In business, the best storyteller wins.
One of the first things every entrepreneur does in the Incubator is to map their clients’ journey. That foundation helps us plan for better intake and retention. The client is the hero of their story; their coaches are the guides.
The Level Method is based in science and math, but it’s powerful because it tells a story. As your client moves from Yellow to Red in the Front Squat, they know they’ve achieved something. Take the best elements of gaming, badging, and martial arts grading, and you have The Level Method.
At Two-Brain, we advocate services and products that can measurably improve your gym. We’re not interested in dumping more ideas on you; we want to share things that WORK.
The immediate benefit that most gym owners see from adding Level Method is an increase in 1:1 training revenue. But long-term, we’re tracking LEG and adherence too, because we know that a sticky story draws people back to the campfire.
We’ve been sharing Nate’s story since the start, and we’re big believers.
In 2016 Nathan developed what has become known as the Level Method. This is a completely unique, data-driven system that offers clients unparalleled insight into their fitness and progression. After implementing this tool at his own gym, Nathan has shared this powerful tool with many other gyms now providing unimaginably results for their members. Join us as we discuss the Level Method and Nathan’s experience in the CrossFit industry!
Don’t Forget about the 2019 Two Brain Summit, June 8-9 in Chicago! This year we have some amazing topics and guests for both yourself and your coaches. Click here to register and sign up now!
Getting Things Done – https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280
Pomodoro Technique – https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique
1:35 – Introduction to Nathan Holiday
4:46 – Developing a unique tool for clients and CrossFit owners, the Level Method
8:51 – How does the CrossFit Level Method work?
11:25 – The importance of highlighting a moment for a client’s experience
16:09 – The structure of the Level Method, Where does a beginner rank?
18:16 – The process of leveling up in the Level Method, Performing an Assessment
22:11 – Building a roadmap for your clients to reach their goal and stay engaged
28:15 – The difference between Objective and Relevance Testing
29:36 – The Level Method Phone App
30:57 – What are the next steps for the Level Method going forward
34:08 – Programming that goes along with the Level Method
37:54 – Testing the Level Method at the Level Method Gym
41:56 – Staying focused and putting a timer to your work
46:05 – How to contact Nathan
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Announcer: 00:26 This episode is brought to you by Incite Tax. Incite tax is founded by John Briggs, a crossfitter, great big tall guy with a fantastic sense of humor and John is like a coach for your books. These guys are not just pencil pushing number crunchers. These guys will actually help you get towards your perfect day. If you’re a member of our Growth stage, part of the mentoring program, you’re familiar with John’s videos on 10-99 versus W2 contractors. See John used to work for the IRS. He’s seen the other side of labor law and he knows exactly where the line is drawn. Don’t believe everything you read, but on the tax side, John can actually help you plan to take home more money every year and save more money on taxes because John is a certified profit first accountant. If you’ve listened to this podcast before, you know that I’m a big fan of Mike Michalowicz’ Profit First system and John at Incite tax and his staff can help you plan backwards from profit to get to where you need to go. It’s helped members of the Two-Brain family buy houses in the first year that they’ve implemented profit first. It’s helped people save more money, take home more money and make the business do what it’s supposed to do, which is pay you.
Greg: 01:34 All right. I’m here with Nathan Holiday on another episode of Two-Brain radio. Welcome to the show, Nathan.
Nate: 01:40 Thanks for having me, man.
Greg: 01:41 Happy to. So we’re going to get into Level Method. We’re going to dig into every, all the bits and pieces of what level method is, but before we do that, let’s kind of jump back a little bit. Let’s jump back to a little bit of your past and what kind of led you up to the point of building such an amazing product and service for gym owners. But what kind of led you up to that point?
Nate: 02:03 Sure.
Nate: 02:03 So I was in the army. I straight out of high school, went in for five years, learned a lot, definitely an awesome learning experience. And as soon as I got out of that, I started coaching. This was back in 2008 just at a gym in California, Monrovia under Eric LeClair at Team CrossFit academy and one of the early gyms in the world, like I think of the 10th or something like that. And I dove in headfirst into the, both the coaching and the athlete role. So I was like totally obsessed with training, obsessed with program design, sort of coming up the ranks. I think it was a lot of people do, you know, you get into fitness and then you kind of become a, a coach and then you get into coaching and then you move up. And so after a few years, uh, I ended up opening a gym in Lake Forest, which is in California too.
Nate: 02:52 And this was 2012 so I spent like four years sort of coaching and then opening the gym. Went through this of natural evolution of ownership where you, you kind of think that it’s going to be a lot different than it is. I think all owners, gym owners realize, you know, like the idea of it is much different in life is like that in many ways. And so I spent sort of three or four years really struggling with problems that I didn’t, I hadn’t foreseen. I didn’t realize what the real job was. I didn’t, I was coaching and much on, uh, a much more sort of program oriented, training oriented. You know, I’m, I’m sort of technical by nature, so I love that. All the energy systems stuff. So I really lived in that world and I, it took me a long time to realize that a lot of, I mean, most people, normal people don’t really care about that.
Nate: 03:40 So I had to figure out like, what is it that people care about and what is it that’s going to increase buy in and sort of this, how can I get more people to be on their path wanting to get better? And so I was, uh, I was, I was in this big location with like a ton of rent and I was sort of like at this turning point of figuring out if I wanted to keep going or what I wanted to do and my business partner Sean, he brought up this idea of a level system. And so that’s kind of where the original idea started from that point is really what I started working on this thing fully. But all the way up to that point was this sort of like learning time and trying to figure things out. And that’s sort of, that’s like in a nutshell, the history.
Greg: 04:25 So you not only, I mean you were in the military, you get out and you start coaching. I mean, like you said, one of the, one of the first 10 I, you said the name and I haven’t heard that name in, I mean a few years now at least. So you, you were being able to coach under a, under a gym. From there you opened your own gym now to actually developing, I mean you thought very methodical, very systemized. What really led to you saying, okay, I need to develop something for other gym owners that is going to help them understand what they’re doing with their clientele and meeting the goals that they want to with their clientele.
Nate: 05:03 That’s a, that’s a great question. It was not a, an original idea like that. It wasn’t it. The idea was never to do that. The idea was I wanted, I wanted a tool that would work that would help engage my clients. I help them sort of get on the path of fitness. I say this all the time because like when we look at like the beginners, when I came into fitness and like a lot of owners, especially in coaches, when they get introduced to this concept of fitness, it’s like we’re in like day one. We’re like, well, what do I have to do? How do I learn what I like? We were on the journals. We’re learning, we’re learning. It’s like consistent and I found that most people, like regular people, they’re not necessarily like that. They’re, you know, they’re so it, I was trying to figure out this way to get somebody to get like plugged into like understanding the world and wanting to get better.
Nate: 05:53 And so it was this tool for me to solve that problem. And as I went, as it was developing and I was seeing that it was actually working because I mean levels in general, the idea of levels and a level system is not a new idea. It’s been around since like 2000 or back in the Seattle, the level four and all those sorts of things. And I had played with all, I’ve, I tried to implement all of those and none of them really stuck. Right? So I, I, I knew that if I could do the same way as like martial arts belts, if I could somehow quantify these things and give people concrete goals and be able to object to like make it objective that that would have, the likelihood would be high, that someone would be able to get plugged in. And so as I was going and I was working on this problem in my own gym, I saw that it was actually working and it was like I was so surprised and you know, cause you how many times do we have ideas where like this is a great idea but then it fails miserably, right?
Nate: 06:47 Like this is like the story of an entrepreneur’s life. Like okay. So as it was working then, you know, I reached out and it was a very organic, the growth was extremely organic. I have being in the, in in southern California for so many years and like the sort of bed of of fitness in the early days, I have a lot of people that I know and so I reached out to a handful of gym owners. But where I started, Eric LeClair, one of the very first ones, he was actually the second gym, Jill Baker, who used to own a crossfit fly. She’s now moved on. But she was the very first and so I went there and we did like this really low key sort of integration where I just explained what this was. But at the time it was basically completely built around the training and this technical side of like this is, these are the energies that, and even when I went on, I went on Two-Brain the podcast last year, I was still really obsessed with that idea, like training, training and energy systems and all this sort of stuff.
Nate: 07:46 So like the, the answer is that originally was just to solve the problems I had and as it, as it went, as I saw it working for me, I reached out and then it sort of started to grow. And then as we started seeing it working successfully, so it wasn’t like a star problem. It wasn’t like me as this, like I’m super obsessed with this idea and I’m like pushing it, pushing it, pushing it. When we saw it working in other communities with other gyms, we knew that it was, you know, it could be, it could be scaled. And so, and that’s really when we started looking at like, okay, well what are the, what are the real problems and what are we really trying to solve with this? It’s not necessarily just a this ranking system, but what does the ranking system allow us to do very well. Right? And that’s sort of like where the, the business has evolved and developed into over the past, over the past year and a half early.
Greg: 08:36 And I mean, and if anyone doesn’t know level method, please make sure that you guys, uh, and we’ll share the, the, the in the show notes, the links and everything like that. Make sure you jump on so that when I ask this next question, you kind of understand what I mean. And you have some context, but basically with the level method, you guys, I mean there’s different levels, almost like a, a different colors for
Greg: 08:56 each, each thing. And then there’s criteria for each one of those. And to me, I mean, in my childhood I took karate lessons. I think it was probably for maybe a month, don’t really remember how long I was interested in it. And I’m pretty sure it was very few sessions. But I remember have friends that were in it for long periods of time. And there was a method, uh, each belt was a different color until you got, of course the black belt and then they have like those third degree black belts and all this other stuff. But that’s like if I, if I break this down to a very simple level, I mean that’s kind of what level method has done, right?
Nate: 09:27 It is exactly like that. So I did Jujitsu, Brazilian Jujitsu for a years. I mean I’m not like that great. So don’t think that I’m that good. But I love Brazilian Jujitsu and the belts, the colors are actually based off of that belt system and it’s like, in my mind, sort of calibrated in the same way what blue is like, it’s okay, purple now you’re getting pretty good and brown, you were very good. And it’s so it’s, it’s sort of in that same, but it’s exactly that, right? It’s exactly this, this quantification to help people move up. Right? And there are 15 categories in case somebody is just wondering, there are 15 categories and these, each of these categories progress independently. And so then you, what you end up with is like a chart of visual chart of like this visual representation of someone’s fitness and their weaknesses, which gives me as a coach a ton of information.
Nate: 10:18 I mean from a training standpoint, but also from like a goal setting. A system’s a powerful moment to like really as people you know, get promoted. It’s like a huge celebration. And this is a just a side note, it’s like a very interesting idea is that like we’ve attached this color or we’ve attached this label to all of these different weights. So use front squat. Just as a quick example, you have like I front squat. If I went from to 62 to 75 like high five that’s great. But if it’s attached to a meet, like there’s actual a meaning a label and I’ve gone from whatever, I’m not looking at the map right now, but you say blue two blue one this now is a massive, it’s an opportunity for this really powerful experience versus I’ve gone up 15 pounds. Also a powerful experience. Also a PR but not as meaningful, right? We’ve created this language and this framework to make things more meaningful and to leverage this whole idea of powerful moments and rewarding and all this sort of stuff. Now
Greg: 11:20 I’m going to ask a question and, and I know the answer, but I definitely want people to understand this too, is why do you want to hit on the power of those moments so much?
Nate: 11:31 I mean, the, the quick answer is that like it does not happen in regular life, right? So like this idea, if we’re going to compete with so many distractions in life and so many things that are happening all the time, we want to be able to, to make people feel just really, really good about what they’re doing and what they’re accomplishing and what they’re doing in life. And so we are able to produce these really powerful moments. Not only is there like this addictive element, but it also makes people feel just really good about their accomplishments. And we also clarify what the things are that they need to be working on. So we can set up this game plan and then continue to produce these powerful moments.
Greg: 12:10 Now with this, it’s, I mean, I, I 100% agree with you on having those moments. I think, I mean the book The Power of Moments by chip and Dan Heath, which is amazing. We’ll make sure we add that in the show notes as well. Is the fact that it’s necessary to keep these members long term, like you said, it doesn’t happen in day to day life. Uh, it’s, it’s allowing people to be recognized for their accomplishments. I mean, we do that to kids all the time, right? We take a picture when they graduate high school or college or they get a perfect score on a test and they have a certificate and the teacher recognizes them. We don’t, I mean, that ends after basically college, right? Maybe you get a promotion, but it’s not like you post that on Facebook with a certificate that says, Hey, I got a promotion today.
Nate: 12:52 Exactly.
Nate: 12:52 Yeah. And, and that book, The Power of Moments. Like, so as we were going, you know, we’re building level method and it’s, it’s growing and growing. Uh, and we, like I read this book, this is in the very early days and in chapter eight of that book is multiply milestones. And so multiplying milestones, we were creating milestones for people. Right? And if you just read that, if you’re not going to do anything else, but we that one chapter, chapter eight and powerful moment, oh, in the power of moments and just take that idea to what you’re doing in the gym. I mean that alone is super, you can do it in many, many ways. You can like people have PR bells, you have class attendance boards, you have all sorts of different ways of doing it. But the idea is that you should be doing it and once you should be doing it, the next step is to systemize. So it happens every single time regardless. And this is very important. Otherwise what are we doing? Right?
Greg: 13:45 Yeah, exactly. I 100% agree with you. I think that’s too many to many. And not only gyms, but businesses in general, uh, don’t do this enough. And I think we need to think about that, of how often we got recognized when we were younger and how we don’t do that now. And how you could have that, that business that does recognize these people, that’s they’ve, they’ve been a member for the, for three years or five years. I mean, I have gym owners that have members that have been there for seven years and this is a crossfit gym. So this is somebody that’s been around for like 10 years. I mean, imagine having somebody, a client there for seven years and you haven’t recognized them at all and now you have the opportunity to do so, uh, in some way. So I agree with you, like you said, find a way to recognize them and then systemize it. And that’s, I mean, you guys have done an amazing job of doing that because it’s, it’s hard to say. How do you, I mean, how do you systemize people working out? And it’s hard to quantify that besides him in crossfit, we quantify the, the, if you’ve gotten fitter, but then how are you making sure that you track these kinds of things? And then recognize it.
Nate: 14:47 It’s such a hard question, right? Like when you, when you look at fitness overall, it’s like you have a billion different things, right? Like am I better like you, you see relative to other people, a lot of it’s relative or it’s like you have, you know, a workout that you did last year and it’s like you’re a fitter, you’re definitely getting fitter. But by how much, and in the world of fitness, where am I? Right? So like, am I good? I, well, you’re not really going to know until you go compete or you are now going to the game. You know, like as you’re, as you’re climbing up, it’s like difficult to really find your place. And, and that’s like the thing that, one of the things I love most is like I can look at somebody levels, I can, once I know their overall level, it gives me this, just the immediate Snapshot in my brain of where they are in the world.
Nate: 15:37 Right? So someone comes to my gym and they say, Oh yeah, I’ve been, I’ve been working out for five years. Okay. I mean, what does that mean? And that’s like, that could be, I’ve seen five year people still not be able to get below parallel, prolonged squatting or like any of these basic things versus someone that comes to me and says, I am this level right away in my head. I have an exact idea of where they are in this world. Right. So it’s just a very cool thing. I just love that part.
Greg: 16:05 No, and, and that’s, that’s, now let’s start taking actually into that a little bit. You have these different levels. I think a white is the very basic and it goes up to black. Is that correct?
Nate: 16:14 Yeah. So it’s like very beginner. I mean, Level method is beginner oriented. It, it doesn’t mean that it’s not for those higher levels, but yeah, white, it starts in white and it moves up to black.
Greg: 16:25 And I, I remember at last year’s summit, it was the first time I actually saw your chart and everything laid out. And I remember, of course when I see this big chart of level method, I want to know where I rank. And I remember looking at it and the, I think too many people would say like, oh, this is good for beginners. Like I’m, I’ve done crossfit for five years or seven years or whatever it is. I should be, I should have no problem getting through this though. The ones that you have on, on that black like ranking system, those are, I mean those are ridiculous. I won’t lie. Like some of them are, I mean games level competitors that that would be able to rank on the scoring.
Nate: 17:03 Yeah. And so like if everything’s based basically on percentiles, I don’t want to get too technical, but like we’re looking at about 90th percentile. So like the, the scores are definitely high but doable and each one, right. So there are a lot of people that will have many black individual black levels. So there’s 15 categories. So they might have like three or four things that are in the black, but we still have nobody that’s black, completely black overall because it’s, I mean, we have some brown twos, Brown three’s even, but nobody has had that has made that leap into overall black.
Greg: 17:37 And I, I can believe it cause I remember seeing those numbers and I was like this person probably doesn’t exist unless it’s rich Froning and that’s probably the only person that could, maybe it would make all of these, the games. I would say that the majority of games guys these days would all be black. Yeah. Yeah.
Greg: 17:53 But the really, and that’s what the, the thing I want to get to is like it is, it’s not easy to get to that point. So going through these, these systems, these color systems, I mean you, you really have to put the time and effort into it and continually do that to get better and better. But it gives them a visualization of where they are and then also giving them the things that they need to do to get to the next level from what I can see. So with that digging into a little bit of how that works, what exactly when gym owners are saying, okay, I’m going to implement level method, talk to me about how somebody, one of their members gets from one level to the next. Like what is, what is those that process look like?
Nate: 18:30 So that that would, um, I mean we call it testing or assessing and that happens in a, in a variety of ways. So like we have initial rollout when someone, when someone gets the level method, there’s an initial like assessment phase where people are doing their testing and they’re doing, their tests are getting their levels up and then they will get their overall level. And in the first, if you have a really like veteran sort of population, then you know, people are going to be into the blues, into the purples. And just to give everyone an idea of blue and purple is really like the goal. Blue I would say is the goal for the vast majority of, of regular, you know, gym goers is like I’m trying to get the blue and as people are, if they’re brand new then we kind of hold them back a little bit and keep it nice and like, so they’re not trying to crush themselves.
Nate: 19:19 We get their overall level. And then from that point we’re working on game plans, we’re working on working on weaknesses. There’s like specialty programs or accessory programs like in a goal setting situation, what we sit down and we kind of map it out and then every quarter or so we’ll have cycles where we’ll do another sort of testing where it’s layered into the programming so people can come in and they can do it if they haven’t done it for awhile and we also have some times on Saturdays or Fridays or something, people will come in and they’ll want to test stuff. They’ll be like, I’ve been, I mean I can’t tell you the why this. The level method is really for this white, yellow, orange, blue, that group of people, because I have, I have normal members, I have a a client, a Janice, she’s still with me.
Nate: 20:06 She’s, she was with me for probably three years before I had the level method and she was one of those clients that just was not engaged like her. Her daughter did a taekwondo like in the place down the road and so she was looking for something to like take up the hour. She starts coming. She’s just kind of checking the box and doing all of these things. We, I introduced the level method and then immediately she’s like, she goes through her tests and then now she’s coming before class to work on her rings and she’s like doing jump to stabilize and she’s been, she’s working in working in like until she gets her blue overall it’s a big celebration. Right. And it’s like this is a, this is an example of who previously there was no engagement and now suddenly she’s on there, she sees she’s working towards a very specific goal and then achieving that goal and being able to celebrate it with everybody.
Nate: 20:58 And the thing that got her to her goal was, I think it was like either one or three ring dips. So she was like highly incentivized to work on this one to three ring dip thing where in any other environment there is not a, there’s no reason unless she was about to do like a competition that had ring dips and it was like crunch time and she had like three weeks to get a ring dip or she was going to be embarrassed in front of, you know, like that sort of thing. It’s the only other time that somebody would be highly incentivized to work on a, on a weakness and sorry I kind of went off there, but to go back to the testing, you know there’s, there’s a lot of ways that people work towards moving up or getting their levels, you know, doing accessory programs or you know, in the normal cycle of the year just coming in and everybody gets fitter.
Nate: 21:47 Right? It’s like if they’re working out and they’re doing good stuff, they’re going to get fitter is this is just a matter of fact until they reach to a certain point and then start things start to plateau a little bit. And at that point we have to now take like specific action, right? So now we’re looking at weaknesses specifically and we’re, we’re mapping out a game plan specifically but up to a certain point we can just kind of, people are just going to be getting better and better. And that’s, I mean that’s the goal, right? I mean I always, and if anybody’s listening to this, I’ll make sure that I, I bridged this of why, uh, level Method such an amazing service for you to institute and products for your institute is what you said earlier is, is engagement. And on top of that, if you’re sitting down and going through with your clients, you’re doing no sweat. Intro is finding out what their goals are, finding out why they’re here and they fit everything within what your, gym can offer them. This, I feel like is a perfect bridge to keep them motivated and going and to get to those goals. I mean you were the, the whole theory of having a smart goal of, I mean specific and measurable and, and all of these things, you are literally doing this by showing them on this big poster that goes up on their wall when they start level method of you’re here, you need to get to here and these are the things that you need to do to get there and you’re building a roadmap for their goals. Yeah. And it’s like to take a quick little side track. So I was, this is early days level method now. Very fog. We have like probably, I don’t know, four or five gyms.
Nate: 23:14 I’m not even sure. I don’t remember. But Josh Price. So he, you know, Josh training the trainers and so he’s like Two-Brain, he calls me up and he’s just like asking me about this thing, this, this must have been actually before we had any gyms. This was very early. He saw it somewhere, saw it on a forum and started calling me and asking me, hey, can we do this? So eventually I go to his place in Virginia and he introduces me to, Two-Brain the concept. I didn’t, I didn’t know about, I, I didn’t even like, and so I enter into his world. He introduces me to Chris and then I’m on Chris’s podcast about six months later, but it was like, at the time I didn’t even know like the, um, I was thinking totally about this technical side, not about systems and the prescriptive model and all of these really core ideas from a business standpoint that I was totally missing out on.
Nate: 24:11 And so, so once I got exposed, I went through the incubator, I get it, I get all of these ideas and I’m like, Oh damn, we’re missing out here. We got to like set up some systems to be able to sit down with people to be able to show them. Exactly. It just, it magnifies everything. And just recently, probably maybe three, two or three months ago, we were in Sweden and at coaches Congress and Chris was there presenting and he, he uses two tools for quantification. The tools are the inbody, right? Because you need to be able to quantify body fat and the best way to to manipulate that variable is mostly through nutrition, right? So you have nutrition coaching attached to this inbody and then you, he uses the level method because of this is the modulator. This is the thing that controls the the goal setting.
Nate: 24:57 I can sit down and I can get people on either one on ones or a a specialty program like an excursion or an accessory program and I can do all of these things in a much less like sort of weird way. Like people are coming to me to ask them how they can get better, right? So when I sit down on it in a goal setting session, I can like pull up inbody, hey here are all, here’s all of these numbers and I can pull up someone’s fitness and I have up, here’s all these numbers, let’s map out a perfect plan for you. These are the options. You can do the more expensive stuff, right? Like ten one on one sessions. We could do a six week specialty program if that’s too much or if that’s too much, we could do an accessory program and so on down the line we can even do free options, right?
Nate: 25:43 Where we’re just like, hey, come in before class and do these things. So it’s, it’s just the, the, the, the model. Before I was really introduced these core ideas, I was going down these, this wrong zone. I was, I was running down the wrong path thinking that this is what people were interested in as opposed to how do we get people to stay longer? How do we get them to be more engaged into their process? How do we make sure that, uh, the gym owner isn’t overwhelmed with systemizing these things? How do we show differentiation? Like, because I mean from all the other gyms, how do we make ourselves different and how do we make ourselves a better, you know, so all of these ideas sort of have, have evolved
Greg: 26:25 and I mean, and they’ve evolved in an amazing direction. I mean exactly what you said with what Chris mentioned at that the coaches congress, if, if you are, I mean the two things that you can use to get to your client’s goals are going to be nutrition and he’s right, 100% something like level method that can show your clients where they’re at and then where they’re trying to go, which is in the direction of their goals. Because I think you could use level method by itself and it would be great. You could use nutrition by itself and it would be great, but I feel like when you pair the two up together, like HSN putting HSN and level method together, it’s, it’s basically a home run. I mean you, you do less work, you build out, you were literally had the systems systemized so that you can build it, hey, you’re going to do this, then this, then this, then this and this gets to your goal.
Greg: 27:13 So it makes a gym owner not have to work as hard. But the other part of that is what you said, like they can now schedule goal review sessions to get to their next goal. And they’re in, they’re, they’re enthusiastic about it and they want to in there they’re keeping motivated with it cause you’re showing them success. And then on top of that, and now you’re also bringing new revenue in the gym because they want to get to this goal. One of their things may be, and I’m just using this as as a placeholder, I’m not saying that this is in the method a level method, but they want to get double unders. Now you have a way of showing them like, hey did you get to your next ranking? You’d have to get double unders. Now we have a way of doing that or x amount of double unders. So it brings more revenue into, you, brings more revenue to your coaches and allows for the gym to sustain growth and sustain moving in the direction that the gym chooses. So it sounds like, I mean if you’re running both these programs, your coaches are making more money. The gym’s making more money, which is what gym owners of course they’re looking for. But then on top of that, it’s also keeping your clients longer and you’re retaining them. The, the length of engagement is there, which is amazing to me.
Nate: 28:15 Yeah, it really is. It’s one of those. So sort of piggy backing off of that idea, there are several tests in the map or on the map on in level method that are like relative strength tests. So they’re, they’re percentage based, they’re like body weight based. So there’s objective tests that are like their objective way do you got to pick up this amount of weight? And then there’s like pull up these other ones, ring dips there that have percentages. And so when somebody, when I, when we look at some of these levels, their dashboards, I get aggregate scores of will bear, I don’t want to get to relative and objective strength levels, right? So if their relative strength is low, most likely, like 90% of the time it’s because they’re carrying too much, what we call nonfunctional master, just they have too much fat. Right? So as soon as we start to drop that fat immediately, some of these relative strength numbers go up. So it’s like we further incentivize them working on nutrition and working on those things because not only are they going to look better, feel better, but now also their levels are going to go up. So it’s just like, there’s a lot of cool little things like that.
Greg: 29:21 It’s a, it sounds like it’s, I mean it’s a, it’s a perfect marriage between not only nutrition and the program, but then when the gym basically, which is facilitating both of these things, it’s doing what, what all gyms sell, which is an experience. So it sounds like it’s, it’s, it’s doing that perfectly. So now with that, I mean, I know you guys have some other stuff in the pipeline or have already it from my understanding, from what I’ve seen is you actually, you guys have an APP that people would have their own profile through. Is that correct?
Nate: 29:47 Yeah. So the, the APP and we’re like always in development, right? Always. So sort of improving. But this APP is a way to, for someone to see this visual snapshot of their fitness. So I get also to these technical, I live near Irvine, California. It’s like sort of a UN for engineery sort of people. We have software engineers and also so we get these highly technical kind of people. They’re all over the place, right? But the end, they’ll come in and they’ll just be obsessing about their levels. So have their charts and their things and everybody has a little snapshot, a little visual screen of their levels. And the coach also has access to everybody’s levels so they can pull up and easily see everybody. And it’s just a way to track overall track where people are.
Greg: 30:28 And that’s, I mean, and that’s what we talked about earlier to what you said was being able to track those numbers, having hard numbers of objective measurements, which is what crossfit has always been about. How do we objectives, we measure our fitness level. Cause nobody else was willing to defy it. And we were, which is awesome. And I love when Greg and Greg Glassman talked about that. I mean he’s, I’m sure he’s talked about it and many, many videos, but I always remember seeing that when I would pull up youtube and start watching videos is we were the ones that were willing to measure it. So let’s talk about what’s kind of, what’s in the pipeline, what’s going forward. I mean, like you said, you’re always innovating, which is awesome. If you’re always trying to make systems better, that’s the goal, to give that experience to be better. What’s, what’s the next things going on with level method that, uh, that you guys are going to be doing?
Nate: 31:12 I mean, I think like the biggest thing, the biggest, like what I consider the biggest revolution within, within what we do is this levels based programming. This is like a fairly new project, maybe six or eight months. And so this is programming based on people’s levels so that we create these very extensive coaching notes and digital displays that go on TVS, right? So it’s just basically like a slide that goes up and then there are levels for each of the war. The workout is broken down into five either white, yellow, orange, blue, and then purple plus. So the same workout now is broken down and it’s pre scaled. And this like originally, you know we, I never really, I didn’t get in the to doing this stuff to do programming like it. It’s an extremely extensive, I spend a ton of time on this stuff but the truth is it really does systemize and make things really easy for the gym owner.
Nate: 32:10 So as we’ve been going, my whole focus and with with everything in level method really is to make things as easy as possible for the gym owner. So like how do we make it so simple that all you have to do is put up a thing on your screen and then everything’s pre scaled. You can hand your coaching notes to somebody to a a new way kind of coach and they can read the coaching notes, get all the briefing, get all the stuff and then they can coach a really high quality class. So we were like sort of systemizing that side of it. Obviously it’s, it’s, we’re continuing to refine, continuing to make it better. But that idea is, I’m just, I love that idea is that we can, cause, I mean, think about from a, from a gym owner, one of the most dangerous, sort of precarious elements of what we do with, I mean in any business is the people, right?
Nate: 33:00 So when we have coaches, we have coaches in, in our midst and they move or they have, and now suddenly your, it’s like you, you’re covering everything and now you have to do all the work and you’re not prepared for that. And then now we have to train somebody up and you have to get them going. So if we can figure out a way to make, to make that whole thing better, more seamless, I just had a coach that’s coming up the ranks, you know, that in, in past years, like I would feel nervous, you know, but because I have these coaching notes and I can review them with her and I can go over and she can read everything. It’s like, man, it solves so many, so many problems. And I think that’s, that’s one of the big, the big sort of revolutionary ideas that we’re doing a further development in the APP obviously. And then we have a ton of ideas around like more systems stuff. How do we make this more, so the goal setting is better at dialed in, you know, all of those things are, are better dialed in.
Greg: 33:51 Okay. So and I think I’ve heard, I’ve actually heard from this from one of my clients, uh, that uses level method. You guys, so anybody out there listening, cause it’s definitely a question that popped in my head and hopefully, um, I’m asking it now when everyone else is like, oh I wish you would ask this is you have developed programming for this level method because I think too many gyms out there are probably going well I would love to have that. Like it sounds amazing, but my programming, I would, that would be so much more work to do, to have my programming be within these levels. So you guys actually created your own, your own programming for level methods so that people could do this.
Nate: 34:28 No. So that’s a very common misconception. The programming, like it’s, it’s broadened inclusive fitness programming. Like it’s all we’ve done is we’ve just basically prescale did for every level. So it’s not like we’re not training for the level of methods specifically. We’re not like, okay, we’re going to do the programming, we’re going to like plug it in and you’re going to get all of your members really good at the level method. It’s very, very broad and inclusive and it’s not even a mandatory part. So if anybody’s listening, thinking about like if you do love method, you have to do the programming. It’s optional. You like, we just did it because the demand was high. People just wanted us to be able to do everything for them. But yeah, it’s, it’s a, a broad and inclusive fitness program. Not Specific to Level method. We just have like layered in similar, sometimes the movements, you know, there’s Kettlebell swings it at the same, I mean it’s just fitness.
Greg: 35:19 Exactly. And, but what you guys have done is, like I said, showing those to the members and allow them to bridge that gap to their goals of what they’re trying to achieve. But you guys have done it in for the gym owner side of it allowed them to take away from that programming so that they, if they are doing, and if you’re, if you’re a gym owner out there for your gym, please reach out and try to outsource that because you’re wasting time on that when you’re could be bettering the experience and this is the perfect time or perfect opportunity to do something like that. If they’re jumping on a level method style service, you could, they would have the program and which is, which I think is amazing. I mean they don’t have to, you don’t, nobody has to waste the time on, on developing programming when they could just institute that through through you guys’s, I think it’s additional service. Correct?
Nate: 36:04 Yeah, exactly. It’s just an add on if you, if you so desire. But that’s a huge, that’s a very important point is this, I mean the amount of time that we spend on refining this programming and doing it and thinking it through, it’s like so many, so many hours when we used to do every gym, right? So like there’s a, there’s thousands of gyms. Each person is putting these 10 or 20 or 30 hours into this program where they could, they can outsource it and saves so much time, you know? But again, if people use other services they can, they can maintain that. And then level method is sort of this like framework plug and play framework that lays on top
Greg: 36:41 that makes complete sense to be able to do that and keep them moving forward. But like I said, if, if people are out there programming, I always tell anybody that I mentor, like try to look into outsourcing it because it’s not what is keeping your gym around. Nobody’s, nobody’s googling in your area. Best programming in my area, they don’t care. They don’t give them a great experience and they will tell all of their friends.
Nate: 37:04 Yeah. It’s funny you say that because for before I had, you know, create a level method I like I have, I am of that mind. I’m that sort of guide. It’s like I want to do the best training. And so for like two years we had, as our tag, I cringe to think about it now, but our tagline was we train smarter that Wa and like, dude, not one person ever came. It’d be like, Hey, I saw your thing about you training smarter. Like, no, no. It has nothing to do with that. It’s, it’s all about how you make people feel, you know? It’s like when you come to a gym and you feel really good and you’re feeling these powerful experiences and you’re making friends and your, that’s really what the whole thing is about. And it’s like if, if someone’s not focusing on those things, you’re missing out. Yeah,
Greg: 37:51 agreed. Agreed. 100% so now I’ve got to ask, I mean I didn’t ask this question in the beginning and we talked about it. Do you still own a gym?
Nate: 37:59 I do. Yeah. I have my gym. So when I, I moved to a smaller location and as I was developing the level method, like there are so many things that I test and I go through with my people first. All of the programming is tested through my location. Everything. It, like, all of the ideas are sort of vetted through my, through my gym. And I look at it like a, a test kitchen. But I also love, I love what I do and I have a great team of people that are smart, hardworking, dedicated, and it’s like, there’s, there’s so many little things to be working on it. Like as an entrepreneur, a business owner as like a human being, there’s always so many tweaks and refinements, you know? And with my gym, it’s that, it’s like this very, very fun project that continues to refine and it’s like, I will, I’ll need to keep it, you know?
Greg: 38:49 Yeah, no. And, and, and to me it also builds up that authenticity and authority of like, Hey, it’s not like you’re just creating this programming and saying hey, it’s great or, or level method as a whole and hey yeah it works but not being able to to test it and you guys are testing it. I mean you are going through it these steps in making sure that when it gets to the end user, which would be a gym owner, it’s working correctly and then their members, if they’re doing the programming with that, I mean you’re running a gym, you’re building this organization and I mean and and I don’t even know what, what amount of staff you have for both, both now, but what is it like being the CEO of both of these? Like what, what does that entail? What is, what is the processes? Is there, is there anything out there that if people are, they have a gym at super successful theirs, they’re starting this new opportunity, what do you feel like has been successful for you to be able to juggle both?
Nate: 39:39 I think the, the number one thing is to think in systems, right? To think in ways to lower the amount of stuff that’s going on when it comes to like just a very pragmatic things like living by a calendar, right? So making sure that you have time blocked out to work on big projects things. And then working to a timer. This is also very important. So when you have a project and you’re working on a project that you, you set a timer and you work on it, you’re not getting distracted by a billion things. And these are, this is sort of my obsession is how do I get more done? How do I live a more like stress free life? Because as a gym owner, if you own multiple businesses, it’s like your brain does not shut off, right? And so it’s this ongoing thing and you know, sometimes you’ll wake up and you’ll, you’ll like be thinking about some meaningless detail in the middle of the night and it feels like the worst thing.
Nate: 40:35 And then in the daytime you’re like, why was I so, it’s just like getting these systems. So I think the number one thing for me is to be thinking about systems as a priority and within that world, being able to delegate, create teams, make sure that you get good people and you work with them so that they can, you know, you give them encouragement so that they can come up and they can start to understand things. Um, and then if, if somebody, if you haven’t looked into VA’s virtual assistants to work on little things like the little mundane tasks that you find yourself constantly doing, that would be easily like given to somebody if they just knew the steps that needed to be done. Like the, the raw steps, what’s step one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 if I could and then map that out and hand it off to somebody think like that. And that’s the, that’s like my, my best advice. No,
Greg: 41:25 I think, uh, honestly, I mean I always, I never, never say that I know everything that has never my goal of the intentive of any of these episodes or anything.
Nate: 41:34 I always try to ask questions that I know that I have personally or what I think somebody else would. But I also take away stuff from every single one of these episodes and that whole timer thing. I, I’ve heard it so many times and I don’t think I’ve actually instituted, so I want you to know and you can hold me accountable. I, uh, I need to go get a timer. You something that I can use, probably I’ll probably get something that I can keep on my desk that kind of looks nice too. But I’m gonna start doing that. I’m gonna start up putting a timer on that work so that I actually stay focused in on it. I’m not also looking at my phone or my iPad or whatever while I’m doing it. Think about fitness, right? So like what, what increases fitness like, and you go back, there are many arguments to this, like many sides to the argument, right?
Nate: 42:14 There’s no, but intensity in general is really like hormonally, you don’t want to do it all the time, but when you put things to a timer, you’re going to work faster. You know, and when you, when you slot things in and if you’re interested in really going down in anybody listening, there are, there are two frameworks. I’m just going to give them broadly because they’re are very, they’re kind of, they’re deep. You can go down these worlds, one of them, the framework of general overall organization of your entire life of ways of thinking. It’s called Gtd. It’s called getting things done by a guy named David Alvin. This book and this way of thinking will absolutely change your entire life as, as how you bring things into your life. So when someone randomly is like, Hey, can you do this thing? And you’re like, yeah, sure.
Nate: 42:59 And then you forget five minutes later, that will never happen again. If you can actually implement a GTD system, that’s number one. That’s the framework. The second framework, and this comes down to time to work, is pomodoros. Pomodoros is a, it’s Italian for tomato and it’s a, it’s a system of using a timer and going through blocks of work followed by rest 25 minutes of work followed by five minutes of rest. You do that four times and you’d get along rest of 30 minutes. And this is just an oscillation of work to rest in your arrest. You must rest. You can’t go on. You got to go and look at plants and like go outside and look completely disconnect. And this oscillation of doing deep work followed by little periods of rest is the, and it took me, it took me about two years to really see the benefit of the rest.
Nate: 43:51 I would, the beginner doesn’t rest. And at the same thing happens in fitness. The beginner and intermediate person does not like to rest. Even the events or advanced people that do not like to rest because what do they think? I’m wasting my time. I don’t need a rest. I need another day of training, right? But when it comes and it’s the same thing and work, the beginner person who was getting into really deep focused work wants to burn through the whole day. And what ends up happening is they burn themselves out and then they’re low productive for like weeks. And then they come back and then they do it again. Right? So you have to get this idea of working deep work followed by little bits of rest and now you can do this. All you could do, you could go all day long, these little mini breaks you get, you know, eight, 10 hours of solid chunks of work and it’s sustainable.
Nate: 44:36 That’s a secret, right? So you have these two ideas. GTD and Pomodoro. So anybody, the reason I know this stuff is because I needed, I needed it very, very badly because it was, I was continuously overwhelmed like how am I going to get, I felt to the maximum stretch to the maximum and I knew I wanted to do more, but how was I going to do it? You need systems, you need systems in place and it has to do with life and also business and the the number one system in my life, the one, the two things that I do that I am so thankful for his Gtd, which is a just a way of thinking about things and then Pomodoro, which is a very pragmatic timer based productivity way of getting things done. Like actually getting things done right. Distraction free, phone off, nothing. All you’re doing is working and that’s it. And you get so much done and it’s like you’re like, can’t believe what you can get done in 30 minutes. Yeah,
Greg: 45:32 I think that’s, that’s a perfect place to wrap this episode up because I think anyone that’s listening and it’s like, okay, I need to go download those books, which we’re going to put in the show notes. We’ll definitely make sure, uh, that getting things done is definitely in there as well as the power of moments and people can start utilizing that. But Nathan, if somebody is trying to figure out, hey, you know what, I listen to podcast, I want to get Leffel method, I need to get this done right away. Cause I feel like there’s a lot of people out there that, that need this. And, and, and should be utilizing this along with, of course nutrition. Where should they reach out to a,
Nate: 46:04 to get ahold of you? So number one thing is to schedule a call. So we call it our discovery session or discovery call. We are doing a a um, a special, so it’s 20% off of the, the initial fee up until May 15th. So if you go to level method.com and then schedule your discovery, Brian who Brian Bender who does our uh, sales stuff, we’ll chat with you and then he’ll let you know say that you, you’re, you heard on the podcast and you’ll get 20% off.
Greg: 46:31 Awesome. Awesome. Well Nathan, we’ll make sure we put that in the show notes too so people can book that discovery call. Thank you so much for being able to jump on here. Not only sharing your background, starting level method, but then also making sure that entrepreneurs and business owners are becoming more productive. Thank you for the time. Thank you for being able to jump on here. Thanks for, I appreciate it man.
Announcer: 46:50 Everyone. Chris Cooper here on really thrilled to see you this year in June in Chicago at the 2019 two brains summit. Every year we have two separate speaking tracks is one for you, the business owner and there’s one for coaches that will help them make better, longer, more meaningful careers under the umbrella of your business. This year we’ve got some pretty amazing topics like the client success manager, how to change your life organizational culture or the business owner’s life cycle, how to have breaks, how to have vacations, how to help your marriage survive. Owning a business and motivation and leadership. How to convert more clients, how to create a GM position that runs your gym for you and leaves you free to grow your business. How to start a business owner’s group in your community and more point here is to do the right thing that will help gym owners create better businesses that will last them for the long term.
Announcer: 47:41 Get them to tinker phase, help them be more successful, create meaningful careers that their coaches and give their clients a meaningful path to longterm health. We only do one big seminar every year and that’s the two brain summit and the reason that we do that is because a big part of the benefit is getting the two brain community together and and welcoming strangers into our midst and showing them how amazing Jim ownership really can be. We’ll have a link to the two brain summit, including a full list of all speakers and topics on both the owners and the coaches side in the show notes. I really hope to see you there.
Speaker 5: 48:18 As always, thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We greatly appreciate you and everyone that has subscribed to us. If you haven’t done that, please make sure you do drop a light to that episode. Share with a friend, and if you haven’t already, please write us a review and rate us on how what you think. If you hated it, let us know if you loved it, even better. See you guys later.