Why originality is important

From The Archives - I’m going back through the old blog and reposting some of the best articles.

Too often I've run across gyms that take programming from somewhere else. Sometimes it's part of their larger brand, and they do their own sequencing and interpretation of generally available programming, and I get that. But sometimes it's just a wholesale import of someone else's programming, literally cut and pasted from another gym's site. I see the same thing with the words some gyms and trainers use to describe themselves on their websites - slogans and claims stolen wholesale or piecemeal, or platitudes generated by some loathsome marketing company. As for unoriginal images - I can't take you seriously if you use stock photos on your fitness website.

Perhaps you don't care too much about what appears on your gym's website. You're there for the experience, and if your experience is good, you're happy. But you should care a) because original content reveals original thought by your coaches and b) canned programming is cheap, or should be. We opened a gym because we had a strong vision for our programming - we wanted to do something different than what was out there. We want, no need, to put our own spin on things, to interpret and synthesize what's out there into something that's new.

If you're doing programming dreamed up by the owner of a far-off gym, working out under slogans lifted from distant coaches' visions, calling yourself part of a gym that steals its vision from someone else, why bother? You might as well work out at a cheap drop-in facility and buy your own canned programming for $10 a month. However, even with high-quality, reputable programming (like Welbourn's Field Strong or Outlaw), training without a coach who knows the program inside-out and can customize it for you on a day-to-day basis will only get you injured (we've seen it).

When you join a gym like ours, you are buying into the owners' and coaches' vision; you are paying for something new and special, something that you are a part of and that is personalized for you. Don't settle for anything less.

Amy Santamaria