Club Zum opened its doors in Seattle two years ago with one objective: to be the destination for developing “the art of fitness.” Zum’s founder Peter Shmock, a two-time Olympian and former strength and conditioning coach of the Seattle Mariners, created an environment that at first sight resembled more of a playground for grownups than a weight room, a creative communal space that would return people to the joy of expressing the human body. TRX has been an integral part of their success from the start.
“Our whole training philosophy was conceived around building and maintaining movement, in a way that enhances the way you experience life,” says Zum’s general manager, Mike Derossett. “We don’t want to beat you up, we want you to want to come back, and we do that by making this fun and by using equipment like the TRX.”
At first glance, Zum may seem like a building full of toys, but as Derossett says, “We feel strongly about teaching you how to use those ‘toys’ to keep you doing the things you love for the rest of your life.” And with 70-year-olds in their Olympic lifting programs, it seems safe to say they are doing just that. Initially their TRX Suspension Trainers were underused, touched occasionally by trainers and generally avoided by members who were intimidated. It wasn’t until Derossett had the inclination to hire on TRX Master Trainer Elizabeth Andrews that their program really started taking off. “Elizabeth started teaching a class in the mornings, and within a week, she had just packed it,” says Derosset. “Some of our trainers had figured out stuff to do with the TRX, but it wasn’t until I brought on Elizabeth that things really escalated.”
Zum uses an all-inclusive membership model, meaning that their members have access to all of their classes, as well as free reign of their facility and locker room (which is stocked with all Aveda products). These memberships range from $120-$150 a month. To offset this relatively higher price point, Zum packs their schedule with unlimited access to a versatile range of classes (over 50 a week). With the current popularity of TRX classes at Zum, Derossett says he could easily invest in more TRX Suspension Trainers. “I could probably double the number of TRXs, and our classes would still be filled to capacity.” The TRX enthusiasts at Zum are a pretty diverse group of women and men in their 30s to 50s, many of whom have never belonged to a gym before and rarely, if ever, touch free weights.
In addition to TRX exclusive classes, they also offer TRX/Cycling fusion classes to meet a growing demand for spinning classes that also incorporated some kind of upper body work. “There is definitely a movement going around where people are adding more upper body to cycling, and I think TRX satisfies that.” The response to cross modality, fusion style TRX classes has been awesome, but Derossett says when working with technique intensive modalities like TRX and cycling, the classes are most effective when split between two instructors (a specialist in each field).
Zum’s next step? They are in the process of adding a TRX Rip Group Station and 10 Rip Trainers. Derossett was drawn to the Rip Trainer because “we’ve had so much success with the TRX Suspension Trainer, and we saw the Rip Trainer as an extension of a successful TRX program. We want to be on the cutting edge, and the Rip Trainer just seems like a good fit.”