What happened to my Gym?

I know for a fact, when you walk into the gym today, it seems NOTHING like the gym you walked into in the beginning of March.

Tons of people, new equipment, feels cramped, etc.

I want to explain why, and what happened, and how it turned into this in what felt like a matter of days – because it kinda did, and it wasn’t expected for us either.

Like everyone else, we closed down the end of March because the world was scared of Covid-19.  A few days later, the governor mandated gyms closed, and we did close, for almost 2 months.

In that time, we lost 30% of our members almost immediately.  But what you don’t know, is leading up to that Month, we had already lost 40% of our members compared to the previous October, and it felt like nothing we did was working to bring in new people.  It wouldn’t have seemed readily obvious because people left slowly, but it amounted to a staggering number in lost revenue from October to March.  Something about this gym, its style, its layout,  and most importantly the location, left a very niche but dedicated market for people who wanted small group strength and conditioning.  And it wasn’t enough to survive on – and when COVID hit, we thought we were royally fucked, excuse my language.

In the beginning of May, we decided to let members come back in and work out with 24 hour open gym.  We were tired of Zoom workouts, we know you were too, so we opened it up to come work out.

At the end of May, on a Friday, we expected to be allowed to open with restrictions as part of Phase 2, but were unexpectedly kicked back atleast 5 weeks to phase 3, along with bars.  I was annoyed, to say the least.  We were struggling heavily as a business going into this, and had no way to save ourselves, and even if we were allowed to open, how the hell were we gonna sign people up and save our asses?

The next monday, they made an announcement that breweries and wineries were allowed to open as an exemption to the rule about bars.  Because they make it on site, they can open.  What in the flying fuck – in that moment I realized this wasn’t about safety anymore.

I put an ad up for open gym to try and get a few bodies in, since we already had members coming in for open gym and didn’t feel comfortable returning to classes yet.

What happened next, I would have never, ever predicted.  People came FLOODING in.  They loved the gym.  They loved the setup, the music, the equipment, the feel and vibe.  It was literally an ENTIRELY new thing for us as staff – we were so used to people coming in who didn’t want to work out, didn’t want to pay, were scared of the gym or literally just didn’t care about it.  To go from that to people who can’t wait to use it?

And they didn’t stop coming – we had more referrals in 5 weeks then in the previous 2.5 YEARS.  Not because we are open – people signing contracts to stay.

I say all this to tell you we didn’t enter the quarantine with this planned, we intended on continuing on as scheduled, but falling into this showed me there was a market for what we had here, just not for the exact service we were offering.  People that love to work out and love quality equipment and a cool vibe didn’t want to do classes – I learned that.

So the big question, what is our future?

As I am sure you guessed, I Cannot shift back to a business model that was failing and sacrifice the potential we now have.  I feel invigorated again, like what I spent my entire life building has a future, that it has a market that WANTS this.  Not a market that I have to try every trick in the book to sign up.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you for joining as a member, staying on as a member, and that we aren’t going to do everything we can to continue to serve you the best we can – because we are going to.

There is a business model called OPEX Fitness – they offer essentially an open gym / personal training hybrid model that is very successful.  What it is involves you working directly with a coach to get a custom program that is specific to your goals.  You then do that program under coach assisted class hours – the coach is there to guide you, answer questions, watch your technique etc.  It isn’t a traditional class with a basic program – the program is yours based on your ability and goals.  Coach assisted hours are blocks of hours a coach is here to help you – you can come anytime in that block to do your workout (or come with other people and work as a small group).

We are going to copy this model for you – except OPEX charges $399 a month for this highly personal model of fitness, and we aren’t going to do that.  We are going to instead LOWER your rate here at the gym, to $139 per month, for everything.

Instead, because you stuck with us through this transition, and because we still want you as part of the family, we are going to give you:

  • 24 Hour Open Gym
  • 1 PT / Strategy Session Per Month with a Coach
  • Customized Program to Do – Assigned on SCP
  • Access to all coach assisted hours (6-10am, 4-7:30pm) to come workout and get help from the coaches, just like the classes
  • An OG Only party – Sometime in August
  • And, we are going to drop your rate to $139 per month.

I really, really hope this is enough – and I do want you to know this wasnt our INTENTION to transition, we never wanted to break up the core community we had, eliminate classes forever, we didn’t want to break up the foundation of what was Archetype Strength.  But if we didn’t accidentally fall into a pivot that saved our asses and brought in a much larger community of people who LOVE the gym, and just don’t want classes, Archetype wouldn’t have existed much longer anyway, and I would have faced personal financial collapse.

You may have questions about this PT Program, which we are selling to new clients at $249 per month because it is very time intensive, but I urge you to try it.  You will enjoy having a custom program, the new equipment we can now afford, the expanded hours and flexibility to workout with a plan whenever you want – it is a very successful program that a lot of gyms have implemented.

This program will Start this WEDNESDAY.  We will begin setting up your training sessions, as well as getting programs to you via Strength Coach Pro, and Coach Assisted hours start WEDNESDAY at 6am.

Alternatively, if you would like to drop to open gym only, that is also an option and is available at a lower rate as well.

To make the adjustment to your membership, PLEASE CLICK HERE so we have some guidance on what we can do best to help you!

If you have questions, please text me or call me direct at 9195259328.

Thanks, you are the best.


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