Maybe we’ve covered this before but I wanted to dive a little deeper into our mission statement. When I started this gym I didn’t have a defined set of beliefs. I wanted to help people get fit. I thought that was enough. As the years have gone on I realize that we needed a direction. Some guiding virtues that would define what we do here at ION. I decided on 4. Partly because they sound pretty cool, but also because they can be universally applied to every facet and situation in life.
STRENGTH- physical, mental, spiritual, character
COURAGE- the ability to act, despite your fears, not only in the gym but in our day to day endeavors.
DISCIPLINE- to do what you have to do day in and day out. Even when you’re tired. Even when you’re not motivated.
HONOR- honor our tribe, our traditions, our culture. Honor those things you hold dear.

There you have it. Some of that’s pretty deep and I know some of you might say “Hey, I just came to work out” and that’s fine. As we grow and strive to be the best version of ourselves maybe one day you will look back and see how each of these apply to your fitness and to your growth as a person.

I’m going to dive into each of these a little deeper so this will be a four part series. I get a little…wordy sometimes so if it’s too long I apologize. This is for me as much as it is for you and all the future athletes that come through the door that might wonder what the heck we are all about.

1.The quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.
2. mental power, force or vigor.
3. moral power, firmness or courage
4. power by reason of influence, authority resources, number, etc.

The four main aspects we want to cover as it applies to our pursuits in fitness and in life are


Physical strength is a no brainer I think. A person who has some degree of strength is better off than someone who has none. And I believe our program provides the necessary stimulus to achieve better than average strength to those that are consistent in their efforts. The benefits that go along with a properly designed strength and strength training program have been well documented so I won’t go into too much detail here. Check out this article though if you want some science based facts.

Mental strength goes hand in hand with physical strength. We do push our bodies but the biggest adaption to our program is between the ears. The constant day in and day out challenges in the gym can sometimes leave you dreading the next workout. But you show up anyway and push through. That’s mental strength. Our minds stop us way before our bodies ever do. Think about some of the physical accomplishments you have made so far. Completing “Murph” or 500 KB swings in a day. All of those sound impossible when you first see them on the board. But then you finish it and you realize it’s not. Bodies make adaptions slowly. But our minds can change in an instant. Believing you can do something, then doing it. Even if you have never done it before. It all starts upstairs.

Spiritual strength might not be directly built through a strength and conditioning program but I feel it’s important to mention. Regardless of your belief system, spiritual strength can give you a purpose much deeper than surface for pursuing an activity that some might feel is vanity. I realize this will not be everyone’s experience but physical training is like a form of mediation for me. Bringing that single focus for the time I am doing it. It’s very hard to think of anything else when you are in the middle of 100 burpees or super heavy cleans. That “living in the moment” is rare opportunity these days and part of the attraction I think to CrossFit and programs like it. Those moments within yourself, focused intently, provide a lot of carryover to the rest of our existence.

Strength of character is another thing that might not be directly effected through a strength and conditioning program. If we are speaking about it as in terms of the gym I think it has tremendous bearing on peoples actions. Cutting reps, half assed efforts are a pretty rare thing in our environment. While we aren’t doing this for anyone else our culture does make us accountable to each other. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing I will leave to others to decide. It does bind us closer together, knowing we have a shared misery and suffering. Those who aren’t a part of this wont and can’t know what we put ourselves through and their opinions are meaningless. But God forbid one of our own thinks less of us if we mail it in.

At ION we build mental strength though the physical. Spiritual strength can be built by the carryover of the single-minded focus required to achieve our daily tasks. Strength of character is built through the ties of our tribe that hold us accountable to each other.
Strength is never easy to build. The mass of people never do it. They go to well lit, sterilized dance clubs pretending to be fitness meccas. Wasting their time and money. Content on the average. Too timid to change one iota. Mediocre effort leading to mediocre results. There’s too many tepid fence sitters.
But then there’s those that roam the dark edges, always hungry, always searching. We were designed out of struggle. We are only satisfied temporarily at the extremes. Life is short. Tread heavy, leave a mark. This world is not for the timid and the weak.

ION Strength and Conditioning