Gym

#LiveAWildLife

#LiveAWildLife

#LiveaWildLife is what makes Wild Training different. It's the heart of the brand. 

Its about giving people confidence to try something new. Something they haven't experienced before. Not just our training, but so many fun things from snowboarding to rock climbing, mountain biking in the Alps, surfing, skating. Anything and everything. 

1 Month Of Running A Gym

Wild Training has been running since 2010, and I’ve been doing this job for nearly 10 years. Working in private studios, health spas, local authority gyms, big commercial chain gyms, my own personal training studio, as a director for a gym chain. That all teaches you some good stuff and thanks to the variety you see a lot of different approaches to achieve a very similar thing.

We started a small Wild Training studio in 2013 and the programs and membership really created a big buzz and we got a lot of free PR out of how we used the space to deliver some very unique classes for our members. Now that small studio has closed because we have bought a much larger gym, where we plan to use the same model on a bigger scale with some new innovations too.

We are 1 month in and so far, it’s been an exciting adventure for sure. Mostly implementing more efficient systems for membership and day to day stuff and getting everything set for a massive refurb. The most exciting thing about this gym is that there is no one else involved, which means we get to do exactly what we want without needing to compromise it.

The design of the downstairs of our gym. Personal Training Zones and Urban Strength Training Facility for Calisthenics and functional training. 

The design of the downstairs of our gym. Personal Training Zones and Urban Strength Training Facility for Calisthenics and functional training. 

Sometimes people miss what Wild Training is about, because they see the Wild In The Park outdoor classes or the functional style of exercise that we do and think we don’t do weight lifting, or cardio, but the fact is we do it all. Our gym will be made up of the systems that have given all of our members such epic results, given me the level of fitness I have and the Wild Trainers have and have created the success Wild Training has achieved.

I feel like if I compromised that just because people expect to see some treadmills and machines now we have space to deliver a proper gym service I’d be going against everything I’ve learned working in the fitness industry so far.

Our new studio, showing how the Urban Strength Training Facility gives members dedicated exercise zones for when they want to workout on their own, knowing we have enough equipment so they never need to wait around to use what they want. 

Our new studio, showing how the Urban Strength Training Facility gives members dedicated exercise zones for when they want to workout on their own, knowing we have enough equipment so they never need to wait around to use what they want. 

People can come in and workout on their own, instead of always doing Wild Training exercise classes or personal training. Instead of expecting them to do non skilled exercise like using a cross trainer or sitting on some resistance machines, our Wild Training model is all about teaching our members how to exercise properly. Showing them how to get the most out of our facility, the way we have designed it to be the best possible set up for the widest variety of people to enjoy and achieve their goals. 

Apple is a global super brand. The Apple journey is an amazing story, from Mac to Ipod, Iphone to Iwatch. I remember one thing that Steve Jobs said was;

“A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.”

One day I saw a guy using a piece of exercise equipment in a questionable way, so I went to talk to him about it to find out what he was training for and then see if I could show him some relevant exercises for his goal and fitness level. He said "I don't know what I'm doing but I'm ok". I said I'd show him some concepts around what it's best used for ... and he said no. He just didn't want my help. Why?

Why don't people want to learn how to exercise more effectively from people that have dedicated their lives to understanding it properly to help others gain the most from it. Have we butchered the fitness industry so badly that people think they should inherently just know how to exercise effectively?

We have an expectation now that everyone is perfect, no one needs to learn, they just do with confidence so no one questions. That’s why around 34% of the home fitness market is home exercise dvds.

People feel the need to have a step before they join a gym to get fit. They can get a dvd, and while they aren't confident in their fitness or body shape they can exercise at home. Then after a while they can join a gym as "a fit person" and have the perception that people think of them as fit. They don’t see the gym as a way to get fit.... But a way to be perceived as being fit.

Over years the fitness industry has been engineered in to a very aggressive sales industry... when in reality it's a service based industry. This guy thought I wanted to sell him something, when in my mind I just wanted to help him get more value from the membership fee he has already paid for.

That membership fee isn't just money to use the facility. It's a membership to a supportive community and an environment that cultivates positive change. Without good staff, a gym membership is just an expensive way of using some machines.

"People with passion have the power to change the world", Steve Jobs. Trying to sell what we do by talking about the product is about as useful as comparing the amount of cushioning you get in a Nike trainer against a Reebok trainer. No one cares, or the more detail you talk in, the less people listen. It's not about exercise programs, or the equipment we use. It's about our values.

Wild Training values:

  • To make it fun
  • To keep it effective
  • To include everyone

When something is fun, people want to have a go, and choose to keep doing it.It’s easy to make exercise effective initially. Keeping the results coming takes smart, progressive varied training. Like Wild Training.People that love fitness, love Wild Training, but we also have Wild Training members that hate gyms, hate group classes and generally have never enjoyed activity.That’s what makes Wild Training so special. We help so many different types of people.

We only work with passionate people. What we do isn't rocket science, but it does take a lot of time to develop knowledge, skills and abilities to enable you to deliver the service at the level required.

Realistically the only way someone will train, study and practice enough to get good enough as a trainer is if they are passionate about fitness, as often the money you earn to do the job is hard to rationalise if you think about it all logically.

Through passion, you can create magic, and then success follows. Otherwise you have to put up with selling rubbish for less money to more people. That can work in some industries but for health and fitness you just end up delivering no change to people that only want change, and long term get them to disengage with the fitness industry completely. Nice strategy. 

The Fitness Industry is all about change. Changing health, changing body shape, changing your mind set. For an industry focused on creating change, it hasn't adopted change for a long time. We are masters of adaptation so when our environment and behaviour change and the way our skills and abilities allow us to interact with that change we see the greatest change in ourselves.

So if our industry is focused on change, surely the way our industry operates should change. Steve Jobs would never run a gym the way it has always been run before. He would find a better way to serve the people that want us to deliver change. Do you want to use an 80's flip phone... Or do you want an Iphone. Wild Training is that change.

"The people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world... Are the ones that do".

I hope Steve Jobs got that right, because I feel like a crazy person most days. Time will tell.

We are accountable for your results. If you come to Wild Training you will get results you can see and feel and enjoy. You just need to be willing and ready to make something happen.

The Wild Training systems have been tried and tested for years and there are examples of every type of person that have transformed their lives with our programs. Young ,  old , thin , fat , fit , unfit , amateur or pro athlete.

Our systems work, but more than that they really will help you enjoy fitness. We love what we do, but you don't get born loving fitness. You learn to love it because you get to experience how rewarding challenging your body is and seeing your effort get you the results you want.

We will show you how to love exercise and enjoy it as a regular part of your lifestyle. Come and train with us for a week. If after a week you don't believe me, and you don't think Wild Training will work for you then we will give you the money back for your week trial.... but I bet you will be as excited about coming to your next Wild Training session with us as I will be about seeing you come back.

You don't need to fit in to a system. You should never have to do that. You are an individual. Fitness is more than getting results. You don't have to be judged on your strengths or weaknesses. You can just love exercise. Love activity. Enjoy its rewards on your own terms. Be part of a positive network of friends that you regularly share fun with.

If you are thinking you don't like exercise... you might just be looking at it the wrong way. It's a guaranteed way of getting more out than you put in, as long as you do it for you, for your reasons.

 

 James Griffiths, Founder of Wild Training

Why choose Wild Training

What we do

  • Give our staff the best training in the industry
  • Give our staff customer service targets
  • Develop all of our own personal training and group exercise programs
  • Give all our members nutrition, lifestyle and motivational support to ensure they get the results that want.

 What we don't do

  • Give our staff sales targets
  • Ask for large joining fees (because our business model is based on keeping members, and not making money out of signing up new members)
  • Sell sugary brownies, drinks and other snacks. We promote health, not junk food.
  • Get our staff to clean our gym. We pay professionals to do that, so our staff have more time to do what they have been trained to do, help you LOVE getting the best results possible and having the most fun getting them

The evolution of the gym industry

Spend some time reading about exercise history and you start to appreciate that using movement to challenge ourselves physically, improve health and fitness and enjoy the psychological benefits exercise brings is something that has been going on for a long time. Ancient Greeks were rocking out fitness around 2500-200 B.C.

The fitness industry as we know it now evolved out of body building in the 70′s. The Arnold Schwarzenegger’s of the world created a trend through the Mr Olympia competitions that swept across the world. Quickly gyms reacted and started to be fitted out with heavy lifting weights and machines.

In the 80′s Jane Fonda started the aerobics craze that saw studio classes become so popular. So yes you got it gyms, started to get built with big aerobics studios so that a variety of classes could be delivered as part of the service offered.

Photo by Serghei Starus/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Serghei Starus/iStock / Getty Images

Then in the 90′s a volume business model that started in America started to be replicated across the world. Masses of cardio equipment like treadmills, cross trainers and stationary bikes were put in to gyms. This cardio equipment was also introduced with a huge range of fixed path resistance machine like chest press, leg press and lat pull down machines.

This set up allowed gyms to increase their member numbers in to the 1000’s without needing an army of instructors. All of this equipment was non skilled based exercise that people could use with little to no experience or understanding around exercise systems or movement technique.

I don’t think that’s a good thing. Movement is a skill. Understanding how your body works and how react to different stresses is important to understand how to get the most from our training. Back in the day if someone in the gym asked:

“How much can you lift”, the response would normally relate to a clean and press. A highly skilled whole body power lift.

Now if someone is asked the same question in the gym normally they are referring to simple exercise like a bench press.

The industry stopped exercise being a skill where people developed their ability and knowledge to enable them to change their lifestyle for the better and build on their physical performance. Members could now go in to a gym and get no advice about training, not talk to any staff or instructors, but perceive that “They are going to the gym and they are getting fit”.

Then we seemed to stick to that combination for years. Cardio area, Fixed path resistance machines, Free weights, Aerobics studio. That’s is how 90% of the gyms in your area are set up.

The fact is in the UK just over 12 percent of the population have a gym membership and less than 10 percent of gym members get the results they want. That means that roughly 1 percent of the population are getting healthier, which means the gym industry, my industry, is failing badly.

Since I started my journey in fitness my only goal has been to improve that figure. I’ve seen gyms operate sleeper policies where if a member doesn’t come in for 2 months then that members is taken off the mailing list so they aren’t reminded they are paying the gym money each month. I’ve seen health clubs install Ben and Jerrys ice cream vending machines.

I’ve seen enough to give me unlimited motivation to create my own brand in Wild Training and do it differently, against all sorts of challenges and resistance from people not liking the idea of change. I know it’s the right thing to do, and all my members would agree as Wild Training has changed hundreds of people’s lives now, but more importantly we’ve helped those people fall in love with regular exercise which is the key to what makes Wild Training special. I won’t compromise this approach.

My question to most people that question the Wild Training concept is this:

“What would have happened if the gym industry evolved from sports?”

Team sports like Rugby, lifestyle activities like dancing, action sports like rock climbing… martial arts, gymnastics, surfing, skiing. We live in such an exciting world with so many different ways to express ourselves physically. These kind of activities all have a few things in common.

  • THEY ALL NEED A LOT OF SPACE
  • People start doing them, and carry on doing them because they are FUN
  • They often have really interactive communities and become very social
  • Sports don’t focus on one thing, but a range of skills and fitness types
  • Often a sense of competition or challenge creates extra motivation
  • They all deliver real results, real fitness for everyday people

Bottom line. Sports help more people maintain their health than the gym industry. This is why Wild Training Gyms are set up as open plan training areas to replicate the sort of environment that these activities take place in.

 

Athletes train to get better at their sport, not better bodies, and they achieve both…

…Gym members train to get better bodies, not better at sport, but don’t achieve either

Train like it’s a game!

 

Gyms are starting to set up functional training areas full of equipment that encourages exercise based on movement and interaction. We are seeing more gyms setting up open plan areas to allow more versatile training systems to take place.

Many gyms are still missing opportunities to help members get results and show them how to enjoy exercise as a consistent part of their lifestyle.

The business model of most gyms is still based on the model of personal training that started to grow in the 90′s. Personal trainers are the most experienced, most skilled staff the gyms have. They start off working gym hours while building a personal training business and then eventually stop the gym hours and just do personal training. In this way gyms encourage their best staff to see less members.

Gym instructors are on the gym floor all the time and see a lot more members than personal trainers, so the gyms least experienced, least skilled employees, see the most members.

Why would you want your best staff seeing the least members?

Personal trainers must become coaches so they can help more members achieve the results they want. Offering different services will help personal trainers see more members. Gyms will achieve greater member interaction, which will increase attendance of instructed sessions and improve member retention. Members will benefit from better training and having more fun with the exercise they do.

At the moment Gyms focus on the least effective components of results based training. This is why such a low percentage of members get the results they want.

 

Least effective

Low intensity cv – gyms
Low intensity aerobics – gyms
High Intensity progressive training – PT
Nutrition – PT
Mind set – PT

Most effective

 

With our model gym members would be offered more services from the most experienced staff with the most effective components of results based training and therefore more members would get the results they want.

If gyms evolved from sports then our facilities would look very different from the traditional free weight, cardio, studio plan that nearly all gyms have.

Urban Strength Training is a system of exercise and a facility set up that Wild Training developed through our experience with working with a massive range of clients with a big range of goals. Elite athletes, my mother in law, young, old, fit, fat, injured… we’ve helped a lot of people.

Three things are constant in all sport, activity and life. Your body, movement and gravity. These are the three things that make Urban Strength Training suitable for EVERYONE, no matter the goal, and it's how Wild Training ensure that the training our members can do in our facilities will transfer to everything that they enjoy outside of the gym. That’s how we deliver more value for our members.

Space to run, jump, swing, slam, throw, lift. Staff that are well trained and experienced in helping members develop new abilities and knowledge. A social environment where members are encouraged to interact with staff and other members to get the most enjoyment from their exercise. Now you are starting to picture a Wild Training Gym.

Wild Training members can come in to our gym and train in their own Urban Strength Training area, giving them plenty of space and all the equipment they need to complete their training session.

That means our members never have to worry about overcrowding which right now is one of the biggest complaints we hear around the gym industry.

Our trainers run regular, free of charge, training workshops where everyone in the gym is invited to join in a 10-minute workshop on a specific piece of equipment or on a goal specific training method.

We help our members with their training and we create monthly video programs for our members so they always have exciting new workouts to do.

When members join our gym we get them to do 10 hours of training, either through specific group exercise classes or an exclusive half price personal training offer, so that we have the opportunity to teach them how to use the facility properly, and how to get the most out of the time they commit to their fitness.

Combine our Wild personal training systems, Urban Strength Training with the Wild Training group exercise classes and the other group exercise licenses we have created, and you see our members get an unreal range of training to enjoy.

 

As a personal trainer people want you to deliver change:

“I want to change my lifestyle”

            “I want to change my body”

                        “I want to change my routine”

Well, the Wild Training Gyms are change. It’s how we believe the gym industry should work. To properly serve its members not with what they think they want, but what we know they need. Come with an open mind, a positive approach to putting energy in to get positive energy out, and we will deliver the change you want.

 

READ our "1 Month of running a gym" blog HERE

James Griffiths

Director of Wild Training