P360 DNA: 10 Guiding Principles Over 10 Years (Part 1)

Over ten plus years it’s natural that you’re going to experience evolution of many different kinds. While we are always looking to make improvements at the boundaries of our training and class experience, the inner heart of what’s guided us has remain untampered with for over ten years. This is relevant to you the reader for two reasons. First, it’s useful to illustrate the deliberate nature of our existence which in turn explains how and why we aim to benefit you. Second, it’s helpful to directly explain the path towards where we’re continuing to go, and specifically where we aren’t so that you always know exactly what’s in store.

In part one today, we’re going to cover one through five, and here they are.

#1. We’re a Gym
Mind blowing lead statement, we know. But with more “studios” and “fit clubs” popping up it’s important to outwardly remind the community of our identity. P360 is, and will always be, a gym. Not a boot camp studio. Not boutique fitness. You won’t ever find neon black-lit workout rooms and microphones, or spending our dollars on DJs for classes. We’re coaches, not running bottle service at the Aria.

#2. 4-Way Strength
Your strength has been our primary focus since our first class on April 19, 2011. One area where we might differ from other options is that our version of strength is likely not as narrow. For example, strength on the barbell, what we all think of first in most cases, is just one of the four ways we develop strength daily.

  • Absolute – Maximal strength via low-rep barbell lifts.
  • Relative – Strength as a factor of your bodyweight. Bodyweight movements, rings work, high rep lifts.
  • Explosive – Plyometric movements and resistance performed at high velocity like the partial Olympic lifts, slams, swings and jumps.
  • Functional – Mirroring life demands. Unilateral (single leg/arm) training, carries, etc. 

All four dosed to some varying degree each cycle so that the main thing will not stop being the main thing.

#3. Reps for Goal
You’ll always have some form of choosing what suits you. Some of our members prefer to train with a strength bias (heavy, low rep) while others like to focus on a physique bias (moderate, high rep). Both are possible in many classes, and there is no wrong decision other than the one you don’t want to do. After all, who we are we to say exactly what you need? It’s all part of our efforts to individualize the group setting in support of our belief that every human will benefit from three things:

  1. Getting stronger
  2. Having less body fat.
  3. Having more muscle.

It’s like a buffet. We put out the ingredients, you build your plate. Whatever combo you want out of that is yours.

#4. Abilities > Calories
Never will this be the goal, primary metric, or focus. Forget for a minute that all measureables are universally lying, it’s just a flat out irresponsible way to judge the efficacy of a training program if you care about developing strength or muscle at all. It’s simple, indisputable, and we can prove it: Your watch calculates the calories you burn in a workout as a product of your heart rate and a process called ‘pulse oximetry’, whereby they use infrared lights to calculate blood oxygenation. The higher your heart rate, the more calories you burn, and since your heart rate will always be highest when you are moving quickly and sweating profusely, this means that fast paced workouts are most effective, right?

Actually, not in the slightest.

First, this does not factor in development of strength and muscle. Both training outcomes burn fewer calories in the present according to blood oximetry, but significantly more calories longer term because:

  1. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
  2. Strength training releases physique friendly hormones (anabolic).
  3. Over-extended cardio sessions release the opposite (catabolic).

These are as scientifically indisputable as gravity. Enjoy the sweat. It’s a great feeling but it’s a byproduct not a goal. Never forget that if you want less fat and more athletic muscle, you need to focus on what’s in your hands, not on your wrist.

#5. Principles Over Variety
Repetition and frequency work, and they work well. They are basically the Will Ferrell and the John C. Reilly combo of the training world, only they go by the terms “periodization” and “progressive overload”. While our training carries with it over 800 varied movements that are always rotated in and out of different cycles to keep things fresh, we do believe very much in doing effective things habitually. Big, loaded, compound movements performed regularly will always trump tons of movements performed randomly. Be prepared to perform squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups, rows, presses, and cleans routinely and without prejudice.

We try to emulate the great steak houses. Sure, there are other things on the menu where you say, “Oh, look at that.” But you’re really just there for the prime rib.

Part two, here.