This past Friday was a pretty exciting day for us. We received a shipment of two, 500lb rolls of turf, right at our doorstep. Well, actually, not at our doorstep, as the truck wasn't able to fit down the lane (we're located in an industrial complex); so Chris and I were stuck carrying the rolls off the truck, through the parking lot, and into SAPT. I'll pretend we did it flawlessly, and I'll also pretend that Chris didn't have to make up for being stuck with a guy that deadlifts >100lbs less than him. Needless to say, we spent the entirety of our office hours (11:30am-3pm, betwixt the morning and afternoon appointments), rearranging the facility and laying down the turf. The most tedious part of the entire process was getting rid of a giant sandbox we had in our facility:
A special thanks to Carson and Trevor for helping out with the labor, too.
The turf is awesome for a few reasons:
- We can finally utilize various bounding, sprinting, and various movement training drills that, before, weren't possible on the concrete.
- It creates a larger lane for farmers walks, crawl variations, and sled pushes. *strokes evil beard*
- The coaches don't develop a minor case of plantar fasciitis each week from standing on concrete all day.
This was especially exciting for the SAPT staff, as turf is something we've obviously desired for a long time, but haven't been able to prioritize it. Being a small business and a true start-up (no investors, etc.), we've haven't had the luxury of buying copious amounts of equipment and "toys" from the get-go. As such, we didn't initially purchase the turf because:
- It's crazy expensive
- It wasn't necessary to have in our facility in order to deliver results.
Heck, when SAPT first opened, the freaking power racks (a staple in most gyms) didn't even arrive for a few months due to a delay in shipment. All SAPT had to work with was a couple tires, medicine balls, towels, kettlebells, and a **ladder. Nonetheless, we continued to grow in the midst of a struggling economy (in which people were cutting out their "luxuries," including gym memberships), bring in more clientele, and deliver results to the athletes and adults that trained with us because the gym equipment doesn't really matter.
In fact, in the past two years alone, we've seen multiple performance centers go out of business in the northern Virginia area, despite the fact that they were able to open with all the turf, TVs (really???), ropes, sleds, machines (again, really???), free weights, and square footage imaginable. Eric Cressey actually just discussed this very topic in his recent article: Why the Gym's Out-of-Business and the Porn Store's Thriving.
Delivering results and creating a favorable training environment has never been and never will be about the equipment, toys, and gimmicks available. A good coach can run an awesome training session with the use of only the person's bodyweight. A bonus would be to throw in a sturdy resistance band and medicine ball!
There's really no substitute for a coach that possesses genuine care and sincerity for his or her craft, and also knows how to get it done. This means giving the clients what they need, individualized to each person's strengths/weaknesses, treating them as an actual person (as opposed to a means to an end), and giving them an enjoyable experience in the process.
Anyway, I say all this because, while turf would be included in many training facilities from the start, we went pretty long without it. As such, it makes it all the more exciting, and I love appreciating the things that are often taken for granted.
So, to those of you that train with us (and didn't come in over the weekend), enjoy the sensation of soft, luxurious grass under your feet the next time you walk in!
**The ladders were used for pullups (by grabbing one of the rungs). No, I'm not kidding.