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The gentleGYM team is specially developed with the skills and compassion to meet the needs of members who choose our program.  We have put extensive thought into what your needs are and how we can best meet them.  Our team invests in continuing education to be on the cutting edge of knowledge and program implementation.  We choose to be inclusive and cooperative with other practitioners and programs.  Truly, gG wants to cooperate and lift each other up to help provide the best care possible for our members. It's our mission to be A COMMUNITY OF HEALTHY LIVING.  Our promise to you is that we will always be learning, listening and implementing, to be able to provide opportunities that lead to a successful journey at the gG and ultimately better health for you.

Amy VanArkel


Owner, Director

Agape Therapy

Executive Director

Physical Therapist Assistant

Massage Therapist

The gentleGYM is a vision I have had, in some form, since my junior year in college, at The University of Iowa.  After playing basketball, I took a job in the Health Iowa department of The University of Iowa's Student Health Center.  Once it came time for an internship, I chose to stay at Health Iowa because it was one of the most comprehensive university wellness programs in the nation.  It was there that my boss and mentor, at the time,  led me down a path of wanting to really empower individuals to choose more healthy lifestyle habits in all the dimensions of wellness.. Sarah was a huge mentor and I thank her for lighting a spark in me.  
In 2003, I joined the Agape Therapy team.  In 2007, I asked if I could start a wellness program in the therapy clinic.  This was a quick yes and so the rocket was launched! Each year it has continued to develop and grow.  There have been many lessons, opportunities, and barriers.  But I feel completely blessed and believe each step was necessary and it has led us to the

The challenge with gG is to help those that manage pain and chronic health issues to move the needle toward better health, to maybe even start living again!  If you have to manage pain, injury, co-morbidities or even fear, then often times you have had a tough time feeling heard or making change.  Making change happen isn't just about exercise and movement.  The challenge is to help people engage with themselves and others to figure out what needs to be addressed.  gG will only be as successful as the individuals coming in choosing to become __________ (insert whatever it is you need to be more balanced and healthy). My hopes and prayers are that the gG can be a conduit for you!   You will be heard.  gG is there for you. 

Emily Mangrich​


Program Manager

Agape Therapy

Wellness Manager


For me, the gentleGYM is about empowering those who feel defeated using exercise and lifestyle change to improve health. I have worked in various aspects of the health and fitness realm and have found my passion is utilizing exercise programs to prevent and manage chronic health issues. The results I love to see from clients during an exercise program are less pain, reduced or prevented medication use, and the ability to complete daily tasks with ease. 

At the gentleGYM I promise you will find more than a gym. We are dedicated to taking a new approach to chronic conditions by addressing our four pillars (move, think, diet, rest) and engaging members so you enjoy your time with us while learning something along the way. We hope to create an atmosphere where you can find joy in your journey to better health. 

Sarah Paustian


Aquatics Manager

Agape Therapy

Business Wellness Coordinator

Physical Therapist Assistant

I have been working as a Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer for the past 15 years and have worked with individuals in all stages of their fitness journey.  I started my career with the idea that I wanted to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.   Sharing health and wellness with others is my passion, and the gG opens the door to being able to reach many individuals.  One thing we all know, wanting to make lifestyle changes is easy, but actually making the changes are tough.  Many people get stuck not knowing how or where to begin.  To me, the gentleGYM provides individuals with goals and direction in all areas of wellness.  I am so excited to be part of such a unique opportunity in the Cedar Valley. 

Riley Bonnstetter


Health Coach

Agape Therapy

Programming and Marketing Manager, Wellness Specialist

To me, the gentleGYM truly is much more than just a place to lift weights and run on the treadmill.  We pride ourselves in hands-on, specialized care for each and every one of our members. Our number one goal is to help our members feel comfortable in an environment that can be intimidating and scary. There is always someone available for questions and guidance, and we love to see our members learn, grow, and feel better!


I have always had a love for movement. Being the only girl growing up with two active brothers, I had only one choice: keep up! Many years of sports and activities led to a college degree and a passion for helping others on their wellness journey. Wellness is more than just fitness, it is an encompassing term that includes how you move, think, eat, and rest. It is estimated that almost 20% of adults suffer from chronic pain. I believe exercise plays a key role in helping decrease and manage pain. My goal for my clients is for them to gain strength and confidence, resulting in them being able to do new activities, as well as completing daily tasks with more ease. 

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Wellness Intern
Wellness Intern


When Agape developed the gentleGYM one of the pillars of focus was mentorship of students and new trainers, therapists, coaches and instructors.  The Wellness Intern offers an opportunity for a college student to get practical experience with a therapeutic population while having mentorship by a therapeutically minded staff. They get exposure to all aspects of helping to implement health initiatives for individuals.  Their focus is orienting members to equipment and ensuring follow up assessments are scheduled.


If you would like to be a Wellness Intern, please contact us. 

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agape team
gentleGYM Cooperative
Front Desk, Aides, Business Team, Physical Therapist and Assistants, Hand Therapist, Massage Therapists, Personal Trainers


Agape desired to bridge a gap in care for individuals.  Seeing a need with their population of patients, started working on a remedy.  The Agape Team is part of the gentleGYM team.  It's how we create continuity in communication, care and learning!


Check out more about the Agape Team!

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