Our Mission

Let’s face it: the fitness space is crowded. There are so many options when you’re looking to make a change to your health and fitness. When we opened our gym, we knew we needed to do things differently. That starts with individualized programs and care and attention to each individual member.

Clandestine coaches are invested in every step of your progress and know not just your name but also your potential. We are a community of compassionate, hard-working individuals that will build you up, cheer you on, and share in every victory, setback, and triumph. So if you’re looking for a fitness program that’s designed with you in mind and not just another cookie-cutter workout, then this might be the gym for you.

Our Coaches


Owner – Vernon Neal

I think since before I even learned how to walk, I’ve always loved to express myself through movement. As a youngster, I practiced and competed in boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, Tae Kwon Do, mixed martial arts, jiu-jitsu and track & field. I quickly discovered that I loved the mental and physical challenge that movement provided, and I felt privileged to have the opportunity not only to move but to train and compete.

In 2012, I pivoted into the sport of fitness, where I unearthed a new stratum of my own physical potential. From CrossFit came Weightlifting, where within my first year of competition I became the second-ranked 77kg lifter in Minnesota and qualified for my first national competition.

Competing has been a life-long process for me, and after many years of devoting as much of myself as possible to my sport(s), I decided nearly a decade ago that training others would be the next logical step for me. This choice led me to training high school athletes and then eventually, training at a health club. The health club became the incubator where I developed my unique training style, finally reaching the discovery that the way I wanted to train didn’t fit in the mold of the traditional gym model, so I took matters into my own hands and ventured off on my own.

Today, I coach a wide range of athletes from national-level rugby players and distance runners/cyclists to full-time students, military servicemen and women, health professionals, and everyone at every age and ability level in between. Our program is meant for every background and skill level.

I’ve spent a lifetime striving towards athletic limitations and then forging my way through them, all the while bulletproofing a mindset of calm confidence in the face of these physical challenges. My passion is developing athletes to overcome their own set of challenges.


  • National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Trainer
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine Corrective Specialist certificate
  • CF Level 1
  • First Aid, CPR, and AED certified



General Manager – Caitlin Buckvold

Before starting my fitness journey in 2013, I was very underweight, tired all the time, and, above all, I didn’t think I was worthy of being the kind of person that put my health and fitness first. I just thought, “that’s not for me.” For some inexplicable reason, though, I knew I needed a change, and so I entrusted Coach Vernon to walk me through workouts I could perform at my own pace and level, and one day at a time, I started believing in myself. Not only did I begin to realize what I was truly capable of athletically, but I also began feeding my body nutrient-dense foods.

I went from having no experience lifting weights to today, where I am knocking on the doors of state records across two different sports, Weightlifting and Powerlifting. I’ve been able to succeed in the strength domain while still being able to run a fast mile, perform gymnastics movements, and grind through just about any physical challenge thrown my way. This process has been so validating and empowering for me that I vowed to help others discover this for themselves, too.

At Clandestine Strength, I specialize in coaching our Function Program, where we focus on building a strong, well-rounded foundation where intensity is secondary to quality movement and injury prevention. I also spearhead our Nutrition Coaching Program, which is a comprehensive, habit-based system based on eating whole foods.

This isn’t just a healthy lifestyle kick, this is a way of life that, once I discovered how amazing it feels, became both effortless and non-negotiable for me. One person at a time, my goal is for others to discover this, too.


  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics, University of Minnesota
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1
  • Precision Nutrition Exercise Nutrition certificate
  • CF Level 1