In July of 2010, we launched GMB with our first official program, Rings One (R1).
R1 was the first gymnastic rings program on the market, and the kinds of skills we were teaching had only ever been accessible to gymnasts before. And that’s exactly where Ryan learned most of the stuff he put in the program. He took a lot of those skills he’d learned as a competitive gymnast, and distilled them down to practical skills for regular people.
I know it’s not such a big deal now, but it was pretty revolutionary at the time.
Over the following year, we came out with Parallettes One and Floor One (clearly, we have a talent for coming up with original names), and over 2012-2013, we released each of these programs’ corresponding Level Two partner (pro tip: Unless you’re Mel Brooks, if you name something XYZ One, you have to come out with XYZ Two).
How Our Clients Have Helped Us Become Better Teachers
We founded our company on our Rings, Parallettes, and Floor programs, and they were the bedrock of what we offered to people for a long time. So far, over 15,000 people have used them! We’ve updated these programs multiple times over the years — we’ve reshot videos, streamlined the formatting, added captions to videos, and addressed countless other client concerns and suggestions to make sure these programs provided the best, highest quality instruction possible.
And we’re really proud of these programs! But more than that, we’re proud of what they’ve helped us learn from our community over the years.
We’ve gotten countless messages from clients excited about nailing skills they never thought possible, like one R1 client, Maria Marklove:
When I started strength training 7.5 years ago, I saw a muscle-up and I distinctly remember thinking “I’ll never be able to do that,” but by Phase 3 of R1, I was able to do it. This meant soooo much to me after a very long injury, and it just shows that you should never quit, because there’s always something you can work on.
But as gratifying as those messages have been, we also started getting more and more feedback about these programs that had little to do with the actual skills, and much more to do with our method of teaching and how that approach carried over into other parts of our clients’ lives.
P1 client Laurent Lemmens loved the freedom we teach in our programs:
What was most valuable to me about GMB’s method is the amount of freedom you give… The freedom regarding the amount of sets and reps you give is phenomenal, since it doesn’t matter at all: just keep your gracious form and move strong.
While R1 client Patrick Hof had a deep “why” for wanting to be strong and mobile:
I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and had surgery, which led to hemiparesis (almost paralyzed) on the right side. Long story short, after I got my life together again, I wanted to make myself as resilient as possible… I want to be able to play with my little girls without any restrictions, being strong and mobile enough to keep up with them. They can be quite a handful, and have already found their own love for my rings, which they constantly occupy when I’m training :)
And F1 client Bianca Fontana saw how this approach could help with even simple, day-to-day function:
Each day at work, I have to walk up 80 odd steps to get to my office. I go up and down these steps at least 5⁄6 times a day. When I first started doing this, I was not out of breath but feeling slightly fatigued. When training with the GMB programs, although I don’t feel as though I’m doing cardio to help me cope with something like this, after about week 3, I started to feel stronger in the legs and less out of breath, reaching the top with very little effort and more speed.
Over and over, we were seeing that, what mattered most to our clients was not getting specific skills, but about making their daily lives and activities better and more enjoyable. This helped us learn to teach these programs and skills more effectively, and helped us focus more on what really matters.
The Next Phase
These programs have served us and our clients really well over the years. But… and this is a Sir-Mix-a-Lot-sized big but… We’re going to be retiring all of these programs (Rings One/Two, Parallettes One/Two, and Floor One/Two) on May 19, 2019.
…okay, rioting may be a bit strong, but I’m sure some people might be, at the very least, curious about why we’re doing this (for the record, Curious Rioting will be the name of my band someday in the future. That name is mine and you can’t have it #sorrynotsorry).
So, why are we retiring these programs?
Well, this is not something that’s happened over night. Things started shifting for us in 2014, when we released our Elements program.
Elements completely changed the game, not just for us as a company, but for our clients and what we saw they could do with a program like this. Where skill development was paramount with our R/P/F programs, foundational attributes were the key with Elements (and the other programs that became part of our Physical Autonomy Curriculum: Focused Flexibility, Vitamin, and Integral Strength).
Focusing on What Matters
With the Physical Autonomy Curriculum (PAC), we’ve been able to delve into what’s missing for every person who comes to us. At the time of this writing, we’ve got about 55,000 clients, and of course, they’ve all got different goals and they come from a wide range of backgrounds and skill-levels. But one thing they all have in common? They’re looking to achieve physical autonomy—the confidence that comes from knowing their bodies are up for the tasks they need to be.
A 25-year-old competitive martial artist and a 45-year-old out-of-shape dad may not seem like they have a lot in common, but they both just want their bodies to come through for them in the ways they need them to. What we developed with the PAC was a set of attributes that are universal to whatever people are looking to do with their bodies.
Sure, the details will be different depending on their goals, but no matter what someone needs from her body, she’s going to need sufficient strength, flexibility, and body control to support those needs.
For some people, learning to do specific skills (like a muscle-up or a handstand or what-have-you) is the best path to getting what they want from their bodies; for many others, though, there’s a much simpler path. Focusing on moving, feeling, and functioning better is going to translate into helping you do better with all those other things you want to do in your life–whether that’s improving your BJJ game, moving around more easily with your kids on the ground, or just getting through your days with fewer aches and pains.
So that’s where we’ve put our focus over the past few years, and now, by retiring our skills-based programs, we’ll be able to give all of our attention to what’s most important to our clients now. We’re also clearing the way to make some new programs (stay tuned, because the first of those new programs will be coming out in just a couple of months!).
What This Means for You
Don’t worry, if muscle-ups or any of the other skills from our R/P/F programs are on that list of things you want to do, then good news:
- Building a foundation of strength, flexibility, control, balance, and agility will help you get to those skills faster,
- We’ve got detailed, free materials available on many of those skills, with other resources coming in the future. Just holler and we’ll help you find what you need (even if we don’t have what you need, we can probably point you toward people who do), and
- We’ll be including a lot of those skills in an even better format in new programs in the not-too-distant future.
I know this is a big change, but we’ve got some really exciting things on the horizon, and we can’t wait to share them with you!
In the meantime, head over to our programs page to pick up our Rings, Parallettes, and/or Floor programs before they get put into the vault. And, as always, if you own any of these programs, you have access to them forever, and we’re always here to support you through them.
Thanks for being part of the GMB Posse, and for helping us make the best programs we can!