How Chris Cooper Saved His Own Gym in 2023

How Chris Cooper Saved His Own Gym in 2023

Chris Cooper (00:02):
About five months ago, my gym, Catalyst, got into trouble. That is, I’m sure, not what you’re expecting to hear on this podcast, especially if you’re a follower on Facebook and you haven’t been following Two-Brain for a while. You probably see a lot of business-coachy influencers out there who paint a really rosy picture of their gym, or their former gym if they’ve sold. But from the start in 2008, when I started blogging every single day about my gym, I’ve been open and transparent with all of you. So, thank you for your loyal listenership, your questions, and your care because a lot of you still text and ask, “How’s Catalyst going?” So, I’m Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym,” and if you want to talk about this and you’re in Two-Brain, you know that you can reach out to me anytime, and I’ll give you whatever you want. If you’re not in Two-Brain, go to That’s our free public group, and you can ask me questions there, and I’ll answer as clearly as I possibly can to help you. So, what the heck happened?

Today, I’m going to talk about my gym going through a bit of a dip after I expected it to. We’re going to talk about what the bottom level looked like for me, how I had to make the decision on what I was going to do with my gym, and then how I fixed it. And the reason I’m sharing this with you is I think that these lessons will be helpful to you. I’m going to be as step-by-step and as precise as I possibly can be, but also I think it might be inspirational for you if you are at the bottom because a few months ago I was in a pretty dark place with my gym, and I knew that I had options to sell, and I came very close to taking those options. So, let’s get into it, and I’m going to be as open and transparent about everything as I possibly can be. So first, the history of the numbers. At our peak, Catalyst did $72,000 a month. That was kind of our best month ever, like a one and done, and it included some proceeds from an insurance funded program that I built. That program was called Ignite Gym, and I later broke that off and sold it to somebody who is a really passionate practitioner about it.

When we were hitting around 65 to 72 a month, our expenses were about $24,000 a month. Now, that’s our fixed expenses, so that’s our basic salaries, our rent, our power. Those aren’t our variable costs. Variable costs are coaches who get paid when you get paid. So, all of our coaches have been on the 4/9ths model since 2005. That means they’re earning a good wage, but it’s not a fixed expense for me. If there’s no money coming in, the coaches aren’t earning either.

So, when I sold Ignite Gym, our revenue dropped by about 16K, but our expenses dropped by 8K too. The new high watermark of about $56,000 a month in revenue is still pretty good because our fixed expenses were about 16,000. So, of course, that’s plus 4/9ths of the rest, but you can do the math and sit down if you want to. You’ll see that we’re super profitable. So, I also own the building, which meant that the rent expense of $3,500 a month was coming to me. Plus, I had a base wage of $100,000 a year, plus profit on top. In fact, in that year I had to build a garage just to eat up some of my corporate proceeds, so I wasn’t paying tax on them. Now, these numbers are just for context and scale. If you live in Vancouver, your numbers are going to be a lot higher because you should be charging more for your service because the cost of living is higher. If you live in rural Manitoba or whatever, your numbers are going to be lower because your expenses won’t be as high, and so you can compare for yourself. But what’s really important here are three things. Number one: highly profitable. Number two: a fixed wage of $100,000 a year. And number three: There is still profit left over, and I own the building, so that’s what a profitable gym can do for you.

However, here’s the downturn. So, a few things happened between 2018 and now. That five-year stretch was pretty tumultuous. The first thing is obvious: Lockdowns in Canada meant that everybody had a drop in revenue. My gym was locked down for almost two straight years. There were a few brief periods of partial opening and stuff, but we really had to hold fast through two years. And while that was happening, we had big cash reserves, but the foundation really started to get eroded. So, first, my general manager and my head coach—who I absolutely love, still to this day, and they were doing a great job—they couldn’t stay with us because of the new rules. I’m not going to go into detail there.

That meant that we had to put a new GM in place in the middle of chaos. He started during what I would call wartime—completely abnormal situation. He had to manage things as they were happening. Everything was crazy, but that meant that he wasn’t trained during our normal peacetime operations. We also had big coach turnover during that time. Some of the coaches got out of the industry, and some of them went back to school to be nurses or other things. Some coaches just like set up shop in their garage and train themselves, and also, this was really important: A lot of our clients bought equipment for their homes.

We were doing a great job of holding them to their workouts. Our revenue dipped, but it was still really good. Through COVID, it was still over 80%. But when we finally reopened, we had to train new coaches really fast, and the coaches that we had had little in-person group experience. We had nowhere to send them to learn in-person, so they did it all online, and our new GM had to make a really tough transition from coaching clients online to leading brand new staff in-person.

We also expected a surge of clients that never really came. Our ads had been off for two years. Our funnels were pretty much completely gone. I hadn’t written a blog post or sent an email in like two years, and so the pipeline just didn’t exist anymore. Worst of all, and this took me a while to figure out, our best clients—the really dedicated people, but also the people who were the heart and soul of Catalyst, the people who brought energy and enthusiasm to group classes—we had taught them how to train in their garages, and they just stayed there. They had a rig, and they were doing workouts. Maybe they were meeting up with people in the park and doing street parking. I’m calling out street parking there because that’s literally what happened.

And so, while we had a bunch of people who were eager to come back, we really missed those spark plugs—the self-motivated people who would show up every day, raise the energy of the room, welcome the new people. You know who I’m talking about. They stayed home, so my staff was burned out. They were exhausted; they were frustrated—it showed. My new staff hadn’t been trained on our systems. They didn’t have contracts. Some had no in-person coaching experience, and so over the next year, after reopening, we saw a churn of some of the good coaches who were frustrated and burnt. We saw a churn of good clients who said, “It just doesn’t feel the same anymore,” and it was just this constant, slow leak of both, and the big problem was that I turned a blind eye.

I was training on my bike; I was happy on my bike. I was rarely in my gym. I didn’t have to go in to pay the bills or do the accounting. I didn’t look at the books. I didn’t check Zen Planner ever. If I did go into the gym to pick something up, I would walk in when there was nobody there. It would be nice and clean, and it would smell great. I would just love the atmosphere. But I wasn’t there during group times at all because I was doing my own training. You know, I was CC’d on some emails when clients quit and stuff, but I had no real appreciation of what was going on. It was my fault, you know. Don’t let me leave you in any doubt about that.

When I left the management of the gym in 2016, I really abdicated; I handed it over. “Here you go.” I had this new company, Two-Brain Business, to build, and the Two-Brain gyms were getting amazing results. So, I was 100% focused on them, and the stuff that we were teaching Two-Brain gyms was coming from data, not from Catalyst—on purpose. So, I didn’t look at the Catalyst bank account. We took the government CERB loan—it was called—because it seemed like an easy $20,000. And then we bought new equipment with that. We put some coaches through some courses. I bought a metabolic testing device for seven grand, but that was all at the start of lockdowns. We had no idea that we’d have to spread that money out for two years. Right? My fault again. Two years later, by the way, 65% of gyms in Canada say they’re still below 90% of pre-pandemic revenues, and they can’t cover a loan payment that’s coming up in about four months. So, Catalyst luckily had huge reserves because I was leaving money in the company simply because corporate taxes are lower in Canada than personal taxes. But most gyms didn’t have that kind of buffer.

We also underwent massive change, and if it sounds like I’m ranting about all the mistakes I made, it’s because it was the perfect storm. I created all kinds of problems for Catalyst, and honestly, it took having all these problems happen at once to really start driving Catalyst down. If any one of these things had happened one at a time, we probably would have been fine and just naturally recovered because of our own momentum. So, there were some other changes going on during that time too. We changed accountants. The new accountants hadn’t ever seen Catalyst at its peak, so they thought that the P&L they were seeing now was just typical.

And then, between reopening in 2021 and 22, we slowly dipped down closer and closer just to break-even, and we even had a couple of months where the gym lost money. Again though, we had really deep reserves, and so I didn’t really get as worried as I should have gotten. I started paying attention to the P&L maybe about a year ago, so it was kind of like a “Well, that’s weird” moment. I wasn’t worried—more, just angry that the situation had gone so far without even noticing. I replaced my GM. He was a great friend, and luckily, he stayed on as a coach, but the new GM just didn’t have the skills required to pull the gym out of its nosedive because that nosedive was steeper than I thought.

Finally, another huge problem—and this goes on—is that I treat Catalyst like a Petri dish, like it’s my science experiment. So, within like four years, we added Level Method. We dropped and then we reaffiliated with CrossFit. We went from fully in-person to online only. We went from class focus to back to focusing on PT and semi-private. We switched programming at least four times, and every time these things changed, we would lose members who just didn’t know what we were about anymore. We brought heart-rate training in, and then we took it out again.

So, to be honest, all these things were happening at once, and I had no idea how bad things had gotten. Again, that is my fault and my responsibility and nobody else’s. Even if you have a gym that runs itself, you should be absolutely aware of what’s happening in that gym and looking at the numbers. So, we had a revenue problem, and we had a retention problem, but what I’d learned back in 2009 was super important: that revenue and profit and retention—and even client headcount—are the fruits of the tree, and Catalyst was an unhealthy tree. I couldn’t just run marketing to solve my problem. That wasn’t going to do it.

And so, around April of this year, I said, “I either have to fix this or sell it,” and there were people on staff at Two-Brain with good arguments on both sides. Some very smart mentors gave me some reasons to sell. One was data: Even though we track data from 15,000 gyms worldwide, and we use that data to make our decisions at Two-Brain—and we don’t say, “What’s Chris doing at Catalyst?”—as long as I owned Catalyst and was involved in it, I would always see things through that lens. So, for example, when we teach something to gyms at Two-Brain, it’s not just like here’s what Chris did at his gym. It’s something that’s been proven to work in hundreds of gyms worldwide before you even see it. So, we have a very thorough testing process. For example, as an aside, right now we’re testing something for our gym owners that’s super exciting. First it worked in one gym. Then we tested in 10 mentors’ gyms. Then we tracked the data, and if the data is better than what we’re currently teaching gyms, then we adopt this new thing instead, and we roll it out to 50 gyms or 100. And then, if the data is still better than what we’re currently teaching, we upgrade everybody. Okay, so Catalyst is no longer the origin of what we teach at Two-Brain. Catalyst is a Two-Brain gym, so it’s the beneficiary of what we teach at Two-Brain.

But in April, when I finally stepped back into my gym, I found that we were nowhere near the Two-Brain standard. If I put every Two-Brain gym—all 950 current gyms and 3,000 alumni—on a list, Catalyst would have been near the bottom, not the top. At that time, when I figured that out, I had options to sell. Since I owned the building, I could also have just closed down the gym and rented the space. Our vacancy rate in the city is less than 1%, so I could have filled it with a tenant who paid more than Catalyst really fast.

The other argument for closing the gym, or selling it, was that every minute spent fixing the gym was a minute that I wasn’t working on Two-Brain, and it almost felt selfish to fix my own gym when I could be producing content that would help other people fix theirs based on the experience of all the people in Two-Brain and not just me. And finally, when I looked around for a model of successful leaders in the industry who kept their gyms while they were building something bigger, a bigger movement, I couldn’t find any. Even Greg Glassman shut down the original CrossFit gym when the CrossFit movement got too big, and I think he was right to do so. The movement required his full attention, so I have no problem selling companies or shutting them down. I have no hang up over sunk costs.

I’ve sold and closed other companies that I’ve started—quite a few of them even—but there was one reason to keep my gym, and only one, and that is I love it, and I wanted to keep it, and that meant that I had to save it. The problem was that time wasn’t on our side. We were on a downward trajectory, and if I didn’t do anything, it would just keep getting worse. Now, if it sounds to you—if you’ve been around for a while—and this sounds to you like the same problems that I already fixed in 2008/2009, wrote a blog about for three and a half years, and then finally turned into my first book, you’re right; that was the most frustrating part to me.

It became clear that I wasn’t fixing my gym. The gym that I had left in 2018 was a good, solid gym. It felt like I had taken over somebody else’s gym, and I needed to rehabilitate it. So, here’s how I did it, step by step, and thanks for bearing with me through this. I know some of you longtime viewers and listeners would have been interested in that story, but if you’re just tuning in, it might sound kind of weird for the founder of Two-Brain Business to be complaining or talking about his own gym struggles. But now what I’m going to do is take those struggles and I’m going to share what I did to turn them around. Hopefully this serves as inspiration. Maybe it’s just a reminder for you, or maybe it’s even a step-by-step process to spur your own comeback. All right, here we go.

First, I had to really take stock. This is called the Stockdale Paradox, and it’s: You have to be absolutely clear about the reality of your situation and, at the same time, optimistic that, in the future, things are going to get better. So, the first thing that I had to do was get real. I had to cut down to bedrock. I had to ask myself, “What was solid?” Like all this stuff wasn’t working. What was working?

So, I made a list of the staff that I didn’t want to lose, and I did an exercise that we use in Two-Brain, called the six audits, to figure out the foundational needs. So, for example, I did a facilities audit, and I did a walkthrough, and I changed some gym light bulbs. And then I did a sales audit, and I looked at our packages, and I found like we have 76 different options in Zen Planner, somehow. Right? I found that our sales binder was completely confusing. So, I used the Two-Brain template, and I fixed our sales binder, and then I went through Zen Planner person by person. I had to learn the system all over again. I hadn’t touched it in years, and I brought it down to like five different service offerings out of 76. That was quite a job. It was not fun, but I had to bring things down to absolute solid bedrock before I could build them back up again.

I also found people in our system who were overdue. They owed us money. I found out that we had like a whole bunch of different invoicing, and we had cash sitting here, and we had subcontractors, coaches who hadn’t been paid on time—that we owed them money. Other people owed us money and had over-billed. Some people needed refunds and had been promised them, and so we had to audit all of that. We had to do the same thing with our expenses. We had to cut back to bedrock to like, “Okay, now we’re even. We know that our bills have been paid, we know that we’ve collected the debts, and here we are—almost like we’re starting from scratch again.”

So, it sounds like there’s a lot of challenges here, right, but I also had some assets. First, I had a Two-Brain Business mentor and access to all the Two-Brain resources, so I knew that when it was time to rebuild, I would be able to do that really quickly. Now, the first time I went through this gym repair with Catalyst, it took me three years because I had to build everything myself. But now I knew with Two-Brain I could do this in a few months because all the templates are there, all the strategies are there; they’re proven. It’s just cut and paste, and I knew that I could just utilize those resources for my own gym when I was ready.

I also had a few other assets. Number one: I had a bit of runway. I still had some cash reserves, and so I could afford to take it slow. I wasn’t desperate to make money this month or risk going bankrupt, so I knew that I still had four or five months of runway. Third, a big asset: I was confident. I’ve done it before, and while there were definitely days when I was tempted just to close or sell it, I also knew that I could do it and that the only way out of the struggle was right through the middle. And finally, I had some great coaches left.

I knew that I had some staff who were frustrated. They were tired; they were burned out, but they were sticking with it anyway because they believed in the mission. So, from there I found bedrock, and the next thing I had to look at was: What is salvageable here? So, I’ve got the basics down. What can be fixed? And what had to be built from scratch? Then I set a timeline. I said, “What has to be done right now? What can’t wait to be fixed?” So, one thing was change the locks on the gym. Right? There were people out there who had keys to my gym, so that had to be done right now.

I actually put a pause on all of my marketing because I didn’t want to bring people into a No Sweat Intro and have them meet untrained staff with old pricing, who couldn’t process their payment, and presented them with options that didn’t really even exist anymore. So, from there I had this collection of things to be fixed. And that was a big list; don’t get me wrong. But I also had a firm bedrock, and I didn’t have the pressure of a bunch of new people coming in. Now, despite all of this—turning off all of our marketing, removing calendar links—we still had people booking No Sweat Intros, and that is the power of longevity. Catalyst has just been in the market for so long—19 years now—that people still call no matter what. So, yeah, don’t let that detract from what I’m saying. The power of being around for a long time compounds.

So, what you’re seeing on your screen right now, if you’re watching, is a pyramid, and the pyramid is basically what you need to fix in your gym in order. And so, the foundation, of course, is your mission, like what you’re doing here. And then, on top of your mission, you build your ops to support your mission, and then, on top of your operations, you build your retention system and on top of that, you build your sales, and on top of that, you build your marketing and then, on top of that, you build your ads. But the mission is critical, and so what I did was I sat down with one or two of my coaches and I said, “What are we doing here? What’s the goal?”

And they said, “We’d really like to know—are we having a meaningful impact here? Like, are we actually changing people’s lives?” And so we set the goal to change the lives—to extend the lifespan and the health span of 10% of our city, so that’s about 7,000 people, and we said, “Okay, if we’re going to be here for 30 years, how many people do we have to serve at one time?” And especially given that we don’t change everybody’s life the first day; we want to keep them around for about two years. People who have left my gym after two years did not quit exercise. They might have quit Catalyst, but they kept exercising. Maybe they went to another gym, maybe they started cycling or swimming or whatever. So, two years—to me we’ve changed their life. So, you know, that was kind of the goal. Okay, well, we’re going to have 150 clients, we’re going to have a LEG, length of engagement, of 24 months, and that means that determines what our rate needed to be. So, from there we could say, “Okay, well, here are our prices,” and it was nice to kind of start from scratch here but still find out that we weren’t too far off. Our prices had to come up a little bit, mostly because there’s been some inflation and some expenses since the last time we set our rates, but it wasn’t too scary.

From there we had our mission, and I actually—just to set it in stone—I produced a YouTube video, and you can go look for the Catalyst Method on YouTube, and you’ll see our mission video. Then it was time to build up our ops. So, the mission was one conversation. Everybody was fired up. That gave us the energy for the journey ahead.

But then I had to rebuild ops from scratch. I took our playbook, which hadn’t been updated since 2016. I fixed it step by step. I got all of our staff on contracts. I got our staff’s CPR and first aid certification updated. I updated our insurance. I used all Two-Brain Business templates. So, this happened super fast, like less than two weeks.

Then I decided to stick with the mantra less but better. So, we went with fewer options, and I’ll walk through those in a moment. I audited my expenses. I cut the stuff that we weren’t using every day. I think we had an app for online coaching, Zoom meetups. We downgraded some accounts. I removed some certain expenses, including the fixed salary of my GM. We just decided that at this stage, we were not ready to have a general manager, and so I broke the general manager into six different roles and split those up, and I’ll get to those in a moment. We ended our kids’ program. We put it on a three-month hiatus because it was just a mess and completely disorganized, but we kept our prime program for people over 55 because that was running really smoothly.

We started semi-private, so I wanted fewer but better coaches, and instead of hiring a bunch more personal trainers, we started building a semi-private program instead. We changed the goal of our No Sweat Intro to just sell On-Ramp. Don’t present any option other than that. Then, after their On-Ramp, they’ll do a goal review, and then they’ll get their first prescription for personal training, semi-private, or group. I systemized everything based on these decisions.

After I had written everything down in a new staff playbook, I sent that to every staff person on the team. I got every staff person their own email address, I got them their own playbook, and I wrote new contracts. Then I found a few places where I could optimize roles. So, I brought in an outside bookkeeper, and I trained them on Zen Planner. I brought in one coach to get trained on GLM, just to do lead nurture. I trained another coach just on NSIs. I made them experts. I brought in a separate bookkeeper just to do our books every month and give me an updated P&L, so I could see what was happening with these changes.

And finally, I cut some staff—not to save money but to give more work to the best. Now, I didn’t have enough staff; I had to hire someone. I had a lot of coaches doing two, three sessions or classes a week, and I really wanted to focus on having one or two great coaches who were doing this and nothing else. So, I knew that I had to hire somebody. The staff was amazing. They were willing to help and pitch in, but I wanted somebody who I knew was going to be there and flexible. So, this took me about three months.

We started posting job ads in different places. If you’re in Canada, you’re familiar with the federal Job Bank, the provincial job banks. I posted them on local bulletin boards, and I was just getting nothing. I was on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, and then, finally, I posted the exact same ad on a different community services board, and I got seven great applicants. And what I learned from that is that a job ad—where you’re hiring—is a lot like a Facebook ad. A little change makes a massive difference. Putting it in front of a different audience is huge. Tweaking the copy is huge. Don’t give up just because the first time you try an ad it doesn’t give you who you want. So, this ad finally worked, and within two weeks, I got seven really great applicants.

I knew that I only needed one, and maybe I would kind of keep one on a back burner. But I hired the first one that I interviewed; he’s amazing. And then I sent the other resumes to the other Two-Brain gym in town, which is two blocks from me, and said, “Hey, here they are.” So, I contacted the applicants first and said, “Hey, I’m full. Thank you for applying. Your resume looks great. Do you mind if I pass it on to another local gym owner who’s a friend of mine?” And I did that, and that helped plug his gaps too, which was a great win. And the lesson there is: Always be hiring; you need to set up a staff pipeline, just like a client pipeline.

So, my lowest point in this whole process—and this was months long; it was a great lesson. I was hauling garbage—old shoes and cardboard boxes and lost and found crap—out of my sales office, and I was in a very bad mood while I was doing it. I was sweaty, filthy; I did not want to be there, and a coach stopped by. You know, he opened up the door of the office, he came in, he said hello, and he just like set his smelly shoes down on the shelf behind the desk that I had just cleaned. He did it right in front of me, and it hit me that giving people the rules in the playbook wasn’t enough—that I had to communicate the rules to them and share why we were bringing everything up to the 10 out of 10 level again, and I needed to repeat it and repeat it, and repeat it. And so, what I started doing was going through the staff handbook and recording a two-minute video on a different part every day, and so I would email every staff a copy of that video every day with the staff handbook attached, and I would post a video in our private coaches’ Facebook group every single day.

Day one: Here’s how you open a gym. Here’s where the checklist is. Here I am walking in the door. Here’s the light switch. Okay. Why we turn on all the lights when we do. Here is where you turn on the radio. Here’s where the volume level should be set. Here’s where you put the volume to when the met-con is going. Here’s the station that you use. Here’s how you enter a sale. Here’s how you close the batch. Here’s what to do if the cleaner doesn’t show up. And this went on for weeks. I would record five or six at a time and then schedule them to post through email and into our coaches’ Facebook group.

Then I turned to retention. So, my big move in retention was to simplify things. I didn’t want any confusing layers of heart-rate monitoring and, you know. So, I put Level Method on hold for a while, while we just re-sorted the groups and got them fun again. I started to referring to our group classes as CrossFit again. We went to NCFIT programming. We basically stopped making these quick moves that were shaking clients off because they didn’t know what the heck we were doing. We started following “Bright Spots Friday,” something that’s been core to Catalyst for 18 years, and there’s more. But I didn’t want to plan out a long client journey until I had some new clients in the pipeline, and so I used the Two-Brain On-Ramp builder, and I rebuilt our On-Ramp to be simpler, and then I taught it to my coaches.

I took them through the On-Ramp, so they could deliver it without me. Then I turned to sales, the next level of the pyramid. I rebuilt our packages to be simpler: semi-private, private, and group. That’s it. I simplified our sales binder from the Two-Brain template. I put our head coach into mentorship, so she would get some lead nurture training and some sales training. And now I knew that if somebody came in, we could sign them up, and I could count on that without being the one to do all the NSIs myself. Then I turned to marketing, the next level of the pyramid, and I asked myself not “What’s the newest thing for marketing?” but “What has worked for me in the past?”

For me, it’s always been blog posts and emails. I started my gym on a newsletter. I had a bunch of emails, and I’d email them every Friday. Then I turned to a blog. Then people would find me through Google search. Then I started emailing my blog to my list every day, and I built that list and built that list and built that list. So, I went back to that—blogs and emails. I left our ads turned off, and I started writing to my list more. I cut off most of my automations, except the ones that I knew were like the bare bones, and I got to be honest: I’ve been blogging on that gym site for 19 years, and so even when I had all of our marketing shut off, we were still getting people booking like one or two NSIs a week just because of that legacy of content. So, after the marketing, I turned to ads—the top of the pyramid—and with the help of a Two-Brain mentor, I got our ads back up and running, and that started the leads flowing at a faster rate. But again, I didn’t do that until every step of the funnel was fixed, and the pyramid was solid with a good bedrock, a good product, a good intake process, good retention, and now good marketing.

Look, it’s going to be a 20-mile march. The beautiful thing is that time wasn’t on our side, and now it is. If we just keep doing the things that we’re doing, Catalyst will continue to grow again. The 20-mile march is basically like we don’t just shoot for $80,000 or $72,000; we don’t try to get right back there again. What we do is we take it month by month. We try to grow by a couple of thousand dollars every single month. We just keep doing the things that we know work. We avoid the distraction of stuff that could distract us, the superfluous stuff. We focus on better, not more or fewer, but better. And that’s what it’s going to take to get back.

I’m committed. I know that I can’t work even five hours a week in my gym because of Two-Brain. I love Two-Brain so much, and I love helping your gyms, and that is a full-time job. We have over 70 staff worldwide, 950 gyms in the program, massive alumni; Gym Owners United has 8,000 gyms in it. That is my passion, and that’s where I want to focus. But I love my gym, and I love that while Catalyst was the subject of my first book and the source of all those mistakes that I made in the first book, 10 years later, Two-Brain Business has evolved, so it’s not about my gym anymore, and it saved my gym instead.

I’m Chris Cooper. I hope this podcast has been helpful to you and not just this big rambling monologue. If you’re in Two-Brain and you want to ask questions, we’ll do an open office hour, so that we can talk through this again. If you’re not in Two-Brain, go to That’s our free group. We try to be as specific and helpful as we possibly can in there. We’re constantly doing webinars, giving you free action guides that you can take with no commitment, and connecting you with other gym owners who can help you. Thanks for listening to “Run a Profitable Gym.” I’m Chris Cooper. Get time on your side, and we’ll see you as you grow.

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One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.