Shrugged Collective

Barbell Shrugged  — Creating The Ultimate Gym Culture w/ Kenny Santucci  —  316

Kenny Santucci is Program Director & Creator of Body by Solace, a total conditioning program using bodyweight movements, kettlebells, Assault Bikes, rowers, and more.

Kenny is a dynamic leader, who encourages clients through his no-bull approach to training. When training with Kenny, expect plenty of tough-love. He nicknames his class and clients ‘Team Beautiful’ because he encourages members to exude positivity in all facets of life.

In this episode, Kenny shares with us how he has brought Solace to compete with other boutique gyms in New York, while having operating costs that are near the cost of running five gyms. How a beautiful space and world class coaching attracts an audience big enough to fill 200 classes each week, how to provide value in building a strong base of clients and athletes, and much more.


– Mike, Doug and Anders

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Create a facility that provides FUN

Kenny talks about the importance of maintaining a facility, and what athletes are looking for in a facility. He also urges gym owners to provide the value of offering a wide variety of classes with a wide range of experts. If the facility can provide a level of FUN, people will want to be there and will share it with their friends.

“I coach from an empathetic point of view.” — Kenny Santucci

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  • Wear a lot of hats  —  Kenny has his employees expose themselves to a wide range of modalities including CrossFit, weightlifting, HIIT, working the front desk, etc. He creates a more holistic environment at the gym, comprised of employees that can do anything.
  • As a gym owner, be selfish and create a space that you want to be in  —  Use the right equipment and keep it clean. Chances are, if you want these things, other people are going to want them as well. If you create a space that YOU want to train, people will come.
  • Whatever you do in the fitness business, do it yourself and people will notice  —  If you sell supplements, take those supplements. If you talk about workouts, you should do them. Have the coaches in your gym take classes regularly.
  • Prioritize fun: Stay safe, stay smiling, get results  —  Solace offers a wide range of classes, so people will stay to take multiple classes in a day. Athletes can take a Starting Strength class 1 hour and a gymnastics class the next.
  • Keep it clean  —  Gyms used to be dingy and that’s what people liked. Then they got really nice. Gyms have been back to the garage style and now are looking for nice facilities again. The number one thing is to keep it clean, people like clean.

“I want you showing up 15 mins early and hanging out all day.” — Kenny Santucci

Connect with Kenny Santucci

Connect on social: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

Resources: Kenny Santucci Website, Body by Solace

Doug Larson Fitness

Doug’s new website is live! Check it out at DougLarsonFitness.com

The Bledsoe Show

The Bledsoe Show (Mike’s personal show) is back! Check out new episodes and the new website at TheBledsoeShow.com

Check out our FREE 50+ page OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING GUIDE! Includes: The Basics, Sample Programming, Links to Technique Videos, and more!


Train smart,

Mike, Doug and Anders

Mike Bledsoe

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