Culture: A Group of Leaders

When it comes to the success of DEUCE Gym, the element that is most often referred to is the culture. DEUCE has no remarkable amenities. The gym is quite small, not particularly clean, has no shower and just one small bath room. The equipment is neither new, nor is it state-of-the art. There is no hidden proprietary training regimen, either.

DEUCE Gym is by all accounts a replaceable resource with no tangible unique value. However, the tiny garage creates value unseen in the industry specifically because of intangible elements that create value. First and foremost, the culture is where the value is.

The singular, unique value that DEUCE provides better than anyone is the coaching experience. This drives the culture. If high performance culture is a collective expression of the teachable skill of leadership, then the stage is set a DEUCE Gym by the rigorous rite of passage known as Coach’s Prep.

This rite of passage builds asymmetrical trust and willingness in the system because it’s a time consuming, vulnerable effort that has a high attrition rate. Both experienced professional coaches and new coaching hopefuls alike must complete the process that is no secret to the entire community of members. This rite of passage then is an opportunity for a coach to opt into a longer, more difficult road to assume a leadership role in the DEUCE system when they could much more quickly and easily find work elsewhere.

These filters for trust and willingness allows those who enter the system to operate and communicate near their edges. There is a willingness to explore the uncomfortable, disconfirming areas of their coaching game and habits and there’s also a trust that one is safe enough to give and receive important information, albeit negative feedback.

These raw ingredients create a starting point to be a culture of truth. DEUCE Gym is obsessed with development and leans heavily on the trust and willingness to fuel that exploration. With the goal of having an entire team that has opted into and is capable of the teachable skill of leadership, then the culture can drive a sense of ownership and personal responsibility that simply outperforms having a powerful leader coerce willful followers.

This entire culture lives under the umbrella of the brand’s motto which reads, “Hold the Standard.” Often misconstrued, this motto has a mechanism of process built inside of it. The standard represents idealism, our peak potential. The reality of any vulnerable pursuit of this lofty goal is some imperfection. The distance between where we are and where our idealistic expression, then, is “held” by those in leadership.

This ownership of one’s outcomes, whether they are in one’s control or not, is the Northstar for the culture at DEUCE Gym. This creates a perpetual motion-like machine of curious, vulnerable adventure into how we can be better, which makes a pretty great company difficult to compete with today and even more so tomorrow.


Logan Gelbrich


3/4/19 WOD

2″ Deficit Deadlifts

Then, AMRAP 25
5 Box Jumps (30/24)
400m Run
10 Alt Renegade Rows (50/30)
5 Stone-to-Shoulder (150/60)