The Staff

Group Class Instructors

Steven Risley

My history with SG Human Performance started June, 2010 when I stepped through the doors broken from years of living a sedentary life in constant pain. I was looking for a coach that could finally rebuild me after many failed attempts. Trusting that their RKC and FMS certifications meant they knew what they were doing I put my health and well-being in the hands of Mark and Nikki Snow.

Fast forward to April, 2011 thirty pounds lighter and virtually pain free, Master RKC David Whitley approved my HKC certification. An achievement I was doubtful I could accomplish. Not with my history. I joined the SGHP staff not long after and quickly realized coaching is what I love to do. It is amazing to play a part in other peoples transformations.

One year after completing my HKC it was time to step up and go for the RKC certification in St. Paul, Minnesota. To say I was terrified would be an understatement. Would my back hold up? I couldn’t walk right for three days after my HKC what would three days of RKC training do to me? Am I really good enough to be RKC? Do I belong?

While I may not have earned my RKC title that weekend I proved to myself I did belong and was amazed at how far I have come in just a couple years. From all but giving up hope of leading a normal life, to thriving during three days of intense training to join the ranks of those I once considered inhuman supermen.

Making the decision to train at SGHP has completely changed my life, not just my body. I am leading the athletic life I used to only dream of. I am now preparing to become CK-FMS certified which will give me the tools to help rebuild others the way Mark and Nikki rebuilt me. Which has allowed me to take up the sport of Olympic Weightlifting.

When it comes to coaching my number one priority is proper and safe technique, a lack of which cost me seven years of my life. “First do no harm” are words I live by everyday inside the gym. One more rep or ten for pounds are not worth getting injured for. Just being lazy is no reason to get hurt either. So I apologize in advance for how many times you will hear me shout “dead-lifts to put the bells down!”.

Also a plug for is always nice…even if I let it slide leading up to RKC.


Eric Payne

I’ve always been around sports playing basketball, ran track, and played football in High school.   After coming out of the Navy in 1996 I really got in to traditional weight training and decided to do some bodybuilding.  I was in two competitions.   I won one and came in second place in the other. I stopped bodybuilding because it left my joints hurting but I wanted to keep active with lifting. So some years went by and one of my co-workers asked if I ever heard of Kettlebells and this place where they were working out, SG Human Performance. I told her yes vaguely, but I thought Kettlebell was for people that weren’t very strong and some kind of “Fad” so I never pursued information on Kettlebell.  I said to myself ok I will try this “Kettlebell thing” so I decided to sign up for classes and the first thing that blew me away was the FMS screen.  In my thought process, I was like what is this have to do with lifting weights? The FMS really told a lot about how my body was not doing what is suppose do for years. After the first day of class I was “Hooked” and then learning the countless moves that I can do with the Kettlebell just took my interest in KB’s that much deeper. So I decided that I want to teach this wonderful world of KB.  I made a decision to become a Strong First Girya Instructor. I went through months of training the various exercises that had to be passed during the certification.

Then the day came for the certification in Salt Lake City, UT 2013. The experience of the certification changed my life forever.  I knew it was going to be hard but it exceeded my expectations with the plethora of information that was given during the cert.  The mental and physical demand it placed on the body and mind made me understand why they stated that there is a 25-30% failure rate.  I came out victorious and became a Strong First Girya Instruction ready to teach what I’ve learned and share my knowledge with anyone and everyone that is willing to learn the Kettlebell way.

Cindy Phipps

I began training at SGHP in May of 2010.  In April of 2012 I became a HKC instructor.  What I enjoy most about SGHP is the one-on-one coaching, and the support and camaraderie from others in the gym.  I like the variety of the workouts and the challenge of each class, plus I am able to challenge myself based on what weight I select for the various exercises.  I have been doing this for 2 years, am not bored with the workouts and feel there is always something for me to learn or improve on.

My testimonial about SGHP is this.  I had surgery to repair a badly torn rotator cuff on my right shoulder, seven years later I had the same surgery on my left shoulder.  Physical therapy gave me full range of motion, but I had no upper body strength.  I was at the Omaha Health Expo in April of 2010 when I saw SG Human Performance doing a demonstration with kettlebells.  I had been interested in kettlebells for a couple years so approached Mark and asked him how you do that without messing up your shoulders and back.  His reply, with a smile, was “you learn how to do it the right way.”  I took an info flyer, went home and checked out their website.  After reading Mark’s qualifications I decided this was someone who would work with me and make sure I didn’t do any damage to my shoulders, so I signed up for a month of classes.  I will admit that I was intimidated when I started.  I was working out with people younger than my children and, as I struggled to get through the workouts, frequently wondered if I was out of my league trying to do this.  During that month I could see improvements, baby steps, but improvements in my movements and balance.  Even in a group, there was one on one coaching from Mark and Nikki.  I was encouraged to work at my own pace, and if I couldn’t complete the reps, there was no shame in taking a break.  By the end of that first month I was hooked and signed on for another 3 months, which has turned into 2 years.

My strength, flexibility and endurance have increased, my balance has gotten much better and I continue to have those “aha moments”.  I find that I now naturally assume the deadlift position to lift most things and concentrate on proper form when carrying heavier loads.  I have had some fun experiences easily lifting some heavy items, only to have a much younger person try to do the same thing and grunt and groan as they struggle with it.

The biggest goal this year was the decision to go for HKC in April.  It was a personal goal that I set for myself to attain before hitting Medicare (in October).  Once I made that decision, I had 6 weeks to fine tune and when the big day arrived I realized just how well I had been trained for it.  (Thanks Mark and Nikki)  For the future, keep moving and stay active.  You can’t fight the aging process but these workouts have helped alleviate many of the aches and pains that I used to have just rolling out of bed.  Goals and aspirations are to live as long as I can, but to have the quality of life that allows me to continue to be active and travel.  The bonus is knowing that I am stronger than most of the people I meet in my age group, and many of those younger.

When I’m not at kettlebell I enjoy sailing, kayaking, biking, traveling, baking, art and design.


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