Individual Design at Catalyst

Most readers of this blog will know that I own Catalyst Fitness (CrossFit Catalyst) and have since 2005.
We started as a Personal Training studio before we found CrossFit. And before opening Catalyst, I was doing 1:1 training as my full-time career since 2002 (and part-time since 1996.)
That’s a lot of 1:1 time.
The way I sell Personal Training (PT) sessions has changed over time. At first, I simply billed clients at the end of the month. I was doing some in-home PT, and collecting was a nightmare (yeah, I can SEE YOU IN THERE!)
Then I relied on the owner of our local PT studio to collect for me. That worked most of the time, but when it didn’t, I was out the money.
When I opened Catalyst, I started selling packages–10 visits and 20 visits. And now I’m moving on to a subscription model, which we call our ID program.
You can see the client-facing landing page here:
There are two ways to sell a subscription-based PT model. The first is to simply charge a recurring rate every month, like $199 for four 30-minute sessions per month. That’s what we do.
The second way is to sell 150 sessions at a large discount, and then finance the purchase for your client. For example, let’s say I charge $80 per hour, but a client can get a 25% discount for purchasing 100 sessions upfront. Then I offer to finance the purchase for them at 15% interest, and they pay monthly. I could actually make back a lot of the discount on the compounding interest. And the client is committed to 100 sessions in advance–or else your collections agency will get them. Boom, retention!
If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a day, you’ll know the second paragraph is NOT what I recommend. But it’s done every day at the globo gym down the street, and clients don’t complain.
Here’s the ID Program at Catalyst, broken down into its finer details:
Nuts and bolts
$199/mo – 4 x 30min sessions, and access to Open Gym (excluding group times.)
We use the Trainerize app for ID. Better 1:1 communication with the client, and it syncs with MyFitnessPal in case they choose the nutrition accountability option (which brings the price to $269).
Clients get homework after each session, visit the gym to do the homework, and track their results through Trainerize.
Every third month, one of their sessions is used for an Inbody scan and goal review.
Who It’s For
Busy professionals
People who like our workouts but don’t want to do them in a group
People overcoming a weak link (could be an injury, or just trying to catch up on a skill)
Clients who are burned out on our group programming (it happens.)
How We Sell It
At intake, after an Inbody scan: “Would you prefer to do these workouts in a group, or 1:1?”
At Goal Review, when a client says they’re not getting results quickly enough
During a Reboot period, when a client is trying to get back to group training as quickly as possible

“Do I need a special certification to do Individual Design, or call my program ID?”

No way. If you have any certification–it doesn’t even have to be a CrossFit L1–you’re probably covered. And while CrossFit is a trademarked name, “ID” and “Individual Design” are not. Personal Trainers have been using the term (and delivering the service) since before I was born.

“What kind of workouts do your clients do in ID?”

They do CrossFit. But they don’t call it that. Their needs differ by degree, not kind, and so we program workouts that are clearly CrossFit in nature.

“Do clients get 24/7 access to the gym?”

We’re lucky enough to have a private ID space, so we can give access when the main gym space is busy with class times. But before we had the space, we just gave clients Open Gym access between class times.

“Is this like ‘remote programming’?”

Very much so. In fact, many of our clients do their homework at local 24/7 gyms instead of in our space. They only come to Catalyst for their appointments. And that’s fine. Most of the 24/7 globogyms have all the equipment these folks need now anyway.

“Who’s your target audience?”

It’s NOT CrossFit competitors or people looking for “what comes after CrossFit”. It’s business people–many are entrepreneurs–who need the combination of a flexible schedule and quick, efficient workouts.

“How do you sell the higher-rate item?”

Through a consultative process, just like we sell everything else.
I like the subscription model better than packages. Since my province enacted its “gift card law” a few years ago, any unused sessions in a package have to remain on my books forever. In other words, packages never expire. But with a personal training “membership”, they do.
Second, cancellation rates for ID clients are better than cancellation rates for package clients. This is the first time I’ve ever had this data (and I’ve never seen it anywhere else.) My guess is because a client will probably lose the session if they don’t make it in ID, where they can just postpone indefinitely with a package.
That means ID is probably better for clients, because it encourages better adherence.
I also really like the amount of texting that occurs between coach and client THROUGH the Trainerize app. I don’t like a lot of personal emails/texts/calls between coach and client, because I think their relationship should pass through the Catalyst filter. And with Trainerize, it does (seriously, check it out.)
We still do a lot of 1:1 attention at Catalyst. It’s just under 30% of our gross revenue each year.
CrossFit is our exercise model, but TwoBrain is our business model. That means better opportunities for the business, the coaches–and the clients.


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.