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Full Transparency: Blood Tests and CrossFit Gyms

CrossFit effects its clients on every level.   We know, from dozens of stories, that coaches have the unparalleled potential to change cholesterol, blood sugar, cortisol and a host of other blood marker levels.   But how can blood testing potentially affect the business of coaching?   In early December, we decided to find out. Members of the TwoBrain mentoring team, as well as 10 coaches and clients from Catalyst, surrendered our blood to answer the question, “Could this help the clients of CrossFit gyms?”   I’m not the first one to experiment with blood testing in a gym. But my intention wasn’t to tweak the minute training of a Games athlete; mine was to answer the question, “Would this help CrossFit gyms keep members longer?”   First discovery: I’m not good at fasting. But I take the test more seriously because I’m forced to fast. Clients and coaches lined up at 6:30am. I brought in a phlebotomist to take our blood. She set up a centrifuge in our Athletic Therapy office, and stacked rows of test tubes and syringes on my intake desk. The air in the waiting area was somber, as if we were waiting to see a doctor (and anticipating bad news). Most brought a snack for after the test; I already had my order in at the Workshop cafe next door. It took around ten minutes per athlete. Then the phlebotomist packed up her things and the waiting began.   Second discovery: How I behave and think while wearing the client’s shoes. Our results arrived a week later. An email notification arrives with “Your Blood Testing Results are Here!” I clicked through, and away we went. Here are some screen shots. I won’t share the name of the company we used outside the TwoBrain family, but you might catch a glimpse in the pictures. My test was a full one; many of my coaches and all ...
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Episode 104: Nutrition In Your Box, 2018

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What does #CEO mean?

By Jay Williams, Two-Brain Mentor When you think of a CEO, what pops in your head? Money? power? respect? Doing whatever you want? Ruling the WORLD!?!? That’s what I used to think. After running a business for 9 years and talking to hundreds of other business owners… The reality is a lot less sexy. The best CEO’s take responsibility for everything, good and bad. In large companies, the CEO is celebrated if the stock goes up, and put on the chopping block if it goes down. They are responsible for hiring all the key leadership. Their pay is made public and scrutinized. Any scandals they are involved in are in the front page of the paper. It’s NOT an easy job. We often talk about becoming the CEO of our small businesses. What does that mean for you? It’s taking responsibility for every little problem and solving it. It’s making sure you hire the right people at key positions. It’s setting aside time to plan the direction of your company… Then figuring out how to make your plan a reality. It’s taking care of yourself (working out, eating right, and recovering) so you have the energy to do your job well. It’s setting the example for your staff and customers. AND it’s making sure the business is profitable enough to help you achieve your perfect day so you can maintain this for the long term. It’s not easy. You have to WANT to be the CEO to get the benefits of being one. That means working ON your business rather than IN your business. And it starts by learning what you need to work on. Which is why you need a mentor. Schedule your next call today, even if you don’t think you need one. Jay “#CEO” Williams
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Why We Upgrade Every Year

I learned the hardest business lessons before 2012. The sleepless nights didn’t end there, but by late 2012, my business was no longer at constant risk of bankruptcy. I had multiple revenue streams, a more secure cash flow, and time with my kids. My first book, Two-Brain Business, was slowly gaining attention with other gym owners.   The book was popular because it was the first real book by a gym founder. It’s the bestselling book of all time in the fitness business niche, and over 100 people every month still get a copy. Most affiliates who book their free call with me have read it. Every word in it is still true.   So why write another word?   I produced my first business course videos in the winter of 2014. They covered some of the same topics as Two-Brain Business, but made the ideas more actionable. I got emails that said “You blew my mind” and “You fixed our business” every week. When I founded Two-Brain Business, I updated the videos and included everything new our gym was doing. I moved the videos to the background, because I believe mentorship is more important than knowledge.   So why shoot NEW videos every year?   Because things change.   Our 2018 Incubator program is better than our 2017 program, and that program changed lives. You can see the testimonials on this site: “You saved my gym, and probably my marriage.” There are dozens of them.   Four fitness entrepreneurs sign up for Incubation every three days. The Two-Brain mentoring team has grown to twelve. We’re changing the Movement for the better. And we can go further.   In 2012, I wrote about putting the best people in the best roles. That hasn’t changed. But no one was doing virtual OnRamps in 2012. No one was trying to cut through the maze of Facebook ads back then.   Two-Brain Business ...
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Top Twelve of the Last Twelve

We publish every day.   Between blog posts, podcasts, our YouTube Channel and social media…it can get a bit overwhelming.   And oh yeah, I’ve written three books about the gym business.   In case you’re new to TwoBrain (or just trying to eat our elephant), here are the top ten blog posts we published in the last twelve months. Each has been read over 1000 times, and they all started deeper conversations.   If you want, you can jump to the head of the class and book a free call with me (Chris) to start taking action. If not, enjoy the education and inspiration for as long as you like.   1. Theseus’ Boat – Maintaining Your Culture and Replacing Yourself 2.  3 Reasons You Should Love Orange Theory (and Other HIIT Trends) 3. Killing The Canary: The Paralyzing Effect of the Vocal Minority 4. Why We’re a Mentorship Practice 5. Love + Letters – SUPER important 6. How Many “Likes” Do You Need? – an important, and very thorough, explanation on the value and purpose of Social Media 7. How To Kill Your King (The WRONG Way to Open A Gym) 8. Let’s Get Real (Or Let’s Not Play) – on the need for more data in CrossFit, and why we’re going to invest $2M to save The Movement 9. 5 Tips to Not Suck At “Sales” – actionable steps to sell more, following the “Help First” philosophy 10 . Why You’ll Never Need 300 Members – we’re coaches, not recruiters. 11. How To Say “No” To Discounts 12. Salaries Breed Laziness and Complacency–a thought-provoking piece on the “intrapreneurial mindset.”   You might love some of these (you might hate others) but the writing is always of a high quality, and each one was written to provoke deep consideration.   When you join our list, you’ll get a love letter from me almost every day. These letters are usually answers to problems I ...
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How We Test Ideas

An uncaffeinated state is not my favorite. Neither is “hangry”. But I’m at my writing table without coffee or food this morning, because we’re testing an idea at my gym.   Catalyst is often the Petri dish for new ideas. In this case, we’re taking blood from ten clients and coaches, shipping it to a lab for analysis, and then looking at the results together. Those results might mean a better way to make exercise and nutrition prescriptions. On the other hand, they might mean nothing. So we don’t share the idea with other gyms until we’re sure, one way or the other.   Our new COO, Mike Lee, described Two-Brain Business as an “idea machine”. We now have twelve mentors on the team, and each of them is brilliant. That means a huge idea every half-second.   Some of the ideas are great. These are the ones you read about in my books, and on this site. Others don’t work out, and you never hear about them.   Here’s our vetting process: A mentor or member of the TwoBrain family has a great idea. We ask them to test the idea, and suggest an objective basis for comparison. Instead of, “Did you like it? Did people like it?” we don’t guess: we say, “what results can prove this is better than what you were doing before?” or even “What data says this is better than doing nothing at all?” If data supports the new idea, we share it with three other mentors on the team. Some of us–especially Brian Alexander and me–are only too willing to test new ideas, but we try to spread it out. You really can’t test more than one thing at a time, and since we’re always testing, we spread ideas around. If data still supports the new idea, we’ll cherrypick ten clients and share our experience with them. Then we’ll tell them exactly what ...
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