While on a trip to Vancouver British Columbia to teach a TRX course I had some free time and was able to meet up with some friends that run the Twist Conditioning facility in the area.Peter Twist calls Vancouver home and this location was the first he ever opened. I first saw Pete speak at an IDEA event in 2006 and have been a fan of his ever since. Through Combine360 I have been fortunate enough to spend a good amount of time with him and his team that run a number of their 5 locations. I was thrilled for my “view behind the curtain” at the flagship facility of one of the pioneers of modern fitness industry. During my day there I was able to observe a school group of 30+ male and female soccer athletes run through their weekly sports performance program. Be taken through a one on one workout with one of the newest members of the Twist conditioning team training staff. Be a “special guest” assistant coach to Dean and Kyle as they worked with one of the top junior hockey teams in the nation which included jumping in on some hill sprints with the boys at the end of their workout (in Vibrams). I saw so many things that were truly inspiring;
Engagement – there are no traditional machines or cardio theater in a Twist facility. The workout I observed with the school program was amazing for 2 reasons; in a group of 30+ middle school kids the behavior and organization was amazing simply because they were mentally engaged in their activities. They were using speed ladders and performing complex drills that required all their attention, they were engaged and having fun not watching the clock. The coaches were just as engaged, helping them and explaining drills that were tough not just standing around and babysitting.
Coaching – The whole Twist philosophy is not centered on how many members can we get in the door but how can we have the most impact on each individual person. They have strong requirements that there is to be at least 1 coach to every 6 athletes (young or old). It was amazing to see in large groups how much attention each individual athlete received. You could feel how connect each kid was to the coach and the team even though there was a large group; it was also very cool to see the performance benefits that come with that much attention. Kids were making improvements during the workout because of the watchful and attentive eyes of the coaches.
Systems – My workout with Simon was a great workout even though he was brand new to Twist Conditioning because Twist provides per programmed workouts for all their programs and sessions and teaches their trainers how to take that blueprint and fit it to individual athletes. Simon has Pete and his team’s 20+ years or programing and training experience in his corner so he could just focus on delivering a great session and connecting with me. This also brings consistence to the experience; I know I will be getting the same quality and methods of training from trainer to trainer and location to location.
When put it into perspective, looking at the facility and the programs from a point of view of 20 years ago is was unheard of and outrageous. No cardio theater? No machines? No come and go memberships? I most admired the fact that 20 years ago Pete saw a better way to do something and instead of “doing what he was supposed to do” for following the norm he did it his way. I can’t imagine how hard that was then and how much resistance he encountered but he believed it in his heart that this was a better way to impact athletes young and old, 2 decades later the rest of us are starting to catch on.
Twist was one of the brave trailblazers that helped pioneer a new era in fitness and now it is our opportunity to take their revolutionary ideas and continue the movement of change.They have empowered us with an idea and a living example now we are responsible for taking the reigns. I am not suggesting that we all model our business directly after a Twist Conditioning site but there are many great lessons to be learned from what they do day to day. The greatest lesson of all is keep your minds open to new ideas. 20 years ago Pete did not listen to an industry that told him “the best way” to train athletes. He saw a better way and followed his heart and his passion to create it, we all have the opportunity to take those same steps everyday.