The Secrets to Success With Online Coaching: Josh Martin

Josh Martin-BLOG

Andrew (00:02):

Welcome back to another episode of Two-Brain Radio with Chris Cooper. The fitness world has moved online and in this episode Chris talks with Josh Martin, gym owner and co-founder of Two-Brain Coaching. What does it take to be a successful online coach? Find out after this. Two-Brain’s COVID-19 page is updated regularly with essential resources gym owners need right now. Visit and click COVID-19 at the top. And now here’s Chris Cooper.

Chris (00:28):

The bad news is your gym has been closed. The great news is that you don’t own a gym anyway. You own a coaching business. The reason that Two-Brain gyms have had a successful, I mean 96% revenue retention rate after the doors closed is because these gym owners understood that they owned a coaching business and while their biggest tool might’ve been taken away, their entire livelihood wasn’t. With me today is Josh Martin, my cofounder in Two-Brain Coaching and a great friend. Josh, welcome to the show again.

Josh (01:04):

Thank you. Glad to be here.

Chris (01:06):

So Josh, you know people made this pivot. They’re really thrilled. Now there’s a little bit of relief. Thank goodness. You know? And what they’re finding is that they’re spending more one on one time with their clients than they ever have before. And after this, you know, spending all this one on one time and customizing workouts and stuff, a lot of them are getting frustrated and it’s becoming clear that correcting movement faults isn’t the key to successful coaching online. I don’t think it ever was.

Josh (01:41):

Yeah. You know, I didn’t think about this until you just said it, but we actually published a series on movement faults on the Two-Brain Coaching blog a couple of months ago. And I kind of walked people through an exercise that they could do, owners or coaches that they could do at their own gym. You know, Hey, imagine Joe shows up and he’s going through class and, you know, he’s having trouble with whatever the workout or movement is. You know, what are some things that you could, you know, tell Joe to improve his experience within your gym? And that was deliberately leading them down this path. And I said, email me your answers, post them on our Facebook group or comment on our blog. And I actually had quite a few coaches that messaged me, you know, and it was, you know, well I got to make sure that his mobility is good and get him stretched and maybe he wasn’t warm enough and you know, feet flat and knees out and all this stuff.

Josh (02:41):

And I said, OK, great. The next blog was like, now you have to do 10 different things to improve your client’s experience and they cannot be movement related at all. And then it was like, let me check in and see how Joe’s family is doing, smile at him and all of these things that, you know, we talk about. And then the final blog was, you know, the kind of the hard-hitting point I wanted to drive home is that if you’re constantly pointing out the faults that your clients have when they’re in your gym, they’re going to leave eventually. And so it was just rather, you know, serendipitous that this blog came out a couple of months before we had this coronavirus crisis on our hands. Because I think at that time we realized very clearly that we really need to push the piece of, it’s not just movement that your clients need and that’s just one tool in your tool belt as a coach.

Chris (03:48):

  1. So you know, a lot of people are going to be saying, what are you talking about? Like we coach movement. So why don’t we start by having you describe like what is principles-based coaching first Josh?

Josh (04:00):

Yeah, so there’s a foundational article that we put out on Two-Brain Coaching where we talk about the difference between methods and principles. So methods is a way or a style of coaching where you are looking, you are zoomed in on what is available, you know, based around a methodology that you are using to get a client results. CrossFit is a methodology. Glassman actually says that in, you know, a lot of the old-school CrossFit Journal articles. That’s a methodology based upon yada, yada, yada. The conjugate method, it’s right there in the name. It’s a methodology, you know, so these are all you know, ways that you can train somebody to get them to their goals.

Josh (04:55):

Principles, on the other hand, zooms way out and you ask the client this one question, what do you want? And essentially what we’re trying to get down to is like what is the goal that you have? Why are you coming to me? How can I help you? And then from a principles perspective, what we look at is how are you sleeping? How are you eating, how are you moving? How are you managing your stress? And it doesn’t matter at that point if I can see them move all the time, it doesn’t matter if I can cue them on keeping their chest tall. It doesn’t even matter what equipment they have or don’t have. Because what we’re all finding out now is that if all you have to rely on is thrusters and pull-ups for your clients’ programming and they don’t have a barbell or somewhere to do pull-ups, how are they going to do those? But if it’s I know that I need my client to move for, you know, a relatively high intensity for eight minutes today, great. I can do that when I look at a principle approach versus a specific methodology.

Chris (06:02):

  1. So let’s say that, you know, as a coach, your entire toolkit has changed now, right? The principles stay the same. A client is coming to you and saying, I need to lose 20 pounds or I need to sleep better, or I need to avoid the carb cupboard in my kitchen. The only thing different now is that they’re doing it through a screen and that you can’t put their hands on a barbell or show them where the chalk bowl is. So how do you handle that conversation and is it different from what you do in person?

Josh (06:38):

Yeah. I think that the big thing that we’ve discovered is that you need to stay in constant communication with your clients as much as possible. And I’ve certainly been guilty of this, you know, for a while where I want to make it for me as a coach as easy as it can be to get my information to my clients for what I want them to do. And so I’m going to use email, I’m gonna use text message, I’m going to use a video message or I’m going to use an app, you know, leverage technology to get a lot of information out to a lot of people at once. That makes it easy on me as a coach. But really what we need to be thinking about is what is the best solution for our clients. And so if you remove the constraints that this virus has put on us right now, and you put yourself back into your gym and you’re coaching your group of eight or 10 athletes, you’re not just giving blanket statements and hoping that, you know, people figure it out on their own.

Josh (07:45):

I’m going to Chris and I’m coaching Chris individually, you know, Hey Chris, based upon the goals that you told me, this is what I think you need to do for this workout so that we continue to take steps forward and then I’m going to go to Sally and I’m going to individualize it and customize that workout for Sally. And I’m going to do the same for every single client. And that’s truly what the expectation of a client still is today is that I’m still going to get that one on one from my coach that I was getting before. If you just try to replace it with technology or do things that is going to make it easy just on the coach, the value goes down for the client. And so I think you know, to answer your question in kind of a roundabout way, Chris, the only thing that changes is instead of being able to do that in person, I need to leverage what I have in front of me, but still keep that personal one-on-one connection with my clients. And it’s gotta be a two-way street. It can’t just be one way, like email or text or the app.

Chris (08:56):

  1. So, you know, for a lot of gyms, they are customizing workouts for the individual client for the first time ever. Many, many, many gyms. They put the workout up on a whiteboard or a TV screen. They demonstrate the movements and then they circle and circle and look for movement faults, right? And they promote intensity. So that means that most of them are not taking the time to say to each individual client, here’s how this is going to benefit you on your quest for fat loss. Here’s how this is going to help you gain the muscle that you’re trying to gain. But for the first time ever, they’re having to do that. So how do you think they’re doing overall? Like what have you seen so far?

Josh (09:37):

You know, this is tough because you’ve known me long enough to know that I am an eternal optimist and I still am super positive all the time. But honestly I think that we have identified a big blind spot in the arsenal of a coach these days, they’re struggling, like let’s just be completely honest. They’re struggling right now and I get it, you know, just because you are an insanely good in coach person does not necessarily mean that you’re going to translate to being a great online coach. It is a different skillset. But the other really abundantly clear thing that we see now is that coaches were very good about explaining the workout the way that they would probably want the workout explained to them, right? I want to know the stimulus of this workout. Do I need to go unbroken?

Josh (10:43):

Are my legs going to be on fire? Should I be breathing like I’m running a 5 k? Like these are all ways that like we would say veteran CrossFitters or veteran fitness enthusiasts would approach a workout. But not one client in my almost 10 years of owning my gym and over 20 years of coaching, people have said, OK, in our initial conversation that, Hey, I want you to keep me accountable for how I should approach this workout. Do I need to go unbroken? Tell me if my leg should be burning. Clients came in and said, I want to lose some weight. I want to fit into this dress before my son or my daughter’s wedding. Or I’m tired of getting out of bed with all of the bones in my body hurting and it takes me 35 minutes to warm up before I can tie my shoes. And so the stimulus of the workout, now we get this as coaches, right? That if you can just attack the workout in the way I’m telling you, it will get you to where you want to go. But if you never explain it all the way and tie it into truly important to them, then they’re eventually going to be questioning like, why am I doing this? Is it getting me closer to my goal?

Chris (12:05):

That makes a lot of sense. And there’s two things that spring to mind when you say that, Josh. The first is that we got to sell the benefit of what we’re doing every single day. But even in saying that, do you think that coaches are going to come back to their brick and mortar locations better after getting some reps at customizing their workouts for the clients one on one online?

Josh (12:28):

Oh man. Yeah. I definitely do think they will if they’re really taking the time, and this is something that we really dove into in he second degree course that I call explaining the why, but if they’re really taking the time to learn these just basic principles, right. It goes back to what you said earlier, methods versus principles. You know, if they can capture that, understanding why a client is showing up every day what they want to get and then how the workout that you are giving them on that day gets them one step closer. And they do that when they can, when they get back into the gym, hopefully what people are saying return to normal. I think that their coaching is going to go through the roof, but if they’re beating their heads against a wall right now because my client has fallen into a pattern of laziness. They don’t want to work out at home. You know, and it’s just all I have is to hope that we get back to normal really soon cause I want to coach movement, then we’re going to be right back to where we were.

Chris (13:42):

  1. And you know, Josh and I are using the example of coaching movement a lot. Both of us own CrossFit gyms and are CrossFit fans and like that’s our methodology. But I don’t want anybody to think that we’re ripping on the CrossFit methodology. Whenever you go to any weekend certification for any methodology, it can be pilates, it could be barre, it could be, what was the old hydraulic weights, you know, any certification for methodology is going to teach you their method. They’re not going to focus on principles because they need to give you something actionable that you can take away and act on Monday. So, yeah. While methods are great, I think like most coaches could stand to diversify their toolkit, but today we’re really just talking about like online delivery and value. So Josh, in the last interview that we did with Brad Overstreet, I think a lot of people were shocked to find out that he didn’t know what the client’s workout was going to be until he spoke to them that morning. So as a coach, how do you approach that knowing that, OK, I don’t know what I’m going to give this person for a workout. How do you plan for that?

Josh (14:55):

Yeah. You know, it’s funny when I heard him say that, I was like, yeah, I pretty much take an almost similar approach to the clients that I work with one-on-one. I’ve got a framework for what my plan is that day, but I don’t really fill in the details until I talk to that client and have some first interactions. You know, if on the way to the, let’s say that we’re still on our physical location, or even if you’re not, I guess this is relevant. Even if you’re not, let’s say that on their way to train, you know, they get into a really bad traffic jam and their stress levels are through the roof or they just had a fight with their spouse on the way to go train or they got some bad news or even some good news from their boss that day.

Josh (15:48):

That is all going to affect how the training is going to be carried out that day. So what I tell people is that these little small interactions that you have with your client, they should really inform and influence the session that you’re going to give them that day. You know, if you have a super high intensity, you know, workout plan for them and the client shows up and they had a fight with their spouse or their kids were dragging their feet to get out the door on the way to school and so their stress levels are high, maybe you change it up completely and all of a sudden they’re just doing 30 minutes of continuous low intensity movement where you’re having a conversation to make sure that their heart rate stays low and you don’t exacerbate the stress that they have.

Chris (16:40):

  1. So I mean, I think for people who’ve done personal training in the past, that makes sense. Maybe it’s not exactly what they were doing, but they could see how that would work. And I know at my gym when we moved to online workout customization, the people who had been personal trainers, especially the guy who’s been a personal trainer with me for 22 years. He said, Oh, got it. And he was fine. And he’s got a hundred percent retention. The class coaches who are brought up through the CrossFit L1 and now they just coach classes, they don’t do very much personal training. They’re struggling. This is not what they want to do. They’re not having any fun. This isn’t what they signed up for. So if we go back to the bricks and mortar example here, Josh, and now you’re running classes again, you know, how do you have those individual conversations with each client to determine like, wait, maybe they shouldn’t go full out today.

Josh (17:36):

Yeah. So you know, if you think about the development of a coach, especially like a beginning coach, but this works for veteran coaches too. And in your head, if you imagine a pyramid or a triangle that’s got three layers on it, so the base layer, the middle, and then the top layer. Historically, the way that we have trained and develop our coaches starts with what I call the biological side of coaching. So that’s where we’re looking at movement. We’re looking at anatomy and physiology, nutrition, how can I be more efficient programming, technique, things like that. Those are all the biological side of coaching. And then the other two layers, and they can kind of come in any order at this point. But it’s the psychology of coaching. You know, what happens, you know, in a client’s head, what are ways that I can get people motivated.

Josh (18:34):

And then the social side is what we would consider the soft skills. How should I greet somebody when they walk in the door? So that’s how people have for—we did it this way too, is that’s what we would focus on first biological side, the psychological and then the social, right. But the way that we teach it, and this is all the way back to the first degree courses, the base of that triangle, that pyramid is the social side of coaching. And that’s where you gather this information that informs the decisions that you make for your clients. So when they walk in the door, if you normally see, you know, Sally who is full of smiles and her chest is tall, shoulders are back, you know, she’s just exudes positivity to the extreme. And then on a Monday she shows up and her shoulders are forward. She’s looking down at the floor. Like that’s your cue that something is wrong, you know? And the more that you invest in in these relationships and pay attention, the more attuned your senses become and then that helps you make these decisions when it comes time to customize that general workout for your client that day. So kinda to recap, if you focus on the social side of coaching more than anything, man, your delivery is just going to go through the roof.

Chris (19:57):

I would say also your retention. I mean looking back on my career since 1996, the clients who are still at my gym after 15 years, I think there’s one guy, his initials are KK, he’s been with me since 2003. All of them had a personal connection. Either they were a personal training client for the first five years or you know, something similar. The group client retention is, you know, a fraction of that. And now that we’re starting to get a meaningful dataset from a broad spectrum of gyms through the Two-Brain, now what we’re seeing is that length of engagement in a lot of these gyms is a lot lower than we thought. We were estimating around 12, 13 months. It’s really about seven and a half months. And so if you think about, you know, what it costs to acquire a client, what it takes to onboard a client, losing a client or having a client turnover after about seven months as a mean average, it’s pretty scary, right? You can’t make a lot of effect. So Josh, you know, what should coaches be focused on right now? They’re stuck at home. This is a great opportunity for them to develop as coaches. What can they be doing to get better?

Josh (21:11):

So before I answer that, I do want to highlight you cause you just breezed over it. I wanted to make sure that this gets like brought to the forefront. It’s like, and I think this is going to be hard for some coaches or even owners to hear, but a coach’s job is retention. At the end of the day, your measure as a coach is I think, how well do you do at retaining clients? Now if you go half a step back, you could say, well, you know, really your job is to get the client results. Yes. But if they do get those results, guess what ultimately happens? They stay, you know, they’re not going to stay if they’re not getting what they’re after. So if you just keep your clients, guess what, that’s what your job is. So I wanted to make sure that I kind of drilled that in there cause I think it’s hugely important.

Chris (22:03):

Yeah, absolutely. And you know, we teach that your gym should have a supplementary retention role. This is somebody that’s really paying attention to attendance and stuff. But the truth is that your coaches are in charge of the your product, that’s half of your business. And if they’re not delivering it in an excellent way, then you’ll lose customers in the way that you track that excellence is retention and you know, so who controls that? It’s really up to the coach. So back to the question Josh, like I’m stuck at home now. I’m going to be home for two months. I’m a coach. What should I be doing to get better at coaching?

Josh (22:41):

The first thing that I would would do is toss out any preconceived notions that you have about ways to get your client more motivated to exercise. I think that you could do a far better job in servicing your clients by looking at different ways that you can help. And here’s what you need to ask them next time you need to get on the phone with your client named Chris. You call him up, Hey Chris, how are you doing? Have some back and forth and then say, how can I help you today? And then let that be your guide. Because Chris may say, you know what, I got my bike ready to go. The weather is perfect. I’m you know, give me a ride or give me something to go and do. Great. Then you can program that for him. Or it might just be, you know what, I am struggling to get off the couch.

Josh (23:40):

It is, you know, four degrees outside. I want nothing to do with exercise. And this is the challenge that I’m seeing with a lot of coaches. If the client doesn’t want to exercise, you can still make a monumental impact in getting them closer to their goals without any exercise whatsoever. It might just be, OK, Chris, here’s what I want you to focus on for the rest of the day. I know you weigh 180 pounds, so I want you to make sure that you’re getting in about 90 ounces of water throughout the rest of the day. Can you do that? And that is going to make a huge difference for that client. So ask that question. How can I help you today?

Chris (24:26):

All right, so, thanks for using Chris as an example, Josh. But I mean that does open up—I love to share something that I got from my cycling coach this morning. So two weeks ago, my cycling coach said, Hey, Chris, I noticed you’re working out every single day. You’re only supposed to train about four days a week because you’re prone to over-training. What are you doing? And I said, honestly, Josh, like I’m using physical stress to alleviate mental stress. So I’m on the bike too often and I know I’m over-training, but the bottom line here is like, you know, I got to stay focused and sharp and alert. And he said, well, what can I do for you most right now? And I said, honestly, man, I need some kind of meditative practice and I need to stretch. And he said, I got you.

Chris (25:11):

So now every single day he sends me a text first thing in the morning and last thing at night and says, do this simple thing. I’m about to read it to you. And then did you do that simple thing? Now this is somebody that charges $300 a month for in depth cycling analysis and programming. He’s spending about two to three minutes per day with me, but I’m getting more value out of this coaching than probably any physical coach that I’ve ever had. So this was my homework from my cycling coach this morning, Chris, take your morning minute. And that’s a meditative process that I’m slowly building. After your morning minute, write down three things you can do today to make yourself proud or that will improve your life. Push yourself on at least one of these things. And don’t forget to take your evening minute, have a great Friday. That’s it.

Chris (26:05):

But for what I’m training for right now, which is be a better CEO and a leader, that’s the coaching that I need. The other example that I shared with you guys yesterday was the Todd Herman example. You know, here’s an $80,000 a year business mentor and what he’s doing is just keeping his phone lines open all day so that CEOs can call him and yell and swear and cry. And, luckily I’m not in that boat, but it’s two examples of amazing coaches and leaders who know that instead of being teachers and experts right now, they need to ask the client, what do you need? So Josh, I got kind of a curveball question and I’ve always wanted to ask you, and it just hit me at the start of this interview. Like maybe this is a good time to do it. Do you think a coach is better off going as deep as they can in one method or to get a little sampling of a whole bunch of different methods? What’s better for their development?

Josh (27:03):

I would ask, are they a brand new coach or do they have some years of experience under their belt?

Chris (27:10):

I’d say, you know, let’s say you’re a new coach. You’re only two years in, brand new.

Josh (27:15):

You know, I retract that follow-up question. My answer is the same either way. I think that the best way to get better as a coach is to expand your breadth of knowledge versus your depth of knowledge. And this is the reason why I don’t think that it matters if you’re a new coach or a veteran coach. You’re going to see connections between things. You know, if you step outside of, you know, we’ve used CrossFit as an example. You know, if I step outside of CrossFit and I go and all of a sudden learn some things from pilates, so I’m broadening the breadth of my education, not just the depth of my education, I can start to make connections between, you know, movements that we see pilates instructors, you know, taking clients through versus things that I’m seeing in my CrossFit gym.

Josh (28:13):

And so all of a sudden I can become much more effective at getting my client results, you know, using a different methodology. So I’m working much more on principles then on that specific method. There’s nothing wrong with increasing your depth of knowledge. If you find, like this a great example, even in my own gym, we’ve had coaches that absolutely fall in love with Olympic weight lifting. And they really dive in and get into the weeds of that. And I think that’s great. You can become a specialist. But really right now I think the best thing that probably any coach out there can do is step outside their box, no pun intended, and broaden their knowledge set versus deepening it in one little area.

Chris (29:02):

Why do you think coaches are reluctant to do that in general?

Josh (29:06):

Because you suddenly realize how much you don’t know. I think I was about 10 years into my journey as a coach, and you know, I remember thinking, man, I have read and coached so many hours and studied so much. And then it was like a light bulb went off. I actually did the math. This was one year before the Two-Brain summit. I did the math of all the stuff that I’ve read and figured out that it could probably fill like a small library’s worth of, you know, books and stuff like that. And then I looked up how libraries are actually in just the United States and there’s something like 180,000 libraries and you suddenly realize how much you don’t know. And it made me realize that you always, I always want to have a beginner’s mindset.

Chris (29:59):

OK, that makes sense. Do you think that the coaches or experts, you know, the deeper they get into their method, do they become more fearful of looking like a beginner?

Josh (30:14):

Yeah, I definitely think that it can. Oh man, I was watching an interview with one of your buddies, that’s who it was, Dave Tate. I was watching a podcast interview that he was doing with somebody and they asked him a very similar question. Like, you know, when you’ve been doing coaching this one thing for so long, you know, does it make sense for you to step outside and go lateral and learn something different? And he, you know, he explained it way better than I’m sure that I could, but he said, you know, it’s a double-edged sword. You know, if you want to be the best powerlifting coach in the world, you’re probably better off spending the vast majority of your time diving into as much powerlifting stuff as you can. But the argument can be made that you could have a massive blind spot that you can’t see because your head is so down and focused on one thing that if you just looked up and to your right may be the thing that you’ve been missing all this time that can really take your people to the next level.

Chris (31:25):

That’s really interesting man. And you know, that actually really sticks with me because years ago, 25 years ago, I was a cyclist. I went through, you know, five six years of powerlifting, 10 years of CrossFit and then came back to the bike and the powerlifting and the CrossFit did not improve my endurance, but both taught me how to push and I can be way more intense now. You know, from a physiological standpoint, I can maintain a heart rate of like 185 for six or seven minutes. But more than that, mentally I know like exactly how far I can go into the red. And I could never do that on a bike before. So I think like that’s where the primary benefit is. And I think a lot more coaches should be exposing themselves. Especially right now, if you go take a swimming lesson, nobody’s going to see you. You know, if you buy a Peloton bike, nobody will know. I think that there’s a lot that could be learned just by exposing yourself to a lot of variety right now. So with that in mind, Josh, what are some things that you know, a coach stuck at home should be doing right now? What should they be exposing themselves to that add another facet to their coaching later?

Josh (32:41):

Oh man. UI think that you and I are self-described bookworms and we’ve got nothing but time on our hands right now. So there’s a couple of good books that I might pick up. And this is more just about the social interactions with people than it is, you know, learning how to coach movement better or look at technique. A hugely tried and true favorite is “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” There’s two great books by, oh shoot, is it Daniel Pink? “Drive”? And then “To Sell Is Human.” And I know that that sounds like a sales book, but it’s really more about understanding the philosophy, like we have it Two-Brain of helping first, you know, and understanding that the best thing that you can do for your clients is to help them. And it might be that you can’t help them with movement right now. Beyond that, oh man, I don’t know, I would honestly, I would start there because I think that there is so much great information that can be mined from that that will teach you how to ask better questions of your clients to really understand deep down what it is that they need to get better.

Chris (34:13):

  1. I’ll add a few. I think that if you’ve always been scared to take a yoga class, this is a perfect time to start a yoga practice, a meditation. Also, I think that if you’re scared about competing with technology or you’ve never tried something like Aaptive or Mirror or Zwift, this is an amazing time to do that. I think that if your training has always been leaning towards strength training, this is a great time to train for your first 5k. I mean, there’s nobody out on the road. Nobody’s watching. Nobody’s going to see you screw up. Nobody’s going to stop their car and watch you throw up on the sidewalk because there’s no cars out there. Right. I think that the silver lining to all this is that you have more privacy maybe than you’ve ever had and maybe more leeway to try new things.

Chris (35:00):

The other thing too is that I think that long term you are going to have to diversify your skillset in calisthenics, in running, you know, outdoor activities and basic implements only because that’s what your clients have available. So if you’re used to programming a barbell every day and the only calisthenic movement that you use to programming are lunges and burpees, you’re going to run out of programming pretty quickly, you know? So look at Men’s Health, look at Shape magazine, pick exercises out of there, see if they work and see how they fit into your programming. You don’t have to tell anybody.

Josh (35:38):

I’ll tell you a funny story about that Chris actually trying different movements out. I was working out in my garage, I think this was the first week that we were like in the lockdown quarantine mode and I didn’t have access to a barbell. I think, you know, we had some plates at the house, you know, maybe like tens and 25 and 45s but you know, my coach wanted me to get some squatting in and he programmed lateral squats or excuse me, lateral lunges in place, right? So you step out to the side and you come back to center. Then you do the same thing that the other side, so a lateral lunge. And I was like, great, like how much weight do you want me holding onto? I was thinking I was going to need to get my 50-pound dumbbell and he said, nothing.

Josh (36:26):

I just want you to do this with body weight. And I was like, OK, am I doing like 50 reps, a hundred reps? He goes, Nope, you’re going to do three sets of 10 and I was like 10 on each side. He said, no, five with your right leg and five with your left leg. And I’m like, this sucks. I’m not going to get anything out of it, you know, because you kind of want to feel like you’re getting something out of it. And so I did the first two sets and I was like, well, let me just hold on to a 10 pound plate because great coaches never listen to their own coaches. Right.

Josh (37:00):

So I hold on to a 10-pound plate and I do my lunges and I was like, all right, well I kinda did more than he said, but I’m gonna respect that he wanted three sets of 10, which I love, right? Because three by 10 is like a typical bodybuilding thing, right. So I wasn’t feeling much. And then the next day I woke up and he’s texting me, he’s like, Hey, how do you feel? And I was like, I feel OK right now. He’s like, take a step out laterally. And just tell me how you feel. And I thought my insides of my legs were just gonna rip off. Like I had not felt that kind of stretch in that area in I don’t know how long and I just did three sets of 10, you know? But it really gave me a clear window into some stuff that we have been neglecting big time, right, is moving left to right. And so guess what’s a staple in some training now a couple of days a week is some sort of lateral movement. But yeah, I was sore for like four days, man. It was not good.

Chris (38:04):

Oh yeah. I mean that’s so great. Do like, I mean, I know that most of our programming is way too light on lateral movement, but also on like single-limb movement, you know, we do lunges and stuff, but like everybody should be getting better at pistols right now, you know, and that kind of stuff too. So Josh, I mean, just while we’re wrapping up here, I want to ask you about the how to coach online course. Because the reason that we’re talking today is the same reason we built that course. It was mostly you. We recognize that coaches were struggling to deliver their gyms’ programming online. And ultimately it doesn’t matter how good your marketing is or how good your sales system is. If you can’t deliver really well, you’re not going to keep clients. So you know what’s in that course. Give us the details.

Josh (38:55):

Yeah. So this course teaches you exactly like what the name is, is how to coach online and we took one of the principle at Two-Brain Coaching, learn, design, deliver and refine. And we built the course around that. So the idea being that, you know, if you get a brand new client today, it’s different how you’re going to do what we would consider a no sweat intro on a Zoom call or a phone versus doing it in person. There is a much different skill set, you know, so we walk people through, you know, how do we do this online versus in person. We talk about how do you actually write programs for clients. So it’s not just how do you customize maybe a general workout, but how do you actually write programming? And so we give a very basic, you know, broad brush stroke overview on that.

Josh (39:53):

We talk about the different ways that you can deliver effectively to your clients online. And then probably my favorite section of the course is that last module about refining, you know, how much contact with your client is enough to make sure that they’re always getting more value than they think they’re paying foe with this online coaching piece. And the refinement of your training for your client is really where the value comes out. You know, if all you’re doing is sending a weekly email saying, Hey, you know, Jim, do these five workouts and I’ll check in with you in a week. That’s not high value for your clients. So we walk you through all the steps that you need to start implementing in order to be a very, very world-class coach for your online service.

Chris (40:47):

All right, so if you’re a Two-Brain client, first of all, this is a $500 course. It’s tremendous value. If you ever wanted to start coaching people online, this is a great place to start. If you’re a Two-Brain client already, we’ve given you this course for free on If you need your secret code and stuff, you can reach out to me after the show and we’ll get it to you. Josh, thanks a lot for everything that you’ve done for gym owners everywhere and coaches and just helping us understand that even though our platform has changed and our toolkit is completely different, we’re still doing the same job and how to be better at it.

Josh (41:26):

Yes, it’s my pleasure, Chris. You know, I was on, on a call with an owner the other day and I said, look, the job of a coach is to get the client to their goal. It might be that you prescribe exercise to them. It might not be. But a coach understands where their client is today, where they want to go and tells them, take this next step. And I am obviously very passionate about this. I love helping gym owners. So if you’re out there and you’re a coach or you’re a gym owner and you’ve got specific questions or you want our help, please reach out. We’re more than happy to do it

Chris (42:04):

There is also a public Facebook group for coaches. Two-Brain Coaches, there’s a couple thousand coaches in there. Josh is in there almost every day talking about coaching and, you know, we shared some resources in there too. So if you’re a coach, even if you’re an owner or not an owner, you can join that Facebook group and chat with us in there. Thanks Josh.

Josh (42:28):

Thanks, Chris.

Andrew (42:32):

This is Two-Brain Radio. Please subscribe for more episodes wherever you get your podcasts. Two-Brain Business has the best strategies and tactics for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. To see our essential resources for gym owners, visit and click COVID-19 at the top.


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