Earlier this week, Cagewriter took a look a the first episode of Spike's newest reality series, Gym Rescue (which premiers Aug. 10 at 9pm cst), starring former UFC champs Randy Couture and Frank Shamrock, and we also spoke with "The Natural" about the experience. In the show, Couture, Shamrock and a host of other fitness industry experts swoop in on struggling gyms to help them identify problems, give them solutions and set them on a better path towards success.
Think, 'Kitchen Nightmares' with slightly less sweating and swearing, no British accents and actual tough-guy hosts. Couture told us that he's happy with the way the three pilot episodes have turned out, even if he ended up needing to be more confrontational than he's usually comfortable with.
"I'm happy with how it turned out," he said.
"At first, I was a little concerned because I'm not a terribly confrontational person. That's one of the reasons they gave me a co-star. At first, I was like, 'man, I don't know about this,' because some of this was pretty painful. Even Frank [Shamrock] says he felt bad on occasion. But, they cast well. The people that got the nod as gym owners were pretty messed up."
One of the owners of the gym featured on the first episode, Craig Marks, certainly fit that description. The long-time physical therapist appeared out of shape, frazzled, combative and defensive when faced with criticism from Couture and Shamrock.
At one point in the episode, Marks even pushed Shamrock in anger. Now, Marks claims that Gym Rescue ended up hurting his business more, and that Shamrock hit on his wife and invited her to join him in a Jacuzzi late at night.
So yeah, there's that. By the end of the first episode, however, Marks appeared happy with the remodeling and re-branding his gym got, as well as the training he and his staff received from Couture, Shamrock and others from Gym Rescue.
If anything, Marks' continued whining just highlights that Gym Rescue provides a surprising amount of good drama. Couture said that he used his own past mistakes as a gym owner to help out the gyms he intervened at with Gym Rescue.
Couture also said that, while the first day of shooting the episodes was confrontational and stressful, the process always ended up much more nicely. "The last two days were generally fun," he said.
Couture last appeared on reality television as a coach on 'Fight Master.' The show was not renewed for a second season but the retired fighting legend is optimistic that Gym Rescue will be a success, and looks forward to trying to help more gyms through the program.
"I think it will do well," he said.
"If the three episode pilot does well, we will get green-lit for ten more episodes. I hope we do so we can help more people out. That's what I had to focus on during those tense moments. We're trying to help gyms succeed so that they can, in turn, help others change their lives and be healthier."