The gym is just that: a gym. With that being said, there are probably dozens of gyms across America that look very similar to Vitality. The gym is in a warehouse with high ceilings, painted walls, and rubber floors. Sound familiar? The space is small, and the equipment is basic including all of the necessities: barbells, bumper plates, slam balls, kettlebells, pull-up bars, stationary bikes, stationary rowers, upright ski machines and some squat racks.

I started vitality out of necessity, and confusion. The gym officially opened in January of 2010. I had been training at a larger gym for several years with friends, and with a trainer for a brief period of time. I started to desire more from my experiences and with a single visit to another gym witnessed some very unfavorable things within that one hour. After having that experience implanted in my brain I questioned what it really took to own and gym and be a trainer. My excitement led me to look for a space. Initially the space was to allow me to exercise, and possibly some others that I knew.

The first year was confusing. The first year was frustrating. The first year was eye opening. The first year was necessary. During the first year of operation I allowed friends to train with me, and to train others. I trained family and friends, and due to one full time job and another part time job neglected my own training in order to start a business. That sacrifice does not go overlooked today. I gave up a years worth of energy to build what is today. Sounds silly, but that was the best thing I could have done for myself, and my clients.

In the beginning, workouts were workouts, overtraining was a huge problem, explanations were missing, mechanics were overlooked. Work hard all the time, reach failure, and lay on your back was not only an option, but also the standard. Was this my client’s mentality, or was this me lacking understanding? It was the latter. I had overtrained myself for years, and was on the path to do the same for my clients.

Only time allows for the learning curve to finally settle. Since 2010, the lessons have been learned by my clients and crew. By no means has the learning stopped, but the most important questions have been answered. The finer details will always continue to surface.

Very few people who were with the gym in the beginning are still part of my life. Since opening the gym, a select few people have really allowed my knowledge to expand. These people know whom they are and are rewarded with a better understanding of fitness and themselves.

Far too often we look at the aesthetics of a gym and make a judgment. A huge gym with brand new equipment will typically always be referred to as being superior. The gym itself means nothing to me. At this point there are literally hundreds of gyms that look similar to one another. All of these gyms have the same equipment, which is most likely purchased at the same online site. The utilization of the equipment and the body in and out of the gym is what is most important. The application of proper mechanics, rest and recovery is what creates a strong individual – not the gym.

Vitality is just a gym. I have learned the necessary lessons in order to fully commit myself as a coach. These lessons were learned in and out of a gym, which I will forever value.