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This podcast is about ideas.

Every week, I try to introduce a guest whose ideas aren’t exactly the same as your own. Sometimes they’re VERY different; sometimes they iterate an old idea differently. Sometimes I agree with the idea, and sometimes I don’t. That doesn’t matter: the ideas provide context.

Too often, we all get caught in the “get 10 more clients!” mindset instead of looking at the bigger picture. We think more about spearing fish on our little reef than rising above the surface to check the tide, position of the sun, and look for storm fronts.

Luckily, I get to talk to hundreds of gym owners every week  – a few dozen in person, a few hundred online, and thousands through blog posts and this podcast. There’s some amazing stuff happening in gyms, through gyms and around gyms. There are ideas out there that are strange now, but could become the norm within three years.

I focus on Seven Areas of Excellence in a coaching business or gym. In this episode, I’ll give you at least one big idea for each of those Areas. I’ll provide clickable links to samples for many below. And the new “Two-Brain To-Do List” is my monthly mailer full of actionable items that will improve a few of those Seven Areas immediately.

Here are the Big Ideas:

1. Exercise until you’re happy. Using exercise as a mood control. Focusing your programming, intake, coaching and marketing around “HAPPY” instead of “fitness” could make a huge difference in your retention. “Happy” isn’t objectively-measurable, but it’s obvious to everyone. I post about it in our gym a lot. Here’s “The Happy Gym,” and here’s “The Good Game.” The post, “Are You Happy Now?” was the kickoff to our “Fit It Forward” campaign. I also mention this video on motivation in the podcast:



2. Opportunities, and the Pumpkin Plan. Read Mike Michalowicz’ book, “The Pumpkin Plan.” Take your “top clients” out for coffee, and ask them these three questions: a) What do you like best about my gym? 2) What should my priorities be in 2016? 3) What’s your biggest struggle in life outside the gym? 3. Nutrition planning. Listen to the Brian Mulvaney interview to get a sense how important Nutrition is. Plenty of nutrition services are out there. You can bolt one onto your practice immediately. Here are some options: Jason Ackerman’s Nutrition program was discussed in TwoBrain Radio Episode #2. 4. Tutoring. Here’s how we do it at IgniteGym.   IMG_0835 5.  Continuing Education. The point of is to provide meaningful continuing education without travel or educational overload. It’s the “Drip” method of teaching movement and fitness. You can read more here. I mention the article “A Coach’s Toolkit: The Thesaurus” in this section. 6. Calculating the value of your time. Take the gross revenue you make from classes each month. Divide by the number of clients you have to determine your average class revenue per client. From there, calculate how often the average client attends class (Average Visits.) Divide the former by the latter to figure out how much each client pays to attend the average class. From there, it’s really easy to do the math: if the average client is paying $5 per visit, and you only have two people in your 7am class…your time is worth $10 per hour. Start with where you are, replace yourself in every role that costs less than your average time value, and move up from there. I call this “Moving to Higher-Value Roles,” and I drill it hard with mentoring clients. Here’s the link to RunYourGym’s “Couch to CrossFit” automation. And here’s the link to “The 10-Hour CEO” on 7. Programming. There are a ton of options for external programming, including various niches. Deacon Andrews of can give you the programming to bring new clients in extreme sports to your gym. There are plenty of options in the Programming Marketplace on, and many others to come in 2016. This is a HUGE time suck for many people, and it’s easily leveraged by having someone else do it. If you LOVE programming–especially for a niche–you can provide your programming to others. That’s the point of the programming marketplace: it’s a platform for high-level professionals to sell their programming online. 8. Biofeedback. Several websites are now offering remote training for high-level athletes. Looking outside the CrossFit world, the best example might be, which is owned by Chris Carmichael (Lance Armstrong’s coach.) Though it’s hard to measure wattage output even on a closed-chain movement like cycling, imagine the potential if we based our workouts on peak wattage over time. It’s coming: the technology is in development now, and you’ll hear an interview with the inventors on TwoBrainRadio in 2016. IMG_0973-e1451913785697-blackwhite We’re playing with wattage variability instead of Heart Rate Variability at Catalyst right now. 9. The intake process. It might look differently than in 2012. The “Free Trial Group” (or worse, the “Free Two Weeks”) doesn’t actually make people want to do CrossFit. It just lets them sample–like you did at the dessert table over the holidays. You ate it because it was there. But you didn’t commit to daily pastry intake. You didn’t think about which desserts you’d choose before you got there. Enough of that analogy: read “Help First” to figure out how to get people to your gym in the first place, and what to say when they’re inside. 10. Metrics. The “Seven Areas of Excellence” are coming, and I’ll give you a way to measure each. I also give you a way to improve at least three of them each month in my “Two-Brain To-Do List” every month. You can sign up below – it’s totally free.

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Recorded January 3, 2016.