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Nick Byom - Owner

Nick holds a Master’s in Exercise Science, Bachelor’s in Chemistry, and has been learning, coaching, and practicing fitness for the past 20 years. His experiences as an all-American collegiate high jumper, physique champion, high school and college track coach, personal trainer, gym manager, and firefighter/fire training instructor have led him to start his true passion project: Strength Academy. A gym where coaches and members don’t just train, but teach and learn.


Gabby L.K. - Coach

Gabby believes fitness should equip individuals with a strong mind, body, and belief in overcoming life's greatest challenges. She enjoys training everyday athletes and specializes in Olympic weightlifting, performance, and life’s mental game. Gabby, an All-American wrestler from Central Wisconsin, assists Wisconsin’s national team and brings collegiate coaching experience. Her simple joys include training with friends, coffee, and a (note)book.


Matraca C - Coach

Matraca is from Rice, MN and went to school at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls for exercise and sports science. She ran track as a sprinter up until her early years at UWRF. Her passion is helping others find their light in the realm of exercise and fueling their bodies properly. She wants exercise to be fun and something for everyone to look forward to every day! Matraca is also our head body comp coach.


Victoria B - Coach

Victoria (Vic) decided in 2019 that she was changing her life. With that choice, she added physical fitness. She took a yoga class & it changed her life. So much so she decided to get certified. She has her 200hr YTT & is passionate about vinyasa and restorative yoga. When she is not encouraging longer exhales in poses, she enjoys being with family, working out, music, nature & life!


DJ B - Coach

DJ was born and raised in Roberts, WI. He served in the National Guard as an infantryman. DJ believes he was put on this planet to motivate, inspire, and bring people together. His personal goal is to leave this world better than he found it. That includes helping each and every one of you to reach your fitness goals!


Alta S - Body Comp Coach

Alta is from River Falls and has lived here her whole life. She graduated from UWRF with a degree in Health and Human Performance with a minor in Criminal Justice. She spent nearly 20 years in Law Enforcement and turned her badge in so she could stay home and raise her family. She has a passion for health and fitness and wants to help people become the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves. 

Behind the Scenes


Tara B - Owner

Tara's extensive customer-facing and project management experience helps hold us to the highest standards. An RF native, she manages the business and is the brains behind all things Strength Academy.


Stetler H - Social Media Manager

Stetler is a UW-River Falls marketing communications major. He utilizes his photography, video production and graphic design experience to build our online presence.


Christy G - Studio Manager

Christy brings a wealth of operations and communications experience to the team, and is focused on keeping our gym organized and building relationships with our members.


Griz - Gym Mascot

Meet Griz! He's part Corgi, part Blue Heeler. Griz is all bark and no bite. He loves to frisbee and his best friend is a cat named Cucumber.  

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