“I only want to train elite athletes”

When I opened Starke almost six years ago I had a goal in mind. I wanted to help people of all ages and abilities realize that they’re capable of more than they think.

It’s easy to get trapped in daily routines and habits. It’s easy to do what’s comfortable and consistent and it’s easy to avoid change because change is scary.

From time to time I hear from some of our younger members on how training has helped them make a team they’ve been trying out for or how it’s helped their confidence and allowed them to try something they’ve never done before.

I hear from adults that training has given them the ability to do more with their kids, have more energy, be more productive throughout the day and their sex life has gotten way better (FYI. some things don’t need to be explained). I’ve also heard how some have gained confidence to stand up to the office bully / douche bag or apply for that position they’ve been wanting at work.

A while back I had someone say to me “Don’t worry, I won’t be stealing any of your members, I only want to train elite athletes”.

That made me think of the past. I used to train somewhere that focused mainly on competitors. If you were a fighter, you didn’t have to pay for your membership. If you weren’t a fighter you had to pay.

Looking around I realized that a lot of the gym consisted of fighters. People would walk into the gym off the street to inquire about membership and would stand there for up to 20 min without any contact.

Many times I would go up to them and talk to them about training, the facility and get them to come in for a free class. It was sad to see but the gym didn’t last. It was a great place to train and a hell of a lot of fun, but putting a major focus on the “elite” wasn’t helping.

When I think back to that comment from the affiliate owner and what I saw happen with the gym I was competing out of, I think about how narrow minded it is and all the amazing things you would miss out on, or what your potential members would be missing out on.

Hearing things like “I made the team”, or “I haven’t been under 250lbs in over 20 years” or “I went to the Doctor and now I’m off my blood pressure and diabetes meds” or one of my favorites “I haven’t been able to do this in over 20 years”. These are all things that you’ll miss out on limiting your scope to working with “elite” athletes. Hearing things like this reminds you that you know you’re changing lives for the better.

My goal has always been to train anyone wanting to get better and willing to put in the work. I’ve had client’s say that some trainers wouldn’t take them on because they “didn’t fit their criteria” or “were too old” or “weren’t the right age, gender, or body type”.

At Starke we don’t care if you’re seventeen or seventy. If you want to learn more, lift more, move better, and take your quality of life to the next level we’re here to help. If you want to become the best in your craft we can help with that too. We’re willing to support you no matter what your goal, you just need to be willing to put in the work.

Paul Dyck