Last week, Josh Martin asked me a great question: “What are you training for now?”
It’s funny, but this question isn’t asked often enough in the fitness industry. When most microgyms moved from 1:1 training to group training (like CrossFit, bootcamp, or other programs,) this question got thrown out with the bathwater. But good coaches know to ask this question early and often, because clients don’t buy bootcamps. Clients buy results. So I’ll share my current training plan and goals as an illustration of a potential client for your gym. But the simple answer is I’m training to be the best CEO I can be.
I found CrossFit after a few years as a competitive powerlifter. Before that, I was a cyclist.
I dropped powerlifting for CrossFit because I was bored. CrossFit’s novelty was its most attractive feature. I was already pretty good at some of it–I remember deadlifting 520 in my first CrossFit Total–and the combination of victory+novelty is irresistible to the human brain.
But ten years into CrossFit, I had different goals. As Two-Brain grew from 16 gyms to 160, then 300, then 500, the weight of responsibility became very distracting. It became hard to wander into my own gym for the noon group. Though I needed the mental break, it was very hard to switch from deep focus to social time. And it became almost impossible to switch back to deep focus afterward.
Doing CrossFit on my own didn’t work: I was so distracted by the problems of other gym owners that I couldn’t focus on my lifts or maintain any kind of focused intensity.
So last May, I got back on my bike.
There are a lot of reasons why longer-state aerobic work is great for CEOs. First, your brain produces more BDNF, which aids memory and problem-solving. You make connections between people and ideas more easily, and that’s a huge part of being a successful CEO. Second, it’s easier to enter flow state–where you do your best work–with a repetitive physical movement. You can download my free Flow State guide here. Third, it’s the CEO’s job to think without distractions. There’s not much smalltalk on a bike.
So a year ago, I climbed on my bike. And I never got off again.
If I were a client at your gym last May, would I have cancelled my membership? Probably.
Would I have come back since? Probably not.
But I’m still a member of Catalyst, and not just because I own it. I’m a member because my coach is still my coach, whether CrossFit class is the best path to my goals or not.
The thing is, the coaches at Catalyst don’t sell CrossFit. The use CrossFit as a tool for many of their members. It’s not the tool they use with me right now.
My workouts include long rides and short sprints. Sometimes I do pushups and pullups and sometimes I do mobility work. Sometimes I get off the bike and squat.
I track wattage, speed and muscle soreness.
I compare my scores against last year and last month.
I test on rides from last year and last week.
And I’m winning.
I’m 12 pounds lighter. I’m faster on my bike. But more importantly–matching my real goal–I’m focused. I’m in flow state. I’m building things to help gym owners really fast. I’m overcoming relationship hurdles on a fast-growing team. I’m growing as a leader. Two-Brain Business is growing as a company, helping our clients more and adding staff every month.
That means my coach is doing a great job. I’m reaching my goals.
Every person in town should exercise at your gym. I mean it. But if you’re trying to sell one thing to everyone, they’ll never get the benefit of your expertise. Who are you pushing away?