MEMBER INTERVIEW - MICHAEL COOPER
Allegiate member Michael Cooper is a partner of his own law firm, family man, athlete and die-hard USC Trojan. We sat down to talk about his experience at Allegiate, the training program, competitive camaraderie and what makes Allegiate such a unique place.
The video below is a condensed version of the full interview. For the full interview, read the transcription below.
“I think that this is a community that’s a little bit different than some of the other gyms I’ve belonged to, which are high-end and have some great facilities and great marketing teams. But they don’t have the community that causes the kind of achievement and the growth that this place does.”
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Michael Cooper, I am a Trojan living here in the South Bay, I have a wife Ashley and twins, Clark and Norah, about to be 4. Been in the South Bay for about 10 years now and I’m originally from the East Coast.
Outside of Allegiate, other than rooting for the Trojans, I am an attorney. I have a law firm up in El Porto, North end of Manhattan Beach. I moved to South Bay to work for a firm that was in El Segundo originally then started my firm about 6 years ago.
What’s your fitness background?
I was a high school athlete, went to USC and realized I was no longer a D1 athlete, that was not an option. So I just worked out throughout college and when I graduated I started getting a lot more into individual sports and working out was one of those.
Playing at that next level is tough and competitive. What sports did you play?
Primarily baseball, but I also ran track and cross country
What does the Allegiate training program mean to you?
So for me, number one, I think it’s the community that you all have built. I like the all group class structure, it makes for camaraderie and it makes for an inherent accountability. When everybody leaves it’s, “Ok I’ll see you tomorrow,” and it’s not a guilt trip. It’s a genuinely excited to see you tomorrow.
“It makes for camaraderie and it makes for an inherent accountability.”
As far as the program goes – as a guy who is far enough removed from any kind of a structured workout where someone was working to build a workout for me when I was an athlete – it’s kinda nice to have that structure that when I walk in, I’m not picking which equipment, which exercise am I gonna do today.
Having Coach, having the card makes it A) more focused and B) certainly a lot more effective.
It seems like every company or business says they have a community but what is it that makes the Allegiate community special?
The best example I can give is the night of the Mayweather/ McGregor fight. This is an event for people that watch sports have thought about this weeks ahead of time, ‘Where am I gonna watch the fight?’ ‘Who am I gonna watch with?’
To see 50 people show up to watch here when they certainly had other options or other invites or could have hosted something themselves at their house, I think that was a great example of we built not just a workout community but also a genuine community. I think that a lot of folks right now are working hard to monetize their communities and I think this is a community that is working hard to better themselves and each other.
“I think that a lot of folks right now are working hard to monetize their communities and I think this is a community that is working hard to better themselves and each other.”
What’s it like training with everyone here?
Probably a lot of us here are competitive and it’s kinda nice to have a range of skill level, a range of strength, a range of intensity in each workout. Sometimes you show up and you might not have it, but having somebody next to you or somebody that typically I might work a little harder than, or I’m aspiring to be as strong as they are, there’s always that kind of competitive edge that kicks in.
Absolutely agree. If you were asked to describe the Allegiate facility, equipment, and overall space, what would you say?
I saw this building before you broke ground, and seeing it after I think that you all did an amazing job with the space. It’s truly state of the art. Personally, being a South Bay guy, I think a lot of us want to spend some time outside. Having that flexibility of some of the classes are out on the turf, some of the classes are in the gym. If they’re in the gym, the doors are open so you get the fresh air coming in.
I think it’s a great spot to workout. Even as crowded as any class might get, you’re never feeling on top of each other or feeling like you’re constantly walking into people.
You've been training with us since day 1. Where do you feel like you’ve made an improvement in your health and fitness?
The reason I showed up here was because I had clearly become disengaged with the gyms I had previously belonged to. Having little kids didn’t help with the workout routine.
The biggest difference I saw was just getting back into a more active lifestyle. As my kids get older and I have to chase them around and pick them up, definitely I need to keep up. But it’s also been just a mentality.
There’s not a day that goes by where I’m not thinking I gotta get my workout in today where I feel like there’s a decision to eat healthy or not eat healthy or have that beer maybe when I don’t need to.
It’s definitely kept me in check as far as having some accountability to know I need to show up here ready to go.
“I think that Allegiate is a facility that is built to the individual while creating a community of members.”
ow would you describe Allegiate to someone who has never been an athlete or never experienced something like this?
I think that Allegiate is a facility that is built to the individual while creating a community of members.
I think that you can start at whatever capacity you may or may not be at, at that point, build from there and still be participating with everyone else who is in class.
I work with guys who are 24, just out of college in phenomenal shape – I am not that – but I am able to keep up and I am able to kinda go at my own pace. I think that Allegiate has built a community that fosters that, encourages that, and you kinda have everybody rooting for each other.
Really appreciate you sharing all this, Coop. Anything else you’d like to say?
I look forward to seeing Allegiate #2, Allegiate #3, Allegiate #4. I think that this is definitely a model that works for a good cross section of the community and I think you’re seeing that more and more as our membership grows. It’s men, it’s women, it’s 20s, 30s, 40s. It’s the real competitive athlete, it’s the weekend warrior, it’s the “I just got back into it.
I think that this is a community that’s a little bit different than some of the other gyms I’ve belonged to – which are high-end and have some great facilities and some great marketing teams. But they don’t have the community that causes the kind of achievement and the growth that this place does.
“I think that you all did an amazing job with the space. It’s truly state of the art.”