The One Thing That Will Make Your Business—and Clients—Healthier


Mike (00:01):

Remember when coaching was all about telling clients to push their knees out in a squat? The fitness industry has changed and now coaches have a much better opportunity to change the client’s lives. Certified Two-Brain Business mentor Brian Zimmerman will tell you exactly how to do that with something we call the prescriptive model. Brian is here right after this. The people at Incite Tax know you’re working long hours to improve health for the world, but it can still be hard to turn a profit. You just can’t focus on your mission without money in your account. So Incite founder John Briggs wrote “Profit First for Mirogyms” and created a system that increases your cashflow so you can be home for dinner with a thriving fitness business. Bookkeeping, profit first, cash flow consulting, taxes, whatever your financial needs, Incite can help. Join their free five-day challenge at profitfirstfor microgmys/five days to get a snapshot of the financial health of your gym. That’s profitfirstfor microgmys/five days. Welcome back to Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin and today we’re going to help you make more money and help more clients all at once. My guest today is Brian Zimmerman of CrossFit Jungle Gym in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. He’s also a certified Two-Brain mentor. We aren’t doctors, but we’re still going to provide prescriptions for our clients. And Brian will tell you how. All right welcome Brian Zimmerman. You still have one of my favorite gym names, CrossFit Jungle Gym. I love it. Hello. Welcome back to the show.

Brian (01:19):

Thank you, Mike. Glad to be back.

Mike (01:21):

We’re going to talk prescriptive model today. And Chris Cooper talks about this all the time. He did a show previous in our archives. He talked about the prescriptive model in depth, and we’ll link to that one in the show notes, for sure.

Mike (01:33):

So that you guys can get to it. It’s called your key to survival as a microgym. And so Chris talked about it from a big picture perspective industry-wide why this sets gyms apart. It’s the coaching. It’s how they intake clients. We’re going to dial that in even a little bit further in this episode. And we’re going to talk to Brian who works right at ground level. Both has a mentor who helps people implement this model. And also as a gym owner who uses this thing. So for people who’ve never heard of it, what’s the short description of the prescriptive model. Why is it important? How does it work?

Brian (02:01):

So the prescriptive model in short is listening to your client’s goals. The obstacles that get in the way of those, and then prescribing the service, that’s going to help them accomplish their goals. Overcoming the obstacles.

Mike (02:16):

It’s funny. When you say listen to clients’ goals, it sounds like the easiest, most obvious thing you could ever say. And yet for 10 years, I probably didn’t do that as well as I could have.

Brian (02:25):

If that isn’t exactly how—I felt dumb for not having been more specific about it way early, right?

Mike (02:38):

Like I just assumed for years that people want to come do Fran with me and throw up, you know, that’s not what they wanted. They wanted like weight loss or self confidence, or they wanted to feel good about themselves or they wanted like to inspire their children or any number of goals. All I do is sit down and ask. And only when we started doing that, did we start to find out these amazing, deep seated parts of these humans that we were working with. We didn’t know about. And as we found out those things, we could do exactly what you said. We could find the barriers that were in their way, and then we could write prescriptions to help them get around those barriers and find success. And guess what–retention got better? Clients got better results, right.

Brian (03:13):

Yeah, absolutely. And I think one of the things in there is like, you know, I run a CrossFIt gym, you run a CrossFit gym. Like we know that what we have is the solution to a lot of these things already. And so like, I think that’s probably like when I was a personal trainer, I definitely, you know, before opening my own gym, like I probably was more prescriptive then than when I opened the CrossFit gym was like, Oh yeah, CrossFits the thing that’s gonna, you know, solve everybody’s problems. And you know, like we didn’t start using the prescriptive model until 2016. And it was kinda like, OK, you’re going to do this because it’s better than what we were doing before. And we didn’t like really fully embrace it until 2017. So it took about a year to be like, yeah, this is what we should be doing.

Brian (04:03):

And I don’t think until, I don’t know, maybe a year ago, do I feel like we really sort of perfected, you know, being prescriptive with our clients and, you know, I think it was when in 2016, when I was reading through one of Chris’s books and it might’ve been his first one and we started doing an offering like one-on-one on-ramp. And like that’s when we started to get more into the client goals and what they wanted to accomplish. But really like the thing that really set us, like in 2017, when we really started to be like, you know what, prescriptive model is it, is like when we sat down and wrote our mission and vision statement, it was like, all right, we want to help people live a better healthier life. And my mentor at the time said, what you have to do this then like, you’re doing your clients a disservice f you’re not helping them, the most that you can, you’ll be failing your gym’s mission. And it was like, yeah, well I guess if that’s what we’re out to accomplish then we better start doing this thing

Mike (05:04):

And it works. And it helps clients, which is huge and it also helps gyms. Right? And we’ll get into that in just a sec, but I’m going to go through the graphic here that we’ll put in the show notes, but the graphic is you have an intro and you know, we call it a no sweat intro, but you can call it a free intro, whatever you want, at that intro, you’re going to do an objective measurement. How can we actually, how are we going to determine success? I get it. So it’s a weight loss oal, I want to lose 10 pounds by December 1st or whatever that goal is. You’ve got this objective measurement, then you’re gonna offer a prescription. And that prescription involves now this is a modification in person or online, right? Because with the whole COVID thing, we have gyms that aren’t opening up gyms that are open, clients that are scared, clients that want to work in person.

Mike (05:44):

That’s a huge one that’s been added to this model specifically in response to COVID and then you’ve got a prescription and that prescription can involve nutrition and/or exercise. It’s going to include accountability, knowledge, and it can be personal training or in a setting, a lot of gym owners, especially CrossFit gym owners. We don’t didn’t even realize that some clients want to do CrossFit in a personal training setting, right? You also have hybrid options, which are personal training, group, nutrition, all these different things combined. And when you start to think about this, you’ve got clients, these services are adding up to get higher average revenue per member, and they’re helping the clients accomplish their goals. In three months, you’re going to do a goal review session with that client. You’re going to go back to that objective measurement. Are we succeeding? If so, what’s next, if not, what needs to change?

Mike (06:27):

And so this whole thing is cyclical, but it allows you to help the clients accomplish their goals. And, you know, for the gym, we get clients who have higher value because they’re constantly adding services to this. I’m going to jump ahead here and just get into that. Chris shared data, he said that three or four out of every 10 clients will upgrade their services based on your prescription in a goal review session. So that’s increased revenue for you as a gym owner. Has that been your experience, Brian, when you do the prescriptive model with existing clients?

Brian (06:55):

We’ve actually had a little bit better success rate in that regard. Yeah. So while we, it’s funny, when we first started, right? So my mentor had told me, you know, you know, if anybody upgrades, it’s great, you know, like the goal isn’t necessarily to upgrade them. It’s upgrade them if they need it, but he said, why don’t you start out with, you know, the people that, you know, could use more help and go ask them what their goals are and see what, how you can help them better, right. To service your gym’s mission. And so 10 of our first 12 goal setting sessions upgraded, and we had to stop doing athlete review. Like we had to stop being so prescriptive because we didn’t have, like, it was my wife and I at the time. And like, my wife worked a full time job. I was the only full time coach and my schedule was packed and I didn’t even have the time to do any more sessions. So it was like we had to stop doing them. It was like that for a long time. It’s a little ridiculous.

Brian (08:08):

And, you know, it’s like, you know, going off that initial success is like, the key piece was like, we went at first only to people that we knew needed more help. And you’re like, we could see frustration, whether it was, you know, they’re trying to learn a new skill or they were having trouble losing weight and we’ve seen or heard the frustration at some point, it was going to them first. And like one of the keys there was like, we just got much more confident in our ability to service those people. So it’s like, all right, we had 10 people upgrade to do personal training. We were too busy until they would have dropped off personal training. And by the time they got to that point, it was, they got the result they wanted. And so what it did was just give us as coaches so much more confidence, and we are really providing a better service to our clients by doing personal training or nutrition or so on. It just showed, it proved to ourselves that number one, we should be helping with more service. And number two, that the service was definitely worth the money that our clients were spending.

Mike (09:09):

So the best part about this maybe is that, like, it doesn’t feel like selling at that point. Right? So to fulfill your gym’s mission, right? So this is the thing. And again, if you want to know how to do this, vision, mission, go to our archives. Kaleda Connell’s show is amazing. She’ll tell you how to do it. But if you have your gym’s mission, this is the thing that like is close to your heart. This is the reason why you exist and why you doing what you do. And you can use this model to fulfill it. That’s a huge win just from like an emotional moral standpoint. However, from a business perspective, it’s also adding revenue, which is a huge win from the entrepreneurial perspective. And then the third win comes because that the clients get what they want to.

Mike (09:48):

An example that I’ll throw at you is like, you know, for years you have athletes and, you know, in my gym, we’re struggling with double unders, right? Just classic one where they’re just not good at double unders. Every double under workout. And especially the Open, they would get a horrible result. They’d leave angry. And I would try on the side. OK. And I’ll try this. Coach them during the workout coach them before and after, but it was always just like two or three minutes here and there between classes. What if I had just used the prescriptive model and said, what are your goals like, God damn, I need to get double unders so that I can not lose those workouts all the time. Well, I’m just going to give you a one on one personal training session. We’re going to book three of them. I bet in three hours, I’m going to get you double unders and we’re going to get 50% better. And if at the end of that, it works. We’re good. If not, we’ll go a little bit further. Are you in for that? The client be like, how much? And you’re like, this is the rate, done, easy sale. They get what they want. I get what I want. Everything’s good. But I didn’t do that until probably two years ago. Mistake.

Brian (10:42):

Yeah. I mean, I just think of, you know, the clients that we had that needed one-on-one service that we lost before we started doing it. I mean, insanity. And, you know, the coaches who wanted more opportunity, but we couldn’t provide it to them that we lost, insanity. And then the profit, like, and even if you’re one of those people, that’s like, money’s the enemy, but you’re like really just out here to help people. Like, even if you’re that person, guess what we did with that money? Is we reinvested back in the gym to help more people better. And like, it’s self perpetuating, like the more profitable the gym, the more people we can better serve. And like, I’ll tell you, like, if we would have not made some of these mistakes, I mean, maybe I would be a terrible mentor and I wouldn’t have anything to teach anybody. Cause I never made any mistakes. But man, like everything about the prescriptive model is a win for clients, win for the coaches, win for the business owner. And it just keeps on pushing the ball forward.

Mike (11:59):

What about this one? Like what about this insanity where you’ve got a client who maybe started off with CrossFit and for whatever reason, maybe just lost interest, you know, because fitness is a fickle industry at times, but there’s also like maybe they just don’t like muscle-ups and barbells. They don’t care that much, but they still want to be fit. And they’re like, well, you’re a CrossFit gym, so I need to quit. OK, well, you know, we’re doing Fran again today. And what if you just said to that clien, you know, I do personal training and you never have to touch barbell for the rest of your life and I’m still gonna make you fitter. And if you don’t like group classes and you can’t make my 8 pm class, you can come at two 30 on a Wednesday because I have a personal trainer for you. Would that work in person? Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good deal.

Brian (12:42):

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Insanity. With the goal reviews, especially like, you know, I have it kind of narrowed down to people really come, they come to the gym with one of six obstacles. You know, there there’s more obstacles than there are goals. But like really the breakdown to like somebody, like a program that they’re having that they’ve done before, or even in your own program, right. They’re not getting the results they want. They’re not seeing progress. So maybe they are getting results, but they don’t see them. Maybe something about the environment is poor for them, whether it’s at home or at the gym, maybe they’re bored or lack of novelty. And like, you know, I think, you know, when we were looking at some of the LEG bands, you know, there seems to be a fall off in membership around the two year mark.

Brian (13:34):

It’s like, they’ve experienced for example, what a program has to offer. And now they’re like, I want to try something new. And if it’s not, if you don’t have anything different at your gym, then they’re going to leave your gym and go somewhere else. And then the other one’s lack of motivation, but what’s important is that every time you’re sitting down for a goal review or a no sweat intro, that you’re looking at, what the client has done previously over the last, you know, like in a no sweat intro, you’re just trying to get a really clear painted picture of what the client has tried and done and is capable of, right. And like if I have a client that has gone to another fitness facility and they come to me and they say, I’m just not seeing the results like that.

Brian (14:23):

I want, you know, whether it’s weight loss or body composition or, you know, the first thing that we need to do is take an objective measure and go, OK, guess what’s not going to happen. Is number one we’re not going to let you accidentally not see the results that you are getting. And because in two months from now, we’re going to remeasure and show you the progress. And if we haven’t made progress, it’s going to give us evidence as to what else to change going forward. But we’re committed to problem solving with you from data. I think that one of the easiest things that we can do is just look at a previous track record to use that from a client’s like, you know, Mike, you’ve been working out with us the last three months. You’re not feeling so motivated.

Brian (15:12):

  1. Let’s figure out what works, what we need to do to get you motivated. And it may come from, you’re not seeing the progress that you want and it’s either going to be, you’re not getting progress. So we need to change maybe the program or how you adhere to the program. Or it may be that we just need to highlight when we see success from you and there’s systems we can do, right. We talked about bright spots Friday. We chat about in like in my gym, we have a PR board and we put all the PRs from a day on the board, every single day that somebody has a PR and it’s these little things like I’m making progress, I’m making progress. I’m making progress. If you can continue to put that in front of somebody, you’re going to solve the motivation problem.

Brian (15:55):

So like the prescriptive model on an individual basis is look at what has or hasn’t been working and then upgrade, stay the same, or do less service depending on the client result. From a systems perspective, goal review sessions, are where you find the holes or where you’re going to make improvement to your systems in the gym, right? If somebody is not getting the best results and it’s because of lack of adherence, you go, how do I systematize getting people to show up? And you go, all right, well, they’re coming two days a week. And I think they need to be here four days a week. What do we need to do to get that person to show up four days a week? And like, let’s build that into the prescription. For me, I think a hybrid membership is the best for that person, because I’m going to go, you’re going to book a one on one session every Monday at four o’clock with James, and then he’s going to go, Mike, what three days you coming this week to class?

Brian (16:59):

And it’s not even that, like the adherence piece is like, it’s not even about the personal training. It’s about the accountability and the asking you to schedule. Like, and if you kind of look at, you know, when you’re in a prescriptive, like in your you’re in a goal setting session, you’re going to prescribe the client what to do is you have to, the most important piece is diagnosing what the problem is, right? And then prescribing, hopefully you have a service that lines up with that. If we’re going through this cycle of, you know, listening to client goals, improving our services to meet the obstacles that they’re facing, eventually you get to a point where your service and your ability to diagnose a client’s problems get to the point where they should only leave if they run out of money or like, they just really don’t like squats anymore.

Brian (17:53):

Or, you know, some something that you couldn’t possibly provide. Like, just an aside here is we had somebody come and they said they want to lose weight. And they wanted to do it through a dance class. I said, well, we can help you lose weight, but we don’t do a dance class. So they were not happy when they joined our gym, you know? But like just looking at where a client has been, you know, if they’ve been doing another program for three months, or they’ve been showing up four days a week, but they’re not getting results and they’ve been taking objective measure, we need to upgrade the program. And if so, like if they’ve just been doing a conditioning program and they’re trying to change their body composition, maybe they need more strength training involved. And like, that’s something that can either happen in a group setting or maybe it has to happen one-on-one, but it’s up to the coach to decide what the prescription needs to be.

Mike (18:45):

How many times have you seen something like this, where someone’s got a two time a week membership? And let’s say, it’s typically I’m not using a stereotype here, but I will use it because of my experience. It has been females more often. Some of our females just didn’t like Olympic weightlifting. And so you have a female, for example. And again, it could be a male in any gym. I’m just using this as a personal example, who they have two times a week membership. And for whatever reason, the day, the two days that week that they show up happen to be snatch day and clean and jerk day. They don’t like it. Right. And they probably see the value and they trust you. So they’re going to stick around with it for a while. But after a while, they hate that. They really just want to do like wall balls and running and all the other like conditioning workouts and things like that.

Mike (19:24):

And maybe the clean and jerk and snatch don’t align with their goals at all. You know, like all that different stuff. And like, if we had just offered a prescription that involved more personalized programming, or whatever, said, you know, hybrid programs, come here, come to these two classes, everything would have been different. And like, I don’t want to, this is like, this model is simple. You look at the graphic, it’s simple. But literally what we’re talking about is earth shattering stuff. If you drop this into 2014, 2015, 2009, like literally if any gym owner had started doing this in 2009, he or she would probably be retired right now with a gym that was making millions of dollars. That’s not an exaggeration, like you’ve talked to tons of gym owners. Is that, is that exaggeration?

Brian (20:07):

No. Like if anybody would have been doing this ahead of the curve, like they would be crushing it. And I think some of the two rain gyms that started doing this in the first phases are the ones that are just absolutely crushing it. Right.

Mike (20:23):

Because it wasn’t happening. No one was doing it. We were just, we didn’t know why our clients came. We didn’t know why they left. We didn’t know how to get them back. We didn’t know how to change our programs to satisfy. We had no idea.

Brian (20:31):

Yeah. Yeah. it’s certainly been a game changer for us. And, you know, even if you have clients that end up leaving for a reason, some reason or other, you know, they decide, want to train Ironman for the next year. And like we had, I don’t know, probably a dozen, dozen Ironman, that’ll go like I’m taking the year off because I’m focusing on this and they come back and they’re like this—the gym’s ability to give me what I needed when I needed it. Like there’s no client who’s ever left and said, they didn’t try to help me the best they could. Like, it just won’t happen. And I think in the earlier days where people didn’t know, we didn’t offer a service that would have been a better help. They left going that gym’s not for me.

Brian (21:27):

People don’t leave saying that anymore. They say that’s more service than I need. Like I don’t need that much coaching anymore. I’ve got a good knowledge base and I want to try it on my own. And I still go because I like the environment or I like something else. And I think in the long haul is like, the more prescriptive you are, obviously you’re more valuable to a large sum of people, but even the people that maybe are the do it yourself types can still see the value of you when they, when they have a goal that they haven’t trained for before. And you know, all around just prescribing clients correctly, and sometimes as painful as it is, sometimes it’s prescribing them to go to a different gym.

Brian (22:19):

And, you know, there was a time probably four or five years ago where there was no way I’m recommending somebody to go to another gym, no way. I needed every dollar, every dime. And, you know, I think that’s one of the things that, you know, as you build good systems and you’re profitable that you get this confidence about what your gym can do better than any other gym. And what makes you and the gym a mile down the road different it’s one of the things that helps you sleep at night, knowing that you’re servicing the people that are right for your gym. And you can, if somebody is going to be more, is going to be better off, right, going to the gym that just does open gym and can spend $40. Like, I’m not trying to compete with that gym.

Brian (23:08):

That’s not what we do. You know, we provide exercise prescriptions. And if it means you need to do personal training to get the results that you want, then we’re going to tell you, and like, if you need open gym, that’s great, but that’s not a service that we provide and we choose not to. And I’ll recommend you to go down the street to the gym that does provide it. And when you have something that you need the coach or you need personal training, or you need the group environment, then you know, right where to come back. And I’m confident that that’s going to be the case.

Mike (23:46):

It really is a magic bullet in the sense that like you’re satisfying clients and you’re increasing average revenue per member. And in these goal review sessions, you’re solving problems, right? So the things that might’ve caused a client to leave, you can solve because you know about them and can remove the barriers and you can show them the progress that they’re making. So there’s no like, I don’t know if I’m getting any stronger, you can literally show them you’ve added 30 pounds to your deadlift in two months or three months or whatever it is, this increases retention. So you’ve got higher average revenue per member, times retention. And all of a sudden your revenue and profit are, you know, it solves a ton of problems. Like it’s just a good thing for everything. It’s a huge win.

Brian (24:22):

Yeah. Yeah. And when I started with Two-Brain, our gym’s ARM was about 180, which was good, you know? You know, and we’ve always been a smaller gym, right? When you focus on giving clients exactly what they need, you know, you have a bit of a bandwidth set on you, you know, in relation to having really good coaches that can do exactly that. And you know, our ARM right now, I think for 2019, we were somewhere in the average like 285.

Mike (24:59):

Monstrous. And that’s incredible.

Brian (25:01):

And you know, even in times like this, like I was telling you earlier, like we’re not even open inside in New Jersey. And like this last month, I want to say our ARM is probably close to 300. I, you know, for August, I don’t, I’ll have to check the numbers, but it’s close. It might even be over it. It might actually even be one of our best. And it’s just by listening to your clients individually, as individuals and saying, what do you want, let me help you and putting together the program that’s going to do it. And by the time you sort of set the systems around, you know, their main obstacles and how you can empower your coaches to do the prescriptive model without having to, you know, like they don’t have to be perfect. They’re just going based off past information and making improvements. Then you can set up the system where you’re serving clients really well and your coaches feel empowered to do so. And I think it starts with just, I think it just starts with caring and having a mission to help people, and then going and telling people what they need, you know? And I think if you sum up the prescriptive model, that’s it, you know,

Mike (26:23):

Because Brian’s in New Jersey under like under the strict lockdown orders, one of the toughest states in the union down there, and he’s getting, he’s hitting an ARM, average revenue per member, close to a record, right? Like over 300, that’s the power of this model again. And this is like real data, not made-up stuff. We can actually tell you, well, I’ll give you this. Check out the Surge series by Chris Cooper. He talks about why this is happening in some gyms and why it’s not happening in other gyms. He’ll tell you how to start a surge and how to deal with it, how to get the clients in there, how to prepare and give them prescriptions. So check out that, we’ll put that link in the show notes for you, for sure. Right after this quick break, Brian and I are going to do a little role playing here.

Mike (27:03):

And we’re going to show you how a goal review session would work. Brian’s a master. I have a problem. I don’t want to work out that much. So we’ll do right after this. Website, designer, marketer, landing page software, calendar, CRM, form builder, emailing service, texting platform, connecting software. You can get rid of all of them by switching to Gym Lead Machine. This is the platform used by Chris Cooper, along with over 60% of the Two-Brain mentorship team. The average gym owner saves over $300 a month with Gym Lead Machine. And they’ll even waive the $1,000 setup fee for Two-Brain Radio listeners. Switching is easy and you can go live in just one week. Visit to watch a demo and book a sales call. And we are back. It’s Brian Zimmerman from CrossFit Jungle Gym.

Mike (27:45):

We’re gonna do a short role playing session. Brain. I am a client at your gym. I’m in your office for our goal review session, I’ve been at your gym for six months. The honeymoon phase of easy gains is over. My attendance is starting to fall off because I’m not hitting PRs every single workout. It’s getting a little bit harder. There’s the novelty is kind of wearing off. I’m just not fired up to train. Let’s work through this goal review session so people can see how it works. Is that cool?

Brian (28:09):

OK, let’s do it.

Mike (28:10):

So let’s do it. So here, I’m walking in your office, I’m sitting down and here we go.

Brian (28:14):

Mike. So I heard you’re feeling a little unmotivated lately.

Mike (28:20):

Dude. You know, I’m just, I’m kind of just feeling, I don’t know. I’m just not feeling like going to the gym as much as I used to in the first, you know, couple of months.

Brian (28:26):

  1. Let’s see. So what we’re normally I would have your no sweat intro goals written down.

Mike (28:35):

You can make up a few. I’ll roll with it.

Brian (28:38):

Go ahead. Why don’t you just tell me why you came here in the first place. What were some of your goals when you showed up?

Mike (28:44):

My friends were all talking about this CrossFit thing said it was amazing. Told me your gym was great. And, you know, I had always kind of just done a little bit of working out here and there, but I, you know, I needed to get in shape more and I just, you know, it was feeling kind of blah, about my appearance and stuff. And so I decided like, yeah, I’ll come see you guys. And I decided to join CrossFit. I guess the, you know, the real goal would have been to like drop 10 or 15 pounds and maybe feel better about myself.

Brian (29:09):

  1. So it seems to me like, you know, we got a little bit of a weight loss goal. Why was that important to you?

Mike (29:17):

Ah, you know, I just, yeah, I went to my university or my high school reunion and I try to put on some of the old pants that used to fit three years ago and it felt pretty snug. And I started to realize that something had happened to me where I just had gained weight that I didn’t really realize, and I felt kind of embarrassed about it. So I wanted to make a change because I didn’t want to be that guy who just kept adding 10 pounds every couple of years and all of a sudden, you know, I was just not the person I wanted to be.

Brian (29:43):

Yeah. OK. So, you know, you feel like the losing 10, 15 pounds would give you the confidence to go to—you probably won’t have a high school reunion for another five years here, but, you know, your next social gathering, you feel like losing 10, 15 pounds would have you feel more confident about going out there.

Mike (30:00):

That, and I’d probably honestly feel physically better. It was just, I didn’t realize until I put on those pants, but like physically, I was starting to feel like, you know, I would kind of drag it a little bit cause it’s 15 pounds. A lot of weight.

Brian (30:10):

Yeah. OK. So we want to lose a little bit of weight. Let’s say help us feel a little bit more confident and feel better about ourselves. And in the long term, why would you want to feel better about yourself?

Mike (30:23):

I guess part of it, it would be like, you know, want to be a role model for my kids, but it also, you know, I just like we got the whole COVID thing going on. I know that like the healthier I am, the better I’m going to be, you know, I think would probably make my wife happier if, you know, if I felt happier about myself and more confident.

Brian (30:38):

Yeah. OK. So it looks like really overall we have sort of a physical wellbeing and a mental wellbeing that we’re trying to accomplish. So we have, you know, weight loss is sort of the objective that would lead towards you feeling better about yourself and leading a healthier life to be around for your kids. So it seems to me like your major reason why you would want to train at all is to be healthy and be around for your family. Is that correct?

Mike (31:03):

Yeah, I think that’s pretty accurate, you know, I’d feel like a good family member, strong father.

Brian (31:09):

Yeah. OK, good. Now tell me a little bit about like the last three months. So, you know, we sat down three months ago, you seem pretty motivated to get in here and get more fit, you know, checked your attendance, you know, your attendance, you know, on average two times a week. And we don’t really think that that’s enough to get where you want to go. So tell me a little bit about what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been feeling.

Mike (31:34):

Well I’ve been coming those two times a week. And honestly I probably a couple of weeks in the last couple of weeks probably came once a week. You know, I was just feel a little bit unmotivated having trouble getting there. So my attendance has probably been, if I’m truly honest, I’ve been dropping off a little bit. You know, before that, I guess like I was really kind of feeling fired up by seeing like results. Every time I came in, I was getting stronger, numbers were changing and things like that. Now it’s kind of slowing down a little bit and I’m just not, I feel like I’m spinning my tires maybe.

Brian (32:03):

Yeah. So it’s not necessarily an uncommon experience where it gets a little bit tougher to get the results you want. So like we made progress in your first six months, and now it’s getting a little bit tougher to do that. So I got a couple of options for you. So right now, you know, we’ve got a goal of losing 10 pounds, realistically, we could make that happen in the next three months. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, help with the confidence and, you know, and set you on the track to be more healthy. So are there any other goals that you feel like you’re like in the next three months, like, you know, I would know that I’m on track to being healthy and being the person I want to be. If we hit them.

Mike (32:47):

That’s probably the main one is probably that weight loss. But if I give you a second one, I mean, I really like the deadlift. So if my deadlift number went up, you know, from time to time that would be kind of a big win for me too.

Brian (32:58):

  1. All right. So lose 10 pounds, deadlift.

Mike (33:01):

Call it a strength goal, I guess.

Brian (33:04):

All right. So based on your goals and like the track record that you have over the last three months, I think that you’re going to be better suited instead of doing your unlimited CrossFit membership and coming one or two times a week is you’re going to be better suited with a hybrid membership and getting into our first month of nutrition. So the two programs, so like the hybrid membership first is what I want you to do is you’re going to meet with coach Jim. He’s gonna meet you on Monday for a personal training session every week, 30 minutes only. What you’re gonna be able to do is you’re spend the time working on, you know, strengthening lower body to help build up your deadlift. You’re gonna do that every week for three months, right? It’s like over the course of three months, we’re going to make huge progress on the deadlift.

Mike (33:53):

I’m already excited about it. I’m jumping out of character here, but like, when you say that, I’m like, cause I actually do like the deadlift. That sounds amazing. I’m back in character now.

Brian (34:02):

Yeah. And so like what also is going to happen in that session? So we’ll get to work on your specific goal to deadlift, but more important is what’s going to happen is Jim’s going to make sure that you schedule your three classes for the week. And so on Monday you meet with Jim, the first thing he’s going to do is going to say, all right, Mike, as you’re getting warmed up, he’s just say, all right, what days are we coming this week? He’s going to sign you into those classes right then and there. And you know, what’s going to happen the following Monday, if you haven’t gone to those three classes, Jim’s going to look at the attendance from last week and he’s going Mike. You told me you’re coming in on Friday at 4:00 PM and you didn’t. What happened.

Brian (34:44):

And you’re going to straighten up. You’re going to go yep. Got it, coach. Won’t do it again. All right. And so like in terms of losing the 10 pounds, like we just need to be really, really consistent. You know, the healthy longterm health goals are going to keep you around for your kids, wife and be mentally sane is like, we just need you to show up regularly. And having that level of accountability with that half an hour session each week is going to be the thing that really sets that up. And like, you’re never going to go a week where you haven’t been personally held accountable by the coaches, say, Mike, where are you? And why haven’t you been doing what you told me, what we agreed to do? The second piece is the nutrition piece. So like anytime that we’re talking about a weight loss goal, like it’s going to help to meet with a coach who can meet you where you’re at with your nutrition.

Brian (35:35):

So our nutrition, our first month, basically, you’re gonna get five sessions with coach Tommy. He’s going to walk you through some of the basics. I know you’ve got one of those sessions with Tommy, so you’ve already met him before. But he’s going to make sure that we’re building a nutrition plan that fits your lifestyle and your goals, 10 pounds. This should be an easy fix, but we understand that life happens. And just like, you know, you learn the snatch at some point in months two and three here, right? We didn’t just throw 185 pounds on there for you. We started with a PVC pipe and we did progressions and we built you to it. The same thing’s gonna happen in our nutrition program. And he’s going to help give you the one thing each week that’s going to make the biggest bang for the buck for you, the low hanging fruit. And so like basically starting, let’s see today is Thursday starting on Monday. This is going to be our plan. You’re going to meet with Jim on Monday. He’s going to schedule out your classes with you, and then I’m going to put you on the schedule to meet with Tommy on Thursday. How’s that sound like?

Mike (36:40):

It sounds great. And we’re just going to end it there because like, I’m going to point out a couple of things you did, but at this point you just hammered out, like I’m sold, you hammer out the pricing binder, you tap the numbers and I’m like, cool, let’s do it because you literally solved all my problems. Right? And you guys have your listing. What you saw there was installed accountability. That’s going to remove a huge barrier. And then you install the metrics that are going to show me that I’m actually making progress. Because even though I was working out, I was still making progress. I maybe just wasn’t noticing. Cause we all know after the early honeymoon stage, you know, you don’t get PR every workout, but you still will get PRs. It just happens. I wasn’t working out enough. The accountability solves that. And then you’ve added in the nutrition part, which is, again, now it’s a higher value service because you’ve added training with personalized stuff and nutrition.

Mike (37:26):

So I’m going to get results because no one who follows these programs does not get results. And you’ve also thrown me my carrot, which is like, I want my deadlist to go up. Right? So that’s the one where I’m starting to get some wins where it’s like, that’s a thing that is going to make—you know, my dead lift going up is probably not directly going to make me lose 10 pounds, but it’s gonna make me happy. I’m going to come back more often because of the deadlift. And then as a result of all this stuff, I’m going to accomplish my goals. So the whole process there, we did that probably less than 10 minutes. The final part of that is just, you’re going to pull out your sales binder. We tell you in Two-Brain how to make those, you’re going to show the prices. The sale makes itself because you’ve done so much great work. And then you’re going to book that three month. You know, you’re going, you now have accountability all over the place with coaches, weekly, talking to this guy, but you’re also going to book that three month goal review session down the line so that you can go back, review the metrics, upgrade, change the prescription. And it’s this cyclical thing. Right? So this in practice, Brian, the sales process must get so much easier, you know, when this stuff happens.

Brian (38:23):

Yeah. I mean, one of the keys, like absolutely, absolutely. It’s like one of the big problems, right? It’s like, this is something that, for example, my wife and I as experienced coaches just did, like, even once we start—like we started doing the prescriptive model, these sort of conversations just sort of happen natural for us. And you know, like building into here’s what’s going to help. Right. And that’s sort of the mentality we were in. One of the tough things was to get the coaches to kind of be able to follow along with this and the way that we fixed that problem was just to have a goal setting form that had do this. Ask this question. And here are the membership options. Recommend the one that works best. Book the goal setting session 90 days from now. And like it turned it into the coaches, they can turn their minds off and execute this well. And that’s the primary factor in making this happen without your constant oversight as the owner.

Mike (39:26):

So let me ask you the secondary factor in making this happen, because this is one that I went through myself and I know a lot of gyms have this issue. When you don’t have the prescriptive model in place, right from the beginning. And all of a sudden you put it in, clients are like what’s this goal? What, no, I just want to work out, right? How how do you put this culture in place and start to educate your clients on this thing? And basically have them understand that this 15 minute session, every 90 days, is part of your service. And it’s actually an amazing value add for them in a win.

Brian (39:56):

So glad you asked Mike. The first thing is, get it implemented into your onboarding process. So the no sweat intro and the last day of your onboarding package. So for my gym at 60 days, you know, if you do 90 days or eight weeks or six weeks or whatever, put your goal setting session as part of the package on the last day, all of your new members will have a goal setting session as the no sweat intro on day one. And they’ll have it as part of their final day of their onboarding package. And they’ll be set up for life. They’ll always assume that goal setting sessions are a part of the deal.

Mike (40:33):

So every new client starting now, listeners, every new client that comes into your gym, put that into your introductory session. And I’ll tell you go to the archives, Two-Brain Radio, we’ll put this in the show notes. Brian talks about the introductory process at his gym. Spectacular episode. Watch report me, listen to that episode and you will make money guaranteed. All right. Back to you, Brian.

Brian (40:54):

  1. And then the second piece is for current clients, you don’t even have—we sort of say like athlete check-ins is sort of this formal thing. You know, like you have to book the appointment. When we did our first 12, it was on my schedule. I’ve cleared off 30 minutes, but I haven’t told the client that they’re doing an athlete check in. And at first it was like, this person I know needs extra help. So I’m just going to pull them aside after class I’m to ask them a set of questions that I’ve already predetermined, and then I’m going to offer to help them. And if they’re nodding their head, yes when I’m telling them what to do, then I walk them into the office and I go, Oh, like, you’re interested in doing the personal training that we just talked about. Great. Let’s go in the office real quick and look at the pricing binder and we’ll get you on the schedule. And bam, the deal is done.

Mike (41:48):

And book the next review session 30 to 90 days after that.

Brian (41:51):

Yeah, exactly. Yup. And you know, once you like, first step, get in your onboarding package, second step, do it informally with the people that you know need help. Third is wait until those first people that went through onboarding have completed their goal review session after onboarding. And another secret is you put your little testimonial questions onto your goal setting form so that your coaches goes, Oh, Mike, that sounds like you had a really awesome last 60 days or 90 days. Pop out the camera, introduce yourself. How’d you come to the gym, tell us about your success. And you capture these testimonial videos, by the way, this is how you get over a hundred of them on your website too. But you capture that and all the members that see these videos that you now post and share, they go, I want that. I want to be the person that’s like getting bragged up and who lost 15 pounds in three months.

Brian (42:55):

And I want to be the person who PR’d my deadlift and I want to be the person. And then they start going, well, what do I need to do? And they start to come to you for the goal review sessions, like, and you know, we have about 10 people in our gym that are just like, Nope, not doing goal review sessions. And we sneak attack them. We just go, Hey, Hey. So I just want to make sure that you’re having a good experience here. And like, it’s, you know, it’s not the 15, 20 minutes sit down like all of our, you know, anybody that’s came in through an onboarding package, they just, they do a formal goal review. The people that have been around and maybe are resistant, maybe they think they feel like it’s an upsell or something.

Brian (43:36):

You go, you know what? I don’t care if you want to sit down with me for 20 minutes, but I want to make sure that you’re still on track and you’re satisfied with your service. And if they go, yup, everything’s good, then great. We don’t need to spend half an hour talking about how you’re super ecstatic or you’re less than ecstatic. Like let’s spend five minutes, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. And if we need to change something, then we can bring up a longer conversation, but everything’s good to go then everything’s good to go.

Mike (44:06):

So you’ve got three strategies there for dealing with your new clients, your existing clients, and then your, like your white whales that are very tough to catch. You know, you got to got to be a little more clever with. If you implement those three systems within probably 90 days, I would guess that you will have a large number of people that are already bought into the process and it’s only gonna grow. And then once installed, you have this kind of golden goose of a revenue system that again helps clients, but also helps the gym. And it’s just this, every 30, every pardon me, every 90 days, you’ve got these things booked in and away you go. And then eventually clients just see it as that is part of their service. And it’s just incredible. And the best part about that is that Chris has written about this.

Mike (44:54):

A number of times, the best part about that is that that is coaching and that model and that level of service and that all those touch points separates you from Orangetheory and all the other high intensity programs that are out there where intensity has been commoditized. And they have the same equipment as you, probably shinier, or they have more tech. They have, you know, different things, probably better change rooms, but they’re not better at servicing their clients because they’re not using this model. So it’s a huge separator. It is a strategic advantage that microgym owners have.

Brian (45:25):

Yeah, absolutely. 100%.

Mike (45:28):

So as we close this out, there’s been a ton of actionable stuff. Do you have any other tips or advice on this one if we’ve covered a ton of stuff. So if you don’t, we’ll just shut her down. But if you do, is there any other tips you would give gym owners who are listening right now and might be interested in his model.

Brian (45:42):

If you’re in this for the right reasons, or even if you’re in just for the money. Like, I mean, either way, the benefit is to you and your clients to go and just offer the help that they need. And it starts with just listening, you know, listen to what they want, what their pain points are and then offer the help that they need. If you’re feeling less than confident that you have a higher value to serve. When I started as a personal trainer, I sold people and then I rushed to figure out how I was going to provide the $50 of value in that hour. Like I sold it ahead of my knowledge.

Brian (46:30):

Exactly. And you know what, if you have to do it that way, they go do it. Like this is also, I tell my young coaches all the time, like go and promise that you’re going to help as best as you possibly can. We don’t necessarily need to promise the results until you’ve proven yourself, but go promise you’re going to give the absolute best offer or the best attention, the most effort that you possibly can. And then go figure out how you’re going to solve their problem. And if you do that in five years, you will be an excellent, excellent coach,

Mike (47:03):

It’s a huge value add. And if you present it properly to the client, they see it as like this isn’t another, I’m not stuck in the stupid sales session. It’s like, this is actually, my coach wants to know how I’m doing and is concerned about, you know, my goals and why I’m here and all this other stuff. And you know, I bet you tell me as a mentor if you’ve ever done this, but I see an easy way to tie this into even a rate increase where you’re like, I’m going to raise my rates by $30. And I feel nervous about this because man, I’m talking on, I don’t know if I’m it, blah, blah, blah, one way to make it worth. It is like, we’re doing goal review sessions. Now this is a free 15 minute thing with your coach. And all of a sudden clients are getting something brand new and they get your time, which is the most valuable thing.

Mike (47:42):

They get this amazing service and it’s like, it helps cushion the blow of that $30 increase or whatever. Like have you seen that happen in practice?

Brian (47:48):

Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, it’s in a price increase, you’re selling every value possible, but like, you know, when you’re doing goal review sessions, you’re using the prescriptive model. It is a value add and you want to sell it in every possible way to your clients. Absolutely. Short answer.

Mike (48:10):

I’m going to do something I don’t normally do. We’re going to cut the show off right now, just cold. And I want you guys to go out there. We’ve gushed about this model for about 45 minutes here and told you exactly how to do it. Shut this podcast down, go find a member in your gym the next time you’re there. And if you’re there right now, go do it.

Mike (48:28):

Walk out there and just start talking to that person, just like Brian said, and just have a casual conversation about goals. Where are you at? How things are going? If the person is interested in some, you know, talk a little bit more, wiggle your way over into the office and let’s start, go through the prescriptive model. Just exactly like you just listened. Brian, we’re done here. You’ve given people more than enough info. They need to get take action. So we’re just going to cut it off, come back and share it with us again. Thanks for being here. This was another episode of Two-Brain Radio. I’m Mike Warkentin, my guest was Brian Zimmerman. Did this episode help you out? I hope so. What are you struggling with right now as a gym owner? We’d love to hear from you. Send your feedback or show ideas to Thanks for listening to Two-Brain Radio. We’re back with another episode this Thursday. Be sure to check it out and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


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