combination of muscle toning exercises along with heavy cardio, plyometrics, and flexibility, all within a competitive structure was exactly what I had been looking for all along. From the first day I did Syphus I tracked my scores and monitored my progress week to week. Even more importantly, my wife and I were hooked on Syphus together. For the first time in many years we worked out together. We plan and strategize our workouts together and have grown in Syphus as a team. Since doing Syphus, I have run the fastest 5k and 10k runs, cutting out minutes off of my times. In September I ran my first sub-21:00 min 5k at the age of 43. After one year, I was able to maintain my blood pressure and cholesterol without the need for medication, the first time in 20 years! I am in the best shape of my life in my 40s and owe this all to Syphus.

Darlene Vachon’s – Syphus Story

I had a childhood dream of playing ice hockey, in my late 30s I decided to buy a pair of hockey skates. Thus began my motivated journey to learn the sport I had always loved watching and dreamed of playing. I quickly learned that I needed to supplement my on ice training with something off ice. A friend who I met through hockey told me about Syphus Training during a camp, a newly discovered workout that she had started doing. I was very interested in trying it out and she agreed to come with me for my first workout.

My initiation workout was 4 months post delivery of my youngest child and the workout was truly the hardest thing I had ever done (keep in mind I had just had my third child ☺). I was completely out of shape and struggled to do basic tasks that seemed simple for everyone around me. Despite all that I was completely intrigued and had no doubts that Syphus Training would be great for me. I absolutely loved the variety of exercises, the trainers were always extremely kind, supportive, and helpful.

In the beginning I would come to the turf once a week wondering how anyone could come more often. I would be so sore. Though with all the soreness I immediately started noticing improvements on the ice. I felt stronger and more balanced. Before long I added another day on the turf and found that the soreness wasn’t so bad. After my first season of hockey my women’s team was moved up a division, which meant stronger skilled opponents next season. I knew it would be challenging but I knew with Syphus Training that I could be competitive and help my team in my sophomore season. I wanted to be ready so I recruited a fellow teammate who was interested and we started coming 3 or 4 days a week often bringing other teammates with us. After only one month on my new schedule I shed some weight and gained a lot of strength, which was instantly noticeable on the ice. When practices began in the fall for the new hockey season I was READY. I was rarely out of breath on drills that before left me gasping. My skating was substantially quicker because my legs were so much stronger.

There are so many ways that Syphus Training has changed my life. I am living an active life being an example to my children. Syphus has made me mentally tougher, more resilient, and empowered. I am a lot more confident on the turf than I was a year ago. I keep a positive attitude about my gains on the turf knowing that I am the one who has put in the hard work and I’ve been worth it. When I am sore from a workout I know that my muscles are gaining strength. Syphus Training has become synonymous with strength.

Keith Millard’s – Syphus Story

Surfer dude: It will “transform your body,” he said.. “anyone can do it,” he said..” it’s hard for sure but you’ll be in the best shape of your life” he said…

Trainer Lady: If you stick with it, you’ll never get this tired again…and by the way, tuck your shirt in…just telling you ahead of time…

Guy working out next to me was looking at me with a fear or sadness…maybe wonderment? I don’t know…maybe he was thinking 911 should be on the ready? Who knows…

That’s pretty much how my Syphus story starts…a little fear, a lot of embarrassment because of the shape I let myself get into, and a lot of hangovers. Most have a hangover for a day or 2, mine lasted about 4 months.

In March of 2014 I was just about 310 pounds, I was going to the gym once in a while, really having no idea what a workout meant, or if I was doing anything positive for my health. Treadmill for a bit, elliptical for a bit, some circuit weights and on with my day. I would spend 30-40 minutes there, do a little bike riding, not much, and that was it.

Syphus Training changed everything, for that 1 hour a day I convinced my mind that kicking the hell out of myself was a good thing. I could do it…I could compete again, not with others really, but that 310-pound mindset that rears its ugly head every so often and puts up a great fight. It was a stress relief, a phenomenal feeling when that clock hits 0:00, and a great community of people that are encouraging and a lot of fun to be around.

In October of 2015 I was down to 252 that was the lowest I hit, and the discipline and lack of discipline are my biggest foes now…sure after 20 years of weight gain/loss/gain/loss/gain…and more gain things hurt, joints get sore, but it’s all part of the challenge, you can put weight on in 2-3 days, but it takes 2-3 times longer than that to take it off. I may not take a score every time in, I may not finish the hour all the time, but I’m close to that 30/30 that’s my main Syphus goal…30/30 on the form, maintain that and everything else will get faster.

Overall Brian, it has changed my life, I’ve never been stronger, and Suzanne, I’ve never been that beat up again, and I still wear long shirts, and Hackett so far no 911 was needed, and I’m glad I came back.

It never gets easier; you just get better at it.

Jen Neumann’s – Syphus Story

About four years ago, I was looking for something new. My work out
routine consisted of running and occasionally lifting weights. I had
plateaued and was, frankly, bored with it all. I wanted to find
something that would allow me to move in more ways than a straight line,
make me stronger & faster, change my physique a bit, and be fun. I came
across Syphus and gave it a try. It’s been all I wanted and more.

What has surprised me the most is how Syphus has had a positive impact
outside of the gym. In just 9 months, I dropped 17 minutes off my
half-marathon time. I can take the numerous flights of stairs to my
office without breaking a sweat or being out of breath. I can join
friends for a 10 mile run after not running for months. I can SCUBA
dive in rough waters like it’s a walk in the park.

I may not get the highest scores in Syphus, but it certainly prepares me
for all the fun adventures life can bring!



Syphus Training is proud to announce its first independent owner and operator Tim Kniga who will be taking over Turf – Harrison Township! Effective immediately Syphus Training has entered into a licensing agreement with Tim Kniga and Turf – Harrison to operate a satellite Syphus Training facility.

Tim Kniga first started as a member of Syphus Training January of 2014 and became a Syphus Training Pro in July of 2015.

With this new venture Turf Harrison will expect to see many exciting updates like the addition of new bleachers, wall decals, boosted memberships for added competition as well as upcoming promotions and membership events.

We are thrilled to have Mr. Kniga help grow the Syphus Training name as we keep climbing.

Ally Turner’s – Syphus Story

Syphus helped me achieve a dream!! I love to run! I have a great
running community! When I’m not chasing after my four kids, I’m
running. After completing more than a few marathons, a friend
encouraged me to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon. I laughed. I
thought that pinnacle race was for elite athletes only. But the dream
became a deep desire so I accepted her challenge. My training plan
started to include speed work, tempo runs and hill drills. I got
faster, but after 2 more marathon attempts (3:48:47 and 3:48:22), I
finished short of my qualifying time (3:45:00) to run Boston. I read
that strength and circuit training were important for long distance
runners, and at the same time I had a friend telling me about this great
work-out called Syphus. Well after a few visits, I was hooked. The
creative combining of squats, plyometrics, lunges and other strength
exercises at Syphus Training were exactly what my plan needed. After 6
months of incorporating Syphus into my training, my dream became a
reality when I shaved 5 minutes off my previous race and ran a
qualifying time of 3:43:21 at my next marathon! Syphus Training
helped me run strong at the Boston Marathon, and now it’s helping me
train for my first ultra marathon… thank you Syphus Training!!

Bill Simonson’s – Syphus Story

I started my Syphus Career in November of 2012. My wife and I met a Syphus trainer at a 5k and my wife decided to go. After her class she called me and told me that she thought I would really like the workout. I went that afternoon and Mike was teaching the class. I talked to Mike and told him that I wanted to get in shape and my current training for triathlons was not helping me keep weight off or cut inches from my waist. Mike said that he thought if I came 4 times per week I would be able to accomplish my goals. I took Mike’s advice, signed up for a yearly membership that day and to date I have done over 780 Syphus classes. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. The results from Syphus have been great for my health and attitude towards working out. I can’t even look at a treadmill anymore.

Syphus has become my sport. Although Syphus has helped my conditioning for soccer and skiing I consider myself a Syphus-er. The 6 hours per week I spend on the turf are my time to compete. Mike has created a sport and I am thankful that my wife told me to try 3 ½ years ago.