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Fitness program focuses on building strength and community

Fitness program focuses on building strength and community

As featured in the Spring 2020 issue of The Executive, an online magazine featuring members of Gwinnett Chamber’s Chairman’s Club. 

 

As early as 3:45 a.m., a group of people from around the world log onto their computers, ready for an intense, live hour-long workout session. These “campers” are a part of Camp Gladiator, a fitness program that runs in four-week cycles without any brick and mortar locations. Prior to March 2020, the program operated exclusively outdoors in parks, businesses, churches, schools and other community facilities across the country. Now it offers more than 10,000 live virtual fitness classes a day through its online platform.

Camp Gladiator started in 2008 and opened its first locations in Georgia in January 2020, but as social distancing and shelter-in-place orders were issued due to the spread of COVID-19, Brian Hicks, Camp Gladiator’s area director for Norcross, Peachtree Corners and Dunwoody, said that the company quickly changed course to meet its campers’ needs. “We are wherever there are people,” he said. “If people are out and about in person, that’s where we are. Now most people are doing things virtually, so that’s where we are.”

Hicks explained that Camp Gladiator took a vision plan that was two to three years away for creating online content and made it a reality by revamping their entire program and web platform in 14 days. “Our business model is made to pivot,” he said. “We can find a way to adapt to any situation and continue to provide you with a healthy lifestyle.”

Camp Gladiator is currently offering a 6-week, $39 promotion open to anyone in all 50 United States and 11 other countries that gives members access to all the program’s virtual classes. “You’ve got nothing to lose except 10 pounds,” Hicks said.

Hick answered questions about Camp Gladiator’s unique business model, how things have changed in the last few weeks and how the company’s focus on community remains intact.

What is it that makes Camp Gladiator different from traditional gyms and workout programs?

One thing that makes us unique is the convenience factor. We start as early as 3:45 in the morning for those people who need to begin work early and have classes as late as 8 p.m. for those folks working swing shifts who still want to get their workouts in. Members actually have better access to classes now than they did before. With our online platform, you can choose any class from any trainer across the country. You can pick and choose when you work out based on your life and schedule.

But I think the main thing that makes us stand out has nothing to do with fitness – it’s the community aspect. People come for the amazing workout, but they stay for the community. Everyone feels like family, everyone feels like they’ve known each other their entire lives.

Why did the company choose not to invest in more permanent locations?

Uber became a successful transportation company without ever buying a car. So, we looked at that model to consider how to reduce costs but have the same impact as other companies. We looked at gym memberships, which are on the rise, but so is obesity, so clearly brick and mortar gyms are not the answer. We tried to find the solution, that one factor that is key.

Getting people outside and active was one way to change the dynamic. Being active and outside with no building and no equipment also keeps overhead costs down and makes our program affordable for the average consumer. Now, we’ve redesigned our program for small spaces, still using minimal equipment and still fostering that sense of community while other brick and mortar gyms have had to close their doors.

What kind of workouts can an attendee expect?

Our program has a four-week cycle where we focus on functional training, whether it’s endurance, strength and agility, power explosion, interval training, stability, core, and even peak performance training. Our workouts are also different every single day. Every trainer makes their own workout, so you will get a different feel, but the end goal is the same. We focus on the seven primal movement patterns – push, pull, squat, lunge, hinge, twist, and gait. These are movements we make every day as humans, so our workouts enhance those movements.

And our program is for the everyday person. It’s not made for any specific demographic, it can be tailored for anybody, whether you have a disability, an injury, or you are a former navy seal, you can do the same workout, just modified. We call it “options for success.”

Creating community seems to be an important aspect of Camp Gladiator. How do you foster that fellowship?

We start with relationships. We start with shoutouts, with getting to know you and giving you time to get to know us. You really have a true friend with how tight our group becomes. By doing that, by giving campers a sense of community, they start to invite everybody they know because they want them to be a part of it as well. Relationships are everything. We aren’t just looking for the workout; we’re looking to change a life.

One thing that has not changed since going online is the sense of community. In my opinion, it’s gotten stronger. Our workouts are still fully interactive, you can see everyone working out with you. We’re still talking about the positive things in workouts and in life. Since everything is virtual you can also plan to work out with friends or family who are sheltered in place somewhere else and hang out. You can hold each other accountable.

We also try to be “net givers” within our community, which means we try to give more than we receive as a company. In the past we have gotten involved in community races, we’ve done community clean-ups, and we’ve raised money for hurricane relief, Toys for Tots and other causes that are important for the particular community we are in. We’re always open to helping in any shape or form. We do so much more than working out. We’re 1,000+ trainers looking to impact people’s lives. That’s just who we are as people and as a company.

As a new Chairman’s Club member, what value have you found in the organization so far?

With some of the things we’re trying to accomplish, it’s speeding up the process. It’s connecting us with the right people and opening some doors that would have taken us a lot longer to open in other ways. We’re trying to make sure we can maximize the benefits so when next year comes around we can pitch to the CEOs who are part of our program how beneficial the Chairman’s Club is.

For more information about membership, the 6-week fitness challenge promotion and virtual corporate classes, please visit www.campgladiator.com.

Fitting Fitness Into the Executive Lifestyle

As one of Camp Gladiator’s area directors in Gwinnett County, Brian Hicks has been both a personal and group fitness trainer for more than 10 years. Working with all kinds of clients, he has some specific pointers for those challenged with making fitness a part of their demanding c-suite lifestyle.

The first step should be defining the reason you want to work out or make it a priority. “If you know what your ‘why’ is, that will jump start your motivation,” Hicks said. “If you don’t know what your why is, you’re always going to put it off.”

Next, Hicks said to keep it simple. “It shouldn’t be a task to go work out,” he said. “It shouldn’t be stressful to find a workout.” That’s one reason Camp Gladiator’s program is so popular. With thousands of classes and trainers available online, chances are there’s a time that will work for you. Hicks said the convenience of flexible workouts can help eliminate scheduling stress for busy executives. “Our classes start on time and finish on time, there’s never a lag, never a delay,” he said.

Once you’ve defined your “why” and found a workout that works for you, stay on track by putting it on your calendar. “Make sure you don’t just put it in your head and try to remember it. Put it in your calendar and hold yourself accountable,” Hicks said. “Working out is just as important as a meeting or family time.”

Fitting Fitness Into the Executive Lifestyle

As one of Camp Gladiator’s area directors in Gwinnett County, Brian Hicks has been both a personal and group fitness trainer for more than 10 years. Working with all kinds of clients, he has some specific pointers for those challenged with making fitness a part of their demanding c-suite lifestyle.

The first step should be defining the reason you want to work out or make it a priority. “If you know what your ‘why’ is, that will jump start your motivation,” Hicks said. “If you don’t know what your why is, you’re always going to put it off.”

Next, Hicks said to keep it simple. “It shouldn’t be a task to go work out,” he said. “It shouldn’t be stressful to find a workout.” That’s one reason Camp Gladiator’s program is so popular. With thousands of classes and trainers available online, chances are there’s a time that will work for you. Hicks said the convenience of flexible workouts can help eliminate scheduling stress for busy executives. “Our classes start on time and finish on time, there’s never a lag, never a delay,” he said.

Once you’ve defined your “why” and found a workout that works for you, stay on track by putting it on your calendar. “Make sure you don’t just put it in your head and try to remember it. Put it in your calendar and hold yourself accountable,” Hicks said. “Working out is just as important as a meeting or family time.”

 

Written by Heather Collins. Photo courtesy of Camp Gladiator. 


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