Here at Ardent Fitness, we've never been about the "status quo."
Since the beginning we have always been growing and improving the way we approach fitness coaching in order to bring about not only the most effective results but also create a sustainable picture of fitness. The goal should be results that come quickly and to stay improving over time.
When we first started stretching out and cooling down after class, structured cool downs were not a thing. "Who wants to use part of their 60 minutes to worry about recovery and longevity? That's boring."
When we implemented single arm and single leg work, most in the "functional fitness" scene were still touting back squats as the savior supreme. "Why would we want to be balanced side to side? That doesn't make you strong. I want to lift heavy weights."
When we first implemented tempo work, it was largely unheard of to try to lift slow on purpose. "Why take care of joint health and create a better mind-muscle connection?"
When we put our foot down that strict gymnastics strength was important because it saves joints and started asking individuals not to kip until they reached a requisite strength level, we made some people angry. "How dare you look out for my safety and try to help me become a stronger human being?!?"
When we first implemented our Individual Design program, there was big pushback because the story had been sold to the masses that group fitness is the answer for everyone. "What do you mean 'their own program'? Are they too good for us?"
None of these ideas were of our own creating, and it was scary to implement them. Change is scary to be a part of, and I'll argue even scarier to be the one implementing it.
Each time we made one of the aforementioned changes the stress became apparent in my sleep patterns, eating habits, and definitely in how my workouts felt. My mind was scattered because I was wondering "Is this right? Did I just break a good thing?" The answer was usually yes to both. By and large, every change we have made through the years has made for a better product for our members and a safer, more inclusive, longer fitness journey for everyone around.
On the flip side, it would have been easy to never change. "If it ain't broke don't fix it" could have been applied, but it would have been selfish. To continue to provide a service we know could be improved upon just because we're scared of change would be not only selfish but also highly irresponsible.
We are at another - and probably the biggest - change to come to Ardent. We are doing away with our standard group classes in favor of a more personalized approach. (See our "Why I Fell Out of Love With CrossFit" post or even check out our program descriptions on the website to learn more about that new class structure.) This scares me, and twists my heart up. I have kept my wife up for nights on end while I talk in my sleep, having nightmares about members I consider family leaving because of this change. I do know however, that I am more sure of this change than any of the previous and each of those turned out for the better.
We're moving forward. We know in our heart of hearts that this is the next genesis in the fitness industry and we are willing to lead the charge to providing a service that truly serves an individual's fitness journey. We know there are people out there burnt out or scared of group class. We know that each individual has their own "corners" and to try to fit everyone into a group class where they do the same work is like putting a square peg in a round hole. We know there are gym owners out there reading this who are grasping at straws to provide a better service, create careers for professional coaches to stay long term, and maybe finally pay themselves a respectable wage - or even at all.
We're taking the plunge.
It won't be for everyone. Some people are fine doing the same type of group class that generally hasn't been improved upon since 2012. If that keeps you happy, healthy, and pain-free, great!
When you decide you want a path that truly honors you as an individual and serves your purpose, we'll be here.