Your Gym 2.0 Part 2: How to Create New Service Packages and Sell Them

Your Gym 2.0 Part 2: How to Create New Service Packages and Sell Them

Andrew (00:02):

Welcome to another episode of Two-Brain Radio with your host Chris Cooper. The COVID-19 crisis is a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity for gym owners. With their businesses on hold, they can change and improve anything they want. To help entrepreneurs find silver lining in the current storm, Chris led an online group for the second part of Your Gym 2.0 exercise on May 10th. The goal: help gym owners take actionable steps to create service packages that are perfect for their very best clients. What follows is the audio from the May 10th webinar. What follows is the audio from the May 10th webinar. To work along with Chris, download Two-Brain’s Your Gym 2.0 worksheet via the link in the show notes. And now here’s Chris Cooper Cooper.

Chris (00:41):

Hey everybody. Thanks for joining me and happy mother’s day. I’m glad to see people hop over to Zoom today instead of broadcasting to Facebook live, some of the streaming requirements changed on Facebook. So we’re going to do this here, but we’ll still record it for everybody and share later. First off, I want to say happy mother’s day. What I’m really proud of in the fitness industry is that while women are generally underrepresented in most business categories as entrepreneurs in the fitness industry, that’s not true. That more than 50% of fitness enterprises are owned by women. And that is especially true if you count microgyms and coaching platforms, you know, studios and things like that, more are owned by women than by men, which means that this is a fantastic opportunity for women both to succeed as entrepreneurs but also to lead and provide a great example for future women on what it can mean to be successful too.

Chris (01:35):

So moms, thank you for that. Thank you for doing it while being a mother and doing, you know, all of the hard work, which is another full-time job too. As we get into this and while people are joining here today, I want to talk about what the future model of the gym is going to look like and why we’re talking so much about online training. And one of the things that we’ve heard, we hear very, very, very few complaints from people, but sometimes people misunderstand what we’re saying. And so one of the things that we heard this week twice in fact was Two-Brain only cares about online training, Two-Brain only talks about online training now. That’s not actually the case. If you look at our Roadmap, less than two and a half percent of the total space on that Roadmap is actually taken out by online training.

Chris (02:22):

The truth and the reality of our situation right now, whether we like it or not, is that online training forms the majority of the fitness business. And we’re really thankful to be able to talk about that and pivot gyms in that direction to keep their coaching business. And we are hopeful that you’ll get back to in person coaching before too long. But the reality is that we are never going back a hundred percent to the way things were. And so if you’re going to succeed in the fitness industry now, you have to be using online tools and making the most of that platform as well as your in-person platform. Now today we’re going to talk about your vision, continued for your new gym and how we’re going to get there. So last time we talked about kind of setting that vision, removing the obstacles, taking the things away from your current business model that didn’t work, figuring out what’s left that you want to keep, that actually builds your Perfect Day.

Chris (03:15):

And I called those things cornerstones. Now there are basically four cornerstones to your fitness business now. And so just as a really quick review here, those cornerstones are nutrition coaching, group exercise coaching, personal exercise coaching and online coaching. So nutrition coaching, depending on where you live, you might not be able to write diet plans for your clients. That’s OK. You can help them with healthy choices and habits and self regulation. And in a worst case scenario, you can partner with a local dietician, but the prescription to include nutrition in the client’s overall fitness plan should come from you. And that’s why it’s a cornerstone of your fitness coaching business. The second is group exercise coaching. Most of your clients will prefer to exercise in a group, especially the clients that you had before this crisis began. So group coaching serves as a lower priced option for people who can’t afford one-on-one attention, but it also provides the measurable benefits of motivation and community.

Chris (04:16):

These clients follow general programming with customization in groups of four or more. This will—group coaching is not dead. The group fitness model is not dead. The the appetite for gathering together in a community will actually be heightened when this crisis is over. So if you can keep clients around longer or until you get back into the group physical location business, you’ll actually have an easier time recruiting new members later. What all these online classes like Peloton and P90X back in my day, what they’ve done for you is basically create a crop of interest. So there’s a lot of people out there who are aware now they’ve maybe taken the first steps, they feel a little bit better, they feel a little bit more confident, and now they’re going to look for the next level. And if you present yourself as the next level, you will succeed.

Chris (05:08):

The other thing that they’re looking for after a month or two months in captivity is probably some human interaction, and so for those people, group training solves a need that they probably didn’t know that they had back in February. The third cornerstone is personal exercise coaching. Now, this is one-on-one or personal training with personalized workouts created just for them tailored to the client’s needs on that particular day. 10 to 20% of your business will be personal exercise coaching long term, but every client should start one-on-one even if they plan to move to groups or online training later. This is the fastest path to progress for your clients. It’s your premium service. Group training again is your discount service for people who can’t afford one-on-one attention. And then the fourth cornerstone is online coaching where you’re providing accountability and daily customization of your general programming, fun activities and challenges you can’t provide in a gym like in the gym setting, in the constraints of the time that you have like trivia night or Zoom workout classes, online courses, mindfulness and habit training.

Chris (06:15):

This is the service that keeps your clients on track when they’re not right in front of you. Now, to date, most people have treated their online coaching business as like their curbside delivery. You know, as soon as my restaurant can open the doors, people are going to want to come to a restaurant instead of picking it up from the curb. And while that’s going to be true for a lot of people, it’s not going to be true in every case. People are going to be scared. People are going to take that convenient delivery just because it exists and it didn’t exist before. It’s more than a drive through. But McDonald’s has changed their entire model and they’re testing their new restaurants in Denmark right now. And the way that the McDonald’s model works is basically you can pick up and you can sit in the restaurant, but it’s going to be very different than it was before.

Chris (07:07):

It’s going to be like right now, there are people going through the McDonald’s drive through, picking up their meals and then sitting in the parking lot and eating them. That’s what McDonald’s is going to feel like. That’s not what you want for your business probably. But if you think about how many people go through the McDonald’s drive through and choose that as an option instead of going to a restaurant because of the convenience, you’ll start to understand like why some people will still choose online training as an option over in person training. It’s convenient. It’s quick. I can take this, I can eat it whenever I want to. You know, it might be in my car, it might be right when I get home. It might be three hours from now. So I don’t want you to think about online training just as the curbside option to the restaurant that you own.

Chris (07:53):

You need to think about online training as the ability to offer services that you couldn’t necessarily offer in person. OK? So you know, maybe your old coaching business didn’t use all four pillars. Maybe you just had one or two and maybe you’re worried about change. So before I guide you through the next steps, I want you to understand what sunk costs means. These are different from fixed costs. Some costs are the expenses and the moves that you’ve made before now. And I want you to understand that sunk costs mean nothing. If you’ve spent the last 10 years going through medical school and you feel like, man, I hate this doctor business, but I have to be a doctor because I’ve invested all this time and money. That’s not true. You can change your mind. You can change whatever you want to do. This week I’ve been so motivated by people in the Two-Brain groups saying, screw it, this time I’m going to rebuild a business that pays me better.

Chris (08:51):

That makes me more profit. Instead of just running this break-even public service at your, you know, a charity business. That’s so awesome. And that’s what this chance is really all about here. So you might feel like you’ve worked years to get where you are, maybe even a decade. But I promise you, you haven’t come this far to only come this far. Your work to date has only set you up for this opportunity. Nothing more. You aren’t shackled to your past. You can change. So I want you to take out the worksheets. I put them in the file section. If you’re watching a recording of this video, you’ll find them in the recording notes. There are several sheets there. The very first one is called exercise one, seed clients. Your gym 2.0 worksheet, part two. So here’s what we’re going to do guys.

Chris (09:39):

We’re going to work together. If you have questions as we go through this, then I want you to just put up your hand and ask them. If you’re in the Two-Brain family, you already know who your seed clients are. So we’re going to go through this exercise quickly to get onto the next. If you haven’t done this exercise before and you’re watching this webinar or somewhere else, you’re listening to it on a podcast, then I want you to download the worksheet, press pause and work your way through this slowly. Do not skip this. It’s most important to understand what your best clients want. So the first exercise, we’re going to go through is seed clients.

Chris (10:14):

All right, so guys in the chat, I’d like you to list the initials of five of your seed clients right now. OK. Just type in the initials and that will give me a sense of how quickly we’re actually going through this. OK. Getting a couple of initials posted up here right now. Thanks. James. K A J H E F C P T P Justin CF. KK DLK, MMC. Got it. Yes. I love so much that you guys know who your seed clients are because they’re the focal point that we’re going to build the rest of your business around. Good. If you haven’t finished, guys, you can come back to this and move on to the next. So just to make sure that everybody, I just got a message saying somebody didn’t understand the worksheet. So I’m going to share a vision of my screen here. There we go.

Chris (11:01):

Hopefully you can see that better. So the first thing that we’re doing is going through the seed clients exercise. If you haven’t done this before, you’re listing out, you’re pulling out your client list. You’re looking at like top five clients who make you the happiest, top five clients who make you the most money. Maybe even do top 10 if you need to. And then the next thing that you’re going to do is compare the two lists. Circle the names that appear on both lists, and those are your seed clients. These are the people that we want to serve and we want to replicate through service. Now what we’re going to do is we’re gonna flip that paper open, OK? And we’re going to draw three columns. And the first column is going to be titled client name. So you could just put your initials if you want to, their initials, then client goal, and then client why.

Chris (11:53):

Now it’s going to be harder the further we move to the right these columns to fill them in. OK? So the first thing you’re going to do is write down your client’s initials under client name. OK? Write those initials down beside their initials in the next column. And I want you to write their goal, OK. What were they trying to achieve when they first came to your gym? And then beside that goal, if you know it, I want you to write their why. Now on the Two-Brain coaching platform, which is the coaching arm of Two-Brain Business, we write a lot about motivational interviewing. Precision Nutrition does this. They talk about the five why’s and really getting down to a person’s real reason for wanting to join your gym. If you haven’t done that, that’s OK. This is not something that most microgym owners have been doing in the past.

Chris (12:41):

All right? So we’re going to take a couple minutes. If you’re listening to this recording, you can press pause and you can actually work through this at your own timeline, right? So thanks guys who have posted their seed client initials in the comments here. We’re getting some really good stuff already. I’m going to give you two or three minutes to work through this and then we’re going to work on, move on to the next. And again, if you’re not sure what their why is, that’s fine. But as their coach, you should definitely know their goals at a minimum. OK? And of course we’ll find out their why later. Now if you find that you’re writing down their initials and you’re not sure what their goal is, or maybe you think like, Oh, their goal is just to exercise more. That’s not the case.

Chris (13:25):

That’s not the right answer. You have to dig a little bit deeper and you know you’re forgiven for not knowing that it’s not too late to figure that out. What you’re going to do is book a Zoom call with them because you still can’t do like a lot of one on one face to face and you’re going to say, what’s your goal right now? How has it changed since you started? How do you feel your progress is going? And then you’re going to say, why is that your goal now and what’s the reason why? You know, do you have that reason and why do you have that reason? You’re just going to keep asking why until you get down to the root of their behavior. OK, so you need to know their goals. Now we start getting into how we’re going to service their goals and I want you to keep an open mind about what your service is right now.

Chris (14:08):

I want you to go back to a blank slate, I want you to pretend that we’re 30 days before you actually open your business. Really deciding what should my business be? So you’ve got these four cornerstones, you’ve got nutrition, you’ve got group exercise, you’ve got personal training, and you’ve got online training. And looking at these four cornerstones, you know, these are the tools that I can use to help this client. These are the strategies. I want you to look at the seed clients on your list. So go back to that first list and then I want you to ask yourself a question, does this client need nutrition coaching to reach this goal? Now, if you’re looking at their goal and their goal is weight loss, then obviously yes, nutrition coaching is going to be the foundation, right? It’s going to be one of the key cornerstones. So you’re going to write a big N next to that client’s name.

Chris (14:58):

Then you’re going to ask yourself, does this client need group coaching to reach this goal? And if the answer is yes, then I want you to write a big G beside their name. Then I want you to ask, does this client need personal coaching to reach this goal? And if the answer is yes, then write a big P beside their name. And finally ask yourself, does this client need accountability, follow-up, habits training, mindset coaching in between our sessions to achieve this goal? And does the client need help doing enough workouts on their own? Would they be better off doing some workouts at home? And if so, write a big O for online beside their name. Now again, I don’t want you to think about your sunk costs. I don’t want you to think about, well, I sell group training and I have some personal training or I don’t have enough coaches to offer nutrition coaching.

Chris (15:52):

Don’t worry about that yet. We will get there. OK. So right now you’re writing an N, a G, a P and/or an O next to each client, depending on what their goals are and how you can best help them get to their goals. The exercise behind the exercise is this. We need to think about our clients as individuals instead of part of a larger group. A few weeks ago when I was coming on in our primary focus, our urgency was all around client retention. I mentioned that personal trainers had a much easier time retaining clients online than group coaches did, who didn’t have a personal training background. Because while group coaches think, you know, one person is missing out of 12, that’s pretty good personal trainers say, where is Mary? So in this case it is best to have this one on one relationship.

Chris (16:45):

In a group coaching, you’re going to have a smaller one on one relationship because you’ve scaled your business that way. But when we come back to the new normal, you’re going to have a different mix. There’s going to be a different relationship with your clients. So that’s the NGPO. Kev. Yeah, please do put more than one letter per client. Yeah, that’s a good, that’s a great question. And you are bang on. So guys, it’s not that you’re choosing one thing, you’re choosing a collection of things. The other exercise behind this exercise is to show you that most people need more than group fitness coaching. Almost everyone. OK. That will not solve every problem. And Kevin could give you a three hour lecture on this. He’s been around a long time and he shared a lot of his wisdom with me this week.

Chris (17:33):

So thanks for that Kevin. So we’re just doing this with our seed clients now. If you want to take some extra time, you can go through your entire client list and do the NGPO exercise on them. OK. And that’s, when I went through it as a test run about a week ago when I was kind of preparing this exercise and trying to figure out and prioritize which service comes first, is it based on like their method, you know, if they sell CrossFit, do they prioritize based on group coaching or do they prioritize based on the fitness pyramid from Greg Glassman or do we build up their business starting from principles instead of from methods? And I think that we do it from principles. So before we choose a method of delivery for your group classes or philosophy of training for your personal training or a diet for your nutrition coaching, we’re going to stick with the principles and those are our cornerstones.

Chris (18:30):

The next exercise we’re going to do after you finished the NGPO is rocks, pebbles, sand and water. OK? So you’re going to go back through each client and each of your seed clients now has a couple of letters after their name, maybe not all four, maybe two, maybe three. You know, maybe some do just have one. And that’s fine because people’s needs change over time. And so what you might find is like, well, this client is brand new. All they really need right now is my help building a fitness habit. Let me give you an example. A woman came in to Catalyst about a year and a half ago when I was still doing a few of the NSIs to kind of keep my hand in. And she announced that she had set a personal budget for herself of a hundred dollars a month. Now to her, this is a big investment in herself because she was starting from zero, but a hundred dollars won’t buy you very much coaching at Catalyst these days.

Chris (19:26):

So instead of saying, well, you can afford to come once or twice a week and we’ll try and you know, we’ll try and kill you every time you’re here. What I said was if that was my budget, I would start with nutrition, especially with your habits. And I would start a walking program. And so what we did was we sold her a nutrition coaching program and then I said, OK, now I just want you to walk three to four times a week, you know, of this distance, two kilometers, three kilometers, four kilometers, whatever that is. And I want to book another appointment with you to talk next month. And then the next month came and we tweaked her nutrition coaching plan a little bit. And then the following month came and she said, this exercise is getting easy. What do I do? And I said, OK, well here’s how we add exercise coaching into your program.

Chris (20:14):

Do you prefer to do this exercise coaching one on one with me or in a small group setting? She said one on one with you. And I said, great. I have a fantastic personal trainer who you’re absolutely going to love. Her name is Jessica and she has openings Mondays and Thursdays. I think that’s the right prescription for you to get started. And this client immediately went from a hundred dollars a month as her ceiling to take care of herself to 399 a month. And it’s just because we started with habits. So as you’re deciding, you know which one of these things takes priority for my clients, you’re going to say which thing is most important to them right now? Now I’m going to use the rocks in the glass analogy to illustrate how this exercise should go. You’ve probably all heard this story before, but you know, a science teacher pulls out a cup, he puts three rocks in the cup until the rocks are like even with the top.

Chris (21:12):

And he says, is the cup full? And the students say, yeah, it’s full, you can’t fit any more rocks. And then he pulls out a bag of pebbles, like the ones you find in a fish tank, he dumps them in and it fills all the space between the rocks. Until the pebbles now come up to the top of the glass and he says, now is the glass full? And the students say, OK, yeah, you got us, the pebbles filled in the space between the rocks, it’s full. And then he pulls out a bag of sand and he pours the sand into the company, you know, swirls it around a little bit. So the sand fills in all the little spaces between the pebbles. And he says, now is the cup full? And the students say, Oh, OK, yeah, you fit in sand, but there’s nothing smaller than sand.

Chris (21:51):

It’s full. And then he pulls out a glass of water and he fills the rest of the cup. And the water flows between all the little granules of sand. And finally he’s got rocks and then pebbles and then sand and then water. And it’s brimming right to the top. And he says, now it’s full. So what I want you to do with this exercise is look at your clients and consider NFPO, nutrition, group, personal training, online as the rocks, the pebbles, the sand and water in the glass. You have to ask yourself for each client individually, which of these things will make the greatest difference right now. And I want you to circle the letter, that corresponds. So if nutrition will make the biggest difference right now, circle the N. If personal training will make the biggest difference right now, circle the P. If group training will make the biggest difference, circle the G. If habits, coaching, online training, remote coaching will make the biggest difference, circle the O.

Chris (22:54):

And we’re going to do that for each of your seed clients.

Chris (22:58):

And Kevin, this is exactly why it’s OK to put more than one letter per client because now we’re choosing priorities. And now you know where to start from. So when we’re pricing our services and selling our services and showing our pricing binder to clients, now we know which page to start with, OK? And we’ll get to that in one moment. All right, the next exercise, and I don’t expect you to do this live. I expect you to do this afterward. If you’re looking at the worksheet, you’re probably like, Oh no, this next exercise is going to take me an hour. And it’s true. You’ve got an hour to basically build up your new business plan. So the fifth exercise we’re going to do today is called NGPO for all. And what you’re going to do is pull up your client list of active clients.

Chris (23:44):

Don’t worry about people who have put memberships on hold or canceled during this crisis.They’re probably going to come back. That’s fine, but maybe they’re not your seed clients in the new world. That’s OK. You can still be friendly. You don’t have to be their best friend anyway. What I want you to do is go through every client on your list. Now you can do this as quickly as you can. The math will still work. You’re going to write NGP and/or O beside each client name on your client list, and then what you’re going to do is you’re gonna sum up all of those different Ns, all of the Gs, all the Ps, all the Os. You’re gonna write them on the worksheet here. And what I’m trying to do here is give you an objective view of your client’s priorities so that when you’re reshaping your business based on these four cornerstones, you can say, Holy moly, nutrition should have been my priority all along.

Chris (24:36):

Or, wow, I should move online and just keep the bricks and mortar. You know, when I started working with nutrition, started providing nutrition coaching to people started considering again the fitness pyramid from Greg Glassman and looking at nutrition at the bottom, started reading again, first hundred words of fitness. You know, and the first 23 words are about nutrition, you know, it occurred to me that maybe I should open a nutrition coaching business and just keep a squat rack in the back parking lot. You know, I said that in a couple of my books, too. The reason that I didn’t was to first I had sunk costs in the facility. I had signed a lease, I had bought this equipment. And the second one was, I don’t get thrilled about being a nutrition coach. So what that meant was I spent some time trying to find a nutrition coach.

Chris (25:26):

I eventually built a great nutrition coach with Miranda using the HSN model and you know, now we have a nutrition coaching business and that’s the first step for a lot of clients. So the key here is you’re identifying what your primary service might be for the majority of your clients. If that’s not the service that you’re really passionate about delivering, it just means that your big priority is finding somebody who can deliver that under your coaching umbrella because that’s what most of your clients need. The alternative is that you fire all those clients and rebuild with clients who don’t need that service. You know, because as long as the primary service that your clients need is not the primary service that you’re selling, you’re going to have a very high churn rate and you probably should. So we’re going to go back to questions here because I do see a few. Fergus says this exercise has a spreadsheet written all over it.

Chris (26:21):

Yes. Fergus spreadsheets are definitely important here, and if you enjoy spreadsheets, then you’re going to love this. To the rest of you, I apologize, you can’t open a business without operating a spreadsheet. All right, so this is obviously not something that you’re going to do while we’re on this call. I want you to go through and eliminate as many sunk costs as you can. Here I just talked like what happens if you’re not passionate about the service that most of your clients need? The second thing is like, what if I’m not qualified to deliver the thing that most people need? What if I’m not qualified to coach nutrition or qualified to coach group or qualified to do personal training or qualified to give people online coaching. What if I don’t know what to do? And this is a situation that I found myself in after a four year degree, I found myself credentialed but unqualified.

Chris (27:12):

I walked into my first personal training client and I said, what do I do? I have no idea. You know, I had this bachelor of science in exercise science. I could describe the physiology and anatomy of all the body parts we’d be using that day. I could tell them the benefits of like the three energy cycles, but I couldn’t actually relate to the client. And so this is where Two-Brain Coaching comes in. And we’re working really, really, really hard and fast to make sure that you get all the coaching that you need for online personal training, group and nutrition coaching too, so that you’re qualified and confident and effective when you’re dealing with your clients.

Chris (27:55):

But right now, you know, if you feel like you’re unqualified, then, you know, if you say like, well, most of my clients need nutrition coaching, I’m unqualified, I’d like to do it, but I don’t know what to do, then that’s your priority, right? You’re still in captivity for the next month. Get qualified to coach nutrition, get qualified to coach online coaching. You know, the Two-Brain Coaching first degree program is built to get people qualified to train one on one. The second degree program is built to get people qualified to coach groups, even online groups, you know, and the online coaching course which is free to people in Two-Brain Business is there to help you and your coaches get qualified to lead people online. You know? All right, so now let’s talk about pricing. There’s a lot of questions about this and while it’s—the questions are amazing, I think what would really, really help here is building a model.

Chris (28:53):

So a few weeks ago we talked about what it takes to build a model and you have to start with a vision and then you come up with your strategy and then you make your tactics. So I’m going to give you even like all three levels here today. I’m going to give you sample pricing sheets, but I want to talk you through the process of building your own pricing and how to look at it. OK. Online coaching, I said is a separate cornerstone because it’s more than like your curbside delivery of your group training product. It’s more than your curbside delivery or the drive-through version of your personal training product. It’s just a completely different platform that gives you a lot of options around habits coaching, mindset coaching, things that you really can’t do in person. OK. These things are, you know, greatly leveraged online.

Chris (29:41):

When I used to train a lot of goalies, a parent would want to come in and they’d want to watch the session. And a lot of the goalie training we would be doing is visualization. So the kid would be sitting still for about 10 minutes getting into, you know, kind of a meditative state and then just visualizing and moving. And so they’d leave the session and they hadn’t really broken a sweat, but the kid felt great and their performance improved. Unfortunately, the coaches would say, or the parents would say, you’re a personal trainer. Why isn’t my kid sweating? I need you to kill them. And sometimes they’d pull them out of the program. So sometimes like online delivery of these things is far more palatable to people instead of while I’m paying you for your time, why do I have to sit still? Why aren’t I working out?

Chris (30:25):

OK, so we’re going to give you a sample price list on the following page. But the very first thing that has to happen here is you need to insert a new qualifying question into your no sweat intro or into your introductory interview, whatever you want to call it. Here’s where that fits on the prescriptive model. Somebody comes in for a no sweat intro and you go through a short version of motivational interviewing. What brings you here? What’s your goal? Why do you want to achieve that goal? What are the steps that you’ve already taken to help you? You know, what are your bright spots? OK. Then you take an objective measurement of their progress toward that goal. So if you’re in Two-Brain, you understand this. If somebody is coming to you for weight loss, they don’t care what the functional movement screen score tells them. All they care about is like their body fat percentage. So you have to measure that, measure the thing that the client cares about. Then you’re going to make a prescription and you’re going to say to your clients to achieve your goal in the timeline that you’ve laid out, I recommend you, you’re going to need a nutrition coaching program and you’re going to need an exercise program. Would you prefer to do the exercise program at the gym or would you prefer to do some or all of it at home? And that’s the qualifying pivot that we need to make here. That doesn’t change your prices, as you’re about to see. What it doe. change is the method of delivery. And so you’re going to ask this question before you actually say, here’s the nutrition plan you need or here’s how often you have to exercise. OK, I see a few questions here. So we’re going to take a second. Yeah. So Andrew, instead of guessing, could we ask our clients what they need in a survey? Kevin, you can, the tricky part there is, there’s a perception of your client that you should have probably known their goal all along and I know that you do. So I would rather you say, as a coach, here’s what you need. And that’s the really, really the key to cornerstone or the key to the prescriptive model is you saying, here’s what you need.

Chris (32:36):

That’s what they’re coming to you for is the answer. They’re not coming to you for you to say, what do you want? Does that make sense? Prescriptive model is really about you saying do this thing, this is why people go to the doctor. Instead of the doctor saying, which one of these five pills do you feel like taking? Here’s the risks and benefits and the white paper on each one of them. The doctor says, this is the one for you right now. And that feeling of, OK, I know what to do, is a big part of people getting better. And I feel like that’s, or we know that that is a big part of the prescriptive model too. So Andrew does online coaching need to be a separate cornerstone. Why can’t we do fitness, nutrition and habits coaching either online or in person? Andrew, you’re absolutely right.

Chris (33:20):

And this is the question that I went through because originally I said, online is just, it’s your curbside. It’s not a separate cornerstone, but the truth is that it’s more than just a platform. Online coaching gives you the opportunity to talk to a person in very small doses throughout the day. It’s a different service. While people coming to your bricks and mortar space is really time-based. They are renting out your time. Either they’re renting your time, you know, an hour at a time, one-on-one at a premium rate, or they are renting your shared time, one on 12 in a group rate. Online it doesn’t work like that. There’s no schedule. They have access to you so they can, you know, hear back from you. But also you’re holding them accountable. So when you break all these things down, it’s not just what you’re delivering, but it’s actually the method of delivery.

Chris (34:16):

The cool part about online is that when you learn how to manage this properly, it’ll scale a lot easier than in person will, because no matter what happens, you know, you’re limited by the hours of operation of your gym and the hours that you can work and how many coaching staff that you have. You don’t have those limits online. Now, you don’t have to without these limits, without these barriers online is like Steven has said, he feels like he’s responding to clients 24 hours a day. So you have to create these barricades by setting expectations and giving your clients guidelines and teaching them when you will respond to their texts or else it could get overwhelming too. But you know, the freedom that’s online means that it’s actually a different service. OK? But you’re right, you know, you can deliver all the same things online as you can in person, but you can’t do it the same way.

Chris (35:09):

So for example, let’s take an example here. Through online coaching right now I get a daily text with my coach. Then at 8:00 AM, I tune in to do the mindfulness meditation with Colm. And we provide that in the Two-Brain group at 8:00 AM Eastern every single day. You guys can do it too. Then I get my programming from my coach separately. I don’t have to be at the gym at a certain time. You know, after he sees my program, after my workout results get posted, he gives me some feedback on it. Now, if you take those parts individually and you say, I can do this in person. If you’re requiring, if you know you have to do this in person, then that means I have to show up at my gym at 6:00 AM to get my mindfulness homework, then I have to come back to the gym at 8:00 AM.

Chris (35:56):

You know what I’m saying? Then I have to get my workout, do my workout, and then review with my coach. Online is different because it does those things. Justin says, Chris, group is one of our cornerstones and for many, most of our clients the why is the group class, clears their head and makes them feel better. Does it make sense to have options like two times a week, three times a week, and ask how many times a week do you want to get in here? Yeah, it does still make sense to have those options. But I’ll tell you, Justin, like very few of your clients, I’m going to guess zero came to your gym because they wanted to clear their head and feel better in a group. OK. That was not their why when they started. And so if you get a little bit deeper with them and find like their original motivation, then that’s what we’re going to tailor the service to.

Chris (36:45):

Now, in a happy coincidence, all of us after joining the gym for our own personal reasons, all of us found, wait, this does clear my head. This does make me feel better. I do like being around people. I enjoy the community and the support. But you know, nobody signs up to your gym to make friends. You know, maybe people join churches to make friends, maybe people join social groups or sports leagues or whatever to make friends. But not many people join a gym to make friends. And so, you know, while maybe clearing your head is viable, I bet if you went back to those people and ask why, why, why and just got deeper with them, you’d find like their core motivation. And that’s where the cornerstone of your programming has to be. Those other benefits, I know that you can deliver them to them.

Chris (37:32):

You know, whether that’s why they originally signed up or not. So yeah, your approach here, Justin, is probably this, people who’ve been in the gym for a while, they do still need that group support and that group motivation. New clients coming in now maybe they don’t think that they do. So you can introduce that group support and motivation maybe a little bit later on. Yeah. So guys, you can build your cornerstones around whatever you want to. Absolutely. Don’t get hung up on like sunk costs, previous investments and the things that have gotten you to this point. Don’t get hung up on, am I qualified to do this thing? You can always get qualified. And what we’re going to do here is ask about delivery earlier in the prescriptive model. OK. So Kevin’s question really touched on something that’s important here.

Chris (38:22):

You’re asking this person, would you prefer to exercise with me in person? Would you prefer to do some or all of this online? And their feedback is really, really important. But your perspective as the coach is even more important because why they’re coming to you is because they want you to tell them the answer. They don’t want to figure it out themselves. And that’s really important as we move along here. So the next step in the prescriptive model is you are going to say to achieve your goals, you need this and this. You’re going to roll their preference into that prescription of course. But you’re also going to say this is really important. So for example, let’s say that a person says, I don’t want to train online. I only want to work with you directly in the gym. Great. We’re going to form the core of your program around us working together in the gym.

Chris (39:19):

I really believe that some extra habits, coaching, a little bit of knowledge in between your sessions will help you get to your goals faster. Are you open to that? If you want to. And again it comes back to this is coaching. Making this prescription really comes down to what you believe to be best for the client as a coach. So from there you’re going to say, OK, here’s your nutrition plan. Here’s your exercise plan. You have said you prefer to do things remotely. I still want to see you. We’re going to check in once a month in person. Is that OK? And we’re going to do our personal training sessions remotely. And then you start asking about technology. If the person says in person, you say that’s absolutely wonderful. Let’s book our sessions out. If they say group, you say, fantastic to make sure that your entrance into the group is safe and as quickly as possible to bring you up to the level of the others in the group we’re going to go through our online or our, sorry, our on-ramp program. Now I’m used to saying online. If they say, OK, nutrition, I know what to do, I just can’t do it. OK, we’ve got an accountability program for that. What I want you to keep in mind though when you’re setting your prices because this is what we’re pivoting, this is where the conversation goes next is that group in person coaching and online coaching in group should be the same price. OK. If that’s all they’re getting is Zoom classes and group coaching, the price should be the same. The benefit of doing group classes online is that they can do it whenever they want. You know, in the comfort and security of their own home. They don’t have to drive to the gym. OK. If anything, group classes online should cost more than group classes in person for that reason.

Chris (41:04):

Now next week or next time we’re going to talk about the concept of being expensive or being free, never being cheap, never being discounted. And when this whole crisis started and we started talking about Zoom classes, we said, make sure that you’re not anchoring your price point for online classes to be lower than your in person classes because the value is higher and this, if you made that move, this is where it comes back to reward you because now you can say, well, you know, the price for online is the same as the price for in-person. Now let’s look at personal training online. Your online personal training rate is going to be the same as your in-person personal training rate. It’s the same per hour. You’re actually delivering the same service. Now what about if somebody just wants to buy the programming and the accountability and like the mindset stuff?

Chris (41:57):

Do I discount that? Because the software makes it easy, the software makes it automated, blah, blah, blah. It takes me less time. The answer is no, that is not cheaper. The value to the client is the same or greater as the time that you spend with them in person. The way that you scale a service based business is not by selling more of your time. It’s by selling the value at the same price or more and requiring less time. Your technology is a leverage point for you to save time. It’s not a leverage point for your client to save money because that’s not what they’re paying for. They’re paying for coaching, not software. Also, keep that in mind when you’re selling your service that you’re not saying, look how awesome true coach is, you’re going to love it. They don’t care about that. They’re paying for your coaching.

Chris (42:48):

And this is why we say like, don’t just sell your programming. I’ll give you guys a sneak peek. So the people who are on this call right now, you guys are really kind of at the cutting edge here. And so you’re looking at tools, you’re constantly reevaluating your process, you’re upgrading your systems, and that’s awesome. There are things that we’re working on that will make that really, really easy for you. So let’s say that for example, you know, one person has a 21 day mindset program. It’s amazing. He’s, you know, I’m saying he, because I’m thinking about Colm as I say this. He’s got videos, he’s got instructions, he’s got daily challenges, he’s got social media posts that you can make to encourage people. He’s got Facebook group prompts. When we see something amazing like that in the Two-Brain community, now we can acquire that and immediately share it with everybody else.

Chris (43:38):

And we did that with the online coaching course ready. But we’re gonna do that in a much easier way in the future where when you onboard a client, all you have to do to give them the full value of that program and charge the full price for that program is just like click and drag it into their profile and away they go. So again, the software is not what you’re selling. The software does make your job easier. That doesn’t mean that it decreases the value to the client. So the next thing we’re going to do is update your pricing binder. Now, I guess before we do that, we’re going to get back to a couple of questions here. So I want you to pull out your pricing binder. OK. And if you’re not sure where to get the templates, you can look at the sales process row on the Roadmap and that’ll give you templates to start your pricing binder with. It’ll give you like samples and it’ll give you like, everything that you need to build out your pricing binder. What you’re going to do is create one new sheet in that pricing binder for online delivery of your coaching.

Chris (44:40):

Yeah, I’m going to give you a sample here.

Chris (44:45):

The thing is this pricing binder. OK, here we go. Here’s your sample. Thanks to Brian for sharing his with ours. As we work toward building a model for including this online pricing into your new services or delivering your currency services online, we started with the concept and there have been some great discussions in our private group about that. So that’s the vision. Then we started talking about the strategy, which is what this call is really all about. You know, how to group these things together and make a good prescription for people. And then we moved to tactical. Now when we’re working on delivering tactical information, like how much do you charge, how to put them all together, the best thing that we can do is to grab several examples of this model.

Chris (45:35):

Let people sell for a month or two, ask them what’s working and then refine the model. And so a lot of the things in the Two-Brain mentorship program have been through this process for about 10 years. It’s been refined, refined, refined, until it’s down to one template. Do exactly this. This is new. We’re kind of in the iterative stage here where we’re going to say, let’s help you build your pricing sheet. Then let’s collect your feedback on how well it’s working. Beautiful part here is that some on the mentoring team are already doing it. And so we can provide their templates as examples of what’s actually worked. Instead of here’s a bunch of ideas, let’s throw them on the wall, everybody go out and try this and see what happens. OK. This is one of those examples. So if during the prescriptive intake process, your no sweat intro or your motivational interviewing, your intake screening, whatever you want to call it, the person says, I would like the convenience of training online and you as the coach decide this is going to be the core of their program mostly online, then here’s how you build it. Here’s a sample pricing page. So we’ve still got three different levels. OK.

Chris (46:48):

There’s individually tailored workouts sent weekly at all levels. OK. So once a week the client gets all their workouts. If we look at like what differentiates the program, virtual personal training session through Zoom, individualized nutrition plan that’s what make the difference. You should decide what goes in the plans based on your cornerstones. OK. Is nutrition going to be in there is habits tracking, is, you know, online, personal training, is online group going to be in there and then you build your prices based on like what your actual core service is. So when you’re doing the NGPO, whatever one you circled, that’s the sheet your going to turn to in your pricing binder because that will form your core service. And then that’s the key to what they get. Other things are ad-ons. Now you can list their ad-ons as silver, gold, platinum, OK.

Chris (47:44):

Or you can sell them a la carte. So Brian gave an example of a 30 minute or 60 minute personal training sessions. They can do those virtually or in the gym. He gave the example of add on group classes. You know, with the caveat that CrossFit classes might require prior on-ramp sessions, but he gave them prices for that in the gym too. OK. And those prices should be the same as like, you know what he’s charging. The reason that you’re not discounting these is because nobody is going to take the highest level of everything. They can’t do everything. So let’s say that somebody signed up for his platinum online coaching program at 290 per month. OK? They get this whole list of benefits including one 60 minute virtual personal training session. He built these prices by combining these sessions and seeing what the total was.

Chris (48:35):

He didn’t discount them. But if somebody is doing that program, they’re not going to also do 12 CrossFit classes per month. They might do four, they might come in every Saturday and work out with the group because that’s part of your prescription, but that price should go on top of what they’re currently doing. So here’s the process. You get people into an NSI, you do NGPO, what do they need most? You as the coach say this will be the core of your training program. Let’s discuss what else you need that might help you. You flip to this page in your pricing binder. Here’s the options. I think you should also do a group class every Saturday. So that brings the total to this. OK, and you could fill this in on your worksheet too. You should have a sheet that looks like this for nutrition coaching, group coaching and personal training.

Chris (49:25):

It’s OK if there are 50 options in your pricing binder. The prescriptive model means that you, the coach, are choosing the best option for that client based on all possible options. You are the mentor, you are the filter. You’re not the idea generator. And so, as the client sees you flipping pages in your book to get to the right answer, they don’t need to know what all the pages are. They don’t need to see all the options out there. That’s your job to know it and find the right one for them. OK. So let’s work through a couple of other examples here. Let’s say that your group coaching program is what we’re working on here. OK. And let’s say that, you know, you can break this down by number of visits if you want to. So let’s change this. Let’s go group.

Chris (50:13):

Let’s spell it right in our pricing binder. Silver. So maybe this is eight visits per month, you know, and maybe you do sell four visits per month. I don’t. There was a couple of reasons why. Number one, we found that my weed clients all fell into the lowest visit category. And so we just eliminated that category. Most of them moved out to eight visits a month. Secondly, we’re a coaching business. I just don’t feel like I can get you results if you’re not working out, you know, at least eight times in a month. Now the online version will actually help me deliver that more. OK. So eight visits a month. That could be either in person, but oh, you said you live out of town, you’re 30 minutes from the gym. Sometimes you have to come to the evening class. You know, sometimes you’re just overwhelmed or you know, maybe the last two months you didn’t use all of your classes because your schedule got crazy.

Chris (51:13):

I’ll tell you what, we’re going to live stream these classes at the same time. You can just do those from the comfort of your own home or even in your office. OK. If you want something that’s customized so that you can do it at home, it’s not just our group programming, then we can talk about gold membership or we can add on habits coaching at the end of this. OK. So maybe eight visits per month is your silver package at 165 a month. Let’s say that 13 visits per month is the next level and that’s like your gold package. Let’s say that like, 13 classes plus nutrition coaching, maybe that’s your platinum level at 290 a month and you come to that price by knowing what your group rates should be, knowing what your personal training rate should be, knowing what your nutrition coaching rate should be and adding those things together.

Chris (52:04):

Remember that your clients are not buying that combination because they get a discount, they’re buying that combination because they get results. OK? Right now you can include a lot of these other things in there. So, weekly video instructions with movement demos for group in person training. You don’t have to include that because you’re doing the movement downloads and instruction online. Access to digital app for tracking progress. Yeah, you should list that out. Email communication with your coach. Uncheck that for people who are just paying for group training, that’s not what they’re paying for. They’re paying for your general programming, your discount option. OK? But maybe your silver level of group training has that. Then you say weekly check ins with your coach uncheck uncheck, you know, check on only your platinum level or maybe that’s monthly, one 60 minute virtual personal training session at the gym or at home.

Chris (52:57):

Add that on as an a la carte individualized nutrition plan included in your top tier. What are you going to do to determine, you know, what should form up silver, gold, platinum is you go back to the NGPO exercise and you count up how many people need this thing. OK? You create one sheet in your pricing binder for each of those cornerstones, nutrition group, personal training online. Then you create customizations for each of those depending on what the second most common thing that people need are. So if you do your NGPO for your entire client list, when you build this price sheet for each one of those and you find like, OK, you know, most people need nutrition, then your platinum level on each of the NGPO price sheets should include that option that most people need. All right, so down here, if I find that most people at my gym need nutrition coaching, then that’s going to form my platinum level of group coaching.

Chris (53:59):

It’s group coaching with nutrition. If I find that most people at my gym need online or could benefit from online, then that’s going to be my platinum level. OK. And then the things that fewer people need, I’m going to make those additional add ons for the few people who actually do need them. This way I’m not forcing people to like try to buy what they don’t need, which means that I have to like upsell them on the value. What I’m doing is I’m starting with the thing they need the most. Then I’m offering a combination, a standardized combination of what they need and what most people need the most of. And then the things that most people need less of. I’m offering a la carte. OK. I’m not discounting anything, I’m just combining them and I’m making that prescription with confidence so that they know what they’re buying.

Chris (54:47):

Other questions guys? I know that I ran right up to 59 minutes. This is like very close to an accuracy PR, but if you have other questions, please post them now. If you don’t, here’s your homework. You are going to share your new pricing sheets in the Facebook group, in the private Facebook group for growth clients. Put those pricing sheets in the files section. If you’re in the Two-Brain ramp up Facebook group, place your pricing sheets in the file section, but not until you’ve started and built your entire pricing binder. OK? This week I’m going to break these steps down for you again in blog posts so that you can go through them at your own pace. But the steps in general are determine what your seed clients need, the cornerstones of your service should be based on what your seed clients need.

Chris (55:37):

Determine your prices based on you know, the right way that we teach you to determine your prices for personal training, group coaching, nutrition coaching. Then build one pricing page in your binder for each of those NGPO, whatever service most of your clients actually need should be included at your platinum level for those core products. Then include the other two services as possible a la carte add ons on each pricing sheet. Change your no sweat intro process to include would you prefer to do this online or in person or a combination? When a client comes in, you flip to the right sheet in your pricing binder and you say this is the best option for you. And that’s it. So while I’m not saying charge $200 a month for your group training classes, you have to go through the math on your own, but this is how you decide and this is how you deliver. All right, so guys, thanks for tuning in. We’re done and I’ll answer more questions in the group. Happy mother’s day.

Andrew (56:31):

This is Two-Brain Radio. Please subscribe for more episodes wherever you get your podcasts. Two-Brain Business has the very best strategies and tactics for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. To see our essential resources for gym owners, visit and click COVID-19 at the top.


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The Fast-Exercising Mathematician: Jacob Heppner

The Fast-Exercising Mathematician: Jacob Heppner

Sean (00:00):

Hi everybody and welcome to another edition of Two-Brain Radio with Sean Woodland. On this episode I speak with four-time CrossFit Games athlete Jacob Heppner. You know they say it’s lonely at the top, but what if entrepreneurs didn’t have to go it alone? Now you don’t have to. Chris Cooper has compiled more than a decade’s worth of hard-won wisdom into 15 free guides on everything from marketing and retention to hiring and firing. You can download them all for free at TwoBrain Jacob Heppner has competed at the CrossFit Games four times and he is coming off his best career finish in 2019 when he took sixth. Overall, we talk about how math led him to a job at Fort Leavenworth, his passion for community service and the lessons he learned about being successful under the new Games format in 2019. Thanks for listening everyone. Jacob, thanks so much for taking the time to do this today, man. How are you doing?

Jacob (01:04):

I’m doing well. How about you, Sean?

Sean (01:04):

I’m doing great. What are you doing to sort of deal with this new normal that we’re all living in right now to keep your training where it needs to be?

Jacob (01:14):

I mean, so I stay, sorry, I’m laughing because we were laughing before we hit the record button. Right now, like, honestly, yeah, the new normal is a bit different for a lot of different people. Luckily as I’ve spoken before, I have a blessing of having something—I have a barn on my property that I turned to a gym many years ago because not because I had foresight. I wish I did. Just because they didn’t have any space in the gym I was currently going to at the time. But like the new normal right now, I just, you know, it’s different, right?

Jacob (01:50):

We’re all training, we’re all trying to do certain things, but there’s always that, you know, that we’re definitely taking the motto of CrossFit of unknown and unknowable and just basing it across our whole lives. Right? So who knows what next week is gonna bring? But you know, it’s exciting. There’s a lot of opportunities there out there to do different things. You know, training is staying the same. We’re still training for, you know, I think a given right now is we’re going to have Rogue online’s qualifier and so that may be it, you know, like that may be the only one we do. And then we go straight right into 2021 season, which would obviously really stink. But we’re going to train for that. We’ve got a lot of other things going on we’re juggling our lives in the Heppner household right now. But that’s the big one is just training for Rogue.

Sean (02:36):

What was your athletic background growing up?

Jacob (02:42):

I was terrible at football. I played football, I was the worst on the team. I literally, Sean, I’m not even joking with you. I’m pretty sure. So I did tutor a lot of the guys on the team. I was a math guy and so I tutored all the guys on the team. I definitely brought the team GPA up and I’m pretty sure they kept me on there because my scholarship got better every year and I’m thinking to myself, OK, my scholarship, I’m a realist. Right. I’m thinking, OK, I’m going to play. I played for four years. My scholarship went up every year and I’m thinking I didn’t get better. Not like I started at some point. So maybe like the GPA went up and they’re like, OK, well let’s give Heppner some bonus points because the he’s going to be tutoring all of them. I don’t know.

Sean (03:24):

Then how do you wind up actually playing in college at Central Methodist University?

Jacob (03:29):

So that was actually during college. Yeah, that was the GPA during college. So I was very decent in high school. But you know, like high school athletes are different than collegiate athletes as far as collegiate are different than professional. But I was pretty decent in high school, but then went to college and that’s when I was improving GPA. Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t just walk on at college and be a total crap. But you know like it teaches you a lot of things in life, teach you certain things. Looking back, I mean if I had to go back I wouldn’t change it. I was terrible. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and it teaches you work ethic. And one thing I did learn was from there on out, I decided, you know what I am not going to do—I enjoyed football, don’t get me wrong.

Jacob (04:08):

But I said, I am not going to do anything in life than I am not good at. Like if I’m not good at something, I’m not going to spend time wasting time trying to get better at it. Like, you know, obviously there’s, you know, that doesn’t apply to everything in life. Like if you’re not good at reading, would you not practice reading? But like, you know, certain things like I’m not going to waste time doing a hobby that I don’t enjoy. I’m not good at. So that’s kind of was my sell out after football. Like no more. No more of this.

Sean (04:33):

In 2011 you were one of 11 NCAA FCS players named to the AFCA good work scene for community service. What did you do to receive that honor?

Jacob (04:45):

We did a lot of community service. We did just a crud ton of community service for college. Just a lot of stuff. Walking school bus, I helped operate a bone marrow swab drive on campus, just a lot of stuff. That’s pretty much it. I did a lot of things in college. I stayed, you know, like to be honest, like you don’t tend to change as a person throughout your life if you take a thread and you put throughout your life. I stayed very busy in college at all times. I didn’t have any—honestly. We always joke about it at my house. My wife and I went to the same college and I wouldn’t say she was a partier, right. But she went out and had a good time in college, like all college athletes do.

Jacob (05:26):

But I was in the library. I didn’t go out very often. I stayed very busy doing things, I was very driven and that transfers into my life now and what I do, not just in the CrossFit space, right. Not just, you know, cause if you look at it, Sean, like and you’ve been here before and so are a lot of athletes, like I’m not going to compete the rest of my life. Obviously I don’t plan on it, you know, cause I can’t compete, at 60 years old, those guys are crazy. I can’t do that. Those guys are, if anything, those guys need more notoriety. But like, you have to ask yourself at some point, you know, all this drive, you need to think about, OK, what’s next? And do other things to keep yourself busy with other things in life after your done competing. And so that’s kind of what my life the last couple of years have been transitioning and doing. Anyways. To answer the long story short, I don’t even know what your question was, but there you go.

Sean (06:15):

Well, basically what you did to receive the honor, and I think you answered that very well. But you mentioned the bone marrow drive and if I’m not mistaken, that was for your sister Emma who went through treatment for leukemia. So what was it like watching someone in your family have to deal with something that serious?

Jacob (06:34):

Yeah, it was difficult, right? It’s super difficult obviously. So right now the Heppner household was big supporters of St. Jude because she had a acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And then of course got pulled into, luckily we were blessed to be pulled into St. Jude research hospital. And as most of your viewers may or listeners may or may not know that you don’t pay for a dime. But of course St. Jude is funded upon all donations. And so I think what they hope is that, you know, you have families like hopefully like we’re a good representation of that, that realized we don’t have to pay for a dime of this. And then for the rest of their lives, they will continue to give back because of what they’ve done for them. Right. Not just because, Oh, it’s a good organization, no, because of what they’ve done for us. And the fact that my sister will impact other people’s lives also. And hopefully they give back because she is a walking story, a walking essentially a walking billboard for them for a lack of better terms. But yeah, so we were always continuing to give back to that organization because of what they’ve done for us.

Sean (07:34):

Where do you think your passion for community service came from?

Jacob (07:39):

Honestly, I think I don’t know. I think we’ve all been put here for some reason or another on this earth. Some of us are good at fitness, which isn’t that cool? Right? You’re like, Oh yeah, you can do Fran really fast. That’s really cool. And a lot of people have different gifts or talents they’re good at. Mine fortunately or unfortunately is the ability to exercise fast, which sounds stupid when you say it, but I think we’ve all been given something like this. And also along with that is the want and need to give back. And I think you need to realize, take a look at yourself and realize, what am I good at? What is Sean Woodland good at? Well, Sean Woodland is good because he’s a great speaker, very eloquent, people trust his opinion and then you have to ask yourself, how can I use that to impact people?

Jacob (08:26):

And that’s what you do and that’s what I do in different ways. Right? And so I feel a lot of people need to look at themselves and think about that. I think a lot of people don’t unfortunately do that. But I think we’re all given something we’re good at and taking that and using it to the best of our ability, whether it’s our want to give back or want to exercise more or want to keep people up to the know in a sport you’re passionate about. There’s always ways to do something like that.

Sean (08:51):

You were really good at math and probably still are. What was it about that that drew you to it as a career?

Jacob (08:58):

Honestly I went into college undecided. And had no idea what I wanted to do. I remember showing up to my career lady, whoever you show up to when you’re a freshman. She’s like, what do you want to do with your life? You know? And you know, I think I said, give me the hardest major you have. I think I vividly remember saying give me the hardest major you have. I’m going to do that. And she goes, well, that’s probably math. I think at the time her hard was, I hate math. I’m going to give you math. Right? So I was like, cool, give me all the math classes you got. And so we went with math and I just kept going with it and I think I took every class that college had to offer.

Jacob (09:38):

And then they had to make more classes because I think I ran out of them and thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved it. Looking back and the always the advice I’d give people you could probably attest to this also is what you major in in college isn’t really that important unless you’re a nurse or a doctor, right. Unless it’s you know, like a tech school that’s something different. But it’s the thinking that it gives you the drive you have. I mean like a lot of people major in business, which is not, you know, like my wife did that, my father did that. That’s great. That’s great. But that shouldn’t stop me from owning a business. What did you major in Sean?

Sean (10:12):


Jacob (10:12):

That’s not fair, you’re doing what you went to school for!

Sean (10:21):

I’m the outlier.

Jacob (10:22):

All the folks listening, he’s an anomaly.

Sean (10:22):

But I know plenty of people who did broadcasting who were like philosophy majors.

Jacob (10:30):

That’s the thing is like a lot of people seem to think, they get so stuck on the well, if I go into business, I got to own a business. Or if I go into math, I got to be a math teacher or I gotta be a geek at NASA. Like I went into math and I count the joke is I count by 45 and I multiply by 2.2. I don’t use math for anything now. You know, like I tutor kids for fun. I enjoy it. And if I had to, if I have to go back and do it, be a math teacher, I probably wouldn’t mind it. But it was enjoyable time and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Sean (10:59):

What was it like being a mathematics technician at Fort Leavenworth?

Jacob (11:02):

That was good job. That’s where I first found CrossFit, but that was my first internship. I got introduced to CrossFit there on Fort Leavenworth, which was actually like, I never moved very far away. It’s like 30 minutes up North of me, 20, actually. Went there and got introduced to CrossFit but also introduced to the world of the Army there. And I come from an Air Force family from my mother’s side, but you know, like when your grandpa’s already retired and your uncle flies but also flies for like United, like it’s not like a, you know, you’re not like invested in maybe the green suit background and the guys who wore boots on ground. But being able to be there and see those guys and talk to them and become best friends with them, it was really cool to see that background, that camaraderie and it gives you a lot of respect for the people who lay down their lives for our nation and give us the freedom that we have today.

Sean (11:56):

So how did you find CrossFit there?

Jacob (11:58):

Yeah, this guy walked in, his name was Major Craig. I told the story—I’m so good at this, literally I can recite it off the top of my head. Craig comes up to me, he goes, Hey, he goes, I know you’re doing football. I had one more year of football left. And he goes, I know you have one more year of football and you’re training cause I see you out there running sprints on the field and you’re in shape. I said, yes. He goes, I want you to come to this thing called CrossFit. And the first thing I think is what kind of stupid freaking name is CrossFit. Like what the heck is this, man. Sounds like a cult. First thing I thought was this sounds like a straight cult, the way he’s talking about it. And I go, OK, I did the unfortunate thing and agreed to it before I knew what time it was. I said yes, before I knew the details that’d be used. I go, sure, I’ll show up. When is it? He goes tomorrow at five in the morning.

Jacob (12:49):

So I showed up five in the morning and this was actually on Fort Leavenworth. This was actually back when Army installations at the time had affiliates, I think right now they’ve actually been stopped unfortunately. But they had actual affiliates and so I went to an affiliate on post there. And at the time there wasn’t really a per se coach. They had a lot of level ones cause CrossFit HQ worked with a lot of the affiliates and gave level ones for free to them. And so had a lot of level ones but wasn’t like a set coach coach, but a lot of the guys were, Fort Leavenworth was full of a lot of officers so a lot of guys know how to run things, they’re very smart. So I got there and the class was kind of, it wasn’t like an OnRamp, it’s like I walked into a CrossFit gym and they’re like, Hey cool, CrossFit’s at five, go over there and join your first class.

Jacob (13:38):

And so I joined my first class. They didn’t explain it. I didn’t understand the concept that it was for time. I didn’t understand the concept of we’re supposed to go as fast as we can. I, you know, and the funny story I tell people is it’s funny cause every time you ask someone for their first CrossFit story, everyone always says they do Fran. And cracks me up cause it makes me feel like there’s affiliates out there that they’re just like, Oh Sean, is it your first class? And you’re like, yes it is. And they’re like, OK guys, scrap the program and we’re all doing Fran. We’re gonna screw this guy over.

Jacob (14:07):

But mine wasn’t Fran. It was like toes-to-bar and rowing. And so I remembered, couldn’t touch my toes to the bar for the life of me, you know, like not even close and didn’t understand how to row at all. And I just remember the guys yelling at me to go faster. I’m thinking, you know, I’m getting these good solid quality reps in here and I’m getting screamed at. I remember getting done and this guy walks up to me and he goes, his name is, I don’t know what his current rank was, but his name now is Dave Hudson. He actually owns a CrossFit in Leavenworth now. He walked up to me and he goes, Hey, I think you’d be really good at this. And I’m thinking to myself, good at what? What did we even do today? No one explained anything to me.

Jacob (14:51):

And he’s like, he goes, do me a solid, he goes, go back to your desk, research the CrossFit Games for me. And I’m thinking, OK, that sounds even stupider than CrossFit. And he goes, look at the CrossFit Games. And he goes, just do that for like five minutes. Watched a couple videos. I said, OK, whatever. And so went back to my desk, had nothing going on that day. And so I looked up, I remember the first video I watched I believe was the video where Rich Froning came back and won the legless rope climb workout with the year before he had lost to Graham Holmberg because of a rope climb. Right? I mean I thought it was the coolest thing. Like there’s people watching these guys, I don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t understand why they’re not using their legs. You know, I don’t get it.

Jacob (15:31):

But I remember thinking to myself, this is so cool. People are watching this and said, this is an actual sport. And you know, I come from a sport background. Granted, I always stood on the sidelines, but I came from a sport background thinking, well, people are watching people work out? I was like, I could totally do this. Granted at this time, all I’m good at is rowing and toes-to-bar and I’m not even good at those. But yeah, that was kind of the genesis story. And then I remember at the time, calling my good friend and saying, I think it was that week I called her and I said, I’m going to go to the CrossFit Games one of these years. And she of course was like, I don’t know what that is. At a time though. That was my future wife at the time. But yeah. So yeah, that was pretty much it.

Sean (16:05):

You wound up going to the Regionals for the first time in 2013 and you take 18th. So what did you take away from that experience?

Jacob (16:15):

Honestly, I had no expectations. I came in, took 18th, you know, I had so many holes and so many gaps. I couldn’t even tell you. I couldn’t barely do a muscle-up. So they threw 30 at us for time, but luckily we had a burpee in between which was even worse, right. So like I think the worst part about my muscle-ups was the start. As soon as you let me go and do a couple, I could get a rhythm. But of course when you do 30 burpee muscle-ups, there’s no rhythm. It’s just you got to start 30 times. Right. I remember I didn’t finish that workout. I think I was one away or two away, whatever it was. And it was so ugly muscle-ups. And went back and honestly spent the whole year working on a lot of things I wasn’t good at, which was a lot, which was pretty much everything.

Jacob (17:04):

And actually ended up taking second that year behind Kyle Kasperbauer and right before Alex Nettey, and then actually 18th at the Games, which is kind of funny. But I remember vividly that year when I took second after I got second place, or as soon as I knew I got second before the award ceremony, I went up to the leaderboard and found the guy who took 18th, his name is Robert Holloway. He is out of St. Louis. I walked up to him and I told him, I said, look, I said, I said, you might think right now that you’re 18th, which you know, back in the day, you and I could both agree back in the day when there was 40 Regional guys, not super Regionals, 40 Regional guys, the bottom 25 were pretty terrible. And I was a part of that group and I would, I’m not gonna lie.

Jacob (17:49):

2013 I was terrible. And I remember telling him, look, you think you’re 18th and you don’t think you’re good right now. I was like, but if you put a year in of work, which is what I did, there’s no reason you can’t be on that podium the same way. And I remember him, he hugged me and we talked a little bit after there. I think he came a couple more years to regionals. Never ended up qualifyin of course. But that was the thing is, you know, if you go back and work on things you’re not good at, that opportunity is still there no matter what place you get the year before, no matter.

Sean (18:15):

What were your expectations heading into the Games and Carson in 2014?

Jacob (18:20):

I wanted to be 50th percentile, which was top 20. Yeah. I wanted to be 50th percentile and I snuck right in by the skin of my teeth at 18.

Jacob (18:32):

I think that was the year 2014 what was the final workout?

Sean (18:38):

It was thick and quick and double Grace.

Jacob (18:38):

Yeah. I’ve got stories on stories, Sean, I could sit here for an hour and tell a great story. So 2014, the final workout but the first portion, so portion A, was thick and quick. And of course like as some of your users—you can tell I think differently. Some of your listeners might remember that we were sequestered before that. So we walked out there. We brought everything, jump rope, we brought grips, a belt, we didn’t know what the heck we were doing. So we roll out there and it’s this two inch rope, right? For lack of better terms, I actually call that rope something different, but it’s pretty vulgar. And that time, a regular sized rope was an inch and a half diameter and this is two inches and that’s a big difference for grip and because it doesn’t rotate around your foot as much for a J hook or an S hook depending on which hook you use for rope climb. At the gym I went to an Iron Major CrossFit here in Fort Leavenworth, we had a rope and I’d practiced rope climbs, but it was not to a ceiling because we were in a prefab, the buildings they used over in Iraq to house machinery and tools. So it wasn’t, you had no good support structure. And so my rope was 12 foot tall. Well, I’ll tell you right now, 12 foot tall rope doesn’t train you for a two inch rope that’s 20 foot tall. And so I got out there, it was four rope climbs. Three or four, maybe it was four overhead squats and three rope climbs maybe.

Jacob (20:10):

Yeah, some random number of that adds up to a prime number. Anyways, I did not even finish the rope climbs. I think I was one of the few who only got like one or two rope climbs. I failed that rope climb so many times and it was embarrassing because you have thousands of people that are watching you in the tennis stadium which we all know was packed and they are on you and I can’t climb a dang rope to save my life. And so a lot of people who end up asking me, you know, they’re scared to fail or they’re scared of what people might think of them. It’s like guys, you don’t understand. Like I go to the Games my rookie year, and I can’t climb a rope. Like do I deserve to be there? I can’t climb a rope for the life of me.

Jacob (20:50):

And so, you know, every year there’s things to work on. And so that year I came back and worked on rope climbs along with other things that I was very terrible at. But rope climbs was one of them cause it was very embarrassing, I think the first thing I bought when I got back was a two inch rope cause I was like, by golly, I’m going to crush this two-inch rope by the time it rolls up again. And the fun part was in 2015, we had at Super Regionals, which was Central Regional. So we combined North Central and the Central East guys together is the second workout. First workout was Randy and second workout was Tommy V. And then that had so many rope climbs in it, it was disgusting. And so I vividly remember practicing rope climbs all throughout the whole year thinking I’m going to crush rope when they come up.

Jacob (21:34):

And then luckily Tommy V come up and I thought to myself, I’m going to spank every boy in this Central Regional, and make them look stupid. Well, I took second in that workout because my rope climbs were amazing. But what I didn’t practice was running to the finish line, Sean.

Sean (21:53):

I often forget about that.

Jacob (21:53):

Graham Holmberg edged me out because Jacob thought to myself, Oh yeah, what’s up now boys, look at me crush these rope climbs. Oh I have to run still? I’m out, bro, I’m going to walk this. So this is kind of a funny story that, you know, this concept that we all have stuff to work on and it’s fun to see it change over time. It’s fun to see you say, I’m not good at this. Cool. I’ve got 365 days to get better. OK. Now I get to show you how I have improved that kind of concept.

Sean (22:21):

Well, you go back to the Games again in 2015 and then 2016 you’re top 10 both times, 10th and then seventh. What was the key to not only being that successful but also being that consistent over those two years?

Jacob (22:35):

I thought, those years, 2015, 2014, 2015, 2016 were much different. Obviously I did not go to 17 and 18. Were much different than 19, because 14, 15, I thought especially 16 was very volume-based. It was very based upon, just honestly, what was between your head? What was up here? Like, had you been doing a ton of work? I thought 16 was the greatest year ever because, you know, you wake us up at zero dark 30, you fly us to God knows where, come to find out it’s Aromas, right? We do three workouts that are freaking terrible back to back to back. And then you’re like, ah, y’all, we’re going to fly you back home. Oh, but wait, Delta can’t fly, so we’re going to get home late. Oh wait, you gotta be up at five and go swim 500 meters.

Jacob (23:26):

And I remember just, it was just the concept of a lot of guys just unfortunately couldn’t take it that year because it was, I mean, it was draining for sure. Don’t get me wrong, super draining. Sure. I’m sure it was draining to watch and to broadcast too, because you’re going everywhere and it was draining. And I thought that year was one of the best that I’d been to, only because it was just so, it was just a knockout drag out, let’s just see what you’re made of, which I think is the beauty of the CrossFit Games. So you know, when you only do a couple of events, maybe two events a day, it’s not as fun as, OK, let’s just beat you into a pulp and see what you can do by that night and then let you go sleep.

Sean (24:06):

We’ll be back with more from Jacob Heppner after this. Ever wished there were a step-by-step guide to business success? Well now there is. Chris Cooper spent more than a decade making mistakes, learning from them and paving the path to wealth. Now he’s mapped it all out so that you don’t have to fly blind. Available to Two-Brain clients, the Two-Brain Roadmap lays out the exact steps you need to take to grow your business and reach wealth all with the help of a certified Two-Brain mentor. To learn more and see if mentorship is right for you, book a free call at Now more with Jacob Heppner. You have some good momentum after those two really good performances, but then you kind of hit a string of setbacks starting with 2017, what happened that year?

Jacob (24:54):

I got patellar tendinitis in my knee, couldn’t squat. And so we had dumbbell snatches which hurt cause you still had to bend, right? Unless you muscle snatched it or like straight leg muscle snatched it and then burpee box jumps, unless I caught it in a really high catch and I knew were going to squat sooner or later. Sure enough, 17.2 we did squat snatches. Honestly, if I had muscled through 17.1 and gotten to 17.2 I probably wouldn’t have made it past 185 pound snatch bar, which I believe was the second bar or maybe the third. I think it went 95 135 185 I wouldn’t have made it past that bar. Well, granted, if I didn’t make it even past that bar, I wouldn’t have made it anyways. So I immediately spent time on rehab and fixing that injury which hasn’t become an issue since then.

Jacob (25:40):

And so yeah, 17 was rough and it was rough because you can’t qualify cause it’s something that’s out of your control, right? I mean, my knee acts up, what are you going to do? Chop it off, get a new one? Ain’t no way around it. So it’s like, OK. So there were some tears obviously shed in this household during that Open, cause I knew, Hey, your season’s done. And then fast forward a whole year and you think to yourself, well, I can’t get much better than that or worse than that. And then you’re given something that is also out of your control but isn’t something that was like a force of nature or it wasn’t like an act of God kind of thing. Right. So it was a standard that I don’t really want to get into, but it’s not something I necessarily agreed with and I didn’t think was really put through the paces. I mean, if you’re gonna give out a, you know, an axiom or a law when it comes to mathematics, you’re going to test it in every way possible. And I felt that there wasn’t a whole lot of testing behind this to make it really axiomatic. Anyways. So 2018 was rough and there was probably more tears then than it was in 2017.

Sean (26:46):

I hate that handstand push-up standard, it’s tough for me as a bigger guy. Why do you think it’s so hard to dial in a handstand push-ups standard that everybody likes?

Jacob (26:56):

Honestly, my personal opinion is you need to get rid of hand—for an online competition, there are certain movements you should get rid of. Handstand push-ups is one of them. Like it’s a great, it is the absolutely great movement, I mean, kind of, and the best part is I give you my opinion, but my opinion, I’m not telling you handstand push-us aren’t good to have an online CrossFit qualifier because I’m terrible at it. I am great at it. I just, I still think they’re stupid. Now in Regionals, in the Games, absolutely bring them back. But I mean for online competition, I just don’t think they’re great because honestly if you look at it and there’s really no way around it, there’s too many moving pieces and variables to really, I mean, I’m pressing my body up. If I’m doing it with a barbell, it’s easy to make sure I’m in one line. It’s easy because if the barbell is not in line, it’s out in front like this. I’m not going to, it’s obviously not going to go up, but it’s different when I’m leaning against a wall or anybody’s leaning against a wall. So it’s just not a great movement. Personally, I think it should go. Not because like I mentioned, not beacause I’m bad at it, but because I think it just isn’t a good one to test. So anyways.

Sean (28:03):

So you go two years without making it to the Games and then the season and format totally changes after 2018. So what are you thinking after all that happened?

Jacob (28:15):

I mean I think a lot of people—what I realized, what I learned in 2018, which I’m sure we’ll talk about when we get to the cuts for 2019 also, what I realized quickly early on in 2018 was when you pay your $20, you pay to play their game, right? So you’re paying to play the CrossFit HQ game and whether or not you agree with it, it doesn’t matter. They don’t care about your opinion. It’s the same for every professional sport. Like just because NFL can make rules that players don’t agree with. Of course they have a union which would, I don’t want to talk about that, but they have the option of creating rules the players don’t agree with. But for the CrossFit, I realized in 2018 that they can make rules that I don’t agree with. Handstand push-up standard.

Jacob (28:57):

And then, so when 2019 came around, there’s a lot of people that, for lack of better terms, thought it was, you know, the cuts were stupid or this was stupid. That was stupid. Eh. It might be dumb and I might not agree with it, but the fact of the matter is, no matter how much grumbling I do or complaining, it’s not going to change what they can do. It’s their sport. And so they’re going to make the choices whether or not. They think it’s good. And so, you know, they’ve ran this sport and so we will see, you know, I’m not no expert in the area. So we’ll see what happens. But the grumbling and the complaining isn’t going to change the situation. It’s honestly probably going to make it worse cause they’re gonna be like, no, we’re going to keep going. We’re going to double down on it.

Sean (29:34):

So after two years of missing out on the Games, what was your motivation level heading into the 2019 Open?

Jacob (29:40):

Yeah. I really wanted to go back. I had been sick of, you know, I mean I’m 30 now, I was 29 at the time. I want to go back to Games. And I vividly remember, you know, I’m starting the 2019 Open. I’m thinking all it takes is them putting out one more standard handstand push-up and I could be out again. And they come out with strict handstand push-ups and no forearm standard. And I remember calling my wife and we cheered and we cried so hard and I looked to her and I told her, I said, I’m gonna win this workout. I said, I’m gonna win this freaking workout worldwide and I’m going to make them announce that I won the workout. And then all the hypocrisy is going to see the fact that, Oh, you change your standards. That guy’s not bad at handstand push-ups. He just not good at your standard, which probably isn’t a very good standard. And so I did that workout five times, Sean. Did it five times because I wanted to win that sucker so freaking bad, I wanted to shove it in people’s faces, which is not—kids listening. Revenge is not a good thing because this is not positive Jacob coming out right now. And we did that workout like five times, submitted a score that I believe was second in the world with somebody, in Canada, I think, then me and then Mat and this guy, I don’t even think he even locked out his handstand push-ups and he got jumped pretty far back. Me, which is still an error and a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, but I got a penalty.

Jacob (31:11):

I think it was a seven second penalty for my both my hands. One of my hands didn’t hit the ground before my foot hit the ground crossing the last line. And so when I got that email, I was like, Oh, OK. I thought to myself, cause I remember vividly filming it five times thinking if I win this, they’re going to take a fine tooth comb across this because they don’t want to announce this. As I remember looking at it, thinking this is golden. Sent it in. Well, they must have slowed that video down to one eighth speed, turtle speed. They dragged that slider all the way left and they were like, we’re looking everywhere, which way and left. Anyways, if you slow it down pretty slow, I mean it’s hard to tell, but you can kind of tell. I wasn’t like maybe my finger touched but my whole hand didn’t touch, which you know, comes down to definition of hand, wrist finger, whatever. And so they gave me seven seconds. So I think put me into third and put Mat in the first. Didn’t really matter. It was just a pride thing to me, which obviously is not a good thing to have.

Sean (32:05):

But you get to the Games. And the last time you were there, you know, seventh overall, what did you think of your chances of at least matching that given that you were heading into a new format?

Jacob (32:23):

Yeah. So I’ve always wanted to improve every year. You know, we didn’t really understand how the cuts were going to occur until we showed up. I mean even a week, couple weeks. I don’t remember the situation when the information was released, but we knew that we’re going to be cuts but not exactly how were going to play out. And so we got there and I just decided to give my best in the beginning. Number one, I think Mat nailed on the head number one was honestly one of the best CrossFit workouts I’ve ever seen. And not because I was good. I think I was like 10th, which is not bad, but like not because I was good at it. I just thought it was very smart. It was, you know, running, it had gymnastics, hard gymnastics. It had I mean, a 185 snatch is not light and it’s even harder when it’s on turf.

Jacob (33:07):

I honestly, I’d never snatched on turf. So like we’ve done it a couple of times since then because you know, we’re always used to snatching on our specific spot in the gym. On our flat four floors and you snatch on turf and that’s not the same thing. But it was a very well programmed workout. Anyways, so I think I just decided to give my best throughout every event because I decided, you know, I don’t know at what point I’m going to get cut. At what point is there going to be a workout where I’m going to not do well at? And we’re just gonna have to get as many points to be can the beginning just in case. So.

Sean (33:43):

You have your best career finish, you take sixth. So what did you learn about what it takes to be successful in this new format?

Jacob (33:51):

Say that one more time, Sean?

Sean (33:53):

You take six and I was just curious what you learned about being successful, like what it takes to be successful with this new format.

Jacob (34:04):

Yeah, it used to be in the past where if you weren’t getting cut, you could win the events you were good at and then do OK at the events you weren’t good at. But this one, it takes you. You need to be good—like soon as the whistle blows, as soon as the air horn goes off on event one, it don’t matter what it is, you have to go. Because if if you take the leaderboard, I don’t think they have this option, which whoever’s at CrossFit HQ’s website, they need to add this because you guys used to have it but they got rid of it was the, was the stage category qualifier for your leaderboard. As you can search by stage, you could say what stage in the Open are we, what stage of the Game?

Jacob (34:48):

So you could actually say, I only care about what happened up to event three. And then everything else will be null and void. And we’ll only show the leaderboard up to event three. If you actually look at that and look up to the final cut, I think I was only like seven or eight points away from not making top 10, because the sprint was my worst workout. Go figure. And we talked about that already with Graham Holmberg and so it was my worst workout. But if you look at that and say, OK, you’re seven points away, seven points is like a couple seconds in event one, it’s a couple seconds in event two. I mean it’s literally nothing. That’s nothing. And so like you have to ask yourself, OK, well you made the final cut by the skin of your teeth on all the other events. If you got one more handstand walk error, you’re done. If you got one more, if you missed one more snatch, you’re out. And so I think people will start to realize that after year one that it takes from the get go, it takes, you need to get as many points as you possibly can, feel as comfortable as you can get when you get there.

Sean (35:54):

What did you think when the handstand push-up standard showed up again in 2020?

Jacob (36:01):

Yeah. Well we kind of knew it probably would come up. The best part is that I don’t say it in a mean way, I think. I think Dave is a good dude. I like Dave. I don’t think he’s been vindictive at all. But actually we’re a few cuts in at the Games this year and we’re all sitting up in the stands and he’s down in his seat with Boz and who’s the guy that wears the eyeglass? I always forget his name. Best guy ever, always leads the athletes out for the, he wears one eye piece, a monocle.

Sean (36:36):

I don’t even know who that is. I didn’t know we had a guy wore a monocle. Wilson?

Jacob (36:40):

I don’t think that’s it. Is it Curt? I’ll get back to you. We have a guy who does athlete control, he’s been there since like, I’ve been there. I remember that guy every single year. And he was down there with Dave and we’re all sitting there, males and females. That’s probably, at least at this point, 80 of us in total. And Castro goes Heppner, or Jacob, come here. And I look around like oh crap, I haven’t done anything wrong. So I don’t know what I’m gonna get made fun of for here. I roll on down there and he looks at Boz, he goes, Hey, can you give me that measuring tape? And I thought, Aw, we’re gonna have for lack of better terms, a male measure off bro. And he goes measure your forearms.

Jacob (37:34):

So I said, OK, I’m measuring and it’s like, I think it’s like 15 and something. I don’t remember exactly. 15 something and he measures his and it’s a little bit shorter, but you know, again, he goes, one’s a little short. What’s the deal? Why do you have a problem with that? And I go Dave, I said, it doesn’t matter that your forearm, I don’t care if my forearm’s 19 inches or two inches, it comes down to the ratio of the rest of your arm. And you know, it’s just like I can’t solve a variable equation with two variables. This is not going to happen. Like I mean I can give you a range and he just kinda like laughed it off and said go sit down. I was like, OK, whatever. So I actually measured that and then he announced Mary later that night and then made a joke.

Jacob (38:21):

He was like, yeah, because of Heppner, we’re not going to have that standard. And I’m thinking, there’s no way you could have that standard. I was like, half these people didn’t measure right in the Open anyways, so they’re all gonna get caught now and it’s gonna look stupid. Anyways. So we kind of knew that would probably pop up again. And luckily someone had messaged me a couple months ago, a year ago and said, hey, did you ever consider trying it on your fist? And at first I thought to myself, bro, you stupid. Like, you can’t do that. Why would you do that? And then the more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s probably a lot of people that do handstand push-ups on their fist regardless because they have like, they can’t flex the wrist, they have wrist injuries or actually gymnasts do it like that too.

Jacob (39:00):

And so I thought, OK, well let’s just measure it up and see what happens and see if I can get over it. Well it gives me an extra inch and a half, which as we know in that standard is huge and so, practiced it a little bit and thought to myself, OK, I’ll keep this in my back pocket just in case. And then of course that standard came out and I remember just being irritated when it came out cause I just think if it’s not a good decision and you do it again now, it’s not necessarily you think it’s a good decision, it’s just the thought of you’re just trying to slap it into someone else’s face. And regardless of if it’s me or not, you know, not everything’s about me, I’m trying to clarify that. But anyways, so we did it with that standard.

Jacob (39:43):

I think I had to do it two or three times, because it took some getting used to it and is not comfortable on your fist. But had to practice it a few times and got it down and didn’t get a great score, but got a score that allowed me to feel comfortable that OK, I can just, I gotta do well the rest of the week. But then was able to get past it and then to obviously qualify. I think I was 18th in the Open this year or something like that. So yeah, it’ll work.

New Speaker (40:11):

So you have now delved into the world of content creation on YouTube and one of the things you’re doing is that, or do you did was Jacob of all trades. How did you come up with that idea?

Jacob (40:22):

Mike Rowe, dirty jobs. So we had this concept a while ago that’d be cool because you look at the pyramid of CrossFit, right? So now we’re getting into the good stuff. Now we’ve decided to leave CrossFit, listeners. We’re going to talk about the fun stuff. No more talking about handstand push-ups. Thank the Lord. So, the CrossFit pyramid, you know, the base is nutrition and then we have metcons and have gymnastics then strength and then we have sport. And what a lot of people don’t realize in our sport is they don’t take their fitness outside the gym. They measure their fitness inside these four walls and never take it outside to do anything else. And my personal thought on the issue since I’ve been around has always been, it’s a shame. It’s a shame to only define your fitness by how fast your Fran is. That’s stupid. So I said, OK, what if we did something on YouTube for fun where I took my fitness outside the gym. I use it in ways that aren’t necessarily normal, but then also take that money and to give back to people. So we did a season already and some of them were great, dancing in high heels, horseback riding, roller derby. I don’t know if you’ve ever done it before. Holy crap. That was really fun.

Sean (41:36):

I haven’t, but I’ve seen it man. It’s a cool-looking sport.

Jacob (41:44):

It’s vicious. Yeah. And then we did one was his ice cream making. We worked at like a dog. Some of them weren’t necessarily directly correlated to fitness, but we’re still trying to find community aspects to give back. We planned for a season two but unfortunately it was going to be this spring. But unfortunately corona hit and had other plans so we’re going to try and push it back. Cause we were actually planning on trying to go to St. Jude and actually I talked to their marketing department to go there and actually do all like four or five jobs there and to have like all the money goes to St. Jude instead of like six different organizations. It was gonna be one organization. I did them all there on campus. But unfortunately they’re on straight up lockdown and corona’s not gonna let you travel anyways.

Jacob (42:24):

So we’re going to try and probably push to 2021 just kind of see what happens. So yeah, it was a cool concept. I mean I think you do the same thing I do. I think a content creation, I’m sure you probably gonna say the same thing. I wish I would have got into it years ago because it’s huge. I mean there’s, if you get on the ground floor in podcasting or on the ground floor with YouTube creation or whatever the case may be, it’s a lot easier to grow because when people come on the platform they see you. And we got on a probably a little bit later, but we are still at the top end of our sport doing it and it’s still great. But I wish I would have gotten to a lot earlier cause it is an enjoyment to meet people, to meet new people, talking to people, the same thing you do.

Jacob (43:06):

Right. And to be able to change people’s lives, create content that you hope positively impact people out there and put a smile on their face because you know, we’re probably going to talk about right now like we’re stuck at home. It’s not a whole lot of things fun going on, you know? I’m sure right now there’s a lot of depression right now. It’s probably a lot of depression. It’s probably a lot of people that are probably drinking a little bit too much. And so like you hope that you can bring people a smile to their faces at a time that right now their jobs are uncertainty, their lives are uncertain and it’s just tough.

Sean (43:37):

What lessons have you learned from taking some time to walk into other people’s shoes?

Jacob (43:45):

You know, that’s a hard question. That’s the hardest question you probably asked. That’s a good one.

Jacob (43:56):

What it tends to come down to is you have to look at what you’ve been given. There’s a lot of people out there, there’s a lot of guys out there and girls whose only main sole focus is to make it to the Games. And that was me for years. And they tend to just only care about themselves. And I think as you get older in the sport, you tend to realize that making it the Games is awesome and that’s cool. But you tend to realize that you’ve been given the ability to go to the Games and someone didn’t. You took a spot away from someone else. So you should use what you’ve been given, that blessing that whether it’s that social media presence or the people that people respect you or people that want you on your podcast to talk to your listeners because they trust your pain, you’re not going to say something stupid.

Jacob (44:44):

And so you hope that that platform, that stage you’ve been given, you can positively impact people. And so walking a day in their shoes is your question. And I just have to look at the concept and think to myself, I’ve been blessed with something that maybe someone else hasn’t gotten the opportunity to. So if I can help them out in as much way as I possibly can by giving back to the organization or putting a smile on their face or whatever the case may be, yeah, then I’m going to try my hardest, my darndest to do it.

Sean (45:15):

Final question and I know you’re going to have a lot more competitive years ahead of you, hopefully, but what’s been the best part about your CrossFit journey so far?

Jacob (45:25):

People you meet in the community. I think, you know, I could have subtracted CrossFit out of the equation and I’d have been done with CrossFit or I’m done with football. All of us have probably joined an intermural sport, right? Bowling or flag football or softball and we all blown our knees out probably. We all tend to do that. But like you have a community there for sure, but it’s a very small community. It’s just like local guys. Maybe just around the tri-state or like there’s a couple of cities. But CrossFit is worldwide. And so it’s allowed me the concept of having friends and making friends all over the world and to be able to call on them. You know, I’m stuck in a country, I need to go and hang out with them or the fact that I can drop into any gym I want to, whereas, you know, if CrossFit it didn’t exist.

Jacob (46:15):

You know, you don’t have that option. Drop into a Gold’s gym or whatever. There’s that community, that welcoming aspect. And I think honestly when it comes down to it, a lot of organizations and a lot of companies and groups like churches for instance, can learn something from CrossFit because I think one thing that CrossFit has done absolutely well is the community it has fostered. And we care about each other more than anything else I’ve ever seen. Now, you know, obviously the armed forces is different, but we care about each other so much. But we’re also, the best part is, is when you care about someone, you’re also their greatest critic. And that’s also CrossFit, right? You walk into a gym, you’re doing a workout with a guy, and that guy’s judging you. He has no problem saying, Hey, Sean need you to get lower.

Jacob (47:04):

Hey, Sean needs you to open up your hips, whatever the case may be. And so not only are we each other’s biggest critic, we’re each other’s biggest cheerleader. And the best example I have of that is in 2016 at Aromas when there was only 40 of us guys, there are 40 of us girls there. And we had just got done with that God awful trail run and got done. And now we’re doing a deadlift ladder. And there’s no fans there. You know, there’s media, but they’re not cheering. They’re filming, that’s their job. There’s judges there but they’re not cheering, they’re no-repping you; that’s their job. The only people there who were fans were the people you were competing with. And I thought it was the coolest thing because the guys who were last in the trail run went through first and the deadlift ladder.

Jacob (47:48):

And as soon as they got done, we’re in Aromas, it’s hot as crud. You already ran 5k through dirt, right? And some of the guys who went through first obviously were last in the trail run and they’re like five pounds heavier with dirt and sud. And so they didn’t get done with the deadlift ladder, clearing it like Sam Dancer and then immediately get out of the sun. And go in the shade, drink water and just like watch from afar. Now those guys circled up and cheer people on and I thought that was the absolute greatest definition of our sport is that fact that we care about each other and that’s what separates us from everything else.

Sean (48:22):

Listen, Jacob, it is always a pleasure to speak with you. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. The best of luck moving forward and I hope that we get to see you compete in person sooner rather than later.

Jacob (48:33):

That would be awesome. Thanks Sean.

Sean (48:38):

Big thanks to Jacob Heppner for taking the time to speak with me today. Be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel and follow him on Instagram. You can find them at @jheppner66. Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Sean Woodland and if you’re in business, you need to know something. Certified Two-Brain mentors have been through it all and they’re available to help you reach success. To learn how a mentor can help you transform your business and add $5,000 in monthly recurring revenue, book a free call on TwoBrain We’ll see you next time, everybody.


On Wednesdays, Sean Woodland tells the best stories in the CrossFit community on Two-Brain Radio With Sean Woodland.

Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories every Monday, and Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world every Thursday.

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How to Hack Sales Funnels in the COVID Crisis With Mateo Lopez

How to Hack Sales Funnels in the COVID Crisis With Mateo Lopez

Mike (00:02):

Oh wow! This door-mounted pull-up system’s going to make me shredded for summer. Yeah, buddy. Mateo. Have you got one of these things yet?

Mateo (00:09):

I don’t. I don’t have one. I have some dumbbells, but not a pull-up bar.

Mike (00:14):

You’re missing out. If I’m reading this ad correctly, I can get two of these things for 60% off, but only in the next 10 minutes. If so, if that’s correct, I’m getting you one and I’m going to send it over to Long Island. Is that cool?

Mateo (00:25):

You know what? Yeah, let’s do it. I like that urgency play there. It’s pretty good. 60% off, but only in the next 10 minutes? I think we gotta do it then. We gotta do it right now.

Mike (00:34):

I can’t not buy it. It’s going to be a little difficult getting it over the border to you from Canada to the US right now but we’ll figure it out because you need this product. Fitness ads on Facebook have changed and everyone is trying to figure out what works right now during the COVID crisis. In this episode of Two-Brain Radio, we review a host of real fitness ads and Mateo Lopez gives his thoughts. See what he thinks is working and how your business can stand out from the crowd right after this. Two-Brain Business has put together a page of essential COVID-19 resources for gym owners. On it, you’ll find the free gym-saving guide “How to Add Online Training in 24 Hours” as well as links to government loans and other critical info you need to navigate this crisis. Head to and click COVID 19 in the top menu. The page is updated regularly, so bookmark it and check back often. All right, this is Two-Brain Radio. I’m Mike Warkentin and today we’re scrolling through Facebook and discussing the many fitness ads we see there. What’s common now? What’s cool, what’s weak? Our resident expert on ads is Mateo Lopez. Mateo, are you ready to click the magic button and jump into some funnels?

Mateo (01:36):

I’m ready to learn more. I’m ready to opt in.

Mike (01:39):

All right, we’re going to start circling, doing a counterclockwise circle and we’re going to head down some funnels. The first question though, I know that you are running a lot of ads. You’re researching and we talked about this in previous shows. What is your current research and testing tell you if anything at present about the new landscape for fitness advertising on Facebook?

Mateo (01:56):

I think there’s a couple interesting things. One, I’ve always liked to use images versus video ads. There a lot of data that says video performs really well on Facebook and Instagram, but I have always found personally more success with images and it seems to carry over as well now into the COVID times. A lot of the gym owners we’re working with, they’re finding that still images are working better than some of the videos they’re trying to shoot. I have a couple ideas as to why that could be, but they’re still formulating. But yeah, I think that that was an interesting finding just like, Hey, my images still performed better than my videos even now. So that was something that I thought was was interesting.

Mike (02:41):

OK, so that’s a tip right away people can take.

Mateo (02:41):

And the other thing is, you know, lead ads lead ads is the native opt-in feature of the Facebook ads manager.

Mateo (02:55):

It basically allows you to collect contact information from the prospect by pulling that data from what’s in their Facebook profile without sending them to an external landing page or something like that to collect their info. Historically, those are cheaper than any other kind of, you know, ad that you run to a landing page because Facebook prefers that you keep their clients on the Facebook platform, right? So they prioritize those ads better. So I don’t love lead ads because they’re not always the best at giving you the most qualified leads. But if you are looking for an easy way to cut down some ad costs, lead ads tend to, you know, bring down those numbers by like 10 to 15% in some cases. And, so I have some lead ads running right now just to double check that that was still true and it is still true. I may switch back to my landing page in a little bit, but I am running that test right now. And if you are struggling with—you don’t have a lot of ad dollars available to, you might consider it. You might consider a lead ad.

Mike (03:58):

And the call to action on something like that is just going to be, is it click the button? Is it just give me your, how does it work?

Mateo (04:04):

I like learn more, but there’s a lot of options like sign up now and buy now and all sorts of goodies. But I like learn more.

Mike (04:13):

Yeah. As soon as that happens, does this person, they do not go to an external page, do they just get a Facebook pop up?

Mateo (04:19):

Yeah. So it’s your ad. And so if you are going to use a lead ad, I would try and go with some longer form ad copy on the ad itself because since they’re not going to a page to learn more or watch a video, you will need to give them all the information they need up front. So I would suggest making your ad really a little bit longer, including more sales copy in there, explaining everything that you want them to know upfront, because they’re not really going anywhere else to learn more information. So, do that. And then once they click the button, a little pop-up will appear. It’ll ask them to confirm like, Hey, this is your info. Right? And then they just click submit. And then there’s like a tiny little window that says, thanks for that. Talk to you soon. You can customize that as well, but, but what it says and where you want it to link to. But, that’s how a lead ad works.

Mike (05:12):

  1. So those are two things. Photos probably performing better than videos in your testing and lead ad has lower ad costs in the range of 10 to 15% right now. Correct?

Mateo (05:25):

For me. And for a few gyms that I’ve been talking to, for sure, I mean, like I said, historically lead ads are usually a bit cheaper. But the trade off there is, you know, they’re not going to a landing page. They’re not learning as much as they would about the program. So you might have some leads that aren’t as qualified. There is a trade off.

Mike (05:49):

Anything else from the data or should we move on to some of the stuff that we’re seeing online?

Mateo (05:55):

I’m excited to dig into this stuff.

Mike (05:58):

All right. So I know you have a collection of stuff. We both been scrolling through our Facebook accounts and seeing what’s served to us and now I’m going to be seeing these ads probably for the next 10 to 12 days, no matter where I go. Show me what you got. Let’s discuss what we’re seeing.

Mateo (06:11):

Yeah, so what I wanted to do was, you know, sometimes I’ll get into like, a rabbit hole. I’ll just keep clicking like, the transparency tab on a bunch of Facebook pages just to see what’s going on. And there’s a few people out there, not a few. There’s a lot of people out there, pre-COVID, before all this happened, for years who are like these gurus out there who I guess used to be personal trainers and used to own gyms and are like, Hey, like having clients in person is a pain, paying for rent is a pain. Are you a personal trainer? Wish you didn’t have to like go and pay 24 Hour Fitness a cut of your like personal training fees to train clients in? You should do it all online. What’s great about that is you get to keep all the money.

Mateo (07:02):

You don’t have to meet people in person at five in the morning. You also can travel and live wherever you want, like on a beach somewhere. It’s awesome. You want to learn how, click here and I’ll show you how I did this with 10 other people just like you who are now making six figures from their apartment coaching clients online. So these guys and people, and these ads have existed long, long before COVID. But I was intrigued because I was willing to bet that, Oh, these guys are probably going to get a lot more traffic, a little boost in page views and stuff and interaction with their ads because I bet everyone’s trying to pivot. And these are the guys who’ve been selling this knowledge for a while now. So that’s what kind of inspired me to say, Oh, well I wonder what they actually tell their clients to do.

Mateo (07:57):

Because I can’t imagine it’s anything like, well, I wasn’t sure. I was 50% sure that like, I was pretty confident there was nothing like mind-blowing or no, like secret rocket science method here. But then part of me was like, well, what if they do know? Like, what if they do have a secret? What if there is something that I’m totally missing here? Maybe I should spend $2,500 to take their course and find out. Like I was close and I mean, these guys are good at marketing. You know, their ads are good. So, I picked one and I tried to see if I could figure out what it is that they tell their clients to do, to sell online training, to move their clients online. All that good stuff.

Mike (08:47):

Stop you just for a second. So these guys basically hit the roulette, you know, they had their, all their chips on a, you know, 32 red or whatever, and the roulette wheel stops spinning, COVID crisis, everyone shut down. And these guys basically were holding what looked like the winning ticket to this whole thing. Right.

Mateo (09:03):

But that was my theory. Who knows if they actually capitalized on the opportunity. But yeah, I’m willing to bet their course sales, their mentorship or whatever they call it, business consulting sales probably increased significantly in the last two months. But, again, these are people who have existed forever. And that market, you know, is pretty big. There’s a lot more personal trainers than gym owners, you know what I mean? So, there’s a lot more people that they could potentially service. The ones who target personal trainers, the ones who target people who are like training people in their backyard or their garage. That’s their market. Right? It’s a little bit different than who we work with. You know, we work with gym owners.

Mike (09:46):

And it’s interesting though cause Chris Cooper had been onto this and you know, I think it was about a year ago or so, we started talking more and more about online training. Not as a move that you would maybe talk to a gym owner about making 100% because of a, you know, a pandemic and so forth. But we did start building a resources for that. So online training, hybrid programs, the flex program developed by Josh Grinnell up in Minnesota, that was all inTwo-Brain stuff where Chris was talking more and more about online training as a thing. And it was a way for gym owners to get a fourth revenue stream where we’ve got like personal training, group training, nutrition coaching, all done in person. And now you’ve got online coaching has potentially a fourth revenue stream and an option of course for personal trainers working in those gyms on the 4/9ths model.

Mike (10:30):

So when this whole thing hit, we actually had a course ready to go, which is now live that people can use. You know, this time they have to do it out of desperation. But some gym owners like Ashley Mak, who’s in our archives decided he’s going online completely. He’s not coming back to his physical space. Other people that we’ve talked to, other gym owners, have gone online and they’re gonna use it as a hybrid model. So when they’re allowed to reopen, they’re going to continue with some online training or they’re going to offer new services where they’re going to say, OK, you can train in person or online if it’s more convenient for you. So it’s becoming that, we had three legs on the stool. It’s almost the fourth leg now. So let’s get into this. I want to see what you’ve got here. Let’s see what these guys are talking about.

Mateo (11:11):

Yeah. So I picked one. This was one I’ve seen a lot before all this happened. And he puts out a lot of content and I think, you know, he puts out a lot of content. I’m not saying this stuff, I’m not making a judgment on whether it’s good or bad right now. It’s always up to you to decide, but it puts out a lot of content. You know, definitely stuff that, some of it I think totally makes sense. You know, most gurus out there are putting out content that, you know, it’s like, Hey, you should like, you know, remove yourself from the day to day and like run your business instead of working in your business. Like all this stuff. Lots people say all the time. So, puts out a lot of content.

Mateo (11:57):

So I was like, all right, well, let’s see what the offer is. We’re looking at one of his landing pages. And so what I’ll do is I’ll see, these pages typically are usually really long. There’s a lot of sales copy, a lot of images of like, this person made this amount of money in four weeks or whatever it is. And then you’ll usually find a bunch of testimonials on the bottom of these pages or littered throughout. So you’ll see a lot of testimonials of clients who have worked with this particular guru or this particular gym consulting company and it has changed their lives and made X amount of money, before they were making no money. And so with all these people that they, you know, post as client testimonials, you can then search for those people.

Mateo (12:52):

Right? So I’ll search for, you know, let’s say I scroll and I see a particular testimonials that I signed up 39, 38 people in a month. All right, so let me click on your Facebook page and see what you’re all about and see who you are. So, a side note. So, then I’ll click on that individual who gave the testimonial and then I’ll find their business, right? Cause it usually says in their bio CEO or owner of, you know, Bobby’s boot camp or whatever. Right? And then once you get to that page on Facebook, you can see what are the posts that they make, right? What do they say on their page? And if they’re running ads, you can use the pay transparency tab to see what ads are they running.

Mike (13:43):

So you’re going down the rabbit hole from the head vampire, right? Where you’ve got this guy who’s teaching all these people what to do. You’re following his acolytes to see what they’re actually doing. So you can kind of put together the system from that.

Mateo (13:54):

Exactly. The the thing I always think is fun is if you, this is a side note, but if you see someone who’s like, we’re the best at teaching you how to run ads, or you know, we’re the best at like there’s the traffic and funnels guys, I’m not even talking about the gym space. I’m just talking about, you know, just in general, there’s tons of people telling you how to use chatbots or how to use, you know, Facebook ads or Google ads. It’s always fun to like look at like the first three testimonials they have. And like when you look to those clients and none of them are running ads, it’s always interesting where it’s like, well, they’re so good at running ads, wouldn’t you think your clients would never stop running them? That’s not always true, obviously. Sometimes there’s people who are like, Oh, I made all the money I need to make. I don’t need ads anymore. I’m sure that happens. But that always makes me giggle a little bit. But I am digressing. So you click on one of these guys or one of these people I should say, who are saying, so-and-so helped me so much. I used to make no money. Now I make all the money. So you click it on their Facebook page. And then you click on their bio to see where they work. And then say CEO Bobby’s boot camp or whatever it is. And then you can click on that business’ page. And then from there you can click on that pages’ page transparency tab. And then you can see if they’re running ads. And so that’s what I did. I did that with like a five of this particular guru’s testimonial clients. And so I saw some of these ads and it was interesting that there was a lot of, there was a pattern. You could see that the offer that a lot of these people were offering was similar.

Mateo (15:46):

And so that leads me to believe, OK, well this must be the core tenet or the methodology that the group teaches. That makes sense? If you find someone on a particular guru’s testimonial page and they’re running ads and it’s different than the one before, OK, you might need to test a few more to find the pattern. Cause maybe they worked with this guru before. Now they work with a different guru and that guru told them to change up their tactics. So, you know, you have to, like I said, I was in the rabbit hole for a while. But yeah, I found an interesting pattern. So with this guru, here’s one of their clients, the ad copy here, it’s all, it looks like the niche is for busy ex athlete dads.

Mike (16:34):

You can see the term is like showing up all across—.

Mateo (16:38):

It’s everywhere on the ads. And so it’s like, OK, it’s not just dads, it’s dads who, you know, played sports in college or you know, who used to run marathons before they had kids or whatever.

Mike (16:48):

Went to state.

Mateo (16:48):

Yup, exactly. So that’s this person’s this person’s niche, is ex-athlete dads. And so that’s where all the copy is geared towards. You know, you are a dad. You’re not happy with your dad bod if you’re a busy dad. You know, I was a busy dad, right? That’s this person’s like, I was a busy dad. I have three daughters. It was not easy to balance, you know, work plus focus time. And then like spouse time and then kids time and then workout time. So, you know, these are appealing to those common problems that probably other people in this niche would have.

Mateo (17:34):

And you know, so that’s where all this, and it’s long.

Mike (17:38):

It’s very long. It’s like three scrolls here, guys.

Mateo (17:38):

And so if you’re someone like me, I was, you know, I had poor health, no fitness energy, no motivation X, Y, and Z. If you’re like this, you should check out this program. Here’s the offer. I can help you. Right? That’s kind of the end of it, right? You’ll learn how to get back to that awesome athletic build you had before. And not only that, you’ll have all these other benefits like focus and, you know, increased productivity and, you know, just overall better wellness. Right.

Mike (18:19):

What I’m seeing here Mateo is like, I’m seeing as you’re going through the copy or what I’m seeing is exactly that stuff. There’s benefits, they’re chucking benefits at you. They’re kind of knocking off some of the pain points for these people. And then one of the things that they’re playing up is like, you know, you’re not being selfish because you want to take care of yourself and take an hour to do this for yourself, get yourself back together and be a role model. So they’re really kind of, they’ve got their niche dialed in right, where they really want to hit this guy, you know, archetype heart.

Mateo (18:49):

Yeah. And I also want to be, I’m not necessarily knocking this, there’s a lot of stuff I’m gonna—exactly what you said. There’s some more stuff I really like here, but I also thought this part was funny. I’m looking for 15 ex-athlete dads who need to lose 20 to 30 pounds and destroy the Dad bod. I’ve heard that copy before because I use it all the time

Mateo (19:11):

And I’m not saying they stole it from me. I might have stole it from them. Who knows? Like who’s to say anymore. It’s just funny how you’ll see the same language everywhere. But yeah, I’m looking for it—my ad copy says I’m looking for a 10 local Philadelphia women to X, Y, and Z. So I think it’s pretty, that’s pretty funny.

Mike (19:34):

I’m not seeing any fire emojis, but I am seeing like some muscle.

Mateo (19:39):

There are definitely a lot of emojis on here. So that’s the niche. One ad here I think is pretty interesting is just a video testimonial from one of his clients. So all right, so that’s a general, so I guess things that I like about this copy is, like you said, it’s niche down. So we’re very specific, and we’re speaking to the pain points of that niche and we’re, you know, we’re highlighting the benefits of what, you know, we’re kind of future casting, talking about bright spots. You know, like you could feel like this again, you could get your energy back, you could, you know, be strong again or whatever it is. If you just want to learn more, click here. So what’s the offer? There’s a few different landing pages that this particular person is driving traffic to, but the main one is if you look at the landing page against the same headline, looking for 15 ex-athlete dads who want to shred 20, 30 pounds, it’s basically like, it asks you to opt in and there’s a few different ways he asks you.

Mateo (20:50):

One is he actually asks you. This landing page actually asks you to fill out a questionnaire to see if you qualify. Right? And I put that in quotation marks. If you can’t see me.

Mike (20:59):

Cause you’re going to qualify if you click that thing.

Mateo (21:01):

Exactly. And then at the end, he invites you to join. So congrats. You’re qualified. The next step is to book a call, right? So that’s one of the funnels. That’s an application form and then you know, drives you to book a sales call. Another one that I found was actually, he has another ad that goes straight to telling you that if you want to get started, take my five day challenge.

Mike (21:32):

Challenges are interesting right now.

Mateo (21:35):

Yeah. So take my five day challenge. You’ll start seeing results and you know, it’s basically like you want to destroy the dad bod, take this five day challenge and start seeing some awesome results. And really what this five day challenge is, is actually it’s very clever. It requires no fulfillment on his part because it’s all delivered to your inbox and every day it’s basically a link delivered to your inbox that opens a landing page and that landing page has a video and that video tells you the thing you should do that day. So the first one is like, you know, it’s just a bunch of self help talk, you know, talking about positive mindset stuff.

Mike (22:20):

Transformational behavior stuff.

Mateo (22:22):

Right. Habits. The day two is like own your time. I don’t know what he talks about there, but I’m assuming it’s something about like you got to prioritize what’s important to you.

Mike (22:30):

You need 30 minutes for yourself to be a role model for your children, right now.

Mateo (22:34):

Day three is fuel the machine. So right there it’s going to be probably a lot of nutrition stuff, but he’s also going to start to, I don’t want to say condition, but he’s starting to educate, right? The buyer and say like nutrition is the most important part. So later on, at the end of the five days when I try to sell you on a $900 nutrition coaching program, you already know how important that is because I talked about it in day three. You know what I’m saying? So day four, build the machine. So that’s going to be about fitness. And same thing. On day five when you get to the end of this thing and I’m gonna try and sell you on a a thousand dollar 12 week fitness program, you’ll already know why it’s important because, with all these assignments that you have for your five days of your challenge, yes, there’s educational content in there, but it’s also a way for him to just, he’s already starting the sales process.

Mike (23:29):

So these are like five increasingly larger breadcrumbs and tastier bread crumbs that are leading basically into a trap where he’s going to then talk to you once the door is closed for a bit.

Mateo (23:37):

Right. And the other thing too is like, you know, we call this a minimum viable product, right? So it’s like he’s probably going to, for people who pay attention and who do make it through the end, you probably will see some positive results, right? If you’ve never thought about like your protein intake and all of a sudden you like see day three and then you like eat some chicken for the next few days. And like don’t drink your beers.

Mateo (24:04):

Yeah, you probably will start to feel better. Right? So you’ve already gotten some positive results. Even if it’s one thing, even it’s something about like prioritizing your time where you meditate one time because of one of these videos, you’ve gotten a result. So you’re already you’ve established that trust and authority with the buyer. So at the end when you upsell them, you know, they’re much more likely to say, yes. Well I already feel better from the five days you told me. Imagine what it will be like 12 weeks from now of working with you.

Mike (24:32):

Yeah. So this is not at all a criticism of this particular funnel. It’s just, we’re just breaking it down and showing what it does. But in no way are we saying this is a, you know, a garbage product or anything like that. It may well work very well and they’ve given five, you know, five free things that you will get some results from. You’re absolutely right. If fuel the machine says, don’t eat so many chips, drink less beer, you’re probably going to feel better. And then eventually you’ve earned the right to then pitch your main product to these guys.

Mateo (24:56):

Exactly. And at each point, right, every day is a new lesson, right? But on each page for each new lesson, there’s a different call to action and it’s another end point where he’s asking you to communicate, right? One of these buttons leads to a chat bot on Facebook. The other one leads back to the calendar. Another one leads to just like the phone number, you know. So at each point he’s delivering another opportunity for you to book a sales call. And again, it’s all automated, right? This is all delivered, you know, through a drip sequence. So it’s an interesting funnel because it’s, you know, you’re putting someone in a challenge and you’re fulfilling on the service, but it’s all automated, requires no work.

Mike (25:40):

You build it once and you let this thing play out.

Mateo (25:42):

Exactly. Yep. So that’s what this person does. And I’m sure it, like you said, if it works well, and I mean he’s still running ads, so obviously he’s getting an ROI. Right. And again, like you said, we’re not saying this is bad or good or whatever. Either way, I’m just trying to present an option that I thought was pretty interesting.

Mike (26:05):

Well, it’s fascinating because he is delivering a challenge and he is talking about various things that are going to get results. And what we’re getting an idea of here is when gym owners and people are putting their ads together and the funnels together, an idea of what kind of works and what can go in there. So it’s definitely, it gives you some ideas of what’s out there.

Mateo (26:23):

And it’s a good offer for your ads, right? Take my free five day challenge.

Mike (26:27):

I can do that. It’s free and it’s five days.

Mateo (26:28):

Who wouldn’t opt in for that? It’s a great ad, and you’d get really cheap opt-ins for that. So that was one. So we were talking about this particular marketing guru. This is one of his success stories. His clients. What about another one?

Mike (26:43):

I’d love to see another one.

Mateo (26:44):

So then I found another one of his, we can call it acolytes. And these ads were for women. The niche here is, you know, is women and the copy here is like, yo did you know, one in three women suffer from slow metabolism? I used to be one. And again, you’re starting to hear the story from the perspective of the owner, right? It’s like I used to be just like you, I used to suffer from this problem. I used to struggle with weight loss. This is the reason why I didn’t know this for so long, but actually there’s all these things, that you’re probably not doing. Five habits, you could say, you want to know what those five things are, click here, it’s free. Here’s that magic five number again. Right? So this five step method, the other one was a five day challenge. This one’s a five step method, but you can see, right, that this is pretty similar.

Mike (27:47):

Yeah. It’s the niche is just slightly different, right? Where their talking about metabolic stuff, not dad bod.

Mateo (27:52):

The niche is different, but the offer is kind of the same, right? It’s this number. It’s this five thing.

Mike (27:57):

Similar emojis.

Mateo (27:58):

Yeah. And that’s why the ad copy is like you’re doing the authority play where it’s like, did you know about this problem? I bet you didn’t know there’s these solutions. I’ll talk about them. I’ll give you a sneak peek if you want to know more about the five things, click here. And for the one we saw before, it was the five day challenge where I’m gonna give you the five principles of being like getting rid of your dad bod, in this one, it’s going to be five. What is it? Five steps to build the body you love without restrictive diets. Right? So, very similar stuff. So again, so as I’m going through this rabbit hole, this is the pattern I’m starting to see is what is this guru teaching? It’s obviously the ads should be around this kind of giveaway of five some hings, right. At least that’s what it appears to me. I could be totally wrong. I could have found two, and that that was just a coincidence.

Mike (28:55):

It’s unlikely when you point this stuff out here, you start to see similarities very clearly. And guys, we’re not showing you obviously the stuff, but when we look at it, the wording and everything, the patterns, the way they’re laying things out. Very, very similar throughout.

Mateo (29:11):

Yeah. So the ads here, again, one in three women suffer from slow metabolism. Click here for your free guide on how to boost your metabolism. Free thing here. So if we click on it, it’s a landing page. This one’s got a video as well. It says the five step method to build a body that you love. Oh, this one actually has a longer webinar. This is a 60 minute live video training. This is a really long, it’s a really long webinar. Which is great. This person has a lot of testimonials. You can’t see it, but it’s a well-crafted page, but yeah. The sales copy here is trying to get you to watch the training or learn about the five things and, again, I’m sure if we were to opt in, to get the free training to learn about the five things, it’s going to be similar to what we saw before, which is many, you know, they’re going to indoctrinate us more, they’re gonna have more of an opportunity to sell us on this program. And I bet you it’s very expensive. If there’s a 60 minute training, that’s usually a giveaway that the thing is going to be really expensive. The longer the webinar, the more expensive the thing is going to be at the end. Right. You know, that’s like with most things in life, you know, think about the purchases you make normally. Usually the longer the process is to make that purchase, the more expensive it’s going to be. Right. And that’s what this guru, you know, I’m sure that’s the only way this works. I mean we can talk about how I think these people actually fulfill the expensive service later. But, we’re just talking about the front end stuff, the ads right here. Right. So yeah. Anyway, the next one I saw was this one. I’m looking for 150 dads who want to completely transform their lives.

Mike (31:18):

We’re back to dad transformations.

Mateo (31:18):

We’re back to dads and the branding though is a little bit different here. The other one was like ex-athlete dads. This one’s more focused on like brotherhood, like fraternity of like men who should come together to like go from zero to hero is kind of the style of this one a little bit more. I think this guy’s from New Zealand, so you know, there’s definitely probably some like throwing out the haka and doing some like bonding and male warrior shit that way, if that makes sense.

Mike (31:53):

And we’re losing kilograms, not pounds. We don’t even know what pounds are.

Mateo (31:55):

Right, exactly. And if you go to his page, oh, whoa, what do we see here? A five day challenge. There it is again, and it’s free. This one we can learn a little bit more about the delivery, but it’s similar, right?

Mateo (32:14):

If you sign up, you’re going to join a private Facebook page or a Facebook group. And again, that’s going to be a spot where you’re going to just be, you know, it’s another opportunity for them to sell you on, for him to give you information, give you value, and then sell you on the high ticket thing at the end. But yeah, if you opt in, in a few seconds, you’ll receive day one in your inbox. So it plays out almost exactly the same way as the first one we just looked at where you’re getting day one of the challenge delivered to your inbox. I didn’t opt into this one, but I’m assuming it’s going to look and feel very similar. Where day one’s like mindset. Day two is like getting your time. Day three is nutrition.

Mateo (32:55):

You know, et cetera. Right. We got a couple more here. I won’t get into it. I clicked on this next one. And again, these, all these examples are acolytes or client testimonies I got from this one guru we started with in the beginning. This one I clicked on because it was more specific to COVID. So this one was a live lockdown challenge, they’re calling it. This one’s 30 days, a complete 30 day start to you know, to losing anywhere from 75 to 150 pounds without a gym, without a gym. Within a year without a gym.

Mike (33:32):

That’s a big promise.

Mateo (33:32):

Right? Yeah. So this one is for people in the African American community cause that seems to be the niche in this one.

Mike (33:44):

And it’s actually targeting them. It’s actually, sorry to interrupt, but it’s actually using coronavirus stuff to target saying that this is a risk group. So this is using some of the stuff that’s in the media to start getting some urgency in there.

Mateo (33:57):

Exactly. That’s why I clicked on this one cause I thought that was an interesting take that I hadn’t seen yet. And this one I also clicked on because he’s actually asking for money upfront. Normally, you know, this program, normally this program is X, Y, and Z. Oh, my normal 30 day program is $200, but I’ve decided to do something special. If you’re reading this, then the deal is still available. Oh, OK. So no, we don’t know if he’s asking for money. He says, normally it costs this much, but I’ve got this deal. You should just click to learn more what the deal is. So, yeah, I’m not sure, but I thought this part was interesting too. He lays out a little bit about the delivery. So it’s a 30-day live lockdown program. So you’re going to get nutrition, motivational stuff. You’re going to get all the workouts, zero equipment required. You’re going to get access to an app and you’re going to get some live motivation coaching. That I bet is just like a Zoom call once a week with someone right. With a group, right. A support community that’s going to be a Facebook group of some kind and then one-on-one message of support. So there’s a lot of stuff here.

Mateo (35:22):

If you’re ready, you get a free 60 minute private consultation. That’s actually secret code for a 60 minute sales interview after you complete the 30 days to sell you into the longer term program. At least that’s what I suspect. I don’t want to be too cynical, but if I were a betting man, that’s probably what that is. So yeah, I thought this one was interesting. We’ll do one more cause I know I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but.

Mike (35:47):

No, no. This is cool because if people are listening, what you are listening for here is some of the ways that people are getting viewers to click on stuff. Some of the offers they’re presenting some of the things that they’re doing to create urgency, some of the things they’re doing to target their niche. So when you’re listening to this stuff, we’re not sitting here criticizing funnels. What we’re doing is we’re looking at, and again, if these things are up, they’re probably working to some degree. So we’re looking at how these guys are trying to create an offer and eventually get some money out of it and get this person to sign up.

Mateo (36:16):

Yeah. You know it’s working, because if the ad has been around for a minute, like if that person is like, it means they’re seeing ROI on it. So this last one was again, another one about this one was mums now, super mums, elite mums with a U.

Mike (36:35):

And that’s gotta be European or a New Zealand or something.

Mateo (36:38):

Or South Africa. But for this one, now the niche is moms, right? Moms who want to get fit, who want to become a super mom. So if you click on any of this person’s material, the landing page, what is it? It’s a free five day self-love challenge.

Mike (37:00):

Maybe potentially not phrased the best.

Mateo (37:04):

I’m sorry. No, I’m just laughing cause of the five day thing, that’s the only reason why I’m laughing. I’m not knocking it either.

Mike (37:14):

No, if it works, it works.

Mateo (37:16):

If you looked at 40 of the Two-Brain clients I’ve worked with, you see they’re all running six week challenge ads of some kind. So it’s not like, you know, I’m not saying this is bad, I’m just, you know, you got to laugh at the little things, right.

Mike (37:29):

Find some humor in it and show yourself some self love.

Mateo (37:33):

Exactly. So again, I didn’t opt into this one, but my point here was free five day of self love challenge. The one before was a get rid of your dad bod a challenge. The one after that was you know, um, five habits, five steps for increasing metabolism. So it’s this five thing. So all that being said is it became pretty clear to me at least based off of that sampling size of this guru’s testimonial group, it seems like this person teaches his clients to do some kind of free five-day challenge that is delivered via email or through some kind of automation sequence that once it’s built out one time requires no more continual labor and upkeep from the business owner, from the gym owner, from the personal trainer. Right? So from there, right, they’re using that as the lead magnet, right.

Mateo (38:35):

Instead of a free ebook, instead of a free six week challenge instead of a whatever it is, this person found success with a free five day thing and that’s the thing that he just is rolling with. Right? And so it’s a free five day thing or something. A really low barrier offer, like a 30 day challenge for like $5 or whatever it is. Something really low barrier. That’s the thing that he teaches his clients to advertise to get leads. Once you get the leads, what’s cool about the five day challenge is like you have, if someone goes through that entire sequence, they’re really warm, right? Most people won’t make it through, but that’s OK. On day one, you’re still asking them to book the sales call. On day two, if you only make it to day two, you’re asking again to book a sales call or you want to learn more about this topic we just spent five minutes discussing on video? Book a sales call, right? Or, day three, the sales call is not working. Join the Facebook group, right? It’s all these call to actions are happening throughout, the free thing, right? And then from there, I’m assuming at the end of the free five day thing, or you know, in the middle or wherever it is, you’re getting on a sales call with someone, and my bet is that’s where you’re going to sell some really high tier high ticket, you know, virtual coaching package, you know, some like 12 weeks for three grand or something like that. And you’re probably not going to get a ton of people to that point. But those who do, again, if you get someone to sit through five of your videos for five days in a row, there’s a pretty high chance they’re going to buy that $3,000 package from you.

Mateo (40:19):

So that’s the system. And if you’re all online, right, if you don’t have rent, this probably works for the personal trainers he works with because your op costs are really low. You can divert all of your money to marketing and advertising. You can pump as many people as you possibly can into that free five day challenge ad because you don’t have to pay rent. If you do pay staff, it’s probably, you know, one dude for every 10 of your clients. You know what I mean? That checks in with them once a week. So you’re paying them like an hourly rate to do that. You know, accountability, phone call, you know, I’m speculating now, I’m guessing, but I’m guessing that’s how it works. Right? And so that’s why this system, I believe, probably does see a fair amount of success. Because again, if you don’t have rent, if you don’t have insurance, if you don’t have staff that you need to pay, then most of your money can go to ads and you only need to sell, you know, one out of every, I’m making it up, 50 people on that $3,000 package to start making some serious cash. You know, you can probably get a hundred leads for a thousand dollars if you’re selling a $2,000 product. You see where I’m going with that?

Mike (41:34):

Yeah, and it’s funny because you know, I will make an assumption here that I don’t know about these individual programs, but I’m gonna assume that they’re not, this is not like online or they’re like a Zoom call where they’re doing leading someone through personal training. They’re probably assigning workouts, installing some accountability messaging, maybe a Zoom call consultation once a week or a month or something. Who knows? But it’s not like they’re sitting there for one hour coaching this person most likely.

Mateo (41:56):

Right, exactly right. I don’t know what the actual expensive product is that they’re being sold on at the end. But if I were to guess, you’re right. If I were to guess, it’s probably very similar to that five day challenge. It’s just more videos, more modules and then just more workouts and nutrition advice with the occasional, you know, one-on-one text or personalized email checking or Zoom phone call for accountability.

Mateo (42:27):

Not for like, I’m gonna watch you do your workouts now in your garage or whatever it is.

Mike (42:32):

And what Chris Cooper has said now he’s talked to some excellent online coaches, I believe the numbers were six or seven minutes per client per day was kind of like when you’re starting out was the standard. After that, when you get good at things and you have some systems and operations, you know how to like find efficiencies. I believe the number, and I think Brain Overstreet in Two-Brain archives was the guy who said it was down to like two, three minutes, four minutes, something like that. So you’ve got these high ticket items, but you’ve got all this prebuilt stuff and you can install these touch points that can be, you know, there’s efficiencies to be found there as well. That’s probably looking at a very big margin that then can be divided up and pumped some of that back in advertising costs.

Mateo (43:09):

Exactly. And then you can diffuse it. You can spread that out even more if you have a Facebook group for your warriors or your dad bod, you know, warrior guys or whatever. And there’s just someone you have to pay just to manage that group and then you can, you know, cut down costs even more there. Right. I’m not saying that’s good or bad, I’m just saying that’s, that’s another way in which you can, you know, provide feedback to the group, but you’re cutting down cost because you’re not doing the one on one time. Right. So, that’s just one of the people that I looked into. And I wanted to share all of that again to say, not that you have to do it this way or you shouldn’t do it this way, but just to one, show the what is out there.

Mateo (43:57):

And two, it would be like, yo, I don’t think this stuff is a mystery. Right? You could have easily done what I did and reverse engineered what the offers were that this guru’s clients were being told to do, right?

Mike (44:09):

There’s nothing there on those pages that our Two-Brain gyms couldn’t offer, easily.

Mateo (44:14):

Or also if you just wanted to find this yourself, right? This wasn’t like a secret. This wasn’t like—and I think the overarching message that I wanted to give is like, it’s not, you know, the ads. Like it’s not about that.

Mateo (44:32):

You can see that, you know, I could do this one tomorrow, this five free five step thing. It’s more about, you know, once you get these people in the door, is your service awesome? Can you retain them? And then, you know, that’s the key, right? Can you sell? Can you sell the people and then can you retain them and continue to sell them every month? You know, when they’re up for renewal, that’s the message. You know, it’s the ads are not hard to reverse engineer. It’s not hard to see what this person is teaching their clients. It’s not hard to see what I’m telling my clients to do. I put out a free marketing course, like it’s not hard to see what is going on with the ads, right? Or what the offer, right? I think what’s most important is can you back up what you say, right? Can you fulfill and offer your clients amazing results consistently?

Mike (45:30):

And that’s where like Two-Brain Coaching comes in where we’re teaching people how to be amazing coaches who are not just technical experts on squat mechanics and sarcomeres, but we’re talking about motivation, behavioral change, things like that. We’re also talking about retention systems and making sure your clients are engaged and happy. We’re talking about affinity marketing where you have a satisfied client, you want to find his or her friends and family and coworkers and colleagues and we’re talking about building trust and relationships essentially, not with 20,000 people but with the small number that you need to float your business. And again, we teach you all of that in the Two-Brain program. Mateo, the free marketing course that you are talking about that you did, where is that? Where can people get that?

Mateo (46:07):

I think that’s in the free tools now.

Mike (46:09):, go to the free tools, you will see Mateo’s smiling face and you can find out his secret sauce and figure out how that works. And in that course, Mateo, you’re going to give all your stuff away. But your overarching message is, not that you know, you need to hammer out a bunch of ads. It’s what?

Mateo (46:23):

It’s what’s inside that counts, Mike.

Mike (46:25):

And it sounds cheesy, but we’re building relationships here in the fitness industry, right? And we’re talking about fulfilling on these promises. The ads are just there to, you know, create the structure. And the funnels get people going, but what we’re really doing is once we get a chance to talk to these people, we want to build honest, long-term relationships that get huge results for these people and are actually life changing without hyperbole.

Mateo (46:45):

Can you actually help them? Help first. Just help them. That’s all it is.

Mike (46:49):

I think our gyms can. Guys, take a look at the stuff that other people are doing around you and figure out how you can learn from that and then apply it to your own processes because we know you have amazing programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, all the stuff that can help people, whether it’s the COVID crisis or not.

Mike (47:05):

Learn from that stuff and then find a way to personalize it for yourself and Mateo, as always, can help you. Thank you for listening Two-Brain Radio. I’m Mike Warkentin with digital marketing expert Mateo Lopez. Two-Brain Business is in contact with gyms all over the world as they reopen. On our blog, Chris Cooper’s collecting best practices and telling you how to avoid mistakes when you reopen your facility. To get all the info you need right now during the corona crisis, visit and click blog the top menu, Thanks for tuning into Two-Brain Radio. Please subscribe for more episodes.


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Your Gym 2.0: The Exact Steps to Making It Better Than It Was Before COVID-19

Your Gym 2.0: The Exact Steps to Making It Better Than It Was Before COVID-19

Andrew (00:02):

Welcome to Two-Brain Radio with your host Chris Cooper. Gym owners around the world are realizing that the current crisis has given them an opportunity to reshape and improve their businesses. On May 3rd, Chris led an online group of gym owners through Your Gym 2.0. The exercise helped entrepreneurs focus on their goals, evaluate their current businesses, and take steps to create new enterprises that will serve clients even better. To get Two-Brain’s Your Gym 2.0 worksheet, click the link in the show notes and worked through it as you listen. And now here’s Chris Cooper.

Chris (00:34):

Hey everyone. Good morning, happy Sunday. I’ve got my brightest Two-Brain shirt on out of the stack of many. Before we get going here, and I’m just going to give people, you know, five or six seconds to get started because we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us today. There are two things. And the first is a measure of gratitude. So there are certain people in this group who have emailed Krista and said, I want to pay for somebody in the growth group who is struggling next month. So if anybody needs you know, money or they need to be able to pay for mentorship just to bridge the gap, I’ve got you. And there were four or five people who did that last month and every single time it just brought tears to my eyes and I was so choked up. And so thank you for doing that. I know that part of the gift is the ability to remain anonymous and so I’m not going to call you out. But I really appreciate it. You know, from the bottom of my heart, as we get going this morning, I’d like you to open up the worksheet and it’s in the files section of the group. It’s also attached to the post here. Here’s what it looks like. Let me just open it up on mine.

Chris (01:48):

This is it. It should say Your Gym 2.0 worksheet. And we’re going to be going through this thing step by step. I’m going to be adding a little bit of color, a little bit of context every time we take a first step here. But if you’re ready, then open up the sheet. We’re going to work through it together step by step. You didn’t have to have it done before the call. Thank you, Kevin. I’m sure you were an amazing student in high school. You’re crushing it. All right, so here we go. And as we go along guys, I will be checking comments at the end of each section. So please feel free to ask questions within the Facebook group and you know, we’ll get to it as we go. I’ve already got 11 comments before we even get started. Thank you for that. If you can’t find the sheet, look in the file section of this group or look at the post to which it’s attached. All right, so I’m going to open this up. I’m gonna make sure that I’ve muted myself so you don’t hear duplicates, but I want to make sure that I can answer your questions as we go. That is really important to me. All right, so well thank you for all of the good mornings. It’s so awesome. All right. Let’s start with the sheet here and I’m showing you a picture of yourself here.

Chris (03:08):

The question I want you to be asking yourself today is who will my business be when it grows up? So most cultures have a right of passage from childhood to adulthood and one of the the rites of passage are ceremonial or just primitive. These rites always include these three stages. The first is separation from your tribe. The second is liminality, which is like the change and it’s usually including some kind of a test. And the third stage is reintegration into the tribe as a different person, as like an adult or the tribes concept as a grownup. Now you might be picturing this teenager in the Amazon, stripped naked, painted white and left to kill or be killed, but a new soldier in the army follows the same process. And so do kids going to college. The COVID crisis is our generation’s rite of passage. It’s a primitive test.

Chris (04:01):

We’re separated from our tribe. We’re sent out into the jungle to prove our value and we will not be returning as the children that we were. This is our best opportunity to make changes. So I’m going to outline how change is made and we’re going to start with your own vision quest. It involves, best quote, maybe one of his best of all time, but for this situation is there are three things in life. Your health, your mission, and the people you love. That’s it. And so I want to start this conversation from there. So we’re going to go back to starting with your vision. Your Perfect Day. Since 2012 I’ve been asking gym owners, what is your Perfect Day? And using that exercise to paint a picture of business success for them, most of them said something that amounted to freedom of time and money, which we’ve defined now as wealth.

Chris (04:51):

We use that term. But we all just got to test drive our Perfect Day for six weeks. Or at least the situation that would allow us to fulfill our Perfect Day. We had freedom of time. How do we fill that time? Did we fill it with work? Did we fill it with family? Did we fill it with workouts or something else? We all just got to test drive our Perfect Day for six weeks, we were at home 24/seven, we had complete time freedom and most of us kept some kind of income. So now it’s time to ask, is this the life that I want and if so, how can you make it permanent? So the first exercise I’m going to give you, if you pull up open this worksheet, you’ll see it. It’s knowing what you know now, how would your Perfect Day change?

Chris (05:32):

Would you still stay at home or would you prefer to have somewhere to go in the morning? Would you live where you are? And would you continue to live with the people that you’re currently living with? Don’t worry about whether they would keep living with you or not. I want you to paint the clearest picture that you have using this new knowledge that you’ve just gained. And so on Your Gym 2.0 worksheet under vision, I want you to write down how your Perfect Day has changed given the experience of the last four to six weeks. All right? We’re going to start with that. And while you’re doing that, I’m just going to look at our questions in the group. So we’ve got, yeah, we’re just going to move straight onto the next thing. That’s fantastic. All right, everybody kind of gets it here. So the first exercise is how would your Perfect Day change?

Chris (06:22):

And you’re gonna write this out long hand. Now, if you need some time to figure it out, you know, how your Perfect Day has changed, here’s what I suggest. Choose a task that requires manual labor today. OK? Follow the concept of thinking body, dancing mind mow your grass. Go for a walk. Do something that requires your body to move without conscious thought and think about Perfect Day. All right? How has it changed? What have you learned? The second exercise that we’re going to do is the pre-mortem. So now I want you to, with this worksheet, imagine that your gym died yesterday. It went out of business. You’re done. Your funeral, OK? And you’re holding a funeral for your business and somebody walks up to you and says, you know, what was your business anyway? What exactly did you do? So I want you to describe it.

Chris (07:16):

Describe your business as it was the day before it died. Don’t worry about writing down these were my mistakes or anything like that. I just want you to describe exactly how your business was. Now, if it helps you, imagine the way that your business was the day before you closed it, OK? But if you want to get a really thorough answer, write down the way that your business is today. OK? And pretend that you know it’s dying. So I want you to describe that business. I want you to take as much time as you need to do that. I want you to write two or three sentences, not even a full paragraph if you need to. Describe your business to me. Don’t worry about the service that you deliver, constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity. Describe your business. What are you selling? OK. And, you know Stephen’s comments here is this was not even close to our Perfect Day. We have not had freedom of time. We’ve been working more. Perfect. And write that down. It’s a great lesson. You know, in the crisis has provided the opportunity to learn that lesson, which you would not have figured out any other way. You know? And that’s the silver lining here, Stephen. I know you get this, so I’m not going to belabor that point.

Chris (08:37):

  1. OK. So the next question I have for you is what killed your business? So if we’re doing this premortem and you’re at the funeral for your business and somebody walks up to you and first says, what was your business? Describe it. And you describe it and they say, Oh, OK, what killed it? Then this might be, you know, the straw that broke the camel’s back. It might also be, you know, hearkening back to the days of old, I started out without systems. If somebody had asked me this question today instead of asking me the question in 2008 obviously my answer would have been a lot different. My answer in 2008 would have been not enough marketing. My answer in 2010 would have been, no, actually I was wrong and I didn’t have the systems. You know, my answer in 2013 would have been poor staff management.

Chris (09:25):

My answer in 2020 would have been something different. So I want you to ask yourself what killed it. Now with Stephen’s great question in mind, we’re working too hard. We don’t have freedom of time. The work has expanded to fill all this extra time that we have. Maybe that’s what killed it. So I want you to write that down. It just became overwhelming. OK? And that is again, just an amazing lesson to learn that would normally have taken us five years to figure out, right? If we had just slowly transitioned to this online model, it could have been three years even before we figured out I hate this. It takes up more time, not less. So, while the COVID crisis is tragic for a lot of reasons, for business, it means that time has been condensed and we can learn lessons really, really fast that would have been way more expensive and way more time consuming to learn without this crisis, what killed it.

Chris (10:18):

The third question of the pre-mortem is what survived? Meaning what would you keep? Now it’s tempting because we’re all in the honeymoon phase of online training, it’s tempting to say I would only keep the online part, forget the bricks and mortar. It would also be tempting if you hate the online part, if you’re working way more now to say, screw the online part. I want to go back to the days of brick and mortar. We tend to wear these rose-colored glasses about how life used to be or how life could be in the future as compared to the present. And so when you ask yourself, what would you keep, I want you to not be completely black and white. So when you’re picking apart your former business and if your former business wasn’t doing well and online training looks to be this miracle, then I want you to pick apart your former business.

Chris (11:12):

You know, it’s dead now, what’s one little thing that you would have kept if you could? Well, maybe it’s the group training. Maybe it’s, you know, interacting with the people. Because later on today I’m going to tell you how you can keep those parts that you would miss. And then if you don’t like the online training part of this new business, this new world, instead of saying get rid of that, I want you to ask yourself, is there a part of that that I would keep in a perfect world? Maybe it’s the interaction with clients, maybe it’s the feedback that I’m getting from clients. Maybe it’s the ability to deliver, you know, habits training or mindset training or actually know what they need right now. OK, whatever that is. I want you to ask yourself, what would you keep? And I want you to write that. I left you s lot of space on the worksheet for that.

Chris (11:54):

This what would you keep as important. Because what we’re doing right now, guys, is we’re sifting through the ashes of this business that isn’t really dead, but we’re pretending it is and we’re finding pieces that we can use to rebuild. Hey, maybe there’s a stack of bricks over there that we can reuse. Maybe that beautiful wooden beam. It can be picked up and incorporated into our next build. Maybe the foundation is actually OK and maybe it was just, you know, the second floor that was the problem. Or maybe there are things that we’d like to keep just to remind us of where we’ve been and how far we’ve actually come. So while we might not rebuild on the same ground or on the same foundation that we started with, there are definitely elements of our previous business that will remain in our future business.

Chris (12:43):

All right, so we’re going to move on to the next exercise, which is what would a CEO do? Now, this exercise was in “Good to Great.” It’s also in “Traction” and “Scaling Up” and all the Gino Wickman books. It’s a really popular exercise that high-level mentors use with multimillion dollar CEOs. OK. Because even when you lead these massive, massive companies, they still have these emotional barriers to doing the things that have to be done. And we’ve talked about this on previous Sundays about how, you know, the logic behind like removing staff people or taking necessary but hard steps, doing the hard, hard things that are required for our business to survive. How to prioritize. But the thing is, you can understand the logic without actually taking the actions because the emotional ties will stop you. That’s what makes this hard. You don’t want to lay off a staff person, you know, you don’t want to cut your gym in half.

Chris (13:45):

We’ve got history, we’ve got relationships, and we’ve got our personal ego wrapped up in this. Our previous definitions of success are very hard to shed. So the first thing, the next exercise we’re going to do is imagine that you got fired as CEO of your gym, OK? The gym still exists the way it is right now and you’re fired. Somebody else is going to come in and run this, OK? Your board of directors has hired a new CEO to come in and take over your gym. This CEO doesn’t have the emotional ties or the emotional baggage. They don’t have the subjective look at your gym. They don’t have the relationships, right? They don’t know anybody, they are coming in from outside today. What’s the first thing that CEO would do in your gym? I want you to write that down. So on the Your Gym 2.0 worksheet on the third page, the first exercise is you get fired as CEO, the board of directors hires a new CEO.

Chris (14:41):

That CEO doesn’t know anybody or anything about your business, what’s the first thing they would do. When I do this exercise, and I make myself do it every six months, what it reveals every single time is something that I know that I should have done but haven’t done it because emotion, ego, attachment to the past has stopped me. Jonathan. That’s awesome. I haven’t actually gotten that book yet. But we are trying to work something out with Dan Heath to do some stuff with you guys. And I’m glad that it’s part of the decision process. You know, as I said before, there are two parts to making a decision. The first part is knowing what to do and the second part is doing it. We’re going to get to the doing it part here in a moment. Getting clarity on knowing what to do though is crazy, crazy important.

Chris (15:35):

Blake says, Chris, I’ve been the CEO for such a short time. I’m not even sure I think like a CEO. That’s OK. If somebody came in who did think like a CEO, what action would they take? Like, and that’s what we’re trying to get to here. OK. Think about like if one of the mentors showed up at your gym today, somebody from the mentor team. OK. Brian Strump shows up at your gym today. What is the first thing he’s going to do? And the Atlanta Two-Brain group kind of did this actually about a month and a half ago, they did an in person visit to one of the gyms in Atlanta. And after they were done, they all said, here’s what I would do. Here’s what I would change. And having that objective eye as well as the accountability factor of having your friends in your gym really help people make changes.

Chris (16:21):

Most of the time these changes were not a surprise. You’re right, I need to pick up those dirty towels that are in the restroom. You know? But having that objective eye forces you to do it. OK. And Blake, don’t worry man, you are a good CEO. What that’s going to do is define what your first actions have to be. Now, if you’re a Gino Wickman fan, you’re going to refer to these as your rocks. OK? Your top priorities as CEO. And what you’ll find is that these rocks are not like sell more clients. It’s fix this process. It’s upgrade this staff member. It’s tell this person how to live up to the expectation. It’s set up staff evaluations. These rocks usually have more to do with holding other people accountable or making strategic moves than tactical moves. Now I’ll tell you that the key to taking action is to add things, not to take things away.

Chris (17:21):

And so if you’re adding things, you should be adding systems and processes or evaluations. These additions might result in subtraction. You might change your team, but it might also mean that you do the action instead of just procrastinating. Because as I said, this exercise reveals what you already know, but something’s stopping you. Here’s another tip on defining what your first rock should be. In times of crisis, you should be looking at leading indicators every single day for how your business is doing. And you should be looking at lagging indicators only at the end of the month. For example, what is your revenue retention rate? You might be fretting over this every single day. Every time a client leaves you might be going, Oh man, now my retention rate is 78% and it was 81 and you know, you can’t do that every single day. As a leader, you can’t be distracted by those things.

Chris (18:17):

You have to be looking at leading indicators and these are your rocks. The things that will affect leading indicators, not lagging indicators. So for example, what can you look at as a leading indicator? How many leads I’m getting? OK, how many NSIs am I booking every day? How many of those are actually converting? That’s a lagging indicator. And you can work at converting them after you have a month’s worth of data. OK, so getting leads is one. Another one is adherence is a leading indicator. You know, how many people actually did the thing that I told them to do today, how many of my clients took my advice? I texted 90 of them out of 150 today. How many of them actually did the workout? Retention is a lagging indicator. How many people canceled at the end of the month? OK, that’s actually churn, another lagging indicator.

Chris (19:11):

How long do people stay? That’s a lagging indicator, but we know adherence is a leading indicator and so your rocks, your first rocks to this new business, your priorities as a leader should be to effect the leading indicators as well as you can. All right. I’m sure we’re going to get some questions about that, so I’m just going to hop over and take a look. Yeah, so Andy, I guess maybe Andy, you were the host of the Atlanta meetup and I don’t think it needs to be humbling. I understand. Like, yeah, you’re going to get a lot of—the thing is, it’s humbling because you’re a humble person. Other people would take that as a challenge, but I’m going to bet that there was nothing that any of your visitors said that was a total out of the blue surprise. The reason that it was humbling was probably because they removed your ego for you.

Chris (20:06):

These were probably things that you knew that you had to improve or change and just couldn’t bring yourself to do it because you had a defense mechanism for defending your actions. Hey, yeah. Yeah. There’s some towels hanging up in the bathroom. But I got 10 new clients this month, right? Yeah. OK. Thank you Eddie. So guys, these are your rocks. Now I know that this webinar is all about what your next business is going to be. The reason that we’re talking about like rocks and priorities and stuff right now and you know, becoming the new CEO of the gym is that we’re going through a metamorphosis, OK? We’re going through a change cycle and we have to tear down what’s not working before we can rebuild. We are not going to go bankrupt, change our name, close our business, wipe it from people’s brains and just start up again overnight.

Chris (21:04):

So first we’re going to identify what we want to keep. Then we’re going to identify what we want to get rid of and we’re going to identify how do we act on the things that we want to keep. All right? So the next exercise is an after action review. OK? So before we start getting into rebuilding the business from these pieces, we’re going to start with what’s our foundation? All right? So we’ve identified like the pieces of our business that we want to get rid of, the pieces that we want to keep and now we’re going to start assembling those pieces that we want to keep into a foundation for this new platform. OK, so the after action review starts with this question. In this experience of COVID, the crisis of gym closures, what went right for you? Now I am asking you to look for bright spots and I want you to write them down and I left you a lot of space on this page.

Chris (21:56):

So please fill it in. I also want you to maintain some kind of context here because you’re tired and you’re stressed because of the unknown ahead of you. But I don’t want you to just throw out the baby with the bath water here. I want you to ask yourself what went right. Let me give you some context here. Even if you are down to 50% of member revenues, OK? And you lost half of your clients, you might be feeling depressed because you’re not used to using losing that much. But if you look at the broader fitness industry, most gyms have gone to zero. They’re done, they’re bankrupt, they kept zero revenue. They kept zero clients, OK? You are way ahead of them. Most gyms in the fitness industry kept zero staff employed, they’re gone. Most franchises kept paying rent, but the franchisee lost money.

Chris (22:54):

A lot of them actually went personally bankrupt. They had no option. They’re still not delivering anything right now. They’re out of business. They’re also not going to ramp up fast. Now, if you own a big globo gym and you’re a franchisee today and you get a green light to open up full operations as before, tomorrow, you’re still starting from scratch. If you’re in Two-Brain right now and you’re saying, Oh man, you know, I’ve lost more clients than the average, I’m down in revenue. This ramp-up period is not going to be easy. But you’ve got a massive head start. You still got most of your clients and the clients that put their subscription on hold, they’re going to come back. So what went right is number one, I mean you kept a lot of people. Number two, you’re still in business. Number three, you probably made some cuts that should’ve been made anyway, and number four, you’re going to have a much easier ramp up than anybody else.

Chris (23:50):

OK? So I want you to ask yourself like, what went right during this crisis and write those things down. Graham asked a question, where can I find more info on leading and lagging indicators? I’ve actually got a blog post about this, Graham, I think on the Two-Brain site. But I’ll post it later and leading and lagging indicators are covered really, really, really well in Gino Wickman’s books like “Get a Grip” is there, I think “Traction” covers it probably, too. We are going to be talking more and more about this and I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole here of data, but it is hard to define leading and lagging indicators outside of sales and marketing in fitness. So, as we get bigger and bigger data, we’ll be able to provide that to you.

Chris (24:48):

  1. I’m going to give you one more second here to work through that first exercise. I’m just writing down your question, Graham, because I want to make sure that I give you some solid links. All right. Next question. What will you never do again? So just thinking about this short-term crisis here, the acute effect it’s had on your business, what mistakes did you make during this crisis? You know, now’s the time to be honest with them. As Andy said, when the other local Atlanta gym owners visited his gym, there were very few surprises about things that he had to change. But the radical candor of having people there in person that he trusted and the objective viewpoint that they gave him kinda, you know, set him back. I wouldn’t say set him back. Andy doesn’t get setbacks. The honesty might’ve been a lot to swallow.

Chris (25:35):

Let’s put it that way. So the next after action review I want you to write down, even in bullet points, is what will you never do again? OK? What pivot will you never make? The next thing is, the next question is what did you miss about being online? OK? What is it that you miss by not having people in front of you in person? Write that down. And I can probably guess. This is the easiest question in the after review. What did you miss is probably like fist bumps, right? It’s high fives. It’s hugging. It’s like being right beside the girl as she’s suffering and you’re suffering too. It’s the competitive collaboration of I want to climb that rope, but I also want you to climb that rope. OK? And then finally I want you to bullet point, what do you not miss? What did you survive without?

Chris (26:25):

You know, what surprised you? Like, Oh, I really thought that I would miss this thing, our whiteboard talks, but I really don’t. Or maybe you know, I thought that I would miss the 6:00 AM crew, but really it’s been going fine online. OK? So I want you to write down what do you miss, what do you not miss? And again, what we’re doing with this after action review is we’re taking the previous exercise of what do you want to keep? And we’re grouping these things that you want to keep together to form a foundation for your new business. OK? So if you’re just joining us, we started with a very blank slate. We talked about how your Perfect Day has changed and we laid that down as a new easel for the picture of our new business that we want to create. Then we went through the steps of what do you have to remove?

Chris (27:12):

What do you want to keep? What actions do you need to take as a CEO? Then we went through this after action review basically of like, how did this make you feel? OK, what would you do differently next time? What will you never do again? What do you miss? What do you not miss? What did you survive without that kind of surprised you. So Joe, smiles and campfiring, I totally get that right. There’s something that is wired into our DNA about being able to sit beside somebody in a big circle, talk about how your day went. The campfiring effect. Yeah. And the smiles, it’s hard to get smiles on text, for sure. The next exercise is a callback to the previous exercise. And so I want you to ask yourself what remains. So we start with, you know, getting rid of the stuff, the mistakes that you would never make again.

Chris (28:07):

We started with getting rid of the stuff that you don’t miss. We started by getting rid of the stuff that an objective CEO would have gotten rid of. And we ask ourself what’s left? OK? So after we’ve cut all of those things, after we’ve audited, we say what’s left over. And the foundation of the new business are the parts that contribute to your Perfect Day. What’s left over are the cornerstones. OK? So we went through this exercise of, you know, what did you miss? What was working well before? What’s working well now? What’s not working? What surprised you? And that helped us cut away the stuff that is not part of our Perfect Day. There will not be part of this business going forward. Now we gathered together the parts that were working, the parts that we missed, and these will be part of the foundation of our business going forward.

Chris (28:58):

So for example, if you had a lot of group training clients and that was profitable on its own, but you were overpaying coaches for personal training or you were losing money on nutrition coaching or you were spending too much time on online coaching, then you’re going to trim those things away. If your group training was not profitable but you were making money on personal training and training clients alone, or your nutrition program by itself was making you money and was scalable or online coaching made you happy, then we’re going to keep those things. If you missed some elements of group coaching but you didn’t miss the schedule, you didn’t miss running 10 classes a day, then we’re going to keep group coaching as one of your cornerstones for the new business. But we’re not going to do it the same way. We’re going to have a different schedule.

Chris (29:53):

Maybe we’re going to limit the group size. Maybe we’re going to do it only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Maybe we’re going to bring everybody together for one big group workout. But knowing what these cornerstones are means that you can arrange them in a different way. And the way that you arrange your cornerstones determines the shape of your new business. So for example, some of the examples that we’ve been talking about with different people is, OK, yeah, we need that group interaction, man. We just miss the campfiring and the smiles too much. We don’t miss the big rent expense that we had before. So how often do we need to do the campfires and the smiling to be happy? How many classes do we need to run a day? How often do we need to see people and what fills those gaps? So after we’ve got the cornerstones of our business, then we’re going to add the elements back in that link those cornerstones together.

Chris (30:47):

OK? We’re going to pour the rest of the foundation and the supporting infrastructure. So your cornerstones are group training. What would you change? Would you keep it? Yes or no? What would you do differently this time? Personal training. OK, that’s another cornerstone. What would you change? Do you have enough personal training? What would you do different with personal training this time? Nutrition coaching. Are you doing it? Do you need to add it? What would you change? What would you do differently this time and online coaching is your fourth. Will you continue doing it? What will you change, what will you do differently this time. These are the four cornerstones. Group coaching, online coaching, nutrition coaching, personal training. OK? Will you keep all four? You don’t have to. Do you need to add one of them? You can. What will you change about each thing? I want you to write that down.

Chris (31:41):

Make a short list of the elements that you want to keep in each category. Then we’ll figure out how do we bridge them. So back to the group training example. If what you miss was the campfiring and the smiling, you can keep that element without keeping your big physical space, without keeping the schedule that binds you to that space 12 hours a day. OK. How would you do that? Well, you know, we would rent a small space. We would run group training twice a week. Maybe we would invite people in for that. And then between those group training sessions, they’re going to use online training to do the rest of the workouts on their own. And that’s how you bridge those two cornerstones. Maybe between group training, they’re going to have one or two personal training sessions per week and they’re going to come to see you one-on-one.

Chris (32:29):

And then on Saturdays everybody’s going to get together and work out together. And that’s how you bridge those two cornerstones of personal training and group training. How do you bridge nutrition coaching? Well, maybe we have group training on nutrition, a seminar, a cooking class. We all go to the grocery store together to get that, you know, group training effect. Maybe we do that once a week, twice a week, maybe. We come together in a support group once a week, twice a week. And that’s how you bridge that. How do we bridge personal training with nutrition coaching? Well, maybe we’re going to give people all of their nutrition coaching online, but they’re going to come to see us in person. And so we don’t have to spend our in person sessions just teaching them about nutrition. Maybe all of their nutrition comes through a course that we deliver to them one step at a time using the online platform or maybe linking personal training and nutrition.

Chris (33:24):

We do their nutrition plan one-on-one for everybody, but they all train in a group. And so what we’re doing now is connecting these four cornerstones. After we ask ourselves, are we secure in these cornerstones? What would we do different? How would we rebuild them? Now we link them back up and what we’re doing here is pouring the walls of our first floor. How does this look like? You know, what does this house look like? Now that will really be reflected in your sales binder. As you’re building out your memberships, the ground level of your new house will look maybe a little bit differently. You have options. You have this blank slate, you have a new canvas, foundation, whatever you want to call it. After you think about your cornerstones, you can think about how do they link together and you don’t have to do it the way that you did before.

Chris (34:15):

  1. Kids classes, fantastic, Graham. You know, is there a way that if kids classes are a cornerstone of your new business, is there a way that you can offer those? Yes. Does that mean you have to offer everything else the way it was before? No. You could run a kids class in an elementary school or a park or maybe you expand your gym. Maybe your gym looks more like an American Ninja warrior course than it ever did before because that’s your focus now. OK. So you’re going to write these into your sheet and this guys is now we’re starting to get this picture. All right. One great question that I just got is how do your seed clients determine this? Well, I mean, I asked you to say what went right, what wasn’t working right on your four cornerstones of group coaching, personal training, nutrition coaching, and online coaching.

Chris (35:03):

But I’ll tell you what, I’m not good at guessing, right? The best thing that you can do is go to your seed clients and like, and ask them what is working really well? What do you love about nutrition coaching? What do you love about personal training in my gym? OK. And use those to make the best possible cornerstones that you can. And then the next question is how can I serve you more? And that’s what links your cornerstones together and forms the walls of your new business. Just making sure I’ve got all the questions answered here. OK, so we said, you know, review your short list. These are the cornerstones and I give you four. Graham brought up another one, which is kids classes. Kids classes can be a cornerstone of your business. Habits coaching can be a cornerstone of your business.

Chris (35:47):

Mindset coaching can be a cornerstone of your business. I gave you the four big ones because those are the ones that we have measurable systems and processes for. I’ll talk to you more about that in a moment. But mindset coaching, habits coaching, like these resources are out there. What do you need to make these a cornerstone? You need a way to link them to the other cornerstones. None of these stand alone. And so the question that we’re kicking around now is like, what are we actually coaching now? You know? Yes, we’re coaching movement and exercise. Absolutely. Now we’re also coaching nutrition. Two years ago, most gyms weren’t doing that. In the last couple of weeks, people have found themselves coaching habits, coaching mindset, and that’s something that none of us have ever done before. So what are we actually selling now and what starts that process?

Chris (36:35):

Well, as you’re building up this new house that is your business, you’re going to have to decide what does the front door look like. And the front door is how people enter your business. What we think the front door is is the no sweat intro, which is like a short version of motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing is basically asking the question, how can I serve you now? And drawing out of them what they need from you. In other words, it’s coaching, and coaching is your ability to this say, yes, I can help you with that or I can help you with that, but not personally. I can bring in an expert that will help you with that. OK, so now as we’re linking these cornerstones together, creating these walls, the foundation, the first floor of your new house, don’t worry about using labels like CrossFit or paleo.

Chris (37:27):

OK? These are methods. Stick with principles for now. Exercise, nutrition, online coaching habits, mindset. Kids. OK? Stick with those right now. Don’t stick with methods. OK, so we’re going to put the blocks together. Now, obviously, you know I’m going through this. We’ve been doing this for 40 minutes. This is like a three or a four hour, this is a day long, this is a weekend project, OK? But you’ll never have a better chance there. There’s never been an opportunity like this to rebuild your business from the ground up as we have right now, so be thankful for that. You might want to bring other people in, OK? Like your family. You might want to ask your seed clients, how do you like this thing? How can I fix it or improve it? But we’ve got these elements together and you’ve linked them. You’ve established what the front door to this house is. I want you to ask yourself, what do I call this? You know, what do I call this new business? Is it Catalyst Coaching? Is it Catalyst Fitness? Is it Catalyst Strength and Conditioning? Is it Catalyst Nutrition?

Chris (38:37):

Is it Catalyst CrossFit? What do you call this given you know what your building blocks are and your foundation is and what your house looks like now. What would you call it? Now if you find that that name is different from what you’re currently calling it, then we can talk about rebranding, we’re not necessarily talking about rebranding though. I’m talking about building your house on principles instead of just defining yourself by your methods. That’s another big topic too. OK? Now, super big bonus. You know, way out there, playing the long ball, swinging for the fences. What if your new name reclassified the type of business that you were in? And I’m not suggesting this is just an idea, I’m not suggesting that you do it, but what if that type of business fell higher on the essential services list for reopening? I just want you to be aware of this right now because what’s really happening in states and countries around the world as they reopen with coronavirus, is that a lot of precedents are being set.

Chris (39:44):

So the first precedent that’s set is next time there’s a pandemic or a worldwide crisis, everybody goes into lockdown, OK, shelter in place. The next precedent that’s being set is that if you’re out of work, the government will pay you. The next precedent that’s being set is return to activity is going to happen, you know, in stages and the people who are classified as essential right now will probably always be classified as essential. You can move up on that list from level three to level two level one to essential, but once you’re up there, you probably won’t move down. And so as you’re rethinking, you know, what am I selling? What is my business? What is this new house? You might want to look at the essential services list. That’s secondary to clarity. So it’s more important to, if you’re a gym, it’s more important to have the word gym in your name than to fit on the essential services list. OK? Clarity is always greater than everything else. People have to know what you’re selling. So you know, will Catalyst Coaching be our next name, I don’t know yet. I’m not sure. Catalyst nutrition coaching. Yes, that’s clear. Catalyst fitness training. Yes, that’s clear. That’s actually our legal name. People need to understand at a glance what it is that you do and so don’t trade clarity for the ability to move up on the essential services list. But if you can do both, that’s great. And that’s a pie in the sky goal. It’s not a priority. Alright, so I said that there are four cornerstones of your business. The way that you deliver these things might change based on what’s working and what you’ve missed and what you haven’t missed and what’s not working and all that stuff. Based on what an objective person would say about those four cornerstones, you might change them.

Chris (41:34):

But the four basics are nutrition coaching, personal training, group coaching, and online training. Online training is more than a delivery method. We call it a cornerstone because you’re actually delivering something different. We don’t think that you’re just selling fitness programs or selling programming. If that’s what you were selling online, Zoom classes and programming, we wouldn’t call it a separate cornerstone. But online delivery is more than just delivering the other three services through the internet through a screen. So here’s the big surprise. You guys know that we’ve been building courses online, and we had to make some really fast pivots. We built two courses, “How to Run Your Business Online” We built that in about four days. That was a miracle. That cost us about $35,000 to build because we had to buy experience and knowledge from people who had done it.

Chris (42:24):

We didn’t want to just guess. Then, Josh Martin and I recognized, you know what, some coaches are really struggling with this and the reason that they’re struggling are fixable and it’s just because they were introduced to coaching through group coaching. And that means like, look around the room, see somebody making a mistake, tell them how to fix that mistake. Don’t interfere with intensity. That’s not actually coaching. That’s reactive coaching. People who had been a personal trainer for a long time actually pivoted online faster because they were used to having those conversations. They’re used to doing motivational interviewing. And they were used to pivoting the programming based on what the person needed right then. And that’s always been part of the first degree program that Josh built on the Two-Brain coaching platform, which means that these are teachable things. It doesn’t mean that you know, failure or struggle to deliver online, it doesn’t make you a bad coach. It just means you’ve never been taught how to do that. So while we were wrestling with that, we built the how to coach online course. Now if you’re inTwo-Brain, you get this course on the platform for free. It’s $500, but we reduced the price to zero for you. What we know now though, is that coaches need help being excellent on those four cornerstones. They need help in delivery. You need help in building those four cornerstones because if you don’t have excellent delivery, then the foundation of your house is going to crumble. So here’s what we did. We looked at the Roadmap and we said, how can we get people, you know, to build a much more solid foundation, to be operationally excellent at each of these four cornerstones, to go step by step through building each one of these cornerstones to take a deeper dive into them.

Chris (44:13):

And so at the beginning of March, what I was actually doing is building four new rows on the Roadmap. One of those was online coaching, thank goodness, because we were able to turn that into a course to help you. But here are the other three and you’re getting these tomorrow. There’s a separate row on the roadmap for building a personal training program. There’s a separate row on the roadmap for building a group training program. There’s a separate row on the roadmap for building a nutrition coaching business on your platform. You can follow these things step by step, just like the rest of the roadmap. There are, you know, specific exercises for like how do you set your rates for this thing? How do you combine this with all of your other things that you’re offering? Now, if you love the online coaching program, and I certainly did, I mean it was very step-by-step, do this, do this, you will make money, then you’re going to love these other three, too, which is personal training, group training and nutrition coaching.

Chris (45:10):

Why did we feel like we had to take a deeper dive into each one of those things? Well, when I started mentoring gyms in 2012, here’s what we found: The coaching that people were receiving on how to be a better coach, that was better than ever before. Like the CrossFit Level 1 was miles ahead of any other certification that was out there. It was logical. It was done in person. There was feedback. I mean, it was a game changer and so people were delivering a good experience with their coaching. So that was maybe, you know, a seven out of 10, but everything else was a two out of 10, including business. And so, you know, as we started building and refining the incubator and mentorship, the business started getting better and better and better to where in many gyms now, the business knowledge, systems, and operations are better than the delivery of coaching.

Chris (46:02):

Now that was a huge epiphany and it took this crisis to really shine a spotlight on that. Josh and I were shocked, you know, that’s the word Josh would use. It’s not the word I would’ve used. And so what that taught us was like, OK, you know, if business is an eight and a half and coaching is a seven, it’s time to improve the coaching. The best way that we can improve your other business metrics like adherence and retention is actually to improve your coaches. So the first thing we have to do is become excellent all over again on a new stat platform, on a new standard, meeting a new criteria. You have to get excellent at delivering group coaching better than ever before. You have to get excellent at personal training better than ever before. You have to get better at nutrition coaching than ever before.

Chris (46:51):

Now this is on the Two-Brain Business Roadmap. That means we’re not telling you how to coach a group better, OK? There’s help for that on the Two-Brain coaching platform. What we’re telling you how to do better is to build SOPs, to build better delivery of groups, to help your coaches get better, to scale better, even to get more people into your groups. We’re telling you how to rebuild your personal training business from scratch. You know, how to start over, how to get the first client, how do you get the next five clients, how to build your rates? How to scale up to small group training. We’re telling you how to build your nutrition business better. You know, how to start, how to price it, how to get the first few people onto a nutrition program, how to deliver that program, how to get corporate clients.

Chris (47:37):

We have some specialists who are coming in now who will help you with this stuff too, but we want to include it because again, these are like the four cornerstones of your business, and so tomorrow you’re going to get access to that on your roadmap. All right. So, Kevin, do you recommend going through these one at a time focusing on your weaknesses? Yeah, man. So the roadmap process is basically like you evaluate and then you say, here’s my next priority, right? So a lot of people here will say, I got group coaching, it’s great, but what the data is showing us on the dashboard and I’ll report a lot more on this later, retention is getting worse in group fitness gyms. Churn is getting higher, people are getting introduced to intensity through a group at your gym. And then they’re saying, OK, how can I get more novelty?

Chris (48:28):

You know, you’re competing with the franchises on intensity. And so if that’s the core of your business, you’re in trouble. You’ve got higher churn than ever before. Blame marketing, whatever. What we can do though is we can start with group coaching and we can say like, do you meet these criteria? What level of group coaching are you actually delivering at your facility? OK. And we do that on the road test. So I think a lot of people, you know, me included are going to be surprised at, wow, I’m really a four out of 10 on group coaching here. So start with the ones that you already offer. Go through the roadmap step by step and say, that’s where I need to focus. OK. Before you add anything new, start with what you already have and bring that up to like a seven or an eight or a 10.

Chris (49:20):

Some of you are just going to leap there. OK. Like Catalyst, I’m just, you know, pulling this out of my butt here. Catalyst might say like, Oh yeah, we’re a nine out of 10 on personal training. That’s where we started 15 years ago. We’ve got it, but we’re a four on group coaching, so we need to focus on that this month. OK. You might say the same thing about online coaching. Oh man. You know, I’m doing well. I got the organic leads in. I’ve got 10 clients. The ads are starting to work, but my SOPs are not good. I’m spending way too much time on this. It’s taking 12 hours a day. I need to refine my SOPs and hand this off to somebody else. OK. So this is really a you and your mentor conversation on what your priorities should be next month.

Chris (50:02):

But what we want to do here is give you the actual tools and your list of priorities to do these things. All right. Thank you for this, Fergus. Beautiful, man. So guys, if you have questions about this, you know, reach out to your mentors. There’s a ton of information that you’ll be able to access through your roadmap tomorrow. You’ll probably have to log out and log back in again, but by eight or 9:00 AM Eastern, you’re to see these three new highways. The online coaching highway, you might not have actually accessed that through your roadmap, but what’s in there is what’s in the online coaching course. The last thing about this guys is the curriculum that’s on the roadmap, gets dialed in more and more over time. So you might see something that maybe you haven’t seen before. And that’s because the roadmap actually changes based on data.

Chris (50:55):

So, you know, digital marketing, if I’d had the roadmap in 2015, the digital marketing line would have been like the new you challenge, right? That’s what was working. When that stopped working, we would have changed the roadmap and that’s what’s happening all the time now. So you’ll see on the roadmap, here are some examples of people who’ve done this really, really well, like a 10 out of 10 example. You’ll also see things change. So you need to be going through this, you know, fairly often. You need to be reassessing every quarter, taking the road test. Where am I now? It’s tempting to just learn this stuff, say, yeah, I know that and then put it in your pocket for later. OK. What has to happen though is you have to constantly be self evaluating or having your mentor evaluate your progress because while it is possible to move to the right on the roadmap, it’s also possible to move to the left.

Chris (51:48):

I’ll give you an example. When I did the roadmap in December, I found that, you know, metrics reporting, OK, I was a 10 out of 10 in knowledge. In actually reporting my metrics, I was a one. I wasn’t doing it. So I’m really a one and that’s what you have to establish. To get to tinker phase on the roadmap, it doesn’t mean you have to be a 10 out of 10 on everything, but it does mean that you have to be consistent at the things where you’re like a five and you can’t just be a one on anything. And that usually means hiring staff. All right. And we’ll tell you how to do that also. Adam, will this be put in the Two-Brain group? Yes sir. You’re in the Two-Brain group. And this will stay there.

Chris (52:31):

Don’t worry. All this stuff gets recorded. So guys, this is an exercise that we walk through slowly and I gave you a few minutes to write things down, but as you work through these exercises over the next week, you’re going to find that more and more stuff just kind of pours out to you. So what I want you to do is print out these sheets. If you haven’t already, put them somewhere on your desk that you can see them, that you can quickly grab, make notes on, write bullet points, cross things out, scratch it up. OK. This is not a homework assignment that you’re going to turn into your teacher and say, do I get an A? This is a homework assignment that’s going to allow you to rebuild your business step-by-step. And that rebuilding is messy. So these sheets should be, too. Bring the sheets with you on your next call with your mentor.

Chris (53:15):

Walk through them. Ask yourself, how are the cornerstones of my business going to change? How will they be rebuilt? What will I build on top of them? How will I connect them? And then we can ask what will my front door be? Thanks a lot for giving me an hour of your Sunday guys. I think that the opportunity that’s before us is profound. No other business in history gets the opportunity to go back to square one and rebuild themselves from scratch. Especially not with an audience that’s waiting to see what you’re going to do next. Enjoy your Sunday. Enjoy the process.

Andrew (53:53):

This is Two-Brain Radio. Please subscribe for more episodes wherever you get your podcasts. Two-Brain Business has the best strategies and tactics for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. To see our central resources for gym owners, visit and click COVID-19 at the top.


Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world on Two-Brain Radio every Thursday.

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From Competitor to Coach: Michele Letendre

From Competitor to Coach: Michele Letendre

Sean (00:00):

Welcome to another edition of Two-Brain Radio with Sean Woodland. On today’s episode, I talk with six-time CrossFit Games athlete Michele Letendre. What’s the difference between a good athlete and a great one? An amazing coach. Well, the same goes for great business owners. If you’re ready to level up your business, book a free call with a certified Two-Brain mentor Michelle Letendre made six individual appearances at the CrossFit Games before retiring after the 2016 season. Her best career finish was fourth in 2014 and since retiring from competition, she has made the transition to coaching. We talk about her memorable battles with Camille Leblanc-Bazinet at the old Canada East Regional, the mental toll of competing at a high level and how she became Pat Vellner’s coach. Thanks for listening everyone. Michelle, thanks so much for joining me today. How you doing?

Michele (00:57):

I’m doing well. Thank you for having me. How are you?

Sean (01:00):

I’m doing great. So how has what’s going on right now with the coronavirus affected you?

Michele (01:07):

Well, it has affected me in many, many ways. I mean like I have a different role with a bunch of different people. Professionally I have two businesses, one that is online and one that is a gym. So one of my businesses was hit hard. Obviously the gym is, it’s a stressful situation, but we’re managing and then the second business online it’s still stressful because I cater to mostly gyms and athletes who have obviously lost control over their business in a certain way, in a certain way. And then, personally, I mean like I’m pretty adaptable. Like staying at home, working from home the first couple of weeks was pretty hard. But then I just, I have an office here that I didn’t usually, I didn’t really like so much, but it gives me peace of mind to work without getting bothered. Cause my boyfriend is part of the people that he still has a job, but he’s a sales rep so he can’t really go anywhere right now. So he’s kind of working but not really. And he’s very bored. So that’s kind of been the most annoying part of my day, he’s like, what are you doing?

Michele (02:15):

And then, and then with my family, it’s been kind of tough because I haven’t been able to see my sister who just gave birth to her second baby. I haven’t been able to see my other sister who has, I have two nephews. I haven’t been able to see my niece and nephews. I haven’t been able to see my mother, you know, I haven’t seen them in so long because before all of this happened, I was in Australia for a month. So I kind of, I miss them, you know, but all in all, I think today’s a good day. So it’s a good thing that we were talking today. Every day is a little different.

Sean (02:47):

Yeah. What sports or activities did you play when you were growing up?

Michele (02:53):

I played, so when I was very young, I lived in a community that had a pool that was right in front of my house, literally like on the other side of my house. So when I was really young, I started swimming. And so every single activity you can think of in the water I did. So I did synchronized swimming. I did competitive swimming. I did water polo and I did diving. Diving didn’t last very long cause that’s where I found out that I have a fear of heights. So I did that. And then in school obviously I played a little bit of soccer. I played a little bit of land sports, but it wasn’t my thing. But then I got into competitive swimming when I was about 7. And then after competitive swimming for three years, I went into water polo.

Michele (03:38):

And that was like my main sport. Water polo was my main sport. And then, yeah, and then that’s it. And then I guess CrossFit was in my adult life. So, you know.

Sean (03:48):

When did you decide that water polo was going to kind of be the thing that you focused on?

Michele (03:52):

Well, so one of my dreams was always to be an Olympic athlete. I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics. I felt that being that kind of person, that high-achieving person was something that I strive for. And swimming was essentially my first kind of exposure to that. I was very young. But then I got bored swimming. We call it like chasing walls. It’s just really boring for me. Like plus I’m five foot one, I’m not built to be a swimmer. And then I I found water polo to be an extension of something that I was already good at: swimming.

Michele (04:31):

And then, it was just a little bit more engaging and it was a team sport. There was a lot more moving pieces. So I just, I fell in love with it. I fell in love with practicing. I fell in love with trying to be the best at water polo. And so I knew that I wanted to be an Olympic water polo player. I did everything I could to do it. I did all the qualifications and everything and I always fell kind of short. But I knew after maybe one or two years that I wanted to dedicate a lot of energy towards that cause there was something that was satisfying in there that I couldn’t put my finger on, but I had to do it. You know, I would go to the guys’ practice.

Michele (05:12):

Like when I wasn’t practicing, I would go to the guys’ practice because I felt like that’s where I needed to be. I would practice with the boys. I would go an hour before my own practice just to practice my shots against a wall. Like I would do everything all very naturally. So it was essentially, it was just a natural kind of commitment, you know.

Sean (05:29):

What do you think it was about the sport that you loved so much?

Michele (05:34):

I don’t think it was the sport in itself. I think it was just because it just turns out that I was developed in aquatic sports when I was really young, so I got very comfortable in the water. But it was about, there was something way bigger than just water polo because I think that had I been exposed to track younger, I would have been the same.

Michele (05:54):

There was something about excelling at things that I just wanted to do. And what I loved about water polo was just the physique, that it was a difficult sport. Like people I would tell people that I did water polo and they’re like, Whoa. So there was something about that difficulty that I just, I was like, I love the challenge. I just absolutely love the challenge. And I love that it was a sport that was out of the ordinary. Like in Montreal, I come from the West Island, which is English speaking and aquatic sports are very big there. In fact, Montreal, one of the biggest clubs in the country was DDO and that’s the sport, that’s the club I played for. So in my specific area, playing water polo was popular. So it just felt like, it was the popular sport plus it was the difficult sport.

Michele (06:51):

And there was something cool about going to the pool in the middle of winter too.

Sean (06:54):

How did you find CrossFit?

Michele (06:57):

How did I find it?

Sean (07:01):


Michele (07:01):

So I found CrossFit in 2009 because a long story, I went through a breakup that in university, I was studying design and then I went through this breakup and then I started going to the gym again because there was that part of my life that was missing. I had quit water polo like before getting into university. So I hadn’t been working out, I hadn’t been doing any sports, that part of my life was gone when I decided to dedicate my time to school. And then after the breakup I just decided to go back to the gym and to work out and just naturally just the same way

Michele (07:48):

I was naturally getting more and more involved in water polo, like at the gym I was getting more and more involved with my training and my workouts and I was like naturally just kind of being competitive without having an actual coach. I would just say like, well, I did bicep curls at this weight last week. I’m going to go heavier this week. And there was this natural kind of desire to just always do more. And then at the end of my schooling, I was like, not really ready to jump into a career in design. So I kinda just decided to get a part-time job in a gym. And I just applied to a whole bunch of gyms. And CrossFit Montreal is the gym that called me back for a secretary position. And then I took it and then they told me that you have to do CrossFit to work in a CrossFit gym. So I said, OK, I’ll do it. And it didn’t take very long for me to fall in love with it. And a month after I started doing it, I competed in my first competition. So that’s how I found CrossFit, completely by by chance.

Sean (08:44):

When did you know, I’m actually really good at this.

Michele (08:50):

I think it was like my competition, which was one month after I started to do it, I did a scaled competition, but then people were very surprised about my level of skill. I was a water polo player, so I had really good shoulders and they were very flexible on top of that. So I did a big dogs competition that one of their requirements was 15 overhead squats at a specific weight. You would be considered a big dog at a specific weight. I don’t know if you remember this, but this is like way back when, OPT had said like, you know. So I did my first ever overhead squat at that competition. I remember asking my coach at the time who was Rob Portello, who was like my first ever CrossFit coach. Like, what’s an overhead squat? He showed me and I’m like, Oh, OK.

Michele (09:40):

And the heaviest I went in that overhead squat for my first ever time was 85 pounds, which at the time was huge. So when people said like, Holy shit, I was like, OK, maybe I’m good at this. And then I did a couple of competitions and some people told me that they had never seen anyone excel so quickly. So I figured, OK, well I didn’t know this, but maybe I’m good at it. So then I kind of just dove into competition kind of head first. And I figured that I’d have a chance to go to the Games and you know, I just said, you know, hard work, I’ll just do it. And that’s how I kind of knew deep down, you know.

Sean (10:22):

So you go to Regionals for the first time in 2012.

Michele (10:24):

No, 2011.

Sean (10:24):

Was it 2011? OK. That’s right. So what were you expecting then when you showed up in 2011 for the first time?

Michele (10:35):

Honestly, 2011 was just very exciting. There was a lot of people talking about me in my like direct circle. But obviously back then 2011 it was in a region, Canada East at the time, there were like a couple of big names and obviously the biggest name was Camille cause she had gone to the Games in 2010 and then there was a girl called Alexandra Bergeron who had gone to the Games in 2009 and people were expecting her to kind of make it and then she kind of, there was a rule in 2011 when we did a max thruster that you weren’t allowed to move your feet. And in that specific event she moved her feet, got a DNF. And then because of that I qualified and it was a complete surprise. I wasn’t expecting anything. I was expecting to be top five. And I was expecting to do well and have a better idea of where to go in the future. But to my surprise, I qualified.

Sean (11:41):

You go to the Games and you finished 25th overall that year. What did you learn then about your fitness after that experience?

Michele (11:51):

I learned that I was overweight. I learned that because in 2011 a couple of things happened and I didn’t have a firm grasp on my nutrition. I was kind of alone in that and I’m a nervous eater, so there was a lot of stress in that year. And then I had a new job, I was like an insurance broker. And anyway, I had no grasp on my nutrition and and I went to the Games and I was not fit, like physically, like I had certain fitness, but physically I wasn’t fit. And I saw that I was naturally, I had hit a potential but that I would have to make this a pro—like I would have to take executive decisions so to speak, to kind of move my way forward, to be where the other girls were.

Michele (12:41):

So I looked at all the other girls, and this is the beginning of a very serious lesson I learned, but I saw a lot of girls with eight packs and six backs and super lean. And I was like, I am nowhere near that and I have to do that. So, I realized that I had to address that if I wanted to be like them. That took me down a road that I would not recommend to people, but at the same time, it was a decision that I needed to make, but I should have sought out professional advice instead of talking to the person I spoke to. And anyway, that’s another story. But I just realized that I just needed to get fitter. Like I was strong and I had skill, but I couldn’t run, I couldn’t row. I couldn’t do things odd. Like I was very much a traditional CrossFit athlete, you know?

Sean (13:35):

So without naming names here, but you mentioned that you hadn’t talked to the person you talked to, so why wouldn’t you recommend the road that you took to others?

Michele (13:44):

Because the decisions I make to lose weight were not for—they were purely for weight and they weren’t for sustaining performance and weight loss. There’s ways to go about nutrition that if you talk to a professional that know what they’re doing and you would know that there are certain phases in your nutrition that you’ll go through and that you will need to adjust training based on those phases and things like that. And I didn’t do that. And I kind of trusted someone that just said, well, you don’t need to eat that much. People don’t actually need to eat that much. You can get away with very little eating. And I did it and I lost all the weight. Like I lost the weight I needed to lose. And I looked great the next year and everyone was talking about how great I looked, but I was losing my hair.

Michele (14:33):

The impacts of that weight loss were felt not that year, but they were felt for many years. Lucky for me, I didn’t have a huge impact in my menstrual cycle. I didn’t have a huge impact on my overall health, but there a lot of things that I went through that I shouldn’t have. You know, I was short tempered. I was, I’m very lucky I didn’t get more injured than I did. There was a lot of things that I did based on my mood and just because I was underfed, that I shouldn’t have had to gone through and that I shouldn’t have had to put my entourage through as well. So, you know, word to people, like if you have to lose weight, do it with a professional. Like, because like when I was losing my hair, I was like, Oh, whatever. It’s normal. But now I realize like, Oh shit, I dodged a bullet. It could have been much worse. You know, I was eating, I was eating two eggs in the morning with a cup of cooked spinach. I would have like not even a hundred grams of chicken with lettuce. And then at dinner it was meat and green vegetables. I would eat three times a day and then I would have protein only as a supplement. And that’s it. So, calorie-wise I was eating less than I am now. So it was dangerous.

Sean (15:59):

You had a stressor at Regionals, I think it was a three-year stretch where you never finished lower than second. And you mentioned Camille, and the two of you had these great battles at those competitions. What was it like going head to head with her every year?

Michele (16:12):

At first it was frustrating because when you’re a young athlete, you’re frustrated with challenge, you know, you want it, you have this idea of winning. You don’t like, you want it to be hard, but when it actually is hard, you kind of like, you don’t know how to deal with all these emotions and everything like that. And as a younger athlete, you take things personally, like you take what what your competitors are doing, especially, and I’m going to go out on a limb here, like women are very catty in certain ways. And I was 100% guilty of that at the beginning and I was very frustrated with the situation. For many reasons. I was frustrated with her. I was frustrated with how everyone was comparing me to her and I was frustrated how it was always like, it was like the spotlight was always on her and I, and it was constant kind of like just every time my name was heard, it was always her.

Michele (17:02):

It was her name. And I don’t know if she felt the same way, but I mean Camille is an excellent athlete and it was difficult to compete against her. But then when you kind of age, you kind of realize like the goal is to go to the Games. And any kind of challenge you go through at the end all, it’s an addition to your tool belt. So at the beginning it was always kind of frustrating. There was always this jealousy that like, man, this girl, she’s so good and everyone is gonna—like when she beat me, it was just kind of annoying that I always had to get beat by her, you know? But I appreciated that further on, like later on in our careers we worked out together, we enjoyed each other’s—

Michele (17:44):

Cause we had very similar strength and very similar weaknesses, so we can really challenge each when we trained together and when we competed against each other. And I really grew fond of that competition as the year progressed. And I felt that when she moved away I kind of was like, I was kinda like, Aw man. It’s fun because I got to compete against new people, but it was still kinda like, damn. Like we could speak French to each other. Like we knew each other. I knew like when you competed against someone that you know so well, you know when to try and when to kind of let it go and you can strategize a little bit better, you know. So it was good. It was good fun. And I learned a lot from that kind of duality, you know, I learned a lot from that.

Sean (18:35):

Any time you have someone who’s a rival and you sort of view a kind of, I don’t want to say side eye, but you’re like, you know, I’m going to get her. When you become friends, there’s that moment where you decide to say I’m going to put the rivalry aside and try to become friends. What was that moment for the two of you?

Michele (18:48):

I can’t really remember. I can’t really remember. To be honest, I remember at one point she said that she was coming back to Montreal cause I think she was in the US and she asked me if I wanted to come train. I don’t know. I think, like on my end I was like, I’m kinda more independent usually and there was one point where I remember she reached out to me and she asked me to come work out with her and I was like, Oh, that’s kinda weird. And sure. Why not? Like I won’t say no to that. And then after that we just became closer and when that is exactly, I don’t really remember. I would bet money on it was when she won the Games in 2014. And there was a certain level of confidence that she had gained from that.

Michele (19:36):

And we were both kind of really top in 2014. And I think that we both felt like there was some kind of, I don’t know what the word is in English, but there was there was something that connected us that we had more in common than we had not, so it was better to team up than than to work against each other. And also the fact that she had moved away I think kind of helped because there’s not that constant pressure of being with each other all the time. So it was just a little bit of a tune in and like, yeah, I’ll go for a challenge and then, OK, then we can get away from it and move on. I think that being a female athlete, top level female athlete is very lonely. And at one point you start to recognize that when you gain maturity that it’s like that kind of loneliness isn’t worth—like there’s something to gain when when you feel like you’re with someone in that challenge of winning the Games. So I think, I can’t pinpoint one thing, but I would bet money on 2014 being like a turning point.

Sean (20:47):

Hi guys. While we give Michele Letendre a quick break, let’s take a pop quiz, which is better for business, getting new clients or retaining old ones? Both are good, but the longer clients stay, the less you have to spend acquiring new ones and the more money you’ll make. In fact, the average gym owner can add $45,000 a year in revenue just by keeping each client a few months longer. Want to learn how? You can, with Two-Brain’s free guides to affinity marketing and retention. They’ll teach you exactly what to do with step-by-step actionable advice. Get them both plus 13 other guides for free at And now more with Michele Letendre. Speaking of 2014, you finished fourth overall at the Games, your best career finish, what went right for you then?

Michele (21:39):

I think there’s a lot of things that went right. I had a coaching change that was really important. I mean I went from, I had a previous coach but then I started working with Ben. I think Ben’s approach was in a very practical sense, Ben’s approach was way more about fitness, less about strength, whereas my previous coach was very much about strength. And to be honest, like a lot of people focus on gaining strength but in like Games athletes benefit a lot from fitness. So changing that approach to a fitness base, I started running more than I ever had in my life. I was doing workouts that I had never done like high rep workouts, like light workouts, like just things that I had never really done. And that stimulated me in a different way.

Michele (22:32):

And obviously Ben’s approach mentally was something that was a breath of fresh air, you know, and I think that, and along with the fact that I kinda had gained three years of experience and stopped expecting so much of myself. And I’m one of those athletes that when things go well, like I do better, you know, like, I’m not the best at dealing with adversity. Now I am better. But back then I was just not really good at dealing with adversity and like I just, I had very little expectations. I had been crushed like 2011, you know? Oh wow. 25th. That’s OK. That’s good. And in 2012 crushed me because I was expecting way more. I had been after Regionals that year, I would like one of the top ranked athletes to go into the CrossFit Games. And then when I finished 24th in 2012, that was a huge blow.

Michele (23:28):

Like that was huge. And then 2013 I actually did a lot better than I expected. So I was on this like upward phase. And I knew that I was going to change coach. So it was just a question of momentum. I had more momentum going into 2014 than I had in 13 and 12. But, it’s a combination of like different stimulus, a better nutritional approach. Just being overall like expecting a little bit less of myself and just all of that, you know.

Sean (24:01):

You’re not the first athlete to tell like tell me that when expectations seem to go down, performance seems to go up. Why is that the case?

Michele (24:09):

I think it depends a lot on your personality. I think there’s a lot of that that depends on your personality and what I’ve recognized for myself is that my expectations, and I was actually talking with someone about this yesterday, but like we all have very high expectations of ourselves.

Michele (24:27):

I think the word expectations isn’t the right one. And I was actually talking to Zach Telander yesterday or before yesterday about this and he said, if you keep your expectations low but your standards high, and I think that’s the right way to see it. My standards are always very high in everything that I do. And the expectations are also high. But I think you start to realize that it’s OK to have high expectations of yourself, but it’s not OK to take things personally. Like, like we can’t take our results personally. And I think that when you want the best for yourself but you expect things to go either bad or good, like you adapt easier, you know, like it’s easier to adapt. Like as the more you go to the CrossFit Games, the more you realize that things can go really, really well.

Michele (25:24):

And it could also go really, really poorly in the span of a second. You know, like look at the 2015 CrossFit Games. Like I was in fourth place on Friday and I was like, that’s it. This is my year. I’m going to be on the podium. And then the heat thing happened after Murph. And even if I finished the day really strong, like I had a really good finish all Friday, even after Murph, like we did Murph and then after Murph, I can’t remember what we did, but every single event after Murph I did really well. And so I finished the day Friday, fourth place, but then I had the effects of that heat stroke. And then I didn’t sleep at all during the weekend. I couldn’t eat. I was basically sick. And then in the span of just like that and all of that, it was gone.

Michele (26:09):

Like I was on a good trajectory. And then the next day, Saturday we had that race where we had to jump over these hurdles and I couldn’t jump. I just couldn’t jump. I hit every single hurdle in practice. I fell on my face every single time. And it was just like, well, like I had never felt fitter in my entire life. I did super well on Thursday and Friday. I was expecting—and then it just fell apart. So the more you experience that, the more you realize that you do everything you can to set yourself up for success, but the Games is not a representation of who you are. It is simply a picture of the year. Sorry, that’s not the right way to say it, but it’s simply a picture of four days. Even though you prepare all year for this, it is the picture of these four days of competition.

Michele (27:00):

So you can’t take that personally. Because there could be like for example, you could be the fittest you’ve ever been and then you break an ankle and then you finish 25th. Is that really a representation of your fitness? Like, no it’s not. It’s a representation of your 2020 CrossFit Games. You broke your ankle and you finished 25th. So I think that’s really important for people to understand that if you are kind with what happens to you during competition it’s like you will move over those obstacles really quickly.

Sean (27:39):

Obviously being a competitor it takes a physical toll on you, but what kind of mental toll does competing at the Games level take on you?

Michele (27:48):

I think it depends who you ask. I think mentally for me it was one of the best experiences of my life. I think that you begin to see challenge in different way and then if you’re good at taking time and looking at things in perspective, you can transfer that to everything in your life. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to react to everything perfectly after. Like I’m still like, there’s a lot—I personally think that having businesses has taken a stronger, like more intense mental toll than being an athlete. I was talking to my boyfriend about this just two days ago with this coronavirus situation because I was like, fuck. When you’re an athlete, you have 100% control over everything aside from the outcome of the competition. But you can control how you eat. You can control how you train, you feel like you have so much control because everything relies on you.

Michele (28:46):

But then when you own a business, it’s like there are so many things that you don’t control and it’s like, that’s super stressful. So, but I have to say that it’s given me a lot of perspective on life and it’s also provided me with very profound lessons about life. Like I always feel like being an athlete is like looking under a microscope of what a process is over a lifespan. It’s like if people have the opportunity to be a professional athlete, it’s like the process—they are living the process of life in a very intense way. And it’s like if you have the opportunity to go through that, then it just feels like certain obstacles in your life feel a little bit more easily addressed. Much like, and I don’t think it’s anywhere close to being a parent, but like from speaking to my sister, you know, she always says like, having kids makes you realize what’s really important and you realize that there’s a lot of things that are irrelevant.

Michele (29:56):

I think being an athlete, it’s funny because it, when you are the athlete, everything feels super, super important. And then once you’re out of being an athlete, you’re like, man, that was so not important. But that’s what’s cool is that when you live through being an athlete, when you feel everything is so important and then you get out of that lifestyle and you realize how unimportant that stuff actually was, that’s where the lesson is learned, I feel. So being an athlete and being in that, like that situation, everything will feel very big. And then once you’re out of that, you’re like, Whoa, Whoa, everything everything falls into place. And you’re like, Oh man, in the grand scheme of things, that wasn’t a big deal. And stuff like that. So it’s a very interesting life lesson.

Michele (30:49):

But when you’re in it, I don’t think you can see it like that.

Sean (30:52):

You almost retired after 2015, but you came back for another year. Why did you make the choice to come back for one more go?

Michele (30:59):

I almost retired. So in 2015 after the Games, I remember having a conversation vividly. Me and my boyfriend went to get my name mat and we were walking out of the tunnel in Carson out of the Home Depot center. And we were, I remember exactly where we were. We were in that ramp out of the tunnel, you know, that goes into the athlete area. And I said to him, no way am I going to train another year in things that I suck at to get beat down like this. I don’t like CrossFit that much. And he told me, Michelle, you’re still in it, you’re emotional.

Michele (31:47):

Give it some time. And I said, I’m not gonna do it again. And then about a month later I realized what he meant and I was like, you know what, I’m going to do another year, but this year is going to be for me. I’m going to do everything that I can to enjoy what it means to be a CrossFit Games athlete. And that’s why I did another year. Everything I did that year was to make sure that I would enjoy it. And it was a hard year. It was very hard. And I think that’s where having a more flexible mindset like really helps you. Because that year I had a back injury. I had like a bulging disc. I had all kinds of injury, you name it. I had it like I had a knee injury, I had a foot injury, a back injury, a shoulder injury, everything.

Michele (32:34):

And then I worked through it and I trusted what I had done in the past. And in 2016, I went in it with the hopes of breaking the top 10. But then when they announced Murph again, the other day I was doing a live with Pat and we were actually just talking about this, but when they announced Murph, my initial reaction to it was, fuck this shit. I’m done. I don’t want to do this. Like, I can’t believe this. Like, this is why I wanted to quit. This is the reason I wanted to quit. And it was such a mental effort for me to continue and to do Murph. It was just like, like it was it was like a dagger in the heart cause I was like, Oh, I’m not going to enjoy this year.

Michele (33:20):

And then I took a conscious decision that I was going to dive that event because I was like, I’m not gonna let this event fuck up my last year. So I did the last year and I dove Murph. I said to Fred, my boyfriend, I was like, I’m just going to do this workout. I’m going to finish it, but I’m not going to go hard on it. I’m not going to do anything. Don’t like cheer, don’t even watch this event. This event is going to be just for me to make sure that I can continue with the rest of the weekend and enjoy it. And it’s not the right attitude to win. It’s not the right attitude to crack the top 10 and I knew it, but I enjoyed the rest of the weekend and I had no pressure on my shoulders.

Michele (33:59):

And I remember the weekend and that year was for me. So it was a tough year full of injuries and then it was a slap in the face when they announced Murph. But it was probably my most memorable CrossFit Games year that I’ve ever had. And yeah, so I decided to do it again and I don’t regret it because we got to go to Aromas. We got to do run that was so Epic. Like, we got to do that and we got to, I maxed out my deadlift. I PR’d 30 pounds. Like there’s a lot of good things that came out of 2016 and I’m really happy I did it.

Sean (34:35):

So then along the lines of why come back for another year, why then did you know that 2016 was, I’m done?

Michele (34:40):

Oh, I was getting old. I was kind of, I was getting old in the sense that I felt like as I was aging with my track record of injury before I got into a very serious injury, I didn’t want to have to go through that again. I didn’t have the same desire to go to the gym anymore. I wanted to move on. I want it to work. I just want a different challenges in my life. I felt like what I was doing was too repetitive and I don’t want to take it away from, I don’t want to take away from athletes who are dedicating their time for this, but I just felt like I was over it and it was time to move on. And I’m glad I did because, I wasn’t making—like it was a financial decision too.

Michele (35:29):

I was like, I’m starting to make money, but like my health isn’t worth the money I’m making. So I just wanted to move on.

Sean (35:35):

When did first start thinking about becoming a coach?

Michele (35:38):

  1. Actually it was when I did the Invitational in Madrid. I was like, man, I really like this. And then I knew that I wanted to stay in the competition world because I do love competing. So it was something in the back of my mind that I wanted to do. And there was a lot of things that I had done in my career programming-wise that I really liked. Like one of the things that I love the most about being competitive CrossFit was exposing myself to different sports within CrossFit. So I went to see a track athlete. I went to see, like I spoke to Chris Hinshaw like a lot of people and there’s a lot of things I exposed myself to in terms of training regiments and I just loved a lot about that.

Michele (36:30):

There was a lot of technical things that I really loved about that and I love to learn. So if there’s one thing I really miss about being a CrossFit Games athlete is practice. Like going to see specialty coaches and working on skills with someone looking at me and coaching me. I miss that. I don’t miss the working out. I don’t miss the maintaining. I don’t miss anything other than going to see my track athlete and learning and working on agility. I miss going to see my Olympic weightlifting coach and working on the snatch in a very specific way. So those are things that I really enjoyed and then I wanted to put together in one cohesive program because if there’s one thing that I was really good at is technical stuff. So I feel like that needed to be—in everything that I had seen as an athlete, I’m like, there needs to be someone that includes practice in programming. There needs to be someone that includes high technical work in training. You can’t just be training. It needs to be technical also. So I felt like I had an opening to kind of become a coach in that way.

Sean (37:44):

How did you then become Pat Vellner’s coach?

Michele (37:47):

So Pat and I actually trained together for my last year. Pat is the one witness of that moment when we were announced Murph and we had to do it and he saw how pissed and like utterly discouraged I was. But in 2016, he was studying in Montreal at McGill and then he decided to go into chiropractic school in Toronto. So in between the end of his schooling and the beginning of his school in Toronto, he needed a place to stay.

Michele (38:26):

So I basically Fred and I said, come live with us. We’ll train together for the 2016 Games cause he had qualified as an individual. So we trained together that year and then we went off to compete. And then after that at the invitational in Toronto, I kind of just told them, I’m like, I’m going to start this programming and coaching business. If you want a coach, if you want to work with me, I’d be happy to take you on. And he just kind of said, OK, let’s do it. And so we started working together and it’s a good relationship because Pat and I talk like we talk real talk, you know, like he knows what I’ve been through, I know what he’s going through. He on the older side, like I understand what that feels like when we’re talking about competing and training and stuff like that. So, and he’s not afraid to tell me what he thinks and so we kind of, it just, our relationship really evolved to something that is really truly a partnership. So that’s how we started working together back then. We just kind of like, I finished my career as an athlete with him. He started his with me. So we just kind of move forward with that.

Sean (39:41):

He told me recently that he probably drives you crazy on a consistent basis. So how do you deal with his, I guess for lack of a better term antics?

Michele (39:49):

I think Pat, we really got to know each other recently at Wodapalooza for real. Like, there’s a lot of things that Pat does that does drive me crazy. But there’s a lot, you know, what’s amazing is that there’s a lot of things that he does that drive me crazy that I see myself like the way he reacts to things, I see myself and my challenge is how do I get him to learn the lesson that I was too stubborn to learn cause I was really stubborn, too. So I think that, we complement each other a lot in that way. Like, we are very different in a lot of ways. Like he’s very pragmatic, very, very systematic about everything. Like everything needs to be ABCD. And I’m a little bit more of an artist.

Michele (40:44):

Like, whatever you do, there’s a stimulus. Like these are the intentions. But if you don’t hit that, it’s not the end of the world. Like there are a lot of other things. There’s a lot of other things that we can work on that will get us to where we want to go. That’s the beauty about CrossFit. So when you work in CrossFit, because it’s GPP, it’s not, you don’t have to be so specific. So I think that I bring to the table a different point of view for him. But he does like, cause he asks me like 10 questions every training day and I always tell myself, God, I must not be very clear. But then there are other days I’m like, Jesus Christ, we’ve been working together for like two years. Come on. Like, but otherwise what I appreciate a lot about Pat is that he is very good with communication, whereas other athletes are not. So, I mean there’s a lot of good things and he says that I’m driven crazy, but really I’m not, like, I appreciate working with Pat. I really do.

Sean (41:53):

How have the athletes that you have under your guidance helped make you a better coach?

Michele (42:00):

A lot of things. There’s a lot of things that I’ve learned throughout the last couple of years. And athletes are, you get people that are in the best of their—they’re at their best and we deal with people that are at their worst. And, I think there’s a couple of things. Like I learned to be the coach that I am based on the coaches that I had, you know, I was like, Oh, I really like this, I really like this, you know. What I’ve come to understand is that a lot of the time—it’s hard to answer. It’s hard to answer that. Like, like with Pat, I’ve come to learn that clarity is very important. And having a plan is very important. Discussing that plan is very important. Like, Pat needs some kind of assurance that he’s going somewhere.

Michele (42:59):

There are a lot of other athletes that just want programming and like, you just let them be. And I was kinda like that at one point, like, especially at the end of my career, like I just wanted programming and I wanted to be on my own. And so, it’s very important to adapt to the person that you’re working with. What I’ve learned though is that, and this is an unfortunate lesson, but I think it’s a very good life lesson for me is that when you give a lot of yourself to someone, there’s a lot of things that you won’t get back. You know, like you invest so much in athletes on an emotional level and when those relationships kind of fall through, it hurts. So that’s something that I’ve learned a lot.

Michele (43:42):

That’s kind of unfortunate that like I can’t give too much of myself to my athletes because I can get hurt in the long run. So that’s a hard lesson. That’s not a fun lesson to learn, but it’s important. Like, last few years, I’ve kind of learned that like, you can invest yourself emotionally, but you can never give 100% of yourself in that kind of circumstance because it is a professional relationship when it comes down to it and you can never forget that.

Sean (44:17):

Yeah. Why do you think that there aren’t more female CrossFit coaches out there who deal with high-level athletes?

Michele (44:26):

Time, emotional investment, risk. There’s also a huge sense of responsibility that is very hard to deal with. And uI can’t speak for other women, but me as a woman, I felt like I was constantly battling like in my own personal emotional reaction to certain situations and maybe like, I don’t know how to put this into words, but it was constantly like, am I doing the right thing? And there’s a certain level of maybe insecurity that comes with maybe the fact that like me emotionally, I make decisions. And it was very true at the beginning of my career as a coach. And it’s less and less true because I’ve learned that it is a professional relationship and I can’t invest myself too emotionally with the athletes that I work with.

Michele (45:34):

And I think maybe guys are better at doing that from the beginning. But it’s hard. It’s hard to really pinpoint. I do feel like there’s a lot of things that work to my advantage as a woman, only when it comes to having more experience with strategies. Like we have different weaknesses than men. And there are certain strategies that could be very helpful in certain circumstances for men and whatever. So there’s a lot of things that work for us, but I think emotionally it’s very difficult for women in this line of work because we get very involved with the people that we work with. And there’s a lot of stress that comes with that involvement. And, yeah, I think that could be one of the reasons, but it’s hard to tell.

Michele (46:26):

Maybe it’s interest, you know, maybe it’s just a question of interest and it’s hard to be a coach. It’s very hard. It’s very hard.

Sean (46:36):

Last question. What’s been more rewarding for you in your career, competing or coaching and why?

Michele (46:43):

It depends what you define as career. I would say in my life, coaching has been more rewarding. There’s a lot more, there’s a way better point of view when you’re a coach then when you’re an athlete. When you’re an athlete, everything is, you’re in it. Everything is so big and it’s very hard to see things in a very broad perspective. And I think as a coach, you understand a little bit more what a plan is and you understand steps a little bit better, you understand the process a little bit better, you’re a little bit more patient with things. When you’re in it and you’re tired and you’re emotionally invested in things and you’re physically invested in things.

Michele (47:30):

And you’re constantly going through injury and like it’s physical reminders of what a process is, it’s very hard to see things in perspective. So I think coaching has has brought me a lot more meaningful lessons than being an athlete. But being an athlete is it’s just like there’s not much that replaces the feeling of finishing an event and being proud of yourself. Like there’s not very much that compares to that kind of, and keep in mind, I’m not a parent yet, so I’m sure that just takes everything out of the equation. And there’s like, there’s this like level of pride when you’re a parent, but as an athlete there’s this sense of pride of what you accomplished that is hard to kind of, it’s amazing to say that I was in Carson and I was at the Home Depot center in the tennis stadium and I got to clean and jerk in front of that many people on a Friday night and I got to win a workout in there. And there’s a lot of things that being a CrossFit Games Games athlete has brought to me that nothing else has and that not a lot of people have had the opportunity to feel. So, you know, there are beautiful things that happened. I can’t say that I don’t appreciate both things.

Sean (48:52):

Well, Michelle, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. Miss watching you out there on the competition floor, but it’s good to know that you’re still involved and best of luck with everything moving forward.

Michele (49:01):

Thank you Sean. I really appreciate the talk.

Sean (49:03):

Big thanks to Michele Letendre for taking the time to speak with me today. If you want to follow her on social media, she is on Instagram. She is @mich_Letendre. Make sure to subscribe and join me every Wednesday for inspiring stories from the fitness community and interviews with your favorite athletes and coaches. Miss an episode? Well, you can find them all in our archives at Thanks for listening to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Sean Woodland and we’ll see you next time.


On Wednesdays, Sean Woodland tells the best stories in the CrossFit community on Two-Brain Radio With Sean Woodland.

Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories every Monday, and Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world every Thursday.

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Stuff Siegel Sold: Gym Owner on Closing Deals During COVID Lockdown

Stuff Siegel Sold: Gym Owner on Closing Deals During COVID Lockdown

Mike (00:02):

Gym owners are adapting fast to the COVID crisis and some are having success online. This week we talked to Eric Siegel, a gym owner who’s making sales even though his facility in Massachusetts is locked down. Eric is here to tell his story right after this. Two-Brain Business has put together a page of essential COVID-19 resources for gym owners. On it, you’ll find the free gym-saving guide “How to Add Online Training in 24 Hours” as well as links to government loans and other critical info you need to navigate this crisis. Head to and click COVID 19 in the top menu. The page is updated regularly, so bookmark it and check back often. All right, welcome Two-Brain Radio. I’m Mike Warkentin here with Eric Siegel of CrossFit 781, that’s in Weymouth, Massachusetts, just southeast of Boston. The fitness industry is in chaos right now, but Eric made a quick move online and it’s paying off. He’ll talk all about that and give you a few ideas of what you can expect if you move to online training. Eric, welcome. How are you today?

Eric (00:56):

Hey, doing well. How are you Mike?

Mike (00:57):

I’m good. I’m good. I’m going to ask you, I got a bunch of background stuff I want to ask you, but I can’t wait to know the answer, so I’m just going to get right to the big one that everyone wants to know. Have you sold new online services here in this new era of fitness and what numbers can you share with us?

Eric (01:12):

We transitioned pretty quickly, pretty much immediately, to go online when we knew we were going to be switching from in-person training to basically being a virtual gym. We switched or transitioned 31 of our monthly class-based members to custom at-home programming that’s out of 50 class-based memberships. Forty-two total are still paying. There’s 11 that haven’t taken the programming, but they also haven’t, you know, canceled. They’ve gone on hold. Couple more bought in that were, you know, per session type people. And then we started running the 21 day challenge, as recommended in the online coaching course, Two-Brain online coaching course. We added four folks into that challenge from Facebook marketing. And we did two via affinity marketing. One was a relative of a current member. The other was a former member who just the easiest way for them to work out is at home. And so we started online PT. So the quick transition really worked well and we were able to add some new folks in the mix too.

Mike (02:22):

Oh, very cool. So you are one of the gym owners who has sold new stuff already, which is great to hear. And you’ve retained current clients through the transition.

Eric (02:29):

Correct. Feel very fortunate.

Mike (02:29):

Oh, that’s fantastic. Yeah. I’m going to get into the details of that. I have some questions I want to ask you more about details. But first of all, just hit a little bit of background here because I want people to understand what happened to you and where you’re at. Do you remember the date when you were officially closed?

Eric (02:45):

Yeah. Well, regular classes stopped on St. Patrick’s day. So, the 16th, we were doing our thing, we had classes, they were kind of, they were small. I think people may have been a little bit nervous or you know, they were getting ready for whatever was coming down the pipe with their own jobs, families. And then the announcement was made to have 10 people or less. And I was like, OK, this is, we’re switching. Some gyms in our area kind of stayed open and ran classes. But on the 16th, I announced, we switched to at that point personal training only in the facility. And online, you know, online custom programming for individuals at home. We had some folks that had already, at that point they were maybe at risk or they had a family member at risk. So I had already started providing them some of that. But yeah, that was on the 17th is when we were done with classes.

Mike (03:40):

That’s a dark St. Patrick’s day in Boston. That’s a tough one. You know, I didn’t even remember until I got, cause we had the same situation. We closed at almost exactly the same time. And I got to the end. I’m like, I think that was St. Patrick’s day that just went by.

Eric (03:53):

Well we just had Patriots day yesterday, Patriots day with no marathon and no baseball.

Mike (03:59):

Oh, it’s tough. It’s tough. And I understand I’m recording this episode here on April 21st. I understand that Massachusetts in Boston particular is a bit of a crisis region right now. Is that right?

Eric (04:10):

Well they literally, a few minutes ago the governor announced no school for the rest of the year. So, you know, we have, we have two small children. One of them is in first grade and so, we haven’t actually told them yet. They’ll be bummed out. But honestly, from what I’m hearing, I’m really proud of our state. It seems like we’re handling pretty well. We have a lot of athletes at our gym that are on the front lines and super grateful for all the hard work they’re doing. My wife’s been making face masks and headbands, old face masks. Awesome. But I mean, it seems to be the contact tracing thing. The tracing is gonna start off and I’m super proud of just our state and the way they’re rising to the occasion. I don’t get the sense that we’re in like a major crisis area, but, you know, I think everybody’s done a really good job and has to keep doing a good job staying home until it’s time to get back to it.

Mike (05:04):

Yeah. And so when you, after you shut down on the 17th, how soon were you able to get online? And was that like an immediate thing, you probably had some plans there right away?

Eric (05:16):

Yeah, it was pretty immediate. It’s interesting. I don’t—so for me, I saw people starting to pop up with like online class. I was like, I don’t know if that’s the way to do it. I really like the custom at-home programming. I’ve done like currently I wasn’t doing a bunch of programming for individual athletes, but I’ve done it in the past, and I know it can be effective. So I felt like that was the way to go. And then with kind of the guidance, picking it up from Two-Brain along the way, emphasizing the communication, the accountability, leadership and kind of explaining the why for each individual workout, really making it custom. I was actually able to take that and then help my coaches through that and then I’ll kind of start to hand off some of the clients.

Eric (06:04):

So, I mean, it’s been amazing to get that guidance, then to be able to pass it along so that my coaches can still work. They can also get a get a paycheck, you know, some of them were a little hesitant at first, but they’ve all picked up some athletes to an extent. And it’s been great. I mean, I don’t know. I feel like the background in writing programming for so many years for gyms and for individuals, I was kind of prepared to do it. The way our coaches stepped up has been amazing. They’ve really taken to it and run with it.

Mike (06:37):

Yeah. And then for those who are listing, Two-Brain has advised that you go with personalized customization of your group programming. So building and continuing that relationship that you have with clients, giving them personalized stuff based on what equipment equipment that they have, their goals, their desires, their mental state, everything like that. Not necessarily down on Zoom classes, but the data that we had coming out of Asia and Australia, some of the places that got shut down early was that Zoom classes did not have a great retention curve. It was looking like they were a good thing to start and kind of novel and then it petered out. So there are gyms that are adding those classes and using those classes. But the thing that we want people to do, which you did right off the bat, is continue that relationship you have with your clients. Take it outside the gym, take it online and just personalize it just like you would do in class.

Eric (07:22):

Yep. The workouts we did actually for the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, all the way through that Saturday were just what I had programmed for the gym that week. We just programmed home versions for people, and we started renting equipment as well, which was great to get the support. Everybody, we actually don’t have any dumbbells left at my gym. I couldn’t do—we’d gone in and done some renovations. I couldn’t even grab a pair of dumbbells to do the support your local box workouts. I did the first one with a gallon of windshield washer fluid. I just didn’t like, we didn’t have anything left. Which has been great. It’s great that people are getting their fitness on and then, yeah, from there we’ve done, I’ve just provided templates. Here’s the general theme for the workout for the day, and then let the coaches plug in based on equipment and goals because we have some folks that have a full, they got a barbell, they got bumpers, they have the full set-up, and then other people like I have two mismatched dumbbells and a band. Like tell me what to do.

Mike (08:14):

Yeah, we’ve got the same thing. We’ve got an a 65-year-old former nurse who’s like deadlifting four jugs of water and she’s just like, I call it double fisting. Right? She’s got it all, everything. And then we’ve got some guys who have like home gyms that are probably sweeter than my gym,

Eric (08:29):

Get after it. That’s awesome.

Mike (08:30):

Yeah. Well let’s get into some of the details of this. I want to hear a little bit about, and that’s the background, I want to hear about your development of the online product. So were you doing any online training? Like do you have any online clients before this?

Eric (08:43):

Nobody strictly online.

Mike (08:44):

Yeah. So how did you develop a product that you could actually sell to someone when this whole thing came down?

Eric (08:51):

So I just saw the Two-Brain recommendations. I knew how I had written programming for individuals in the past and I mean I was lucky, some people, they asked to continue their membership but they wouldn’t be able to come into the gym. They were at risk or they had family members that were at risk so they didn’t want to increase their exposure. So got a little bit of practice there. But it was, I mean it was just as easy as scaling. Like I’m just going to scale these workouts. At that point I had no idea if it was going to be OK, we’re going to close down for like, is this going to be real? Are we going to actually close down or is it going to be OK, some high risk folks are going to need to say out of the way or what’s going to happen.

Eric (09:34):

And then it was just like, OK, this is what we do. This is how you craft the email. Say, Hey so-and-so, how’s it going today? Like check in, here’s your workout for tomorrow. This is why I gave you that workout. Keep me updated on your results. Post some pics on social media, put it up on SugarWOD, you know, put your results out there and then we’ll check in again tomorrow and see how we’re going to move forward. And I got a couple of practice reps and then I was able to just kind of communicate this is the process to follow. You know, communication and accountability are key to our team at CrossFit 781. And as the coaches were ready with like their own responsibilities, all of our coaches actually have full-time jobs. Another thing we’re lucky about, that they have full-time jobs and they coach as well.

Eric (10:18):

So as they’re kind of managing that, some of them are in school. It’s like as they had the bandwidth to pick up clients, they were like, cool, take them, run with them. And I was able to kind of pass along this is the model, this is how we’re going to set it up. And they just, they crushed it. They knocked it out of the park, they stepped up and just were able to take them on and roll with it. But yeah, it was easy as kind of phrasing it as like you’re going to scale this, think of their goals, think of their equipment and make it happen.

Mike (10:43):

Yeah. So you’re just altering the delivery method essentially. Right. You’re instead of doing it at the gym, you’re doing it online and you can’t necessarily sit right next to the guy and tap him on the back and tell him to arch, but you can still, you know, talk to them about their goals and Hey, I know you have a tendency to maybe miss your depth and squat in round three, maybe just make sure you bury that.

Eric (11:01):

Exactly. And so I try to match coaches with athletes they have in their classes regularly. So they kind of know them well. Did the best I could there. And then, yeah, provide video demos, get that feedback. Communication is important. And if anybody was struggling with communication, most people have just been like, yeah, email is great. Send me a couple of emails a day. But, we’ve experimented with texts. I’ll regularly send texts to large groups of our members, you know, just checking in or I’ll give them a phone call. Just whatever’s going to work best for them. It’s a daily phone call, if it’s a Zoom conference. If it’s text message, email, we just want to make sure that the communication is there, it’s easily accessible, so they’re gonna be able to keep going, both for their physical and mental health.

Mike (11:45):

Yeah, the mental health is a big one right now for sure. So that kind of covers your retention. So in terms of setting up product now to sell to outside people, how did you figure that one out?

Eric (11:54):

So I went to my Two-Brain mentor, shout out Brian Zimmerman, and I was like, Hey, we seem to be doing a pretty good job retaining. I want to grow. Like we need to add growth here. We can’t just, you’re going one way or the other either, you’re either growing or you’re dying. So we need to have some growth even in this tough time, what can I do? And he recommended, you know, checking out the online coaching module that came up for Two-Brain and sending some emails to past members primarily and be like, Hey, we have this offering. We’ve tested it out. You want to check it out, do you want to try it out? And then also while I went through that the Facebook marketing of like a 21 day at home challenge, the affinity marketing, we’ve gotten a couple of new athletes that are now training from home with that. And it was great cause we had the reps in from the custom at home workouts already. So I was able to kind of get them into the 21 day challenge. I offered some of them a regular membership. Like, Hey, you can get the same deal everybody else has when you start your membership. And they’re like, no, I want to get kickstarted. Like, let’s do this 21 day challenge. They did that.

Mike (13:08):

They wanted that more than the existing stuff.

Eric (13:08):

Yeah. Basically, well they wanted the jumpstart, right? Cause they were interested in some nutrition coaching and stuff like that too. So there’s the 21 day challenge in that online coaching module. Ran the Facebook ads, these were my first ever Facebook ads that I’ve set up myself and collected the leads and done the full deal with. And we brought ’em in, I used the 21 day challenge, I’m currently using the 21 day challenge. Again, with the workout programs, it’s as easy as scaling. It’s like it’s already written to be very friendly for at-home users. But then it’s like, OK, what do you have for equipment? Like do you have a—it’s funny, I have somebody that doesn’t have any dumbbells, they just have a barbell and I’m just like, OK, so we’re modifying like this kind of backwards. But what do you have?

Eric (13:51):

What do we work with? Send them videos. And then again, same thing, check-ins, accountability. Get the nutrition program running and have them work their way through that. The nutrition thing is actually we started our first nutrition challenge that I’m running on April 6th. So we started right in the midst of this whole thing, like we have folks starting that. We’d done them before, but this is the first one that I’m really running. And so we got that going and then we have the 21 day challenge people and it’s like, it’s great to have all this material to work from because it’s a lot. And it’s like I can, again, I can scale it, I can work through it, I can understand it, I can explain it to people. It’s really communicating, leading and holding them accountable. When I think programming like, Oh my gosh, just so in depth, there’s so many things that go into writing a program and considering.

Eric (14:40):

And then like same thing with nutrition. Oh my gosh. But it’s like you have to remember you’re not writing for necessarily—not writing for me, and for like, our goals are different. My goals are, you know, I want to try to push myself as hard as I can and compete at X level. You know, regardless through injury, whatever it may be, it’s like nuts. Whereas somebody else, they’re looking to, they want to lose some weight, they want to be able to have extra energy. They want to get a mental break from all this craziness.

Eric (15:14):

All that stuff going on. Their goals are super important too. They’re just, it’s like different and it doesn’t need necessarily the level of granularity. So it’s having these materials at hand where I can be like, OK, cool, these are workouts that are gonna make sense. Cause otherwise I look at it and it’s like all this nutrition and exercise information, so where to start, it can be overwhelming. But having the simple package there, being able to put it together and modify it. And I’m super grateful to have access to that it’s been helpful through this whole situation.

Mike (15:43):

So that’s cool. So you got two people just by contacting e-members.

Eric (15:48):

Yep. Well one was an ex-member, one is a family member of a current member.

Mike (15:51):

Yeah. So when you refer to affinity marketing for those who haven’t heard that term, that’s you’re dealing with people who already know, like, and trust you to some degree. They might’ve heard of you or they might be friends and family and obviously the people closest to your current clients are going to be most likely to know, like, and trust you. But then you’ve also got ex clients, you’ve got colleagues and coworkers who know that that fit guy over there does CrossFit, you got all these different things. So that’s the affinity marketing path. And we always advise people to do that first because there’s not a real cost to it. It’s just the cost of your time. Like you just send out emails to these people. Correct?

Eric (16:19):


Mike (16:19):

Yeah. So there’s a huge return on investment there because it’s just your time, which probably took five minutes to say, I’ve got this new thing.

Eric (16:25):

Basically. Yeah.

Mike (16:28):

Yeah. After that, you hit some advertising and you got four through that, correct?

Eric (16:32):

So far, yeah. Might be five.

Mike (16:37):

Check your phone.

Eric (16:39):

Yeah, exactly.

Mike (16:41):

Sometimes I talk to people on the show here and they’re like, I gotta take this call and they’re like selling stuff as we’re talking here, which is great.

Eric (16:46):

My phone’s in the other room, so won’t get the pop-up to call somebody immediately.

Mike (16:46):

Check it later. Did you have any issue, cause I know some people like they’re dyed in the wool where like they’re coaches and they want to teach people, they want to put the hand on the spine and push and arch and the whole thing. And they love their facilities and they’re proud of their facilities with good reason. Did you have any issue mentally making a switch to selling an online product? That some people, when they look at it, they’re like, it has no gym, it has no coaching, but in reality it kind of does have a lot of coaching. So did you have that mental block there?

Eric (17:21):

No, none whatsoever. Cause I know—I follow essentially most of my coaching. Like I have coaches. Coaching is valuable. I have coaches for my business now. I have coaches for my workouts. There’s such a value in it. I see the value and I do most of my work on my own. And I send videos or I’ll ask a question. I see the value there. 100%. I said, I miss my facility, I miss coaching in person. I miss seeing all my people because I know at this point I’m still probably more effective explaining something face to face and being able to demonstrate it and cue it. And it’s going to be that like instant thing rather than an email exchange. Check this video out. Here’s what I want you to do. A little bit different than this video or the same as the video really focus on this. It’s a little more immediate, which I like, but value-wise, and I explain that to people like this is, you know, again Two-Brain emphasized it, which was great. This is probably a higher value product and the fact that we’ve been doing it in the past, that individual programming delivery, I understand the time it takes and how valuable it is.

Mike (18:34):

Yeah. When someone explains what a good online coaching program is and what it entails, you almost can’t help but think that it sounds almost more valuable than some of the group stuff that you’re doing. And Chris has said for a long time, group classes are your discount option essentially because if someone wants exactly personalized tailored programming to their space and goals and wants the accountability and contact and even nutrition and all the other stuff and even mindfulness and wellness stuff that a lot of people need right now, that sounds like more than a whiteboard talk and some cues during a workout, right? Like, and that’s not to devalue the group stuff, but it’s equally valuable if not more valuable and more time consuming.

Eric (19:11):

Yeah. Yeah, I’d say it’s more time consuming. So still going through the—certainly going through the Facebook marketing incubator right now, still working on that piece with Two-Brain, Facebook marketing mentor Colm, it’s like you are probably working twice as many hours right now, like working 14 hours a day right now instead of seven. And it’s like, but that’s what we gotta do. And it’s crazy. It’s more intensive, but also, it’s different. But it’s equally valuable or more valuable. And it really, it depends on just like in a group class, what somebody’s going to get out of it, the effort they’re going to put forward, the questions they’re gonna ask. If somebody’s going to ask those questions and demand that, which I love. I love it when athletes are demanding of their coach and they’re pushing them, pushing them to push them. Like that’s great. But no issue whatsoever transitioning there cause the value is there. It’s just a different delivery.

Mike (20:11):

Oh, that’s interesting. So now tell me when you sold this stuff, this is through the ads, did you do that through like a no sweat intro process or how do people contact you to get the product?

Eric (20:23):

Yeah. So this was my first time with click funnels, we did the whole thing. Enter your info, go to a landing page. Not a lot of people were doing the no sweat intros. So I ended up just calling them within a couple minutes of them getting in there and we just did a no sweat intro on the fly. At first I was using my normal no sweat intro script, which I closed somebody that way. It was pretty effective. But then I was, you know, I was still going through all the modules, all the materials from Two-Brain, all the online marketing stuff. And I saw the sales script and I’m like, all right, I’ll give this a try. It’s definitely more intensive. And I would be overwhelmed to try that face to face because it would feel like there’d be so many like points and cues that I might forget and I’d probably overwhelm myself trying to memorize it.

Eric (21:10):

But on the phone it’s super comfortable. It’s like you can have it in front of you and you can kind of be reading it and double back and taking notes and everything else. It’s much more laid back. I mean it is basically, it’s just like a no sweat intro, just like a little more layered in that sales script. I’ve found it very valuable. I thought it was going to be awkward on the phone, but it’s not, and people seem to be, you know, again, we all kinda want some contact. We want to talk to somebody right now. So they’re pretty cool with that.

Mike (21:38):

Mateo Lopez is our marketing expert and he’s probably out there smiling and listening to this right now. Cause you’re calling people back within two minutes of them a lead hitting your phone.

Eric (21:49):

Yeah, the lead nurture stuff is, I mean, cause like I said, I’ve done some Facebook marketing stuff before, work with other companies that have set up the ads or done whatever for us. And I just hadn’t gotten great results in the past. And it kinda soured me a little bit on social media marketing or Facebook marketing. But this time, like knowing how to do a lead nurture and I’d been given some advice as far as like, Oh yeah, call them back, like wait this long and then call them back or do this. But I’m like, OK, no, two minutes done. Let’s do it. Like do the double calls. You got it. Like, just tell me, point me in a direction and I’ll just go do it.

Mike (22:27):

The more I hear from gym owners, the more I’m certain that that’s the way to do it because it sounds like everyone who does the calls and everyone who contacts sooner does better. Everyone who doesn’t, struggles more. Right. And it’s just like, it’s becoming clearer and clearer. And Mateo has just said this for forever, that that’s what you need to do. And it’s, you know, every time I hear it, it’s worth repeating that. Contact your leads as fast as possible within the minute if you can. Tell me about when these people, you got them on a call, how did they respond to the idea of an online coach? Like what was the market like? Meaning like did people, some people would not bat an eye at an online coach. Other people will be like, OK, so I’m not going to be in a gym? Like how did they respond to the whole thing?

Eric (23:09):

Well, I think they knew what they were getting into, cause we called it like a 21 day at-home transformation challenge. They knew they were going to be at home. Nobody who I spoke with, nobody batted an eye during the sales process. There were people who unfortunately they were, you know, they’ve lost their job, they’re unemployed. They couldn’t afford it. They weren’t sure of what it was going to cost. And they were just like, you know what, this isn’t for me right now. We had somebody who started up and then they, I guess they hadn’t worked out in years. And they started up and they’re like, Oh, well you’re sending me videos to instruct me. I could do this on my own. I’m like, you sure can. They were at our lowest tier, but they’re like, I want to come into the gym when you’re back to in person training.

Eric (23:57):

I was like, you got it. We can absolutely do that. I was like, I’m glad you’re moving around. I’m glad that this process got you started. Got them going down that road. But everybody I’ve spoken with, I think they’ve known what they’re getting into and they’re like, I’m stuck at home right now and I want to move around. Like now is the time people are starting to recognize this is a perfect opportunity to establish a great routine for yourself, a great fitness routine, the emphasis on health and wellbeing because the more at risk population right now is less healthy. So taking your fitness, your nutrition, and then with that, the mindset piece like you mentioned is huge. Taking all that to kind of another level right now I think is a really, really great idea.

Eric (24:42):

Now’s a great time to—most people, most of us have the time to do a little extra work for ourselves in a day. And so people recognize that. Yeah, I mean basically everybody who I got, almost everybody I got on the phone was like, yeah, I’m in. And some of them were like, so will I be able to go to in person training when I’m done with this? I’m like, absolutely. And others were like, are you going to keep doing online coaching when you’re back to in person training? I was like, yes, of course. If that’s what you want. Of course. Yeah, we’ll keep it rolling.

Mike (25:11):

So you’ve got a revenue stream developing here, which is great. And you mentioned a bunch of them, but I just want to go over them. What pain points are people selling quote unquote pain points? You said that people are finding they’re having time and they want to get healthy. Is there anything else that like the people that you’re speaking to, what are they really looking to accomplish or what problem are you solving for them? Is it just general fitness or what?

Eric (25:34):

Mainly weight loss. A lot of folks, it’s like, yeah, I’ve let myself go for too long. I think it’s kind of a wake up call. This whole situation I think is a wake up call for some people. Or just new moms, and they’re like, OK, now’s the time. Like I’m going to make some time. I’ve got some help at home maybe now. I’m going to carve out time for myself. It’s really, they have the time now they’ve got a weight loss goal. They’re gonna tackle it. That’s been the main, that’s the main goal. As we find, you know, in the gym, it’s body composition. Most people aren’t coming into the gym and being like, I want to go to the CrossFit Games. They’re like, what are the CrossFit Games?

Mike (26:23):

So that’s interesting. So the current crisis has actually somehow prompted some people to take action. Maybe people who weren’t going to or maybe, you know, like you said, they have time on their hands. They’re maybe working from home. Maybe they didn’t even know online coaching was a thing. Like I don’t even know. But it’s very interesting because every time I talk to a gym owner, they tell me that they found some people. And for whatever reason, this was the exact time that they decided that they needed to get fit.

Eric (26:47):

Absolutely. And we have current athletes that are working out more days now than—they would have a tough time getting in two to three days a week, let alone some of them even just one day, come into the gym, now it’s at home, three days, four days, five days. Like whoa. Rest is important too. Like it’s really cool. And if folks are really into it, I mean we’re not there yet. We’re starting to plan what our steps are for transitioning back to in-person training. But if they want to remain as doing that whole online training, why not? If it’s going to be the best thing for them, like heck yeah, like keep it going.

Mike (27:27):

So that’s kinda the last thing I wanted to see with with you is, I know yesterday, this is the April 20th, Georgia announced that they would be opening up gyms just at the end of the week. And I think Utah might even have a few as well. How far off do you think you guys are in Massachusetts from that?

Eric (27:43):

So I know there was the, governor Cuomo of New York mentioned the 15th for all the Northeast states, which Massachusetts is in that like little group of states here in the Northeast that I think are trying to work on a similar timeline. I’ve heard that Rhode Island has enough testing to, they could actually, they could reopen cause they have sufficient testing. And they’re just South of us for those that aren’t from new England. So right now we’re looking at May 4th cause that’s the date that originally our schools were supposed to be closed in until May 4th. Now they’re closed for the year. So we’re looking at May 4th, which is a couple of weeks away. But May 15th may be the date that kind of ends up coming to pass. I, you know, talking to some other folks in the fitness industry around here.

Eric (28:34):

it seems like May 15 is kind of a target date. But I mean we kind of closed a little bit slowly with the switch to OK, we’re only gonna do one on one coaching at first on like st Patrick’s day on the 17th. And then it was a few days later where we’re like, OK, we’re shut down completely. We have no more coaching clients coming into the gym cause we’re a nonessential business. So when, you know, it could be a slow reopening could be, we go back to personal training first. If that’s the case, then anybody who’s doing online, like, Hey, if you guys want to switch it up and get some human interaction, gets some coaching in person. Or if we have to do, you know, capped classes, we’re prepared for that.

Eric (29:18):

My wife and I were talking about we’re doing renovations at the gym. We were talking about laying down, using some of that painter’s tape and putting down six foot by six foot squares all over the gym. Just so everybody knows where they’re at. You know, kind of considering all the options. I think it’s May 4th, I think it’s a couple of weeks away is what we, I mean, that’d be great if we could have any kind of in person training going again, but realistically May 15th, but it’s all, who knows. We’ve had a few days in a row of less cases in the hospital. So I think we’re trending in the right direction, but only time will tell.

Mike (29:54):

So let’s say things, you know, do get back to some version of normal and then let’s say they go even further and get almost back to the way things were before. What aspect of your business is going to be online? What do you think, is that something you’re going to maintain or how are you going to emphasize that going forward?

Eric (30:09):

I think we’ll offer it. I have to figure out how exactly we’re going to, we have a ton of new offerings coming out of this. Like I said, we were just ramping up to really get our nutrition back going again. We’d had a coach that just didn’t have the time to continue doing the nutrition coaching and so now, so that was kind of offline for a while. So now we’re getting that going again. We’ll have this custom at home workout piece. I want to make that available to people as an option. So, you know, I have not determined yet how we’re going to offer it. Everybody who’s doing it right now, I’m going to make it available. And then from there we’ll see how it goes. And I mean, if any of my coaches are really into it as well, it could be certainly an additional revenue stream for them to pick up more online clients because again, it’s as easy as scaling. All the workouts we do in a class are essentially customized. So it’s just, OK, you’ve got the client, you’ve got the athlete’s goals, equipment, what can we give them and then just take the programming and scale it. So, you know, we’re thinking about how we’re going to implement that as well when we get rolling again. There’s so many—I like thinking about things getting started again, whether it’s normal or if it’s something different or whatever in between. It’s a fresh start in so many regards to really put things together the way—just optimize the way it’s going to work best for the business and to keep the gym going and you know, and prospering.

Mike (31:44):

So if the market wants it, you’ll offer it, essentially.

Eric (31:47):

I mean if it fits, if it fits. And I think that custom at home training fits within kind of what we do and what we do well, which is whether it’s, you know, programming group classes or personal training, custom at home program is like kind of here’s your workout at home. And then that accountability coaching piece as well. And especially, I mean, some people if they’re, you know, the phase one recommendation is minimize travel, still stay at home a fair amount of work from home for a lot of industries, if you know, people are still at home or that—but who knows if that’s a thing of the future where more companies are asking their employees to work at home because I’m sure that some companies are seeing that, Hey, we don’t have to have this big building and all this equipment and everything else. Like we can have people work from home. And if that’s an option then maybe people do pursue more virtual coaching.

Mike (32:45):

Last question I’ll ask you is, you started running Facebook ads and selling stuff in probably the worst period in the history of fitness, I’m guessing, so do you feel like when things get to be a little more normal, you might be more equipped to sell things just in a normal sense because right now you’re dealing with a brand new, terrified, odd market with, you know, declining consumer confidence. That must set you up to think that maybe we’ll crush some sales when things are normal.

Eric (33:12):

Yeah, absolutely. So I mean I saw—what’s the worst that happens, right? I was like, it’s the worst time to be advertising. Advertising is cheap. Give it a try. See what happens. For me, the worst thing I was going to get out of is learning kind of how the sausage is made. Like seeing what goes on in the back end, building the click funnels out, building all the automations out, setting that up. That’s not stuff I’m necessarily super comfortable with. But kind of getting into it and trying it, I was like, see what I can learn and now, yeah, definitely keep it going. It’s been an awesome learning experience, man. I try to try to learn from every experience. But this whole situation has been really, yeah, just a great learning opportunity. And, like I said, I’m very excited to see what happens as we transition back to in person training and you know, whatever the new normal is coming out of this.

Mike (34:05):

I appreciate that Eric and a lot of people who are listening and saying, man, I don’t understand Facebook advertising. I don’t want to set these things up. I don’t know how to do it. We can teach you how to do it. So as Eric said, he has a marketing mentor. We have Two-Brain Business certified mentors that also work in conjunction with the marketing team. We can teach you how to do this stuff. And I’ve gone through the same process as Eric and if I can figure it out, I’m sure you guys can figure it out because it wasn’t germane to me. It was not the easiest thing for me to think about on my own, but once I walked through the course, it went pretty well. Did you have the same experience here?

Eric (34:35):

Yeah, absolutely. I’m still, like, I got the crash course in the online training module, which was awesome. Still finishing up the Facebook marketing incubator, but I feel so much more comfortable with messing around in there. It’s still, you know, I still always need guidance, but getting more comfortable and comfortable enough now to kind of run ads and I guess make some decisions off of it, kind of think about things. So yeah, it’s been awesome. I’m super grateful for the support and for all of it.

Mike (35:11):

I appreciate your time, sir, and I want to let you get back to texting your clients and seeing if we’ve got a new leads on your phone. Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Mike Warkentin with gym owner and online coach Eric Siegel. At least for now. He’ll probably be back in his business soon, I hope. Two-Brain Business is in contact with gym owners all over the world and we’re collecting data as they adapt to the COVID crisis and recover. We’re going to tell you what works and how your gym can rebuild. For our collection of essential resources, visit and click COVID-19 in the top. Thanks for tuning into Two-Brain Radio and please subscribe for more episodes.


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