Need more time to grow your business? Have you thought about offloading your programming? Big news: Two-Brain now offers two tracks for in-person and remote clients. Brooks DiFiore is here to talk about Two-Brain Programming right after this.
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This is Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin. I programmed every single workout at my gym for years, and it wasn’t until I offloaded the task that I was able to focus on growing my business, instead of just sustaining it. I wish I’d learned that lesson sooner. To help you, Brooks DiFiore is here to explain how Two-Brain Programming can free up your time, provide a great client experience and help your coaches develop and advance their careers. All right, Brooks, welcome to the show. How are you doing today?
I’m doing well, Mike. Thanks for having me.
Thank you for making the time to talk to us. We’re going to get right into it and we’ll get to the what in just a second, but first, we always talk about vision and why. I wonder what the vision for Two-Brain Programming is and what problems is it going to solve for gym owners?
I think even before the first lockdowns hit in March of last year, Two-Brain Coaching was really trying to push, helping gyms and coaches understand how to communicate the why of every single workout to their clients. And not just the why of the stimulus of the workout, but how that’s going to pertain to somebody’s individual goals, right? Whether they’re trying to lose weight, they’re trying to increase their general fitness or they’re trying to get stronger. How do we customize a group class to fit the needs of everyone in there? And then when everyone went into lockdown, I think that that need really showed through, right? We know that the gyms that had the best retention were the ones who were able to customize a group workout for an individual, right, just by spending about two minutes per day tying that workout to their why and building a personal relationship.
And what we found was that there was a gap between the understanding of how to do that and a coach’s knowledge. So we wanted to build a system that would basically give coaches a done for you framework with every workout. So we take one group workout and we say, here is how you tie it in for a weight loss client. Here is how you tie it in for a general fitness client. Here’s how you tie it in for a client who wants to increase strength. The brief is written for you. 90% of the work is done. All you have to do is go in, make small edits to tie it even further to their particular goals. And just worry about building that personal relationship with them.
Now it’s a bit of a mind bender, you know, for coaches that have been sort of brought up in the old school tradition of like my workout is the absolute thing. And it’s the workout that creates the stimulus that drives the effects and all this other stuff. It’s a bit of a mind bend to think now it’s not so much about the exact workout. It’s about the relationship-building, the presentation and all the things that go into coaching beyond squat deeper, right? Like it’s incredible how COVID has really highlighted that it’s not any more about standing next to someone and telling them to squat deeper. It’s about accountability. It’s about motivation. It’s about relating workouts to their goals. Like have you guys seen that just in blinding clarity now when COVID happened?
Yeah. And I think what you’re talking about is like client-focused coaching versus workout focused coaching, right? So workout-focused coaching is basically saying if the goal of a workout is X, the client needs to do Y. Client-focused coaching really says that the if the client’s goal is X, then the client needs to do Y right. So it puts the workout secondary to that client’s goals.
Right. So let’s dig into the what a little bit more now. So I know Two-Brain Programming has three different avatars, and briefs and two tracks, just tell me how the system works so listeners can just get a sense of what exactly you’re providing for them.
Yeah. So each day has two tracks, the in person and a remote. The in-person is built for everything you would see in a gym, right? Rig, barbells, bikes, rowers. The remote track is built for people who have minimal equipment at home. And so we built it with only a dumbbell and a kettlebell, and it can be easily modified to fit somebody who just has a band or maybe no equipment.
Milk jug, right?
Yeah, exactly. Right. Like things that they would just normally find lying around their house, they haven’t used in 10 years.
Excellent. So those are the two tracks and that’s going to be really important as gyms get into and out of lockdowns, which we were talking about just before the show, how it seems to be, no one knows what’s going to happen. So those two tracks will allow you to pivot very quickly between delivery inside your gym and delivery to a client who’s at home with almost no equipment or with some basic equipment. Talk to me about the avatar briefs. I’m really interested in this because this sounds like a time-saving feature and something that really helps people understand client goals and then relate workouts to them.
Yeah, it’s a huge time-saver. So we should talk about how to really utilize them in a remote setting. And then how do you utilize them in a class setting. So, for my gym, I’m in Pittsburgh, we’ve been shut down for about two or three weeks. And this is exactly what we did the first time around. So my head coach, he’s responsible for all of the programming within Two-Brain Programming. He writes the programming. I write the avatar briefs. When we go into True Coach to deliver our online programming, or the remote program, we plug it into True Coach. And then we take all three avatar briefs and we put them into that day’s workout. And then all the coach has to do is they go in, they copy and paste the workout from the general program track to the client’s track. They eliminate the two avatar briefs that are not relevant to that client. They go in, they customize it and customize the workout for the equipment that the client may have at home. So it makes you able to manage the amount of clients you are handling in minutes rather than hours.
So what are the three avatars that you’ve got?
So we have a avatar for a weight loss client, an avatar for a client who wants to increase their strength and then a avatar or a brief, for a client who is just looking to increase their fitness.
And that’s going to cover a huge swath of clients. Like you might have the client, who’s like, I want to run a marathon on January 24th. Right? So there’s like someone maybe that falls slightly outside of that, but there’s still relationships to general fitness and increased strength that will help with that. But you’ve covered so many different people. Let me ask you the question that I know a few critics are going to ask right off the bat and say, is this cheating? And tell me about the customization process that allows each client to get a personalized or customized version of this workout.
So it’s not cheating, right? Because you touched on something there it’s like you do have clients who would want you to run a marathon. Usually running a marathon is tied to increasing general fitness or maybe losing weight, or maybe you have a marathon runner who was a strong runner, but they’re not great at taking hills, right? So they need to increase their lower body strength so they can take those hills better. Well, now that you can take the avatar briefs, and like, what these really are, is they’re writing prompts, right? They’re there for you to look, understand what you’re trying to communicate to the client. And then if you have a client who’s trying to run a marathon and lose weight, how do I tie in that marathon aspect to it?
Right. So have you heard the old story? This actually happened to me? It probably happened to you too. Where I remember seeing back before I was a coach, in a traditional gym, a bunch of bodybuilding clients, they all had the same bodybuilding coach and they started comparing their programs and they were all the same and their diet plans were all the same. And they all got really mad at the same time because they realized he was literally just changing the name at the top of the form. This is very far from that, correct?
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It is very far from that, and that’s not what we want. We don’t want you just to copy and paste these and leave it at that. We want you to copy and paste these, we want you to go in and customize them to fit that person. And then we want you to actually reach out to that person and discuss the workout with them, right? So the time that you would be spending writing a workout and writing this brief should now be spent actually making a personal connection with that client
To do that, you have to know the client, right? You can’t make a personal connection and relate, you know, Fran to a certain client’s goals, unless you know that client’s goals and you know what’s going to motivate him or her. And, you know some of the obstacles may be to that client completing that workout on time. Right. So you really have to develop that relationship and that’s where the coaching comes in.
Yeah, absolutely. Right. Even, you know, going in shutdown especially with clients that you’ve worked with in person before, you know, I have a client right now who I know that she has bad knees, right? So anytime that we have some sort of squatting or lunging that comes up, I need to address that. And I need to let her know that I remember that she has issues with her knees, and this is how we’re going to work around this problem. Right.
So it’s very much a customized thing. Almost exactly the same thing as you would do in class where the workout of the day is Fran, but you’re going to go around the room and talk to each client in warm up and say, OK, dude, you’re going to use 65 pounds, my friend over here, you’re going to use banded pull-ups, you’re going to do jumping pull-ups and so on and so forth. And for other clients, you’re completely going to change the workout for them and say, OK, I know you can’t squat today. So we’re going to just do push presses or whatever. So you’re really adjusting it based on your knowledge of that personal client, this is just like a starting point that you can then customize.
Yeah, absolutely. And Fran’s a really good example of making workouts focused around a client rather than focused on the workout. Right? If we were just in a group setting, we’re focusing on the workout, we would say, you’re going to do Fran as fast as possible, right. Not fun. And maybe that’s appropriate if you’re in some sort of testing phase. Right. But if Fran just happens to pop up in your programming for that week, and you have a client who is looking to get stronger, there’s nothing wrong with saying, hey Fran is usually programmed at 95 pounds. You do this in sub two minutes. Today, we’re going to do this at 135 pounds.
I dunno if I like where you’re going with that, Brooks. That sounds like an appropriate workout for someone. Maybe not me.
Not me either.
Let’s talk a little bit about the tiers in Two-Brain Programming. What’s the difference between the two and what type of gym owner’s suited to each one?
Yeah, absolutely. So the first here in Two-Brain Programming, growth clients get for free every single month. And with that, they get a programming overview. So in a Excel format that they can go ahead and edit and make their own. They’ll get both tracks, they’ll get a warm-up, a skill strength. And then both variations of the workout, right in person and remote as well as the three avatar briefs. And that is delivered through their Growth ToolKit every single month.
So current Two-Brain growth clients can access this stuff through the Growth ToolKit starting now.
Starting right now. Yep. January. Yeah. January is up there right now. Ready to go. Our intention is to release every month of programming a before it’s scheduled to go live because we want gym owners to have the ability to go in there and make the adjustments that they need to make for their gym.
It really be a cost saving, right? Like if someone is paying for outside programming, you’re offering a service that could very easily replace that. And that’s included in the growth subscription already.
It is. This was really important to Chris that he offered something to growth clients that could save them time and save them money. You know, especially if they are in a situation where they are shut down. But in talking to a lot of gym owners too, like most programming companies, right. They just release their programming a few days before it’s scheduled to go live for the following week. And what that causes is you as the gym owner to scramble, sit down, make adjustments over the weekends, right. Communicate it to your coaches, and then do the whole thing over again next week. Maybe not even knowing what’s coming the following week.
So growth clients, if you’re a current Two-Brain client in growth, check this out. Whether you currently use a programming service or not, it’s free for you. You might as well check it out. See if you like it, it might save you money. It also might save you time right now, especially if you’re scrambling with restrictions and all sorts of other weird government regulations. Check this out on your Growth ToolKit. Now talk to me about tier two. What’s in there.
So tier two would be more for someone—so if we tie it to like founder, farmer, tinker, thief, I would say that the tier one is going to be a great option for someone who is in that founder phase. Maybe just beginning their journey on that farmer phase, right? They don’t have a—they maybe don’t have a staff yet, or they have a small enough staff that they can just get away with not really having, you know, totally complete session plans with movement adjustments, coaches notes, timelines, all of that. As you start to grow and your staff starts to get bigger and you need to streamline the communication process and make sure that everybody is on the same page, upgrading to tier two is really going to be more appropriate for you because tier two comes with daily session plans, video briefs, coaches development videos, built-in opportunities for coaches to advance their careers. And it also comes with daily SEMM programming. So daily programming on sleep, eat, move, and manage that we’ll get into in a little bit.
Yeah. And you know, I’m excited to talk about that one. So I’m going to hold for a sec, but I’ll look for what’s the cost of tier two. How does that work?
So it’s $199 a month and you get the avatar briefs, both tracks, the session plans, the video briefs, current Two-Brain growth clients, they get a discount code. That’ll give them $70 off a month. So it’ll take that cost down to $129 a month and they can find that discount code in their Growth ToolKit.
- I have a bunch of questions. I want to know a lot about the coach development career advancement stuff. But before we get to that, talk to me about SEMM programming. Tell me again, what the acronym stands for and how this is becoming a bigger part of being an excellent coach in 2021.
Yeah. So SEMM stands for sleep, eat, move, and manage, right? So what we want as coaches, we realize that we need to be providing more than just great workouts to clients. If we’re really going to give them long-term success, we need to be talking to them about how they manage their stress, how they sleep and their nutrition. I think nutrition is a pillar that’s been there for a long time, or maybe not a long time. At least the past couple of years, people have gotten much better at it. Now it’s time for us to really pick up the torch on the other two, and Two-Brain Coaching has done an amazing job putting together resources to help coaches become experts in nutrition coaching. And, like Colm O’Reilly has his stress management course or his mindset course.
Our man in Ireland.
Yeah. But we need to make sure that we are talking about these first on a daily basis, right? It’s the same way that you would grow your nutrition business, right? You need to be educating your coaches and your clients on it and having conversations with them daily. So what Mike Watson has done is he has put together a entire month of programming that educates coaches and clients on the benefits of sleep, the benefits of nutrition and the benefits of stress management. And then it goes into some movement aspects that might not be addressed in class on a daily basis like posture and specific mobility.
You know, it’s just from a personal perspective, I watched my wife work with clients during lockdown here online. And what we’re noticing is that the stress management component is huge right now. It’s only getting more important. And even for myself, the thing that derails me more than anything else is just a lack of time and the lack of motivation, which is all related to stress, to get into the gym. Right. And so what I see with my wife is the clients more often than not, she’s not talking to clients about, you know, Oh, I want you to push your knees out in the squat. She’s talking to clients, but OK, I know you’re stressed right now. I know your children are not in school right now. You’re juggling all these responsibilities. You just came from the lockdown supermarket that was a disaster. We have 10 minutes and I want you to just go, you know, go to your basement and just, you know, and give her a basic workout prescription, things like that. So this stress management aspect and the stuff that Colm is doing is amazing, is really becoming more important because one of the huge barriers that we’re seeing right now, it’s the absolute crushing stress of the pandemic, right? So are you finding that with your clients that the mindset stuff is becoming more important?
It absolutely is becoming more important. Right. And you know, for a lot of us as coaches, we can relate to that cause it’s distressful to all of us, but maybe we don’t have the tools to say, well, this is how you handle this stress. Right? So for, you know, tying things back to the SEMM program that we provide, you’re looking at a day next month, we give coaches an exercise to give to their clients on how to manage stress, right. Basically give them a guided meditation and that they can deliver.
Yeah. And it’s neat because I had a personal experience with this, where I was struggling with some of the stress of all this stuff when we shifted our business online and I didn’t want to work out and I specifically didn’t want to do Fran and some of the high intensity stuff that I just didn’t have the heart for, honestly, because I was devoting everything to changing the business. And my wife just said, just go to the gym, go to the garage and hit some bench press and bicep curls. Cause I know they make you happy. So it was a real shift from what I was normally doing, I just needed to do something. And that helped me manage my stress. So I personally understand how this works and I’m also seeing it as a business owner work with clients. So this SEMM programming is really, really cool. And you mentioned the nutrition component. That’s been the base of the fitness pyramid for so long, but so many people forget about it. And it’s becoming increasingly important now where people are at home, snacking on chips and bon bons and so forth as they’re working from home. So call it a holistic approach to coaching, really is kind of the future of the profession. I think. Do you agree?
It absolutely is. Right. And in order for it to really become that future, it’s something that we need to be talking to our coaches and our clients about on a daily basis.
So that leads us right into coach development, career advancement opportunities. So normally programming services are just, here’s your workout. Here’s a warm-up. Go. Tell me about how the Two-Brain Programming is helping develop coaches and give them opportunities for career advancement.
So I think there’s really three areas to tackle here. The first is with the SEMM programming, right? So within our gyms, we have coaches who are experts in maybe a particular type of a movement, right? Gymnastics, weightlifting, whatever that might be. And we want them to pursue those passions, right? We want them to do specialty courses, extra skill work. You know, things will really make them happy and help the clients achieve their goals in whatever that modality might be. Same thing with nutrition, right? We have coaches who’ve picked up the torch on nutrition because it’s something that they’re very passionate about. With SEMM, it opens up the door for more opportunities, right? Because now you can have coaches who, if we’re educating them on the importance of sleep and stress management, you might find yourself with a coach or two who is really passionate about helping people better manage their stress or their mindset, right? So it becomes another pillar of your business that a coach can help build a career off of.
One of the things that I really like about that is that if you have something like that set up, you’re not necessarily tied to a physical location. So if a government shutdown comes into play, you can still do mindset coaching on zoom or online. That sounds amazing.
Exactly right. It would probably be more valuable in that situation. The next area that we really provide coaches development and career opportunities, right, is through the avatar briefs. If you can have one-on-one conversations, tying the workout directly to that client’s goals, it is going to open up opportunities for you to help those clients even further. Right? So if you have a strength client who isn’t seeing the strength gains that they want, if you’re using the avatar briefs to talk to them daily, and you build that relationship with them, well, maybe they need more accessory work every single week, right? And because you’re having these conversations, you can be the person that is going to provide them with the 30 minute or one hour skill session to complete this accessory work.
So this really fits in with the Two-Brain prescriptive model where you talk to a client and in the prescriptive model, you generally talk to them every three months. You find out about their goals, find out if they’re on track and then alter your prescription to say, OK, you want to get a little bit stronger. We’re going to make some changes here. And I’d recommend that you see me for one additional personal training strength session or whatever the specific thing may be. This really syncs up with prescriptive model. Does it not?
It does. And we do it because we want our coaches to be having those conversations, like those micro conversations, on a weekly basis, rather than on a quarterly basis. So one of the things that we built into our session plans are we just call them level of challenges. So let’s say that we have a workout, it’s programmed with push-ups. The level of challenge might be to complete it with handstand push-ups. So first thing it does is it helps you identify around the room the people who want a little bit more, right. If you have a class of 10 and you look around and three people are hoping to attempt handstand push-ups, you’re going to identify three opportunities right there. The next thing we provide are common faults and fixes for cues, right? So if you have a client who they’re overextending through their midline on handstand push-ups, you know, as they get fatigued in a workout. We want you to have the knowledge and the ability to go to them, pull them aside after class and say, Hey, handsome push-ups look great until we get tired, but it looks like you just didn’t have the ability to keep your midline stable as you got fatigued. It’s a really quick fix for that. How about we get together for 30 minutes next week and we’ll put a plan together to help fix that issue.
So this creates, and I’ll use the term here, sales opportunities for coaches. But when I say that, I mean that in the Two-Brain tradition of helping first, which means that we’re not pushing services on the client that the client doesn’t want, we’re solving problems. So the client obviously wants to do more handstand push-ups, but the midline is weak. So we’re going to say, Hey, I can fix that for you because I’m a fitness expert. Can I help you with this? And the client says, yes, I would love an additional service. Or, you know, it looks like you’re dragging your butt in the workout today. What’s your nutrition like? Oh man, I had Kraft dinner for three days in a row. It’s delicious. But the coach can then offer some nutrition advice that will help fuel the athlete, properly solving a number of problems. So really this is like these relationships involve opportunities to help, which also generate revenue for the gym and generate revenue for the coach, which we all know one of the greatest problems in the fitness industry is that coaches can’t make a decent living. This allows them to then do that.
Exactly. And Jeff Burlingame being the help first sales guru that he is, in the start here module on the Growth ToolKit for Two-Brain programming, there is a lesson on creating opportunities for coaches and he put together a great video that was built for coaches to help them understand why having these conversations is so important and how to do it in a very non-salesy way.
Yeah, because in the traditional gym sales environment, it’s pretty horrible, right? Like I remember back when I was applying for jobs at globo gyms and so forth, and the sales there is just like, you want the money, right? You just want the money. You don’t care if they show up, you just want them to sign that whatever long commitment and away you go. And it’s kind of a, you know, the used car salesman approach or salesperson approach, to, you know, selling something client isn’t gonna use. This sounds the exact opposite where you’re trying to find ways to help this client accomplish what he or she wants. And as a side benefit, you make some money and the business makes some money. So it really fits into the whole Two-Brain plan. And the final link there is if you set your business up with a four ninths model, which means that you’re paying a coach 44% of services and so forth and sales, your business is going to profit and the coach is going to make a good income. So you guys have really found a way to put this Two-Brain Programming concept inside all the Two-Brain concepts that help gyms become successful.
That’s been the goal. It’s really been to bridge the gap between everything that we teach it Two-Brain Coaching and Two-Brain Business and put it into something that our coaches are going to be looking at every single day.
I love it. I didn’t ask you to prepare for this. Brush me off here if you don’t have it ready, but can you give us an example? Could you read us an example of a workout? Do you have something in front of you that you could just tell us? So people get a sense of the workouts that you guys are programming.
So I have one here that, it’s a 15 minute AMRAP. It has 10 snatches at 135 pounds, 95 pounds, followed by a 20 calorie bike and a 200-meter run.
- So how, and again, I’m putting you on the spot here, but I know you’re an expert, so I think you’ll be able to do it. No problem. Talk to me about how you might customize that the delivery of that to let’s say a weight loss client. Can you just throw that at me in a general terms?
Might say like the combination of cardio and weightlifting is a recipe for burning fat, right? I want to see you push yourself on the bike and the run to make the most out of time you’re dedicating to that cardio today. Like, if there’s rest interval in there, keep in mind that the 60 seconds of rest between efforts is going to allow you to bring your heart rate down. So don’t be afraid to push outside of your comfort zone. You know, the snatches are really just going to be a primer for the bike and the run.
You’re on fire so I’m gonna ask you, could you customize that same workout for a strength client so people can see how that same workout can apply to a different avatar.
Yeah. So if we’re talking to a strength client, we might say that, you know, when we lift in a fatigued state, often one of the first things to go like is our posture, right? Our shoulders pull forward. The upper back starts to round. We can use hang power snatches to build strength in our posterior chain, particularily in our upper back. Right? So maintaining scapular tension during the hang portion of a snatch will help you build muscle and improve your lifts in the future when you’re not fatigued.
So that’s the same workout delivered to two different avatars. And again, if I had given you more information about specifically who these people are in terms of like their goals, their injury status, their stresses and so forth, you could even customize that further by saying, you know, I know that you have a shoulder issue, so we might change the snatches to cleans or even, you know, high pulls or something like that, or whatever doesn’t aggravate the shoulder. So if I gave you more information then you could customize that yet more for each client, correct?
- How do listeners find out more about this program? So we know Two-Brain growth clients have access to stuff already, and they can certainly contact you guys to go up to tier two if they want, how do interested listeners find out more about this thing?
Yeah. They can head to Two-Brain programming.com. They can sign up for a 30 day free trial and they can check out the session plans, the avatar briefs, all of the SEMM programming, the coaches development opportunities, movement library in there. We even have a monthly coaching development exercise from Two-Brain Coaching, and they can go to Instagram and give us a follow at Two-Brain Programming.
That’s fantastic. We will get that link in the show notes. And if you’re just want to dip your toe in the water guys, I’d encourage you to just follow that Instagram account and take a look at stuff and definitely poke around the website and see what’s up. All right, Brooks, thank you so much for your time and for telling us about this amazing program. Again, we’ll get that link in the show notes. You guys can check it out. Thank you again. And we’d like to get you back on here in a little while. And have you talk about this some more? Will you come back?
All right. Thank you, sir. Have a great day and we’ll see you next time on Two-Brain Radio.
All right. That was Brooks DiFiore of Two-Brain Programming on Two-Brain Radio. We track everything at Two-Brain and we just published Chris Cooper’s state of the industry guide. This 84 page report is packed with data from over 6,000 gym owners. You can use it to make smart decisions, avoid mistakes, generate more revenue, and see where you stack up in the gym world. It’s 100% free and you can get it TwoBrainbusiness.com/research. That link is in the show notes, click it right now. I’m Mike Warkentin and I’ll see you next time on Two-Brain Radio.