Training you is a privilege, and one we do not take for granted. Being trusted to help develop and maximize your fitness/performance is no small thing. We take this charge seriously, and strive to foster a culture to help deliver results.
For our local athletes, we try not to take ourselves too seriously, and balance the the difficulty of work and expectations we put before them with some degree of levity.
From time-to-time with newer athletes, this levity gets confused for a reason to avoid working as expected.
We don’t expect any of out athletes – you included – to be top-tier athletes, but we do expect you to put forth your top-tier effort.
To frame the gym culture and make crystal clear what we desire from athletes – and to make sure they get the most out of their time here, we have rules. Before I enumerate them, let’s take a no-bullshit look at what the hell it takes to get returns on training. This applies to our local and remote athletes the same.
This no-bullshit analysis is close to our hearts because we are athletes, too, and know how easy it is to take the occasional shortcut or bend a rule here or there.
But, if you really want to get the most out of your training, here it is:
Our training is to be followed EXACTLY as the coach directs.
Sessions are not a democracy. The coach is in charge.
Programming only works when you follow it, and you can only follow it if you are coachable.
You must do the work properly. This rule isn’t for our benefit – it’s for yours.
Lift heavy shit, stick to the reps and rest periods, and love the confidence that comes as a result.
Bust your ass. Work as hard as you can sustain. Be aggressive and athletic. Show yourself what you can do, and love the sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing you gave your all.
Limit your intensity. Breathe through your nose. Relax and work smoothly and efficiently. Love the feeling of knowing you can go much longer, and the pay off will be more high end horse power down the road.
Even if you’re not training in a group setting, thousands of people are doing the same training you are. Represent them well.
Following the programming and being honest about doing it right shows respect for other athletes who are doing the exact same thing.
Now, when it comes to the local gym I have to say it is, to my pragmatically prose mind, beautifully poetic how a group of otherwise complete strangers can come together in a bare bones facility, and immediately recognize and respect the mutual experience of working and training together for no other reason than to simply improve themselves.
The innate recognition of authentic effort also recognizes inauthenticity. If you’re looking for shortcuts, athletes see it, and know. And you know, too. You know you’re cheating the work.
It is disrespectful to them and you when you avoid doing the work properly. Why?
- Because you’re choosing to deviate from the common purpose of training.
- This choice deviation pivots on your pride.
- We are all here for the same outcomes.
- It is your choice to be here.
- It is your choice to train at this facility.
- It is your choice to follow this programming.
The consequence of this string of choices is to give up a certain degree of self-determination in order to belong to something bigger than what you can achieve singularly – bigger in purpose, scope, goals, and energy.
When you make that string of choices, then choose to not follow through when everyone else is, the deviation between your choice and everyone else’s puts you at odds.
You’re choosing to avoid, get out of, and not be accountable to this something bigger you chose to be a part of.
All out of pride.
That pride comes at at the cost of stagnation for you, and frustration and resentment from your training partners.
Notice two things about this reasoning:
1) It isn’t about respecting the coaches nor is it revelatory about your personal integrity. It’s about reflecting the effort of your training partners, which is a sign of respect for their willingness to push themselves to improve.
2) It’s a choice. Don’t bullshit yourself. You can run those extra 5 steps. You choose not to. If a lack of ability truly is the issue, we will accommodate to make it possible for you.
So, let’s get to brass tacks. What are our gym rules?
- Be coachable. Follow coach’s directions and programming exactly as given.
- Show up on time and be ready to train.
- Be part of the team. Help set up and break down equipment.
- Train at the proper intensity.
- Have some damn fun.
Apply these in your training, even if it’s out of your garage.
Set a time to train, and start on time, damn it.
Don’t lollygag. Be ready to go when you say you will be.
Avoid leaving your gear out all over the place. Take some pride in what you do and separate yourself from the gym chaff. Stow your gear when done.
Don’t train too hard when it should be easy. Don’t train too easy when it should be hard. The training is planned out for you, so train that plan. Make it easy on yourself.
Fun is the final rule, though, if you’re following the first four rules, the discipline that comes from them will free you to have way more than fun as you go through the process of training.
– Coach Jordan Smothermon