The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/The Growth of Fitness & Wellness

The Growth of Fitness & Wellness

Saturday, October 07, 2023



people, gym, fitness, coaches, john, fitness industry, impact, clients, coaching, goal, industry, big, started, work, crossfit, real, build, business


  • Fitness industry's failure to deliver results. (0:00)
  • The fitness industry's challenges and potential solutions. (3:40)
  • Fitness industry challenges and solutions. (8:11)
  • The fitness industry's failure to increase physical fitness rates and the importance of serving the client. (15:30)
  • Fitness gym success and evolution. (20:25)
  • Coaching and impact in the fitness industry. (26:02)
  • Fitness, impact, and reaching a wider audience. (30:45)
  • Fitness industry growth and marketing strategies. (36:26)
  • Impacting the fitness industry through coaching and partnerships. (41:17)
  • Creating a lasting impact in the fitness industry. (48:00)
  • Coaching and business growth with a focus on client satisfaction. (55:38)


Tyler 00:00

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week's episode of the gym owners podcast. I'm your host Tyler stone over there is the gloriously bearded and bald John Fairbanks. How are you doing, John?

John Fairbanks 00:09

Hello Tyler.

Tyler 00:10

Guys, this week we're gonna talk about something that I kind of love slash hate, especially in fitness, but the role of technology and how it's gonna move forward and some of the trends that we're seeing in tech, whether it's whether it's wearables on site, whether it's software, whether it's at home coaching, AI, biohacking stuff, all sorts of things kind of fall under this tech umbrella. It's no secret that technology continues to advance. And we just want to make sure that you're prepared to make your own decisions about what you want to run with what you want to avoid and what you want to wait on. And so that's what we're going to cover today. Before we get started, make sure you get into the gym owners revolution Facebook group, that link is in our description here for the show, please go out there and leave us a five star review. Whether you're listening on Spotify or Apple John, I kind of forget to ask if this is technically like what we did. This is my 500th and fourth episode or it's over 500 episodes of podcasts. And for some reason, John, I bet we've asked like three times on this show, I think it will leave us a review I just haven't. It's the one like a straight business to business product that we've done over the years. So it's like or like entertainment prior whatever like a content product. And I always forget I always forget this is like you need to ask your people regularly to get your reviews. So it looks like your gym exists. John and I have been dropping the ball. We don't do that within our own business. But we have done it on this podcast so please make sure whatever you do right you can you don't even need to stop the app you don't need to stop listening. So just take your phone that you're fucking listening to right now whatever you're listening to it on and go in there right now just hear my voice and just tap into the shit and you're looking at the show go to View Show or go to show and then just leave the review you can hit just the stars would have been nice if you said some words ideally, keywords handsomeness baldness, business muscles. Brilliant. Huge. flip those last two, I will see you guys. We're gonna move in here. So but what we want to cover today is the role of tech and obviously things keep rolling and unfolding and they gradually encroach upon every industry, right? Fitness wearables have been around for a long time, right? And for most people, if you're like me, coaching, geez, what was it now six, seven years ago coaching like, when I was coaching people, first people have their Fitbits, or the first Apple Watches when they come out. And all it did for me was made me fucking hate everybody that had a Fitbit or an Apple Watch on when I was trying to coach because anytime someone gets tired, they want check their watch to make sure their heart rates not to whatever for them. And so it was another piece of data that frankly, I just didn't think that the average person needed to know in real time, especially when they're just trying to exercise. The other thing was they were colossal distractions amongst a class because you get people checking text messages, even worse, taking phone calls and shit and kind of kind of working during the one hour you're with which, for me as a coach, I just would take that personally, I'd be like, Fuck you, dude. But while I understand that's probably not the reality of the situation, I was very annoyed by them back then. They haven't gone away, and they're not going away. There's a lot more features about them now, that the reason they're not going away, by the way, isn't just because there's money in a few buying it. Biometric data is essentially going to be the next biggest data. What's the word data commodity out there might be one of the next biggest commodities in the world, which is insane considering data's not physical. But this biometric data when you look at what some of the industries are going to do is strictly for marketing, like Facebook ads and stuff like this, websites that now they can rectify via your Apple Watch, or whatever wearable you're doing. And using the camera on your phone, of course, they can see your facial expression, whether you smiled whether you were stolen face whether your pupils dilated just a little bit, they can check all that stuff in real time with your heart rate and your HRV and then a lot a lot of other factors are and I think some of them now are able to do and able to do like anyway but we won't get into all the things that they can do but what I'm saying is then they can sell that and use that to market to you and to when they're crafting this advertising stuff. One of the interesting things about it is they need to connect to you emotionally. So if I can like kind of know what makes your heart race makes your blood boil a little bit via via these massive massive data sets I can start to see trends and what pisses people off generally what pisses what type of people off cross reference that with their web history, age regular other demographics that they've already been tracking for a long time. All of a sudden you become a very easy to manipulate human strictly from a buying standpoint. Let loan voting or other behavior modifications that may need to be done. So like, you can be very easily compelled if all of this data is out there. And because of that, that's valuable, which means these things are going nowhere, because there will be a lot of money being spent being willing to be lost in hardware and research and development. Simply make sure that these these devices are on you, in your home, easy to get and that you were on for as long as you possibly can,

John Fairbanks 05:28

well, then the push is getting integrated even further. Right? Wearables are going to make us sound like fucking boomers and about 10 more years, because it's going to be in your skin. You know, I mean, like it, we're going to continue to get more integrated with it to be able to get better, better data better. Everything, all that better feedback, because now it's like, oh, well, now I know, it's your heart rate. You can get your polls or whatever, but you can't get your blood pressure, right? It's not super accurate yet, but it's like, but if we put it in the skin, then we would be like it just is so close to being fully integrated, especially with AI. Right coming out. It's just there's so much integration, that's going to be getting pushed from every possible angle fitness will only allow, it'll start with fitness guys. But like you said, all that data that we never anticipated would be so important to Google and Facebook and everybody else.

Tyler 06:21

Yeah. And I want to talk a little bit about how some of this stuff, obviously wearables, we kind of went deep on but just generally know, technology, the role that it plays in your gym is it's important, I think, in how your gym is perceived publicly from a store quality, like, is your facility modern? Right? Does your facility feel slick? You know, like you there's a, there's a thing that I noticed been in some gyms, where are you going to have locker rooms, right? If a gym has locker rooms, that's apart, but if it has locker rooms, and it's not just where you got to bring your own padlock, and you gotta take it with you, or it's not one where you got to check out a padlock, you ever go to someone, I've been to a few, you go in and you just punch it in the locker that you want. It's open, it gives them ones that are available, and it spits out a code. And now that's your code, you can see like, just that little feature makes all of a sudden the lockers feel great, it feels slick, there's no nobody has to manage that there's no staff that has to be handing out keys or worrying about somebody left their shit on there, and we got to cut locks off, somebody left that lock, there's just you don't have to worry about any of that stuff. It's just a system that is slick, makes your business feel very valuable. And I think it is very customer friendly. Right? Those systems I think are great. But there's a wide variety of roles that technology can play within your gym that I think you need to simply be aware of, because they're services that your clients might really, really love. And as the industry grows, we started to talk about John, we're talking about EOS. And they're like massive growth projections that they're having, as well as what Nike is trying to do getting into these kind of boutique fitness studios, I promise you, they're going to be technologically very slick and real fucking cool. Like, it's going to be really cool. And I think that you don't have to compete with that too, to all ends of the earth. But like at some point, you know, do you want to be issuing key cards? Or can somebody just use their phone? Yeah, the touchless thing is a possibility. So someone doesn't have to always remember the key cards that don't carry one extra thing. So they don't have to dig through their gym bag every time they come in, or simply does that just feel more modern and awesome. And that's the thing that makes your gym stand out amongst all the others. And if you don't have to win all of those battles, but if you combine tech for four or five different little features that are kind of slick, all of a sudden your gym is hands down, it's going to be better, more advanced, it's going to feel like a more modern and professional business than a lot of the fitness studios in your in your area.

John Fairbanks 08:56

And I like the idea where you said like keep an eye on the technology because just because there's something new technological does not mean it's an advancement. Like there's going to be lots of shit that's going to come out that's like I saw the other day. Airplanes are coming out or already have auto dimming windows. Yeah, no longer a screen to pull down. You push the button and it slowly darkens it out. Hey, I've been on it. That's cool. But if it doesn't work, what happened to the fucking just I want to be able to pull the screen. Like there's an element where it's like, yeah, that would be better. But like, does it enhance it? Or does this just or is this just cool, but that opens us up to more work?

Tyler 09:41

And is that little feature worth retrofitting? $4 billion worth of aircraft over the course of the next year. Right?

John Fairbanks 09:49

What if there's money laundering, then you want to hide some money or you can get a big ol fat contract from the government, then yeah, you want to retrofit everything You've got so yeah, so I think don't do that.

Tyler 10:03

So keep an eye on the things by the way, this is your gym, this is your business. So you know when you kind of talk about what you want your gym to be in your communities, where does that sit? Do you want your place to be pretty cool? Like one of the neat features I saw someone was outfitting a gym is a business that kind of does the interior design and the equipment for some for it was a pretty expensive looking gym to be honest with you. But they took like, for one of them was for like 475 inch TVs on the wall. So this isn't even like a crazy expensive feature. You get 75 inch TVs for relatively cheap. Do the four of them together, mounted together to make one giant freakin screen. Super TV. Yeah, that's friggin awesome in a gym where you're gonna have like pumping iron, or you're gonna have say a sport like that kind of that kind of is cool. And that might cost you a couple grand tops. Like that's awesome. I'm with that. But those are little things like, das gym or intelligence strength in Vienna. It wasn't overly technologically integrated necessarily, but like you went in and you had your little keychain you scanned yourself in like a normal place. But the things that they had there was the lighting was just flawless. You know what I'm saying? Like, like the facility was clean and crisp and modern and felt like it was still maintaining a hardcore edge. They figured out the line, right? You go to some of those European gyms that are more fitness studios in a very clean, very crisp. It's like working out in an Apple store, everything sleek and sexy and modern. And that's awesome, too. Those were really fun. You go to the gym and it's our intelligence strength. And it's like, it's like, halfway there. But it maintains an extreme like, awesome, legitimate, Real Deal strength training vibe to that, which means they figured out the line. But they have giant projection screens on every floor. There is a flat screen TV in front of every urinal and every toilet playing Rambo fucking Rocky movies Terminator movie, like they're just playing like they're doing action movie stuff to make things that those are those are, by the way, that little technological edition Rambo while you take a piss in every state every stall by you and the guy next to each watch and RAM on your on screen. So your eyes don't wander. Right. Right. And by the way , that is the feature that I mentioned, every single time I tell everybody about that chip.

John Fairbanks 12:24

Right. And being very self aware. Yeah, right. They're so aware. And like you said, it's using technology, to then integrate, truly now integrate to like, enhance your ship. Yeah. Right. It's like, Is this helping you towards your overall mission of being a grungy, badass gym, where it doesn't have to be 30, and uncapped and old and equipment breaking, like, it's, it doesn't have to be that. And it also doesn't have to be Globo gym. Like it doesn't have to be fucking like a total sellout. But you definitely can like toe, that line of having things be awesome. And technology can help you do that.

Tyler 13:05

And, you know, little things like, really kick ass sound systems are pretty sweet. Unless you're the place where everybody listens to headphones, then it doesn't really matter. You don't have to really over deliver on that stuff. But maybe that's an important thing that we want to talk about here is there's a lot there's a decision you make where you put that line is probably about where you want to over deliver on expectations. That's where I kind of think the technology sits in right now. At least in the way I prioritize things is where I want to let kind of WoW, somebody who likes that thing when you are showing somebody an aspect of your business or your service and they go oh, no shit. Nice. Like, like, that's the impression you want, oh, really awesome. Like that is that's the thing. And then they'll love it, then they'll use it, maybe they will. But like that, delivering that moment , that damn, these guys got their shit together. Man is really easy to sell after that. And it's really easy to sell when those people are speaking like that about your business, away from you and out amongst their own people.

John Fairbanks 14:03

And I think a really good way to contrast this right. So like, we'll talk to some gyms that have showers and don't have showers. I don't have them. It's a pretty, not sophisticated technological advancement of having showers inside of a building, right. But at the same time, if you're known for your very sports specific or your performance type place, the $25,000 is probably going to cost you to install proper showers in a building that doesn't have them. What would be more in line, that would be a badass thing to get. That would be $25,000 that moves the needle more towards the fact that you are a sports performance type place. I'd be willing to gamble or throughout that it's if you can have things that come in that advance your place. more in line with your already existing ethos is or the Showers? Showers really do that, like, are they gonna make that big of a difference? And maybe they will, maybe they won't? Well.

Tyler 15:07

And there's a point where if your money is deep enough to by the way, you can have whatever you want, and I'm okay with that, too, right? It doesn't always have to add up financially. But when you are making priority based decisions, right, and a lot of these gyms that we talked to are just something as simple as like, how do we what do we do with their showers? Well, there's some places where space and budget dictate, we're one shower, or we're a one bathroom place, you know, I mean, that's what we are, a one stall, one bathroom joint. And by the way, that's fine. You can't change that to change the location, then that's just not, again, that is on the other side of the line. And that's what this conversation is about here. We're keeping this pretty loose so that you can just think through these things . Where's my line? Like? What types of things would I add that would augment my experience. So on site, I think there's a ton of different things that can be done. But let's get into software as well for you guys. Because for you guys out there, everyone's selling software peddling software, that can mean a lot of different things, right. And I'm going to cover a few different layers, right that you can use, obviously, I hope you're using some sort of account management software, that's fine. They're all fine. Probably, maybe some of them suck more than others. But the thing is, this, when it comes to software like that, you're on the back end of your business. Everything sucks for different reasons. So just know that I need you to understand this, anyone who's telling you that software A is better than software B is probably selling software A or hated software B and hasn't figured out quite yet the reasons that they're going to hate software. And that's fine. This is the solution that pops up, they get the change names, it's it's whatever, none of them are great. All of them are okay, I don't know if any of them are terrible. But I have heard of a few that I won't name any names, but there have been big problems in the last month or two. But just know those things, it's a necessary evil, most likely, because you need to be able to build people on hey, I need to have all this information in one place. If you're gonna build it from scratch, it's gonna suck. The nice thing about these types of account management software things though, is they can integrate with some other layers of your business that I like. Each one of them is a decision that you need to make. Right? So for those of you out there, do you have your members? If you do group fitness? Do your clients have to register for every class they attend? Some gyms do that, some gyms don't. We have gyms in the academy that don't kind of fine with it until they choose to manage over this to get to the scale where but that data is nice to have. That data is really nice to see also to just know when a person hasn't been in a while. I'm sure 24 hour spot Do you? Are you able to see who hasn't come through your doors in a month? Who hasn't scanned their card? Do you know that? And again, you don't need to get some crazy expensive facial recognition software to know who's wandering around in your gym. Do you check your keycard integrations? Every once in a while go okay, this person has been in this person zoom Do you? Do you have a program where you can check exclusions who haven't been in. And so those things are very, again, it's a decision you need to make. But if you're going to make any decisions regarding attendance, class scheduling, or simply a retention strategy or outreach for members that are maybe heading wayward, I think it is important that you make those decisions based on data.

John Fairbanks 18:27

And I think thinking about this is also really important. Just everything that we're talking about is that if it's been a while since you've thought about it, think about it, again. Because you may have looked at a tracking software like this or been able to know when people are coming or going back when you think about it. If it's 2017, it's 2020, whatever it is, you start to look at it like now this is not this is not feasible. But maybe the minimum wage changes have changed in your state, like whatever the minimum wage is now is $7 An hour higher than it once was where the software before didn't make sense. But now I have to pay somebody to go through every handwritten signed in sheet from the big signup sheet and they have to manually enter that data. And we know how much time that takes like there's going to be things where if you're not actively kind of just keeping your finger on the pulse, you're going back to some of those things that you've thought about or looked at before. Things change. Yeah, the software does get better. Technology does improve. And the other variables that once were you couldn't get around, they do change. We have a lot of folks that complain about not being able to hire people. Well, it's like it's well am I gonna hire somebody to do some of those administrative things? Or can software just now do it just because it's already built in

Tyler 19:50

other software options of all like the fulfillment of your services as well. So there are other layers to this that I think are very interesting. Like Snap Fitness, their corporate, they have an app and obviously like you We've had some gyms that have an app as well as self branded. But like some of these larger franchises, they'll have an app that has everything from nutrition plans. And it's pretty robust workouts and targets and whatever. Like, it can track your stuff. But you can also do kind of DIY verses for apps like, John, there's trainer eyes, there's trainer ROIC, and there's a few others where you can actually deliver your services for challenges or nutrition coaching, or even remote coaching. You can deliver them via those platforms. And by the way, that starts to make your business look and feel professional, that's a moment where somebody says, Oh, I hired his personal trainer, and I downloaded this app. And he messages me on this app, and I get my workout, my at home workouts, I get sent to me through here, and it becomes almost like another room in the gym, where someone can come in, and they can go through and experience your gym. while they're at work while they're at home. While they're at they're on their own time when they choose to do it. But it's a lot more. I prefer those over opening an email, if that makes sense. If I'm getting an email with what my workout is, for this week, I might be like, Fuck you, dude. You know, I mean, I just, I just don't like it that way. It's just what it is, I still use it, I just send my people a document. You know, for my programs, my challenges and stuff that goes out just because of scale, it's not really worth it for me to set it up, you know, to run a couple dozen guys through the time, just not really that worth it for me. But there is a line for you. And I do think that scalability is the big one, when it comes to things like service delivery, programming, coaching or nutrition plans. How fast you want to scale, what scale you're at right now will determine whether or not it's worth adding that feature or simply. You got the time to do it. And you know, it's cool, and you want to do it, go for it. I mean, I never tell anybody not to if they're like Nah, man, I really think it would be cool. And I want to manage it, I want to figure it out. I want that to be on that layer of my business. Because it sets us apart from the rest. Definitely do it cool with it. So I think those types of services are very, really, really valuable. You get to over deliver. But understand what you're competing with. Know that you're going to put a lot of work into getting into that thing. Where you're going to deliver this to a person via an app, whether it's at home workouts, nutrition coaching, or remote coaching this as well. You're now competing with deep deep, deep, deep deep pocket tech companies now you have peloton their parent company you have I mean even like so you have like the AI driven stuff or programming like juggernauts program where it's it's kind of learning it's very customized like how am I going to sell a cookie cutter 12 week program based on percentages where I just tell you what to do each week, how is that going to compete with juggernauts AI program? Can't. You've used the app, I've used the app. It's great. It works well. Like all programs, the one you do, and the one that can have a little bit of feedback from you in it matters is what matters. What is 20 bucks a month?

John Fairbanks 23:10

That's the issue.

Tyler 23:11

I won't write I won't, I won't. I won't give you a program that I wrote 10 years ago, I won't send you that email for $20. Won't, it's just not worth my time. So there's no fucking way. I'm going to be writing a program for you, getting an email back from you with feedback about how your last week went, and then building your next week for you. No fucking way. I won't do that for 200 bucks.

John Fairbanks 23:32

Well, I reached out to a buddy of mine that owns a spot back in Gainesville. And I said, How much would it cost to do a program for 12 weeks for an athlete that's in season? And he goes well, he goes, he's like, it's $300. But he's like, my base fee would be $300. Because I'm going to take into account this, that and the other. That's going to be a really good program. And it's going to be customized for the individual.

Tyler 23:59

But it's going to be I would use the term very semi customized still, right? There's a framework that probably involves 80 to 90% is the same for a lot of people. Correct. And so it's very semi customized at a very premium price still

John Fairbanks 24:13

sore. I could have juggernaut AI for three years. Yeah. Yeah, that's the problem. That is when the game starts. For anyone that's still holding out where it's like, well, I'm going to sell templates, or I'm going to sell programming, or I'll have fitness programming somebody can subscribe to for 15 bucks a month or 40 bucks a month. It's like Oh, dude, like this is yeah, this game has changed radically in the last decade.

Tyler 24:40

And you know what, I think it's all for the best, because I think it became hard to stand out amongst those people anyways. Every damn coach, every person who was a power lifter at all now I did remote coaching once you got above seven 8000 followers on Instagram, you're selling remote programming, and it's just it's all cool. cutter bullshit. And so just, I'm happy to kind of wipe that whole part of the industry out, which is nice. In my opinion, there's a lot of different services that do it. I think they do it well, because they put more thought, more data and more money into it. That does not mean it's inherently better than a coach with you in person. Part of the line that we talk about where you need to draw that line is, when you when it's for scalability, if I'm just sending an automated food plan and check in requests and some automated feedback that just pops out, and I don't have to run shit for say, nutrition coaching for somebody, that's great. It's wonderful, but a lot of people may benefit more, some people may benefit more, and may choose to spend more to actually have a human who's having a conversation with them about this stuff. And you know, to do things like you know, we have a coach we work with here, like, you know, she'll have a hard time buying in on the stuff that they're talking about, or just you know, it's tough, losing weight is tough. There's a lot of mental illness in the way a lot of times and she has, she'll have bring in to meet with her client, one of her successful clients who's lost 7080 pounds and last couple years to sit down and talk with him, like show her pictures and say, I thought this too, but trust me, you got to listen to her like this. It really works. It's easier and you think it's worth it because it is a very different service than boop boop. Hey, how was your breakfast today? Right? That's just a very different thing.

John Fairbanks 26:24

And it highlights where you and I stay in our lane. There are people that I will happily recommend to you, if you want to be a 100% virtual personal trainer. Totally, there's a lot of dudes that we follow that I think have fucking spectacular systems, and coaching and teaching that they're the go to people, if you want to be 100% virtual, it is not the same game that we are focused on in playing, we're talking about brick and mortar spots, boutique spots where you are able to touch someone's face, you can touch their face, the game does need to be played a little bit different now, that last conversation, we talked about hybrid and where you have virtual offerings that then mix with in person offerings, and I'm totally okay with that. But it does have to be played differently you are you have the opportunity to play it so much differently if you are now more invested in the idea of kind of bloom or grow where you're planted your mindset of how you interact with those people that are in your own communities, how you become a part of that community, and how it becomes part of your ecosystem that then improves the overall ecosystem community that where you live, that's where we stay, that's that line that we have drawn.

Tyler 27:42

And part of establishing that line, it's not always for you to establish as the gym owner, you're gonna establish where your business and services fit, but you can still exist and have services that are along that spectrum and allow people to choose, because like we've said this before, in every other aspect of fitness people have different wants right now, the different needs. And by the way, their wants are maybe different than their needs. And their budget is probably very different from their wants and their needs. So you have to let people rectify these things on their own. Okay? Meaning you need to offer a diverse amount of services that are on one side of the line that you've established that you're not going to fuck with your business, right? You're going to be along the side where you okay, here's what we're going to do. Here's the easiest again, we talked about giving people options to choose their path for which is like a centerpiece of what we talk about here, in creating an ecosystem of success for your clients, which means your business is actually successful. Someone may come in and go man, I'm just a little worried about getting into the gym. But I heard you guys are good stuff I've seen your thing about I can get some coaching and nutrition help you have a weight loss thing going like can I get on board with this with the at home workouts, nutrition coaching thing, if you want to do that via an app or just via a purely remote service, while still selling it out of your brick and mortar book? Yeah. Totally cool with it. Because those are people that maybe aren't comfortable in a gym yet or maybe can't afford personal training. Just can't What are they supposed to do? They're gonna just try hard again, without any information, they just gonna go to Google like it is valuable. And I think it's okay for a gym that still specializes in the human experience to do what you can to make this very inhuman experience as human and as valuable as possible to somebody who that's all they can afford, if that exists within the scope of your business.

John Fairbanks 29:29

And do you know who I like ? Who really continues even in a like COVID II post COVID II world that continues to utilize technology and continues to double down on that human experience of in person experience or spas. So if you take a look at spas, or you take a look at places that are going to be like massage therapy, and this kind of takes us into that next topic. But like, it's this idea of the biohacking type industry. They continue to double down on how you feel when you walk through the door when you walk through a spa that is sketchy, where there's happy endings. And then there's a spa or therapy spot that you walk into, that's gonna be like, nothing's less than $300 on the bed. Yeah.

Tyler 30:21

Like it's off, you know? What are we talking about here,

John Fairbanks 30:26

if we're being serious, there should be an offer.

Tyler 30:30

That opens up an interesting aspect to it, because we did cover. Honestly, we're talking about technology in your gym as some of these other things that as technology and science advances, they become new concepts that become available to be experienced, right. And we're always talking, you're crafting an experience for people in your gym, whatever that may be. So if they come in, and there's dirt in the walls, and things are scuffed up, and there's bars, getting slammed, and Pentair on the radio, and shirtless dudes yelling at each other, high five and playing grab ass, like that's your spot, I'm with it. But that is a very different experience than walking into an equinox. It's a very different experience than walking into a very high end bodybuilding studio. Right, it's very different than walking into a just general public 24 hour joint that's maybe mid or low on the price spectrum. So But as these new concepts come to be from the biohacking community, whether it's whether it's nutrition, whether it's, again, oh, no frickin red light therapy, whether it's saunas, whether it's cryotherapy, whether it is cold plunges, whatever the if people who are interested in maintaining hacking, manipulating, tinkering with their health, their bodies, whatever it is, using the using their body as a medium for changing the way they feel, and experiencing the world, I think it's very important that you at least be tuned into it and go, I'm gonna try this, try it out yourself. If you kind of like it, your coaches kind of like it, fucking throw a cold plunge out to do it once a week, do it on Saturday, or Saturday morning classes. Or if you want to see it just just see it. And by the way, a lot of these things that we're talking about John, some of them are things that can add to your service offerings as in, you can charge more or fit a product that you're selling or can build out a product that your service or product that you're offering. And kind of create another layer of your offer stack or just another avenue for which someone can enter into your business right? Yeah, some of these things that we're talking about here say sauna, cryo, cold plunge, whatever, any of this other shit. It fits a concept we don't I don't necessarily like which is just adding features and slapping them in and including it into your general overall services. But yeah, this text there's some layers here that just needs to exist as a baseline. It's fine. If you're gonna get a song you're gonna be hard pressed sellin per use in your gym. You're probably gonna have a hard time. Just it just is what it is. It's just like showers. Well, it's like, I view a lot of this stuff, the tech technological things, the integrations that we're gonna use in your as infrastructure for your gym. It is plumbing, it is electrical, it is how you log in, it is where you take a shower, it's where you take a shit . Do we have the heat? Yes, we have a sauna cold plunges and back like these are, these are features now. But they do kind of make the overall experience different.

John Fairbanks 33:30

But I think that experience matters, though, right? Like, it's, I think it's, you could say, what was last time you did raise prices for your gym? Yeah, like it's great to install Asana, on average, someone's gonna use it once a month, or depending on how many people you have. Or they may use it every fucking day. But it's like, it's alright. It's $5 More now a month for everybody or 10 is what it is like it's it is what it is like you can you can always I do I do like the and I so I agree with exactly what you're saying, which is like, there are when was the last time you added like any enhancements or bells and whistles quote unquote, to your spot? If it's been a hot minute, all right, you're kind of behind. So you have some things to add and throw out there. But I am. I always love the idea of and I actually heard this in an autobiography, a biography that I was reading recently about Elon Musk. And he was talking about the goes, I want to colonize Mars. And the one VC funding goes, how are you ever gonna make any money from that? And the author then breaks into his standpoint, he goes, that's not how Elon Musk works. He does what he wants. And then he figures out on the back end of things, how he'll make money off of it. Exactly. And I think that there's an element that is really important, just like you said, which is this bus kingdom is the world is the universe. He's established that that's your gyms, your fucking kingdom. So there is an element where it's good At the Sana, get those things that you want to get and then look at the back end but I think it is important where you always kind of start to look at how can I monetize this piece? Or how can I have it be more in front center like you said to provide a more premium view of what we provide. And if you are a gym and in your area and no one has some of these things, then my God fucking put one in there immediately you become now a differentiator of anything else that's in your spot.

Tyler 35:28

Having a different piece of just fitness equipment in your gym is not going to move the needle in your community or provide a great Oh over delivery upon expectations when someone comes in they're not gonna go oh, oh, they got a third squat rack this year. They either go there over the other place, but they come and go, you know what they got a sauna. Fucking rules, you know, and like they there's a posing room, you know, that's those those things were, by the way opposing room. In my opinion, if you got a closet that's just a little bigger than a normal closet, put some mirrors and get some flawless lighting, mount a couple spots where people can put their phones in there. And what you're not going to have is people being super douchey on your gym floor out there in public scaring away the normies popping their shirts off or hiking their shorts up a flex and they got a spot that is perfect for them to do it. And they can photograph it's rules of gyms I've been to that have posing rooms, whether it's a full studio or simply a small posing room. Hands down in my opinion, that's like one of my favorite features of all gyms that I've been in is their opposing room. Posing room and lighting man, in my opinion is the thing I like if I can look jacked standing in front of the dumbbell rack. God you're winning man, because every person if you can make their lighting make them look better than they'd really do or simply just make it flatter. This isn't like misleading people, right? Like, but it is flattering. So people come in and they like the way they look when they're in your fucking place because they're there to work on the way they look. So if if that's the place where they look their best they're gonna fucking be there a lot. And I really, I can't that that little feature fucking rules, man. It really rules. I see a lot of gyms miss it. It's like these CrossFit gyms that we've been into, all over the world where like, they got into this thing where they insist they don't need mirrors. But that mirrors, mirrors it's like, okay, well have you ever, like paid attention when you're lifting like I get it, I don't want to stare myself in the face when I'm squatting. Or truly or deadlifting. To be honest with you, I'll conduct my reviews of my form on my compound lifts via video footage. But every accessory I do, I prefer there to be a mirror in front of me. technique for the angles for all of it. It's not just for ego, it really is about the quality of the things that you're doing. And like, I just think that so many gems fuck up. I've been too cool for like, anyway, that's just me rancid.

John Fairbanks 38:03

No, but I think it's good. But it calls out the fact that technology, this kind of takes you back to school. When I taught ancient world history, right, or ancient history where I had to take you all the way back to the hominid Lucy, which was the small ape like creature that eventually is our all of our great, great grandmother's and get fucked if you want to argue about that. But the idea is that when I had to teach that technology was one of the reasons why one hominid group beat the next. And by technology, I mean, a stick. Yeah, using it, they now have a stick and they're using they all had

Tyler 38:38

six ology wonders decided to use it. Right? That's

John Fairbanks 38:43

a bench in the eye, and now you have weapons, and now they're technologically superior. My point is that a mirror is technology here. So this is one of those things where like, we really want to get like we break it down as there are little things that you can do that are enhancements, they don't have to be a $10,000 Fucking cryo chamber, that you're gonna go into debt,

Tyler 39:05

you gotta have staff for that you're not going to make any fucking money on.

John Fairbanks 39:09

Because you do a little bit of soft gym math and get yourself in trouble. We're like, well, it's $10,000. It's $100 a session. I only need to have a million people use this and I'll be okay.

Tyler 39:18

Yeah, and I will get a million people. I don't know. I won't think about that.

John Fairbanks 39:23

Don't worry about that. But there are those again. So it's just you can do these simple enhancements, and it does start to make a huge difference because this isn't a get rich quick scheme. This is not an idea where you buy things overnight and then that's it. It's like it's we slowly add if you've ever owned a home that is kind of a fixer upper, you're not coming in and dropping six figures all at once to fucking fix it. It's kind of it's just a little bit at a time a little bit at a time. By the time you own that home for a decade. You're like, alright, like this house now is exactly the way I want it because I I really systematically went up about the process and I think your gyms are going to be the exact same way and hold that

Tyler 40:07

and I want to touch on the at home stuff we kind of glossed over the peloton thing and there's plenty of other services now that I don't even remember what they all are. There's a bunch of them now just doing the peloton thing as the other one. There's peloton there was

John Fairbanks 40:18

There's a mirror that I've seen a lot. Oh yeah, this is like your trainer in the mirror.

Tyler 40:25

I'm gonna draw a blank on it. Is that tonal? I think it was the name of that one tonal anyway. But there's a bunch of these add home ones and they're great because they integrate the equipment, with technology with connectivity with content. Right so it's not just a go between between you and some programming that you're told to do. Its high end content production. You have people recording these like, peloton they can participate live or they can go back and do these workouts with people you have different hosts with different personalities like there's a diverse amount of things. It's weird to hear a guy like me raving about the peloton and what they do. From a business standpoint, obviously things are going to contract after the world opens up again, I get it. But if I can work, they make a lot of money. They sold a lot of units and I don't think that type of fitness is going to go away. I think it's going to grow even further. And one of the markets that I had heard discussed about this was elderly people, not just peloton and how it exists but peloton is integration into something like the metaverse magic peloton with your sweaty VR goggles. Now also, that's way more fun than just sitting with some. Yeah, whatever attractive or other reasons for motivating your person that you're staring at funny or telling you to go you can also get on the peloton and do VR rights. Cheer up the mountain down the mountain, you know that a little bit more exciting, while maybe also having that person the ability to go in between the conversation. Maybe it's not a live discussion, maybe these are replays, there's lots of different things you can do that's just in the VR space, but as well as the VR space. or In addition, the VR space is for like elderly people as well. At home workouts, I don't think there's many people that are so my grandfather is in his 90s now. And he goes three times a week, he has to get in his car and drive. Problem number one, right? It was over there. The other day, he stood up from the couch to give me a hug and he went down. And I'm like, pressure drops. I don't know if it's balanced or whatever. But it's just whatever it was, he wasn't. I mean, he stayed on his feet. But it was a thing that he had to do to make sure like it, he stayed on his feet, that man is getting in his car, he's driving a couple miles down the road to go and then to get into another building to go to a like a Performance Center or the son of the hospital where they go in and he rides a stationary bike. That's pretty that's it, but it gets him out of the house to do it. Which I'm kind of okay with. But there's way too many risks, in my opinion, getting from A to B and back from B to A to warrant the exercise is being done there. Now, obviously, if that exercise bike was just in his living room, it's probably going to collect us and sometimes you want to leave your house when you're 95 I get it, I get it. Sure. But the need is there. And I don't understand why this the peloton craze necessarily has not taken off or really been marketed directly towards the elderly people, maybe a more comfortable bike and all that sit back style but but I think that that line using either VR or simply the same at home, the content integration structure that peloton uses is such a great angle for aging people because by the way, everyone. John, your parents were the older mine, I think. But like my parents know that they have to be active. And like they know their parents that kind of came on a little late in life. But like there's you can't sleep on this anymore, like nobody's getting into their 70s at this point and going. Yeah, this is fine. I'm just gonna let this skip to the end. Like, you know, if you're trying to be healthy and trying to have a high quality of life, that exercise is a part of it. And are people that late in life gonna make their way to a gym or they're going to hire a personal trainer? Maybe. But can your gym offer services like that that may be work or like we've talked about that hybrid model that will work to kind of fill in some of that need? Do you go to people's houses to do these workouts? Do you go to people's houses to do all there's a lot of the see the problems that the technological companies are coming in to solve? Yeah, no, they're getting into that because they think there's huge money in it. We'll know that there's a human solution to that that your business can offer as well. And this is how I target opportunities. You say, What is everyone getting into? Great? Well, they're


going to take the fuck out of this thing. And I can show up at your house and be like a nice friendly person. And it works. Instead it costs more money, and it ain't gonna be for the people looking to spend 20 bucks a month, and ain't for it. But the ones that want it, now you've, you've really come up with something that's going to help those people. Because the real truth to this is that if you have folks that are in their senior years, the first time that they may ever work out with a trainer after the fall is after a knee surgery, and now they're having to do physical therapy. So this is the very first time and man how much of this could have been just generally avoided. If the grandfather started working before that happened,

Tyler 45:35

hasn't entered a gym, probably in 60 years, until a couple years ago, there's going to be some balance problems and some heart stuff where he goes there and sits on the bike. Okay, but like but just know that that's a person that Miss 60 years, and is now spending more time than ever on it. Yeah, it's gonna continue that way.

John Fairbanks 45:58

So you said something that you and I have not ever we have not talked about in years. But years ago, you and I worked with a gym owner who very specifically specialized in equipment. And they sold equipment, a variety of different styles of equipment that was just like an add on to their already existing gym, it was just another tier of the business that they wanted to be able to try and have take off and be successful. And one of my favorite projects mirrored what we were seeing out of peloton this is probably about the same time that peloton is a fucking exploding, right? Like even amid explosion, they're just they they're about to reach escape velocity, right COVID is not a thing yet, or maybe COVID Just

Tyler 46:39

The real crisis had just started. It was happening. There you go.

John Fairbanks 46:42

And what I really like So what made me think of it just now was when you mentioned the idea of like, are you going to people's gyms? Or are you going to people's homes, and if we start thinking about like these special populations, or just that, that next level of tiered service that you could provide, but how dope would it be if the idea of like, if you have someone who is is a senior patient, patient, senior client, and you want to bill him, it's like, Well, then let's get you whatever the piece of equipment that you're going to come the little like, hand row or things like let's just get you that at your house. And that's now part of your subscription. That's not part of your membership. And that's where like because that's what we ended up doing where it was people made the investment in the equipment because that's guess what you have to buy the peloton bike, and then it's 17 or $29 a month for that monthly subscription for you to then have access to all the shit the peloton bike comes with. It'd be super cool. Hey,

Tyler 47:41

It was a great service offering for people who oftentimes when someone says I can't, I don't want to join, I can only get in, especially because doing classes just doesn't really work for me, I only get in maybe once a week with my schedule. Like what is that person going to do? Well, instead of not selling them anything now you probably get to make more money off of them. And an easier to fulfill service than it is to just hey, we'll see you once a week we're going to deliver you remote programming and I'm going to make a bunch of money off equipment, which is a one and done decently high margin aspect of the business that works well. And it's a valuable service. By the way, how else are you going to serve people? If you're a gym that only does group fitness. For someone that doesn't like working out with a bunch of motherfuckers or at the very least, is a little apprehensive about getting started with it just yet. Let them get some confidence in how they move, let them dip their toes in the water while you're getting paid more to deliver an easier to deliver service.

John Fairbanks 48:35

How many of you gym owners did something similar when COVID happened? You just rented out your equipment. You rented it to people I know several gym owners that were like well, we're not going to be open we've we're going to choose to not be open and we'll be closed. So we're just going to rent it to our existing members so that they can have the dumbbells and have the equipment at home that was ultimately the gym's equipment. So there's like there are elements or levels to these things that I think just like try to be like suppressed is really terrible memories that we never want to talk about or think about again, but I think there's some principles that can continue to be utilized and just stay open and then also use this as the next possible thing to be able to kind of solve problems for communities that maybe you're not supporting or solving those problems for right now.

Tyler 49:26

Yeah, so if you guys out there to recap see what's out there for you really the thought exercise John and I John and I always do which is ideal Jim was it have what specifically does it not have? First off like what are we what are we not? Then from there? It's like what features what I think is awesome, John, um, I have a wall goddamn TV. As I said before , it's going to be nine three by three. Right? That's what that is what I want and I want to play like awesome shit all the time. Like we're gonna run the Ronnie Coleman VHS is running on repeat up there like there's gonna be a lot of cool stuff going on. I'm gonna have awesome lighting. I want keyless check- ins your phone can get you in. I'm sorry if you're a real analog person like this just ain't your place man. I don't know what to tell you . I want us to be able to correspond via app. This was a single integration for arguing my nutrition coaching, remote probe programming and any of my outreaches because that acts as a secondary form of outreach for me in my gym. That is like a secondary way we do someone via email, right? Boom, I blast like short term notifications and offers out through the app. So we're definitely doing it through email and text. But that I think is important to me. I'm definitely having a sauna. I'm definitely having a steam room. We're definitely having showers. Cold plunge, cold plunge is gonna happen. So like, so there's, yeah, so there's, but there's things that you want to have. There's things you can't have now, right? First off, but I want you to figure out what's out there. What would be cool, what do you want, what would your people like? Draw the line for what fits with your brand? And what doesn't, right and then start to figure out if you're going to do a little triage be like, What can I do right now. And it's not always about money. Some of that stuff's not expensive, necessarily. It's just a decision whether or not you're going to integrate, some of them will pay for themselves. Some of them you'll eat just to play to shit financially on and you're going to have it just because it's cool. And I'm totally fine with that. Right? I'm totally fine with it. But draw that line, figure out where it is, look at the things that are kind of within your scope and go, "What do I want to do?" Maybe ask your members as well. I think that's very important. But again, it's your gym, but it's theirs too. So the biggest takeaway from this is to use these things to serve people well and to over deliver upon the expectations of their first impression. That's the big one. You want to make your sales easy as Jim was. You have a hard time selling or closing big ticket sales. Let your facility speak for itself and it's a lot easier to let a few of those little bells and whistles so much easier. Yeah, there's, you get in a car you ever get like a really nice car and there's just like two features that you're just like, fuck this rules. This really rules my car with a push button. And you know, like in a limousine the old limousines like between the driver in the back that you hit the button automatically, the divider would go up, right? Yeah, my car has that basically. But it's like a pretty deep heavy shade just along the complete rear windshield it just so if the sun's been in from behind someone behind me I don't want look in the mirror, just push the button and goes up there fucking rules that rules the way my center console opens up. I knew right away that Congress for me was like What a novel solution to a terrible thing. Normally the way the little center console normally opens. It's the perfect solution. It's hard for me to describe here without sounding like I have that ism. But I'm just telling you to see that thing in you. Okay. But that's those two features. And the fact that it looked cool was all I needed. I would have spent the damn near any amount of money on this car.

John Fairbanks 52:53

And how you feel so much more important. And we cannot stress that enough all the way back to even our fundamental like client success ratio is how do people feel in your gym? How do they feel they're banking towards progress? How do they feel in every aspect when they go into the bathrooms? How do they feel? When I'm taking the piss to the urinal? Do I feel awesome? Because I'm watching Rambo cut a dude's head off with a buoy knife. Do I feel that? Well then? Yes, yeah, this is awesome. I feel great. So it's like all those elements are how they feel? How do you feel? Because it is so much more important than anything else.

Tyler 53:32

That's it guys. So we got make sure you follow the show at the gym owners podcast follow John at

John Fairbanks 53:37

J banks FL on Instagram. And you

Tyler 53:41

can follow me at Tyler Elphinstone on Instagram go to gym owners If you want it on the Gear Academy, that's our business coaching product, we're going to take you from A to Z with big piles of money at the end, or whatever other promises most people are making. But the reality is what we want to do is we want to help you help your people make a bunch of money in the process. Tidy up your business without selling your soul or having to sell your fucking business at the end like the other guys. That's the name of the game. We want it to be your business for your people while making you and your family. No money. So get in the gear Academy. shoot us a message you have any questions about that. Get in the Facebook group links in the description me and my sniffling coffin cold haven't asked are gonna go out and call it a day I think so. Thanks for listening, everybody, and we'll see you next week.

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