After 25 years, Athletic Republic still churning out athletes
For the athletes at Athletic Republic and the trainers who work with them, it’s all about the transformation.
Athletes will walk into the gym with a certain set of skills. Six or eight weeks later, they leave having turned into a different athlete. They are quicker, more explosive. They are better.
That’s the promise of Athletic Republic, a franchise of training centers with corporate offices in Park City.
Nick Gradinger, chief marketing officer, has seen it happen time and time again. He offers the example of a Park City lacrosse player who entered one of the company’s training programs well behind his peers.
"The kid had no business being on any sports field," Gradinger said. "And I have to give our trainers an immense amount of credit because the strides that he made in a six-week program were, frankly, mind-blowing. And we see that with all of our athletes."
But ensuring the company is positioned to guarantee athletes make the most possible improvements is a constant battle. With technology and science evolving since Athletic Republic opened its first location 25 years ago, remaining on the cutting edge has been important.
The company is always evaluating its programming to make sure it’s meeting the needs of every athlete, and the Park City gym serves as the testing center for everything implemented in the company’s other locations.
For example, Athletic Republic recently rolled out a new low-impact program, dubbed AR-Fit, designed for adults.
"That’s probably the most exciting new program that we have out right now," Gradinger said. "For someone in the adult population who wants to come out and get an hour-long workout and really go through a rigorous 60 minutes of strength and stability training that’s low-impact, it’s great. It’s along with people in their age group, and they don’t have to feel intimidated about any type of performance. You go at your own pace."
One of the keys to athletes at Athletic Republic seeing the results they want, Gradinger said, is the company’s ability to track their progress. Each athlete takes a baseline test to determine his or her starting point, then each workout is meticulously logged. That allows the trainers to view how quickly an athlete is improving, and to tweak workouts to fit each one.
But once upon a time, the technology that allows Athletic Republic to do that would have been unthinkable.
"Athletic Republic and our chief technology officer were at the forefront of this stuff," Gradinger said, comparing what the company does to the recent trend of tracking technology seen in Fitbits and smart watches. "We were garnering this type of information and aggregating it before anyone else was doing anything like this."
But in the midst of the technology and other advances that have shaped the fitness industry, one important element of Athletic Republic’s philosophy remains the same: the foundation behind the training methods.
"Over a quarter century, this programming has evolved through the ebbs and flows and the drastic changes in the marketplace of what’s hip," Gradinger said. "This training program has withstood the test of time. The fact of the matter is that, while we do listen to the prevalent trends and the science that comes out, the science that evolved from 1987 to 1997, the foundation of our speed training, is unwavering."
The Christian Center of Park City had a makeover last year, and its boutique felt it was time for one, too.