Chris Cooper’s Gym-Owner Challenge: Steal 5 Exercises!

Chris Cooper

Andrew (00:02):

On this edition of Two-Brain Radio, Chris Cooper is here to challenge you to become a better coach and get better results for your clients. Are you up for it?

Chris (00:10):

Chris Cooper here, have you got a website designer, a marketer, a landing page software, a calendar, a CRM, and a form builder, communication platform and connecting software? You can get rid of all of it by switching to Gym Lead Machine. I use this platform along with 60% of the Two-Brain mentorship team. The average gym owner saves over 300 bucks a month with Gym Lead Machine and they’ll waive the thousand dollars set-up fee for Two-Brain Radio listeners. Switching is easy and you can go live in a week, visit to watch a demo and book a sales call.

Chris (00:42):

Hey everybody, Chris Cooper here. And today, I’m going to talk about building your practice using novelty and filters. So I’m going to start with the Two-Brain story of how we did this. And then I’m going to talk about how Greg Glassman did it with CrossFit.

Chris (00:59):

And then I’m going to talk about how you can do it at your specific business. For Two-Brain, it started with Gym Launch. In 2017, we had a problem with Gym Launch and maybe it’s not the first one that comes to mind if you’re familiar with the program. But a few owners in Two-Brain were trying the Gym Launch program and they were having some early success, right? And that’s great. Unfortunately, some of them copied some Gym Launch material and they started trying to share it with other owners, which is very bad. We remove them from the Two-Brain group and I apologized to Alex. He said something about lawyers and that was the end of it. And that was a painful process, but it really forced me to think at a higher level, namely, Hey, if this thing is working for gym owners, then I should just acquire that knowledge for Two-Brain gyms.

Chris (01:45):

So I spent a year traveling around learning how to advertise on Facebook, and John Franklin, Mateo Lopez. They were already click funnel certified. So they built a course for me on Facebook advertising. They were using it successfully in their gym already. We had solid data, great proof that it would work. And so we took their system and we tested it on 10 gyms and it worked perfectly on those 10 gyms. So we just added it to our ramp up program. And we gave the course to everybody in our growth program for no additional charge. Now, some owners in Two-Brains still preferred to pay Gym Launch or whatever the other options were at the time, I forget, but they were paying up to $16,000 outside of Two-Brain instead of learning the strategies themselves. And I totally understand the value of doing it that way, but we dramatically increased the value of Two-Brain mentorship by acquiring that knowledge.

Chris (02:37):

And we saved gym owners a ton of money. So I loved it, right? Two of my favorite things, acquiring knowledge and saving gym owners money. So that process became our SOP. So here’s another example. In 2019, we saw gym owners paying companies to learn how to build and sell personal training programs. So we talked to the gym owners who are selling the most PT and we built a full course with them. And now that’s on the Two-Brain Growth ToolKit in Growth. It’s also part of our ramp up program. In 2020, we saw gym owners paying companies to learn how to build and sell nutrition programs. And these are great options, but we didn’t really like how these companies were just kind of like build forever to use the programs. So I talked to Lindsay VanSchoyck and I talked to Jen Broxterman about how they were doing it.

Chris (03:22):

And they built the nutrition program that’s now part of Two-Brain mentorship. And then when COVID began locking gyms down, we knew we had to acquire knowledge about coaching online. So we turned to the best gyms for online coaching in Two-Brain. And we built a program with them. So thanks to Josh Grinnell and the others who helped out there. Now, some gym owners will always benefit from going deep with outside experts and paying 10 to $20,000 to get one-on-one coaching in any of these specialties. And I totally see the value there. I do it all the time myself, but this week, some owners in our growth program asked some great questions about high ticket coaching. And we already had this workshop planned in the tinker program. Lindsay VanShoyck has been teaching high value coaching, which also has a high ticket price. And so she taught a great lesson on high value coaching that aligned with the Two-Brain ethos and other mentors like Anastasia Bennett in New Zealand have been doing high ticket, remote coaching for a long time.

Chris (04:22):

So now we’re going to build a course with all the tools that our clients need to do high-ticket coaching. If it’s right for them, and their mentor will help them decide. So there will always be value in talking to outside experts. And some people will go get coaching from Xander Fryer’s group on high impact coaching or whatever to deliver a high ticket program at their gym. Right? There’s always value in that. Where possible I try to acquire knowledge and bring it back to Two-Brain. And we’re careful because I have to do it without taking anybody else’s unique intellectual property. So we always turn to people who have implemented their own programs with success, who are inTwo-Brain. And then we buy the rights to use their knowledge and give it to our clients. This kind of reinvestment costs me a few hundred thousand dollars every year, but it’s one of my favorite investments.

Chris (05:13):

And it’s one of my favorite things about Two-Brain. You know, I hope Two-Brain gyms love it. I sure do.

Chris (05:17):

We know that getting clients results isn’t enough to make a great business or a great career, but it is the foundation. If you’re not getting your clients results, none of the other stuff matters. Your marketing plan, your operations plan, your retention plan, your systems, how much you care about the clients. You need to get them results. What does it take to get a client results? Long-term behavior change, short-term habit change. It means learning skills like motivational interviewing, peer-to-peer programming. It means focusing on things like adherence and retention instead of novelty. And I built with my partner, Josh Martin, to teach coaches how to do this. More than ever before it is critical to get results for your clients. You need to charge a premium fee. You need to provide high value to warrant that fee. And what is most valuable to the client? What do they care about the most? The results on the goal that they choose. has programs set up to help your clients achieve those goals. We will train you and your coaches to deliver personal training, group training, online training, nutrition coaching, and coming soon, mindset coaching, in a way that’s simple for you to adopt, it’s legal everywhere. And it’s super effective. These courses were built by experts with years of experience getting clients results. is a labor of love for me, and I know you’re going to love it too.

Chris (06:46):

Now, let me quickly make a pivot to talk about a parallel subject, which was CrossFit. So if you were around when CrossFit was really becoming popular, I don’t mean like the early days, 200, before there were any affiliates or 2003, when there was less than 10, or I’m talking like 2008 to 2012. What you would see as a primary criticism of CrossFit is not like that doesn’t work or that causes injuries.

Chris (07:12):

What you would see is I thought of that first, or this isn’t a unique idea, or I’ve been doing that same stuff all along. And this was coming from other people in the fitness industry who in hindsight were probably just jealous of the package that CrossFit was. So back then CrossFit would include kettlebells, calisthenics, sprints, but also long runs, five or 10 K runs or rows or, you know, endurance work. It would include parkour. In the earliest days pre-website, it would include cycling. And there were a lot of other stuff too. And the beautiful thing here is that Greg took from all these other different modalities. OK? These things that were not universally popular, but were like the cult favorite of a small subset. So there was always a group of kettlebell aficionados, right? And they would follow like Pavelle and Dragon Door and the RKC and all that stuff.

Chris (08:11):

And they would get really, really good at kettlebells. But the value of using kettlebells was not clear until it was brought into part of a bigger package. So Greg used kettlebells as part of high intensity interval training, combining that with 400 meter sprints. Now, if you were an overweight dude in de Moines with a desk job, you would not go to the track and run 400 meters to lose weight, right? Like 400 meter intervals, you would not do that. You would probably not do calisthenics though you might try some push-ups and sit-ups on your bedroom floor. But what Greg did was he brought these things together and then he gave them a name, and that’s so important. And the name CrossFit was clear enough to define what kind of went on. Everybody could picture what a CrossFit workout was, or, you know, by this point they could, but it was also fluid.

Chris (09:02):

And so in the Fitness in 100 Words when Greg said regularly, learn and play new sports, what we can take away from that as coaches and affiliate owners was we should go out and try new things, find things that work that are not part of our coaching practice yet and involve them. It doesn’t mean running a separate yoga class. Maybe it doesn’t mean running a separate weightlifting class, maybe, but it does mean incorporating those things if they work. So for example, you could bring a great hip flexor stretch, for example, from yoga and make that part of your CrossFit class that day, the model was fluid enough. Now we work with a lot of CrossFit gyms, but we don’t exclusively work with CrossFit gyms. We have a lot of boot camps. We have yoga gyms, we have ninja warrior camps and, and all kinds of different schools, you know, sports specific training programs like D1 prep.

Chris (09:54):

We even have some university strength and conditioning gyms in Two-Brain right now. But the lesson here is what can you bring from outside of your current silo of knowledge that will actually improve your clients? So if you’re training sprinters, could yoga help them, could Pilates help them maybe. And what’s stopping you from using that right. Could running help your sprinters or something else? What brought this to mind was I’ve been a coach in the industry for 20. This is my 25th year, very close to 26 years now, actually. And I thought like, OK, I’ve seen a lot, but what happens is like we pick from a variety of exercises, right? Like a menu. And over time we actually narrow the number of exercises that we use. So I learned parkour. I learned how to climb a rope. I learned how to swing a kettlebell.

Chris (10:47):

When I started doing CrossFit, I was a powerlifter before that and a cyclist before that, I didn’t know how to do those things. And it was super exciting. But over time I actually do less of those things, you know, maybe age or whatever, but some things appear less in my programming now than they did back then. We never do parkour at catalyst. I can’t remember the last time we did it. When we opened catalyst, we did truck pulls. We did a tire flips. I can’t remember the last time I flipped a tire, but what I see now on my Facebook feed and on every other app that shows me ads is these at-home workout programs. And it’s primarily aimed at women, but it’s like, you know, they’re rotating through 12 different exercises, just in the little video ad. And I’ve never seen any of these exercises before, but they all make sense to me, both as an exercise science grad and as a coach who loves novelty.

Chris (11:40):

And so what I challenge you to do is in the next 30 days to go out and find five new exercises, not philosophies, not methods, just five exercises that you can bring back into your practice that will add some novelty, but will also improve your clients. Maybe that’s swimming, OK. Maybe that’s Jiu-Jitsu. You know, maybe it’s like carrying people. Maybe you pick up something from firefighting. And what I’d like is not like a one-time challenge. Like we’re all going to go over to the firefighting station, put on air tanks and run up and down a set of stairs. What I’m thinking of is five exercises that you would regularly incorporate that you don’t need new equipment to do. That you don’t need to go get a new weekend cert to achieve, but five exercises that will actually, and measurably improve the fitness of your clients.

Chris (12:33):

Now, if you’re CrossFit, this is actually pretty easy. But if you’re a Pilates coach, a yoga teacher, a bootcamp instructor, this might actually be hard because now you’ve got to go outside of the dogma. You got to go outside of the method. You’ve got to go outside of what you have been taught by your teachers. And that is so important. You must constantly acquire knowledge. Why? Because that is what your clients deserve and demand. That’s why Greg Glassman did it. That’s why I’m doing it with Two-Brain. And that’s why you should do it in your gym.

Andrew (13:11):

Two-Brain Radio is your source for the best advice in the gym business. Subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. And now here’s Coop with an invitation.

Chris (13:18):

Thanks for listening to Two-Brain Radio. If you aren’t in the Gym Owners United group on Facebook, this is my personal invitation to join. It’s the only public Facebook group that I participate in. And I’m there all the time with tips, tactics, and free resources. I’d love to network with you and help you grow your business. Join Gym Owners United on Facebook.


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