Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Meets COVID-19, Open Gym

To be quite frank, I swing strongly towards individualism on the individual-collective continuum. The most famous tool for evaluating this spectrum on a national level is with something called Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions. The United States is stereotypically individualistic in its value structure and worldviews. For example, many Central American countries like Panama and Guatemala are examples of countries with a more collectivist lean. Like most continuums, neither side is inherently good or bad, but rather express degrees of infinite opportunity. 

While there are political implications to these leanings, this isn’t inherently a political observation. According to Hofstede, people and countries who are oriented towards individualistic orientations place extreme value on people’s time, freedom, and privacy. In addition, highly individualistic orientations enjoy challenges and expect reward for expressions of hard work.

Conversely, individuals and communities that orient towards collective leanings work for more intrinsic motivations and value mastery. Maintaining harmony in the group is often more important than “other moral issues.” 

The COVID-19 crisis is, in some ways, challenging for our American worldview because it is a largely collective issue. Quelling the impact of the virus requires a collective priority that can often feel foreign to someone with an individualistic worldview. What works for one doesn’t work at scale in this case, for example. 

This same thought experiment plays out in a much less consequential and serious manner in the gym. Firstly, make no mistake, DEUCE is collectively oriented. We’ve discussed how many hundreds of people we’ve had to confuse on the phone who want to pay us money to use “open gym,” which is the most individualistic view of training available. Training in a group class assumes obvious collectivist tendencies. Separate of the fact that I don’t think that solo open gym is the best way for folks to train, what they aren’t seeing (similar to the blindspots of American’s reconciling COVID-19) is that, yes, DEUCE can take your money and you can workout in the corner by yourself, but could everyone do that? Sure, everyone could, but then we couldn’t have DEUCE anymore. And, no one wants that. Ironically, not even the person who wants to train individually wants that. He or she wants to benefit from the collective orientation, but not contribute to it, which is, by definition, an unsustainable request of DEUCE. 

I don’t plan on giving up my individualistic leanings anytime soon, but I do think the best way to champion your position is to be well versed in opposing views. After all, whether you identify individualistic or collective leaning on Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, please note that you’re still both an individual who is part of a series of collectives and you’d be a better participant in both roles if you could see the needs of each role more clearly.

8/14/20 WOD


[Meet at Anderson Park]


[Meet at Pan Pacific Park]


Every :90 for 4 rounds complete the following for load:
4 Push Presses
6 Push Jerks

Then, complete 3 rounds for quality of:
15 Banded Lat Pull Downs w/ a Pause
10 1-Arm Tempo DB Push Presses – Left
10 1-Arm Tempo DB Push Presses – Right

Then, in 10 minutes, complete the following for reps:
Max Alt Step Back Lunges

Immediately, in 10 minutes, complete the following for calories:
800m Run
Max Calorie Row/Bike