Cherokee Barbell,

Man, what can I say about this place besides it has been a fantastic experience.  Literally from day one Ayse has been an amazing coach.  Starting from my USAW L1 coach to my remote weightlifting coach for almost 2 years.  I have had leaps and bounds with her more than I ever did with myself.  She brought me all the way from my first local meet not standing on the podium to one year later coming in the top 10 at the USA weightlifting national championship.  I don’t know a better coach and a more patient coach that has a keen eye for technique.  She will always push you to do your best but never push you so much to overtrain and hurt yourself as every coach should.  I appreciate everything she did for me as my coach and look forward to seeing how well her team continues to do!  

Never a stranger,

Ben Collins

I can not thank Ayse enough for her time spent with myself and my husband! After hitting rough patch with some aggressive female hormones that caused a rapid weight gain of 15lbs I was having a difficult time getting back to my normal weight, despite having what I considered a “healthy” diet and a regular exercise program. After feeling completely defeated I decided to contact Ayse, who had a been a long time friend that I admired and respected for her dedication to fitness and nutrition. My husband decided he could benefit as well and we met with Ayse on 5/28/20. Ayse took our starting biometrics and set us up for a plan to follow, with all the guidance needed and a full monthly menu. We are a very busy family with lots of kids and found it a bit challenging to follow the eating plan, but Ayse guided us on how to make the changes fit our lifestyle and work for us. She checked in frequently and was always available to answer any questions we had. And the best part was that she was our number one encourager throughout the process! We’ve consistently stayed on the plan set by Ayse and have reaped many benefits. By 12/20 my husband had lost 30lbs and I had lost 10lbs and 13% body fat!!! We have both seen increases in our strength and training in the gym. We are super grateful to Ayse for not just offering a fad diet for weight loss, but for helping us implement a plan to live healthier for the rest of our lives!

Ashley Lord

I wanted to say that remote coaching has been beneficial for Joel. Joel decided to continue training with coach Ayse and keep doing remote coaching and it helped maintain his weight loss and coach Ayse has been encouraging, accessible, and supportive and she answers any questions we might have. She also gave some useful tips about nutrition and about how to stay healthy.
We are lucky to have a coach like Joel’s coach because he said himself: ” I am glad I get to keep training and I can’t wait to go back to the gym because I really like it”.
Thank you coach Ayse for everything and also for loaning us the equipment.
Best regards,

Anne Marie Agodio

Ayse was recommended to me by my trainer at the gym. I was already very active. But I still wasn’t seeing the results that I wanted. I needed help with a nutrition plan. Ayse was amazing from the very start!!!! She listened to my fitness and nutrition goals and designed a plan that worked for MY body. She is patient, knowledgeable and a nutrition expert! They say abs are made in the kitchen and they are right! Just eating with the nutrition plan that Ayse gave me, gave me the ab definition I wanted! I highly recommend her!

Chandra Marshall
45 year old
Mother of 2

“Being a part of the Cherokee Barbell has been great. I have received top notch coaching from coach Ayse. Thanks to her feedback and programming, I have definitely seen improvement in technique. It has allowed me to be much more consistent with my lifts. Having an online community for support is a big plus as well.”

Austin Hrossowyc

“Ayse has been coaching my 15 year old daughter for almost two years and had such a positive effect on many levels. She’s gotten physically stronger learning proper technique with every lift, her speed and power improved when playing softball, and her confidence in herself increased. Ayse’s blend of nurturing and tough love has driven great performance results and work ethic.”

Jenny Onuschak

When self-quarantining became our day-to-day reality, I was nervous about being able to continue training, and what that training would look like. Thankfully, Coach Ayse continued to put members first by loaning out equipment to keep our training without having to deviate far from our regular programming.

Coach Ayse was responsive and flexible in providing guidance through Zoom training sessions or through video reviews. She also provided us individualized programming based on the equipment we had available to us. I’m currently coming back from an injury during the middle of quarantine, and with Ayse’s coaching, I was able to hit a new personal record on a lift.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier about being part of a gym that was able to be so flexible and prioritized the members and our training especially during such an unprecedented and unpredictable time.”


I am extraordinarily grateful to Coach Ayse Sukola for all they’ve done to keep my training and help me progress in quarantine. Weightlifting helps me stay sane. It gives me a little structure to my day, and it gives me a feeling of accomplishment, not to mention, it’s fun — even alone in my basement. Zoom classes have been a huge boost, and Ayse’s care and attention to detail have been incredible. I’m making massive technique improvements on highly technical lifts — all without actually being in front of my coach. From talking with her on Zoom to emails and texting her videos when I train outside of class time, I feel just so very lucky to have the support of an amazing coach and a wonderful group of friends and teammates. I couldn’t ask for more!


The coaches at this gym are amazing! Coach Ayse is super knowledgeable and really caters to everyone’s individual goals and skills. Her personalized programming for my Olympic Lifting has allowed me to gain tremendous strength and better technique. I have been with Coach Ayse and Coach Rachel for over 3 years and Elaine for just a few short months and they are all family to me! The community and encouragement of this gym is like no other. All skill levels are welcome, I started off with zero experience!


I’ve worked with Ayse for years and there is no better coaching! She is dedicated to her athletes and goes above and beyond to ensure their success.


“I thought I had a pretty good handle on nutrition (even though I had plateaued a bit), but working with Ayse took my health and fitness to another level! My habits started to change from the very beginning of our engagement. Coaching with Ayse helped re-frame my perspective on my nutrition and find new excitement in fitness and learning about health. This has helped build my confidence in the kitchen, in the gym, and really all areas of my life.“

Zach Long

I started with small changes, walking a few miles every day and eating less volume. I lost almost 30 lbs. in six months but I knew what I was doing was not enough to accomplish my goals. On a whim, I tried CrossFit at the Garage in July 2016 and was immediately hooked. In August, I joined Barbell Club to work on my weightlifting form and met Ayse. Her eye for Olympic lifting is amazing. Through her careful direction, I’ve improved my technique and gained a tremendous amount of confidence, allowing me to lift heavier than I thought possible. I’ve reached multiple personal records and look forward to future achievements as I continue my training with Ayse.

In September 2016, Ayse introduced me to counting macros in the first of many nutrition challenges. That’s where my real progress began! TOTAL. GAME. CHANGER. Ayse is super patient and knowledgeable. She walked me through how to properly balance macros (carbohydrates, protein & fat). How to portion, weigh, and log my food. How to read nutrition labels properly and shop for better options at the grocery store. With Ayşe’s backing, the pounds and inches steadily started coming off and staying off. I’ve lost an additional 40 lbs. and counting – dropping 4 pants sizes! I’ll admit I haven’t done the best job of documenting my journey through photos or measuring, but thanks to hydrostatic weighing, I learned between April 2017 and March 2018 I lost 20.5 pounds of fat – almost 10% of my body fat!

I’ve never experienced this kind of sustainable success in weight loss, in changing my body composition, and performance as an athlete. I’m not hungry and have more energy for everything – which is huge for me as a single mom working full-time. It’s given me the confidence to teach healthy habits to my child so that hopefully, she doesn’t struggle as I did. Through Ayşe’s guidance, choosing healthier foods at home, at restaurants, during the holidays, or on vacation has become the norm instead of the exception. I can indulge occasionally without feeling guilty because I now understand the very next meal is the next opportunity to make a better choice – not next Monday or next year. With Ayşe’s support, I’ve weathered multiple storms where it would have been easy to fall back into unhealthy habits – holiday seasons, vacations, work stress, deaths in the family, an emotional divorce – all while continuing to lose weight and gain strength. I get asked a lot what I did to lose so much weight and everyone is always surprised to find out there’s no quick gimmick involved – just fueling your body the right way. I look forward to continuing my journey with Ayse and I recommend her coaching to everyone! ”


I have been working out since I was 14 years old and have always been in decent shape. After my 3rd child I tried low carb diets and it seemed to work great for a while but after my 4th child Nothing worked. I tried low carb, fasting, high fat fad diets but nothing seemed to really stick and I found myself breaking down from disappointment and stress and overeating constantly.

I blamed it on stress and thought maybe I just loved food more than other women. It seemed to be my only comfort but deep down I was confused and felt out of control.

A friend referred me to Ayse. After she heard my story we started to work on my diet and nutrition in a way I never had before. It was custom to my body, my activity and personal style. For once I finally understood why I was craving junk food so often. Now after 4 children I’m back to the size I was in my 20s. I feel vibrant, in control and happy like I never thought I would feel again. Ayse has great insight, patience and understanding about what she does and I’m so thankful to have worked with her. I now have information that will help me for a lifetime.

Vanessa Lum

I gained 60 pounds during my pregnancy despite regular CrossFit workouts and trying to make healthy choices (but let’s be serious, once you get to that third trimester the wheels kind of fall off). I was able to lose about 35 pounds without trying. Once I was cleared for exercise I started counting calories as well. I lost 15 pounds on my own, but I was concerned about losing the muscle I was working so hard to rebuild. Ayse was running a nutrition challenge and I knew this was my golden opportunity to learn about counting macros instead of calories alone.

I am so happy that I did the challenge with Ayse! She made counting macros very easy to learn and was extremely supportive. I was nervous that I would become obsessive over the numbers and weighing myself, but I actually found myself feeling more relaxed as I got used to the process. Counting macros allowed me to indulge when I wanted without feeling guilty. There were no good or bad foods. Just foods that you could eat more of (because they have better macros) which helped me make smart choices for my goals.

During the challenge, I lost about 10 pounds over 6 weeks and noticed great improvement in my body composition. I have continued with counting macros and have seen even more drastic results. I can tell I am mostly losing body fat while maintaining and building muscle mass. I feel stronger and faster than ever before! I really love this style of “dieting”, because I don’t feel like I am restricted at all. I was even able to continue my weight loss over the holidays!

Laura Elizabeth

“I’m one of those people who has been on every diet. I mean EVERY diet. Nothing seemed to work. Working out has always been such a big part of my life and often times I felt how I looked on the outside didn’t match how I felt on the inside given the time I spent in the gym. Something wasn’t clicking. Then came along Ayse and in her cute little turkish accent told me about Macros (protein/fat/carbs). All of the sudden EVERYTHING has clicked!!! I’ve lost over 20 inches all over my body in just 5 months! I’ve dropped 3 pants sizes and the best part of it all…..I”M EATING….real food. I don’t feel deprived in fact I feel so satisfied and so strong. There are no gimmicks here. Just real food fueling your body! If you’re one of those people that’s tried everything and nothing has worked you need to give macros a go!”

Danielle Nagy

I started working on my nutrition with Ayse in the middle of June and while I’ve noticed my own progress, I’ve noticed my husband’s progress as well! He is not tracking his nutrition the way that I am, but since I am both the grocery shopper and chef of the family, he’s starting to improve his nutrition as well. Over the past couple of months, he has lost about 15 pounds. Both of our families comment all of the time on how great he looks. Even though I’m the only one actively signed up for nutrition coaching, it is definitely affecting both of us in a positive way!

Thank you,

Molly Van Etta

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