I am under no pressure from the American Barbell Club of America. The International Kettlebell Society does not send me a monthly stipend. We paid full price for our Air Assault Bikes, TrueForm Runners and Concept 2 Ergs. In other words, I have no ulterior motives for using the tools, equipment and methodologies that are the cornerstone of everything we do here. We quite simply do what we do here for one reason: when it comes to improving health, performance and physical appearance in both men and women it works better than anything else we have found thus far.
If spinning did it better the gym would be filled with bikes. If VPRs worked better than barbells we’d replace our bars immediately. If constant variety, large groups, or trendy exercise selection were superior we’d be on it like Justin Bieber on a Brazilian hooker. But it’s not. So that’s not how we do it.
So, what is the Fortitude philosophy? What do you guys believe in? (these are the questions you are asking yourself right now – I just kindly wrote them down for you). Well, I’m glad you asked.
Small Group Training And Community
Above any programming, training philosophy or equipment, the key to being successful in the gym is a good environment and atmosphere. And that starts with good coaches and good training partners. While a big group can be great for energy, there is also a great chance that you’ll get lost in the shuffle and get away with crappy form. Too small a group (such as one-on-one) and the chances are that after your first few sessions you and your trainer are talking more about the latest trades in the NBA or your Pokemon GO! obsession and not how to improve your squat technique. So we keep things here in groups of 4 or less per coach. Enough to get the support and energy of training partners but small enough that our coaches can keep an eye on you.
Plus being in a community of like-minded people that is small enough where everyone knows each other is actually quite refreshing in a massive city like New York. This is a second home for almost all our members. This is by design.
Reliance on Established Exercises And Techniques
Our heads are not in the sand here. We are aware of and know many of the people who work in (or even own) the City’s hottest training spots and studios (dirty little secret reveal: many of them come here to train themselves). We see what is going on and how those boutiques market themselves to the public. We don’t give a shit. We will always rely on the most tried-and-true exercises and techniques that are backed up by evidence and experience. This isn’t always sexy. Or creative. But these things work and it’s why we do them. And before anyone gets upset, of course there are other studios who do great things that work. But not all of them. And not all the time.
Progressive and Organized Programming
Constant variety or chaos training can work. Until it doesn’t. We believe in providing training programs which follow a defendable methodology that provides a specific training effect. These are organized and progressed over time and are periodized from week to week as well as phase to phase.
Whew! I wrote some high level jargon there. Now that I feel justified in spending $100k on my degree from Syracuse University, let me tell you what that means for you. There will be a training program for you to follow every time you come in. This program will make sense. Every month the program will focus on a specific strength quality (such as maximal strength or metabolic conditioning). Each day of the week will include different movements so you can train as often as you’d like and each week we change parameters slightly to ensure you continue to progress. Once we go through 4 weeks of the program we change things up to make sure you do not get physiologically stale or psychologically burned out. And unlike exercise selection, this is our chance to be a bit creative so you will experience programs unlike others that you have done before. It’s the key to keeping your head in the game.
Train A Variety of Strength Qualities
The vast majority of clients need to get stronger, more powerful, move better, increase power and improve body composition. For this reason we train all of these factors throughout the year. If you are trying to make it to the Olympics in downhill slalom, this approach is probably not the best. For the rest of you, it’s the ideal way to go.
Use The Best Equipment
We need tools to complete the job. So we’ve selected and use the best one’s available. Quite frankly we charge enough money and our space is small enough that we are able to do this. Life is too short for crappy barbells.
Enjoy and Have Fun
I can ensure you that no one takes this more seriously than we do. Just ask my wife as I’m watching the latest training videos from Bulgaria while in bed hoping to pick up a tip, trick or programming idea that we can share with our clients. But we also want your experience here to be fun. It’s important. It means you’ll keep coming back. It also allows us to not take ourselves so seriously. And, believe me, when your training staff consists of competitive Olympic weightlifters, former college football players, high-level marathoners, fitness models and jiu-jitsu fighters it’s really easy to take yourself too seriously.
It’s great that you have a relationship with your personal trainer. It’s cool that you like training a certain way. Or that you are comfortable doing things the way that you’ve been doing them. That you think some magical, individualized programming is what you need to get the results you are looking for. Or that you judge how good a workout was by how much you sweat. But those things aren’t enough for us here. It’s not the most efficient and effective way to get where you want to go. It’s not the way.
There’s more out there.
And sorry if I offended any Beliebers.