The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/How to Make Your Gym YOUR Gym with Tyler Reiter of Torque S&C

How to Make Your Gym YOUR Gym with Tyler Reiter of Torque S&C

Friday, January 20, 2023

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  • What is the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn as a gym owner? - 0:13
  • ​What was it like to be locked down during the crisis? - 1:39
  • ​How did you get started as a gym owner? - 4:28
  • ​How does the flow of powerlifting work? - 11:25
  • ​Coaching is like having another voice in the gym - 17:21
  • ​The importance of objectively looking at what you’re doing and not doing it just for the sake of it - 20:19
  • ​How to deal with backlash when you’re trying to change your identity - 21:01
  • ​Having a gym in your area that is worth going to - 28:45
  • ​How Tyler got his first coach, Bob - 30:39
  • ​The barbell club is such a neat idea if you’re choosing to compete in a sport - 32:35
  • ​Staying in your lane and being resilient to criticism - 38:38


Tyler 00:13
Welcome back to the podcast. Ladies and gentlemen, joining us in the gym owners podcast today. We have another Tyler, we have. We have Tyler Ryder, owner of torque, strength and conditioning in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tyler, we always jump in with the heavy hitting questions right away. Tyler, tell us what is the hardest lesson you've had to learn as a gym owner to date?

Tyler Reiter 00:35
I would say probably be prepared for the unexpected. Especially in the last few years, obviously, with COVID. Even stuff between gym owners stuff everything with that. I would definitely say they don't. Prior to COVID I thought I had everything going. Nothing's going to derail us. And long Behold, boom, we had to shut down like many businesses. I think that was a hard pill to swallow even though you do everything right. Someone can make you lose what you worked for.

Tyler 01:05
Yeah, well, that's tough, that's a tough spot to be in too, because you can be a resilient business and kind of get by entering down swings and things like this. But just stops like this aren't built for that, like almost in any form. And I think that's the thing that I think a lot of people will have picked up on in this last few years is like, you know, it's that's it's one thing that like, outside forces, whether government that they can shut you down right away, you know, either of those things that come in, and you can lose kind of everything with the snap of a finger, you know, and there's not much you can do about it.

Tyler Reiter 01:38
Yeah, that's exactly what happened. I mean, we're fortunate enough that our staff and members are amazing. So we were able to get through it. We came out the other side better, but ya know, a lot of business it wasn't it wasn't a fun situation.

Tyler 01:50
What's crazy to me, go ahead, John. No,

John Fairbanks 01:53
no, no, no, you go, because I was essentially going to transition a little bit. So you guys keep on. What's crazy

Tyler 01:59
To me, if I'm being totally honest, I don't wasn't interested in paying for a gym membership during a lockdown. You know what I mean? If I was in one of those places, if I love to say that during all the hardships of COVID, that I would have been coughing up another couple 100 bucks a month or something. I'm obviously not getting the same value out of him as before. Personally God, I'd love to say that I would have kept biting that bullet. But I ain't got that stuff built into me to just be wasting money. That's it, it's such a testament to, I think, how good the communities are, that you guys have built to have people that are really like my money even though I'm not getting it all back. Like I need you to still be able here to do this for

Tyler Reiter 02:42
Yeah, no, I agree. Even myself. And that's why it was so hard to like, you know, luckily, our business structure was sound enough to where I kind of told people Tough shit they are paying. Online. You know, we did like cooking classes and all this, but that was short lived, you know, with our facility. I'm really lucky. You've been there. Yeah. Where? You know, once April hitting it was nice enough. Yeah. Might have been chilly. But I was outside. You know, I bring squat racks outside all that I give people two sessions per day. Kind of like a mid morning and mid afternoon. Yeah. But we still had a lot of members showing up so we would like to stay away. We didn't know what's going on with COVID at the time. Yeah, raise shut down. So we did that as soon as possible. So people, I think if we wouldn't have done that, I think it'd be hard for people to continue to pay. Yeah.

John Fairbanks 03:30
So and that's where I was going to ask is kind of getting everybody acclimated to where you are. So you guys are in St. Paul, in Minnesota here in the States. And what was that locked down? I mean, essentially, Tyler spent some time so stone spent some time over in Europe, which is still you know, in some areas is bananas. I'm in Virginia, which has a totally different setup and situation compared to, say, New York or Los Angeles or California. What was it like where you guys were? And that sounds like you had at least some flexibility to be outside and even stay open.

Tyler Reiter 04:04
Are they for us? It was the craziest because of the things that were to come. You know, in the beginning, we didn't know what was happening. Like, we're like, Yeah, let's do the thing and lock down and, you know, get through this shit. But as things started progressing, you know, we started figuring stuff out more and more and more and more of like, alright, we need to be open, which then there was some backlash from that. And it's like, well, no offense, but you're gonna be unemployed. I'm not.

Tyler 04:28
Yeah, I'll have

Tyler Reiter 04:31
it and excuse me, but fuck you. So I think that was my whole attitude towards it. And then, you know, I say this. I don't think we would have opened unless George Floyd didn't happen. I wholeheartedly do not believe he would have opened up as soon as we did. Just because of the riots and everything. Oh, yeah,

Tyler 04:50
That's right. I forget that. You guys are in Minneapolis. Yeah, yeah, man. Yeah, I totally forgot about that. Yeah,

Tyler Reiter 04:55
It's up to my gym for three days. Oh, my dog My guns? Yeah, for sure. So I don't think we would open up if that didn't happen. I think often people saw the writing on the wall like these people can congregate and riot and be together then why can

Tyler 05:15
it's a tough spot to be in, we talked to Everett about this in Canada where this, you know, they're responding to different sets of rules. But it's like, we don't want to create a hill to die on either because it sucks, you know, we're here just trying to do fitness and try to make a living and try to like, make a healthier world community. And also, you don't want to alienate people who maybe have a different interpretation of the COVID fear equation, right? I don't want those people to hate me or not think they can get fit in my place of business. So it's tough as a gym owner to be like, well, I need to fight. I need to advocate for what I think is right, my right to be open. And I think that this is okay. But also don't, you know, you can't just be fully, like, bucking what the rules are either in getting yourself penalized and fined and in jail and all this type of stuff. You can lose everything. It's as this has been a very interesting couple of years for sure.

Tyler Reiter 06:06
Yeah. And you, you nailed it. It was just one of those situations, you know, you're like, wow, what do you do? You're kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't. situation and the right call, just you just kind of I just always went with my gut and it worked out. Yeah.

Tyler 06:21
Well, let's get to the funner stuff. So

John Fairbanks 06:24
yeah, transition is that you? You didn't get started as a gym owner to like, I don't know, like become a martyr. I mean, like, be like, I'm gonna fight the government, because I want to be able to do fitness. Like when you get started, how did you get started? Like, what was that journey of you actually, like getting to your gym? And I think you guys have had some cool transitions, kind of really, truly starting to stand on your own two feet. Just even the brief knowledge that I have of what your history is that I think it's kind of back to that start.

Tyler Reiter 06:58
Yeah, it's a well, I can say, well, how far back you guys want to go?

Tyler 07:04
Again, did you take over when did when did the gym pop up here,

Tyler Reiter 07:06
gents? Yeah. Well, I was previously in Iowa, Trey is a co director for an association. But then we opened up with my first partner. And he seemed like an investor so we opened up. And at that time, you know, I was crazy. He's obviously CrossFit. And this is very old. This is like, It woke up in 2014, January of 2014. And so we were crossing first starting out, but right away, you know, I brought on Olympic weightlifting, more of the sport specific training with high school, college athletes, which was always my thing. And then, over time, you know, really saw kind of the flaws in the CrossFit part of it not saying it's bad thing, but just the overuse and some of the things and I always battled with it with my, you know, my background with firstly, the sport specific and it just didn't sit well with me. So we slowly tried to transition out of that and try to have some fight. And then actually when, you know, I met Tyler with Julian, when he did a seminar at my gym, and then the week long coaches week, after that, I just, boom, just shifted, totally pivoted, changed all that finally did what I knew I needed to do. It was just that I needed to hear from someone else. And it did wonders so we haven't been affiliated for a long time. We do not do anything CrossFit. I mean, sure we'll do the Murph and some hair awards, because that stuff's Awesome. Yeah, you for the stands for but that whole road of those, you know, I'm putting in some short, short, short phrases here. But, you know, from the beginning of 2014, you know, so when we've, we've changed, there's a lot of growth, a lot of pain and a lot of pain in the ass, a lot of long weeks, you know, 80 hours, weeks or average are always a thing. But the thing was when we shifted and pivoted to what we are now, which is again, we train in almost every power sport, you know, power lifters, Olympic weightlifters, and we have strong men now. I have no idea how that happened.

Tyler 09:12
You know, we just need the room and the equipment, you know, and there's only a few things you have to need. Yeah, struggling is pretty easy to keep happy as long as you keep the toilets clean. Exactly. Yeah.

Tyler Reiter 09:25
Dirk, so he's helped out with another buddy Mike Condon, Mike chooses those guys who are pretty really good showmen. So they've helped a lot with that but then always have like the high school college athletes. So then our GPP program now honestly, I trained adults as if they were in sports. Okay. A lot of sports specific that are very generalized. It depends on the time of year, but they just feel good doing that we don't do. We don't play the Metcon game anymore. Having a long time. Still apply a lot of strong fit principles, but a lot of other things.

Tyler 09:57
Yeah. I think what you love. He's done Tyler that I've that I noticed as soon as the first time we were in your gym because at that time you were purely a CrossFit affiliate, you kind of were trying to find at least some other things to do. But you were always offering multiple tracks that your clients could go through. You had specialty coaches that only coached things A, you want to talk to a little bit about, like some of these ancillary offerings or accessories or what's the word auxiliary offerings that you guys? Yeah, no,

Tyler Reiter 10:24
you're right. We have done that. I'm blessed with an awesome staff. So, you know, we have, like, coached Mona, so she does like strictly kettlebells. She's RKC certified. So she's, she's just a fun, fun, lean around. So people are really drawn to her. We have powerlifting. Group. So Fen coordinator, he's been with him more than more than a live. You hold a bunch of records. He's, he's awesome. Very old school. Awesome. So then we have Olympic weightlifting. Who is my coach Robert Paul Jones? So he was in worlds in the 80s, he came in through the 80s. And that circuit lifted against the best ever. Now your story is unreal. So he took me under his wing. And then obviously, we grew toward the barbell. We have an awesome team there. We have, you know, Coach Lexie, she does. She's a gymnast at Penn State. So she just knows gymnastics, which is nothing I don't know shit about and if

Tyler 11:24
If a person comes in, tell me about this, how does this work? Am I buying a membership for just the whole spot? And I pop in where I want to go? Or am I buying? Like, how does this work for getting people and when we list all these types of things, I always am interested in how they assemble and how if a person wants to do powerlifting, they have to be coached to. The nut coach has told me a little bit about how that flow works. And that's definitely

Tyler Reiter 11:46
dependent on the person obviously, well, if we have someone who's very new, and doesn't know anything, and they're very rookie coming in, then we need to make sure their coach is on all the time, right, we can't do more block training for them. By scouting I came in last week with a few years experience. So I'm like, Hey, we're gonna kind of tweak this, what you do, take a look at you. It's really just a snowball effect and see where it goes. Again, try to treat the place how I was coached in college, towards an environment where we're just there to train, have a good time and awesome culture. But really, it really does depend upon the person, most of us take a general you know, somebody there who's general population, then we want to kind of give them more introductory, put them through the GPP program, so that they get a lot of different stimulus, kind of see what they like,

Tyler 12:34
is this one on one stuff, or semi private or small group.

Tyler Reiter 12:38
So we have a small group, and then the block training is really unique in a sense. So it's, you know, two, three hours a day, and every single person has their own training, their own programming, and I just kind of walk around and adjust. So that's a

Tyler 12:51
cool model. So people can pick, you know, a couple blocks a day. That's neat. Tyler, you know, I've never I don't think we've talked to you about that. But that's cool. Because I've been looking for these versions of this cool way to maybe a go between between true train on your own unguided, you just use my space and get the fuck out of here and like and also maybe a blended 24 hour access model. But I never liked going all the way in either of those things in my head yet I hadn't found a way it's tight. This seems kind of cool because there's still someone to coach you, but it's not a fully structured class. So the coaching burden is reduced.

Tyler Reiter 13:27
Things like they kind of tell him like you guys are more advanced. So I hold you to a higher standard like

Tyler 13:35
a lot of that comes from your weight room culture though your background in sport because I know Johnny's knows the same thing in like sport weight rooms. A lot of this is some of the best coaching is a coach that maybe calls you a pussy and then doesn't talk to you again that week. And you know what I mean? Because what you're doing is you're just going in the weight room, and you're getting a ton and there is a need to understand that when it comes to one-on -one coaching or even CrossFit coaching. Everyone has a different desire of how they want to be engaged with as a coach and some people want somebody watching every movement and criticizing every little thing, when the truth is you kind of gotta like plant the seed and let them just fucking ride and do the thing and check in with you on safety and fire them up when they need to be but creating a good vibe and letting the people go loose. We're playing a long game here anyways,

Tyler Reiter 14:23
you nailed it. I said all the time, because some people in the beginning like to look, it might be boring. Like today we're just going to work on squats. There's no plan. Proceeds let you grow, we're gonna see how you move. That way I can see the story and how you move and we can progress rather than sitting there and counting every reference and watching every interview.

Tyler 14:42
What's John, we talked about this in our last episode too, like unique ways to kind of fill out and make some money off of the vacant time. All this empty time we often have in gyms because a lot of gym owners have classes in the morning in the evening and maybe like noon, as you know your traditional places. running on a schedule. Yeah, with scheduled classes. And this is a cool way to kind of like, get a little more out of that time you can, you can sell, you know that that's a membership component. I think that's a really, really, really cool concept. And I'm sure clients really appreciate it because they can kind of come in and maybe do a little bit of their own thing. And it's not a set fixed time, they kind of roll in in the afternoon, I really think that's

Tyler Reiter 15:23
where we're at. That's just how we do it, we still have the group session times, but then that's on one side of the gym, the other side of that block training. And one thing we have changed is we actually do have 24 hour access now. A lot. They used to do that after COVID. Everyone's schedules were so different. And it was just all sudden, it's just we needed to do it. So it worked out really well.

Tyler 15:49
Do you get upset if you upvote soya eggs, you have to be a member? And when you buy you don't let people go around the membership or anything like that.

Tyler Reiter 15:57
No, no, no. Not everybody wants it either.

Tyler 16:00
Yeah. Yeah, that's doing it. Tyler. I wish I would ask these questions before, this is exactly the shit we've been riffing on the last couple of weeks. And this has been really kind of cool. I'm happy to hear that. You've done a good job with just throwing stuff together like those like, not arbitrarily. But like if a thing is worth looking into your dough, it's worth trying. And then you figure out if it's worth doing after the fact, for sure.

Tyler Reiter 16:26
It's gonna help the job and make it a better culture fit my life easier and brand's value. Anytime? That's

John Fairbanks 16:35
one of the things that I really picked up on Tyler's one of the things you're talking a lot about. I mean, you named a bunch of killers that you have that are your people that are your staff, so many dudes that and and, and female dudes that we're talking to that own their own gyms and business and stuff. They're so they're solopreneurs they're doing this shit totally on their own. And I know or it's like, you know that either they inherited a gym and there happens to be a coach that's kind of always been there. And that's the person that they have. How did you do that? What do you don't like or is it just totally by accident? What was the process where you get like, every awesome fucking coach and every possible thing that you want to do, to where you're not the person that's on the hook for every goddamn thing that you want to do in your gym.

Tyler Reiter 17:21
That's what I still do to coach a lot of those things, but I don't like to be the only one doing it. Like I like another voice. Especially like, I like having older cats. Like I said, like fender Bob, who had been in the game a long time. I'm not gonna like, I mean, yeah. When GM undergrad I got my masters in life, as long as I've been alive.

Tyler 17:43
Yeah, you'd be hard. You'd be hard pressed. Coaching over Bob. Yeah. quality standpoint.

Tyler Reiter 17:49
Exactly. Like it's just one of those things like I learned from him. So why would I not have like, I want those kinds of things there. Um, they bring culture and stories. How that happened. I have no idea. It's just Yeah, I just started with Bob and it kind of snowballed. Lexie walked into my gym one day, he's like, I'm looking for a job. And I'm like, what do you do? Right away? I'm like, yep. So my buddy Matt dog met him at another gym. And it's just like, you gotta be the buddy Tyler football.

Tyler 18:19
You even did at some point, when I was there. For the first or second time you did, you had like a whole series of you had like, full spin class equipment and everything

Tyler Reiter 18:29
We did for a time. I finally got rid of that shit. You were

Tyler 18:33
He was with me when I got there. Tyler's got this whole line of pretty nice bikes. And they're all and there's a lot of them. I was like, oh, that's kind of interesting. And then we started chatting about it. And he's like, I'm so tired of these fucking things. And they're like, by lunch, somebody's coming, buying them off of Craigslist, like wheeling and dealing

Tyler Reiter 18:54
the numbers on the Wii way back then we had a lot of memberships for that. And it's because the coach brought the following. And it's a sellable

Tyler 19:03
product. Like I mean, that's even more approachable than CrossFit or strength training or anything off. You're talking about stumbling across an ad, ya

Tyler Reiter 19:13
know, for sure. And that is just one of those things. The return wasn't there. As far as even people willing, that's when Orangetheory was really starting to blow up. And I'm like, I'm not gonna try and be something like that. We had slowly got rid of it. And it worked out. Like it just did we have more room to do

John Fairbanks 19:31
to do a really cool idea that you just presented, which was you had you had the bikes. You were doing it. But then you saw something that was becoming very popular. And you're like, Yeah, but we're not doing it anymore. Like it was like, I think there's so many folks that are being sold, like, we'll copy this or here's the template and here's the thing and do these things. And it's like it's no it's like you're like this is how I like to train. This is how I like to coach people. Well, this is what I'm doing. And my god if it starts getting too popular or becoming too much like, peloton, then we're fucking selling all of that piece and we're double downing on like what I only like to do, and everybody can go fuck themselves.

Tyler Reiter 20:13
No, you know, I don't want to try to be like someone else. Otherwise you're just like every other goddamn job.

Tyler 20:19
Yeah. What's cool though is I also think the principle is like objectively looking at what you're doing and not doing it just for the sake just because you've done it and you're, you're doing it now and you've always done it. Like, we always get into these conversations with gym owners sometimes when we're working with them. And it's like, I always have to say, Hey, I'm just giving you ideas, you don't have to do it, you don't have to do it, you know, I always feel I don't want to be telling people what to do. Very often when we get to that point, people like, oh, I guess I never thought I could just shut that policy away that I made. I was like, You made it. And it's but it's important for you. You know, it's just, it's not like this is what we do. has to always be Yeah, I think that you always do

Tyler Reiter 21:01
I know, as a gym owner, and I know, you know, Tyler because you used to be in the gym, but people hate change too, though, you wonder if we get really locked down to being worried about what people think. Or you know, the backlash. And I still am to this day, but I've learned a lot of things I've changed as finally I just, I always think about it, like at the end of the day you pay me to tell you what to do so

Tyler 21:23
but it's kinda we're gonna stick with that. You know, and I know you had a lot of that, a lot more noise like that when you were transitioning from a full training methodology. You know, when you were CrossFit, and you're trying to work your personal philosophy into what other people's perception of what CrossFit is because I don't think CrossFit on its own. Because CrossFit can kind of be done in numerous ways. But like, you know, the way people want CrossFit to, quote be done to them is, it is frustrating when you're trying to be the one changing that tide. But I think once you clear that now you can make adjustments and it's not that bad. But I bet that had to be the big one. Right?

Tyler Reiter 22:08
There was and you nailed it, because I, we always did it differently anyways. But the thing is, for a time, it was easy to get members because it'd be like because you had CrossFit. Right? Your name? Yeah, that was it, even though they'd come in and they pick it, I went to this gym, we never did this stuff. I'm like, cool, but we do do the thing. Well, some people would fight us on that. And then it started to make a really huge flip. And it was before Julian came, I started to see it happening. And I'm like, we got to resolve them because this is not going to be sustainable. And I don't want our identity to be locked with everyone else's. Right? That was a big thing for me. Like I don't want to put my mind myself and what that identity is when I don't believe in it.

Tyler 22:49
And even when you do CrossFit and teach it differently, and you think more or better, you know, then the next guy or you know, in a way that that still means you're doing the same thing as him just different. Yeah, you still got the same name on your thing. And so I think when you fully decide that your identity is not that, and that's the thing, I think all gym owners have to struggle with whatever it is they're doing, what your name is, what your brand is, what your product offerings are, it's like, Am I willing to torch this? If I don't like how it's representing me, and you should be willing to burn out components, add something, try something. I think that's the process here. Yep.

Tyler Reiter 23:22
I knew I knew it was a thing when I wouldn't even wear across the shirts anymore. Like I was like disappointed in myself, because

Tyler 23:31
I was embarrassing

Tyler Reiter 23:33
me honestly.

Tyler 23:34
For me, it was once I got too big. CrossFit, they're like, they're 340 pounds strong. But like this didn't happen to burpees did

Tyler Reiter 23:50
a thing like I just started to wear on me. And it just was like, this is not I'm not doing this long term. You know, and if I you know, you want to separate yourself from the pack, you can't be like everyone else, you have to do something different.

John Fairbanks 24:03
What was what? What was the biggest thing that you were worried about? prior to making that change? That ended up being total bullshit,

Tyler Reiter 24:13
losing members, and it was sort of bullshit. Like, we'd lost. I don't know, I'd say maybe two or three. But then word got out, and you know, face snowball, and all of a sudden, we just grew exponentially from when we made that adjustment.

Tyler 24:31
Because there are people that would benefit from your coaching and your types of things that like are not going to go to their place when you're a CrossFit gym and they even and they don't even know that you do the other thing you know, it's got to become look at all the people you have access to now all the power lifters you've got your you know your kind of weight room culture. Those people are very much because there's not CrossFit going on in that room truthfully, and that's about finding your lane man. I think everybody needs To do that, and if CrossFit is your thing and you want, I mean, go for it, but it's got to be your thing.

Tyler Reiter 25:06
Yeah, you're right. And that's I kind of, it's funny, I say that as well. And we just got to stay in our lane and do the best we can. And sure, you want to kind of maybe look at some trends of things. But I think if you're tried and true, and just stick to the thing you're passionate about, and really good at which we've done, and kind of trim the fat, so to speak, then I mean, that's why we're still standing.

Tyler 25:25
You're, what, eight years in now? Eight years? Yeah, eight years. That's a fucking eternity in the code. You know what I mean? As far as coaching in a gym and owning like, that's an eternity. That's the

Tyler Reiter 25:36
thing. Like we know, last year was our best year ever, financially, in eight years

Tyler 25:40
post COVID. Yeah. And that was

Tyler Reiter 25:45
that was without getting very those getting like no money from anything. So yeah, so to pay taxes on the one month's rent I got for PPP, thanks.

Tyler 25:55
Bill comes due.

Tyler Reiter 25:57
Thanks, Minnesota. But

John Fairbanks 26:01
Did you ever have a moment when you had an investor that was a partner? And over these eight years of kind of perfecting this and sharpening what you guys wanted to do? Did you ever have a moment where it's kind of like, I don't know if this is really what I want to be doing.

Tyler Reiter 26:20
There was me, I went down to a university and spoke, like year to end. And at the time, I only had my undergrad at the time. And they had a job opening. And they seep into that, you know, me applying for it. I'm like, What are my masters, she's like, we can get it here. And it'd be paid for and so I was ready to leave. I kind of told the guys because we had some stuff going on between owners because there used to be a few of them. And Mike, dude, I'm like, I'm gonna jump ship if we don't change some shit. And, and we did. We changed it. And we bought one. And then me and the other guy, Neil. And once we stayed in our lanes, you know, he's like, Dude, you do the thing. I'll check my finances. It just took off. And it really was done. Well. worst of the worst, you know, then he finally just sold the rest of me and we're still friends to this day. I mean, he's still, you know, Hunter, he brings me a deer every year. It's great.

Tyler 27:17
How long ago? How long ago? Did you get bought out?

Tyler Reiter 27:21
Four years ago? Okay. Yes. Yep. Four years. Right. Yeah, four

Tyler 27:25
years. Congratulations. That's a big one for gym owners. We've had a few in this past year or so that have done that we've kind of talked to that have, like, just got out from under. And that's always a good thing. It's, you know, it is always a good thing, even with business partnerships, when they end and go, Well, it's a good thing. And when they end and they go poorly. It's a good thing that they ended.

Tyler Reiter 27:46
Yeah, for sure. It's good for him. It was good. For me. It was just time. I think he knew that. So there's just time to do it. And that way, there were little things to like, you know, he's way more fiscal and like, responsible than I am because like I said, if I see something I want it.

Tyler 28:07
Like a pile of spin bikes.

Tyler Reiter 28:11
Last week alone, I dropped like two grand on new toys. And if he was here, he's like, what's all this? I'm like, I don't know what you're talking about. Like, I just keep putting money back into it. But people love that. And we're in a position to do it. And I just want them to train like if you're in my gym, it might be small. But everything is there that you need to train. Yeah, everything. And if you can't find it, then you're not in the wrong gym. Yeah.

Tyler 28:40
I take it John, we want to go to the last question or do you have one first?

John Fairbanks 28:45
I have one question just because I am I wish I live near you because it would be a gym that would be worth going would actually be worth going to every all the other gyms around my area are like our just worship. It's either just glorified Globo gyms that may have power in the name. And it's just like a local global gym that's created. But like this, that your model of like the block training for my personal follow, it's like, oh, that's exactly like, I would rather have a guy that's kind of like so are you trapped by just being a pussy today? Or are you gonna squat or whatever, like, that would be awesome to have that type of thing again. Anyway, I digress. So my question is, you have the gym as a whole. But it's because you referenced a phrase earlier, so I wanted to clarify it. You said we have a torque barbell. It's almost like you referenced it like it was like a club or a separate thing within the entity. Is that accurate?

Tyler Reiter 29:39
So that's kind of what we constitute as our Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting clubs. Okay, cool. Yeah, that's, those are competitive like our teams. So we have an Olympic weightlifting meet here in March. It's always a big one. We had like 70 lifters last year. So then go ahead.

John Fairbanks 29:58
No, that's what I did. That's what I like watching. So I get that idea of, because it's, it's taking stone and I, when we're talking to gym owners, we're trying to figure things out and try and really just a lot of time it's supporting the gym owner be like, Well do you have a coach that's hungry as a go getter has a certain area that they want to specialize in, to where it that's like the baby step, because the eventual like, what would be awesome is the idea of where you do have a club that's focused on a very particular skill set. That just kind of sounds a little bit like what you guys thought, Yeah. And that's very interesting to hear about how that started, and how you were able to foster that within the gym.

Tyler Reiter 30:39
So that's the thing. As soon as we opened, we had to start right away. Wielding club, and I was about a year in, and I'd been doing it previously and competing quite a bit. But then that's where we brought Bob in. He helped me a lot. And then from there, it just took off. Did it accurate

John Fairbanks 30:57
to say sorry, is it accurate to say that you have a coach like you're interested? It sounds to me like Bob was your like, was Bob did like your coach, or you're finding people that would be awesome to be like your coach. And it's like, well, then I can also expose you to a gym so that I can we can all be successful, but I really would just like you to be able to coach me.

Tyler Reiter 31:19
That's badass. Yeah, it all started when he came in and he was coaching me and um, it just progressed from there. And I always say coaches need coaches. So he coached me in and we just saw eye to eye and he's almost like a father figure to be honest. He's He's good man. So it just took off. And I mean, he still comes in all the time he comes in weekly. He will let me pay him because that's the thing. So our payment clothes and liquor

John Fairbanks 31:47
which don't we all don't we all want to be paid in liquor.

Tyler Reiter 31:53
postures. And it's been great. Same thing with my buddy Joel with the strongman stuff, we were just kind of, he was actually on our podcast, and we're kind of like, we should like to hang out. And then meet also needs like we should have met at your gym. I'm like, okay, so we do static monsters and some other things. And so he's there weekly with some clients for him so it's just always still I just always, I always say one of the gyms to be kind of like a safe haven for people. That's just to be that release. That's kind of the culture we have. I mean, well, it's kind of a good old boys club, warthog she'd have fun. But at the same time people go there, you're kind of unleashed yourself into fifth somewhere in their lives. And that's just how it's been.

Tyler 32:35
Yeah, I really, the barbell club is such a neat idea. If you're choosing to compete in a sport, the perfect thing is to assemble these people into a team, because one they're gonna get good quality coaching might be the best coaching they're gonna get amongst a team of other people that recognize that this is good coaching. But the best part is they're obviously going to train at your gym that you don't I mean, the weightlifting club like, that's the reason I kind of encourage, if you're in a place where weightlifting isn't popular, you need to kind of start something, if you're coaching, weightlifting, start defining that as a club as something separate, you know, something separate, so that maybe you can offer a separate program where you get a coach who's fired up to do weightlifting, because then you can be the place that five years from now, like, literally started weightlifting in your town, or you know what I mean, let like brought it there and made it serious and started hosting me to sort of bringing people around, like, we talked about having a community will, the community that we make in our gyms isn't something that we wandered into. We're constantly making it and we're trying to craft something new all the time, and you're always trying to grow. And this is a very simple, and really fun way to grow it. It's just finding someone who likes doing a thing and getting a bunch of people together and building around that. And we don't have to have that just be our group classes, which was always the thing that people were doing before. And it's like, it should be all these tiny little things. I think people have talked about this on other podcasts. But you know, the average individual's lifetime fitness journey is all over the place. It's like play when you're a kid, and maybe this sport and then that sports and then it might be you know, you take up swimming for a couple years, and then you do soccer and then you get old and you get fat and then you go start running and then you start biking and then you go to a gym and but like you go into a CrossFit gym or a place where you're getting coaching, people will do that for a certain amount of time, and then they just need to find something else active to do. And if we're trying to make like a healthier culture, what we need to be doing is giving people opportunities to try new thing, which means if I come in for GPP training and a little bit of weight loss, I can find my way into something that fits me like maybe strongman training, or if I was a regular size person who had interest I could go into gymnastics or weightlifting or things like that. And that's I think that's like if I wanted to design a gym that is designed for longevity, it's that people can come in like bouncer round through all the cool fitness type things that you do, and you just try to do the things you do well.

Tyler Reiter 35:06
And that's exactly that's exactly what we do. So some of you will come in or instead of weightlifting, I'm like, Well what's your background? And I'm like, You need to go here first. So we kind of think of GPP because you're gonna do a little bit of everything , you get a lot of stimulus, you have a lot of growth.

Tyler 35:21
That's how we get you there when we get you over there. Exactly right here for you.

Tyler Reiter 35:24
And within kind of going back with a weightlifting club, that's really what sparked everything. Our gym would have a culture if we didn't start there right away. Because all of a sudden, like yeah, we're within a club of awesome people, you know, a big wall. We do this too. And they're like, Oh, and also we got some power lifters and strongmen. I don't know of any other gym where you can see a weightlifter. You know, three four weightlifting girls. And also over here you have one of our coaches, Becky, doing strongman long presses. And then back here I have like three four football players. It's It's fucking madness in their

Tyler 35:57
a busy place.

Tyler Reiter 35:59
Awesome. So it is really unique. And we're really lucky. It just happened. And wasn't because people ever everybody

John Fairbanks 36:09
so bad wasn't because of you. That's hilarious. So the dude that loves cigars, motorcycles, heavy metal and tattoos definitely had a beard has nothing to do with a culture built around strength sport. Like, yeah, like the same way that Tyler and I for sure anything we're interested in totally has nothing to do with any of those topics, either. Maybe a little Yeah. But But that's what's awesome is that the culture wasn't you started across the gym early on the culture was actually built around this Olympic weightlifting this weightlifting club, as opposed to now attracting, you're gonna attract CrossFitters. But you already were attracting the antithesis of CrossFitters, which is not CrossFitters are strength based athletes that does it for sure. I know, there's people that look like me, sound like me, and do the things that I like to do. You're going to track everybody that's kind of peripheral around that topic. So of course, strong men and power lifters and weight lifters are all going to come to you guys. It's like a mecca being like, Oh, God, finally. I can not.

Tyler Reiter 37:21
It was definitely the catalyst. I never thought about it. So we had this discussion. But you're right.

Tyler 37:25
Yeah, let's just think and I think you can do it. You know, if people out there get into if you're coaching out of a gym and you start coaching, say like a group, a specialty group to say I do this for like youth wrestlers, right? We have the whole team, I just coached them in a time slot, right? We've done that before. But you can do that for any number of things, put together a running club, the more formal and club based these things are, the more legs they've got. And you just, you know, the nice thing is, you know, damn, well, it didn't require a massive investment of money. No, it was, it was just we called it this thing. And we fucking stuck by it. And I tried to build it by talking to people about it. And so this is a way you guys want to make your shit last a long time. I think that that's a really interesting way you can do that. That's one layer. And you got five of those layers, different things, different clubs running at the same time. And for sure, and I think then you've got a really, really special facility. Not that you don't already but I want to get to our wrap up question here. Tyler. If you had to give one piece of advice to anyone who's looking at starting a gym, what advice would you give them?

John Fairbanks 38:35
You're gonna start over.

Tyler Reiter 38:38
Yeah, that's a tough one. Because I've had a lot of decent people come to me and ask me or, or they've, I want to open up a gym and they want to intern and learn. And then they're like, oh, I have to like to do a lot. Like, I would say everyone has a different path. I know for me. I just put my head down and to do the fucking work is stupid as it is. I don't know if everyone has that. No. Because anyone I've taught any successful owner, anyone in business or anyone, whatever career may be doing the goddamn work. And the thing is, you have to be resilient to criticism. And I would say obviously sticking to your guns and staying in your path, as Tyler said, or staying in your lane. As soon as I have all these ideas or, you know, we shouldn't shift this way. You know, the gym should be this and I'm like, no, just keep doing what you truly believe in. And again, I think people see that especially if you're really genuine and that's where they want to be led by someone that way. Right? You don't want some guy who's in it for trying to sell you a bunch of supplements and a bunch of bullshit because at the end of the day, you know, it's about money. Yeah, that's not gonna you know, those places come and go. Those people come and go. So I think if you're a douche You have to live life. Otherwise you That's it? Yeah.

Tyler 40:06
Well, one of the good things that you've done to those while not making it about money, you've made God damn sure that you're able to make money. You know, that's, that's, that is, that is, that is important that the one thing I know I wanted to make sure that I translate that out is that you do not advocate that people be martyrs. And that's why you got to be savvy with your business, not just out there giving away your service or underselling yourself. Yeah,

Tyler Reiter 40:30
that's no and you nailed it. It's a hard thing if there's times you're like, you have to give quite a bit to get a lot. Not okay, it happens later. I started to tell people like dude, I, I do well, now I could do you know, there's you always doing better, right? But I always think back to your previous, your previous and as long as you're still on the incline, you're good. If my first year I remember we open went to our second location, I had to borrow $20 From my roommate just to fucking drive my car there. Because I had $500 in my account I couldn't. I had my credit card maxed out and I had no money. Like it and you know, every bill under the sun that I couldn't pay. So it's not easy. It sucks. A lot of you know, Tyler It's

Tyler 41:17
of course, it's it's it is

Tyler Reiter 41:19
not in any business owner, we could probably do the same thing. It's a lot of nights lying awake. Like what the fuck am I doing? Why am I doing this? But then while I want to work in a cubicle or something I hate, I couldn't see myself doing anything else. Yeah,

Tyler 41:33
Well, once you find out the thing you like doing you might as well work for you. Instead of you just working for it. So Tyler, Thanks a bunch, man. It's been a great conversation. A pleasure catching up. Guys, you can find its torque sc on Instagram. Yes, sir. And torque. Is it so it's still torque as well. So Correct. Yes. Yep. Yes. Awesome.

Tyler Reiter 41:53
Performance side is just torque performance labs. Awesome.

Tyler 41:57
Awesome. And you can find me on Instagram at Tyler Stoney you find the show at the gym owners podcast and

John Fairbanks 42:03
John. You find me at Jay banks FL

Tyler 42:06
Thanks a lot for listening. Guys, leave us a five star review check out torque, torque strengthen conditioning torque barbell, check out Tyler rider. Thanks to Tyler for joining us today. Make sure you go to Jim and go to community dot hacker to get into the Facebook group and join a group of gym owners who are trying to do their thing. Thanks a lot for listening to everybody. We'll see you next week. Thanks guys.

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