A weekly podcast by Chris Cooper & Greg Strauch. Chris is the author of Two-Brain Business, Two-Brain Business 2.0, and Help First. Chris & Greg asks the BIG questions in the fitness industry and draws on 30+ years combine, of coaching experience to get the answers gym owners to need to thrive.
If you don't post pictures of torn, bloody hands like you did in the old days, is it really your gym? If there isn't a shirtless athlete vomiting in the corner, is it really your gym? If you aren't the one unlocking the doors at 5 a.m. and locking them again at 9 p.m., is it really your gym? Things change, and so will your business if it's to survive the test of time. Here's Coop on which changes matter—and which don't.P.S. Coop's new book is out! For everything you need to start and scale a fitness business, get your copy of "Start a Gym" here.Links:Gym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:14 – The story of Theseus' boat.3:06 – Grandfather's axe.4:38 – The story that matters.
You get a scary-looking letter in the mail. The gist: "Pay us now or stop playing music in your gym!" Is it legit? Are they watching you? The truth is that's the smallest of mines gym owners must navigate on the legal battleground of gym ownership. Matt Becker knows firsthand. He's a gym owner, laywer and founder of gymlawyers.com, and here, he joins Chris Cooper to answer your top questions about the legalities of gym ownership.P.S. Coop's new book is out! For everything you need to start and scale a fitness business, get your copy of "Start a Gym" here.Links: Gym LawyersGym Owners UnitedTimeline:2:42 – ASCAP and music licensing fees. Are they legit? 10:36 – Do you need an AED on-site? What about training to use it?15:59 – All about waivers. What do they protect gym owners from? What don't they? What should you absolutely have on yours? 21:16 – Why you need incident reports on hand.23:19 – Leases and escape clauses.30:37 – Noncompetes and non-solicits: What they are and whether they're reasonable. 34:41 – Employees vs. independent contractors: rules and language to look out for.42:46 – When a noncompete clause invalidates an entire contract — and when it's actually valid.45:57 – Non-solicits: Should you have one?49:16 – When to seek help from an attorney.
Aspiring gym owners: What if you had the solutions to all the newbie gym-owner mistakes BEFORE you made them? Current gym owners: What if you could get the answers to the problems that have been plaguing you since you opened your doors? Sit tight — all that and more is coming your way in Chris Cooper's latest book, "Start a Gym" (both the book and its namesake course will be available on Jan. 24, 2022). Here, Coop shares a preview of what the new book and course contain and how they can help new and existing gym owners alike build a stable, profitable business.Links:Gym Owners UnitedTimeline:00:14 – Now is the best time to start a gym business.6:13 – Should you buy an existing gym or start from scratch?6:58 – Should you take a partner? 8:32 – Choosing your method.10:16 – Choosing a location. 12:02 – Buying equipment.13:58 – Setting up your services.14:29 – Setting your prices. 15:13 – Selling your services.16:27 – Setting up your media platform.17:22 – Getting your first clients before you open. 18:36 – Pre- and post-launch checklists. 18:53 – Advice from millionaire gym owners. 19:44 – Rolling the dice.
The client/member journey. Helping people lead better lives. Leadership and relationship-building.All of the above and more are key for building a healthy community with healthy community members — and Tres Kennedy is doing just that in two places: Move Church, where he serves as a pastor, and CrossFit Wotown, the gym he owns with his wife Erin.Here, he shares some of the lessons he's learned apply to both his flocks.Links:CrossFit WotownMove ChurchGym Owners UnitedTimeline:00:48 – Planting a church and starting a gym.3:57 – The member journey: surprising similarities.6:11 – Taking Two-Brain to church.8:12 – Breaking barriers.10:08 – Identifying drop-off points and taking action.12:02 – Taking self-improvement beyond the workout.16:24 – What being a pastor has taught Tres about entrepreneurship.21:19 – “People don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care.”23:01 – Retention, self-worth and cynicism.25:47 – The critical thing gym owners must know to build tight-knit community.29:29 – Gym owners: your homework.
Chris Cooper sits down with CrossFit Home Office reps Gary Gaines, Austin Malleolo and Daniel Chaffey to talk about CrossFit affiliation and more.First question from Chris: What is the value proposition for CrossFit affiliation now with Eric Roza at the helm? The four also discuss CrossFit's mission, new and upcoming CrossFit products, lobbying efforts, CrossFit in the era after Greg Glassman, and what people can expect in the future from HQ.If you're a current CrossFit affiliate or if you're considering affiliation, don't miss this one. Links:Gym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:12 – Who is Gary Gaines? And what does he do for CrossFit Home Office? 6:04 – What is the value proposition of CrossFit affiliation? 11:59 – How does CrossFit Home Office evaluate its ideas? 22:22 – How does CrossFit evaluate the outcomes of its new products? 33:21 – What about getting metrics and data from gyms?39:06 – Are we still fighting Big Soda, and what's the mission now? 41:56 – The new culture at headquarters.51:44 – Direct-to-consumer products. Is CrossFit competing with its affiliates? 55:53 – CrossFit gyms as essential businesses: What is HQ doing? 1:00:46 – Regional gatherings for affiliates.1:05:31 – The future of the CrossFit Home Office roadmap.1:07:58 – Defending the brand.1:12:20 – How to get in touch with CrossFit Home Office.
When you were new to your sport or discipline, you probably made a lot of mistakes. But what was the key to getting better? More reps, yes — but more importantly, better reps. To improve, you had to acknowledge what you were doing incorrectly and do something different. The same goes for entrepreneurship. You're gonna make mistakes. The key is to learn from them and do better — and not get stuck doing something that doesn't work just because you've already invested time and money in it. Chris Cooper is not immune to mistakes; Two-Brain Business is built on the mistakes he's made and learned from. Here, he shares the four simple steps you need to take after making a mistake to improve the outcome the next time around. Links:Incite TaxDrink O2Gym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:37 – The sunk-costs trap.6:01 – Only make new mistakes.6:59 – Never repeat mistakes.8:15 – Use trial timelines.9:50 – Determine what success looks like in advance.13:01 – Use the impact filter.16:50 – “Make mistakes, make ‘em fast, and learn from every one.”
Your business will never grow if you spend all your time coaching classes and mopping floors. So unless you want to do that for the rest of your life, you've got to make time to work on your business instead of in it. Chris Cooper explains how.Links:The 10-Hour CEOHow To Optimize Your DayDriven NutritionGym Lead MachineGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:00 – How Coop turned a crazy job into a great business.7:04 – Start with one hour per day. 8:00 – Creating time, space, and capital.9:57 – The principles at work: Parkinson's law and the Pareto principle.11:08 – Free resources to take you from Founder to Farmer phase.
Nyan Cat. Doge. Charlie Bit My Finger. If all you think of when you hear "NFT" are funny internet things that inexplicably sell for tens of thousands of dollars, you need to listen to this podcast. Web 3.0 — in which creators license and sell their work on their own on the blockchain — is on the horizon, says Two-Brain Business founder Chris Cooper. And with it comes some great potential opportunities for gym owners. Links:Forever FierceArboxGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:10 – The dawn of Web 3.0.4:41 – Gym owners and NFTs: Programming.7:39 – NFTs: eliminating the middleman.8:45 – Selling pull-up progressions as NFTs.10:13 – An example from the Two-Brain community.12:33 – Who stands to win big with NFTs.
In the fitness industry, voices will always say, “This worked for me, and it will definitely work for everyone!” Those are the “n = 1 experts.” And maybe their ideas will work for you. But their advice carries risk:What if they're over-reporting results?What if they're under-reporting downside?What if their idea only worked once?What if their idea only worked in their gym?What if their idea only worked with their clients?What if their idea will stop working over time?What if they're incentivized to sell you on the idea?Worse are the n = 0 “biz coaches” who will sell you an idea they haven't tested themselves. But data? Data eliminates risk and silences those without proof. Data also makes great things possible: Two-Brain created six first-time millionaires in 2021. Real millionaires. Not the shell-game success stories who say “I made $100,000 at my gym last month and expect it to continue forever!” Instead, we helped real gym owners grow their net worths to over $1 million.Our 2021 report contains information from 14,162 gyms. It is the largest and most comprehensive data set ever collected in our industry. It's the info gym owners need right now.Links:Download the free State of the Fitness Industry 2021 reportArboxPushPressWodifyIncite TaxZen PlannerGym Lead MachineGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:04 – Why the data matters.4:38 – Where our data comes from.6:22 – Length of time in business.7:13 – How many clients the average microgym has and their avatars.9:23 – Who grew in 2021.13:43 – How much gyms are charging.15:38 – Where the revenue comes from.16:14 – How long members are staying.17:24 – What gyms are selling.23:50 – CrossFit Games Open participation rates.25:16 – Staffing and staff compensation.27:46 – How much gym owners are paying themselves.30:17 – What differentiates high earners from low earners.31:07 – Gym owner hours worked.33:51 – Profitability and square footage.34:45 – Profitability by sector.35:49 – Business debt.36:11 – Profit and post-COVID bounceback.37:15 – Why we made this guide — and are giving it away for free.
What do you tell your clients about the last few weeks of the year? Do you tell them "Eh, forget it; eat all the trash you want and start fresh next year"? No! You teach them to take advantage of those last few weeks to keep working on their fitness and start the New Year on a roll. The same concept applies to revenue. Just because the holidays are upon us and the end of the year looms near doesn't mean your 2021 earning potential is capped. Try one—or all!—of Coop's top-five tactics to bring in extra revenue before you close the year's books.Links:"Nutrition Challenges Are Dead. Kickstarts Are the Answer.""How to Run Specialty Courses Every Day of the Year"Affinity Marketing guideBook a Free Call with a MentorDrink O2Forever FierceBeyond the WhiteboardGym Owners UnitedTimeline:2:42 – The retail pre-sale.4:10 – Write a “top gifts for …” blog post.6:43 – Run a “save-your-spot-for-January” promotion.7:59 – Host a Bring-a-Friend holiday party.9:21 – Run a January kickstart.
This episode of Two-Brain Radio is short but powerful—just like the tactics it's about.Tune in and learn how to make more money and improve retention with 12 simple text messages.Links:FOMO Alert: Three Minutes for Marketing (and Retention)"Building $86,000 Monthly Revenue Through Retention (and Sales)" with John HeringerHow to Fix the Weak Links in Your Marketing ChainTwo-Brain ProgrammingIncite TaxGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:32 – You're gonna want to hit “pause.”4:13 – Why it's more important to be clear than unique. 5:53 – The three-minute drill to make more money. 7:05 – Why it works.
The gym down the road from you isn't doing so hot. One day, you get a call from the owner: "Do you wanna buy my gym?"There's a lot to consider—more than just gross revenue and client headcount. How profitable is it? What mistakes and liabilities would you be acquiring? Do you actually need to buy that gym to get its clients? Two-Brain Business founder Chris Cooper breaks it down step-by-step with exactly what to consider and how to crunch the numbers before you buy—or sell—a gym.Links:Driven NutritionTwo-Brain CoachingFree ToolsGym Owners UnitedTimeline:5:36 – How to determine what a gym is worth.7:38 – Equipment and assets.10:32 – Accounting for liabilities. 14:22 – How it can all go wrong.15:57 – Why you should interview the coaches before you buy.17:13 – Talk to the seed clients.18:39 – Buying out a partner.20:01 – The importance of non-competes.21:49 – The question you need to ask yourself before you buy a gym.
Ever seen an ad promising "exponential growth" with one easy trick? "Buy this lead program and grow your gym exponentially!"It's a catchy buzzphrase, but true exponential growth—growth that continues to grow and expand on itself—requires intention. Here, Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper shares how to make referral marketing an active process to achieve truly exponential growth.Links:Level MethodDrink O2Affinity Marketing Cheat Sheet"Help First"Gym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:01 – Defining “exponential growth.”2:16 – What exponential growth looks like in the gym business.4:00 – Create a culture of referral.5:08 – How to ask for referrals.9:29 – Play the long game.10:57 – Using events to bring in new clients.15:07 – The events that don't work.18:18 – Why you shouldn't trade discounts for referrals.20:24 – How discounts for long-term contracts hurt your business.
The three most important stats when it comes to marketing are these: Set rates (how many appointments you book), show rates (how many people actually show up to those appointments) and close rates (how many of those people actually buy something in those appointments). In October, Kyle McGough of D1 Training Columbus led Two-Brain Business clients in all three. Here's how he did it. Links:D1 Training ColumbusGym Lead MachineForever FierceGym Owners UnitedTimeline:2:22 – The challenges of being a “legacy” franchise.5:24 – Flipping the system from high volume, low value to one-on-one relationships and high-value sales.8:51 – Merging mentorship and the franchise model. 12:33 – Franchise plus autonomy: The best of both worlds. 15:27 – Implementing Two-Brain practices in to the D1 model. 17:40 – The prescriptive model meets free trial workout.23:14 – The intro and consultative process.24:28 – One good month follows another: A peek at November's numbers.27:25 – How Kyle gets so many leads — and how he gets them to show up. 33:19 – Who has time for all that lead nurture? 36:14 – The secret to closing. 39:11 – Finding the sweet spot between mentorship and the franchise model.
You're an entrepreneur: You've got ideas, you're creative, and you want to do things your own way. We get that. But don't let your independent spirit cost you time and money.Instead, ask yourself the same three questions Chris Cooper asks himself before he tackles any new business venture—and watch as you save gobs of resources.Links:Chalk It ProArboxGym Owners UnitedFree ToolsTimeline:1:51 – “Who has solved this before me?”5:41 – “Who has solved this better than anyone else?”7:50 – “What's the average solution?”10:10 – How to use the answers to those three questions to improve your business.
What's better than a free trial? Providing value. Free knowledge won't get you long-term clients. Providing something of value will — and value isn't free.Here's Chris Cooper on the difference between value and price, and why you're doing yourself a disservice by offering free trials.Links:AGuardBeyond the WhiteboardGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:08 – Value vs. price.6:14 – Value is better than free.9:54 – Knowledge doesn't create value. Action does.
You want your coaches to make a good living at your gym. But how can you pay them more without hurting your bottom line? It's not about giving staff a bigger piece of the pie, Chris Cooper says. It's about baking a bigger pie.Here's how to do it. Links:Two-Brain CoachingTwo-Brain ProgrammingGym Management: The Case for Part-Time CoachesIntrapreneurialism 101Go With ThemTimeline:2:31 – You earn more money by creating more value for more people.3:28 – Pay coaches more by helping them build their careers.6:57 – The wrong way to pay coaches more. 7:33 – Figure out what you can afford to pay per class.9:34 – What to do if that figure is too low.11:42 – The ratios stay the same—so bake a bigger pie.12:15 – Should coaches get paid the same amount?
If there's a business book out there, chances are Chris Cooper's read it. That's good news for you, because it means you don't have to guess which ones are worth your while. Here are Chris Cooper's top reads — books that actually made a measurable difference in his business — from 2021, as well as which ones you can stand to skip.Links:Incite TaxDriven NutritionGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:49 – “$100M Offers: How to Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No” by Alex Hormozi.3:06 – “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown. 4:50 – “Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for all the Performances in Your Life” by Michael Port.6:24 – “Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day” by Jay Shetty.7:40 – “The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.10:01 – “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson.11:44 – “Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork” by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy.14:29 – “Get Different” by Mike Michalowicz.16:13 – The books you can skip from 2021.
The holiday season: Chris Cooper calls it the "black hole of hedonism." Schedules fill up, good eating habits go out the window for weeks on end and frustrated clients pause their memberships—or even quit altogether. How do you keep your clients from getting sucked in?Here's Coop on the best way to retain clients during the holidays.Links:Drink O2Gym Lead MachineGym Owners UnitedTimeline:0:46 – A coach's greatest weapon during the holiday season.1:48 – Give your clients a plan.2:48 – The habits tracker.4:04 – Go back to the CALM model.
Want to sell a higher-value service? Or increase the value of the service you already provide? You've got to increase your "with-ness.""With-ness" is the degree to which your service is a "done-with-you" service. That means you're not selling a commodity (done for you) and you're not selling an instruction manual (do it yourself). You're walking the path right alongside your client, giving them personalized attention and feedback and adjusting the course as needed. You're doing it with them.Done-for-you and do-it-yourself services are not bad. But they're not what you're selling—at least not if you're selling high-value coaching. Links:Drink O2Gym Lead MachineGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:21 – Lessons from Coop's editor. 4:37 – Why you're worth big-ticket prices.5:12 – Done-for-you services: Pros and cons.6:35 – DIY: Pros and cons.8:51 – Bridging the gap with done-with-you services.9:42 – Benefits of the done-for-you approach.11:06 – DIY and done for you: Neither is your competition.14:26 – “With-ness”: Where the value is.18:29 – What high-value coaching looks like.
Sales and marketing may be trendy and sexy, but retention is where you make your money. It's easier—and more cost-effective—to keep a client than to gain a new one. Nick Seabock owns CrossFit Off the Grid in New Jersey, and with an average length of engagement of 41 months per client, he was Two-Brain's retention leader for July.Here, he joins Mike Warkentin to talk retention tactics: How to keep clients new and old engaged and committed for the long haul.Links:CrossFit Off the GridBeyond the WhiteboardChalk It ProGym Owners UnitedFree ToolsTimeline:2:24 – Nick Seabock: Third in line to the gym-owner throne.7:13 – Going from head coach to owner.9:51 – Back to basics.13:13 – Social media: Your most powerful retention tool.18:32 –The power of touch points.21:26 – Systematizing retention efforts.24:34 – Automation vs. personalization. 27:28 – Don't forget about your long-timers.32:59 – Tell your members' stories.34:51 – What to do today to start improving length of engagement.
Remember when you first started coaching and your whiteboard briefings were more like physiology lectures? You don't do that anymore now. Now, as a mature coach, you know your clients just need to focus on one cue at a time. Entrepreneurship has a path to maturity, too. Some lessons you can learn from books and experts. Others simply require time — and experience making a mistake or two. Chris Cooper's been an entrepreneur for a long time, and he's made a lot of mistakes. But he's better for it, and here, he shares some wisdom from the road to entrepreneurial maturity. Links:ArboxAGuardGym Owners UnitedTimeline:0:55 – How Coop realized he was maturing as an entrepreneur.3:42 – Taking a long-term perspective.6:46 – You never know what worse luck your bad luck will save you from.8:40 – Finding balance between business concepts.10:14 – Understanding that retention trumps sales. 11:59 – Flexible with service, committed to audience.13:04 – You can learn from your competition. 14:29 – Finish one thing before starting another. 16:05 – Signs you have a ways to go: You think too much about what others are doing.16:24 – You try to impress the wrong people. 17:32 – You chase novelty. 18:12 – You get political. 19:17 – You're suspicious of others' success.
CrossFit LLC recently released its new CrossFit Affiliate Playbook. What's inside? Who might benefit most from it? And is the advice any good? Coop shares his thoughts.Links:Drink O2Beyond the WhiteboardHow to Make $100,000 with 150 clientsGym Owners UnitedTimeline:3:07 – Why you need a playbook.6:35 – The reason most gyms fail.8:21 – Cracking open the CrossFit Affiliate Playbook.9:55 – Defining success.11:50 – Core values, mission, and vision.13:31 – On culture and exclusivity.15:39 – How to serve people better.17:36 – Creating a business plan.21:09 – SWOT analysis.21:40 – Revenue models and the right questions to ask.23:40 – Remember who's talking.24:29 – Where the CrossFit Affiliate Playbook deviates from the data.26:38 – What the playbook gets wrong about setting prices.32:02 – What the CrossFit Affiliate Playbook could do for you.
The gym down the street is closing. Yours, however, is doing great. Should you buy the failing gym? Is it an opportunity to grow your business or will you be buying a whole new set of problems? Chris Cooper is notorious for advising against buying other gyms. But there are a few situations in which buying is a win-win for everyone — and even Coop would make an offer. Here's what they look like.Links:Incite TaxLevel MethodFree ToolsGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:05 – Gyms are getting sold — and why that's a good thing.3:38 – The one reason Coop would buy another gym.5:06 – Barriers to buying a built-in audience.5:41 – What mistakes are you buying? 6:15 – A successful gym buyout. 8:47 – Purchasing retention.9:53 – Selling a gym as a Two-Brain client.11:47 – Know what you're buying.
When was the last time you taught your clients something new? We've all got our preferences: CrossFit, boot camp, yoga. But when you bring something new into your practice, your clients — and your business — will be better for it. It's what we do all the time at Two-Brain Business. Learn why in this episode of Two-Brain Radio, then take Coop up on his challenge to learn five new exercises in the next 30 days that will help broaden your practice and benefit your clients.Links:Gym Lead MachineTwo-Brain CoachingGym Owners UnitedTimeline:2:37 – Buying knowledge from the experts.7:12 – How CrossFit made something new out of existing parts. 9:02 – Why gym owners should try new things. 11:40 – Coop's challenge to you.
In business, it can be tough to formulate a win-win-win scenario: The business wins, the client wins, and the client's client wins, too.But that's exactly what Dave Colina and his company, Drink O2, did when the COVID-19 pandemic began to hit gyms hard — and they've only continued to do bigger and better good since then, including bringing together a coalition of fitness brands to help gym owners make more retail sales and incentivize and retain new clients. Learn about how O2 took a help-first approach to a community in crisis — and how everyone can benefit from it. Links:Drink O2Community CoalitionChalk It ProGym Owners UnitedContact:email@example.comTimeline:1:43 – The story behind Drink O2.4:29 – Helping gyms during the COVID crisis.8:01 – Forming a coalition of brands to support gyms.12:59 – “Stay for May”: an even bigger impact.18:32 – Dealing with the chaos surrounding the CrossFit brand.24:02 – How O2 and CrossFit are joining forces to help affiliates become more profitable. Dave's thoughts on the new Affiliate Partner Network.
CrossFit, LLC recently announced its newest offering: CrossFit Precision Health Care, billed as "personalized healthcare from CrossFit-trained doctors and health professionals based on your unique goals and needs."But what exactly is it? Does it work? Will it help affiliate owners and their clients, or is it just another form of competition? Chris Cooper weighs in with his initial thoughts.Links:Two-Brain ProgrammingForever FierceGym Owners UnitedCrossFit Precision CareJulie Foucher and Eric Roza discuss the state of primary careTimeline:1:17 – Four questions to ask when considering CrossFit's new Precision Health Care program.2:50 – How an ecosystem of support in health care could be beneficial to your clients.6:56 – Will CrossFit's Precision Health Care present competition for affiliates?8:19 – Will it help your clients? 9:03 – Will it help your coaches? 9:58 – Will it help CrossFit, LLC?10:51 – The Two-Brain verdict.
When it comes to bank accounts, bigger is better, right? Chris Cooper says "no!" Don't misunderstand: He's not saying you should spend every dime you make. But if your go-to financial strategy is to squirrel away every dollar into your business' bank account, you're actually limiting your earning potential. Coop explains it all in this sprint episode of Two-Brain Radio.Links:AGuardBeyond the WhiteboardGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:11 – Hoarding too much money is wasteful.2:21 – Your safety net doesn't need to be that big.4:06 – How much cushion you really need. 6:03 – Don't let insecurity drive your financial plan.7:13 – Examine where that insecurity comes from.
What do you do when the gym down the street undercuts you on prices? Or opens a location a hop and skip from your front door? Or steals your best ideas? Celebrate, says Chris Cooper. Competition is just an opportunity.An opportunity to be the A-plus service and get the clients who graduate up to your gym after stagnating with the B-minus service. An opportunity to get the best clients while the lesser competition gets the ones who're out for a discount. An opportunity to differentiate yourself and be better. Links:Driven NutritionArboxGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:05 – The kind of competition you want.4:53 – The goldfish scenario.7:41 – Why you shouldn't worry about copycats.9:26 – An opportunity to be different.10:24 – An opportunity to be the best.14:16 – Why you need competition.
Eleven years ago, Billy Hofacker answered a knock at his door, only to find his brand-new, cherished Honda Accord being towed away by the repo man. When he faced the mountain of unpaid bills and did the math, the total came to a staggering $130,000 of consumer debt.Today, Hofacker — a personal trainer of 20 years — is the owner and CEO of Total Body Boot Camp and Performance Center, with two successful locations in the hyper-competitive market of Long Island, New York. And he uses the tools and expertise he gained digging out of his own debt and building a platform of wealth to help other fitness pros do the same.Here, he and Chris Cooper talk about how gym owners can win with money.Links:Your Fitness Money Coach"Fitness Profits"Your Fitness Coach Money PodcastDrink O2Beyond the WhiteboardGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:47 – Becoming a fitpro. 4:09 – Hitting financial rock bottom.6:33 – Becoming the Fit Money Coach.8:29 – The most common money problems fitpros face. 10:01 – How to stop feeling guilty about charging what you're worth.13:34 – How Billy paid off $130,000 of personal debt in five years.18:13 – How paying off that debt made Billy a better business owner. 20:34 – What Billy does for fitpros.21:37 – Staying motivated after you've made the money.25:13 – What to do with the money you've made.
John Heringer owns Method3 Fitness in San Jose, California — a gym that does $86k in monthly revenue. What's the secret? The secret is that there's no singular secret. Retention tactics, sales strategies, systems to execute those things and a true service mindset — Heringer and his team weave it all together. The result? High-value clients who get results, stay longer and generate more revenue.John and Two-Brain Radio host Mike Warkentin dive into the details here.Links:Method3 FitnessLevel MethodTwo-Brain ProgrammingGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:28 – Getting to know Method3 Fitness.10:08 – Going from $100k per year to $86k per month.13:55 – Personal training vs. group fitness: Method3's breakdown.16:12 – Tactics for stellar length of engagement and retention.25:38 – Saving — and even upgrading — would-be cancelers. 29:37 – The other arm of revenue: Sales.33:53 – A prescriptive approach to the free trial.37:56 – The results roadmap meeting.40:27 – It's a lot of work. How does Method3 manage? 44:46 – Systemize it, staff it, streamline it.45:40 – One powerful thing you can do today to improve retention.
So you've got a successful gym business. You're paying the bills and making a nice profit, too. Time to start another business and double your money! — Hold on a sec.Chris Cooper is no stranger to starting businesses, and in his original book, "Two-Brain Business," he describes your first business as the cornerstone to a larger platform that you can build.But what he didn't mean was to go open a coffee shop, pizza joint or even a yoga studio. Here, Coop offers guidance on when to start a second business — and what that second business should be.Links:Gym Lead MachineForever FierceGym Owners United"Two-Brain Business""Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief""Gym Owners Handbook"Two-Brain CoachingTwo-Brain ProgrammingTimeline:0:36 – Why Coop is rewriting “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief.”2:11 – Why most gym owners should not start a brand-new business.4:54 – The key middle ground.6:03 – Why Chris started Two-Brain Coaching. 8:37 – Why Chris started Two-Brain Programming.13:29 – The question you need to ask yourself before you start another business.15:48 – What Chris is working on now.
A good coach starts and ends the class on time and teaches the air squat well. A great coach does those things and much more: They close sales through no-sweat intros. They follow your coaching principles but bring their own expertise and personalities to the floor. They create content and build authority as experts in their field. At least, the ones who complete the Two-Brain Coaching course do. Here, course creator and mentor Mike Watson joins Two-Brain mentor and Two-Brain Coaching co-founder Josh Martin to talk about how the course benefits coaches and gym owners alike.Links:Two-Brain CoachingIncite TaxGym Owners UnitedContact: firstname.lastname@example.orgTimeline:3:05 – Rockstars of the Two-Brain Coaching course.7:55 – What is a Module 1 coach?10:45 – Preparing coaches to handle No-Sweat Intros.18:57 – Helping coaches find and hone their niches.22:44 – Coaches' homework: content creation. 25:07 – How to get coaches to create content.30:11 – Getting third-party insight. 32:14 – Bringing the benefits back to the gym — and making other coaches better, too.36:28 – Developing a cohesive approach among your staff.41:00 – Building confidence.
The unlimited membership is often pegged as the key to building revenue and retention.But if you're rolling all your services into one package — your core offerings plus extras like nutrition coaching or speciality classes — you're actually undercutting the value of those offerings and priming clients to get bored and look elsewhere. Chris Cooper explains it all here. Links:Chalk It ProDriven NutritionGym Owners UnitedTimeline:0:59 – If clients should only pay for what they want, why does Two-Brain offer more resources than any one gym owner could use?2:11 – Value vs. perceived value. 4:23 – Recency bias.6:41 – Two-Brain Business vs. recency bias and the biz-coaching biz.10:17 – Balancing core offerings with novelty.
How come F45, Orangetheory and the fancy club downtown can charge sky-high prices for "total transformations" and you can't? Especially when you're just as good — if not better — at coaching? It's all about value — and the client gets to decide what yours is. Here, Chris Cooper shares five key ways to establish a higher value for your service — and charge more for it. Links:AGuardArboxTwo-Brain CoachingGym Owners United"The Go-Giver"Timeline:1:59 – You don't determine your value. Your clients do. 3:44 – The five laws of value.4:22 – Excellence.5:11 – You have to get people results. 7:15 – You also need to be a communicator. 9:02 – Consistency.11:22 – Attention.14:09 – Empathy.16:02 – Appreciation.
CrossFit trainers: How familiar is this scenario? Tomorrow's workout has just been posted. It's a max deadlift followed by Diane, 21-15-9 reps of deadlifts and handstand push-ups. You know what to do; you've done that workout dozens of times. No need to prepare a lesson plan, right? Wrong — according to Railroad CrossFit owner Shawn McQueen. Here, Shawn joins Two-Brain Business mentor Josh Martin for a candid discussion about what separates the average coaches from the greats. Links:Railroad CrossFitDrink O2Beyond the WhiteboardGym Owners UnitedTimeline:2:49 – The struggles of group-fitness coaching. 5:19 – Preparation is key. 8:25 – What happens when you don't prepare. 13:30 – Why lesson planning is worth the time. 16:42 – Why every coach should make their own lesson plan. 18:55 – Failing to plan is planning to fail. 26:11 – Remember your why. 29:04 – Body language and feedback.33:32 – Building rapport.
Do you know what your Effective Hourly Rate (EHR) is? That is, your pay, divided by the number of hours it took to earn it?Joleen Bingham's is $290.But it wasn't always that high. Here's how she multiplied a $10 starting EHR by 29 — and how you can, too.Links:Two-Brain ProgrammingLevel MethodGym Owners UnitedLevel Up Your Staff (and Fire Them Up Instead of Firing Them)Timeline:2:26 – Joleen's starting EHR: $104:22 – What happened when Joleen started listening to her mentor. 6:58 – Climbing the value ladder.9:24 – Offloading tasks and becoming a tinker.11:13 – Taking the first step toward higher EHR.14:34 – Lessons learned post-COVID.17:32 – Narrowing the client avatar.23:37 – The top three things to focus on right now to increase EHR.28:29 – The three things to focus on to go from a $50 to $100 EHR.
So you're ready to scale up and out. Maybe you want to open a second location; maybe you want to start a new business altogether. First, you're going to have to cross the Valley of Death. The Valley of Death is the gap that lies between your first successful business and your second. It's the money gap. The knowledge gap. The tools gap. Chris Cooper has crossed the Valley of Death more than once. Here, he'll tell you how to get safely to the other side. Links:Two-Brain CoachingIncite TaxGym Owners United"Simple Numbers""Traction""Get a Grip"Timeline:1:30 – The Valley of Death.3:19 – Gaps that kill.6:13 – The gaps that almost got Coop.8:27 – Operational skills vs. management skills.11:36 – Change is inevitable.12:36 – Upgrading to expert-level knowledge.15:39 – To cross the Valley, start with a big buffer.20:01 – Trade where you can.21:57 – Join a mastermind. 22:31 – Partner with caution. 26:37 – Set up commercial agreements in advance. 28:41 – Simplicity scales faster.29:17 – Maintain financial guidelines.30:27 – Mentor your team. 30:57 – Layer your marketing. 32:48 – Think about your impact.33:17 – Be patient.
When Matthew Becker first opened Industrial Athletics in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he already had another full-time job — so it didn't really matter if he never saw a dime from it. But when he went all in on gym ownership — and when he finally started acting on his mentor's advice — he realized he'd been throwing away serious money. Here's how Matthew increased his net owner benefit — all the ways in which a gym benefits the gym owner financially — from $250 a month to a whopping 12 grand. Links:Industrial AthleticsDrink O2Beyond the WhiteboardThe Gear You (Don't) Need to Start a GymGym Owners UnitedTimeline:3:08 – Starting with $250. 9:14 – The game-changer that led to increased Net Owner Benefit. 14:44 – Pulling the trigger on high-ticket sales. 18:19 – Increasing revenue with hybrid programs.22:56 – Avoiding unnecessary expenses. 27:02 – Another take on climbing the value ladder.32:46 – Make a plan to distinguish your business. 37:08 – Invest in website and social-media expertise. 40:03 – Standardize and systematize. 44:17 – Calculate when to work in your business and when to work on it.
The first time Chris Cooper saw Sevan Matossian — who, unbeknownst to Coop, was the director of media for CrossFit Inc. at the time — he yelled at him to stop taking photos at the Canada East Regional. Now, almost a decade later, the pair sat down for some real talk about everything CrossFit. The award-winning filmmaker and former media director shares some deeply personal insight from his life, including how homelessness freed him to experience true happiness, how he became a filmmaker, and how his life and identity have changed since being let go from CrossFit Inc. Please note that this episode involves an open discussion about media and context, and we've left the language intact. It is not suitable for all audiences and listener discretion is advised. Links:The Sevan PodcastGym Lead MachineForever FierceGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:21 – The time Chris Cooper told Sevan Matossian to “get the hell outta here!”4:41 – How Sevan found freedom in homelessness.9:51 – Finding purpose working at a home for disabled adults. 11:38 – Falling into filmmaking. 15:05 – Sevan's first award-winning film: “Our House.”18:39 – Finding CrossFit via a braggart bodyguard.21:32 – Becoming CrossFit's first filmmaker. 24:43 – What CrossFit HQ used to be. 26:07 – How media made CrossFit what it is today. 28:26 – Coop and Sevan come full circle. 33:49 – On speaking off the cuff — and paying for it. 39:35 – The experiment and the biker gang.47:06 – Where Sevan thinks CrossFit went wrong. 49:05 – Brand-building in the CrossFit world. 51:29 – Taking money but speaking truth. 55:30 – What happened with Make WODs Great Again?1:03:16 – How to deal with being canceled. 1:07:06 – Sevan Matossian today: (mostly) free and (mostly) happy.
On Aug. 12, Chris Cooper spoke with Eric Roza, CrossFit's new owner and CEO. Among other things, the pair discussed CrossFit's new Affiliate Playbook and other plans to support CrossFit affiliate owners. But doesn't that sound like competition for Two-Brain Business? Here, Chris Cooper addresses that issue and more, including how knowledge isn't the problem, the difference between anecdotes and data, and why gym owners don't need to be afraid of a little competition. Links:Chalk It ProDriven NutritionGym Owners UnitedEric Roza: How CrossFit LLC Can Help Gym Owners MostThe Goldfish (Or How I Learned to Be OK With Bottom-Feeders)Timeline:1:31 – The elephant in the room: CrossFit's Affiliate Playbook vs. Two-Brain Business.3:15 – Knowledge isn't the problem. 5:51 – Anecdotes vs. data. 11:14 – Mentorship vs. peer mentorship. 14:22 – When the competition attacks you. 16:51 – Be the best, attract the best.
Have you owned your gym for years but are still wearing all the hats and pulling 12-hour days? Maybe you're five, even 10 years in, but your business isn't any more profitable than it was the first two years. If that sounds like you, Chris Cooper has some tough news for you: You don't actually have 10 years of experience. You have one year of experience repeated 10 times. You've got to do things differently, and it starts with making time to work on your business, not in it. Here, Coop gives a week-by-week, hour-by-hour roadmap you can follow to move your business forward.Links:AGuardArbox"Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief""Help First"Two-Brain CoachingGym Owners UnitedTimeline:2:06 – Time is a non-renewable resource.5:34 – Write down your Perfect Day.7:12 – Do your services, audience and their goals align? 9:45 – Talk to your staff.10:05 – Get your business out of your head and onto paper.11:05 – Write detailed job descriptions for every role in your business.12:01 – What's the top revenue-generating service you're not currently offering?12:37 – Consolidate your best practices.13:28 – Write staff contracts.14:26 – Invite 2-3 new clients to try your new service.14:38 – Evaluate your staff.15:22 – Crunch the numbers.17:22 – Lead, assure and inspire.18:32 – Evaluate your intake process.20:09 – Dump another role off your plate. 21:05 – Bright spots and new revenue sources.22:21 – Tell your first client story.23:18 – Start thinking like a CEO.26:05 – Collaborate with other service professionals.26:26 – Start an email newsletter.29:22 – Create content.31:07 – It's better with a mentor.32:34 – If you want different results, you have to take different action.
Do you have trouble turning off your brain? Spend your precious relaxation time ruminating about that tough conversation or fretting about the future? There's a reason for that: Your amygdala's in hyperdrive. So how do you get it to chill out? Try Chris Cooper's go-to exercise.Links:Level MethodTwo-Brain ProgrammingGym Owners United"Think Like a Monk"Notes:1:23 – Why you can't stop worrying.5:43 – Get present with this simple exercise.8:47 – What to do when you get distracted again.
Most gym owners know how to coach a good squat. But what about building a long-term platform of wealth that sustains you, your family and even your community for generations to come? Chris Cooper breaks down the most important financial objectives of each stage of entrepreneurship and how to meet them — so that your business gives you a legacy, not just a job. Links:"Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief"Incite TaxTwo-Brain CoachingGym Owners UnitedTimeline:0:56 – The four stages of entrepreneurship: an overview.3:39 – Revenue goals — and how to meet them — in the Founder phase.4:50 – Farmer phase: Income and net owner benefit.8:10 – Tinker phase: Wealth (freedom of time and money). 10:06 – Thief phase: Impact.
Adam Robbins owns DNA Fitness in Cutler Bay, Florida, and he was on not one — not two — but THREE of Two-Brain Business' leaderboards for sales and marketing in June. He's got both affinity marketing and cold-lead conversion down to a science with an 80% close rate. And it's not just him — Adam teaches his staff to sell by sharing resources, meeting one on one and role-playing.Here, he joins Two-Brain Radio host Mike Warkentin to share the secrets of his success.Links:DNA FitnessBeyond the WhiteboardDrink O2YouTubeGym Owners UnitedTimeline:1:41 – How Adam uses content to get more leads.7:20 – Guerilla marketing.12:32 – Keeping show rates high.18:24 – Affinity marketing and relationship-building.24:48 – Training staff to sell.29:13 – How mentorship made the difference.
The CrossFit affiliate community has endured a lot of tumult over the last two years. Now, after surviving a global pandemic and watching leadership change hands at the CrossFit Home Office, affiliate owners want to know: What's next? In this episode, Chris Cooper goes straight to the source in an exclusive interview with Eric Roza, CrossFit's new owner and CEO. Tune in to learn about Eric's approach to rebuilding trust in the brand and for details about how CrossFit LLC is working to increase the value of affiliation by providing resources to help gym owners grow and sustain their businesses.Links:Book a free call with a Two-Brain mentorFree ToolsGym Owners UnitedTimeline:0:40 – Rebuilding trust as CrossFit's new owner and CEO.3:21 – Where CrossFit LLC can help affiliate owners most.5:08 – “Tools, not rules.”9:43 – Why CrossFit Affiliate Programming? 12:50 – Getting people in the door and keeping them there.15:52 – What is CrossFit's new OnRamp program? 18:18 – Re-engaging the affiliate community. 24:01 – The CrossFit affiliate playbook. 25:49 – What to expect regarding affiliation fees.29:01 – What the CrossFit Foundation's up to now.34:56 – The state of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at CrossFit.36:12 – Balancing the mission of CrossFit with revenue needs. 37:51 – Reflections after one year in.
So you've got a strong gym business. Maybe you've opened a second or even a third location — and now you want to go even bigger. How do you turn a couple home-spun gyms into a fully scaled operation taking your town by storm? It's simple. Literally. Here, Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper explains how simplicity is key when scaling up your business and exactly what steps to take before you expand.Links:Gym Lead MachineForever FierceGym Owners UnitedTimeline:2:07 – What successful franchisors have in common.7:14 – How to scale up your business.8:59 – Who not to hire. 9:36 – Systemize your operations. 10:00 – Systemize your sales process.11:12 – Systemize your marketing. 12:57 – Scale your staff.15:45 – Simplicity scales.
There's a gym-business guru around every corner of the internet trying to sell you their program. The problem is that most of those "gurus" don't own gyms and have no experience in the industry — and you can't afford to spend all your time and money doing their experimentation for them.That's our job. At Two-Brain, we try all the latest tricks, techniques and resources for you. We test them, track the results, and tell you whether they work and who they work best for. Here, Chris Cooper shares what we found when we tested whether Clubhouse and Sell By Chat help gym owners close more leads.Links:"Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief"Chalk It ProDriven NutritionGym Owners UnitedTimeline:00:48 – The lie entrepreneurs tell themselves.2:36 – Why testing is more important now than ever. 4:24 – Testing at Two-Brain.6:22 – Two-Brain's review: Clubhouse7:39 – Two-Brain's review: Sell By Chat13:07 – How an iPad can help you close more sales.17:54 – The question you need to ask before trying the next big thing.
When you first opened your gym, the goal was simple: Survive. And you did. You grew, hired some staff, and have a profitable business. Now what? Unless you're happy just working the job you've bought yourself for the rest of your life, you've got to level up. At Two-Brain Business, we call that "Tinker Phase," or when entrepreneurs have grown their businesses and mentored their staff so well that they don't need to run it anymore, leaving them free to invest their time and resources into other things and help even more people. Here, Two-Brain Founder Chris Cooper will tell you exactly how to get there.Links:ArboxAGuardReal Estate: The Secret to Wealth for Gym Owners?"Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief"Timeline:2:52 – The phases of the entrepreneurial journey.4:46 – Don't slide backward.7:31 – Re-invest your wins.8:23 – Hit “save game.”8:53 – Hire a manager.9:10 – Don't repeat your mistakes.9:33 – Mentor your staff.9:59 – Become antifragile.10:21 – Keep your hands out of the machine.11:19 – Growing your assets.11:54 – Test one thing at a time.13:38 – How to leverage your audience.16:55 – How to leverage your cash.18:41 – How to leverage your time.20:55 – The Two-Brain Tinker program.22:42 – Why you need to mentor your staff.23:43 – How to mentor your staff.27:37 – How to light your staff on fire.
Your clients are burned out. They've been working from, schooling from home, and ordering lots of take-out. Now, they're looking to you for help. Where do you begin? Should you have them track macros and meal-prep every week? Or is it more realistic to focus on one simple change they can make today?Registered dietician and Nutrition Rx founder Jen Broxterman — also the creator of the Two-Brain Nutrition Coaching course — joined Two-Brain Business mentor Josh Martin to answer those questions and more.Tune in to learn how to take a client-centered approach to nutrition coaching that gets results. Links:Beyond the WhiteboardDrink O2Two-Brain Nutrition CoachingTimeline:2:43 – What your clients are struggling with right now.7:00 – Look out for “shoulds.”8:55 – How to be honest, but not mean.13:17 – Getting emotional is a good sign.15:19 – Beginners complicate, experts simplify.20:17 – Why coaching the simple things is still a valuable service.23:56 – Group nutrition coaching.28:26 – Letting clients — and the scarcity mindset — go.34:42 – Coaching to the client's goals, not yours.39:41 – There are plenty of people that need your help.43:57 – Accountability or codependence?
Are you an accidental fat-shamer? On July 1, Pinterest released a press release banning weight-loss testimonials, products and before-and-after pictures. Pinterest isn't the only company to move in that direction; online, the debate rages: If you're selling nutrition and fitness coaching, are you body shaming? Or helping people get what they want? It's a complex subject, so Two-Brain Radio host Mike Warkentin brought in an expert, psychotherapist Bonnie Skinner. In this episode, she explains how triggers — like before-and-after pictures — work, the difference between self-worth and weight, and how gym owners can use language to clarify exactly what they're selling. Links:Drink O2Level MethodGym Owners UnitedTimeline:2:17 – What's the problem with before-and-after pictures?4:19 – What happens beneath the surface when someone looks at your ad.6:33 – “Nobody can make you feel anything.”9:25 – Self-efficacy and self-improvement. 10:59 – The messages we're sending our brains.13:19 – How to connect with people without triggering shame.16:57 – How to advertise weight loss.20:53 – Responding to backlash. 23:26 – How to use before-and-after pictures responsibly.26:16 – What are you actually selling?31:54 – All about reframing.