16 Years, Still A Beginner

16 Years, Still A Beginner

by Josh Martin, TwoBrain Mentor


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


That was all it took.


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


Sweep the floors? I’ll do it!


Reorganize equipment? I’m on it!


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


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


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


“Yea…we’ll be right there.”


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


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




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


Pay? Not one penny.


Experience? Priceless.


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


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


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


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


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


Whew, tough huh?


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


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


What did your last evaluation say?


What steps are you taking to improve?


Episode 134: “Clockwork”, with Mike Michalowicz

Episode 134: “Clockwork”, with Mike Michalowicz

Episode 134-“Clockwork”, with Mike Michalowicz


Mike Michalowicz’ new book, Clockwork, continues his tradition of writing VERY actionable books. While business books containing one great idea are published every week, Michalowicz’ books are valuable because of the action they trigger. His Pumpkin Plan and Profit First strategies are part of our Incubator and Growth Phase curriculum, and Clockwork’s “Queen Bee Role” has been the subject of great discussion in our private Facebook group.


First, we start with Mike’s definition of the Entrepreneur’s Survival Trap: doing the things that will help you survive the day, but won’t grow your business. It’s the rush to the “urgent problems” without considering the future we’re trying to reach.


Then we talk about Parkinson’s Law: how your tasks will always expand to fill the time you have. You’ll always be busy. The key to success is to do the RIGHT things.


(What are the “right things”? That depends on which phase of entrepreneurship you’re in! Take our test here.)


Mike said that he doesn’t like the “grind” and “hustle” mentality that many business speakers push now. I agree (here’s our post called “The Hustle Is A Lie.”)


Mike went into his “4-D Mix” – where an entrepreneur spends his time, between Doing, Deciding, Delegating, and Designing.


All of us know we need to spend more time thinking about our business; planning for growth; identifying and prioritizing opportunities. But we all get sucked into the daily delivery of our service. Mike gives us a great exercise to get more “Designing” time. He calls this the QBR: The “Queen Bee Role”.


Mike explained how to get yourself out of daily Doing, Deciding, and then how to properly Delegate. Then we got into Design, and what you SHOULD be doing every day.


Michalowicz says that after you identify the ONE thing that will grow your business, you–the entrepreneur–should be able to take time away from the business without it collapsing. Just make sure someone is doing the QBR!


In creative businesses (for example, if you’re an author or painter) it’s harder to replace yourself in the QBR. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, at least partially. For a solopreneur (like a gym owner or attorney), it’s still possible to move lower-value roles off your plate!


What will you DO with the extra time? You’ll think about which opportunities to take (because when you have the time to look, there are always more opportunities than you can possibly handle! Every entrepreneur in our Tinker program knows that’s true!)


As you move away from Doing everything in your business, you’re going to be tempted to stick your fingers in the gears. Your ego will jump up and say, “This is MY company! I need to feel important!” Mike talks about his experience with this struggle and how to beat them.


BONUS: Mike’s “AC/DC” test to see how your business systems are doing. Rock on!


Finally, most of us actually LIKE working. The point is to have the choice, instead of fighting fires all day!


THEN Greg Strauch interviews Rebecca Boskovic of The Fittest Me – listen to this TwoBrain Family member’s story! You’ll LOVE IT!


Mike Michalowicz’ Fan Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MikeMichalowiczFanPage/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeMichalowicz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mikemichalowicz/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemichalowicz/





Listen to Stitcher
Episode 133: Michele Letendre

Episode 133: Michele Letendre

Photo credit: Johanny Jutras (@johanyjutras)

Episode 133– Michele Letendre


Today we are joined by Michele Letendre of Deka CrossFit. Michele was the most successful coach at the 2018 CrossFit Games. Michele is a six time CrossFit Games veteran herself, and finished fourth in 2014. She is a former collegiate swimmer and national level water polo player. Michele decided to retire from competition after the 2016 season to focus on her coaching career where she now works with top CrossFit athletes across the world. Join us today as discuss training methodology as well as what it was like to retire at the pinnacle of the sport!


Contact Michele:







1:40 – Retiring from Competition after reaching the Pinnacle of CrossFit

3:55 – How did people react to Michele’s retirement from competition

8:25 – Should elite athletes workout in a regular CrossFit class?

10:03 – The future of the CrossFit Games

13:15 – How do you truly become a CrossFit Games athlete?

16:08 – The amazing list of athletes that Michele coaches at the games

18:16 – What does Michele tell athletes to bring out the most in them?

20:58 – What are Michele’s top tips for competing at next year’s CrossFit Games

23:24 – What does Michele say to motivate Patrick Vellner?

26:23 – Transitioning from an athlete to a coach successfully

30:37 – Keeping athletes from becoming frustrated while competing

33:27 – How to create fun and creative training sessions for your athletes

36:25 – Geeking out on the CrossFit Games. Who should we be watching next year?

38:19 – What is the key to getting to the CrossFit Games?

42:18 – Planning for goals outside of the CrossFit Games

44:17 – How much training time does becoming a CrossFit Games athlete require?

47:19 – Michele’s training program, Deka Comp

50:28 – Two Brain Stories with Kalenda Connell




Listen to Stitcher
Episode 89: It’s Simple, with Dave Tate

Episode 89: It’s Simple, with Dave Tate

This episode is a recording of Dave Tate’s speech at the 2017 TwoBrain Summit.

Dave is the owner of EliteFTS.com, the premier source of powerlifting equipment.

Dave has been an inspiration to me since his first articles on T-Nation (the Periodization Bible Parts 1 and 2) almost a decade ago. His early stories were about training at Westside with Louie, but since then he’s written extensively about his own experiences in business; learning disabilities; training; and even helping writers.

Dave is excellent at identifying the work that NEEDS to be done, and doing it, instead of being busy for the sake of being busy. He’s also a very down-to-earth guy; despite being famous in the fitness world, he always makes time to respond to emails (and even answer his phone when people call his private number.)

In this recording from the 2017 TwoBrain Summit, Tate tells us all how SIMPLE success actually is.

Dave is plain-spoken but very intelligent. This recording contains a LOT of f-bombs, and an exponentially higher amount of actionable knowledge. Enjoy.

Dave’s Strong(er) Business Summit is October 21 in Columbus, Ohio. Register here.

Our 2017 TwoBrain UK Summit at Reebok CrossFit Thames is filling up! Register here.

Listen to Stitcher
Episode 88: Buy This, Be Happy

Episode 88: Buy This, Be Happy



I’ve known Jan Roubal for probably 20 years. He’s a personal friend who owns Vélorution, a bike store in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.


What does a bike store have to do with owning a gym?


As CrossFit gym owners, we are in the fitness industry. We own a service business, not a product business. We already KNOW that building a community is critical for our success. We also know: that’s not easy.


In the product sales business, that’s even harder. Some would say it’s impossible to build a community around a product when there are dozens of competing products in town. If a new cyclist can’t tell the difference between a Cannondale and a Trek, won’t they always make their decision based on price?


Not if you’re buying a bike from Velorution.


You buy a bike from Jan because it makes you happy.


His customers routinely show up to ride with him and help new cyclists. They tag him in pictures–#ridebikesbehappy–every weekend, wherever they are.


I would never consider buying a bike somewhere else locally other than Jan’s shop and it’s all because of the atmosphere he has built around Velorution. Jan’s personality comes through in this interview–the first one recorded at the new TwoBrain Workshop. Jan strolled in wearing cycling shoes and jeans, and carrying two cans of his favorite beer. But this chill persona isn’t innate: it’s the person Jan has learned to be in order to become a better leader and business owner. And we can learn it too.


Jan was born in Czechoslovakia and immigrated to Canada when he was just six years old. He started working at a bike shop at the young age of 13 and this is where his true passion for bikes was born. He was on National teams for mountain biking when he was a teenager.


In 2008, Jan started Vélorution with a local physiotherapist. His goal was to transform the culture of the cycling business. He purchased the bike shop from his partner. Since then, Vélorution has grown into its own community and has become a hangout spot for local riders. More often than not you can find local riders hanging out and having a coffee, grouping up for rides, or just looking to help others get into biking.


At Vélorution, Jan’s primary goal is to help educate customers–not to sell them a bike. This ultimately ends up driving the business. Jan also likes to hire his friends which makes working at the shop even more fun. He focuses on his staff first, and prioritizes people who hang around the shop and who are just outgoing as he is. Staff often shows up at the shop on days off to hang out.


Jan is very transparent about his sales and numbers with his staff. They all receive online training in technical know-how, but really learn sales through Jan’s example of “Help First” and follow the #ridebikesbehappy mantra.


Jan visits other bike shops on the road. His experience (like mine) isn’t always a great one. Jan doesn’t look like a skinny cyclist: he’s thick and muscular up top. Sometimes this means he isn’t recognized as a hardcore rider, and shop employees don’t give him their full attention. Jan recalls one instance where he didn’t receive the help he needed simply because he did not drive a nice enough car. Shedding the elitist attitude of bike shops is something Jan takes very seriously.


For example, some bike shops were reluctant to sell fat bikes (mountain bike frames with really fat tires, for riding on snow) because they were a novelty. But Jan says, “They make people happy. Why wouldn’t I sell them?”


When I visit his shop, I’m immediately offered a coffee and a spot to sit. Other cyclists are always around. There are usually donuts and “paleo” jokes. If my kids are with me, he offers them a new sticker for their bike–and then someone takes them outside to try the pump track.


One great example of Jan’s “marketing” strategy is the “Titty Tuesday” program. This is an all-women group ride on Tuesdays that was dreamed up by one of his staff. She volunteers to lead a group mountain bike ride every Tuesday night for beginners and never-evers. Veteran riders typically turn up to help; it’s not abnormal to see a group of 50 or 60 women in the group. Another staff member runs the “Friday Night Loser Ride”.


If you’re looking for a bike, and you’re invited to group ride for beginners, and find a welcoming group when you get there–will you buy your NEXT bike from those people? I bet you will, and that’s part of Jan’s secret “sales” strategy. Sounds a lot like Help First.


Jan’s last tip is to be extremely customer-focused. On a recent group ride, Jan saw a bike lock laying on the side of the road. It was an expensive brand, and Jan went back to pick it up. Then he sorted through his customer list to find everyone who had purchased the lock from him, and called each. After many calls, Jan tracked the owner down and was able to return the bike lock–saving the customer $150, and probably cementing the client for life.


Jan is truly an all-around great guy and someone we can definitely learn something from despite him not being one of our typical guests. Listen closely and take good notes during the show–and then go onto Instagram and follow the #ridebikesbehappy hashtag.



1:31 – Jan Roubal Introduction
5:01 – Jan’s story and how he came to own a bike shop
8:19 – All about Vélorution. Is it really a bike shop?
10:58 – How does the free donuts, the coffee, and the community translate into selling bikes?
13:36 – An example of coaching a staff member up.
16:32 – Jan’s hiring process at Vélorution
18:21 – How Jan motivates employees to sell his products efficiently
20:31 – What it’s like to deliver bad news to employees
22:50 – The training processes Jan implements in his business
24:26 – Chris’s personal account of his experience at Vélorution
26:34 – How Jan incentivizes the staff to help the company grow
28:19 – The Titty Tuesday story, and group rides at Velorution
33:01 – Where the phrase “Ride Bikes Be Happy” comes from
34:43 – What draws a first time mountain biker into the Vélorution shop?
38:32 – What Jan does when a customer decides to buy their bike elsewhere.
43:13 – Why are so many people showing up for certain group rides and not others?
46:32 – How Jan uses political activism to grow his business

Contact Jan:

Velorution: http://velorution.ca/
Velorution: on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VelorutionBikeSki
Justin Bergh on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/velorution_bike_ski/

Listen to Stitcher
Episode 87: Justin Bergh, GM of the CrossFit Games

Episode 87: Justin Bergh, GM of the CrossFit Games

Episode 87 – Justin Bergh





Justin Bergh is the General Manager of The CrossFit Games. He is the man behind the curtain and he really makes the Games go–everything from making sure the athletes start their heats on time to making sure the events flow well. He is the guy that puts it all together. In this episode, we are going to talk about what it takes to guide massive team of volunteers; what it takes to keep everyone following the rules; and how the CBS and Madison deals came about. More importantly, I want you to know the human element of HQ. These are some of the friendliest, happiest people on earth and they are here to serve you.   



Justin has a background in sports. He graduated from a sports management program and worked with the Jacksonville Jaguars and also at a sports technology company. Additionally he has worked with the PGA tour and also many other events. He found CrossFit in 2006 before there even was such a thing as the CrossFit Games. In 2008, as the world economy was falling apart, Justin took the risk of jumping from his day job and opening a CrossFit gym. Justin knew that he wanted to be a part of making people healthier through meaningful work.



After opening the gym, he went to the CrossFit affiliate gathering and approached Greg Glassman about helping him with technological aspects of CrossFit. He was offered an internship chance on the CrossFit seminar staff which eventually turned into a full time position with CrossFit.



As part of the early years of The CrossFit Games, Justin experienced many challenges while the groundwork for what The Games would eventually become was being laid. One of the most challenging aspect of The Games is that many events are unknown until just before the workouts are about to begin. This challenges the staff to keep the information secret and control equipment throughout the venue at the same time.



For the first few years as the competition and the caliber of athletes was growing, they started touring a list of cities to host the annual CrossFit games. After looking at Madison and the Alliant Energy Center campus, the lightbulb went off and they really like what they saw.  Madison was a place where the foundation of CrossFit could be built going forward.



First and foremost the goal of the CrossFit Games is to crown the fittest woman and man on earth. The second is to create a great community event and tell great stories through media. With these goals in mind, CrossFit feels like they have a great partner in Madison to provide more entertainment, education, and fun to the CrossFit games.



Justin could not manage the CrossFit games every year without the help of over 800 volunteers.  The volunteers are extremely motivated to help the sport succeed and very experienced which makes running the event much easier. This is not to say the team has not made mistakes. Most of  the mistakes made by Justin and his team are from being too ambitious or attempting to be too precise. Ultimately the meaningful work is what makes the CrossFit Games successful and keeps Justin coming back for more every year.








0:55 – Justin Bergh Introduction

2:48 – Justin Bergh Story

13:41 – Justin on how he made inroads into CrossFit

18:26 – How did the Home Depot Center get selected?

21:20 – What prompted the move to Madison?

28:58 – What is planned for next year for the CrossFit Games setup?

36:12 – The type of leadership required to run the CrossFit Games

43:02 – How many people come back every year to volunteer

43:56 – How is conflict resolved amongst so many highly motivated people?

48:06 – What is to come with CrossFit Games of the future?



Contact Justin:


Justin Bergh on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jb_crossfit?lang=en

Justin Bergh on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jb_crossfit/?hl=en

Justin Bergh on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-bergh-97a55255/


Listen to Stitcher