On having a vision

In the previous post, I introduced the Styrka logo and talked a bit about our branding concept. It's important to me that the branding reflects our vision for differentiating ourselves from the myriad of gyms, fitness centers, boot camps, and others crowding the commercial fitness market.

Sometimes I've walked into a corporate facility, and it feels like the goal of the gym is to dazzle its members: We have all the latest, high-tech machines! We have a cardio room with a movie theater! We have a spa and a coffee shop! At the other extreme are some of the smaller 'hardcore' gyms, where there are lots of heavy weights and the music is loud, but cleanliness, amenities, and equipment quality seem like afterthoughts; Metroflex, for example — the Texas-based gym famous as the home of retired 8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman and several other IFBB professional bodybuilders — was also famous for having rusty equipment, dirty floors, and no air conditioning in the hot Arlington summers. 

Still other gyms approach layout and equipment choices like a college graduate in their first apartment. "This couch was my roommate's. The table? Hand-me-down from my parents. Got the coffee table at a garage sale." Sometimes gym equipment is purchased simply because it's neat to have it — not because it fits with the concept of the gym. Contrast that first-apartment mindset with an Ikea display kitchen: every piece is carefully chosen for its complimentary aesthetic and unique function, and it's all designed to fit together.

Styrka is meant to function with that exact kind of uniformity. The limited space of a small, locally-owned gym means that rows of machines are out of the question; instead, as much equipment as possible must be multifunctional. Some movements are difficult to replicate with free weights, so a handful of carefully chosen machines will compliment the more versatile equipment such as power racks, deadlift platforms, pull-up bars, modular benches, dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls. And instead of being overstuffed with bulky machines, Styrka will feature an open floor plan with plenty of space for functional movement and training. 

We also want to make our community of fitness enthusiasts feel at home. Cold bottled water and clean towels will be provided at no additional charge; a comfortable lounge area will provide a place to relax after a tough workout; a spacious, newly renovated shower will be perfect for busy professionals on the go; a kitchenette with mini-fridge, microwave, and granite counters will allow our members to enjoy their home-prepped meals. And above all, we're dedicated to keeping our gym clean, organized, and easy to use.  

Of course, none of this would matter if we didn't take our equipment seriously, which is why we are settling for nothing less than the best. Our equipment includes barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, plates, benches, racks, and platforms by Rogue Fitness; plate-loaded and selectorized equipment by EliteFTS; Concept2 rowers; and much more! Better still, member orientation classes will give our members the chance to learn all the different ways our equipment can be used. 

Our opening in January of 2016 is just around the corner; the next two months will certain be busy for us, but we can't wait to show off our finished concept. We're confident that we will capture the best elements of modern elite fitness in a clean, upscale, community-centered environment. 

Mike Doolittle