People don’t stay at our gym just because of our workouts. I would like to think that we have awesome workouts, and perhaps this is what initially attracts people to FMU. But ultimately what keeps them, is our rock solid culture.

Culture can be a big word and hard to conceptualize. Webster’s defines it as “a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization.” It can be even more difficult to figure out how to build it. Sometimes it just happens because of who you are. For a long time I didn’t even understand we were designing and constructing an FMU culture.

Are there action steps you can take to build a strong sense of identity, that then results in a strong sense of connection and bond that people never want to leave?

I sat down to think about it and came up with three concepts to reflect on:

#1: Culture is built by what happens on your walls.

#2: Culture is built by what happens inside your walls.

#3: Culture is built by what happens outside your walls. 

Let’s dive into these concepts a little bit more.

When someone walks into your facility what do they see on your walls? I agree, sometimes I don’t have time for it either. But looks matter, and I have to fight to squeeze in extra time to get those decals up, or hang a picture in the lobby, or chalk paint that prayer wall. These little things that people see automatically affect how they feel about your culture. Thankfully, I have amazing people who even help make these little things happen. That’s the tight-knit culture that’s developed at our gym.

Here are some things we have on our walls at FMU:

  • Our life motto right on our wall when you walk in, “Life Is Not About You.”
  • A prayer wall.
  • Some of our favorite scriptures hanging in our bathrooms.
  • Our Be Great 8 principles.
  • Pictures of our family and some events in the lobby.

I recall a powerful moment during an adult workout one time. I downloaded a playlist from itunes right before class and didn’t have time to test it out. During a song the music stopped and the vocalist decided to shout out the loudest swear word imaginable. Some people in the gym stopped and teased, “Oohhhhh Theoooooo!”

The fact that they noticed this was huge. It’s an unsaid but said thing, we play clean music during workouts. We don’t swear at or with our clients. The air is clean and people do notice.

What’s happening inside your walls can encompass a lot of things. Here are some things that we do inside FMU that helps build a strong culture (a lot of this may apply to our kids programs):

  • We have our own “I Will” chant.
  • We do champs of the day.
  • We buy custom apparel with our logo on it regularly.
  • We have #champion wristbands that kids earn.
  • We have a challenge board that kids write their name on after they complete challenges.
  • We have an FMU Records wall, that is currently under construction.
  • We do challenge workouts or partner battles (makes people work together).
  • We do Gamechangers of the month.
  • We occasionally do customer feedback surveys.
  • We play clean music and there’s always Coach Theo’s Christian rock, hip hop, and alternative songs mixed in.
  • The vibe is positive and encouraging.
  • Coaches and clients drop their egos at the door.
  • We keep the gym as clean as possible.


I used to spend 50% of my time in the community either running programs, speaking to groups, and/or participating in charity events. I did not do this as a tactic to build my clientele. I just did this because it’s what we believe in. The result just so happens that it built a huge following. And the progression is that you get people from your community to get involved as well because they love to be a part of things bigger than themselves too.

So whether it’s getting together for service projects, running 5k’s together or organizing fitness events, FMU always has something going on in the community.

Here are some things we do outside our walls:

  • Organize our own charity events like our Youth Ninja Championships and Hitman Challenge.
  • Became the biggest sponsor and supporter of a local 5k race Smiles For Sophie Forever.
  • Run our School Youth Rock The Challenge Obstacle Field Days at 7 local schools for thousands of kids!


I just gave away a lot of secrets to the success of FMU.

I hope that you can take these ideas and concepts and implement them into your own facility.

Who knows, if you change what’s happening on your walls, inside your walls, and outside your walls, it may just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.


Coach Theo