In life we must make many lines in the sand. We have to pick what we will specialize in. We have to pick which people are going to be the most significant to us. We have to pick where we will live. We have to pick which struggles we choose to endure.
There are many types of people here at GHP that we have served over the years. I’ve coached folks from 6 year old track athletes who just learned how to run in a straight line, to 20 year old quidditch players who happen to be athletic Harry Potter fans, to a class where the average age was about 63 and most had a hip or knee surgery.
It’s a joy helping make peoples’ lives easier. As the business formed an identity and was not just 25 year old me blindly figuring out where my next dollar was coming from, I’ve had to become specific about who we are made for and open about who we are not for. Being able to be as effective as possible means being more narrow in focus. We certainly accept all, but are made for few.
My experience has taught me that if you can prove to be really good at one thing, people who are not it, but close, will still value that experience.
Or as I’ve learned in marketing, if you try to speak to every market, you speak to none. But if you speak to one, you attract many.
Seems paradoxical, I know. I find life is easier to accept when you realize many things seem paradoxical. Fun word. Paradoxical. Oh yeah, so serving.
With this piece, take a look at who we serve, what we help them achieve, and the birds eye view of how we do it.
First and foremost, I have a big focus on being able to help youth grow into adults. At GHP we generally take kids starting at 11, sometimes 10. Having quality adults in the life of a kid beginning to come of age is immeasurable for them. It has been for me. The parental influence seems to become lesser in scope & more about general support between 14-24. Social lives and exposure grow as relationships become increasingly about common interests. For myself, I’ve had various advisors and elder peers help me figure out situations that those who raised me didn’t have the experience/expertise to do so.
So in a way, coaching, becomes an vessel for me to help young people grow up. The lessons that can be learned in sport and training are deep and can last a lifetime. And I want to be someone who young people can say and believe cares about them, paying it forward for the many people who have poured into my life.
Sport wise, we specialize in all things running & weightlifting. We are often a kid's first weight training experience and aim to teach them how to get it right safely and effectively the first time.
As a former track athlete and having been coaching track since 2012, it’s something I know as well as anything I know in my life. And it allows me to know how to make any running athlete faster and last longer in their sport. 2 of our other coaches ran college track and Coach Benny actually was a college track coach before GHP.
Speed is speed. I work to be an expert in that.
Having attended 3 college track signing days, even getting to be the coach who signed for one letter of intent, were some very touching moments for me to be invited. I’ll cherish them for decades to come.
Secondly, we serve adults over 45. They tend to be, but are not always, the parents of the aforementioned athletes. I have grown a joy in helping people with aging bodies continue on strong. I find it very impressive, and inspiring of hope (I’ll be 30 soon), to see people in middle age have thriving athletic careers.
One of the members here, Michele, inspires me as she will be 60 this year as is pretty much my competition in 10K and half marathon races. She cruises through 7 & 8minute miles like it’s nobody's business! She consistently wins her age group in nearly every race. I want to be like her in 30 years. She very well may still be winning races then.
Back in Austin Texas, I worked at a gym that had mostly people in their 50-70s. Many other trainers treated them really softly. But in working with D1 athletes at UT, all I could think was training them like they were. So I did. I taught a 9am group class where most of the attendees were in their 60s & we did plenty of weighted exercises and had some intense sessions. I even had them learn to do some olympic lifts - lighter bars, not 45lbs.
I had one of the biggest lessons of my career then as well. Doing rotational training and anti-rotational training (bracing more or less) helped tremendously with resolving much of their lower back and hip pains. Most people rarely work on this in their training and so those involved muscles and movement patterns are undertrained. It’s a key focus in our training at GHP.
Weak bodies hurt more. Many bodies don’t do well side to side or rotating.
At GHP most of the adults though are in their 40s and 50s. As I enter a stage in my life where I am learning what it means to be in a family unit, I admire seeing how all of the families that flow through here operate. I also appreciate the advice of people in this age group, they so willingly give it. I love seeing how parents and kids enjoy activities together. I enjoy the parents finding time to take care of their health and performance.
Lastly, our last major population of people are young adults between 25-35. Most are very much like me. Playing an adult sport seriously. Or they at least just don’t like how their joints feel compared to 10 years ago. A significant chunk of the adults here play ultimate (frisbee). Speed and time effective weight training are things that many active adults tend to not be able to know how to train and incorporate.
I do. So they come to GHP for that.
Train like a powerful athlete to be a powerful athlete. That’s not running 3 miles and bodybuilding.
What is it that we do?
Help our athletes improve their athleticism to have more fun in their sports and activities. This helps them well, win & compete at their best. Winning and competing at a high level makes things more fun. Even life overall improves if the activity is that important to them.
We do that by getting athletes to be more powerful, increase their resilience to injury, and improve how well they move. In person or virtually, we get the job done.
I believe in having a life changing experience with the things that I do, and extend that to others. Relationships are profound experiences for us as people and aim for my business to reflect that. Because of that, we coach 1:1 or in small groups.
Many of our members have been with us for many years. The secret to making GHP work is having members be a part of our family for 3-6 years. I have a pinpoint mission to serve kids through middle school and high school. This fulfills the desire to deeply impact families and the people of the future. And well, for the bottom line it helps us not be constantly needing to cycle through new people. The best business is long term business. Our retention is in the mid 90% month to month. It’s a win for our core value of impact to people and community. A win for our members who have a coach who really knows them and their body over the years. A win for the business with a steady base.
One last major aspect of what I’ve built GHP to hold is our belief in minimum effective dose. That means we do what’s necessary and not more than that. The vast majority of who we serve have a primary activity that’s not lifting weights, so we do what’s needed to increase performance.
We don’t make people tired and beat down just to make them do it. We make them better, which often involves them getting tired.
More is not always better.
That said, we train focused and intensely.
Our training plans are personalized and focused on having primary strength movements, plyometrics for explosive power, auxiliary work to support muscle and joint strength, and rotational work to keep the spine and hips healthy.
Who doesn’t thrive at GHP? People looking for a gym they can workout at 5 days per week for vanities sake. People looking for a quick weight loss program. People looking for a general class style workout they can do. I’ve done these things, but that’s not how I want to serve the world.
We are intentionally not built to serve those needs.
So there you have it. Who we serve, what we help them achieve, and the birds eye view of how we do it.