It's Your Gym's Time to Declare Independence

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it

Let’s cut to the chase this week. We’re going to lay out a plan, one for box gyms, one that will provide an alternative to the existing business model of affiliation that, frankly, we believe is not in the long-term interest of the owners. And, to be clear, it’s not a business model but a process that has been successful in changing the technology world. A commitment to doing things a better way that leads to advances operationally and in processes that directly improve business opportunities (there’ll be some links to the tech world at the end of this post if you want to see where we’re coming from).

First, we will define the box gym. Then, our Box Gym manifesto, how it works for box gym owners, and how they can leverage it for their own benefit.

Definition of a Box Gym

There are only 3 things you really need:

  1. A location. It can be your garage or a 30,000 sq. ft. warehouse. Size is not relevant; overhead, methodology, and physical location are

  2. Your box gym devotes over 80% exercise floorspace to individual and group workouts, not equipment. In other words, it is the kind of place where there are lifting platform, racks, bars, and floorspace that is easily usable for free training. There is no right or wrong set up but the emphasis is going to be on functional fitness, general preparedness, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, bodyweight, kettlebell, gymnastics and many of the other training modalities that are outside of the norms of a typical globo gym

  3. You own the business and can speak on its behalf

The Manifesto

You are willing to sign your name as endorsing the following manifesto. As is. Signing on means that you’ll be able to use the My Box Gym logo, post the manifesto on your premises and online presence, and most importantly, you really want to try and promote the principles contained herein.

1)     My Box Gym will never discriminate on the basis of people's color, creed, religion, sexual orientation or ability

2)     My Box Gym will provide training, workouts, and programs that are safe, effective, and enforce positive outcomes for everyone

3)     Group classes will always provide modifications to accommodate participants who are not able to perform the prescribed exercises with the proper form

4)     Coaches and trainers will not demean, denounce, or call out their members and their peers in public forums showing respect and professionalism towards all

5)     Coaches and trainers are committed to sharing best practices so that everyone can benefit from these practices

Why Participate Instead of Compete

You get to be independent, run your gym as you want because it is you, and you alone, who can determine what happens in your business. However, you are part of a greater whole. It is better to have a 1,000 committed Box Gym owners signing on then 10,000 opportunists. This is about long-term change and a definition of the business model that will make it easily promotable to the general populace.

We have always felt that the coaches and the training is what makes a Box Gym successful. Not the affiliation. Signing on to the manifesto is a commitment to doing things the right way, and working towards evangelizing Box Gyms so that you never have to worry about about explaining who you are, what you do, and what you stand for.

Most importantly, we hope that we can create a group that advocates for Box Gyms, will provide them with a community that is focused on their needs, their problems, and helps them succeed because of who they are and not what they are.

We’d rather have you spend $4,000 a year on making your business better than paying to have a sign on your door. And, we’d like you to spend that money on yourselves and not on us because it’s your money and it’s your business.

How To Start

For now, until the My Box Gym website is up (mostly likely by the end of July, this month), you can connect with the alliance on @MyBoxGym on Instagram. It will remain a private profile for members only. it will be the best way to communicate and have discussions, for now. You will get a reply within a 48 hour window on DMs, even if it gets very, very busy.

The My Box Gym website will have a place for you to sign up to the manifesto in public, and will provide a listing of Box Gyms for the general population. That’s iteration one.

Hopefully, it will grow, in time, to be purely a handbook for consumers looking for a Box Gym. It will not become a health and wellness site. We hope that, in time, the site will be self-regulated by the community eventually.

How do we get there? Together.

Objectives? Inform, educate, and direct people to use Box Gyms.

If someone wants to find a gym where they can drop weights or learn powerlifting techniques then, we should have some idea of where they can go. If they want to know where they can train in kettlebell techniques, we are there. Even if they want to know where they can go to train for a CrossFit competition, that should be there, too.

The Tech Equivalent

Like we said originally, there is a precedent for this approach and that is the tech industry, namely the The Agile Manifesto. You can dig in deeper pretty easily because Agile programming is very well documented, and the Agile Manifesto is referenced in many places.

The important thing to know is that the Agile Manifesto was the underpinning of a movement in software development that is now the basis of almost everything that you see in your apps, website, and other applications. The stodgy, enterprise world of software development, the world of old tech titans, has been replaced by companies that now dominate the corporate landscape: Amazon, Facebook, Google, and many more. No one really owns Agile, but everyone has adapted its core principles.

In the same way, we hope that our approach to Box Gyms will reshape how gyms are viewed. That it will allow for creativity to flourish because individual coaches and trainers can rise up, unhindered by the strictures of franchises and affiliations.

It’s a starting point from which to take some positive steps forward.

And, Finally…

We’ll leave the final word to Rudyard Kipling and his poem If. He was no Marcus Aurelius but, hey, look hard enough and you might see yourself in a stanza or two.

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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