Calling Tyler Durden – Again

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This is a repost from last January – I laughed and reposted it.


"Sticking feathers up your butt doesn't make you a chicken." Tyler Durden

I recently had a conversation with a couple of CrossFit affiliates about training, coaching and running an affiliate. There is a universal fear that someone with a lot of money will come in, buy some equipment and start a new business, market the crap out of it and drive us mom and pops out of business. Generic fitness is no threat, except to anyone really wanting to be fit.

I was cleaning and organizing, prepping for a seminar for Hockey Coaches. I was moving some dumb bells while considering what to talk about, what is important for them to know. It occurred to me that anyone can buy a dumb bell, Concept 2, GHD, some bumper plates or whatever else and start training. So, why do people go to gyms at all? It is cheaper to purchase some equipment once than training with a professional. I guess there is the rub: what is a professional? The reason to train with a professional is for programming. Most movements we and the rest of the affiliates do are readily available at with some instruction too. Supply your own coaching and intensity.

Why do people pay for something they could do on their own? It is simple: they won't. Can people do what we do? No.

Most of my clients are some sort self starter in their own right. I would bet most people who come here would get some training on their own, probably be able to do most of the movements and get a decent workout. Something changes when you line a group of people up together and have them compete against the clock. Notice I said "the clock". The stop watch is who you are competing with. I digress.

We regularly run classes with 15-30 people depending on the time and what people's work schedules are doing. The reason people come to us is how we organize and deliver the training program. When people come in, they are organized, warmed up, equipped and then taught skills to do the workout. They do the WOD then they are warmed down - all of it in an hour and all without any need for creativity or thought. Each training session runs between $10 and $15 per training session depending on the package of training. Note: I said training session, not class.

How to do programming: The key and essential difference between us and what most everyone else does is programming. We run a seven day per week training program. It isn't a workout, it is a training program with clear objectives, standards and measurement. Think about how to create a systematic training program that generates work outs that are so broad and diverse we rarely repeat a workout. We usually repeat benchmarks so we know how effective the overall training program. It is an apples to apples comparison so you know if things are effective. There is only one measure of effectiveness that matters, performance. The crunchy and fleeting feeling of blissful nirvana after an 30 minute isometric contraction leaves people wanting, Pukie never let's anyone down. Again, I digress.

The programming challenges people to perform multiple exercises that are non-isolating at a level of intensity considered to be dangerous outside any circle that does not require high level fitness performance to be a part of their job description. (Professional athletes and warriors) There are many unsupported anecdotal and ignorant ideas floating around that just won't die. (Socialism, Communism, most isms and so forth) Anyone with half a brain will be leery of a fitness magazine touting a workout right next to the ad for the same workout. Or that might just be me. Good programming is not a fad, it is a life's work. Magazines are great sources of amusement, not training programs. (Why else would they dupe people into buy them by putting half naked she men on them)

So, how to get people into the said hard-charging and ever evolving program? Here is the hard part. We once allowed people to come to a class, try it and if they liked it, they could join. Doing it was like sipping from a fire hose. The dose is so intense that people never come back. You don't stick your toe in the lava to see if it is hot. I would run into people all the time who had tried a class and were so sore they couldn't walk for a week. (I think that shows exactly how ineffective what they were doing is)

It is hard to know the value of what we do without someone trying it. So let people try it? Why would someone pay $200 per month for a membership when the globogym down the street, literally, charges $40 per month? You get what you pay for. Programming and effectiveness is expensive and there is a professional involved.

Many different options of helping people step into the program are under consideration: private training first, one class free, one week free, an orientation class and so forth. It comes down to if the human being is made of the right stuff for what we do. The training is hard and will get people results. There is no doubt. We live in a society that seeks the latest gratification and band aide fix for most problems. Our program is not a quick fix. It is not a short term solution to those fat thighs. It comes down to one way of knowing if you belong in the program: You come back.

Our training program produces people who are strong, capable and skilled in many, many different aspects of fitness. There are a lot of high performing specialists out there, they are called insects. Specializing in one single area of fitness makes you weak in all others. On one extreme is the ultra endurance athlete. Here is a simple question: Do you want the ultra marathoner to have your back in a scrape? No. How about the super strong power lifter? He might be a help but he is too tired when he gets there. How about a balance between them? I think we all know the answer.

The only real requirement for being a part of HyperFit USA is to have the character and diligence to work hard to refine the things you are good at and open mindedness to work harder to overcome the things you suck at. How do you know you suck at something…you avoid it. At all costs. This is where we live, stamping out weakness. We address our personal discomforts full on and at full speed with eyes wide open. There is no beaming out of this one Scotty.

We use real words like "suck," "fat thighs," and "butt." We don't hide our mistakes, we revel in them. They show us how much further we have to go toward evolving. Stumbling is no reason for embarrassment, sitting your fat ass on the porch and making excuses is.

What does this all have to do with Tyler Durden? There is no budget, no advertising, no spin doctoring what will make up for a bad product. Putting a t-shirt on that says you are a trainer or calling a thing super-thin-your-ass-lift-your-chin and make you strong doesn't make it so. You can dress up a pig, it is still a pig. The question is: does your pig dance?

In Tyler we trust…