I loathe corporate gyms. Why? Because they hire anyone. Sure, that guy at the front desk is really nice, but does he actually care what you do at the gym that day? Nope. He cares that he has two baskets of towels to roll before his shift is over.
I want to have a gym that behaves like a community. I know it's possible. I've seen it happen with my tri team, BodyPump, the GW GroupEx staff...and it's alive and healthy at my Crossfit gym, and I'm confident that this isn't because of the activity - it's because of the staff.
You see, a lot of gyms see running and owning a gym as a money maker. What if we stopped thinking about profits and started thinking about gyms as life changers (eww how cheesy was that?) But truly. Think about it - would you rather go to a gym with all the machines and stuff and friendly staff or to a gym where all your friends hang out, who want to know where you were last Tuesday, how that big project turned out at work? I know what I'd choose any day of the week.
At my dream gym, the entire staff is full time (if they want to be). Fitness is their life. And the people who would want to work there would want to know who you are, what you're trying to accomplish, and what's going on in your life.
When the Real World moved into DC and disrupted my quiet street, I was irritated, but when they finally moved out, I dreamed of having the money to buy that massive house and turn it into a gym.
In reality, what I need is a two part gym:
The Dirty Side
If I have a dream gym, Chadd is clearly a part of that picture. Ninja warrior stuff all over the place. Nothing says awesome like an adult jungle gym. The space is nearly identical to what you need for Crossfit. So, that's an easy add. Put an indoor 400 meter track around it for track practice. Epic. I can see so much awesome happening at the same time in this space.
The Svelte Side
I can't give up my love of Spinning and my budding interest in yoga. I'd have a spin studio and a yoga loft (yes, loft. Yoga District is killing it with their beautiful space in Dupont. Serious zen). On top of that, let's go ahead and put in the VERY basics (mats, balls, bosu, weights, a couple cardio machines), but hell no, we are not using weight lifting machines. More often than not, those encourage terrible form and injury. Three training studios - rented out to trainers who want to have a home for their services.
The Pool Side
Obviously. And I'm going to ensure that Victoria oversees it and the Masters program.
The Dream Extras
Trainers: Trainers will greet you when you walk in, ask you what you're working on that day, if you'd like help with anything, and will be easily accessible when you want to talk to them. Trainers will be on the floor at all times - and included in your membership. You get a monthly, free one-hour workout with a trainer of your choice.
Membership Levels: Tiered membership levels allow for drop-in rates, passes, area-specific, and all-inclusive. No contract.
Nutrition: Nutrition is the most ignored part of every gym. In a fairy tale world, I'd convince my holistic health counselor (info on my resources tab) to move to DC and run the nutrition program. The gym would have a full demonstration kitchen with frequent cooking classes, nutrition seminars, and specialized counseling available - once a month, one hour sessions included in your membership.
Clubs: Clubs are so underrated. Remember how awesome it was to be in a club in high school or college? Triathlon clubs (clearly, I'd convince Coach T to take over this part), Running groups 5k to marathons, yoga groups, you want it? We'll start it.
Social Events: Why can't a gym have a happy hour? Club mixers? Competitions? Clinics? Let's do it.
Definition: an activity, situation, or way of life
regarded as irresistibly engulfing