16 Years, Still A Beginner

16 Years, Still A Beginner

by Josh Martin, TwoBrain Mentor


Back in 2002 or 2003, my brothers started attending a place in our hometown called Velocity Sports Performance. Maybe some of you have heard of this place. In talking with the coaches there, my parents told them that I happened to be going to the University of Florida to study exercise science. They said: “You should have him stop by next time he’s home to see what we’re all about…we think he’d like it.”


That was all it took.


After that, I spent every waking moment I could just hanging out there. Asking questions. Watching training sessions. Studying books and videos. Learning everything by basically following all the coaches around like a lost puppy. Anything that they needed to be done, I was the first to dive at the opportunity.


Sweep the floors? I’ll do it!


Reorganize equipment? I’m on it!


They taught me how to watch and analyze movement in the real world, not just a textbook. They taught me how to write up a single training session and how that single session tied into the overall plan for a specific athlete or even an entire team.


But through all that – the shadowing, the learning, the questions – I still hadn’t officially coached yet. But one day I was sitting in the coaches office talking with them and glanced at the clock – 3:50…about 10 minutes before the next class starts. This struck me odd as normally by this time all the coaches were out on the floor, mingling with the incoming athletes – checking in, seeing how they were doing, etc. I ran out of the office to make sure we had people coming in. Sure enough, we did. I came back in to let them know people were out there and I received a “Ok, we’ll be there in a second.”


Five minutes later…I was back in there: “Guys, are you coming out here?”


“Yea…we’ll be right there.”


Last chance, 3:58, I run back – “GUYS! Its almost time to start class!”


And then they leveled me with: “Oh Josh…we forgot to tell you…you’ll be coaching class today! Get them started on time. We’ll be out there to watch and help if you need it…but we know you’ll be fine. You are ready.”




Talk about pressure and being put under the microscope. I can remember being so nervous that I almost ran to the bathroom to throw up. But you know what? I did just fine. As they said, I was ready…I just didn’t know it. They had been grooming me for this moment for months, they just hadn’t told me. Afterwards, they all shared a big chuckle at my expense, but then lavished me with praise. We all retired back to the coaches office where they each reviewed the things I did well and areas that I needed to improve. They also told me that they wanted me to start coaching regularly if my schedule allowed.


Pay? Not one penny.


Experience? Priceless.


Fast forward three years (in which I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience at the collegiate level) and I begin working at IMG Academies right before I’m set to graduate.


At this point, I had been coaching pretty regularly for a 3 or 4 years. I had experience with professional athletes, D1 collegiate level, youth and amateurs, even “average joe” types that just wanted to get in shape and be healthy.


As the new kid on the block, I also had typical “new kid” duties to earn my stripes – you know, the stuff most people don’t like to do: clean-up, straightening, making things look consistent (and professional) for everyone that came through the doors. You could say that my OCD was honed here! But we did things like this because they truly mattered. Not just to the clients, but to all of the staff too. We took pride in our facility.


At both the mid-point and the end of my time at IMG, we were given reviews/evaluations.


“Josh does a good job of performing duties that are assigned to him, and is very intuitive about the field, but lacks self-motivation at times. Still needs work on being an effective coach in a large group setting.”


Whew, tough huh?


Nope. That’s not how I took it at all.


Wouldn’t trade that for the world either. It is what has kept me motivated not just for the success of my clients (and my gym), but also for creating opportunities for others to master the craft of coaching.


What did your last evaluation say?


What steps are you taking to improve?


Methods Vs. Principles

Methods Vs. Principles

By Josh Martin, TwoBrain Mentor


“Methods are many, but principles are few. Methods always change. Principles never do.”

What this means is that principles stand the test of time. Methods can be thought of as how those principles are put into action.
I think that we can all agree on some basic principles:
  • clients should be assessed before any training takes place
  • nutrition is a vital component to achieving the results someone desires
  • recovery is an often overlooked aspect of performance enhancement
Now let’s look at some methods with regards to the above principles:
  • Do you perform a movement screen, like the FMS, on all clients? Or do you select something objective you’ve created in-house?
  • Paleo, zone, keto?
  • Meditation, prayer, sleep, cryotherapy, vibration plate, e-stim, static stretching, cold/hot tub plunges?
When it comes to training clients in your gym, principles are the backbone on which everything else is layered. Being able to hip hinge, squat, press, pull, and carry – these are training principles we can agree are necessary. How you choose to implement each of these are influenced by the methods you choose. Going to a strongman, kettlebell, weightlifting, or CrossFit weekend course – these things are all great tools to go in your tool belt, but they are methods. Not principles.
(In fact, CrossFit is referred to by creator Greg Glassman as a ‘methodology.’ So is the way Westside trains…it’s the ‘Conjugate Method.’)
Here’s the take-home message – if you base what you do with your clients within the context of a method, you become limited. What happens when you don’t have that tool (like a kettlebell, or a barbell) at your disposal? How about if you have a group fitness class with 15 people, the workout on the board calls for rowing 500m every round during a 30 minute workout, and you only have 3 rowers?
When you have a system to fall back on, and fully understand your clients’ goals, you can select the methods that you want and/or that you have access to. It shouldn’t change your ability to achieve results for your client.
Methods are the zoom-in function on a camera. When you are zoomed in, you are hyper focused on a method. When you zoom out, the overall landscape becomes much clearer, freeing you up to let your principles guide your method selection.
The proverb at the top has its roots in a quote wrongly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Here’s the full quote, by Harrington Emerson:
“As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”
What are your guiding principles?
How are you sharing them with your staff?
How are you sharing them with your clients?

How To Manage Your Time Better

by Anastasia Bennett, TwoBrain Mentor

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so why does it seem like some people have more?

One of the most common questions that I get asked by entrepreneurs is, “How can I get everything done in the time I have?”


Most of my clients feel so overwhelmed by running a business and looking after their family that they often think they don’t have time to look after themselves.


When you learn good time management skills you will feel less pressure, less anxiety, and a sense of mental freedom to make right decisions. What does this mean? It means you are more productive and less stressed.


Here are some of my favourite tips to help you manage your time more effectively and efficiently:



“Bad ideas don’t kill businesses; too many good ideas kill businesses.”


Too many ideas can cause mental clutter. It’s important to understand that not every idea has to be acted upon. Just because someone else is doing it doesn’t mean that it’s right for your business, so ask yourself: “Is this going to help me get closer to my vision?” You need to figure out which of your ideas or projects are important for your business and what impact they will have.


Stay focused

Many people don’t realize that focus, not great ideas, is responsible for success.. Work on one task at a time and avoid over-committing yourself.  Ask yourself, “how much time do I have to complete this task?”  instead of “How long should it take to complete this?”

Your decision should be based on the time available. Start with the smallest, fastest task that you can cross off your list first.


Learn how to concentrate on one task and block everything else in order to complete and move on to the next one.




Lack of direction can be a big problem. When you are unclear in your vision or how to get there, it’s hard to create time for important things. Without direction we tend to procrastinate and waste time on other things, then complain that we don’t have time to get anything done. The people who seem to have more than 24 hours in their day know their vision, their mission and direction they need to take, and they don’t lose time trying to figure out where they want to go with each and every task.


Make appointments with yourself


After you have made a decision about your direction and priorities, create a To Do list and block out time in your calendar.


Book family time, fitness time and work time and don’t compromise it. Learn how to say “no” to new ideas until you have completed everything else you have scheduled into your calendar. If you have family time scheduled in your calendar, don’t push it aside for work time.


Don’t forget to block some downtime as well. Each appointment that you make is important – including the ones you make with yourself.


If it is taking too long for you to complete something, reassess the situation. Are you the right person for this task? Is there some else who can do it faster so you can concentrate on something that you are good at?


My dad is a builder and he always tells me: “measure it twice, cut once”. It has a different meaning to everyone, but for me it means ‘delegate’. Delegate in order to be able to do a job once and do it right. You’ll free up time and be a lot happier as a result.


Never Procrastinate


You need to learn how to motivate yourself. We all have days when we don’t feel like doing anything, whether we are tired, sick or just feeling blah. This is when discipline and self- motivation come in to play.  As a business owner, you are a leader. Motivation is the key for leadership. If you want to become a better business owner and have a more successful business, start with working on yourself and your own motivation. You are responsible to achieving results and getting work done. There is no one to hold you accountable for your success unless you have a mentor; then he or she will make sure that you are moving to the right direction.


The only way to finish a job is to start it, so don’t put it off for tomorrow if it can be done today!


And so we come full circle. How to get motivated? Have a clear direction and vision for yourself and your business. Plan ahead, set long term goals and create your 90-day action plan.


Here is a kick start from me to you:

  1. Create a business vision
  2. Set 10 year, 3 year, and 1 year goals
  3. Create a 90 day action list
  4. Decide what is most important for your business; what will help you to achieve your 90 days actions
  5. Create a To Do list
  6. Determine how much time you have for business each week
  7. Decide how much time you need to complete each task/action­
  8. Determine which tasks you can finish next week
  9. Block your calendar for family, business, down time, fitness
  10. Say “no” to the ideas that don’t fit your plan – add them to a wish list for the future
  11. Stick to your plan for 1 week, and email me and let me know how it went!



Why You Should Evaluate Your Staff

Why You Should Evaluate Your Staff

By Anastasia Bennett, TwoBrain Mentor


Why should you evaluate your staff?


“The goal needs to be to get the team right, get them moving in the right direction, and get them to see where they are making mistakes and where they are succeeding.”

Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups


Regular evaluations during the year will help your staff have a clear understanding of how they measure up against their targets and standards.


The purpose of evaluating your staff is to give them an opportunity to grow.


Evaluation and constructive feedback is a gateway for improvement. Don’t wait until your staff do something wrong. Conduct your evaluations every 3-6 months, and schedule them in advance.


We teach consistency and evaluating your staff should be part of it. If you are consistent with your evaluations, there won’t be any surprises for your team. If you wait until they’ve done something wrong, that’s unfair to everyone. Be proactive, rather than reactive.


Evaluation sessions are a great way to acknowledge performance achievements as well. It will help your staff to feel safe and secure, It will build a stronger culture within your workplace.


“Group performance depends on behavior that communicates one powerful overarching idea: We are safe and connected.”

Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups


It is very important to keep your feedback informative, positive and constructive. Coyle recommended using this line in your delivery:


“I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.”


Celebrate great performances in public: praise a staff person in front of your team. Give them visible rewards and tangible experiences. make sure everyone receives praise for their specific actions, instead of general “good job team!” posts. Team posts are the bare minimum; individual praise for specific traits or actions is much more powerful. Brag them up!


As a leader you should learn to have positive conversations and achieve good outcomes: active listening, creative thinking, asking critical questions, exploring concerns and interests, and constructive conversations.


Evaluations are a great tool for you to become a better leader, designer and successful business owner.


Here is a free sample of a Coach Evaluation for you to download.


The Camera’s Always On

The Camera’s Always On

When you open a business, you take the stage.


Most of your best customers will come from personal meetings. And most of those meetings will happen when you’re not prepared: in the coffee shop, in local groups, or at your kid’s soccer game.


But even when you’re not face-to-face with someone, your actions still reflect on your business. And that means you’re always on. Most of us live in communities with only one degree of separation–if I don’t know you, I know someone who does–and your reputation travels faster than any Google AdWord ever could.


And perception is reality: no one will take the time to get to know “the real you”. They don’t have time.


There are three types of reputation:

Bad – people actively warn others away from you

Indifferent – “I never hear anything about them”

Good – people actively describe you as “amazing” or “the best guy I know.”


It’s not enough to just avoid a bad reputation, but let’s start there:


Don’t cut people off in traffic.

Don’t rant about “bad clients” on Facebook, even if you think other gym owners will pat you on the back.

Dress like someone you’d trust with your wallet.


To cultivate a good reputation:

Over tip everywhere you go.

Smile at everyone.

Make eye contact.

Say “Good morning!”

Seek ways to connect the people you meet.

Help First.

Ask yourself, “How can I make this person’s day?”


Finally, cultivate an “offstage” area. Even at Disney, where the “stage” is hectares of sun-scorched asphalt and every employee is part of the production crew, there are tunnels where Goofy can de-Goof. He can take off his giant head, say a few swears, kick the wall if he has to. Your “offstage” might be your home, or maybe you let it all loose at the gym (not your own.) I think every entrepreneur needs a release valve. Mine’s on my bike, where no one can see me scowl.


Remember: people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou said that.


Making people feel good is a practice. It doesn’t come naturally to most of us. But practicing makes US feel good, too. And as a bonus, if you’re an entrepreneur, you really don’t have any choice, because the camera is ALWAYS on you.

The Infidel’s Tactic To Fixing Your Gym

The Infidel’s Tactic To Fixing Your Gym

by Craig Hysell of FlowState and Conviction Training


What if you had to do something different in the gym to make it better for your clients? Would you do it?


You certainly would.


What if that meant you had to be at the gym less?




What if it meant you had to do different workouts than the rest of the gym does (and what your business is based on) to MAKE THE EXPERIENCE BETTER AT YOUR GYM?


Most of you might not. In fact, some of you might wonder what I’m talking about.


And you might have a laundry list of good reasons why.


But here’s what happened when I did just that. (And how I did it.)


Now, a heretical article like this is not definitive in its necessity, absolute in its process, or practical in every situation.


I believe if you are a new or newer gym owner (working through the Founder and Farmer phases) of your business, this isn’t for you; you’re not ready, your staff isn’t ready and your community isn’t ready.


Successfully doing what I’m about to share here is predicated on the maturation of your business, not your feelings or emotions.


If you are in the Tinker or Thief phases of business ownership, stepping OUTSIDE your gym can make your gym culture STRONGER and your client experience DEEPER because you understand how to apply what you learn to the bigger picture of your current vision.


Tinkers and Thieves have strong systems, strong cultures and have already taken Leadership roles that put strong staff between them and a majority of the client’s day to day touchpoints.


All that said, let’s continue:


One of the first things any leader does in combat when it gets messy, is step back off the line a little bit to get a larger perspective. For us, in this article, let’s say that means getting out of your gym and working on YOURSELF again so you can IMPROVE your Team and your community.


What will your Team think of you if you stop doing CrossFit? What will the clients think? What will your competitors say?


Well, your Team and your clients will respect it at first if you do it correctly (like I share below)… then they will grow to love it as they begin to see how it benefits them.


As for what your competitors say, if you care about such things, you’re probably not ready to do this. 


Here’s when you know it is time to step outside of your gym:

  • Your physical fitness regimen has become a job rather than a recharge.
  • You find yourself going through the motions… or avoiding the motions altogether.
  • You struggle to stay focused during your regular gym classes
  • You’re not fired up to train anymore.


It’s time to change.


How do you do it? You talk to your staff FIRST and say something like this:


“Gang, I appreciate every single thing you do here. Your effort in here and the way you take care of our clients is freeing me up to think more progressively. In order for the gym to keep growing, I’m going to play with a few different training disciplines and see how we can add value to our program. I’m going to need your support for a little bit because it will entail me stepping away from group classes for a bit and test some things. Do you mind helping me make this gym even better than what it already is?”


Depending on how far removed you are from the day to day operations with your clients, this is all you might need to do.


IF you have to make announcement to the gym’s client base (most of you do not have to, even if you think you do: most of them simply do not care about what you are doing as long as their experience in your gym is awesome) you can simply share the reason you are exploring other training modalities at the moment: to bring value back to THEM and IMPROVE on an ALREADY GREAT culture and product.


What kind of physical training should you do? Any single thing that interests you! Ride a bike, train for a triathlon, swim to Cuba, do jiu-jitsu, see what makes Orange Theory so interesting to people, get into bodybuilding, train for a figure contest, etc. There is no wrong answer! Follow your passion!


Why are you doing this? Because stagnation is an infectious disease. And you KNOW it if you’re suffering from it. This is NOT acceptable for your vision, your staff, your clients or your soul.


There are so many great ideas you have never even thought about still out there to make your businesses better; not in terms of adding more options to the menu but for making your group classes, personal training and nutritional programs BETTER.


To find these nuggets you must do bold things and dig in new places.


Sometimes, to get in the Flow, you must review the current definitions (and “rules”) of your processes because these could now become the very things holding you back.


Be brave enough to be one of the Infidels; for those of you who remember “back in the day”, that’s what got us all here in the first place.


You might not be understood in the beginning, but you will be inspired and thanked in the end.


Just like I was.