next level

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

6 Healthy Habits for Feeling Great on Your Wedding Day

Today we have a special guest post for you, coming from local strength coach Kurtis Bednarcyk, CFSC of Next Level Strength & Conditioning in Fairport, NY.

We believe that no matter what you look like, you deserve to be photographed beautifully. But we know that we all have our insecurities as well, especially if your wedding day is right around the corner. So Kurtis wrote some tips for us, on how to look and feel your best on your wedding day.

And there is a special offer for our blog readers at the bottom, so be sure to scroll down! Take it away Kurtis!

Kurtis Bednarcyk, Certified Functional Strength Coach of  Next Level Strength & Conditioning

Kurtis Bednarcyk, Certified Functional Strength Coach of Next Level Strength & Conditioning

The Next Level Bride Guide: 6 Healthy Habits for Wedding Day “WOW!”s

Congratulations, you’re planning a wedding! Nobody told you there’d be so much to think about: guest lists, table settings, music and reading goes on and on. And of course, you want to look your best on the big day; there will be SO. MANY. PHOTOS.  - p.s. if you haven’t chosen a photographer yet, we happen to know someone. :)

We’ve all witnessed plenty of radical approaches for the wedding “transformation,” but unfortunately most are either unsuccessful or unsustainable. Good news is, we’re here to help! This isn’t your typical “10-Day Detox Plan,” which will only serve to add to your stress as the big day nears; instead we’re offering 6 simple practices you can pick up today, so you can bring your best self to the altar, the honeymoon, and every day after that. Let’s do this!
1) Prioritize protein and healthy fats
All too commonly in our daily lives, a meal or snack is dominated by carbohydrates – think bagels, bread, chips, pasta, etc. A diet too high in carbs can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and hormones, and is a common driver of excess body fat as well as the emotion appropriately termed “hangry.” If you’re looking to lean out a bit, each of your 3-5 meals should contain at least a palm sized portion of protein - fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs, or legumes; and a thumb sized portion of healthy fats – avocado, olive oil, coconut, or grass-fed butter. A small handful of nuts can work here, too.

2) Taste the rainbow
Time to make your plate look pretty! Supplement your protein and healthy fats with as many vegetables and fruits as you can handle, and set a goal to eat at least 5-6 different colors each day. Don’t stress over these calories; produce is full of vitamins and minerals and is next to impossible to overeat! The fiber will assist in satiety andt you’ll likely see an improvement in mood and productivity as well. 

3) Plan and prepare your meals
To borrow a quote from Josh Hillis, “fat loss happens on Monday.” That means preparation is key; don’t purchase all this healthy food only to have it spoil in the refrigerator because you had a few long days at work. We recommend putting aside an hour or two at the beginning of the week to chop your veggies and cook your proteins. Also, invest in some convenient containers to pack each serving so it’s as simple as grab and go.

4) Strip down your coffee
What if  we told you your daily morning treat may contain up to 7 or 8 HUNDRED calories?! Whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle don’t belong in your coffee cup, ladies – that’s a milkshake! If the thought of a cup of black joe makes your hair stand on end, try adding 1-2 creams/sugars to start and titrate down over time.


5) Hit the weights
While most changes in body composition will hinge upon improving your dietary routine, a proper strength training program will enhance them by exciting your muscles and kicking your metabolism into high gear. You may have heard that aerobic-based exercise – or “cardio” – is the most efficient option for fat loss and that heavy weights add unwanted “bulk,” but to be frank, those reports are flat out wrong; a functional body looks the part. An added benefit: the empowerment factor - strong is the new sexy!

6) The 6-minute morning hack
Rather than hitting the snooze button (3 or 4 times for some), instantly charge your morning with 5 minutes of light stretching or meditation followed by a big glass of water. For best results, do this right on your bedroom floor before checking your phone or even turning on the lights. This sets the tone for the entire day, and puts you on track to maintain the rest of these habits.

Pretty simple stuff, right?! Now the challenge is putting this into action TODAY! We’ve called this the “Bride Guide,” but your partner – and everyone else, really - would benefit from adopting these habits too.

The take-away is this: don’t chase the “quick fix,” but rather, develop a lifestyle that will continually add value to your life…until death do you part!

Cheers to forever!

You can find more from me on Facebook @ Kurtis Bednarcyk, CFSC or on Twitter @KBinatree

Next Level Strength & Conditioning is also very active on instagram and facebook. Check them out for all your fitness needs!

Next Level Strength & Conditioning, Fairport, NY

Free Fitness Training!

Try Roots (adult group classes) for Free for a week! Just mention you were referred by Lori & Erin! Email us at or visit us at to learn more.