Lifts & Lies is an intimate, wry look at what really happens inside and behind the scenes of the nation’s boutique fitness industry, places with big personalities, big egos, big drama, and big problems. These places promise to help people become their healthiest and happiest selves — but sometimes crush clients and coaches instead.

It’s the right time for this story, given that boutique gyms are in the news, with activists calling for the cancellation of top places and personalities who abuse their power and their people.

Written by award-winning journalist and long-time fitness coach Christine Van Dusen, this novel — currently presented in a serialized format on Substack — shines a spotlight on the dark side of the boutique fitness industry while telling the story of two women who are headed for their own reckonings.