To have a successful gym in today’s competitive environment, it’s key to distinguish your box in some way. How will Deuce Gym be different from other CrossFit gyms?
I’m not ignorant of the fact that there are now 7,000 CrossFit gyms in the world. However, I’m a firm believer in the power of quality and its ability to sustain virtually anything. We’re a school of fitness that just so happens to practice CrossFit, and I think we’re more or less trend-proof. As long as human beings are trying to improve their physical and mental capabilities, I think we’re relevant. I don’t feel like I’m in competition with anyone. That being said, there are definitely things we’re doing to ensure that we’re valuable to people in our community.
Like, for example, your specialty programs?
Yes. Let me explain the mechanics of the school. The main curriculum is GPP [General Physical Preparedness], and we practice CrossFit to do that. But in addition to that, there are specialty courses that make us unique. There are eight-week courses in specific domains, like Olympic weightlifting, endurance, barbell strength and the sport of strongman. This stuff is rare. There aren’t many gyms that have strongman as an offered modality or even Olympic lifting. So people who aren’t really interested in CrossFit are finding out about these unique offerings and can still come and train at our gym.
The name of your gym doesn’t have the word “CrossFit” in it like most other affiliates. What was the reason behind branding it this way?
First of all, I am extremely grateful to the CrossFit community, and we are affiliated. But you have to look really hard to find the word “CrossFit” in our gym and on our website. And that’s because, for me, this thing has to be bigger than just that, and our school is. The context is, when you’re coming in to this place, it really is like a house of learning. It’s more than just a gym, and if we don’t set that context correctly, people are subject to missing the point of the thing. In regards to the branding, I would hate for someone to walk by or see our website and think they have a single clue what it is that we do in there.
Your Venice, Calif., location has a rich fitness history, what with Muscle Beach in the area. Do you have any old bodybuilding photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the walls?
No, we don’t, but there’s some of that Muscle Beach element here because a large part of our gym is outdoors — it’s like this garage with a giant open door that goes out to what we call “the yard” — and people have barbells out in the sun and all that. So it’s pretty cool, and it does feel like that Muscle Beach thing.
Locations: 110 S. Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
Number of members: 70 and growing
Number of Coaches: 5 (3 GPP coaches, 2 specialty coaches)
Years in Operation: 0 (Deuce Gym opened July 29, 2013)
Facility Size: 1,100 square feet inside; 3,800 square feet of outdoor training space
Membership Fees: Call (310) 450-3969 to inquire.
More Information: DeuceGym.com