7 things I got wrong about group fitness..

The internet dictates that you only share the pretty things, the greatest hits – not the gritty bits where you were wrong.

The pandemic provided us an opportunity fundamentally change and we’re leaning into that process. Over the past few months, I’ve (Wylie) had time to reflect along with our team on what we do in the gym and how we’ll grow going forward. 

The first step is pulling back the curtain a bit to share with you all some of the things that we (led by me – Wylie) didn’t do right, where we’re seeking to improve and restating our mission. As you’ll read, one of these is communicating better – so this is a start of that process. If you have any questions on these – please do reach out.

I’m intensely proud of our staff, you all and our responsibility to elevate what happens within our walls and how that impacts the much bigger life beyond them. Let’s get to work.

Mistake 1: Free 6-week programming templates work

I would see someone struggling to get pull ups. I’d say, “let me write you a free 6-week plan, no problem”. The problem is that person still wasn’t better at pull ups 6 weeks later (I wouldn’t even follow programs like this myself). It lacked assessment, understanding of what that person actually needed and literal buy-in. Those factors also made it harder for that athlete to trust later on when presented with other feedback. Athletes deserve custom solutions.

Mistake 2: Community is enough

Community is necessary and vital, but is not sufficient to run a functioning business. Environments must be inclusive and foster belonging, but also must provide opportunities to address and solve physical limitations. Our Coaching and knowledge must aspire to the same level and get the same attention. 

Mistake 3: Professional Coaches can make a living coaching group classes

Part-time, hourly wages cannot sustain the careers of professional Coaches (our industry has a terrible habit of assuming this). If we’re committed to offering professional Coaching services to members, we need in invest in the staff’s opportunity to earn a living, grow, gain knowledge and not depend on passion to be leaders.

Mistake 4: “Needs differ by degree, not kind”

Are there certain overall constants for a physically active life? Sure. However, specific issues require specific solutions. Otherwise, we’re wasting an athlete’s time and frustrating them when they see someone else doing a movement that they’re forced to scale. We can still love the energy of group training, while being smarter about its application and in the process help drive meaningful results.

Mistake 5: Focus on making class the happiest hour of their day

Classes must be fun, but the work done within them needs to empower and deliver actual results. Otherwise, the focus drifts towards playlists instead of positions and away from truly helping people achieve their true physical expression. Have a laugh, enjoy the ride, but make sure and know that it’s going somewhere purposeful.

Mistake 6: What worked before will always work

Your needs 6 weeks into training are different than at 6 months and at 6 years. We have to recognize that and work with athletes to embrace that journey. The saying goes.. when you start, “push ups make your legs stronger” – everything helps – but what about 18 months later as your body changes? Just like our bodies, our conversations must evolve and that can be such an exciting process!

Mistake 7: Not sharing this information

A long time ago, someone told me to write “who needs to know” at the top of my to-do list each week. Along the way, as things evolve, it can be easy to assume everyone “gets it” – this is wrong.

Sharing this list is a step on that path – sharing with you all how I’m excited what we’re doing is evolving into a truly special training experience. Each of these topics are key points that we’re committed to digging into in the coming year. Our gym, programs and staff training will be growing in exciting ways to step into solving these errors.

Our mission:

We help people subvert limitations and achieve their true physical expression.

Not just PR your back squat.

Not just improve your “Fran” time.

We’re here to use movement to solve problems and let you live your true physical expression. I couldn’t be more excited about that process. I’m grateful for your support as we grow. Thank you.


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