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Chuck Gross

Nutrition and Fitness Coach (Pn1, ACE-PT, OTC) at HEMA Strong
Fitness Mentor – Broken Plow Western Martial Arts
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Hi, I’m Chuck. The TL;DR version is that I grew up as a fat kid, and mostly as a result of my spirit animal being a sloth, ended up as a 28 year old that was over 400lbs. One day, I found out my wife and I were going to have a baby and the idea of becoming a dad inspired me to lose over 200lbs. My life changed forever, and I became a personal trainer and nutrition coach.

I was first made aware of HEMA in the fall of 2016, and once I picked up a real sword, everything again changed. Now there are three things that I enjoy talking about more than anything else (More than video games, more than movies, more than puns, more than comic books).


While I was already what most people (including myself) considered in shape, this was my first real introduction to a martial art that would put those assumptions to the test. I was strong, but I wasn’t mobile. I was lean, but I wasn’t fast. I could move heavy weights, I wasn’t explosive. I wasn’t HEMA Strong.

It was humbling to realize, and as a result, my training methods outside of the sword work changed. My nutrition and hydration strategies weren’t optimized for this martial art. And I had to change, to grow, to adapt. Yes, my fencing would directly improve by fencing more, but my fencing could also be improved by being stronger, faster, lighter, and by improving my nutrition and hydration by taking what I’ve learned and applying it to my practice of HEMA.

#HEMAStrong is my journey from a somewhat fit, former fat kid, who doesn’t know how to move his body, toward becoming a fast and powerful martial artist with a sword. But it’s not just about me. It’s your journey too. So let’s get stronger, faster, better fed, and better hydrated together.

I’ve been sharing my workouts that include both the work I’m doing to get stronger and faster, as well as my sword drills on social media to bring more people to HEMA because I wish I had been aware of it sooner. I’m using the hashtag #HEMAStrong, and I hope you will too.

If you need some help with your own fitness and nutrition, join the #HEMAStrong community on Facebook, and let’s support each other through it.

“In earnest or in play, be of good cheer and vitality, so you may be attentive and with good courage ponder what action you should take, so that none may touch you, since good courage and strength make your enemies hesitate.” Johannes Liechtenauer

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