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10 articles to grow your gym – issue #17

Hi friend,

After a little hiatus, we’re back in business! Here’s the first edition of our 2013 Top 10 articles to help make you a better coach and help grow your box.

We’re also hiring a community manager to help us, amongst other things, put together this email. So if getting paid to read about how to help coach better athletes and grow a box appeals to you, you can .

On to the goods!

1. The Any Asshole Workout

[crossfitoneworld.typepad.com]

“The Any Asshole Workout was simple to describe. It’s one of those incredibly long workouts that has everything but the kitchen sink in it. Basically, any asshole could program it. Don’t be an asshole!”

2. Is Aerobic or Anaerobic Training Best For Getting Rid of Belly Fat?

[charlespoliquin.com]

Do your clients was abs of steel? Step 1 is leaning out – learn how to program to help your clients get lean, mean, washboard stomachs.

3. The Physical Toll of Negative Emotions

[marksdailyapple.com]

Negative self-talk can be soul crushing. Learn how to identify and deal with it.

4. Fitness Is…

[http://crossfitmobile.blogspot.ca]

An inspiring post from Blair Morrison on why getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a worthwhile pursuit.

5. 7 Ways to Make Yourself More Coachable

[crossfitinvictus.com]

May be a good one to post to your gym’s Facebook page and blog.

6. Price Anchoring

[321goproject.com]

A psychological technique you can use to make your pricing seem more appealing to prospective customers.

7. 20 Almost Laws of Strength Training

[t-nation.com]

Want to get stronger? Here are 20 things that can help.

8. Your Fat Needs Sleep, Too

[scientificamerican.com]

Sleep is one of the best recovery tools out there. It helps you lose weight, be more active, and prevents cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc etc etc. If you need any more reasons to catch the shut eye you need, this article provides some.

9. Being a Stupid Athlete Made Me a Better Coach

[breakingmuscle.com]

An honest story about turning lemons into lemonade.

10. How to Find the Zone

[sealgrinderpt.com]

The Zone is a lovely place where you’re dialed in and WODding on all cylinders. Here are some tips on how to get there.




Categories: top10.

10 articles to grow your gym – issue #16

Hi,

The latest from SocialWOD HQ: we just launched the SocialWOD mobile app so athletes can check PRs from the gym floor.

On to the goods.

1. Finding A Mentor

[under30ceo.com]

Let’s face it, we are awesome coaches but we aren’t always the best business people. Check out this article about how you can find and use a mentor to help you out.

2. Olympic Lifting Made Simple

[t-nation.com]

Olympic lifting is fun, unfortunately just about every one of us needs help getting better. This article may give you a few useful tips.

3. Price vs Value

[321goproject.com]

Pricing your box correctly for your market is one of the hardest problems most affiliates face. How do you make your clients understand the difference between price and value?

4. How To Avoid Premature Delegation

[thebizraiseyourgame.com]

Congratulations, your business is growing, fast. It may be time to start delegating some tasks. Are you ready?

5. The Fish Oil Controversy

[therxreview.com]

A follow-up to the Journal of the American Medical Association’s most recent fish oil study.

6. Why Runners Should Be Rowers

[active.com]

A great article from TJ Murphy, editor of Competitor Magazine, explaining how rowing can help you be a better runner.

7. Being Productive

[pinkdoughnut.com]

With so many things to do in a day as a busy affiliate owner being productive becomes harder and harder. Here are tips to help.

8. Avoid Chronic Cardio Self Destruction

[robbwolf.com]

As functional fitness becomes more and more popular you may start to see more endurance athletes come through your doors. The problem? They are probably already overtrained. Here are 10 tips you can use as a coach to get them on the right path.

9. IP Law For Non-Affiliate Gyms

[catalystfitness.typepad.com]

All this legal stuff can be time consuming and very, very confusing. You may have gyms popping up in your area who aren’t following the same rules. Here is a good guide as to what is right and wrong and how to protect yourself.

10. The Most Insane Lego Machine Ever Built

[thecreatorsproject.com]

Okay, okay, this may not be business or functional fitness related but you have to admit it is pretty awesome!




Categories: top10.

Being The Right Coach, The Right Affiliate

A couple days ago the CrossFit Journal posted a good article called “User Guide: Finding the Right Coach and Affiliate”. If you haven’t read it yet take a minute and head over there and take a look.

Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity

You’ve heard this mantra before at your Level One Seminar but with the excitement of the Games, the local competitions, and that ever looming leader-board at the box it becomes one of the most difficult things to keep your athletes focused on. However, it is still one of the most important principles you can apply to your training program and your business. Without it you could leading your clients down the road to injury and without it you could be leading your business to disaster.

Mechanics: Developing competency in the foundational movements

We, as good coaches, can spot bad mechanics from across the gym. Your responsibility as a good coach is to correct that movement and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Each movement has specific points of performance we need to train to ensure your athletes success and more importantly, ensure their safety. As a small business owner you need to focus on the foundational things that will make your business successful. A big part of this for the affiliate owner is great coaching. Next you need to make sure you have a good structure in place. Creating this organizational chart for your business is more of a thought exercise in the beginning but it will set you up for success once you start to crank up the intensity. After this you’ll want to make sure you have your financials in place and have a good understanding of how the money is going to flow in and out of your business. The good folks over at Again Faster have a good series of videos that will run you through the basics and get you off to a really great start. The last key piece you’ll want to focus on next is a plan to get people into your box. As we stated before, good solid coaching will get you going but you may want to think about developing a solid marketing plan as well. I know this is usually a dirty word in the functional fitness world but what do you think all those local competitions, Paleo challenges, and t-shirt sales exist for? Yeah, partially to give your clients more value, but you’re lying if you weren’t secretly hoping they’d also drive more business through your door.

Consistency: Developing the habits and patterns that support fitness

As important as it is for each and every one of your clients to be consistant in their execution of the foundational movements it is just as important for you to be executing your foundational business practices consistently as well. Until this happens you need to keep the intensity in check. Failure to do so will result in injuring your clients and injuring your business. The number one way to lose a client is to hurt them. This is also a good way to repel their friends. Just think about the conversation that injured client has with his or her friends.

  • “How did you get hurt?”
  • “Oh I was at my gym and one of my snatches went wrong…”
  • “Yeah I heard that crazy functional fitness stuff is dangerous”

What are the chances this person will become one of your clients? What are the chances that they bring up how their friends got hurt next time someone mentions functional fitness? How often have you heard of a new athlete getting hurt during an “On Ramp” program? The injuries come later, down the road when complacency sets in and that leader-board catches their eye. I think you get the point. Incredible client growth may be a good problem to have but it can turn into a nightmare rather quickly if those good business habits haven’t been established. Establishing good mechanics is important, whether it’s in your coaching practices or your business practices, you’ll want to build good habits that are safe and that work before you start to crank up the intensity.

Intensity: Pushing the limits of your capacity once mechanics and consistency are established

This is the fun part. This is the reason we all tried functional fitness in the first place and why we’ve stuck around as long as we have. Unfortunately too much intensity too soon can also be our downfall. As a coach, I’ve heard it joked about as “Functional Fitness Shoulder”, but it is a serious problem. Too much load and/or too much volume before you are ready for it can and will break you, it is only a matter of time. This is where having a good plan in place will help you on the business side of the house. Remember that silly organizational structure you put together a few months ago and thought was a waste of time because you held every job? Well dust that thing off and see who you can plug into those spots. Once you start getting busy your most valuable asset will be time. You’ll have less and less of it and you’ll need to start hiring people to come in and handle things for you. Grow too fast, without a plan and you’ll end up owning a job, where you work 100 hour weeks, and not that fun gym you thought you owned…

What do you consider fundamental practices for your business? Share them with us below in the comments!

Categories: Business.

Tags: , , , ,

10 articles to grow your gym – issue #15

Hi,

If you’re interested in what your clients think about your gym, read story #3 – our friends over there are doing surveys for box owners.

1. Worth Doing

[sethgodin.typepad.com]

With the drama surrounding functional fitness over the last few weeks this posts resonates.

2. The Difference Between Natural & Organic

[t-nation.com]

Sometimes the truth is not in the label. Are you making the best choices possible?

3. The Boldness Bump

[321goproject.com]

When you have clients quit your gym, where are they going? Are they quitting functional fitness or just quitting you?

4. Stop Doing Stupid Stuff

[thebizraiseyourgame.com]

Big, new, disruptive ideas are great, just make sure you’ve mastered the basics before you put a ton of time and energy into that ‘big new idea’.

5. Make Any Business Extraordinary

[ducttapemarketing.com]

Is your box better, bigger, or nicer than all the others in your community? It may not matter if your still not the ‘EST’…

6. Sustainability

[talktomejohnnie.com]

Sustainability and why where your food comes from matters.

7. 6 Ways To Become Known As An Expert

[under30ceo.com]

It should be no surprise that if you can establish yourself as an expert in your industry the people will come to you for advice.

8. The Revolutionary Guide To Manly Short Shorts

[70sbig.com]

Here is a little fun reading for you to break up the monotony of a busy week.

9. The Mental Side of Functional Fitness

[fitrilla.com]

Mental preparation can make or break you as an athlete as well as when the going gets tough in the real world. Dawn Fletcher talks about how to bust through your mental barriers.

10. Survival Tips of a Traveling Athlete

[breakingmuscle.com]

If you, or your clients, do a significant amount of traveling you know how hard it can be to stick to a functional fitness routine. Here are some tips to help out!




Categories: top10.

10 articles to grow your gym – issue #14

Hi,

No news is good news. Let’s get this party started!

1. OPT On The 400m & 800m

[myathleticlife.com]

James Fitzgerald talks about the different demands of a 400m sprinter vs an 800m sprinter.

2. What Matters More Than Talent

[thebizraiseyourgame.com]

Some great thoughts and questions from Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon) on defining success.

3. Tips & Tricks – Supplements

[catalystfitness.typepad.com]

A great way to sell products to your members but remind them (and yourself) where their money is actually going.

4. Homework – The To Do List

[321goproject.com]

Sometimes getting organized is all it takes to start being more productive.

5. Is Your Olive Oil Really Olive Oil?

[marksdailyapple.com]

Eating right can be expensive if you follow all of the rules. If you are going to pinch pennies on any one food category you may want to think twice before you exercise your frugal muscles on your oils. Do your oils make the cut?

6. Coffee & Insulin

[marksdailyapple.com]

Is coffee good? Is coffee bad? What’s the deal? Oh and a little bit about post WOD meals to top it all off!

7. Bacon

[623sc.com]

You people like bacon… So I wrote a quick post about bacon!

8. The Morning After – Retention Based OnRamp

[321goproject.com]

You’re not going to make Firebreathers in the first few sessions so what is the purpose of your OnRamp program?

9. Six Reasons Everyone Should Do Squats

[charlespoliquin.com]

We know squatting is a functional and fundamental movement. Here are six reason squatting is king! In case you need to convince any nay-sayers.

10. The Stratified Pricing Model

[321goproject.com]

A good read about pricing strategy. Many affiliates that I’ve spoken with struggle with this issue on a daily basis. With so many factors to consider and no ‘wrong’ answer the problem becomes even harder!




Categories: top10.

10 articles to grow your gym – issue #13

Hi,

Enjoy the last weekend of summer – fall and (ugh) winter is just around the corner. (Yep, I’ve resorted to talking about the weather 😉

1. Creating A Functional Fitness Mecca

[thebizraiseyourgame.com]

As awesome as the Games are, functional fitness is about changing lives 365 days a year.

2. The Early Adopter Shirt

[catalystfitness.typepad.com]

This is an absolutely awesome idea to drive sign ups before you even open your doors! Already open? How can you use this idea to get your clients engaged in that next “30 Day Paleo” challenge?

3. What Is The Goal Of Your Home Page?

[fitrilla.com]

I know we’ve talked about this before but it bears repeating. If your home page is filled with nothing but a WOD blog and pictures of people puking in the bushes then you are probably losing out on a big portion of potential clients.

4. Your Apprentice Program

[321goproject.com]

Where do your coaches come from and how do you ensure they are preaching the gospel you wrote? There is a lot more to being a great coach that have a killer Fran time…

5. Whey Protein, From Cow To You

[blonyx.com]

Sure everyone has there favorite post WOD recovery drink but do you know how that whey got into your shaker bottle? Do you want to?

6. Coffee & Insulin

[marksdailyapple.com]

Is coffee good? Is coffee bad? What’s the deal? Oh and a little bit about post WOD meals to top it all off!

7. 10 Weeks To Squat PRs

[t-nation.com]

Everyone likes setting PRs! Here are a few ideas for your ‘Strength biased’ tool bag.

8. Failure

[under30ceo.com]

Failure. It can destroy you. It can teach you. It can propel you to new heights!

9. Anonymous Criticism

[sethgodin.typepad.com]

Know which battles to fight and know when to just look the other way.

10. 5 Ways Functional Fitness Can Make You A Better Runner

[insidetheboxbook.com]

Strength and conditioning? Nah, I just need to run more to be a better runner…Right? Wrong.




Categories: top10.

The Number One Way To Grow Your Box

Dramatic title huh? I know I’m being a little ambitious here but I really do think that there is one thing you can do everyday to grow your business. Now I’m not going to lead you on and trick you into believing that this one thing is going to be easy. In fact it can be the toughest thing you’ll have to do. You have a lot going on in your day as a small business owner. Programming, coaching, managing, cleaning, delegating(?), researching, planning… The list can go on and on.

So what is this one thing? This key to success that just about every single successful entrepreneur has? It’s pretty obvious, Taking Action. That is what success comes down to. Are there a bunch of other factors? Sure, but the truth is that if you aren’t taking action every single day you just won’t reach your goals.

Paralysis By Analysis

It is very easy to analyze yourself into an unproductive stupor. How do you know if that week of programming you just spent an hour on is going to be effective? How do you know if that new free Saturday morning class you added is going to bring in new members? How do you know… Well, how do you know anything? You can learn from others mistakes, which is a good starting point, but don’t fool yourself into believing you won’t make your own. Screwed something up? Maybe you need to stop what your are doing, sit down and draft up a long and detailed plan that covers all the contingencies…Probably not though huh?

“Perfect plans aren’t.”

What is business anyway? Isn’t is just taking some basic assumptions and testing them to see if you are correct? An example: “Functional fitness is gaining in popularity and I believe it is the greatest thing to happen to the fitness world ever. Will people pay me to coach them in this crazy functional fitness stuff?” Turns out they will. There is a market for it, 4,300 affiliate strong, charging people anywhere from $99 – $300 per month on average. Did Greg Glassman know this when he opened his small garage gym in Santa Cruz? Nope, I’m sure he thought he had something special that the world might like but do you think his first years of gym ownership were any different than yours? Probably not. So what separates him from you? Nothing really. You decided to open a gym in your community, you took action just like Coach did. You can’t stop there though! You need to continue to take actions and try new things! Are you going to get it right every time? Nope, you won’t even be close most of the time, but don’t let that stop you. Test your assumptions, try new things, and continue to build your own unique affiliate. Don’t worry about the haters that will come out of the woodwork to tell you you are doing things all wrong, typically they only show up to the games after you have done a lot right!

Categories: Uncategorized.

10 articles to grow your gym – issue #12

Hi,

In case you haven’t heard, Lauren Glassman is apparently selling her 50% stake of CrossFit Inc to a private equity company. There’s a lot of speculation, but you should be aware of this development and how it could impact your affiliate: Anthos to buy 50% share of CrossFit Inc.

On with the show.

1. Top 10 Ways To Lose Clients

[thebizraiseyourgame.com]

The title pretty much sums it up: want to lose clients? Nope, didn’t think so… Here are some of the common mistakes to avoid.

2. How To Retire

[catalystfitness.typepad.com]

I love functional fitness and running a business as much as the next guy, but when I’m old and grey I don’t want to spend all my time working. Do you have a ‘retirement’ plan?

3. 4 Mistakes To Avoid When Opening A Gym

[fitrilla.com]

This might be too late for some of you but I know there are a few of us out there who haven’t opened the doors yet!

4. Coaches… Employees…

[pinkdoughnut.com]

You’ve followed your passion and opened the best gym in town. Now it’s time to find some help running it – do you have a process?

5. Professional Bubbles

[321goproject.com]

Sometimes it helps to know the language your clients are speaking. Here’s a good example of how to speak with someone from the healthcare industry (a strong source for referrals.)

6. Weightlifting In London

[breakingmuscle.com]

Why the USA just isn’t that competitive in Olympic Weightlifting and what they need to do about it.

7. Supplement Recommendations

[talktomejohnnie.com]

John Welbourn shares his thoughts on supplements.

8. How To Grow A Manly Beard

[artofmanliness.com]

There are many reasons to grow a manly beard (or convince your significant other to grow one). Looking like Groundskeeper Will– er, Lucas Parker — is one.

9. How To Make Your Google Search Listing Stand Out

[quicksprout.com]

I know, I know, this stuff isn’t sexy but being found on Google and getting people to visit your site over the other guy’s is!

10. The Fitness Industry Is Dead

[breakingmuscle.com]

Sure P90X and the “Ab Lounge” are selling like hot cakes but the current fitness industry needs a wake up call. I think we might be on the right track.



Categories: top10.

Coaches And Continuing Education

One thing the functional fitness community catches a lot of flak for from the traditional fitness ‘experts’ is our lack of fancy degrees and certifications. I think we have proven, quite successfully, that it is entirely possible to increase the general physical preparedness of a large and diverse group of individuals without a NSCA certification or a Exercise Science degree. With that being said, the successful coach needs to put a large amount of time, effort, and money into learning their trade.

Experience

All the education in the world can only get you so far. The reason Kelly Starrett is so successful at fixing movement deficiencies and making awesome athletes out of us regular people isn’t only because he has a doctorate in physical therapy. It is because he has a doctorate and a ton of real world experience applying his education to a wide variety of issues and problems. Constantly learning and adjusting his methods to fit each persons unique situation. This has made him the go to guy for mobility and movement dysfunction. The same goes for some of the other subject matter experts in the functional fitness community. They are good at what they do because they have a great combination of formal study and education as well as decades of experience refining their methods and helping athletes in the real world, not just the theoretical world.

Now by no means am I trying to discount formal education. I’m a fan of it and I believe it can give you a big advantage over those with no formal training, but the formal education system alone won’t make you a good coach. You need to research new techniques and methods on your own AND you need experience working with real people. The best part about all of this is that most of the coaches out there in the trenches everyday have done exactly that. But as this crazy thing continues to grow we need to make sure we are holding ourselves to a high standard, which mean we can never stop learning.

Continuing Education

So how do you, as a busy affiliate owner, make the time to train your coaches to be better coaches? How do you make time for yourself? Keeping up with the new research, new techniques, and new programming ideas can be a full time job! Knowing that one of the best ways to build a successful affiliate is by providing excellent coaching these become questions you need to be asking yourself and asking your coaches.

So tell me what you do?

How do you motivate yourself and your coaches to continue to improve their coaching abilities outside of the gym? Do you pay for specialty seminars? Do you have a gym library and/or a mandatory reading list? Do you have a list of recommended blogs? How about asking your coaches to write about training and functional fitness on your blog?

These are real questions, I really want to know what you do! Tell me in the comments, post your answers to our Facebook page, Tweet at us, I don’t care, I just want to hear from you!

Categories: Uncategorized.

10 articles to grow your gym – issue #11

Hi,

How spectacular were the Games? Amazing performances, fans, FOOD, and a much better set up than last year.

We spoke with close to 100 gym owners and learned a ton about their WOD tracking needs. Expect to see some nice improvements (hint: mobile) to SocialWOD soon.

On with the show…

1. The Definitive Guide To Sleep & Fitness

[endofthreefitness.com]

Sleep is one of the most-important but least-appreciated criteria of improving your performance.

2. 3 Tips To Conquer Any Challenge

[zacheven-esh.com]

If you have ever received an email from Zach-Even Esh you know what motivation sounds like. This guy gets up everyday and attacks it like it’s his last. Check out these three tips to take on the world.

3. Complacency In Coaching

[thebizraiseyourgame.com]

When you’re worried about the million little things that make your business run smoothly it can show in the quality of your coaching. Remember why you do what you do, and remember why each of your clients choose you over that box down the street.

4. The Discount

[journal.crossfit.com]

This is a topic that has been debated for a couple of years now. There are Pros and Cons to everything you do in business. What do you think of these ‘Daily Deals’?

5. The Label Problem

[catalystfitness.typepad.com]

With boxes popping up everywhere these days you really need to rethink your branding strategy. How do you set yourself apart from the crowd and draw the right customers?

6. Why Drop In Fees Should Be Eliminated

[321goproject.com]

Do you charge visiting athletes a drop in fee?

7. 10,000 Swings To Fat Loss

[t-nation.com]

I’ve seen hundreds of affiliate run wildly successful nutrition challenges but I’ve yet to see an affiliate create a challenge that transformed the mind.

8. The Untold Reasons Why Businesses Fail

[under30ceo.com]

There are just as many reasons you could fail as there are reasons you could succeed as a business owner. Here are a few untold reasons that could lead you down the wrong path.

9. 2012 CrossFit Games Recap

[crossfitmobile.blogspot.com]

Here is a good wrap up of the events this past weekend from a very unique perspective.

10. The Best Running Shoe?

[journal.crossfit.com]

With the amount of business all of the vendors were doing at the Games this year your would think that trendy new Reebok apparel came with a free Fran PR. Do the shoes make the runner?




Categories: top10.