A Better Model For Burnt Out Gym Owners 2/3

Uncategorized May 26, 2020

Part 2 of 3


If you are reading this after reading part 1, I commend you, you have a growth mindset and are willing to consider that there might be a better way and that if you learn it, you might be better for it. Make no mistake about it, that makes you rare. Most people who read part 1 of this 3 part series will likely stop there. Parts 2 and 3 are too uncomfortable for them because they are already anticipating the future pain of putting thought to action, as you know, growth can be painful. The fact that you are still here is almost all that you need to know to be sure you can pull this off. 


I want to start by diving into the questions that I thought you might be having towards the end of part 1.


Some of the questions that are probably circling around in your head right now are:


  • How would I even approach my members?” - You apologize
  • “How would I even choose the class times?” - You streamline based on use.
  • “What if my clients like what they’re getting and don’t want to change?” - You decide if you want to accommodate or if you want to part ways.
  • “What if I think personal training is valuable and still want to offer it?” - Keep offering it, that doesn’t’ mean it has to be your core offer.
  • “Won’t I still have a staffing problem?” - No, in fact, part of your job is to build a staff development program that is so good people would pay to go through it.



Here is how you do it in just 5 steps:

  1. You apologize to your members for not thinking of this sooner. You tell them that you have been thinking about it for a long time and that you actually believe it will be better for them because (insert the reason that it is better for each of them uniquely - this is discussed further below) but that you hadn’t offered it because you were afraid they wouldn’t want to do it.
  2. You build a class schedule to mirror your busiest hours. Now, your clients come to a class time instead of haphazardly wandering in whenever they want.
  3. You change their programming from completely custom or individualized template (whichever you are using), to a completely custom, and linearly progressed front end for 30 minutes, and an individualized conditioning back end that will be done in a community workout. To picture this, you will have a room full of clients executing their own program for the first 30 minutes of class, the next 30 minutes they will come together to do the workout for the day. Each of your clients will have an individualized version of the workout already made for them in their programming app so that there is no need to modify it for each person on the spot.
  4. You give each member one personal training session per month as a part of their base membership rate in order to continue to have the opportunity to progress confidence and competence for them. If they want to purchase more, allow them to!
  5. You hire staff who don’t have to be ready to do it all right now, but who can take on class hours from you and learn on the job.


Of course there are details to each of these steps, but the steps are simple, just not easy. When you innovate your model to the hybrid group plut personal training, you will be able to keep everything that was great about your gym before you innovated. You will be able to keep all of your program design clients and all of your personal training clients as members of your gym, what you are going to find is that many if not most of them are going to opt into your core offering, the hybrid group plus personal training. 


What are some of the reasons that this hybrid group class will be better for your members than working with you one on one or getting a complete program design made just for them?

  1. Training will be more fun, making it easier to be consistent and easier for them to finally get their friends to come and join.
  2. It’s less expensive and more complete. They will get programming on days that they aren’t with you normally and habit formation work in between those days.
  3. It’s a higher level of accountability. Other people besides you are going to be able to help them hit their goals - other members will be pulling for them.
  4. You have been feeling burnt out and so they haven't been getting the best of you. Now they will get more results in less time. 


The benefits of moving your gym model from an individual design and personal training only to a hybrid group class that includes both are abundant. 

  • It becomes easier to reach people who are in your niche because it’s an easier concept for the consumer to understand. 
  • You can stop selling people an elite level of fitness that can only be attained through individual program design and one on one coaching (true) and start selling people a sustainable lifestyle which is what they really wanted from you in the first place. 


You already know how hard it is to explain to people the value of one on one program design and one on one personal training, all for the opportunity to find yourself trapped by your own marginal success. CrossFit, Orange Theory, Fit Body Bootcamp, Burn Boot Camp, F45, are all companies who tell the market that they are just like personal training but at a fraction of the price. You know this isn’t true, but your prospective customers do not. Your members do not understand how to refer their friends, and you are swimming upstream in crowded waters selling fitness like everyone else. You think that your key differentiator is that you do it better than them. Spoiler alert, you probably do, the only problem is that people don’t care if you are the best at delivering fitness, their interest in purchasing fitness comes with contingencies like but not limited to; experience, fun, socialization, consistency.


Once you decide that you don’t need to give everyone the absolute best fitness programming in the world because you understand that they actually don’t even value it (which is why it’s so hard to grow your business), you can begin to offer your clients the best fitness program in the world that they want, need, and will pay premium money for.


If you flip your model to the hybrid class that was described above, you can have the best of all worlds.


In part 3 of 3 in this series I am going to dive into the mechanics of the hybrid group plus personal training model. I’m going to tell you exactly how it works, exactly how to price it, and exactly how to staff it. 


From here forward, I’m going to call it “The Active Life Model”.


Part 3 is coming your way tomorrow!


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