Our Culture & Core Values

Our Culture and Values provide a road map, a compass that will help to direct our day-to-day actions & decisions.



An introduction to our culture

Culture is everything.

Our culture is our brand. It’s what we want to be known for. It’s embodied in every interaction within and without Adaptive Strength.

At Adaptive Strength, our culture is driven and guided by our core values, the things that are most important to us. Think of our Core Values as a simple set of guidelines. Though they may be simple, they stimulate complex behaviours that benefit all of us.

These Core Values provide a road map, a compass that will help to direct our day-to-day actions, the behaviours we undertake, and the decisions we make at Adaptive Strength. They aren’t just a reflection of what we already do, but a guide towards what we need to strive to do more of. Walt Disney said it best “Once your values are clear, decisions are easy”

We believe that culture doesn’t happen by accident but by design and intent, so these Core Values each have systematic processes in place to ensure we’re adhering to them. We build and strengthen our culture by deliberate design. Designing, nurturing, and fostering culture takes deliberate effort, but it’s an effort we’re willing to make.

Our culture isn’t our physical location. It’s not our product or service. Our culture is how Adaptive Strength makes you feel when you get there. It’s the way you feel when you leave. It’s how you were treated when you were there, and in all the interactions you have with us. That’s our culture. It’s the reason you are at Adaptive Strength.



Adaptive Strength Core Values are a set of values that drive everything we do.

These are the absolute foundation of Adaptive Strength. As you may notice some of these Core Values have funny and abstract names, but the message behind them is deep and powerful.

  • Building your own house
  • Chop Wood, Carry Water
  • Every rep, every set
  • Little things matter
  • 1% better

Core Value: Building Your Own House

To summarize this simply- “Building your own house” is a metaphor that everything we do represents an element of the person that we become.

The story goes there was a world-famous architect who was relentless in his devotion towards his craft. However, eventually, he grew tired of building homes for other people and was ready to retire but his boss begged him to build one more house and reluctantly he accepted.

However, his head wasn’t in it. Previously he was very hands-on in the process of selecting the best materials and making sure every detail was diligently tended to.

But this house was different. He knew his heart wasn’t in it and that this was far from his best work.

Once the house was completed his boss reached into his desk and pulled out a pair of keys and gifted them to him saying the “house is yours! You deserve it!”

Immediately his heart sank as unbeknownst to him the whole time he had been building his own house. If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have cared so much more. He would have only used the finest materials, and he would have overseen every detail and given it his all as he had always done. But now, it was too late.

Each of us is building our own house. Sometimes you might think you are building for your work, your family, your team, but you are always building your own house…

When it comes to your health you are always “building your own house”. For us, this represents having a solid foundation. Without a solid foundation, a house will collapse after a couple of years or decades. This is why we have such a thorough foundation and onboarding process here to help people build a solid foundation to last a lifetime.

We are always building our own house and when it comes to our own bodies, we only get one so I hope you build wisely.

What are some examples of how to act to embody this value?

● Eat real food and know how to prepare it
● Drink at-least 2-3 litres of water per day
● sleep 8 hours per night
● make time for personal development
● enjoy life and laugh often
● connect with nature everyday

Core Value: Chop Wood, Carry Water

“Everyone wants to be great until it’s time to do what greatness requires.”
I interpret this as everyone wants to be strong and healthy until it’s time to do what strong and healthy requires.

Our greatest challenge is consistently keeping our focus on the process while surrendering the outcome. The problem with focusing on the small menial day-to-day is that it isn’t sexy, and it’s often repetitively boring.

The samurai master says “In the West, you want everything instantly, but here you must learn to fall in love with the process of becoming great. Now go chop wood, and carry water”

“If you always look at the destination, you will miss the scenery along the way, or worst yet… trip and fall”

It’s Not the Event, It’s the Process.

All too often, we think our goals are all about the result. We see success as an event that can be achieved and completed.

Here is a common example…

Many people see health as an event: “If I just lose 20 pounds, then I’ll be in shape.”

But if you look at the people who are consistently achieving their goals, you start to realize that it’s not the events or the results that make them different. It’s their commitment to the process. They fall in love with the daily practice, not the individual event.

If you want to be in the best shape of your life, then losing 20 pounds might be necessary. But the only way to reach that result is to fall in love with the process of eating healthy and exercising consistently. In fact, that just might make you happier as a person overall.

For some Chop Wood, Carry Water might mean waking up at 5 am to get to the gym. For others, it might be making a meal plan on Sunday for the week. For third it could be reading 5 pages every day etc.

Fall in love with boredom. Fall in love with repetition and practice. Fall in love with the process of what you do and let the results take care of themselves.

Is it sexy to chop wood, carry water every single day?


Can you achieve your goals without doing it?

Hell no!

Fall in love with the process. Learn to love chopping wood and carrying water as this mentality will serve you well on your path to health and happiness

Additional Thoughts

If, you focus too much on the goal, you will end up having one eye on the goal and one eye for the journey.

People who climb ice mountains, and that if they are focused on the top of the mountain they will not know where exactly where to step next and they will slip and die. The key to ice climbing is to focus on one solid step at a time.

People want the end result without having to do the work. But that’s not how the universe works.
If you really want to make a difference in your life, you must chop wood, carry water.

What are some examples of how to act to embody this value?

● Show up and keep showing up

Core Value: Every Rep, Every Set

“Every Rep, Every Set” is a core value and mantra here at Adaptive Strength.

For me “Every Rep, Every Set” means having focus and being present for every set and rep I complete. It doesn’t matter how much weight is on the bar but rather focusing on maximizing my technique, breathing, set up, power, or whatever the goal of the exercise is.

The same holds true for other aspects of my life.

When having a conversation with someone I try my best to focus on every rep, every set. This means staying present and focused on the conversation.

This can apply to everything that we do and while it’s impossible to be 100% all the time it’s the trying that counts!

Every rep, Every set… simply means you’re focused and engaged in the here and now, not distracted or mentally absent. Another way to say it is, conscious awareness and a commitment to staying in the “now.”

Next time you are in for a session I encourage you to focus on every rep, every set. Training is a chance to switch off from the outside world and the never-ending rat race we endure. Be present and enjoy the company around you.

What are some examples of how to act to embody this value?

● Practice mindfulness
● Treat others how you would like to be treated

Core Value: Little Things Matter

Our Lives are a Mirror Image of the Little Decisions we make.
Every day we each make hundreds of little decisions, most of which seem inconsequential at the time. But every decision—no matter how little—will lead us closer to or further from our goals.

These and hundreds of other little decisions we make each day may seem insignificant when looked at individually, but when looked at collectively they influence every part of our lives. From our relationships to our health, no part of our lives is exempt from the effects of these little decisions.

We are where we are and whom we are at this very moment in life based on the decisions we have made. Our physical health is largely the reflection of our decisions.

Little things are easy to do, but just as easy not to do… and that is why “Little Things Matter”.

Life is determined by lots of small, seemingly insignificant things, that added up and compounded over time will determine the trajectory of your life. Most people focus on all the big stuff, failing to realize it is the little stuff that makes all the difference.

The little things often determine the outcome.

“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.”

There are three types of people in the world:
Those who make things happen
Those who watch things happen
Those who wonder what happened

Those who make things happen: based on the belief that how you do anything is how you do everything.

A detail as small as picking up a piece of garbage and throwing it away is the example of how actions can compound over time, perpetuating the rolling snowball effect to success. Why? Because it represents the act of paying close attention to your surroundings and always acting in the best manner possible.

However small or minuscule, a missed detail can wreak havoc on momentum and trash (no pun intended) compounding interest.

What are some examples of how to act to embody this value?

● Saying hello and goodbye to someone
● Clean the leaves before leaving
● Making sure things are tidy

Core Value: 1% Better

Let me tell you about how that growth actually works. It happens 1% at a time, and that’s a lot faster than you think.

We want big sexy gains, but there is much more power in the small, dirty, and unsexy marginal gains added up and compounded over time. Don’t fall for the trap everyone else does. Focus on pounding the stone and finding all those little improvements, and trust the process.

We believe everything can be improved. With this approach, incremental changes add up to substantial changes over the longer term, without the need for radical innovation.

It can be a much gentler approach. Take for example someone who wants to lose weight. Instead of change their whole diet or cutting out all sugar, they can start by doing small reductions.

Small, consistent, positive changes add up to big results over time.

So one of the biggest differentiators that I see between clients that have great success and average success are the great ones, just continually keep improving, they keep evolving their health & fitness and making it incrementally better over and over.

Just 1% better, week after week, when you are looking from the outside does not seem like much. But this is between the successful and the average.

For example, imagine aiming for 1% Better in your workouts. There are countless small details with your routine, nutrition, or form to make slight improvements. Even the smallest improvement to every detail would benefit your workouts dramatically.

Two people might do the exact same training session, one client just gets in and does it, the other client says to themselves “every rep, every set” before each exercise, so they stay focused and present in the moment. It is a tiny thing, easy to do and just as easy not to do. But that is why person number 2 has greater success. That’s really a huge differentiator.

They keep improving, they keep fine tuning and turning the dials to make things better. They take what works, they plug it into their training and life outside of the studio and they refine it over and over and over again, improving each component by 1% or so time and time again.

1% Better is just as much a philosophy as it is a mindset. When you start to see all the improvements you could be making, you start to think and act in ways that strives for 1% Better.

What are some examples of how to act to embody this value?

● Today I am going to focusing on getting that little better at my clean before my press.