The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/Retention & Revenue Strategies for CF Gyms

Retention & Revenue Strategies for CF Gyms

Saturday, December 23, 2023



people, gym, nutrition, membership, clients, eating, coach, training, pounds, coaching, talk, problem, feel, service, obsessing, successful, money, success


  • Client success and retention strategies for functional fitness gyms. (0:01)
  • Fitness industry's role in addressing obesity epidemic. (2:58
  • Fitness industry nutrition and personal training services. (8:40)
  • Client success and retention in the fitness industry. (14:07)
  • The importance of value-based pricing in fitness businesses. (20:17)
  • Fitness industry membership models and client retention. (27:09)​
  • Fitness gym communication and retention. (34:00)
  • ​CrossFit gyms' lack of nutrition coaching and neglect of foundational movements. (38:08)
  • ​Fitness, nutrition, and supplementation. (42:27)
  • ​Food addiction and control. (48:14)


Tyler 00:01

Ladies and gentlemen, we're back. Welcome to gym owners podcast. I'm your host Tyler Stone with John Fairbanks. How are you doing, John?

John Fairbanks 00:08

Hello, Tyler.

Tyler 00:10

We're getting to the holiday season guys. Christmas is in the air. So this week we want to talk about got an interesting article sent our way from the morning chock up, this is maybe a week or two weeks old by the time you're hearing this, but it's a it's not necessarily time sensitive, but going on kind of retention strategies for functional fitness gyms, this article, what is it even called Let me zoom up easiest way to double your average client value, increase retention. Now I do think the concept of their splaining here is pretty solid, we just want to kind of interpret some of the data and also give you a practical approach to solving this problem. Really, I think using the same tools that they're describing, just making sure that you don't fuck this up. Because I do think if you go about this the wrong way. This will be very, very stupid. And it won't help you. But before we get started, make sure you go to gym a fall at the gym owners podcasts and Instagram and follow me at Tyler effing stone on Instagram and John,

John Fairbanks 01:12

you can follow me at J banks f L.

Tyler 01:15

And what else we got in the gym owners revolution Facebook group that's on Facebook that's in our Lincoln is in the description. If you want to do business with us directly you want us to help with your gym, make your gym awesome make 2020 for the year, your GM actually made some fucking progress. Let's do it. You can either message us directly or you can go to gym owners So let's get right into it. So we have talked for a long time, John is one of the I think the fundamental guiding principles of what we do here is the client success needs to be the centerpiece of what you're doing. I feel like I say this 20 times in every episode forever. And maybe it's because we also do a lot of coaching calls and stuff like this. So I feel like I say this a lot. If you guys are tired of hearing it, make your clients more successful in the fuck. And if I just tend to see fitter people in my day to day life and not fail fitness all the time. I'll be with it. But until I see this on the regular I'm gonna say I think we need to focus more on the success of your clients. Now, in doing so I think there's some principles that we have taken from other businesses, other fields, and specifically, some stuff that we've done very, very specifically for the fitness industry to make sure that like, this stuff works for fitness. And because there are I think some unique things when you're doing you're selling fitness compared to selling cars or whatever. But one of those things is giving people choices. Like I think the big takeaway from this article, is that what it basically says is CrossFit gyms can do whatever they want to do. But for the most part 80% of the revenue currently, as of this year in CrossFit gyms comes from group class. Yeah, it's a catch all membership. That's it. 12% is from personal training, only 3% is nutrition coaching, and hybrid memberships, which I don't like this term that they use, but I guess you got to use something hybrid memberships as they explain to John that is your regular membership plus any other service is

John Fairbanks 03:18

Is that correct? Anything else, right? So whether you're going to bundle nutrition

Tyler 03:23

coaching, as it says here is not done with people that are also doing other things. That's fucking insane. To me.

John Fairbanks 03:31

It's crazy. By the way, I'm

Tyler 03:32

fine that you sell it, right. I'm okay as a gym owner, if someone can't afford my membership to down sell them to a food plan or whatever that gets them in, whenever it gets them started. That's fine. But it's crazy to me then that only 3% of your people at all 3% of your revenue, not even people 3% of your revenue is coming from anyone buying additional services. That's fucking pretty nuts. And that's one of the reasons that I think people are when he talks about Client Success lists and client success. Listen, what does this industry need? What does this country need? What most of the general population needs statistically is some weight loss, right? We need to get some sort of respect and that requires and even if you try to do performance, whatever that requires some food intake stuff to be addressed. And the fact that only 3% of your revenue is coming from people that also have a high likelihood of success. That sucks. Is

John Fairbanks 04:31

Is it fair to blame the obese the obesity epidemic on us? Like the fitness industry, is that like it? I'll take the responsibility because fucking no one else clearly is doing anything about it right? Like its doctors. Like it's like the medical industry the government they're not fucking interested in helping big fat fatties not be big fat, fatties,

Tyler 04:59

John you and I get her involved with a nonprofit that we have that won't get super big details on this on this show right now. But it's basically we're kind of helping young men get into the gym get stronger, be comfortable in the gym, we, we make sure that their training is facilitated and that they learn some like real practical health stuff, which is like, how to meal prep how to cook a fucking steak, like what foods Shouldn't you eat? Like? The fact is, there's a lot of adults who you have to tell that they shouldn't. You have to tell right now people in their 30s 40s 50s Like, Hey, did you, you know, you shouldn't just be drinking Coca Cola a lot. You know, like, like I, I have, I have a friend. And I have another show with his old lady man. Mountain Dew, or Mellow Yellow, it's just Mellow Yellow. And it's like, it's like, what's the point of drinking six cans, by the way, I've done it. But you're not happy. If anybody out there likes it, if you're not happy with the way you look, you will lose some weight. Like I promise somebody needs to tell you to not be drinking fucking soda like that. Go to the zero, go to wherever. But for one of the things to get back on track here, I guess. The fact is people need to be taught the stuff and like INRIA. So back to what you asked, should we, the fitness industry, take the blame for the obesity epidemic that goes on? Do I think it is actually this industry's fault? Truly, no, I do think the food supply is food education, all that stuff is that way. However, the burden of solving this problem is not on those people. That's it. It's just not because those people you should have know that all that is fucked. What are we doing here? Right? Like, we all know that food is poison. And like that, it's all bullshit. And there's just lots of sugary dog shit going on in the American diet. And the American food supply. It's fucking terrible. It's terrible. The restaurants, a lot of the fast foods, it's all bad. It's universally bad. But we are the ones who are selling the solution. They are selling the poison, let them sell the poison. They're the dealers of the poison. Like, like I just don't know what to say. Like, are we blaming crack dealers for making money selling crack? I don't know, maybe. But at some point, like, somebody's got to be working with these people. So these people stopped buying the shit. And that comes from education. It comes from building a relationship with them. It starts from building connections and trust, giving them progress and wins. So that they have a real perspective, a real reasonable perspective on what they should eat. So should we, the fitness industry, take the blame for it? Yes. shoulder the burden, say you know what, whatever, it's on us to fix this. Right? Everybody's eating dog shit. It's not the dog shit manufacturers fault at this point. That's what dogshit manufacturers do. They manufacture dog shit. Okay, that's what Pepsi does. Pepsi makes poison. Pepsi sells poison. That's what they do. But you are a fitness leader. So fucking need fix it, just fix it, there's a there's the taking ownership of the problem does not mean taking the blame. And maybe that's let's take ownership of the problem. And let's take ownership of the solutions that we're trying to get to. But that means people need to be dealing, like if your people are going into your gym, and they got 20 pounds to lose. And they're not getting fucking nutrition help, or it's not being offered to them. And choosing not to that's on them, but it needs to be presented to them and it also needs to be communicated to them in a way where they know that, hey, this is the solution. Like this is really this is the process you have to fix. You can come in here and work hard, and you should. But this is the thing that you got to get an order or else the wheels are just gonna keep coming off.

John Fairbanks 08:39

It is one of those things where it's if you believe right, if the United States if you believe it's a free market society, right? You believe in fucking capitalism. It's the same argument you hear with free speech, right? It's like, well, you don't stop free speech, you just have better speech. On the other hand, If you are in disagreement, it's right, the poison pedalers will continue to peddle poison. If you are not trying to fight that and combat it with a better version than you are just hoping that the poison peddlers come up with a fucking solution and they're not going to. And that's where for me where I'm driving, where is it is borderline criminal that if you own a gym, and you're in the fitness industry, if only 4% is coming from talking to people about nutrition, selling nutrition, and we know it's the number one fucking problem in our country and in our immediate communities. There's a I got a fucking article talking about because I live in Appalachia, like the Appalachian Mountains. I live in Appalachia who's been fucking just destroyed by the pharmaceutical industry and everything else. They were telling me how popular bourbon and Mountain Dew was in Appalachia together, like the mixture, but Jesus, okay.

Tyler 09:57

Mountain Dew was originally made for by the way Mountain Dew was originally made as a whiskey mixer. Now it's a very different formula than it was now. But its inception was a lemon lime whiskey mixer.

John Fairbanks 10:11

But that is where we're driving, right. And this is the idea where as in the fitness industry, then if you're going to start to play this game, because based off this, the statistics that we saw from this morning, chalk up article, it is criminally low, the amount of nutrition and personal training that is existing on average, in CrossFit gyms, which is one of the most prolific type of gym in the United States. So hybrid memberships,

Tyler 10:41

as they define them, is a monthly membership that includes the group classes or whatever. And by the way, if you're at a gym, that isn't group classes, no, this will be defined as your general base, whatever your base, general general membership is bundled with at least one other service, nutrition coaching, or personal training, or online coaching or online programming. The fact that it's bundled with personal training, that already kind of skews that a lot, because personal training should be, it's expensive enough to where that's going to drive that a ton. So you only have what did they say like 10% of your revenue is coming from people who are just personal training only, and only 3% of your people that are just doing multiple things at all, including personal training and nutrition, or any that that is that's criminal and what a start the issue is it's it's negligent for you and your business and for you and respect your clients. Because you're not giving them a choice in the front like these people don't even have a choice that and because I can tell you this, if you were if, if that data was based on gyms that were say, offering those services, let's say even poorly, you know, we use a an app that we build out for everybody that basically has all your, you know, it's a walk through sales process, it's not some shitty slip, but someone goes in and as as a kind of conversation. And that's where they want to start, you know, whether it's group fitness, 24 hour stuff, one on one personal training, and you just kind of navigate them through that thing. But there's, once they get to, I want to come in two times a week or three times a week with a personal trainer, then there's still like a sheet that gives them choices, or do you want commit for 12 weeks, we're gonna do measurables here, we're gonna hold you accountable, that includes your nutrition plan includes access to all our group classes, plus whatever to three persons, that is a choice that they're being given on a list of other things they can choose. Now, every one of the people that comes through with our system is offered not just some stuff to move up, but like they're asked some questions to get them dialed into exactly that, you know, when they want to come in the type of training they want to do, you know, connecting those those services as solutions to the problems that they described in the conversation that you're having regarding getting them signed up. And all of a sudden, excuse me, all of a sudden, this. People start buying these services. John, what are we? I mean, more than more than one in three, uses an additional level of commitment usually and romanza issues from the base, right. And I mean, the numbers that we get is, as a lot of people are choosing this stuff if you're offering and they're choosing it because it matters. And they do it because it works. And because they identify that as a thing. Now, even if you don't use an efficient, crafted to me welcomed, well communicated system that's at least been tried and tested before. If you're just saying, Hey, I mean, you want some help with nutrition stuff, I know it is important. If you're just saying that every person that comes in, you should be doing way better than this. Right should be doing way better than that. So what this says to me is one, you guys should read this and say, this is a big opportunity, because I can double the amount of money I'm getting from any of these people who choose to buy another service, like on average. And I'm telling you that way more people than you think will be buying these additional services. And I think that's what's important to know,

John Fairbanks 14:07

We've spent all this time talking about the number one important thing for us, which is client success, and the importance of having all that. And then you just brought up the second point, which is guys, based off these fucking stats, the average CrossFit gym owner is $159 a month. Holy fucking shit. You're not gonna make any money. Like it's not enough money based on the number of members that you have for a base fitness price for a heavily coached product. No wonder, like, no. So it's like it is one of those things where it's like, if client success isn't enough, just to put your people in more of a position to be able to be successful. That's not enough to move the needle. If you also do this, it will make you more money. Yeah, and the best part is that you can make more money while providing a better service that helps people in your community. Now we can be altruistic But holy shit, if you're unless you're just being like, I make enough money, we're totally fine. We make enough money. There's not we have no internal fire or desire to make more money or do more.

Tyler 15:14

If you're swimming in it, yeah, but your clients aren't successful. Clock's ticking. Man. Are you one of the good guys? That's the question, so it's like introducing, by the way, introducing this thing will complicate your life that much Not really. It's a service that will help your people be more successful at the thing they're paying you for. It makes you better at the service you're delivering. So I don't understand why people go, Listen, we're just fine. I don't give a fuck what happens that what that means is I don't give a fuck what happens to my clients. And that's where as an industry, yeah, we gotta jump on that grenade, you just can't be that guy, you just can't. And I think that is the client's success. Now, where they get to with this is not only does this service make you more money, and make your clients more successful, because people are invested more. And because they're getting results, people stay longer. And retention really is the name of the game. And we've already talked about this, you don't need more members, you want more money. Yeah, it does mean my son, I think you want more money, which means you need to get more money out of each person. But you can't just take more money from them upfront and then have them quit in three months, like they're going to when they don't get results. So it means give them the opportunity to commit more. Okay, their own level of commitment will be like if they commit more, they will have a higher chance of success, the services that they choose will give them a higher chance of success. And then when they are successful, they will stay because they've been successful. I go into pizza and I walk out and they don't give me any fucking pizza. I'm not going back to Pizza Hut that off, I'm just not gonna, the amount of times I go into a restaurant and don't get what I want. I'm done. I'm not going there if I went to your gym to get in shape, and all you did was offered me fucking $150 membership and I have to conform to this one singular type of fitness that you decide to offer, which is also okay, we're all about having I'm fine about having an age. But one of the things that we do here is we like to understand the part of the equation is someone's lifetime fitness journey is more time that your gym can occupy and your services can occupy someone's lifetime fitness journey. That is what retention is. Okay, that is really, really what that is if someone comes in, and they just like, hey, here's group neck, but man, I just don't like working out with a bunch of these. Like, it's also like, That guy lives down the street from me, and I don't fucking like him and he's in class all the time. Fuck, like, sometimes there's some social shit with this, like, just group classes are not going to be for everybody. But it's like, well, what if I'll come in a couple times to that I'll deal with that bullshit, whatever. But can I get some personal attention? Personal Training, yeah, like, and I need to lose 20 pounds would you're just going to work that off of them, that's your plan, you're just gonna, you're just gonna go and dig in your spurs, and you're gonna work it off. And while they just are then tired, and then they're hungry, or because they just started lifting and their body's breaking down a little bit more protein than usual, and they're starving and the food cravings go up, and they're just, they're gonna eat more, they're gonna feel like they're winning, because they're fueling the fire. But what's gonna happen is they're gonna fucking not get the results that they want. And then they're out, and you have not occupied much time in their average client fitness journey, because you left all your shit too narrow, you did not coach the person. You coached CrossFit. And I think that's important. If you're coaching group classes know that you're not coaching group classes. It's just one part of the thing, you're coaching human beings, and in coaching those human beings, that person wants to lose 20 pounds, which means he needs to participate in this class that I will be coaching. But it also means we need to address the other things that this person is doing or is not doing. That means his inputs, that means maybe some other attention, some private classes are some private personal training, nutrition, whatever, but that is the stuff that you have to address. If you do not address it, you're just go coach at the fucking YMCA, go coach, Body Pump, get get down, man, everybody can move up and down and left and right. That's fucking wonderful. But like, are you coaching a class? Or are you coaching people? And are the classes paying the bills? Are the people paying the bills? Are you trying to retain the classes? Or do you need to retain these people, retain these people by serving these people and getting them results or go fuck yourself? Because I don't fucking care to work with. That's my thing with this as I went to fight here, any resistance from coaches about this? That's how I know they're bad coaches. And we've kind of had that before John, where we've had some people who are like, well, I don't really want to introduce personal training. People don't really like it. It's like, oh, no, they don't like you. Yeah, they just don't like you. Trust me. People like personal training. People pay a lot of money for personal training. I think I mean, I don't have a single personal training client that I work with. It's less than five or $600 a month. Some of them are over 1000. It's like this isn't And, like, so don't act like people won't pay it or that it doesn't have the value because people will you. If you suck at it, people aren't going to pay you a lot of money. And that's fine. But then get better or get someone else in there because you need to serve the people. It's not about you. It's just not about you.

John Fairbanks 20:17

And the revenue pain that you're feeling as a business owner is from you having a one dimensional offer, ultimately, of what you are putting in front of people. And the fact that you're just ignoring the clients evolving needs that they have, this is why we land on that client fitness journey. Because even when people are coming to you, they're going to come to you from this, we all know is everything right? This wide spectrum of needs that people have. And the reality is if you're a CrossFit gym, you can still serve a wide spectrum of people. If you allow this to happen, if you allow that spectrum to be there allow you to be able to have a wider net, a bigger tent to capture people. And if you have any type of revenue pain, this is what it is fundamentally, the issue is you are feeling the fact that you are missing, right, all of those individuals that could fit in your spot. But without that, without that choice, right without being able to account for people's natural ebbs and flows and ups and downs and what they want to do. You're feeling the pain of being niched, down incorrectly. You're not niching, you're you're niching in the wrong area, or in the wrong way, that's only castrating business, because now you're coaches can't make good money. Now, you know it's always on you, and now you're stuck with low income people with low income problems. And I'm not talking about your clients, I'm talking about the people you work with. If all the business you do are motherfuckers, that are making 15 to $20 an hour, you are going to have 15 to $20 an hour fucking problems with your staff. Yeah. But if you have people that are making $60 to $80 an hour, now we have a much different conversation about caliber people.

Tyler 22:10

And that's important to note that what you just mentioned was on your staff side of things, right? If you're paying low value dollars, to clients, to your staff, they're going to deliver kind of a low value product to your clients. On the other side of things, if your clients are only choosing one single product, because that's the only thing you're put in front of them, your $150 membership, you're only dealing with low value clients, kind of. And even if you have high value, people who would spend more, they're either not even getting an opportunity to give you more money. And I can tell you this, the clients that pay me the most money are the happiest hands out, they work the hardest, they're the most excited. Okay, the ones who I've given a deal to are the least appreciative flakiest worst shit, and I'll never do it again. So just know that we all know this, this is but here's a universal principle. And I'll say this. I did this again, last month, two months ago. So I do maybe once a month, somebody will inquire who I know as it is in a tough financial situation, and they're trying to lose some weight. And, I've been there. And I know that a lot of nutrition is weight loss. And that's just education and a plan. And someone's really added having a plan and just kind of being told what to do. What's kind of right, what's wrong, that that really, really, really can help like some people. That's the truth. Fundamentally, they just need the information, right? So I do almost once a month, I will build a custom averages out I build a custom nutrition plan for somebody who's people who have asked, you know, and they just say they can't afford it. They can't afford personal training. So I do it. I have about a 90% success rate on people that pay me for it. Literally 90% Absolutely. I have done nutrition coaching for about 10 people so far this year. One of them did it. I mean, the others didn't even do it. John didn't even do it, but came to Hatton and I just haven't really. But the fact of the matter is, if you're not willing to pay $1 $10 $20 200 500 $1,000 for it, you're already participating in what is fundamentally a low value situation. It has no value. You give some dipshit who doesn't have $50 to his name give him a fucking Lamborghini, what do you think is going to happen to it when that more fucker gets it on the road? He's gonna drive it like he stole it. And you're gonna have a quarter million dollars worth of damage in no time right now on this note, because this is funny, I have I also gave away the dudes rock program the one that you had done as well. I gave that away to a guy who has already paid me for nutrition co urge for one on one personal training. So I was working with him already a couple times a week, and I just didn't feel right about him wanting to do it and he wanted to pay for it. And I just didn't feel right about taking his money on top of money to then be doing a lot of the value in that it's the workouts what we're already doing them, we can, we can just do them in our purse sessions. So I said, Listen, I'm just gonna give it to you, but you got to, you got to do the thing. And I actually gave that program to two guys. One of them logged in got the check ins on the app done day one never heard fucking peep, since not fucking once do not one. The other one did it all. Losing 15 pounds was just like, super stoked, and it's still sticking with it on the nutrition side now it's like 20 pounds. Latest has been since college. That's awesome. So but that is the thing, these are the keys like, like, people gotta pay. Okay, they just kind of gotta pay. Now this last guy explained, that's just, that's the reason that I'll still continue to give a person a chance every month, usually, he gave me I was about to cut that thing. I'm not giving anybody fucking anything at all. But still, when someone comes to me and really asks for a soft spot in my heart, I've been poor. And I've been fat. And so I've been at wit's end. So I just know. So listen, if I can help if you really are there, this is me giving them an opportunity. But every opportunity that I have given somebody, very rarely does it work. Every time someone has paid me for an opportunity, they are very successful, and they have a very high likelihood of success. And that's the thing to take away from this is don't just pack more stuff either into this catch all membership, because they won't value it. If you just go from a $150 product and say, now there's nine other things, but it's $300. Most of your people won't, who don't identify the value in that they won't pay at all, they just won't take that step up and you're kind of fucked, you're like, now it's just you. So you can't just throw more things into the pool and charge more money for the pool, it only has to be tears, it has to be a choice. And they have to feel like they have ownership of it. They need to want it. You can't compel people to do this at all.

John Fairbanks 27:09

If you are the reason why this is all so important is that we want you to be playing a game. That is a 689 16 month game with clients. The unlimited membership, the single type of ideas, this is what people are talking about when the average lifespan of someone in your gym is three months, the average lifespan of somebody in your spot, on average across the entire fitness industry is 90 days, because the only thing you can pretty much do with a general membership or an unlimited membership, as we've always said is canceled. The only thing that you can do is cancel that ship. And if you position this all the right way, all the altruism and the right doing shit with clients success first is the reason why not only is it vital for them, but how you can structure this the right way where you do not allow an overly inflated gargantuan unlimited membership to be the only thing that you offer. Offering choice and being able to stack these things into multiple options for people to choose from, actually positions you to be in a space. Whereas when people's life situation does change, they have the ability to either go up or go down very naturally. That then just by hat, like by design extends how long they spend their time with you. And this is ignoring so many other factors and pieces that we do go into deep right with the folks that we're working with every month inside the gear Academy. This is that like just fundamental psychology of being able to this is where you will hear some folks say like, this is why you want people to have three different aspects to every membership, the idea like a facility membership, where they're physically there, and then a coaching membership where they're being coached specifically, and then a nutrition piece or add on bolt on items that are not related to a physical service. And that was a product, right? The rationale of having those three prongs that are part of every type of membership is so that when somebody wants to cancel, you only get rid of one of them. Right so that then you allow somebody because it is natural, like there is just that natural flow of how humans are going to live. That

Tyler 29:33

flow is important too. So we talk about what's the term they use, like what do they look for average client value over the lifetime but that's a component of many other things. Right? So when I talked about someone's lifetime fitness journey and the space that you occupy in there, that is dependent on their budget, their wants, their needs, their time availability and a lot of things and also their priorities, their past successes, their past failures. The thing is, how they feel about what they're going to do next, John, I can walk into a gym. And I got 20 pounds to lose. And I go in and I say, Okay, I want to get started. And so here's your here's the membership, we do have no nutrition coaching, it's important if you want to lose the weight that we, that you have a plan are people that do the plan to pay for the plans, they have success, they just do ones that don't, it's just less stuff. So you can choose to go on your own, or you can choose to go this route. And I can fully choose, I am only able to commit this much money right now. But I'm going to go in and I'm going to try the food stuff on my own. I'm just going to try it. And in six weeks, 12 weeks, eight weeks, whatever, as long as the touch points are there and as long as I've been offered this in the beginning, and I know that it's the solution to this problem, and I have chosen not to do it. When I'm not successful in three months, I don't quit, because I know the thing that I passed on. And usually we find this the most is when people are about to quit, where they feel like they've stopped, especially in 24 hour gyms guys, and a 24 hour gym when people have stopped attending your gyms or even in CrossFit gyms, they've stopped attending your classes. People think oh shit, they're gonna quit, they're gonna cancel. Those are the ripest people to spend more money. Those are the people who will absolutely upgrade to some sort of hybrid model with personal training, or they will also upgrade into a challenge . Whatever the things, if you're running challenges, they will absolutely upgrade into nutrition coaching, recommendation is what happens when someone fails. That's what you want them to do. By the way, failure isn't. I tried this thing without nutrition coaching. And now I'm going to continue to try this thing without nutrition coaching without success. That's the definition of insanity, right? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting the same results. So recommitment is really truly committing again, committing further. And that is more money in your pocket. Okay, that extends the life of the amount of time that they spend in your gym, that means you are now occupying more space in their lifetime fitness journey. And they're probably going to be successful now. Because they've committed more money, they've made an actual commitment to themselves, and they're getting a service that's going to help them. It's not like you're just taking the money from them. Like as some sort of symbolic gesture of their commitment, which I still believe is 180% of it. I still believe this fully. Like I really believe that somebody's just saying, Here's the money, I want to put this towards the thing I have bought fucking shoes and accessories and elbow sleeves and knee sleeves and lifters and I got you know what I mean? Like, I got Romeo's and I got some wood healed frickin position Blue Suede lifters, none of those things were like, but that is a way of me committing. Like, yeah, this is I'm going to add this to the thing. Sometimes just partying with the money is the gesture. And that is the commitment and it makes you then hey, I'm on the hook for this, I'm, you better be about it. And it just works. So so but if you're only letting people dump into some fall into some big collective pool of your catch all memberships, they won't value any of the things that you put in it, they have to choose their commitments, when things move forward, if they're not given a choice, it's you're wasting your time, there's nothing worse that you did, there's nothing worse than you could do that you could do than to give away your nutrition plan to every single person in your gym mediately you would have all you would have very little success because they don't want it if they wanted it, they would be asking about it. And then if they really wanted it and believed that it was already committed, they'd be paying a lot of money for it. Now, people will do that, if they're presented that as such, but if you walk up and hand it to him, you know, it's like, it's like a woman who just is a bit too forward, like, you know, like, like, like, you know, but you'll chase one. You'll Chase one, but the moment they make it too easy. Some red flags, red flags, it

John Fairbanks 33:59

having what you talked about, like having a general membership to it'll allow you to sleep on some of the most key elements of retaining people and communicating the number one problem we are identifying with gyms in general, especially as we get ready to gear up for another year going into 2024 is the number one problem is communication. Yeah, the number one issue is the lack of communication, or you're just not doing it enough. And you think that you may be making the number one mistake, which is you think you're communicating because you are putting stuff on Instagram. It took you long enough to figure that out. But the reality is, there's massive percentages of your gym that are missing by design, because you're not paying to use the social media services now. So there's all these factors that are working against you. And at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with the fact that you're not using email or that you're not using social media the right way. Yes. All those are problems. But it's your actual membership that's leading to the problem. Because guess what? Every fucking member in your gym you see, every goddamn day or every fucking week. So you see them in real life. So stop fucking worrying about how often you email or how often like, it's yes, that's a problem. But that's a problem further down your journey, right now you are, you're tripping over your dick because you're not talking to people the right way. And the reason why you're not talking to them is because what you sold them allows you to not talk to them. And again, one of those fundamental pieces where if you sell them the right thing, just like you said, we already know, everyone already knows about every 90 days people have to recommit. They have to re-up, get back into the flow of whatever they want to do next. And the fact is that we know that that's already General Psychology, then you touched on one factor where it was like one side of the wheel is if people are failing, they're not coming in. Guess what, you have a whole nother side of the wheel where people are kicking epic amounts of apps, they did lose 20 pounds, they are ready. The problem is, as we all know, what happens when you're preparing for a race where you're going to prepare for a meet, or you're going to prepare for a competition. What happens when you actually achieve it? You're successful, like gold medalists talk about this, they get to the Olympics. And then it's like, what the fuck do I do with my hands.

Tyler 36:34

And that's the point where they do get into this in this article here a little bit too as I talk about specialty programs, etc. And that is the thing. People have achieved their goals, they need to either pursue that further down the road the next time, right, I accomplished minus 20 pounds. Like most people, you really think everyone thinks they got 1520 30 pounds to go before they have visible abs. And usually it's like 40 Dude, I know you wish but it just It just ain't that way. Or they pivot, okay, I'm here. I've done it. Okay, now I want to try something else. What is that? And does your gym have the ability to do it? By the way? What if they've been bulking for powerlifting or some sort of thing and they go, yeah, now I want to cut some weight, I want to get a little leaner that's custom programming that maybe can take them back into group fitness and nutrition plan a weight loss plan instead of wanting to build muscle yada yada yada So, but being tuned in to their actual lifetime fitness journey. That's the key here. That's the whole thing. Now there's one piece of data they did not give us here. So this data that they reference when we talk about 80% of the revenue in their CrossFit gyms of the 13 and a half 1000 gyms that they got this data from 80% of their revenue comes from group class 12% ish from personal training 3% from nutrition coaching and only then another 3% from people who essentially bought a base membership and actually tell to attached another another products only 3% of the revenue now what's really alarming about that, because we know how much that stuff sells when people are actually offered it. Just know is I want to know how many of these gyms don't offer any of it. Yeah, this is what I mean here is I bet there's a couple of 100 gyms that actually do a pretty good job of this and that's the issue right now we're getting a generalized number but I would really like to know how many of these said honestly are are doing fucking like less than 1% of all of this and it's a lot and it's because they don't offer fuck all a lot of these gyms especially in the CrossFit gyms barely do personal training, they barely offer it it's not even on it's kind of sits buried somewhere in the website like that. That's what you do because you really just want people in your group classes and it's easier for you to manage. You don't have to worry about your coaches being good either; they can just be DJs, you know what I mean? They can just turn on the music and walk you through the whiteboard and fucking wonderful but I that's what's the most alarming thing to me here as well already. This is low. I think the ones that are doing that are driving these low numbers up is a few gyms and it is a lot of gyms that are not even fucking dipping their toes in this water, which is embarrassing. As an industry it's embarrassing that there's this many gyms that are putting no effort into actually helping their clients be successful. Fucking absolutely embarrassing to be a part of an industry that that's the way it is. And we've talked about CrossFit specifically in the past. Right this specific thing is CrossFit gym data. Every one of these people gets like a very easy to package training segment basically on a nutrition methodology that they could use. Yeah, with the zone, they still teach it at the level one they run with it so like, fucking start there. Everyone on your staff is capable of fulfilling that if you Don't want to standardize something, which let's be honest, you can standardize something where you plug in the variables, and then just have the coaches handle accountability and some specifics. I mean, for almost no time or effort either, but this is, it's negligent as fuck, dude, what are we talking about here? Like, I just don't get it. Like if every person who comes up to me and tells me they want to lose weight, or they want to get in shape, right? I don't even talk to them about the gym anymore. Don't, it's like you need to fix it, I won't. The first time you say you need to fix it, we say that you need to fix the way you eat, you need to change it. That is what it is. And I don't even get into it. Because I don't care to have the conversation. Somebody comes to me and asks me how much I bench press and then if I tell them, they'll just tell me that they knew somebody in high school who benched more than that. And it's a waste of everybody's fucking time. So I don't even have the conversation about what I do in the gym at all. If they're not going to hire me as a personal trainer, if they're just flapping gums, you need to fix the way that's it. That's it's it's the only thing that is that really matters and all the other stuff you do can just be a puck and kind of a waste of effort. If you don't fix the way you fucking eat. So to have all of these gyms or all of these coaches are probably fit I hope they're eating in some specific way. Right? They've been trained on how to teach people in a very, very specifically designed way to be deliverable to average people. Right there's a few you get a few blocks to this and a few blocks of this and this is it just breaks it down. They don't have to obsess over it necessarily. It can be like they are all trained on it and these gyms are doing nothing What a waste of a couple hours by the way of your level one fucking if let's talk about this things that CrossFit gyms waste of the most like like the just neglected the most out of the from the level one. One is the nutrition thing, because apparently none of them are fucking selling nutrition coaching at all. So why even bother having that in the certification? Who fucking cares, right? But because it actually is about eating something like, very baked into CrossFit as a methodology was nutrition. Right? It really was and the second thing is that they just ignore sumo deadlift, high poles with a kettlebell. That's one of the foundational movements John, that thing that I will get, I'd like to see the data guys push press people. Somebody reached out to me on how many CrossFit affiliates go an entire 12 months a year in their programming without featuring that exercise even once. And by the way, I'm okay with it. I'm not saying it's a bad exercise. It's a very stupid thing to have be like one of your nine moot pillars of movement in your fucking Maxim methodology. It's the dumbest thing it's so fucking stupid. That's dumber than making something like literally Snatch and clean and jerk like a very like centerpiece of the thing. I think those are great expressions of the strength you get when you're supposed to perform, i.e. to be specific , too technical, but the sumo deadlift high pole whatnot, but show me a bicep curl then Jesus Christ or is there? None of these? There's not a single chest exercise on this though. This is why y'all are small and weak and have uninteresting Hobbit physiques. Dude, let's go. So that's my two days I think of the Bible, but that's to be honest, right? When you're building it's like a, you know, things are in there for a reason. Now, I still don't believe that the nine movements are just whatever but the nutrition things are there for a reason. And it's a resource. Everybody you have coaching a class. Yeah, he sat through the thing and then just ignored it the next day. You know what I did? You can go back into mass and omics. I remember we did because we're just doing stuff during that podcast. I did my level one. Okay, back talk about what it was. Right. Sure. I kind of went through the whole thing as the experience and here's what I thought and and, and I said Even then, but I did the zone as it was constructed for a couple of months. Of course, like that, just Yeah, okay, I executed this and it made sense. You know, it just just is what it by the way, no diet is fucking like, it just is can we get the right amount of protein and carbs in? And can we keep the calories at a reasonable point? But is it done in a way that can be explained to somebody who's starting from nothing and doesn't want to have to obsess over the details? And I think zone does it? I don't think it's the best thing in the world. But it's certainly it's the thing all your people are trained on and it's the thing that you've apparently well what a waste of fucking time.

John Fairbanks 44:25

And you know, the number one excuse you and I have heard over the years for why someone doesn't do nutrition a certain way doesn't have supplements in their gym. Do personal training in their gym.

Tyler 44:37

Floor is considered high road bullshit.

John Fairbanks 44:39

That's it. It's a job we're doing. I don't do it. Yeah, I don't do that. I don't take that.

Tyler 44:46

Our people don't. Okay, well, if I need to hit fuckin 300 grams of protein today. Do you know how much meat that is? That's a lot of fucking meat. So I can at least get 50 or so. 60 grams of it in with a two scooper. It saves me like cheese. I mean, it saves me basically two thirds of a pound of meat, but being able to just do a big double scoop of protein shake like that is the most elite. This is fucking fitness, dorks writing some ideology of, we're above supplements, we are not about that. I was like, listen, there are supplements that are effective. There are also supplements that are fucking stupid and a waste of money kind of in my opinion. And there's also just truly a list of priorities that I would say when it comes to supplementation. First one being protein. Okay, second one being creatine just because if you're training, you just should be on that. Kind of, well, I don't sweat it too much. I'll take some greens because you don't like getting greens and vitamin C and a bunch of fruits. Yeah, about that mineral supplementation, I'm kind of about to. I don't like drinking a ton of water. I don't like getting blown, but I'd feel better if I added mineral supplements to my stuff. But that's as simple as using pink salt sea salt, potassium in my fucking shakes. Like that's not hard. But it is the worst thing that I see people that high growth you're right, that is the most fucking obnoxious thing. I don't sell supplements. A lot of cell nutrition. We don't do diets because people need to learn how to, we don't want them to track anything. This is the problem because you're trying to make some nebulous in on a measurable fucking like, half assed guru shit out, none of your stuff can be measurable because you have to be held accountable to it. So make the fact that whether your muscles are growing or working or not make that about your emotions. Therefore, we don't worry about you being successful. By the way, make sure whether or not you should be eating right about well, if you were happier, you'd be less fueling yourself. But it's like, this guy doesn't understand that a slice of pizza is 350 calories, and has very little like, they need to know that. So sometimes you're like, Well, I don't think people should be obsessing and weighing their stuff. Okay, but they need to know what they're putting in their fucking body at some point. So they can see, oh, shit, this is crazy. I don't believe that people should have to weigh themselves every day, or take pictures of themselves every day, right forever. But I think at some point, you should look in the mirror and get on a scale and go back, I got fat, or shift shifts going the wrong way. I don't like the way that that looks or I don't like you're right. I think people that ignore getting on the scale, usually are ignoring the other things that they're doing that are causing them to fail on the scale. The number one indicator when I have my online programming program is about one out of every 10 People who get what I would describe is the lower 10% of the results, right? They're getting they're losing weight, but it's not as impressive as the others that stopped checking in with me every morning telling me what they weighed that morning. Yeah, you got to scale putting your fucking bathroom stand on it. And I don't want them to be dysfunctional or obsessing over it. Let's look at a high road ship. But when you're ignoring it, you're setting yourself up for failure. And that's yeah, that's the real fucking deal, dude.

John Fairbanks 48:14

And for you, for all of us, no matter where you are on this enlightened journey, it's having some goddamn empathy to where it's like that person that doesn't know those basics, because they're brand new to this game. Or they have so much baggage that it's just like a fucking Grand Canyon sized void in their existence because of all the damage that life has given them when it comes to what they eat and how they look and having sex and doing all these things that are major problems for them. So every chick that you ever train, right, it's like this iron void that exists for them. It's they didn't go to the rain forest and had this enlightenment fucking experience that you did. So it is one of the things where you have to step the fuck back and be able to be like, how long did it take you on this journey to get past the fact that man I get really unhealthy when I weigh macros and then I had to be here and then I had to be here and then I had an existential fucking crisis that then brought me all the way here and then whatever like it's what so back to step one, yeah, going, what is worse,

Tyler 49:26

needing to lose 80 pounds and kind of obsessively weighing your food and being a little fucking manic about it for like six months but losing 80 pounds, and then figuring out how to remove the dysfunction and fucking attachment to the process and manic shit. The obsessive nature that comes with obsessive tracking and being you know, just kind of removing your food addiction and turning it into a food food control obsession thing by the way, a lot of a lot of dysfunctional eating things not just on the overeating sides but on the under eating. So I talked about anorexia, bulimia. Those are control disorders. Yeah, okay, this is about control. Usually, I'm not the fucking expert, but I've, I've been close to people that have been. And it's about control very, very, very often. But if you got to 80 pounds off, and then you're dealing with a coach, who can go, Hey, let's pull the plug on this now Now let's start to play these games of making it intuitive. We need to integrate it into your life. That's the difference between selling a service and selling a plan. By the way, I can sell you a meal plan. But then when I'm coaching you, when it's time to go from that plan to a different plan, that's where me as the coach steps in and go, Okay, here's what we're going to do next. I don't recommend my people weigh their food forever at all. But I do recommend that we find a system that daily routine foods that are not necessarily on or off limits, but the ones that we are having regularly, like need to be within a certain fuckin set a quality and all this stuff like we can't be having fucking gummy worms all day. Right? So at some point, the things that I'm going to allow during the day that are going to make up the bulk of our stuff is going to be stuff that makes sense, right? But that's not obsessing, assessing. That's not saying gummy worms are bad. Don't ever have gummy worms. It's like, listen, it cannot be a recurring part of the system. They can be the exception, but not the rule. That's what having a fucking coach is about. So if you're gonna say, Oh, I don't want to listen, I'm not selling food plans. These people don't need to die if they need to, they need to change their relationship with food. And so this is a lifestyle. It's not, it's not a diet. It's a lifestyle. It's fucking stupid. Like, but they need a plan, dude, this, this person is going to be bored and not realize like, hey, like, when you're hungry, and you're driving down the road, and you're on a road trip. Like, it's just because you're bored. If you go into a gas station, and you're gonna try and throw food on like this is probably because you're just bored and want to eat some shit. And if you are truly hungry and gotta get something and it's very hard to find anything in that gas station. That's worth it. Yeah, unless you want it we got some that have some decent food but it's like I'm not buying oh god damn banana at a gas station for $3. I'd like if I'm going to eat anything there needs to be protein. Here's protein dried. Beef jerky is the move. But beef jerky prime is like 20 bucks for a bag. But it is what it is. That's the only thing you can kind of get away with the vendor who you're traveling with. That's another issue. We'll get around here as this is your sausage country here. So you'll get into some of these spots where you'll get like a big huge half tube though it's practically I think it's like a pound and a half of like, kind of summer sausage, deer sausage. And it's like eight nine bucks. That's my move and I go into a gas station. But then I'm sitting there then I'm sitting there driving because it's like from like a kind of a local spot to then they get you can't just be going by Slim Jims and shit because that's crazy. Yeah, but I'll go there and then I'll just sit there with the plastic knife. It's just me and my lap. By the way, Let's see there's two ways this goes. If someone is with me in the car. I sit there with it on my lap and the little plastic butter knife, sawing my way through it and then eating it and sawing it and then eating it if it's just me. I am eating this thing. Like it's the end of a baguette. Oh yeah, crack it off, like eighth of a pound bites. Like that's the move.

John Fairbanks 53:13

Beef bagel. Yeah. Oh, yeah. So

Tyler 53:17

Listen, guys, I don't know we rented a lot there. But I think fundamentally, I'm not going to recap all this oil, but your clients should be successful, you should be successful. Give them the tools that they need to be successful, but allow them to choose and make sure they pay for it. Paying is part of the commitment in doing so you will then solve your client value in the short term, like your average value per client thing, average lifetime client value, it's gonna solve your retention issues and your clients are going to be successful. Because if actually we just reverse engineer all of that around if your clients are successful in the things that it takes to do that, all those other things already happen. Okay, so note that all the first five things I listed are just to support the things that are required to be there for your clients to be successful and to stay with you for the long term. So that's it about that. Everything else is easy. Alright. You know all this stuff. Jim Morris podcasts on Instagram Tyler Elphinstone on Instagram John J bank XFL on Instagram, all the links are in the description. gym owners We'll see you later.

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