I spent the first 12 years of my career training folks in large commercial gyms, and they always seemed weird to me (the gyms, not the folks). The industrial lighting, the machines and treadmills, the vanity-focused marketing (“Look better for summer!”), etc. It all seemed to reinforce the sterile, competitive, modern office culture we allegedly go to gyms to escape from. I didn’t like to train myself there. How did they feel?
Furthermore, the exercises I was having people do required none of this. Gradually I started sneaking clients out of the gym to do the same workouts but under trees, near streams, in natural light. Oh, the potential lawsuits! They loved it. Now, sure, when the weather wasn’t cooperating we’d stay inside but the workouts were the same. I didn’t use complicated machines, hardly any equipment at all. In fact, I took great pleasure in using the building itself – guard rails, staircases, etc. – to construct workouts that were not just tough but required more imagination to pull off. It led me to a simple conclusion:
Gyms, strictly speaking, are unnecessary. You can train anywhere.
Fast forward to today. At MonkeyStyle, our whole mission is to get our clients (we prefer “students”) to view the whole world as a place to train and explore movement. To use whatever is around them to produce the same, if not higher, level of fitness they might at a “proper” gym. To this end we’re launching the Gym It! video series, where I demonstrate rigourous full-body workouts using everyday objects, “gym”-ing them instead of paying money to sequester myself inside yet another box.
Our first video – Curb – is up now. Enjoy!