(Photo: Wolf Brigade, October 2008)
“Concept vs. Execution”
The equipment we have and use is purposeful, and has been accumulated over time- just like the training methods themselves. Each tool is a means to an end; the border to the puzzle but not the body. The goal of training people in high-level generalist fitness needs to remain at the forefront: Improving peoples physical and mental states by making them stronger, faster, safer, healthier, and more confident. Any tool or movement used in the achievement of that objective is simply a means to an end; The equipment is no more the point than the workout name, or even the movements themselves.
A similar focus on reason and rationale needs to be employed by those intending to operating such a facility: Is attending a weekend class, taking out a substantial loan, packing a room full of expensive equipment, and running a Groupon to attract as many members as possible as quickly as possible a sound strategy for developing a stand-out athletic facility? How is that any different than the franchising of a Papa John’s Pizza or a Cold Stone Ice Cream? (One difference is that Cold Stone requires 120 hours of classroom + hands on training TO SERVE PEOPLE ICE CREAM. Not teach them potentially dangerous movements, lifts, and the applications of.)
Neither volume of equipment nor novelty of exercise can make up for deficiencies in training experience, replace commitment to mastering the details of your craft, or mask the ego of trainers focused mostly on their own personal progress. What it CAN do is impress a novice athlete that still believes “more = more”, and lead them to believe that quality of facility = quality of information. It may not be an intentional deception, but (especially from a consumers point of view) it is one that is worthy of note.
Refer here for an excellent quote relating to a portion of the above topic:
Consider/ evaluate where the priority lies in your (potential) training environment; Look closely and question often as to whether volume has moved past substance on your gyms priority list… and whether substance was ever on it in the first place…
The ownership of a high-level fitness, strength, and conditioning facility should not be a virtual turn-key operation that can be executed beginning-to-end in one week. If having money is a stronger motivator than earning money, then one of the franchises mentioned above is likely better suited; Sure, you’re feeding people garbage, but at least you’re not telling them it’s something else.
If teaching “functional fitness” is your chosen path, put skin in the game. Give the gym your last name, start small, train people correctly and meticulously. Know what you know, and know what you don’t, and grow at an manageable pace- never sacrificing quality for quantity or progress for profits. If that all sounds too lengthy and tiresome, then it is simply a testament to how far the apple really has fallen from the tree.