We had the good fortune of connecting with Tim Caron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tim, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We felt like there was a gap in the market. I am sure everyone feels that way and also feel as they are a differentiated product, but we as a product felt really strongly about being just that. Working as a college strength and conditioning coach for over 10years you develop a really good sense of what works, your lively hood was dependent on it. Using battle-tested methods that show your value as a coach in sports competing in the highest level of performance gives you a clear vision as to what works. The most important aspect, if you do not find an optimal strategy you lose employment. The gap we saw were males ages 25-45, which in group exercise is an incredibly underserved market. The concept we came up was to leverage timeless training methods that we utilized working with elite level athletes for everyone. The reason why was simple, it works! What we learned was something amazing, that a process that focussed on methods that actually worked makes people stay for a longer duration. We match methods that make a difference with a targeting what this underserved niche actually wants and we now have a business. The thought process was to see a gap and make a product, what we actually became was a product that works and can serve anyone that wants a higher caliber experience.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The strength and conditioning profession is the ultimate hobby turned career. With that being said there are a lot of people wanting to do it with not a lot of positions. This creates career training model that is heavily apprenticed based. My path is not special in the eyes of my colleagues, but it should be stated to others to appreciate the level of training and experience I have earned relative to someone that may think they can just train others without going through due diligence. I earned a bachelors in mathematics with the vision of teaching high school and coaching football. I started that process of student teaching and coaching, which organically led me to work in the weight room. I realized really quickly I did not want to teach math, so I found that my undergraduate school had a Movement Science degree, So I started over, hoping to find a career that I found more of an interest in. While pursuing my Movement Science bachelors, I picked up several jobs working in corporate fitness, commercial fitness, personal training, opening hospitals, just accumulating experience. What I realized that working with athletes was most interesting, and as luck would have it a velocity sports performance, a commercial performance franchise, and got my first internship. A typical internship is working full time for experience and network, this one was exactly that. At this point, I had a full year of working and school and realized I was way out of my depth. But it was great, I got there early practice the workouts, studied the rationale about the workouts, and got to coach. I interned there for 9 months without actually getting paid, but I got a lot better! I was able to parlay that into my first college internship, in order to be able to get this internship I needed to be certified by a nationally recognized certification (NSCA), unfortunately, my undergraduate did not affiliate with them, they were affiliated with ACSM. So in order to get the first college internship I needed to get my NSCA certification, as well I needed to pass my ACSM certification to graduate. So while I was finishing my undergrad, and volunteering at Velocity, and working several fitness-related jobs I had to find time to study. I ended up getting that internship, Harvard, I graduated as well. Just as I learned I knew nothing starting Velocity, I felt the same there. 3months of working with over 41 varsity sports from 5am to 8pm Monday-Friday. I loved every second of it, the staff, the workouts, the high stakes. The next logical step was to continue my journey and use my Harvard experience to get an internship at a power five school, which led me to Georgia Tech. The same story was out of my depth. But was able to adapt, grow, and learn. The next year included working as a grad assistant strength coach, Springfield College, and intern at Ole Miss. This was all before I actually got a full-time job. Just a quick recap – complete career pivot, second bachelors, three years of volunteering, and a masters degree. I say it this way because I make a lot of strong assertions on our business and its standards versus others. After all that I worked as a full time strength and conditioning coach for over a decade: 4 at Georgia tech (assistant), 4 at USC (associate), and 3 at Army West Point (head). While working these jobs I earned a second masters degree, read 100s of books related to my profession, got several certifications. So when I make a claim that what we do is high quality, it is based on experience, real experience. My path is not a unique one in my industry, we all have had to put the time in. It is why we have so much pride in what we do. Our job is to do what is right by our customers, giving them an experience like no other. Each day we train our members it is built off living on couches all around the country, working 80hour weeks, going to seminars instead of vacation, getting fired and actually improving at the next job, and the crucible that is strength and conditioning.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would train at my gym, eat food to recover and talk about strength and conditioning. I cannot express this enough, very limited in my interest, I do what I love.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Simple, my father, my wife, my son. My father because he supported, believed, and loved. He never asked for anything in return, which drove me to succeed and still does. My wife because she made the sacrifice to move across the country and supports the vision daily. My son because of him failure is not an option. It is worth mentioning my patterns Cody and Steve because they are so good at what they do I can be better at what I do. I cannot have an off day because they bring such a high level daily.
Yelp: Allegiate Gym