The League is an elite training facility based in Houston. Here, founders Terry and Ashley Williams explain how they create their programming, how they build community and the one piece of advice they wish they had when they first started out.
1. How did you build your S.T.A.C.(K) training method and brand?
Terry, our lead instructor, started out training with athletes, and he came up with the idea of translating complex athletic drills into modifiable
pieces that work well for casual fitness enthusiasts. The phases are key, because they give the workout a sports practice type of flow and guarantee a well-rounded workout that’s customizable to all levels and easy to understand.
2. What were your best resources while refining your method and brand?
Being geeks helps us a ton! Of our three instructors, Terry and Val each hold master’s degrees in Health and Human Performance, and Marlee has instructed fitness classes at two universities. That’s a lot of research! We’re continually brainstorming ways to remix the training secrets of
elite athletes into an everyday group fitness class, and then teaching these drills over hype music in a social atmosphere.
3. How do you diversify your workouts so that no two sessions are exactly
alike? Where do you draw inspiration for new routines and techniques?
Here’s an inside look at how we write programming and ensure no two classes are alike: Each instructor submits his or her ideas for a week’s worth of classes. Then, we hold a revisions meeting in which instructors present their ideas at the mercy of each other’s critique and revisions. What we come up with as a final draft shows up as the following week’s programming.In doing this, we make sure that every class is a solid mix of fresh, new collaborative ideas. We draw inspiration from the training regimen of athletes. We work with a few pros in house, and research the routines of others.
4. How did you choose your location for the studio?
We wanted to be a part of a growing community, near a lot of the city’s sports arenas. This goes hand in hand with the athletic theme of our brand. And the skyline view isn’t too bad either!
5. How do you navigate teaching clients of different fitness
levels/capabilities in the same class?
Our unique format is very modifiable. One example would be our two-tiered system, offering “standard” and “pro” options on every movement throughout the workout.
6. How did you find high-quality instructors? What does their training look like?
We looked for people who have every bit as much smarts and compassion as they have enthusiasm: well-researched, friendly people who can connect well with people and inspire them. Our training for prospective instructors includes an internship period where they take classes and then co-teach, learning our training format and culture before taking on full instructorship.
7. How do you attract new users? How do you retain users?
Word of mouth is huge. We have a lot of fun in social media and enjoy sharing entertaining and informative content, but our biggest draw remains the ability to form authentic relationships with great folks who are kind enough to tell their friends about us.
8. How to do you reconcile ClassPass users and full-time members?
We’re all about community. ClassPass users are welcome and considered family! Clients likely don’t always know who is ClassPass or full time; it’s just a group of people encouraging each other to get better during each workout.
9. How has your experience with ClassPass been so far?
We love ClassPass. It’s been great for our visibility and getting the word out. We are grateful for all of the new faces it brings into our space.
10. What advice do you wish you could give to yourself when you first
started The League?
Stick with your core competency. That thing you do well, do it well! You can always outsource the others.