America's Newest Pro League For Competitive Gym Goers
When I asked the guys at the gym what was the next big thing in fitness the answer I got was Grid. Grid is a team sport, it's like dodgeball crossed with a gym workout - off! Actually it is kind of like Gladiators with no Wolf or Jet. It gets its name from the playing surface layout.
The Basic Rules
Grid is contested over a two-hour match made up of 11 races, in which two teams go head-to-head in a series of strength tests. The team consists of 10 people. 5 men, 5 women, one of each being over 40 years old. That makes it good for demographic appeal. In one race, three men and three women might mirror each other as they lift increasingly heavy weights, without letting the barbell touch the ground. Another two women will race through a string of burpees, cleans, back squats, and pull-ups. Grid races are easy to follow and are played with pre-set rules and unlimited substitutions designed to force teams to strategise.
One of the team that worked on the Crossfit brand for nine years, Tony Budding is the founder of The Grid. He wanted to make a more separator friendly version of Crossfit. He was also thinking sponsorship and TV rights from the start. In my opinion it is very close to a copy of Crossfit.
What this means is you might have a big huge weight lifter guy for the heavy lifting and then a little whippet for the rope climbs and sprints. And of course those all important 40 plus athletes.
The National Pro Grid League in the US has eight teams that have been competing and the event is definitely been set up to attract sponsorship. The major league will be the pros while mini local leagues will be set up by amateurs. Those training and think they can go pro can submit scores and get invited to a Pro Day. A Pro Day is a scouting day where the league will select their team. Selling the dream to the amateurs that anyone can go pro if they have what it takes. I think this will quickly attract more teams as the sponsorship prize packages increase.
Already Virgin Gyms in the UK have signed up to the franchise and have the workout available as a class. All will of course pay a license fee to compete and be part of it. Watch this space as tag rugby and soft ball gets ditched for Grid!