Chris Grayson helped me get my body performing at my optimal after pregnancy. I gained an enormous amount of strength by following his program. He educated me on strength and conditioning in a way that hadn’t been presented to me before and in the gym lives by the Philosophy of “Do No Harm”. Some trainers want you to push through pain but not Chris. He doesn’t cut corners and is a straight shooter. He will find another alternative for anyones weak spot and target it to make it stronger in a way that won’t hurt. Chris helped lay a foundation for my body that eventually led me to winning a World Championship in the UFC. Chris is an extension of my family, he is a great man, and great friend. If you are ready and looking to get serious about your health then Chris Grayson is the one you are looking for. He is a World Renowned Strength Trainer. The best and low key really funny.

Amazing facility! Chris is probably the most knowledgeable trainer I’ve worked with. He will also build your workout specifically for your needs. 10/10!!!

plyometrics athlete training


Chris (the owner) knows his stuff! If you want change specific to your individual fitness needs and nutrition that makes a difference, give Ascend Perform a chance. You will be thankful you did.

Wes Walker


“Chris’ knowledge and understanding of strength and conditioning is second to none. He is a subject matter expert when it comes to functional movement, biomechanics, supplements, and nutrition. He is passionate, intelligent and science-based in his approach to training.”

personal training



The facility is great and Chris is such a great trainer and he wants what’s best for you and your body and he always treats clients very well. Ascend perform feels like a second home to me.

Tre Washington



Chris Grayson is a dedicated trainer who is not just focused on your craft and your results but his which makes him one of the best to get the most out of you! Every little detail matters when you come train at Ascend Perform and you will see results rather quickly with dedication and consistency.




“I am unrecognizable in pictures (in a good way) having gained 30lbs of muscle; I am objectively much stronger (Chris writes down every session so you can see and compare your own progress); and I went from doing 0 to 8+ consecutive pull-ups, which was a BIG goal of mine.”

Livia Cook



I’ve been going to Ascend Perform for a little over 3 months now. Although, I’m no Ronnie Coleman, I am gaining muscle and getting stronger. Chris’ moto is holding true, chase progress, not perfection.

Not only is Chris knowledgeable when it comes to personal training but he has some really nice equipment in the gym. Even after 3 months, I still haven’t used all of the equipment. Great variety of exercises are employed to make sure we don’t keep working the same muscles the same way. Everything is measured so that you can track and see your progression.

The gym and training are semi-private which is good. The other clients are great too. Everyone gets along and is able to share the equipment when needed.

If you find that you do not like a particular exercise, Chris will find something for you to get that same muscle workout.

personal training


As a personal trainer, former team captain of USA Karate, and now internationally certified coach, I have had the opportunity to work with many top strength and conditioning professionals over the years. I can honestly say that Chris Grayson is at the top of his field. I am always impressed by his extensive knowledge, no-nonsense approach, and ways in which he challenges himself as a professional to continually learn and improve.

I have made great progress training with him over this past year and I highly recommend him to anyone looking for gains in fitness, strength, and conditioning, or overall wellness. Whether you are an elite athlete or simply want to feel good and get healthy, Chris Grayson is your guy.




I’m a 16 yr old junior at Taft high school. I started looking for a trainer when I decided I wanted to play baseball at the college level. Being a high school student I needed to find someone with a flexible schedule. Thankfully I was able to find Chris. I started training with him and only weighed 175. After 7 months I gained 15 pounds of muscle and added 7 miles per hour to my fastball. I really enjoy working out with Chris, he’s easy to train with, he always explained why I was doing exercises and which muscles they strengthen. He also gave me advice on diet and supplements. I can’t say enough about what a great experience it has been training with Chris.




If you are looking for someone who is dedicated to their craft, look no further. Chris will go above and beyond to make sure you are successful in your training. He will provide you the best tools, education, supplements and mentorship. This man is a expert at what he does.

personal training


Great place to train! Chris is very knowledgeable and passionate about training. Showing results and still getting better.

Stuart Barton


Chris is very knowledgeable. His years of experience and approach to training has been phenomenal in my fitness goals. His personally designed training regiment has helped me meet my individual goals. There are a number of unique fitness tools that you can’t find at a standard gym, which allows for adaptation to hit some of the target areas other workouts can’t. Amazing place. Highly recommended.

Shawn Henderson


Chris is amazing. He does a lot of research on everything he is involved with (workouts, overall health, supplements, diet). He has a variety of different workouts depending on your goals and uses science/data to track and adjust your workouts. He adapts the workouts to you (especially previous injuries and goals) and keeps you wanting to come back through accountability and varying the workouts. He always asks for your input on anything you would like to do or not like to do so that you stay engaged and don’t get bored. He actually cares about people, not just clients walking in the door and paying for him to train you.

Farmers Walk


Three months after having my second child, I had the privilege of training with Chris Grayson.

He definitely knows what he is doing!

After two months of training with him three times a week I saw results I was never able to achieve on my own.

I never imagined having a six pack 5 months after having a baby!

He is a great person, very knowledgeable and has amazing nutrition advice that if you follow, will help you keep those pounds off even after you stop training with him.

He guides you during the workouts, he gives you nutrition advice, but at the end of the day, as I read on one of his videos; Results are not guaranteed… They are earned!!!

It gives me great satisfaction to contemplate my reflection in the mirror and to know that what I see is the result of my dedication, hard work and the great advice of Chris Grayson.

Veronica Mayorga



I went to Chris as a college football player who had ACL reconstruction 12 months prior and was needing to get back strength and functionality I had lost from the surgery. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I would really ever be the same again. After 6 months, I was stronger than I had ever been and my reconstructed knee was a complete non issue. The principles and ideas he taught me I still use to this day when I write my own programs and do my own training. The knowledge Chris has when it comes to training and nutrition and the way he can break it down in simple terms to general population and young athletes is what makes him so special. Chris is one of the best strength coaches in the country and the people and young athletes of SC are lucky he decided to move there and be right in their backyard. I couldn’t recommend Chris highly enough.

Andy Bates



When it comes to strength and conditioning specific to any sport, there is no one in the Chicago land area I trust as much as Chris Grayson. He has been my on-call trainer and nutritionist for the past two months. His data driven and evidence based programs are what made me seek this investment. The virtual training administered through his Push app, allows me to track my weekly progress and keeps me accountable. Coach Graysons feedback and check-ins are only a text, video and phone call away. I was lucky to have trained with him in person during my jiu jitsu journey years back and am grateful to have him supplement my health, my wife’s health and my muay thai career.

Eddie Kbell Plank Drag



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Ted Carlson



Chris really knows his stuff about physiology, training for results, nutrition, and supplements. When I first started out here my diet was not great and Chris would keep asking me “how is your diet?” I would say “fine, I eat pretty good” but the reality is to get optimal results you need to train hard and eat clean.
When I started listening to what Chris was saying, I started to get lean, strong, and healthy. I can honestly say I feel great and am in better shape now than when I was in High School.

Pat Agate


Chris Grayson is by far the most knowledgeable professional in this field that I have ever crossed paths with. Chris has been educating me with training advice for over a decade, and he played an important part of my recovery process from knee surgery earlier this year. Chris is an encyclopedia of my countless questions and he is full of answers based on empirical evidence.




Head trainer Chris Grayson is all about results. I have had the pleasure of learning from Chris when he was based in Chicago and as a head coach of a Jiu Jitsu school, I have sent countless athletes to Chris to improve their upon their strength and conditioning with great results! I highly recommend Ascend for your fitness goals 👍👍

Professor Adem Redzovic - BJJ Black Belt



Chris is my go to when it comes to anything strength and conditioning. I met Chris in 2007 or so while he was doing some work with a former Chicago Bull’s player. His knowledge on strength training and nutritional principals impressed me. He was talking about things like gluten sensitivity when people did not even know what gluten was. Long story short, he helped me discover that I had issues with gluten, which was leading to a lot of inflammation in my body. After we removed the gluten, and got on a few standard supplements, I was able to start weight training with him (after not training for nearly 10 years). In about 7-8 months, I gained 35lbs of muscle and felt the best I ever had. I strongly recommend training with Chris. He is constantly learning and purchasing new equipment to make sure his clients get the results they deserve.

Imran Wala



Training strength and conditioning with Chris Grayson really opened my eyes to a lot of things. His way of training is extreme but very effective. I think he has a very good approach to take the maximum out of the athlete.




I’ve known Chris Grayson for over a decade, having walked into his gym at the age of 19 hoping to gain an edge in combat sports competition. Over the years I have traveled the country training at dozens of gyms. During this time I’ve been privy to many relationships with strength and conditioning coaches. Chris is amongst the highest echelons of anyone I’ve ever encountered.

As long as I’ve known him he has been, and continues to be, obsessed with his craft. On top of his knowledge base, he is intuitive at this point. This intuition is an attribute that can’t be taught to someone, it is hard-earned and takes many years to develop.

There is no professional I know in any area of expertise I can more confidently recommend than Chris Grayson. I do not say this lightly. Particularly if you’re a competitive athlete (and especially a combat athlete) Chris is one of the best-kept secrets in the industry.

jaspaul gill



“Training with Chris these past few months has been such a great experience! Chris is very knowledgeable and takes time to explain which training and nutrition plan will work best for you and why. Each client gets an individualized program designed to help them reach their goals. The gym is clean and organized filled with equipment that Chris chooses to help his clients succeed.
Not only is Chris knowledgeable when it comes to personal training but he has some really nice equipment in the gym. Even after 3 months, I still haven’t used all of the equipment.”

Kim Glute Med Band


If you want REAL results, look no further. When I was playing hockey, I worked with plenty of different trainers, but Chris was by far the best. I knew I needed a trainer to push me in order to get ready to play hockey at the collegiate level and Chris did just that. He provided me with a personalized program, backed with plenty of knowledge, support, and diet advice. My strength increased and I developed healthier eating habits while working with Chris which meant better results on the ice. If you’re willing to put in the work, Chris is more than willing to help you achieve your goals.




Chris Grayson is the most knowledgeable strength coach I’ve ever went to! He asks you what sports you are training for (if any) and your fitness goals and he gets you to work. He makes it a science and you can tell he knows what he’s talking about. On top of that he is himself a great guy and the environment of his gym is top notch. Best gym experience I’ve ever had with Chris Grayson at Ascend Perform.

Ibro Krizevac



All I can say is Chris Grayson is the man.

Chris has extensive knowledge about lifting and conditioning.

I have had some serious gains in lifting and my body composition has definitely improved.

If you are serious about getting in shape and want the best workout knowledge for your buck, Chris at ascend perform is the person to meet.

eddie amado



As an 8-year Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner and competitor, I can honestly say that I’ve never felt more prepared and at my physical peak for BJJ competitions than I have training under Chris Grayson.

Professor Antonio Garcia - BJJ Black Belt



I’ve been working with Ascend perform for the last 3 months and my experience working with them has been outstanding. I am currently competing as a pro mixed martial artist out of Washington state and I’m excited to have them in my corner as they have been keeping me on track with my diet, streangth and conditioning and overall fitness. If your looking for professional knowledge about diet or strength the conditioning you gotta check out Ascend perform.

Brandon Altomare



I have been training with ChrisI for 4 months. It has been the best experience. Not only have I lost over an inch on my waist size, I have gained a lot of muscle.
Chris is a great trainer and knows exactly what workout each person needs to reach their individual goals. He also put me on a much-needed meal plan. His knowledge of strength conditioning and training is beyond anything you can imagine.
Sign up now. You won’t regret it.

Eli sprinting


I began training with Chris after I started getting into the jiu-jitsu competition world, and wanted to get that extra push that could take me to the top. Since training with him, I have ranked in multiple high-level tournaments and have seen my athletic ability climb to its full potential.
I cannot give Chris enough credit for the knowledge, effort, and awesome program designs that he has put together for me and other clients. I have seen tremendous gains in my strength, conditioning, and physique since I started training with him.

john jones



I’ve had the opportunity to train with Chris Grayson on many occasions over the years. My goals at times change as do my reasons for training. Either way, I always turn to Chris. You can join a gym and self-diagnosis by yourself or with your buddy who probably holds a degree in the fastest way to get injured. I chose to seek out Chris, a true professional and train with PURPOSE. Chris’ workouts are customized to your specific goals. No cookie cutter workouts that “work” for everyone.

Overall I have an enormous trust in Chris and his knowledge. I highly recommend him to anyone who’s serious about setting some goals and seeing them through.

andres arias



I came to Chris in July of 2016 with some very specific strength and performance-based goals that I had finally committed to accomplishing; since I am in the field of Strength and Conditioning and bodywork I was in search of an expert. After doing extensive research on some of the best personal trainers in the area I came across Chris. From day one I knew this was a great choice. Chris was clearly well educated but also was able to execute a well-rounded program that met and exceeded all of my expectations. Chris was also very helpful in terms of proper nutrient timing and supplementation according to my goals; we were able to lower my body fat, keep me lean and significantly improve my strength.




I’ve been an athlete in some form for most of my life and starting weight training at a very young age. However, since I began working with Chris I have had my eyes opened to methods I had never been exposed to that produces tremendous results.




Chris is a consummate professional, dedicated to putting together the program that is going to best meet your goals. I’ve been comfortable with and trusted him from the start. He’s curious, well-informed, easy to communicate with and encouraging. I’ve never had a better trainer.



I have been working out with Chris Grayson for the past three years. He is extremely motivating and an inspiration. My strength and stamina have increased. I have gained and maintained about 10 extra pounds of muscle. My chest has grown to the point that I can’t wear fitted shirts in my size any longer. My kids tell me that my shoulders and arms are ripped. My legs have grown an unbelievable amount and are amazingly strong and muscular.
I would recommend Chris to anyone who is serious about getting into shape, and who is committed.

steve cohen


To date, I’m up 10 pounds and have received compliments from friends and family who have noticed physical changes in my body. My arms and legs are bigger and more toned, and almost weekly during training, I notice that I’m able to lift more weight.

andy perez


Chris Grayson is an anomaly of sorts. He’s an expert with a beginner’s mindset.

Due to his scientific approach to fitness and years of experience in the field, he has seen and done enough to know what works and what doesn’t. However, not only does he remain open to the possibility of finding more effective ways to produce results, he spends a considerable amount of time in academia in the active pursuit of just that.

To put it simply, Chris is a smart dude.
His passion for what he does reveals itself in just a short conversation.
So far, I’m 61 pounds lighter (and counting) and have had to buy new pants because the ones from only 8 months ago, even after getting to the last hole on my belt, kept falling.

Kevin Tate Before:After


I am a competitive athlete that has been looking for something to help me enhance my performance all around. Before coming here I would run for my cardio but the results are nowhere near the results that I got from working with Chris. Both my strength and endurance has increased tremendously as a result of working out here consistently.

Lauren t


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steve casino



Chris’ passion for exercise and healthy living is contagious. I have trained elsewhere and have never encountered an individual with a greater knowledge of fitness.

Jeff Taylor



Chris has a ton of knowledge not only with fitness but nutrition as well. Chris cares about his clients reaching their potential and will do everything he can to get you there.

Izzy Russell


Nothing comes easy and he will let you know that the first day. He will guide and teach you, but you have to put in the work.

alex pinto



Chris Grayson is one of the most knowledgeable coaches that I have ever worked with. I have a pretty solid background in fitness and have worked with a lot of different coaches over the years, but without a doubt, Chris is the best.
He has helped me tremendously in preparation for my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments.




Chris Grayson has assisted with my strength training on and off over the past couple years. I wish my schedule allowed me to see him more frequently. The workouts are challenging, always have a good variety so you do not get bored, and it is amazing how fast you will see results if you put in your part. The best part is that your workouts are tailored to your goals and physical restrictions. As a grappling enthusiast, it is always nice to have your training partners comment on noticeable elevations in your strength.

anthony kalina



Last month I completed at the USA Karate National Championships in Greenville, South Carolina. After a seven-year hiatus from karate competition, I won the women’s – 61kg Kumite (sparring) category, which now qualifies me back in the national team pool. While competing in my twenties, I became the most decorated USA female karate athlete and still hold that record. But with seven years of retirement and having two children, I was unsure about my chances of returning to high-performance competition. Chris Grayson has been my strength coach throughout this process and has helped me tremendously to get back into elite athlete condition. I appreciate his knowledge of sports science and trust his recommendations as a coach.

Elisa Au



Chris truly cares about your performance. Your progress is his top priority so he will not hesitate to talk to you honestly even if you don’t like it.

alex truong


I was just a nerd who wanted to get stronger so my back wouldn’t act up all the time. I’d hardly ever been to the gym, and only on the treadmill. Chris motivates you without putting pressure on you, he’s encouraging, and he keeps the atmosphere loose and fun. On top of that, he really knows his stuff and tailors your workouts to your goals, needs, and abilities. He can advise you on nutrition, supplements, the works. I recommend Chris to everyone, even nerds like me.

john teti


I started my journey with Chris in 2010. At the time, I was overweight, out of shape, and scared to be in a gym for fear of being judged. Chris made weight lifting accessible to my while challenging me to improve. He counseled me on my diet and help me make changes. I went from not being able to do a push-up or a lunge, to being able to do pull-ups. I dropped 50lbs and 8 dress sizes during my time training with Chris.

Chris is an excellent trainer. He writes interesting workouts to keep his clients challenged. He is highly knowledgeable and continues to educate himself on the science of weightlifting. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or someone starting off on your own athletic journey, I cannot recommend Chris highly enough.

megan green


By far the best gym I’ve trained at. Chris is definitely a mastermind when it comes to knowing the body and muscles as he trains every individual to their maximum potential. One thing about Chris is he won’t allow you to slack off nor quit as he pushes you to the highest level you can accomplish. Came to USI to obtain results and believe me when I say it’s satisfying knowing hard work, dedication and hours put in with the guidance of Chris and his gym, the achievement is obtainable. I’ve become stronger, bigger, and very motivated to keep going further. If the opportunity arises go check out USI and see for yourself. Guaranteed positive outcome.

Raul Cervantes



Chris Grayson changed my life, no joke.

He’s supremely knowledgeable, practices what he preaches, and creates an environment that’s challenging without being impossible.

I got stronger and healthier, and learned a lot about my diet, while training at USI.

Can’t recommend it highly enough.

Alan Schmuckler



Chris has offered the complete package of health and fitness from how he trains you according to your needs, to taking the time to explain his vast knowledge on diet and nutrition.

You can see Chris has a passion for his job and that translates to great results to those who seek his services.

I first came here looking to get in shape and rekindle the fire I lost in martial arts, but instead, I have received a new found love and appreciation for all-around health, fitness, quality of life, and well being.

dave flores


I trained with Chris to prepare for a jiu-jitsu tournament. I have to admit, I thought I was in decent shape, but training with Chris allowed me to take my conditioning to the next level.

Marcin Sikora



Chris is one, if not the most, knowledgeable fitness coach I’ve ever had. He will certainly push you, create a personalized plan for you, teach you everything you need to know to do the exercise correctly, and he tracks every single thing. Which helps with your progress tremendously.
As 23 years of experience Karate practitioner and Martial Artists, I cannot stress enough the importance of a plan. With Chris, each workout will be planned out and saved to keep track of your progress. Because YOU WILL SEE PROGRESS!

jaime gamboa



Chris took my training to a whole different level.

He is extremely knowledgeable always tailoring the workouts to best fit your specific needs and goals.

All I can say is that I wish I would have met Chris sooner.

jonathan glenner