About Us

It’s our mission to make fitness accessible to everyone.

What we do
& Why

We provide fun, motivating workouts tailored for wheelchair users and anyone who needs a seated workout. Whether you have a spinal cord injury, bad balance, or simply want to work out your upper body while you are on a stationary bike, our workouts are made for you.

We believe in empowering the 5% that are excluded from mainstream fitness programs through adaptive fitness instruction, resulting in better mental health and wellness for those that need it most.

Athlete spinal cord injury story

Our Story

Zūk Fitness founder Dillon Connolly was once an NCAA All-American swimmer. Throughout high school, his 26-hour per week training regime began at 4:45 each morning. Eventually, hard work paid off; he earned a swimming scholarship to the University of Southern California where he studied engineering. Following graduation, Dillon worked for several years as a design engineer at an aerospace company while staying in shape during his free time.

At 25 years old, Dillon was feeling stronger than ever and realized he hadn’t yet reached his athletic potential. He decided to quit his job and follow his dream and train for the 2016 Olympics. That same weekend, Dillon dove into a wave at Newport Beach, hit a sandbar, and severed his spinal cord, instantly becoming a quadriplegic.

Ever since that day in 2014, Dillon battled depression and chronic pain for years, but the two things that still gave him joy were designing adaptive devices and helping people. He also recognized how much a simple little adaptation was able to improve his life by creating a little bit of independence, and felt so fortunate that he still had his mind. He needed to take advantage of it.

Realizing how hard this life is and that so many other people were dealing with the same thing, he, at last, found his calling, his life’s purpose. He now had a MISSION: to help improve the lives of other spinal cord injuries and anyone else he could along the way. 

Thanks to the Swim with Mike Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund, he enrolled in the master’s program at USC for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, met his future co-founders, and started Zūk Fitness. And here is where the next chapter in our story begins.

Our
mission

We’re on a mission to help all wheelchair users and people with mobility impairments live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. We serve those who have previously been left out from fitness offerings tailored to the mainstream.

We are active supporters of POSITIVITY, INDEPENDENCE, HEALTHY LIVING, and COMMUNITY. We believe that with the right resources and mindset, we can all still live beautiful, enriched lives with Zero limitations and Unity through Kinesthetics (Zūk).

Our
mission

Our
answer

We provide individuals with mobility impairment access to live and pre-recorded workout classes led by skilled instructors with similar disabilities, as well as a community to share workout routines, hold each other accountable, and grow together with a common goal of living a healthier, more fulfilling life. We also have a community forum with a wide range of topics designed to allow people to share helpful information and resources they have learned along the way. We especially want to help NEW members of the spinal cord injury community with their transition because only we (SCI survivors) know how difficult it can be. We embrace all of the love and positivity around the mentality that we are ALL in this together.

Meet Our Instructors

Whether you are a paraplegic, quadriplegic, or just have trouble with balance, we have the right trainers for you. Our trainers are well-educated and practice what they preach. We recruit from a variety of backgrounds and ability levels. If you find that we are not covering your needs, just let us know and we will work on finding that perfect instructor.

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Fitness instructor Shawn playing wheelchair rugby
Shawn Fluke Wheelchair rugby athlete & SCI YouTuber
He is the founder of Live to Roll YouTube channel and nonprofit. He is an avid wheelchair rugby player ever since trying it for the first time. He trains every day to improve his strength for rugby and more importantly, INDEPENDENCE. You can witness his incredible adaptive movements as well as other resources on his YouTube channel. Shawn has been a great partner for Zuk Fitness and an incredible resource for anyone with a C-level spinal cord injury. If you are a SCI quad, definitely check out his YouTube channel for so many resources you can't find anywhere else. You will thank us.
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Wheelchair fitness bodybuilding exercise
Leonard "Leo" Harmon Gym Partner & Personal Trainer
Full-time fitness trainer and partner at Painful Pleasures gym, and recent IFBB Pro wheelchair bodybuilder. Leo brings the energy level up every time he comes on camera, which is no surprise, as he is also a working actor and singer, but shares his time with Zuk Fitness to help with our mission- making motivating fitness classes accessible to everyone! He is an LA native, T7- complete, injured in a motorcycle accident, and is nothing but grateful for the second chance he has been given, and his own personal mission to share and help others along the way. If you are near the Long Beach area, think about getting a personal training session from Leo! (The first one is free!)
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Bryan Williams Gym owner & personal trainer
He is the founder of Painful Pleasures gym and is a major ally for women's health and fitness. Not only does he share his time with Zuk as an instructor, but he is also a IFBB Pro wheelchair bodybuilder and a full-time personal trainer at his own 2 gym locations. (North Long Beach & Lomita, CA)
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Ray Zomerfeld Lifelong athlete & vetted personal trainer
He is the founder of RnD Fitness and a big ally of accessible-fitness and the disabled community. One of his best friends is a quad and he has lots of experience training clients in wheelchairs. He was a college-level swimmer and lifelong athlete and is well-versed in nutrition as well as fitness. He is no stranger to the camera as he came out to California to pursue acting. He also found a love in personal training and currently makes his living training clients full-time. He is known for his energy and his infectious drive shines right through the screen! If you are near the South Bay area, let Ray know if you're interested in training!

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