Breaking the Mold: How We Are Evolving Fitness

By Coach Manny A.

My primary focus during work is constantly analyzing the fitness industry. I reflect on its shortcomings, how we reached this point, the implications, and the potential for progress. Additionally, I contemplate ways to enhance the experience of each client at NorthEast CrossFit. Due to my commitment for continuous improvement, I avoid adhering to the same standards for extended periods. I constantly push myself and my team to provide the best solutions that align with our mission, vision, and beliefs.

One topic that has occupied my thoughts, particularly over the past two years, is how we can deliver optimal fitness and health solutions to our clients. I firmly believe that the most common fitness offerings, in their current form, have significant flaws. Most fitness practices do not tend to result in offering the very best for each individual client.  Although the current fitness offerings are commendable, each one falls short in some way, which is why people often fail in their fitness journeys. I am of the opinion that gyms, or whatever we choose to call ourselves, have been unsuccessful in creating a largely effective and valuable solution for clients at large scale.

The primary issue is that most existing fitness solutions primarily focus on exercise. However, we are aware that in order to effect real change, we must address what we do the other 23 hours of the day. In addition, group fitness (although valuable) is an incomplete approach since it requires that a person have a minimum ability to move their body with freedom and an absence of injury or other limitations.  Personal training is inadequate (and often unsustainable) due to its high cost and the lack of accountability beyond the session. Program design falls short as it necessitates a foundation of training, education, and significant individual motivation.

Acknowledging the major flaws in each of these offerings that can greatly discourage and frustrate clients, I have contemplated ways to improve. I constantly ask myself, “How can I create something that is valuable from the client’s perspective, cost-effective, and delivers the best results for those who need it most? Can we combine the best attributes from each offering while avoiding their drawbacks?” I believe I am onto something pivotal.

To achieve a solution that provides all the benefits without the flaws, we need to offer more than just exercise. It should empower clients to change their behaviors, motivate them to prioritize their well-being, and meet them wherever they currently stand (physically and emotionally). This solution must hold value, inspire them, and be nearly fail-proof. It should be capable of adapting in real-time to address the challenges and obstacles that arise in a client’s life. It should also be an approach that (although an initial investment) moves the client to a place where they are fit enough to select less intensive and less expensive fitness modalities. While I haven’t finalized the name for this solution, let’s refer to it as the “Complete Fitness Package” (CFP).

The CFP will incorporate the best elements of personal training, program design, and group fitness. Clients will meet with their coach for personal training sessions 1-2 times per week, depending on their current fitness level and goals. However, these personal training sessions will differ from the typical sessions. Each session is designed to provide feedback, accountability, necessary assessments, education, and technique guidance. Exercise itself is not the main focus of these sessions. After each session, the coach will provide program design, which will not consist solely of exercise protocols. It will incorporate lifestyle practices, nutrition, and any other relevant factors necessary to achieve the client’s goals. Program design can be conducted independently or in a group class setting, whichever approach sets the client up for the greatest success. The CFP will be delivered in three phases:

Phase 1: Baseline
The initial session(s) will involve creating the client’s fitness profile through goal setting, various assessments, and an in-depth exploration of the barriers or obstacles that have hindered their progress. Once the fitness profile is established, the rest of the session will involve outlining the plan, teaching the necessary exercises, and providing the education required to complete the program design, whether individually or in a group setting.

Phase 2: Progress
Subsequent personal training sessions will begin with a 10-15 minute feedback session. This will involve giving and receiving feedback on the previous week’s program design. Together, the client and coach will review what worked well and what didn’t. Based on this feedback, an action plan or focus plan will be created. The remainder of the session will consist of exercise instruction and education to complete the program design, whether individually or in a group setting.

Phase 3: Autonomy
As the client progresses and gains confidence, personal training sessions will be scheduled as needed. The frequency of these sessions will be determined by the client’s progress and their level of autonomy. The client and coach will decide whether to transition to program design only or focus solely on group fitness. It’s worth noting that program design can include group CrossFit sessions.

To my knowledge, this service does not currently exist. It encompasses all the elements necessary for ANYONE to achieve their health and fitness goals. I firmly believe that the CFP greatly minimizes the likelihood of failure since it takes every aspect of the client into consideration. It was essentially born out of the flaws inherent in the existing offerings. The CFP enables us to truly meet clients where they are, allocate time and space to listen to their needs, provide the necessary education and guidance for informed choices, and adapt and adjust in real-time to any changes they encounter in their lives. I am super excited about this concept as it incorporates the best attributes of existing fitness offerings while eliminating the possibility of clients falling through the cracks or falling short. We have been testing this new solution with several members, and it has proven to be extremely successful thus far, boasting a 100% success rate in terms of progress. I am thrilled to begin offering this solution to more individuals.

We are still in the testing phase and want to work with more people using this solution. If you would like to learn more or are curious about how this can benefit you, please email me at

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