community spotlight

Community Spotlight: Next Level Strength & Conditioning

Like us, Next Level Strength and Conditioning is celebrating their fifth anniversary this year. Located on Lyndon Road and very active in the Fairport Community, we have enjoyed getting to know them over the last few years.

We're also super excited to be partnering with them for an upcoming member event in June! 

So since we're doing that, we thought it'd be fun to ask 5 questions to help them celebrate this business milestone.

Without further ado, meet Coach Nate, the Founder and Owner of Next Level Strength & Conditioning!

Nate VanKouwenberg, Owner of Next Level Strength and Conditioning in Fairport

Nate VanKouwenberg, Owner of Next Level Strength and Conditioning in Fairport

What makes Next Level a unique place to train?
There are several unique qualities that make NL (Next Level) a special place to train, from offering the latest in scientifically proven training methods, our state of the art 5,000 square foot facility and a wide range of comprehensive services, including Physical Therapy and Sports Massage. Despite all of these factors that make us very proud, Next Level would be nothing without the people. We have the most amazing staff, athletes and general fitness members! Our team of Strength Coaches have a wide range of certifications and degrees, but most importantly they are amazing people. They truly care about the well being of our members both inside and outside of the gym. We take pride in the family like culture we've developed here.

The team at Next Level Strength and Conditioning

The team at Next Level Strength and Conditioning

Who are your main clients?
We work with a wide range of athletes and general fitness members, including youth athletes (athletic development FUNdamentals), Middle School athletes (introduction to sports performance) and High School, College and Pro athletes (advanced sports performance). Our adult general fitness members range from recent college graduates to people that are enjoying retirement. The benefits from quality functional strength training reach all ages and skill levels!

What about non-athletes, do they need a fitness program too?
Absolutely, everyone deserves a quality program that holds them accountable and gets them feeling and moving better. We have many HS students who are in our sport performance groups despite not playing a sport! These students absolutely crush it!

We also offer an Adult Functional Fitness group program called Roots (getting back to the Roots of functional fitness without the BS). Our Roots members are a tight knit family that creates a supportive environment, regardless of skill level. Each workout consists of mobility, functional strength training and metabolic conditioning. "Everything you need, nothing you don't." Our team of qualified coaches can modify workouts to meet the specific needs and goals of each individual. We offer a free roots session to anyone that wants to give it a shot!

What fitness goal are you most proud of accomplishing?
We take pride in helping our athletes and general fitness members achieve their goals, regardless of how big or small they are. Whether it's helping an athlete improve their performance, or someone reach an ideal weight, this is why we do what we do and love every minute!

Tell us a little about your path, Nate:
I grew up playing hockey and loving sports! After my Freshman year playing hockey at SUNY Brockport, I realized that everything I was doing to prepare off the ice was wrong. I decided to major in Physical Education with a concentration in Exercise Science. It was mind blowing to me what a huge difference quality training could make in my on ice performance. This is where I fell in love with what I do today.

After Brockport I started teaching PE in Victor and training HS athletes on the side at local gyms. Each year my following grew and I realized what a huge impact I could have on people if I focused on Strength & Conditioning more than school breaks. In March of 2013, we opened our current facility connected to the Rochester Ice Center in Fairport. I could not be more proud of the culture we've built at Next Level and how many people we've helped achieve their goals! I am also the Strength Coach for the RIT Men's hockey team, so I've been able to stay in the game and get the best of both worlds! I could not be living out my dream without the support of my wife, kids and amazing team of coaches and managers!

Want to learn more? Go visit, or find them here:

Website  / Facebook  / Instagram  / Twitter  

Exterior of Next Level Strength and Conditioning, next to the Rochester Ice Center on Lyndon Road

Exterior of Next Level Strength and Conditioning, next to the Rochester Ice Center on Lyndon Road

Spotlight on a Local Business: Eastside Fence Inc

Erin and I love to support other local, small businesses like ours. We are active members of the FPMA, but more than that, we put our money where our mouth is and shop local as often as we can! 

We recently completed a rather large home improvement project... replacing our aging and damaged fence. After asking around for referrals, a common name kept surfacing: Eastside Fence, based right here in Fairport. In fact, owner Bob Coyle and his wife live less than 2 miles away. It doesn't get more local than that!

While they were here, I documented the process before, during and after. If you are looking for a quality fence from friendly contractors, I highly recommend Bob and Eastside Fence Inc. Thank you to the whole crew who did such a nice job!


April: Autism Awareness Month, Spotlight on CNY-ASA

autism awareness month ribbon

April is Autism Awareness Month

Spring is here! No, really, it is! I even saw the sun today!  As you might know, we have been gearing up for our first ever Mini-Session events in April. It's just a few weeks away now! As part of these events, we will be donating a portion of the funds raised back to our local community. It's because of this, that we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on a special organization: CNY - ASA, or the Central New York chapter of the Autism Society of America. If you didn't know, April is Autism Awareness Month, and we are very excited to be doing our small part to help.

cny-asa logo

Q&A with CNY-ASA's Kristine O'Brien

What exactly do you do and who do you serve? We serve the Central New York community by assisting parents of autistic children with programs and education regarding Autism.

We are a chapter of The Autism Society of America, but all our fundraising and programming stays local to our chapter. We provide bi-monthly seminars on topics surrounding autism. Along with that, for the past three years we have supported and developed an online parent support group on Facebook called Spectrum Support.

How will the donations you receive be used? All of our fundraising goes to support children with an Autism diagnosis. We provide help with recreational inclusive summer programs and family friendly events throughout the year. Things like sensory friendly movies, bounce house events, and Fall Family fun days.  This will be our second year supporting persons with an autism spectrum diagnosis, ages 8 years and up in a bike riding program called iCan Ride.

The money we raise stays local, to help our CNY chapter.

Are you doing anything special for Autism Awareness Month? Yes, this year marks the 8th annual "One Piece at a Time" Autism Awareness Walk.  The date this year is: April 27, 2013 at Long Branch Park.  Typically we have over 1000 people walking and raising money for Autism Awareness.

Whats your favorite part about what you do? It's so much fun to see families enjoying each other at our walk, and our other family events.  We love helping families be families!

What are your goals for the future? Our goals for the future are to continue to increase awareness and assist our families. We want to do this by supporting social skills classes, and developing a wider range of inclusive programs for children and families affected by autism.

Is there anything else you'd like to share? Our organization started in 2005 with five moms  supporting each other and other families with newly diagnosed children.  Since that time, we have grown to be the "go to" organization in the CNY area for education, awareness and guidance.

Make a Difference

If you would like to participate in our mini-session event, click here to register for your spot. Dates are April 13th and 20th, and all of the information can be found here.  We really hope to see you there!

If you would like to make an additional donation, they can be sent directly to the organization at:

CNY ASA, 4465 E. Genesee St., PMB 252, Dewitt, NY 13214 or through Paypal at

Thank You

I would like to thank my sister-in-law, Kerry, for bringing this great organization to our attention. They are doing really great things for the community, and we are very excited to be able to give back and help them in their mission. And thank YOU, all of our awesome clients who participate in our mini-sessions so that we CAN give back! Your support is all we could ask for.