The following post is part of a small series about the connection between education theory, business, and what it means to make the world a stronger place.
The rules of the game in our industry (the fitness industrial complex) are shit. I’m here to change them. I’ll get deeper into details in future posts. But let’s start with an instructive story. 🙂
“Squat Nemesis Nick Horton” is by far the most widely searched for term that leads people to our different sites.
Squat Nemesis is a great program, but holy heavens! Having a name like that makes my marketing job a whole lot easier! It just sounds… cool.
I only wish I could claim that I came up with it. Or that it was even invented by a human. The truth is: it was invented by an Android!
In the beginning
One day, back when I was still in Portland, I got an email from this guy from North Carolina: Cliff Dyer. He asked if he could come by PDX Weightlifting (the gym I owned) when he was in town. He was a Reed College Alum, and was coming back for a college reunion.
“Is there a drop-in fee”, he asked.
There was one. I normally charged $30 per day. But I told him no.
But he seemed so genuine. After all, if he came 3 days that week it would cost him nearly a hundred bucks. It seemed rather outlandish for a guy to be milked out of $100, when he was so keen on coming to see what we do and be a part of it.
From barbells to beer
I was wrong. Cliff didn’t come 3 days… he came EVERY day for the entire week, training for nearly 3 hours per night!
- I helped him with his snatch
- He hit a PR (or 5)
- Beer was drunk
- Fun was had
Over the next year or two he came out to Portland many times, and even brought his (then) girlfriend (now wife, see below), who is also a lifter, an awesome person, and a competitive arm wrestler. (Cliff has good taste in humans.)
What began as a simple drop-in visit, turned into a real friendship between like-minded people — One that has only gotten stronger.
The christening of a squat program
Eventually, Cliff hired me to help him get his squat up. This was smack in the middle of the early days of Nemesis, and I used him as a test subject.
We spent a fair amount of time going over details, texting back and forth. If you’ve ever tried to talk programming over text, you’ll quickly realize that the medium wasn’t designed for such topics.
During one of these texting convo’s, he sent me a text that contained the term, Squat Nemesis.
He’ll have to tell you what it was supposed to say. But his Android phone didn’t care about Cliff’s intentions, it had literary — and historic — intentions of its own. The Android corrected Cliff’s text and sent me what I instantly knew was a name I was going to steal and apply to the program that was coming out of the work we were all doing.
Squat Nemesis, the baby born without a name, was finally christened.
The butterfly effect
Imagine that. The program, and the name, that I am now most closely associated with — that forms a HUGE part of our current methodology — was the result of an auto-correct!
Ah, but it doesn’t stop there. Eventually, I ended up having my first date with Tamara at Cliff’s Wedding… Tamara and I merged our respective businesses, and have now expanded Weightlifting Academy into one of the most widely known Oly lifting sites in the world: with Nemesis at its core.
All because I didn’t charge a drop-in fee 🙂
LESSON: Never think small
Now go lift something heavy,