A Letter from Mike Spagnola, Owner of Edge Fitness

Members know the phrase.

We do a group breakdown with it at the end of every session.

We leave the gym, head high after a great session, and saying OUTwork to end the time spent sweating and getting better, then head off to the rest of our lives.

But do you know what the phrase actually means?

Why it’s been our motto since we opened?

And what bearing it has on how we do things?

Let me explain through a little history.

I grew up as a fat kid.  Not the kind of kids we have now, with type II diabetes and being 100lbs overweight, but plenty fat enough to notice I wasn’t like everyone else.

Now i’m not sugar coating it by saying I was “husky” or “chubby” but FAT.  F. A. T.  As a society we need to get over the fact that fat is a bad word. It’s not.  Being fat is a choice if you’re an adult—and if you’re a kid, blame your parents for not giving you good eating habits.  Sorry mom and dad, I love you but I don’t love all the eating habits I picked up. 

In short, being fat is something that can be fixed, not some congenital disease you got undeservedly.

Kids my generation and before “grew out” of being fat.  That doesn’t happen anymore.  Kids that are fat turn into fat adults.

Why am I explaining this? 

Because I’m not different. I’m not special.  I’m not naturally muscular.  I’m not naturally lean. I didn’t grow up as an athletic freak of an athlete.

The only ‘gift’ that I had was the ability to OUTwork everyone else around me.

I didn’t care that I started fat. 

It didn’t matter that I started benching with 5’s on each side.

I didn’t care that I didn’t have any connections in the fitness industry,  or even here in Cary for that matter.

All that mattered was that I could work harder then anyone else to get to my goals. 

But then something happened. 

I had put my head down and gone to work for so long, that when I looked up, I didn’t need to OUTwork anyone else.

I had taken my body from 245 of fat to 175 to 195 to 230. I’d taken my bench from 5’s on each side to just shy of 400lbs.  I’d taken my business from 6 clients on day one to 106 awesome people who have a second home inside of Edge where they get results, aren’t judged, and can OUTwork.

I realized that I didn’t need to “OUTwork Everyone” anymore. 

But I still had to keep going.  Still had to keep getting better.  I owe it to myself, and to the awesome people of Edge to grow awesome coaches who can help countless people in the amazing community Edge calls home.

I simply had to OUTwork the person I was yesterday.

And that is what OUTwork is all about.  You don’t need to be competitive with another human being if that’s  not your goal.  You don’t need to have a “put your head down and get to work” mentality like I did.

But you have to keep getting better. 

You have to OUTwork the person you were before.

Keep on getting better, or live a life of regret.

That, my friend, is what the OUTwork mentality is all about. 


Mike Spagnola