This week’s Instinct Insta Hottie of the Week hails from Seattle, WA! Gus Lanza is a trans personal trainer elevating the Emerald City’s queer and trans communities through physical fitness. The 35-year-old has been coaching since 2012 through Bedrock Strength Conditioning. Gus specializes in working with the LGBTQ community (especially transgender and non-binary folks), adaptive/post-injury athletes, and older adults.
When Gus isn’t motivating healthy-seeking people, he is inspiring his following on Instagram with his daily workouts and his borderline thirst-trappy Instagram posts.
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I did not just wake up like this. And I am not flawless. The person in this photograph has lived many, many lifetimes and learned many hard lessons. Today, I can honestly say I am happy. I’m happy with the person I have grown into but nothing about where I am today happened by accident. When I was a teenager I couldn’t imagine being an adult, let alone seeing my mid 30’s. But getting to my mid 30’s happened because I worked (and still do) TIRELESSLY on understanding myself in therapy, surrounding myself with the best friends anyone could ever ask for, and understanding that not everyone has to “understand you” but they do have to respect you. Trans Visibility is a very complex thing and there are many people for whom coming out is not safe. I’m sending love to all of those people who aren’t in the position to live freely just yet. There’s no rush because we’re here and we’ve always been here. Be safe first. ❤️❤️❤️ #tdov #transisbeautiful
If you follow Gus, you know that he loves a good kettle bell and deadlift! When he’s not in gym, Gus is busy traveling the world with his terminally delightful fiancé—the incomparable BenDeLaCreme. A hottie physical trainer and drag hubby? Yes, please!
I got in touch with Gus to learn more about what motivates him and to bring some more trans visibility into our Insta Hotties profiles.
INSTINCT: What do you like about living where you are?
The Pacific Northwest is the most beautiful place I have ever been. I feel lucky to be surrounded by 360 degrees of mountains and water. Seattle has changed A LOT in the last 5 years but I still find it to be a very liberal and welcoming city with vibrant arts, music, dance, theater, and drag scenes. That being said, I am looking to move out of Seattle in the near future, details coming soon.
INSTINCT: What do you do for work?
I am a fitness coach/personal trainer and focus my practice on working with queer and transgender people. I work with a lot of beginners and I love when I introduce a person to structured exercise and weightlifting and then it becomes a lifelong passion.
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Don’t skip “leg day”! And try to reconsider having a “____ day” at all. As much as you can, think about how to get your WHOLE body moving each training session. Of course there will be a main lift or two that requires more engagement in one section of your body at a time. But, for example, even when you’re squatting, you should be thinking about how the rest of your body is helping you complete that lift, especially your core, spinal stabilizing muscles, upper back/shoulder muscles, etc. If you’re not sure exactly how to do that, research “compound exercises” and try to do exercises that use free weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells) and/or bodyweight, rather than machines.
INSTINCT: What do you do for fun/hobbies?
I spend a lot of my freetime training in the gym. The past two years I have been working a lot with kettlebells and find those to be really challenging and fun. I am also a homebody so when I’m not on the road with Ben, you can find me at home most evenings cooking, watching true crime documentaries, and staging photoshoots with my dog and cats.
INSTINCT: Something interesting about yourself you’ve never told anyone:
I don’t have many secrets. But a few things that perhaps most people don’t know about me is that I have been on my own since the age of 15 and struggled for years with stretches of housing insecurity and periods of homelessness. I also feel very proud of the fact that I’m a high school dropout but when I was 24, I put myself through college and graduated with honors from Seattle University.
INSTINCT: What/who inspires you?
I am sure everyone says this, but my friends really inspire me. I have been lucky enough to cultivate 15 years of friendship (and counting) with some of the smartest, strongest, funniest, most empathetic people ever. They inspire me and have given me truly unconditional love and support over the years. Additionally, I am inspired by many queer and trans people both in and out of the public eye. Some people who I look to for guidance and wisdom are Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Kate Bornstein, and Alexandra Billings to name just a few.
INSTINCT: What do you love most about being a drag husband?
Well I’m not officially a husband yet! But there is so much I love about it! Of course traveling around is really fun and exciting (and exhausting!) but getting to see so many of Ben’s phenomenal performances as well as meeting so many other amazing artists and performers wherever we go has been incredible.
INSTINCT: Can you share you beautiful proposal to BenDeLaCreme with us?
I feel very proud of myself for pulling off the proposal without telling him first! I am notoriously bad at keeping secrets and this one was gnawing at me for 8 months! Here it goes: About a year and a half ago, Ben and I decided that we wanted to organize a big group of our mutual friends to converge on the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo for a New Years celebration.
I did not initially think about proposing during this trip but the more I thought about it, the more it just felt right and made sense. I found the most perfect vintage ring at an antique store in Seattle and planned to do it at some point during our stay at the Inn. I wanted our friends involved somehow and thought of all kinds of ways to have them be a part of the actual proposal (I was thinking of some kind of choreographed-dance-flash-mob-type-thing) but once we were there it just made sense that I would pop the question around the dinner table.
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I feel pretty excited to finally announce that…I WAS ABLE TO KEEP A SECRET FOR 8 MONTHS! (If you know me, you know how hard that is for me!) With the help of some really amazing friends, I was able to propose to my love @bendelacreme in the most amazing way, on New Years Eve at the @madonnainn1958 I’m so in love with the life we are building together and a lifetime doesn’t feel long enough. ❤️❤️ P.S. we have not set a date because we are too busy but our wedding will be amazing because my partner is a fancy lady #engaged #gaymarriage #transisbeautiful
My original plan was to have everyone go around the table and talk about 2018 and then talk about their intentions for 2019 but there was a very loud band playing and we couldn’t hear each other talk. So during the band’s intermission, at the urging of our friends, I told Ben that it was his turn to discuss his year and intentions and when he was finished I began. I am glad our friend filmed it because I think I blacked out with nervousness. I do remember dropping to one knee, Ben starting to cry when he realized what I was doing, and then I think I said something like “would you like to marry me?’ Honestly, the whole night was perfect and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Keep an eye out for Gus as he heads to PTown this Summer and LA next Spring for some distance training! Be sure to check out his Instagram @gus_Lanza or his personal training account @queer_strength_coach