Every so often we tend to have a small pow wow to discuss everything Spartan. Talks range from what we do well, what we could improve upon to what we feel needs to be changed and everything in between. I felt as if we should begin expressing this to you, our members and potential members. Hunker down, grab some coffee and a healthy snack and spend some time with me. I hope this gets you as excited as it gets me.
The last couple of months I’ve become upset with the direction I’ve taken with the gym’s workout programming, at least in terms of our SpartanFit class. I’ve loved the growth and output of our express class, we feel as if it’s been an incredible success so thank you for your participation, feedback and more so thank you for trusting us and giving it a chance. SpartanFit however, I feel has gone the opposite way, and I’m going to work over the course of the next couple of months to right this wrong.
Our current strength-bias programming isn’t cutting it. We’ve seen increased injuries, decreased results and an overall loss of participants. While I anticipate a little push-back, I wholeheartedly believe that once you see and feel the bigger picture results, you’ll be 100% on-board. What is strength-bias programming? Simply put, it’s what a lot of gyms currently run because it’s simple and easy. Class starts with a simple warm-up, works its way into a strength or skill and then finishes with conditioning. It’s used because it fills an hour, but within that hour, it’s hard to do anything other than manage the chaos. There’s small windows to coach, but overall our time is spent trying to make sure we fit everything in. I want to incorporate a less is more approach, and here’s why:
Volume is the only way to differentiate the competitive athletes from those of us whose end goals are merely to get fit, stay fit and stay the hell out of the nursing home. With increased volume comes increased chance for injury, an increased time commitment and a less unifying and usually less satisfying experience. In an attempt to build a community, we’ve instead built a machine that pumps one class in while pushing the previous class out. As we decrease the volume, we’ll see more opportunities for all the things I feel we’ve been lacking with the most important being coaching. More focus needs to be put on moving well rather than moving weight, which is going to be the focal point of the next couple months.
What will the less is more approach look like in terms of a regular class? It’ll put more time and effort into warming up and cooling down properly (as we’re all in dire need of more mobility), which means avoidable injuries will decrease significantly. We’ll warm up together (and properly), whether that means regular group warm-ups with a focus on skill work or simply playing more games. We’ll take the (normally neglected) time to coach and teach what the workout movements should look and feel like as well as discuss the intended stimulus of the upcoming workout and how to reach it so you don’t finish feeling like “man, that wasn’t very hard.” No workout should ever be an easy workout and I want to take the time to make sure of that. The conditioning portion will not change and it’s not that we’ll be avoiding strength all together, we’re just going to decrease the focus and place more emphasis on the important things. Squatting twice your body weight is cool, but it’s not necessary to keeping you healthy while conditioning, stamina, flexibility and all the things we’ve been putting by the way-side are.
You cannot achieve the results you desire when your body is always broken, and I feel like that’s the state most of us are currently in. It’s going to be a tough, drastic change to start as we’re so used to and enjoying the strength-bias programming, but it’s a necessary change, and I know you’ll begin to realize that when you see the changes your body is allowed to go through when it’s not broken all the time. We also have countless hours of open gym time that are underappreciated and underutilized by absolutely everyone, so now’s a good time to being using that if you feel like you need more strength-focused work. You’ve put your trust in us before, please do it again.
We’ve been neglecting the basics. We’ve asked you to wall ball and overhead squat before you’re fully capable of air squatting, and that’s wrong and on me. The major focus of the next few months is making sure that everyone can move well first and foremost. Until you can move well, it’s going to be nearly impossible to achieve the results you desire. With taking the focus off lifting heavy and instead moving well, you’ll see an increase in flexibility and an overall improvement in body control. You, however, have to meet us halfway.
We can and will teach you how to move well, but it’s up to you to actually do it. I can show you what an air squat should look like, but I cannot air squat for you. You need to put forth the effort to understand and complete the movement. No more excuses. Your depth doesn’t suck because your old, your depth sucks because you don’t care enough to put in the required work to fix it. Stop being satisfied squatting to parallel, take the time and effort to work on getting below it. Understand that range of motion is more than just a way to establish a movement standard and it’s how our body is actually supposed to move. Getting your elbows to 90 degrees on a push-up is not a push-up. You’re restricting your arm’s natural movement each and every time you fail to complete a full push-up. Is getting your chest to the ground a lot harder? Of course, but doing half rep push-ups is only going to get you really good at half rep push-ups. We need to start setting our personal movement standards higher. Go watch a child play. See how they sit in the bottom of a squat when they’re playing with something in front of them. This is how we’re meant to live and made to move, we’ve just been destroying it by accepting mediocrity; sitting for 9-10 hours a day, coming up with excuses on why we can’t move as well as we should. All the bad in this world is avoidable if you care enough to avoid it. You’re obviously here for a reason. To be fit, healthy and look better naked. You cannot and will not become those things if you refuse to move well.
We’ve have some pretty incredible members and it’s time we start recognizing them. Every month we’ll publish a list of every single member that has 80% attendance or better. This will be based off the assumption that you’re working out with us at least 5 days a week, as we feel that’s the amount of days you need to commit in order to see the best possible results. Each month you’re a member of the club, you’ll get your name put into a drawing and every 3 months we’ll draw a name for a major prize. Show up, kill it, get rewarded. It’s that simple.
Bring a friend week
Have a friend interested in trying us out? The first week of the month we’ll allow 1 friend the ability to tag along with you. We’ll have a second coach available during the night classes so one of us will be able to focus our attention on the newbies, without sacrificing the regulars. With the change in programming and focus on better movement, now’s the perfect time to get that friend or loved one as addicted as you are. If your friend signs up for an unlimited membership at the end of the week, we’ll give you a month for free. This goes for any of our classes, not just SpartanFit.
On top of more regular blog posts, we’ll also have a weekly vlog every Sunday. We’ll use this time to talk about the upcoming week, nutrition tips, movement demonstration and tricks, and anything else we think will have a knowledgeable impact. Be sure to follow us on facebook, as it’ll be done through facebook live and we don’t want you to miss the notification if you’d like to tune in live. It’ll also be recorded so you can watch them at a later time.
If you have any topics you’d love for us to cover or questions you’d like us to answer during these videos, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll be sure to incorporate them. These are for you, so we want to make sure the information we portray is important and helpful.
Olympic Lifting Seminars
With the shift away from strength-biased programming, I want to be sure we continue to incorporate the Olympic lifts in an educational setting. Starting next Saturday (4/8) and Sunday (4/9) we’ll be running a 90 minute seminar. One day will focus on complete beginners with the other focusing on bettering the foundation we already have. Times will be announced in the next couple of days, so keep your eyes peeled. We’ll be sure to announce them during our regularly scheduled classes as we don’t want anyone eager to learn missing out on these incredibly beneficial seminars. They’ll be completely free for our unlimited members and $20 for any non-unlimited or non-members. Brings friends, bring family. Everyone should know how to complete the Olympic lifts.
I promise we haven’t forgotten about those of you interested in trainer-guided nutrition. We’ve been working out the kinks on how to make this doable in a group environment and we’re almost at a point where we can unleash our knowledge and guidance on you, our members. Price and other information will be made available in the coming weeks. We promise this will be revolutionary. You bring the desire and commitment, we’ll make sure you obtain the results you want.
Well hey, that got significantly lengthier than anticipated. If you made it all the way through, thank you. Our continued desire to make sure this is the best gym on the planet is because of you and your commitment to not only us, but to yourself.
Make this your year. We’re here to help.