The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/The Future of the Fitness Industry: A Practical Guide to Fitness Trends

The Future of the Fitness Industry: A Practical Guide to Fitness Trends

Friday, June 16, 2023



gym, talked, fitness industry, crossfit, fitness, market, owners, big, coach, week, john, kids, information, opportunity, continue, services, put, sell, personal trainer


  • ​State of the fitness industry. (0:00)
  • ​Who’s going to be the next generation of gyms? (5:01)
  • ​Taking the good and leaving the bad. (10:38)
  • ​The generational shift in weightlifting and fitness. (17:18)
  • ​Boom and bust of the Ufc. (22:12)
  • ​The groundswell coming for Bjj and Mma. (27:08)
  • ​John’s favorite type of gym. (30:20)
  • ​The importance of staying in shape to stay healthy. (35:30)
  • ​How the educated populace changes the market. (38:16)
  • ​The value of offering a full offer set. (42:49)
  • ​Pricing and selling to members. (47:22)
  • ​How to drive sales remotely. (50:40)
  • ​Selling your people more often. (55:42)


Tyler 00:00

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week's episode of the gym owners podcast. I'm your host with the voice that's the least today Tyler stone over there is John Fairbanks. How's it going, John,

John Fairbanks 00:09

I'm doing great Tyler, I'll bring the voice for you that

Tyler 00:12

will bring the voice and the charm today guys, today we're gonna talk about it's kind of our state of the fitness industry address here. This is not as though we're some definitive voice on any of these subjects. But this is kind of how we see things as they are right now. And some of the trends as we see them developing going forward, I think for right about half of these things, I think it's worth noting. So if you want to kind of have your finger on the pulse, maybe be a little bit outside of your specific echo chamber because Jonathan does have the benefit of seeing and working with gym owners from a wide variety of gym types. So if you're a personal trainer, you may see a narrow window, narrower window of the fitness industry than John and I as we're working with franchises, functional fitness gyms, martial arts, and Jim's private personal trainers in multiple markets in multiple countries. So this is how we see it. Getting in the business of predictions, I don't try to throw numbers at anything, I just see which direction things are moving. And I think these are all going to be super valuable for you to understand. This should give you a perspective of the larger scope of the industry and where some of the trends are going. So before we get started, John, can you tell them where to go?

John Fairbanks 01:19

I can tell you exactly where to go, folks. So first, follow us at the gym owners podcast on Instagram. You can also find everything that Tyler and I do over at the gym owners And then also get into our Facebook group, gym owners revolution, all the links and everything is in our description. You can find us a community of global gym owners, coaches, personal trainers, we all kind of have that mentality of the rising tide lifts all boats can find us there in that private community, it is there for you. If you are a shit eating marketing guru that's had a Facebook account for all of two months, you will not be able to get in, so you need not apply. You can follow me on Instagram at Jay banks FL and you can follow Tyler

Tyler 02:05

and follow me at Tyler essence telling this Tyler eff ironstone thanks for the read, John. If you don't do any of those things, I'm gonna tell you where you can go on your own, guys. Alright, let's get into it here. So where does the fitness industry sit? is a question we kind of get asked a lot when people are wondering about what someone is not from you you are if you're growing as a fitness or as a person who then wants to start helping people you already know your tool set and where you're going to take things right. But when we start talking to people that are looking at investing in business on a larger scale, one of the questions I was asked is, where's this going? What is this going on? Is it this frickin? What is the orange theory? So that 45 Is CrossFit? Do I get into the affiliate model? Should I do franchises like when people are looking at investing in the fitness industry putting their money behind somebody, some system something? That's where we get these questions from, and I'll tell you this, from what I've seen comparatively to the last 10 years that I've been involved in the fitness industry give or take, in the last 20 years of my life as an adult thing that I see the most is the fitness industry right now is poised to grow across the board universally. Because right now more than it was John, when you and I were in high school, when you and I were college age. Yes, you think 20 years ago, 15 years ago that the general consensus on fitness and exercise was that everybody should have a gym membership and needs to work out is the awareness. The awareness of that was a total mess. It even was for me when I was 1920. When I was done with college sports, it was not on my radar at all fitness and nutrition is going to grow exponentially over the course of the next decade because the awareness is there. Now what's funny is that awareness is there, that awareness is fully intact in the United States of America. And yet the action that's being taken on it is poor. But what that means, but what that means is opportunity that represents a pure opportunity that everybody knows they need to do this thing and it's time to do it. And either there's not the right fit for them. Maybe it hasn't been the right time, maybe they haven't had time. They just haven't cooked in it long enough, cooked in guilt, seen that the poor outcomes are long enough to know but at some point that information the gap between knowing what you should do and doing it is going to close. It does not matter what or else we will just continue to skin skin skin and then continue to drive the data further and further and further in front of people's faces saying we need to do something. This is the problem is the problem is the problem. The Fitness Industry lies right in the middle of the solution to this so I believe fully. They were like you're looking at what should be the biggest growth in the fitness industry in a decade that not maybe not this next 10 years but there will be very soon a decade that exists that is the biggest growth we've ever seen in the fitness industry,

John Fairbanks 05:01

where you can see too because the pandemic really changed a lot of things. Right? It forced a line miss, when it comes to who were people that kind of had one foot in one foot out. I mean, how many gym owners do we you and I know that use the pandemic as the ultimate excuse to just get the fuck out of the industry. It's what fits conservatively 50% of the ones that closed we're waiting, waiting for an answer. And it just seemed like they were just hoping, hoping for it. And then there's probably a frightening percentage of you, or you all know who, you know, other gym owners that are so wracked with debt, from like government bullshit handout stuff from the pandemic, that it may crush those gyms in the next 18 months. And it doesn't change the fact of what you've just said. Because if you really pay attention, who is growing, I mean, certainly in my area, as I've started to pay attention, franchises are growing exponentially. I'm talking like Planet Fitness is Anytime Fitness is any of these larger franchises, they're gobbling up the market, I'm seeing like new locations opening up all over the place of the larger players because of that void of smaller boutique spots that either got crushed or use the excuse of the pandemic to get the fuck out.

Tyler 06:37

And I do think the reason you're gonna see a big push in franchises, at least in the immediate future, is because that model is an affordable, approachable model, that is an easy access model. And I think that's gonna be the first easiest thing that's going to come down the pike for people's like, Oh, this is super easy this we can do this, whether or not those are as effective as a higher price, higher value product or more coach product that really depends on the individual and their desire to carry that weight on their own. But I do think that the ease of access is the reason you're gonna see those make a big push, but people that have disposable income, or people that have maybe, hopefully maybe spent enough time in the fitness space, working on it themselves, tried failed, whatever, people will change from a standalone ease of access user, to somebody who's like, I need some guidance. And I think that that's where you're going to see a huge segment of growth in the industry is in what I call the partially coached space, which means group fit, people will not be fully coached. And I do not, this is I say I'm talking about this specific type of person, obviously group fitness person, all this stuff is going to exist. But I think you're gonna see the partial growth of partially coached clients is going to grow a ton here. Because someone's been going to a gym for a long time, they've been trying hard. They've been doing their best, but they realized quickly that they don't know. But because finally in 2023 of the importance of fitness and nutrition, exercise, and health has finally caught up to the gravity of the situation, these people go, Oh, I can't just quit, that it's not just about me doing or versus quitting, because the outcomes of quitting are terrible, that will compel a person to go, Okay, I need to learn more, I need to do more, I need to do something about this. And then what's going to happen, that person is going to hire a personal trainer. But you know what, that still is an exclusive service. Frankly, a personal trainer, you hire a personal trainer from all of your fitness services, costs more than a car payment for most people that may be out of reach for a large segment of the population. And that's okay. For those who are personal trainers, I think it should be expensive, your service is worth it, you just can't do business with people who can't afford you. Sorry, that's just the nature of it. So that's great. But you'll start to see a big growth, I think in partially coached hybrid eyes models where you'll have somebody that goes to a gym, but maybe does group classes, everyone wants a different facility. Just because they like it, it gives them something to give them, they know that maybe one or two of their sessions are oriented in the right direction, and then they can take some things away. That's a way for them to empower themselves, they may hire a personal trainer once a week, or they may just do a six week bump with a personal trainer. We take a big chunk of this, this is a thing that I've been selling with my clients for a long time. I don't really want to work with people other than a very select few indefinitely. It's gonna be a really good partnership for me to want to work with someone indefinitely so very often our there's an eight week program. I'm a coach. The first six weeks of this, you're gonna take this program, you're gonna run with it, you're going to know fully how to do this, and how you're gonna be empowered with knowledge and how to continue and then you're on your own. And I think those models work really well. I think online services and things like this, that markets are very convoluted, very diluted. I think it's very much just about branding, and people who already have an audience but I do think programming matters. I think programming is something that people see. I think things like the Juggernaut app, I think, are great. Some of those AI focused ones that aren't just a spreadsheet, they are definitely adaptable to your goals and your sessions week to week. I think though, I think technology will rise that up a little bit. But the idea of buying an eight week training program from some guy because he can bench press a lot. But as that ship has sailed, that's only you, you can have, if you want to do that, as a gym owner, I don't know what to tell you like, you have to have a big audience, if far surpasses your brick and mortar. And there's only a few brands that do that. And if you're not willing to do what it takes to build a global brand like that, or essentially influencer brand, then that's not really going to be in the cards for

John Fairbanks 10:38

you. And I think what you just described all these partially coached models, I think that there's a double edged sword. And I think there's a massive pro of everything you just described, which is because you're giving consumers the ability to be able to go from one place to the next and be able to scratch that itch, quote, unquote, that maybe your one spot can't provide. But the real issue, I think comes down to is if you all of a sudden get that shiny object syndrome, which you start hearing about maybe a new trend or a new thing or whatever. And then you cause yourself to become really spastic and use zigzag from one thing to the next. And you're really kind of Herky jerky, as far as well, spinning is really popular and orange theory is being really popular. So we need to be able to get this. And it's kind of that old adage where it's, as soon as everyone else is doing it, you're too late. So as soon as you have this great idea, because you see something happening, you're already late to whatever that trend is. So it's kind of like being sure to take the good with the bad. And kind of or take the good and leave the bad, which is like hey, I really like this thing. The pandemic forced all this virtual stuff, right forced everything virtual forced everybody to be you had at home workouts, wearable tech, buying equipment to have at home, like all those things became the only thing that a lot of us could do. The issue is, if you started to have success with that, and you just said, Well, I'm putting all my money on black and this is all we're doing. Surprise surprise. As soon as the world opens back up, what happens to all of that it fucking takes a dive. And it takes a dive because there are tried and true methods that really are successful that people will always come back to. But it doesn't mean that online personal training doesn't hold strong inherent value. So the pieces that I always thought were the most valuable anytime anybody ever talked about online personal training was the accountability and the check ins and like this higher level of service, that was the only thing you could do so you just went hard in the paint to be able to provide this top notch white glove treatment. Well that shit keeps that and that's why that's one of the most popular things that we build into every offer stack and anything that we do custom with any gym owner, any personal trainer, we always build that into their offer stack system.

Tyler 13:09

Well, I think what happened with the pandemic stuff was that there was in the Vert at Home Fitness you had home equipment, your peloton is a great example, right? You went from a thing that had a nominal like a base level of demand and a base level of supply and it needed to be expensive, it just wasn't going to work. And then everyone was locked in their houses, which meant the demand for this product went through the roof, which was great because then you needed to be able to drive an expensive product right? And make a ton of them. They put them out there. They get it out there. It has a very large market share. Right? It really did gobble up a ton of space. Then things open back up again. And I know plenty of people who've had great success exercising, getting general exercise off a peloton. I know many, many who still use it to this day. But shifts in supply and demand all suddenly stop. Because once you didn't have to work out at home, that's not for everybody. So everybody who was compromising with that drops off. And then that's pretty much where you can see that the trajectory of their sales just sinking and sinking and sinking doesn't mean those things are bad, it just means that they won't occupy the space that they did during the pandemic. It just certainly won't. Now, I want to touch on something too, because we talked about the information regarding the importance of exercise out there. It's out there now like you, everybody knows it's not a short of a few things that are trying to get pushed on, you know, whatever into the public space that has people like being obese is awesome. Like for the most part, everybody knows that. It's not a good thing to be obese. It doesn't mean you're a terrible person, but they're like, it would be better for you and your health if you weren't and let's be reasonable even if you're obese, it's better if you exercise because then at least gives you some sort of upside to your health since things are trending upwards. If you are obese and you're eating poorly and you're doing nothing fitness wise, like it's pretty safe to say that we all know that That's not a good thing. And that some of those things a few of those markers could use to be changed. I think that's pretty fucking reasonable. But that information is out there. What I've seen a ton. Now this is anecdotal, obviously, I'm sure there actually is data on this, but I'm just seeing this anecdotally huge influx of kids, I'd say ages 15 to 25 in the gym, more than I've ever seen at any age at any point in my life. Sure, young kids, high school aged kids, I see so many high school aged kids, early college age kids, that are working out listening more than anyone that I ever knew when I was at age, more than anyone that I saw, even five, six years ago when I had my own champ, like way, way, way, way more. And I think that is going to be I think, I think just extremely that one you need to you need to hip up your spot, a little bit. A lot of gyms now are run by people who have been fitness people, which is okay, you got all the experience, that's great. But you need to be a place that does appeal to youth, youth, if that's a market you choose to capitalize on. I think that there's just so many. I think that also for parents, I think there's a lot of parents who don't care to become people who exercise and don't care to change the way they eat truthfully, I really do believe that. But I do think that maybe while not willing to change themselves, they still know that what they're doing is not right. And that they want to make sure that their kids are so many out of shape parents who don't work out, taking their kids to the gym, taking their kids to martial arts, taking their kids hiring personal trainers for their kids, while they don't even exercise at all. I think that there's a, there's a bet that our I believe fully that the generation right now that's between the ages of five and 25, it's going to be infinitely more tuned into fitness, nutrition and health than than our generation was even I mean, not even close, it's not even going to be close. But for you guys as gym owners, that is an opportunity. It is absolutely an opportunity. But that means the demographic is going to shift a little bit. And it doesn't mean that I think the whole demographic, the whole market is going to grow. But I do think that that one is going to blow it up a little bit, which is great.

John Fairbanks 17:17

We're seeing it all like you really can see it already, just like you said of young people that are coming in. And just kind of a couple different points that I was thinking about on this is that it's thought about like Tiger Woods introduced weightlifting to golf. Yeah, that's just not that long ago. And my sons are super into baseball, right. And there was an interview with a trainer that works with Major League Baseball players used like one of the heads, which God bless her, right. She is the head strength trainer for one of the baseball teams, and for a Major League team. And she was talking about what she was when we first came to the scene in 2013. None of our professional baseball players lifted weights in the offseason. She says it was a major change for them. And she goes and just fast forward to today. She goes now the norm is that they are lifting a minimum of two times a week in season. They'll even lift the day of a game. So just like that even our professional athlete level of weightlifting and training and like those general things like what that means. So you take that even on the professional level. Did your dad workout

Tyler 18:34

without as always sports or really, he never really lifted weights, he never really did. He would kind of maybe occasionally run. So when he was young or even when he was trying to get in shape when he was in his 30s and 40s He would get back out and start putting on miles. That's what he did.

John Fairbanks 18:49

Okay, so my No way and I am now the age of my dad, of when I remember being a kid of being able to rent like, Oh, my dad is 36 Like I remember like it was like that was the age when I finally was like, Oh, I know how old my dad is. Like it was like the first time dad's 36. Well, I'm 36 I cannot describe how much better shape I'm in than my dad was. At my age. It's like the difference is laughable. And so as these generations continue to go on, sure shit, what do my kids do? They all lift weights, they're all like it's become this thing. So just like you said, it's as this curve. It's coming for sure. Yeah, like you have waves of generations of people were Tyler, what does your son

Tyler 19:42

wait so he trains. He spends all day outside. He plays sports all year round. It's, it's, it's asked me if he can go left. Right and I don't force it on him in a way where if he wants to go to the waterpark and then has soccer that day, it doesn't want to live. I don't give a shit if he lifts. There's days or Hey, can I go lift? Yeah, let's go There's that that's very easy. All he knows is he needs to do something physical every day. That's it, you got to be outside, five to eight hours a day, frankly.

John Fairbanks 20:10

Yeah, and we're not alone. And so definitely it is this massive just generational wave that's going to come where young people are going to have where you still are gonna have. I mean, don't get me wrong. The majority of the people in my city that are my age, that are my age are not lifting weights, and they're not doing that. But you do have young people that are like, it's a totally different dynamic, and it's not.

Tyler 20:34

So people, people your age, my age, as they get older, they're going to seek fitness as a correction from what they've lived forever, right? It's like, gosh, shit, what about ecom? I need to get in better shape. And that's fine. Frankly, that's most of what I coach except for youth. Right? It's like, okay, we're going to lose weight, we're gonna get you in shape, get you back in shape, do whatever we got to do, let's mitigate some of this damage. But for youth in younger people, this whole younger generation, it is about not becoming that. And trust me, your kids don't want to be like you. They don't want to look like you don't want to act like you, for the most part. And so they definitely, you know, are going to do everything they can fitness wise. My dad's fat, I try to be like that, that like that. You used to be the way you're like, Oh, my dad's fat. I guess I gotta be fat.

John Fairbanks 21:20

We all just accepted that. Oh, my God, it's in my genes. Yeah, it's all

Tyler 21:24

in your size. Now, I want to cover to two subjects here real quick before we can kind of move down to some some kind of different the sales is how you can kind of position your business to be successful in this regards, but other trends that I see one, having been around the market and seeing it and being in many, many of these gyms, I do still think that Brazilian jiu jitsu I think martial arts in general, due to the growth of UFC is going to continue to grow martial arts gyms have grown the United States by I think it's 15 to 20% every year for a decade. Yeah, that number is fucking crazy. It's crazy. Okay, that doesn't doesn't happen in any market. I mean, that's nuts. This is that boom, though, is still and I like it to mimic what CrossFit was in when it first came out. Yeah. In the first 2000 knots to their 10s right first tends whenever this started to become popular. What was it? Crazy people? Oh, I could never do that. I could never say those people are not No, grab notice of the fittest going on getting Rhabdo those people are going crazy. With enough time. And it got introduced to enough people, the effectiveness of some of some, the effectiveness of that type of exercise became undeniable. And regular people wanted those results. And they found their way to it. And they enjoyed that type of training. not all but many, many, many, many to the point where CrossFit grew in a boom unlike the fitness industry has ever seen. I don't think

John Fairbanks 23:03

Well, yeah, once it hits ESPN, right, like, you know what I mean, you're not a sport. I mean, up to that point, right? Like ESPN is fucking sports. That's what it is. And we're ignoring like the old show, right? Like it's, but it's like CrossFit. Once it shows up on mainstream sports networks, we're gonna watch the games. I mean, I remember why it was. It was totally different.

Tyler 23:28

Now, that is going to happen at the moment right now with jujitsu specifically, but I still think that truly striking boxing is kickboxing. I think the model probably needs to either be jujitsu, or all of those things depending on your market, ideally. But I do believe that this is almost verbatim the trajectory, or what I think is almost going to be an identical trajectory to what CrossFit experienced when it was first blown up. You have people who are kind of doing it who are starting gyms because why? I need a place to do it. I need a place to do it. I need these. These are people with passion for the product. And then they're like, Okay, well, I go to the gym and they open a little independent gym and they're trying to bootstrap it. It's exactly what CrossFit gyms were like in the beginning. So many of these gyms are tiny little startups, you hear this whisper and people are out typically those people are crazy. You see those people at the pool and they're fucking jacked, what the fuck? Okay, and so that just keeps going and going and going. jujitsu and striking specifically, but jiu jitsu in the UFC now continues to prove itself to be very effective, and continues to be interesting to normal people who make it over not all. So I'm going to be for everybody having some heavy personal sweating in your mouth. But like it's it still is going to be a thing that is I think that trajectory is going to be nearly identical. It's going to continue to grow. It's going to be a huge opportunity for those gyms to be more professional. to market and sell better, and you can own your market because again, you either need to be first to the party or you need to be best dressed, ideally, both. And when you do that, you're going to own your market completely. If you've been in your market for two years, and you're doing it better, and you have any reputation and someone new pops in, and you're the second or third person nuff, no fucking way they got a lot of catching up to do, there's no word of mouth about you. And so I just, I really, really believe for people that are listening to this that are in the martial arts space that like you hang in there, if it's tough now, because you're doing it and you're figuring it out. There will be a big groundswell around you, and it will get easier but you need to be prepared. You really need to be prepared to sell, you need to have your ducks in a row, you need to start figuring out staffing right now because almost all of them when you start in a small market you have staffing problems. We're out here even with this one, here's like you got one person who can coach maybe two and then how do you scale up from there as you're just gonna break the owner? If it's owner, operator, coach, Business Manager, package, you're fucked. So start solving those problems now.

John Fairbanks 26:04

Is it because the owners are probably still rolling? Like, competitively, right, like not just not only rolling for every class, every individual kids youth every single thing, but also is probably still competing, especially if they're on their backbone. Yeah, yeah, that's one

Tyler 26:19

of the bigger things of course, you obviously have to do all those things to level up your athletic career, but not understanding the difference between your skill set and your career as an athlete. And while there's some overlap, it still is almost completely unrelated to your skill set, but your success as a coach, and is truly unrelated to your ability to sell, market and operate your business as a business owner. So you need to differentiate those things, whether it's in whatever your sport is, right? There's a reason there's not a lot of player coaches managers in the NBA could do as fuck off, guys, you know what I mean? At some point, you do have to step away from one thing for a little bit and focus on one until it's in place, you have to bounce back and forth. And if you think you're going to own your own gym, and be a world champion competitor, probably wrong,

John Fairbanks 27:08

you better have other coaches.

Tyler 27:09

You better have other coaches you better you by the way, you better just own your gym, via like, from a purely a silent partner standpoint, because you're going to eat shit.

John Fairbanks 27:18

I want to touch on the idea of the groundswell that's coming. That is, you know, it is happening in real time. For like BJJ and MMA it is the just like the people that are already in the forefront, like the disciples that are pushing this idea, I think there's a lot especially from a marketing standpoint, there's a lot that can be leveraged to where it doesn't just have to be pot smoking, conspiracy theory, street fighters, you know, I mean, it's like, yeah, that is a branch but you have like take Jocko right Jocko his combination of, especially for here in the States, pro America, pro military. Like, if I'm marketing, especially because I'm here in the south, like, come on, like if I want to be able to absolutely like it's for your first responders, military, pro American population. It is so much easier to get people to come into the MMA and BJJ space off of the shoulders of these people that are like, What do all of our special forces do? What does jacket mean? What do these people do? And how can we then leverage that to bring in ordinary people because regular people that are of that branch of of, of the threat of that part of society, they know who Jocko is, the reality is is he continues to excel the same way Rogan Yeah,

Tyler 28:49

right. It's Joe Rogan talking about CrossFit every week, I think because and this is the thing I think, as far as going out there and pilfering content. Literally you want quotes. You want to take clips from stuff using a generic like you see how many people take clips from Rogen and put it on whatever. There's channels dedicated to not giving him any money just taking clips from the show. Okay, take any clip of Joe Rogan talking about jiu jitsu if you're a jiu jitsu gym or striking or Muay Thai or whatever it is that you do. You now have some extremely high, highly validated high social validation content like holy shit on the biggest platform in the world. This person talking to this other person says, Yeah, this sounds legit and it's real and you should do it and here's why and like, let him speak for you so you don't have to combine with many other obviously marketing strategies works great, but but you have the validation is already out there for you. It was a thing that I think was better than it was for CrossFit. About the time I opened my CrossFit affiliate, but I was getting tons of free brand visibility because we were a CrossFit affiliate. The name plus fit was a big name and it was coming up and it was popping up on ESPN. it. But there were also some negatives associated with it that I was always having to diffuse. And so, yeah, I think you're absolutely right if you have all of this external validation to your training methodology. Use it, it's very easy to appeal to somebody else's appeal to somebody else's authority in that regard.

John Fairbanks 30:20

And I cannot tell you how much I've enjoyed interacting with gym owners that have a functional fitness based gym. My favorite is 24 hour access. Yes, we're a functional fitness in combination with a 24 axis facility that also has mats. Yes, they're not there's not a lot of them. But there's more than I thought that there would be because I've been, I've been doing some heavy market research, interacting with gym owners, and I find the spots around the country. And I've been interacting with these owners. And it's super awesome listening that like, how does this stuff like, hey, how do you start this? Like, how did you start? And it's like, well, you know, I had the spot. And then I had a friend or I had somebody that came in and they needed a space, someone

Tyler 31:03

just wants to coach and you know what, maybe maybe when they started just a couple days a week, but now it's folded into your system. I think it's great, more useful than a yoga class for a CrossFit gym that I see everybody everybody tries to do, none of them do it. Well, none of them make any money on

John Fairbanks 31:16

it. Yeah, the only equipment literally that Oh, without a doubt, like it just is that type of struggle. And within there's, there's definitely like you said there's there's elements of that where we've seen folks where it's like, I'm a chiropractor, or I'm a nutritionist, and I would love to be able to have a spot in your gym. Like that's it, that's one thing but the power like there's only one other equivalent that I've seen, as we've been looking at all these gyms have like the equivalent of a power of like a partnership that shares a space or a fraction of a space is going to be a physical therapist and a gym. And then also the BJJ MMA and the gym combined together

Tyler 31:53

If John and I had to open a gym or like dream facility here, if we had to have a full on HQ it would be essentially a CrossFit gym with bodybuilding style equipment as well scaled down the CrossFit space because you don't need it. You want very limited class schedules, you have group classes in there at specific times. You have 24 hour access for all the other equipment that's my jam with then a full on martial arts space as well. That's going to be coached primarily. Those are going to be coached hours supervised coached hours, and that's that's a fucking jam combined. Maybe some food, good coffee, a nightclub and nightclubs at night. Nice man, let's go. But now I want to move forward a little bit here but this groundswell around, not just Jiu Jitsu, where everything around the eyes of the fitness industry says, Okay, I need to do something that creates opportunities, creates spots for people to fall into. Okay? Now, we all know what everybody does. We all know I hope you know this. We've talked about this on the show in the past, the thing that happens when you get a ton of people doing a thing is they're going to pulse, what's the word they're going to oscillate, oscillates the word that usually they're gonna they're gonna oscillate between very generalized fitness, and then very specific fitness, and back and forth. You see this when people come in and they're going to start to go into a bodybuilding gym. And then from there, they're gonna go, Okay, well, I've just a 24 hour by myself, maybe I need a coach. I'm kind of good at squatting. I'm gonna do a powerlifting meet awesome, right? We'll go from CrossFit to weightlifting or CrossFit to triathlons or, or vice versa, and all those things. And I think that's great. I think there's a ton of opportunity, then, when you have this huge influx of youth, people getting into it, that now creates a whole new timeline for people that are going to start to enact that. Call it a script, but they're going to start walking down that journey of someone's lifetime fitness journey that we've always talked about, which is, you know, when I was young, I used to do marathons, right into a little bit of bodybuilding. And then I did fucking adult rugby league for three summers. And then I took up snowboarding and then went and whatever that is, right, and what gym they use, and what activities they do in between and where their home base is, all those things can change. But just know that if you're a gym that has the ability to kind of serve one of those needs, the potential is there to grow, don't get like we talked about earlier, shiny object syndrome and just rebrand and reach out and chase everything. You can't be everything to everybody. Yeah, but know that there's going to be a lot more to go around and I think there will be a lot more seeking general fitness and due to that, it'll be a slight delay, but you're going to find a lot more of those people are going to start to pursue a more specific kind of fitness as well more specific type of training. They'll have more specific goals or niche goals. And that creates big opportunities and tons of new markets. I think from powerlifting, weightlifting, and bodybuilding, I think the competitive side of fitness will grow as well. You know, all those things, not just the hobbyists but I do think the total amateur sports of those are going to grow due to this young generation. Give it Up to the kids right now that are aged five to 2122 right now, because they're getting it. They're getting it right now they're putting in work right now that it's harder than I think anyone in any generation before us did fitness wise. In the gym. There's also my grandparents' generation, we're just doing real work. Real backbreaking labor outside. But when it comes to making up imaginary work to not get fat, I do think a generation is going to win this battle. I really do. I see more hope in that than let's see anything else in the fitness industry?

John Fairbanks 35:30

Yeah, explaining to the boys like farmers carry is we have to pretend like we're carrying something heavy on the farm act like you have back in the day. You just farmers just did this isn't like, oh, this would be terrible. I'm like, Yeah, but now we do it to stay in shape. So we don't die. No, I think that that's really on the nose. Also, it's as things continue to grow like traditional sports. Are there continuing challenges? Like you have lots and lots of high schools that have a really hard time fielding a football team? Yeah, it's weird. Like it's gonna come but the nature of the beast, where it's just like, it's, well, because when I was younger, when it was getting ready to play football, the only talk I had was, you're going to have a bad you're gonna have bad knees, you're gonna have a bad back. So if you play football, just Are you okay with the fact that your knees are going to, you know, be hurting you. And you probably won't be able to pick up your kids when you're 40.

Tyler 36:26

Yeah, and you're gonna shoot yourself in the chest and your 50s.

John Fairbanks 36:29

But that wasn't what they talked about what it's all about, and now is out exactly

Tyler 36:34

that, hey, it's playing football might make you fucking retarded. And it makes you want to kill him? Literally, slow or slow your brain development to the point where like, yeah, now all of a sudden, you have people with all of the genetics and what's the word social markers to play football. My son, your kids? Totally. John and I are both purely built for the sport. We are built to be linemen, we are as big and as big and heavy as you can be, and fairly athletic. My kid right now is six to 190. And he's just finished his freshman year, and has no desire to play football, why didn't I plant that seed and slug it correctly. Not at all, I wasn't gonna do it. Now, that information is out there. So that's what that's what bad information can do to your system. And truthfully, let's be honest, I think that CrossFit affiliates kind of took that hit to win a lot of the injury data started coming out some of the negative branding associations that came out, you know, in the mid 2020s, stuff that now like, there was a big public hit for that. And I think a lot of those people that would maybe appeal that would appeal to not that they don't end up there, but they're trying other stuff first, you know what I mean? And I think the information, the value, that info if easily accessible information right now, that's out there that value. It's incredible. It really is. Because now people know they need to do something, they kind of can look out there and know what maybe they should do to get started on something, there's a lot of first things you need to do for the first things you need to do for that. What's bad, what's good when a while it can be difficult to sort through all of that. For the most part, if someone wants to seek information on a thing, boy, they can find it and they can find it a lot better than you and I could in early 20s.

John Fairbanks 38:16

Absolutely. And also, again, it's the educated populace that changes the market. And we talked about this a lot in our Gear Academy, when we meet weekly with our gym owners constantly talking about how marketing that people continue to put out there from 2017 2016 2018. Right, that time period, if you're continuing to market in that way, you're going to miss the mark, because you are ignoring the fact that the populace has evolved. And so the same way that we are evolving. It's this is why we know as we're looking at, in the crystal ball of the upswell groundswell it's going to come from BJJ and MMA is that it's where I'm putting my kids in weightlifting, I'm putting my kids in jiu jitsu, because I know that that scratches an itch that wasn't on the menu. For me, football was the only place I could go where I would be rewarded for hurting and hitting. Right. But now it's like, well, actually, no, I can put you in BJJ. Because there's, it's only hunting and killing something. And BJJ are the only two places that have ever given me even closer than what it was to hit someone and they could not get back up if you do it. And it's like, oh, and I don't have to have brain damage. Because then I can, I mean, as long as you don't hold the choke for too long, but the reality is like that, that sensation of struggle like that, that can scratch the itch because I know my boys have that need and there's a lot of people that are gonna be doing the same thing. Yeah.

Tyler 39:49

So that's where we see the consumer side of it as far as what the consumer products are, what they're going to be seeking, and what their information level is going to be. Let's go over some of their buying habits now. Because this is something then we jump in. By the way, a lot of the stuff we've touched on in today's episode is stuff we've touched on in the past, but a lot of you guys are new, we've seen a ton of new listeners coming in. And we get tons of feedback from you guys on the Instagram page and our personal page. So if you're a new listener showing you like it, make sure you reach out to John or me, James FL or me about that Tyler episode on Instagram, let us know what you think of the show. We always love hearing back from you. So when we get into this stuff, if it sounds repetitive, just hear me, okay? Because some of these are things that we've been hip to for a while, which is the reason that we've started to, we started to build the gear Academy, the kind of information substructure and some of the systems that we like to opera have our gyms operate under to reflect what did I think these how these trends are doing. So far, we've been proven, proven right time after time again. So the first one is that people want choice. People really, really, really do want a choice. They want to choice and they want to be informed fully before they deal with fucking you at all. And we've talked about this in the past. I don't go to a car dealership and drive around and look at their cars, I go to the website. I know how many miles are on. I sorted by which vehicle I want by the price I can afford to pay. And if we did it, we did out every option I didn't want and I may have narrowed it down normally to just one vehicle I want to go see. I'm not interested in anything else, or anything else you have to say, or any of that stuff. Now if I had to go out there and have that go through that whole process with another person that would be very frustrating to me. And while I understand that is for some people love getting out there and just talking to people. Glorious, but that is not the trend. Okay, there's a reason VR has sets, Apple had their big launch, there's a lot of, there's a whole bunch of stuff that's going on out there that trust me, guys, people aren't looking to fucking get like, more contact with strangers, okay, I'm all about connecting with people I know. And like I have zero interest in having to have a meeting with somebody before I buy a thing. That's because you're not charging enough for most of your services for it to be worth somebody to reach out to you get an email back from you, or text you or to get a phone call from you and then schedule the meeting to then go talk to them, and then buy something that's worth for 24 hour gym. 60 bucks a month. Yeah, for CrossFit couple 100 bucks, I'm gonna get the fuck out of here. I've never talked to anybody about a single car that I've bought for longer than some of you gym owners try to talk to people before just getting them to commit. So if they've reached out and they want to commit, let them commit, and then coach them. A lot of times people try to coach and coach and coach beforehand and it sucks, it's a duck. But in that process, people want information. They want to be fully informed. This is why I believe it's okay to let your prices out there, just make sure that you give them a choice. And in that choice, I want to do this exact same thing. We talked to one of our gear because we run in the gear Academy, we have our people, they run a full offer set, it's very customizable, right. So like, if you come in depending on what your services offer, where your gym is, what services your gym offers, so you can get there's many options in each kind of level of what you're doing. So if I come in, and I'm looking just for 24 hour access, Perfect. Well, there's your 24 hour access page. And there's a few upsell options for nutrition coaching for this. For that. You want to talk about supplements you want to commit for 12 weeks at a time, or you want to pay monthly, just whatever a basic offer is stacked up and lets them fit their buying habits and their needs. That's perfect that falls in right there. If someone comes in and they want private personal training, or they want group fitness, right? So when someone calls us, what are your rates? Some of the messages are just What's it cost to join your gym? You don't send them everything, send them all of this laundry list of stuff, it's going to be confusing. You just say perfect. Yeah, we have a bunch of different services, what are you looking for, you're looking for group fitness, one on one personal training, semi private stuff, we're just 24 hour access. Obviously, your gym may not have all those things, but many do. And they saw just 24 hour access, okay, perfect, then you send them that offer sheet. But what you've done is you've narrowed it down to where they're not going to misrepresent your pricing out there to the rest of the world. They don't see everything that you do. So your competitors can't shape everything that they do after you. And if they are your winnings, so who gives a shit. And it gives them a chance to make a fully informed decision. So you can follow up and say one of those options work for you or what do you want to go ahead with one of those options? No response, maybe I don't know, you know what I mean? And that's okay. But what you've done is you didn't have to set up set up a meeting, and you didn't have to coerce somebody who wasn't that interested in to do anything because the biggest difference between the fitness industry and other stuff is that in the fitness industry, if someone buys a product for them to be successful, their commitment needs to be ongoing. It needs to be continual in their investment in the process. It's not just money up front. That is a part of it. It is money, but there's also effort, consistency and time that need to be layered into that as well. If you just wrong the money out of them by being slick, or being inspiring in the moment, and then they feel abandoned and they don't do your product still doesn't work, therefore, your reputation will fail, and eventually your system will fail. People will not buy. Okay, so I think that those types of like, let's just get me in the room, I'm a closer, closer, closer, closer to being fucking some super skilled closer is not as important in the fitness industry as it is in other things. Okay, I think you're better off being really good at getting the information, getting people to get their goals out of them, okay? align their goals and their wants with the products that you have that can help get them there. And then get all of the information that they need in front of them in an easy to digest way, then say which one of these do you choose? And from there, you're set, you're totally set. And I think that learning to close those sales without a meeting is nothing. It's not the only thing. But like if if you can essentially close the sale without having to get somebody to come in, in person, by the way, any person that wants to meet with you in person, you let them absolute fucking loop. But just know that most people don't. And get over yourself about it. They told me they just don't, it's not 2016 anymore. We're not trying to get closing in 16 1715 1617 closing sales online. are closing sales always in person, let's get a scheduled meeting. We're gonna get you to a meeting, get you to a meeting and then in 2020 and 21. What was it John, for everything digital and otherwise, now not just Jim zoom calls, let's get on a call, just get on a sales call, get on a sales call. Nobody wants to do any of those things anymore. None. So don't fucking force that don't fall, if you've put all of your sales systems that they'll funnel into a fucking interaction that nobody fucking wants to go to. You're really going to struggle. So learn to make it easy. That flow should be super fucking easy. I should just be able to say, hey, I'm interested. Oh, cool. What specifically are you looking to do? Here it is. Here's what it costs. Oh, perfect. I now know everything I need to know. If I have any follow up questions like, Are you a hack? Am I going to get hurt doing this? Do you think I should get in shape first, before I do this, I can then ask you those questions or we or then I can decide to meet with you. But it's leading with your price for sometimes can save you a lot of bullshit too.

John Fairbanks 47:22

Oh, without a doubt. It's definitely one of the things that we've seen a lot of evolution on on just that pricing point alone. One of the things that I think is really important on the continual nature, like you've described how it's this continuous sales process, I need you to look, those of you that are listening, right like it's look at how often are you having the opportunity to sell members, members existing people selling to them in your spot, the majority of the folks that we've worked with over the years, it's that first interaction, where that price, that initial price that initial gym membership has mentioned. And then the best case scenario is someone buys. But it also could be the worst case scenario that someone buys. And then that sales process initially, is not built, the way we teach your sales process to be built. Because that means that they either had said what they wanted, or they didn't, and you just gave them a price. And they took it. And they are now in a forever relationship where they are paying for one

Tyler 48:26

of your middle of the road or inferior products,

John Fairbanks 48:29

you're probably more than likely from what we see is your base product, whatever that base minimum membership is because you get the least amount of kick back, it keeps your closing percentages nice and high. And everyone's feeling good because you close 98% of the people that walk through your door. But the problem is, that means every single month that that person is there, where they have not been given the opportunity to be able to spend more with you to help them achieve the goals that they want. They are spending less money with you each and every month. So it is kind of slowly killing you. And the way we have fixed this out the gate is that when we say you give your people choice is that we layer you lay out even from that base membership. How can we guarantee that you will triple your opportunity and triple the revenue that you will make with every single new person that walks through your door? And it's by giving them choice by giving them multiple opportunities to be able to not only buy at that moment, but as soon as Tyler like you said someone says hey, I want to do my base 24 hour membership. When typically our structures anywhere from three to five options are going to be put in front of them that are specifically in that wheelhouse of what they've asked for, within how that's structured. That means that they are guaranteed to know every single thing that you offer in your gym. In the early days. We used to ask this all the time. Can you, as the gym owner, tell me every single thing that you have to sell right now to anyone that walks through the door? If you can't do a Great job, can your coaches tell you every single thing you have to sell? And then the last piece, which is where everyone fails, can you remembers, because if you do not have the structure in the exact way that we have put together, there's a reason why we did it is that it's if your people don't know everything you have to offer them, they don't know. And you are losing money, you're losing that opportunity. So that continual nature of this beast, you can get way out ahead of running into any issues by structuring this the right way, guaranteeing that everybody knows exactly what you have to offer at all times.

Tyler 50:40

That's a really good point. And on the note too, of closing them online remotely closing those sales remotely. One of the things John, like you mentioned is we want to be able to drive them up are up your up your value letter, we want them to be able to buy a higher level product. Now your ability to convert those people from a standard offer to an upsell to an up-sold offers is limited, you will not get as many top tier sales via text message as you will if you're doing it in person. It's not going to happen. It just won't. But that isn't very important than that you understand that that opportunity still exists. And that exists it renewals that exists when you're going back through and soliciting your existing members. It means you need to always be offering these people more services, what's the next thing you want to do? Give them an offer when you go to the point where you are making most of your sales without meeting people in person. You need to understand that then you need to be touching base with these people via email via text message with service offers. Yep, often, and just baked that into your master sequence when someone comes in whether it's they came in and they go that week to like, Hey, how's it going, I want to talk supplements because we've got this or this for recovery. If you're feeling super sore, these are some things that can start to help. Well, when someone comes in a couple of weeks and their needs for that are very, very high. But if you never do that outreach, you're really going to swing and miss on that stuff. Same thing with upgrading to personal training. When do people get stagnant within your system? I've mentioned this many times. But when people start to have success in your gym, it doesn't mean your service is failing them, it means maybe they need an opportunity to reinvest. And they need an opportunity to reinvest that maybe an upgraded service that maybe like you know what, let me put some money down on some supplements or, or let me do your nutrition programming thing, let's do this, let's jump into this. And it doesn't mean that they're on the verge of failing, it means they're on the verge of paying you more money to ensure their success. Okay, it means they've committed so far it's gotten me here, this is it is a hire. What do people do when they stagnate in their fitness very often, they start buying new workout clothes, right, they're gonna buy new shoes, they're gonna do all those things. Why? Because they are investing in that part of their lives. So let them let them an offer something that gives them a better chance of success than a new pair of fucking Nikes or whoever selling them. I don't know who was selling the most fitness and asked shoes now these days, but

John Fairbanks 53:08


Tyler 53:10

but do not miss out on that opportunity. If you're not doing that , not only is your retention going to start to be poor, or if you're undoing that your attention is definitely worse than it should be. And it can be and also your clients success. Retention and client success go hand in hand is going to be worse than it can be as well. And all of this stuff that John and I are pivoting, we base everything on our all of our philosophy on is your clients actually being successful. Because if it's not, then you're doing worse than all the other people that have been scamming people in this industry for the last 30 fucking years and fuck you. Okay, this whole thing needs to work. And that's why we talk about getting them to invest. That's why we talk about them needing to be invested more than you just sneaking them from some one time thing and getting them on a hook to pay for two or three years and whatever I'm going to contract what a congratulations, you when you get to take 40 bucks a month from this person for three years longer than they want to do you think that's good for your business? Or they hate you every month for fucking two years and don't go into your gym? Like, that's not a fucking win. It's not a win for your business. And, John, you mentioned a really good point. Can other people describe what your services are? Right? You mentioned that we need your thing and that goes equally for them trying to explain just what it takes to get started in your gym. Because if I go to your gym and I think it's $40 a month and I see oh there's a key fee and there's a this fee and there's a VAT fee and then this is waived but then at the middle of this there's this fee all of that is too convoluted and stupid. Okay, it's 2023 Fucking the fine print. Nobody gives a shit if you're still charging key fob fees and an activation fee and locking people into contracts your your You're like losing their trust every time you fucking talk, when you're going through that explaining to somebody, so pack it up, come up with a number that works for you. Okay, and then make it all about that and the results, because that's what the reality of it is, you start doing this, it feels like a bait and switch because it is and you know, it is, it's not near as bait and switching as some of the other shit that's out there, which that stuff will have to change as well, because air that's gotten big enough to where everybody's hip to those plays now. Okay, but this stuff, man, simplify, simplify, simplify, simplify, should be easy for them, they should be able to in five seconds know what it costs to do business with you. Once they've told you what they want to do, or what services they're looking for five seconds.

John Fairbanks 55:42

And I have to call it out is that if you hear if all you hear in this last seven minutes, if all you've heard from us is that we're telling you that you need to sell and you need to sell your people more often, that you need to be asking them for more money and be more of a Salesman, you have to get the fuck out of your own way. Because you will remain poor, you will remain bitter, your ship will continue to shrink and get smaller. And then you will only be salty and angry at the industry that is continuing to be more sleazy and more shitty because you disagree with the ethos entirely. And this is why we can say with full gusto that your attrition will improve and your retention will improve if you are selling your people more often. Because exactly what you said, Tyler is that it's our fundamentals, like the foundation is that you want your people to do better. Yeah, it is your client focused, that is all that we care about. And the fact is, if you are not, if you don't have the mentality that when you sell to someone you are serving them, you are supporting them, you are giving them the tools that they need to be successful. If all you view selling as being this really shitty interaction that you loathe and hate, and you would rather be mopping the floor in the back, whenever someone new that walks through the door needs to be talked to and potentially be sold, then you will continue to struggle. Because that's not what it is, it's giving people the opportunity to make that choice to invest to be more successful. And it starts first with you as the gym owner who needs to be the best salesman on your team. It starts with your mentality. You have to get past this or you will not ever be successful at this game.

Tyler 57:31

We'll touch real quick before we go on marketing methods. We've done so many episodes recently on marketing guys, if you want this in depth, just fucking go back a few episodes. There's marketing the social media strategies. We've got all this stuff out there. Main thing is to stop doing your social media. Like every fucking buddy else does and has done forever. Okay, stop parroting and sharing shit that fucking other people have done and been saying forever and packaging it as your own. Stop trying to be your fucking guru. Stop trying to be a fucking genius. You're not selling your wisdom. You're selling results. So for your social media, make it welcoming. Make it warm, show people having fun, show people doing the thing, show results, show testimonials, but make it about the client, their journey. Their results, not how fucking smart you are. Okay, please. The internet has basically all of these things we talked about. It's oversaturated information all over social media, which means it's very difficult to tell any gym or guru or anybody apart. Okay? So just stop making it about yourself and start making it about the results. That's it, there's not a ton you need to do it consistently a lot about it. We've gone over all those details. You can't post once every six weeks and expect this or that. Okay, there is no singular piece of content that is going to cure your fucking lack of leads. I think that's what a lot of these guys do. They go I'm gonna talk about how smart I am right now. I'm gonna go let's go this, this and this and that. And here's why this and all this shit about fitness is why this fitness is wrong. And this type is right and don't do this exercise do this exercise or this muscle means this is us stupid shit out there. That doesn't mean anything to someone who's thinking about joining a gym. It's only you pull in your fucking PUD for the world to see on fucking social media. So stop. Just stop. Okay, make it about what your god they have businesses about, which is helping people and if it's not, fuck off. I hope you think you know what I mean. Business is not actually about getting results in helping people just fuck off. You're listening to the wrong show. That's all I have to say about that. Be better. That's all for the better. Who were you selling to? Why don't you talk to them? Start with that. But today we're talking to you beautiful motherfuckers so guys, follow the show. The gym owners podcast and Instagram Go to gear cat, fuck gym owners Do we have gear? We probably do. I don't know, its links are in the description to John. We own a lot of URLs, not a lot of URLs, a lot of URLs. We own what we don't know. But most of them are in the description of the show. You follow me at Tyler F installed on Instagram and John,

John Fairbanks 1:00:20

you can follow me on Instagram at Jay banks FL.

Tyler 1:00:23

Auto what's your what's your homework for today? We send them off a little homework. Yeah,

John Fairbanks 1:00:28

I would. Shit for homework,

Tyler 1:00:32

I got to figure out how to figure out what you're going to do to start to appeal to people aged 16 to 24. Yeah, right now, what are you going to do to make your placement by the way, if your place isn't for them, that's totally okay to write. That's totally fine. But for you if you're looking to survive another 10 years, those people got 10 years of training? They definitely do. And they're in it to win it. They're in it early on, there's a fire that's been lit, you need to keep it lit, what are you going to do to attract them? And doesn't need to be anything really specific to them necessarily, but like how do you make sure that your gym is going to work for a younger generation now? You're gonna have a bunch of 40 year old coaches like me, running around, they're just hoping we can stay Jack long enough to long enough to make it work. Are you going to get younger coaches and get younger staff, you're going to market, you're gonna have events, you can have social events. So you're going to how are you going to do this? How are you going to appeal to them, because there's a lot of them, and they're all looking for a place to train. And none of them are very married to anywhere that they're training right now, either. And the nice thing about people that age, they move a lot. Which means if you know they know, I mean, it's your gym, but it's not like people that are like 3540 years old who have a gym and they've been training in it for eight years, and they're not going

John Fairbanks 1:01:45

anywhere. Yeah, unless they're unhappy, right? They're not gonna move his kids

Tyler 1:01:48

When they go from college, they want to know the spot in their head where they want to train. How do you find the place that they want to train? So that's your homework, a little thought exercise for you. Okay, and if you're placing it for them, I don't know. Learn how to sell via text message this weekend. So. All right. Thanks a lot for listening, everybody. We'll see you next week.

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