Category Archives for "Mash Business"

Growing Your Barbell Club

Check out the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book with 4 twelve week programs for weightlifting, powerlifting, super total, and bodybuilding. Find out more below:

>>>Mash Squat Every Day<<<

Join Team Mash Mafia for weightlifting, powerlifting, athletic performance, bodybuilding, running, or a hybrid approach. This team is already taking over weightlifting, and I plan on taking over all of the other disciplines one at a time. Check it out below:

>>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

The 3-Day Mash Camp is happening at the Compound July 8-10. Max Out Friday and Dinner with the team on the 8th, seminar on the 9th, and meet seminar followed by a sanctioned meet on the 10th. To find out more, check out the link below:

3-Day Mash Camp July 8-10

Growing Your Barbell Club

Barbell Clubs are becoming more and more popular throughout the world. A lot of times this is simply an addition to an already existing CrossFit. However, lately there are a lot of barbell clubs popping up that are just stand alones. It’s exciting to witness this growth.

What is a barbell club? A barbell club is a club designed around the barbell and all of its movements. Most of them are centered around weightlifting and/or powerlifting. Weightlifting of course focuses on snatch and clean & jerk. While powerlifting has the back squat, bench press, and deadlift.

At the Mash Compound we have both, and they are able to co-exist quite nicely. For my personality it is perfect. I get bored quickly, so having both sports keeps things interesting. It’s funny to watch the two sides interact. The powerlifters are constantly pushing my weightlifters in the back squat, while my weightlifters are blowing the minds of the powerlifters with their athletic movement.

1. Culture

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This brings me to my first point. You need to define your culture right away. The culture is going to be created by the coach/owner, and not everyone is going to fit that culture. At the Mash Compound, we are filled with National and International level weightlifters and powerlifters. We also have a few that are close to becoming Nationally and Internationally ranked. Believe it or not, we have a few that just like to workout.

The common theme is that they all take their training very seriously. They are there to get coached by the best coaches in the business. However, another part of our culture is that we like to have fun. We play music. We laugh. We joke around. However, we put the work in.

We are also very close. These athletes have moved from all over the country to train with the coaches at Mash. I’ll be honest. It takes me about a month to warm up to these athletes. That’s not because I am a jerk. It is because I invest a part of me into these athletes. I want to see if they survive it. The culture alone will weed out people that don’t fit it. The massive amount of work will weed the rest out.

My athletes keep me up at night wondering how I can serve them better. I don’t want to waste a place in my heart for someone that isn’t going to be around. My wife tells me all the time that it baffles her how quickly that I can give my heart to someone. I believe that to be a gift from God, but it can also get me hurt often. So if you come to the compound, I might not talk to you or coach you very much for the first month or so. That’s not because I don’t like you. It’s because I am waiting to see if you make the cut.

This brings me to a point that I have to make. Lately, a few people have given my Junior Elite Squad some hate via social media and messaging. Let me remind you, I am their coach. If you have something to say to them, you can say it to me first. I am not quite sure what fault you can find in them, but let me tell you what they are about. These boys train harder than anyone that I have ever coached before. They have put their entire lives on hold to pursue this sport with dreams of the Olympic Games someday.

Dylan Cooper has been my athlete for a long time, and that boy has believed in me as a coach as much as I have believed in him as an athlete. You might not like him because he voices his opinion, and maybe you don’t like his opinion. Then stop watching his crazy videos. If you have something to say to him or anyone on my team, just direct it to me. Dylan, Nathan Damron, and Tom Summa took the leap of faith to move to the Mash Compound before anyone else. Their faith in me as a coach has earned them my loyalty. I look at these kids as family, so I advise all trolls to troll elsewhere.

OK sorry for the rant, but that had to happen. The culture that you grow will create the atmosphere within your gym. This culture should radiate from each member. When people walk in our gym, they can almost immediately feel the culture in the air. The culture will help to create the community, which brings me to the next point.

2. Community

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There is nothing more fun than hanging out and experiencing the family like feel that you have created within the walls of your club. The barbell does amazing things my friends. The barbell can unite groups of people much like blood unites people that are related. There is something about sweating together and grinding together that brings you closer.

Let’s face it, most people will never understand the desire to be the best at something. I know when I was coming up, no one in my family understood my desire to be the strongest man on earth. They thought I was crazy, and they were probably right. Most people that want to be the best at something are obsessed just a little, or in my case quite a lot. Only your teammates are going to understand.

This goes for cultures that are simply fitness related. People will not understand a desire to just get in shape. However, the people that are on the same path will be supportive and understanding of each other. To be honest, it’s the community that has always been my favorite part of owning a barbell club. There is something very comforting about being part of a pack. It’s empowering for all the members.

A lot of people talk about community, but how is a solid community formed? You have to do life together inside and outside of the gym. We love going to a local restaurant called Chang Thai. We sit outside, order some food, and the laughs begin. We tell stories of the old Mash compared to the new Mash. I tell them some of my old stories, and we just have fun. My athletes don’t know it, but my heart literally fills with love every time we do this together. I will just sit back and look at the team. I just like to take it all in. I just feel very blessed to have such amazing people lifting at my facility.

Going out to eat is only part of it. We are lucky because community is kind of built in to our team. We travel all the time to meets throughout the country. These meets are great for building community. However, this year I am planning something awesome. I want to take my entire team to my hometown and go canoeing. I want to show them all where I was born and raised while experiencing the amazing New River.

3. How Do You Grow It?

After you have decided on the type of culture and made a plan for nurturing the community, now it’s time to get some members. Initially, you are going to need to put some work in. I recommend using social media to target the market that you are looking for. The target market will be defined by the culture that you are looking for.

First, you will need to create a Facebook Page, and Instagram Page, and possibly a snap chat or twitter. I am going to focus on Facebook and Instagram right now because those are the two that I use the most. Facebook is awesome because you can create advertisements to simply grow your page, and you can use the tools that Facebook provides to target age, cities, and counties. You can also target interests at the same time. I recommend starting with simply growing this page. You should post an article and a video daily to keep their interest, and to start establishing yourself as an expert.

Instagram is where you really peak their interest. Videos bring your words to life. Don’t just post videos of yourself lifting or of you existing athletes. I recommend that you explain what is going on and become the teacher. For example, make a short video explaining the pull, or a short video explaining a few aspects of the squat. This is how you become the expert.

I recommend starting a blog and a newsletter as well. Are you seeing the pattern? It’s all about giving away Free information. The more that you give away will result in more and more people looking to you as the expert. Dave Tate taught me this years ago. If your sincere goal is to just help people, your business will grow.

Now let’s get them in the doors. I grew my gym at first by putting on Free seminars once per month. I would set up events on Facebook, and invite all the people near my gym. I also started a database of all the people that I met or came into contact with. I would invite them via an Evite.

Some other ideas to get big turnouts for the seminars are:

• Make fliers and pass them out all over town in the places that make sense. (Just 25 per day x 20 business days= 500)
• Invite all the sport clubs and schools from all over the area. Tell them that the coaches and athletes are invited to attend. It might take several tries before they come, but over time they will let their walls down.
• Invite all the adults that you know, and encourage them to bring their children. Maybe you can get one or the other or both.
• If you are a part of any clubs, organizations, or churches, invite the other members.
• Change the topic each time: barbell as related to mobililty, adding muscle is related to fat loss, or strength as related to life expectancy. If you want to train some athletes: Olympic lifts to improve power production, absolute strength as it relates to speed and vertical leap, or bullet proofing your athlete with strength training.

The key to all of this working is consistency. You have to have a system and stick to it everyday. For example, I write a free article for all of you at least five days per week. We also release at least one podcast. We normally release two YouTube Videos except now we are working on adding a lot of quality, so we are on hold for one more week. I try to post at least three videos to Instagram everyday. These things add up over a year.

Here’s the thing. You might be the best coach in the world, but if no one is coming to you, then the world will never know. If you want to run a successful Barbell Club, you have to be as good at business as you are a coach.

Our goal is to help our affiliates out in all departments. Don McCauley, Chris Wilkes, and I met today, and we are excited to take the affiliate program to an all new level. I want to teach all of you to be amazing coaches and successful business owners.

If you want to learn more about the Mash Barbell Affiliate Program, email me at:

Mash Barbell Club Affiliate

Here’s more about the team if you don’t want to be an affiliate:

Team Mash Elite is off and running. Our goal to improve the sport of Olympic weightlifting is having progress already. However we still need your help in making our dream a reality. We are also very excited to watch our ‘youth at risk’ program scatter throughout America and the world. Here is a full report of the progress: “Team Mash Elite Update”

Here are the ways that you can help with this dream:

1. Become an affiliate– Our first affiliate ever was Undisputed Strength and Conditioning in Minneapolis, MN. Vinh, Jason, and the team up there is an extension of our team in North Carolina. They coach with us at National meets, and their athletes are a part of our National Teams. We are one big family. For more details about becoming an affiliate email affiliates@mashelite.com

2. Become a Partner– for more information about that email me personally Travis.Mash@mashelite.com

3. Donate to the Team– thousands of you guys and gals read these article every day. If all of you donated $1-2 we would be in a much better situation. Click on the link below to donate:

Donate to Team Mash Elite

4. Come to the 3-day Mash Camp July 8th thru the 10th click the link below to find out more:

3-Day Mash Camp

5. Volunteer with fundraising, administration, or simply prayers. If you want to help, email us at:

info@mashelite.com

We have big goals. We get it. We will definitely need all the help that we can get. This thing is bigger than three coaches. We need a team. A massive team! We are going to either do this once and for all, or stop talking about why America is terrible on the international scene. This is a chance for all of us to have a part in this.

Please share this with all of your friends!

Simple Strategy to Grow Your Business

Simple Strategy to Grow Your Business

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Growing your gym is something that we all need to do. However, most of us love coaching, and that is all that we really like to do. The problem is that you have to market your business to keep the lights on. It’s that simple! Here is a strategy that will keep you doing what you love.

Let’s start with the “end in mind”, shout out to Steven Covey! Once per month host a Free Seminar at your facility. I recommend choosing varied topics. Keep track of the people that attend, so that you will see what topics people are drawn to. I suggest topics such as nutrition, weightlifting, powerlifting, weight loss, and strength & conditioning. These are the broad topics so now narrow it down. For example, under the nutrition topic do a seminar on supplements, or even more narrow “the use of creatine”.

You want the seminar to last about 1-2 hours, and then open it up for questions and answers. The key is to establish you as the expert in the area. If you find that most people are drawn to supplements, nutrition, and weight loss, then you might consider targeting the weight loss population. The key is to identify a very specific population to find out what you niche’ really is. People will probably be drawn to whatever you are the most passionate about.

While they are there, you will want to have each of them fill out a little survey. With that survey, you will want to acquire their name, address, email, phone #, and what they are looking for in a gym/box:

• Group fitness
• Personal Training
• Boot camp
• CrossFit
• Weightlifting
• Powerlifting
• Showers
• Daycare

This information will let you know if that person is a fit for your facility and culture. This is so important because you don’t want one person that will mess up the atmosphere for all of your existing members. You will also find out if there is a big group that are looking for that one thing that you don’t have like a shower or daycare. You might find that it is more economical to build a shower.

The biggest key to this whole plan is getting people to show up to the Free Seminar. Believe it or not, people will not flood to your facility just because you are putting on a Free Seminar. People have to first find out about it. Some gym owners actually think that the Universe orbits around them. FYI it doesn’t! People do not just surf the Internet looking for Free Seminars in your area.

You have to let, as many people know as possible. Here are some cool ways of letting people know about it:

• #1 is your current members! Have them invite their friends and family. Host a party after the seminar for the members and their invites to hang out. This is a great way to build your facility with the same culture.
• Facebook! You will need a business page if you don’t already have one. Post the Free Seminar periodically on your personal page tagging key members and friends. Post it on your Business Page, and pay to boost the post. Set a budget, stick to it, and use it. I suggest starting with $100 per month, and track the progress.
• Develop a database of people and organizations that you want to target. For example, if strength and conditioning is your thing target high school coaches and travel coaches. Then you will want to send them an invite over email, and follow that up with a phone call. During the phone call, ask them for a 5-minute appointment to tell them more about the FREE Seminar. If you get the appointment, 70% is accomplished because now they know you. The Free Seminar simply gives you a reason to email them, call them, and to meet them. If they come to the seminar, then you are set.
• There is also the obvious social media routes Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
• I would also try the old guerilla techniques like giving out fliers to all the businesses within a 3-mile radius.

The key is to track where the attendees found out about the seminar, so you will know what types of marketing is working. All the ideas that I mentioned above are Free except Facebook Ads, so it fits the budget of any start up facility. The key is getting out there and doing the work.

Obviously, at the seminar you will want to give the attendees a reason to join that day like a discount, free month, or free personal training. You will have them present, motivated, and blown away, so that is the time to help them make a decision for Fitness. Having the little party after the seminar will be key for taking their walls down, letting them get to know the other members, and letting them see that your facility is different than all the rest.

I hope that this article gives you a little direction that will help you grow your business. Right now the most exciting thing that I am working on is a Mash Mafia Affiliate Program. I am going to offer:

• Mash Elite Coaching Certification
• Programming
• Branding (banner, logo use, etc)
• Affiliate Page on Mash Elite Website with website, info, and location
• Ability to publish articles on Mash Elite Website
• Secret Facebook Group to communicate with Mash Elite Coaches, athletes, and other affiliates
• Access to “at risk” program, strategy, and implementation
• Growth Strategies (marketing, social media, advertising, and retention)
• Recruiting strategies for athletes and “at risk”
• Identifying potential top level international and National athletes
• Tax Benefits of supporting a 501c3
• Quarterly updates, feedback, and input

If you are interested, email me at affiliates@MashElite.com.

Good-luck growing your business and making this world a little healthier!

So You Want to Own a Gym?

Check out the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book with 4 twelve week programs for weightlifting, powerlifting, super total, and bodybuilding. Find out more below:

>>>Mash Squat Every Day<<<

Join Team Mash Mafia for weightlifting, powerlifting, athletic performance, bodybuilding, running, or a hybrid approach. This team is already taking over weightlifting, and I plan on taking over all of the other disciplines one at a time. Check it out below:

>>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

The Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic is coming to Orlando, Kentucky, and Canada. To find out more, check out the link below:

Mash Mafia Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic

So You Want to Own a Gym?

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Traveling around to so many gyms/boxes in America has caused a special place in my heart for the owners. The Barbell Life podcast was formed from an idea that the Barbell can bring people together in a family relationship. There are members at the Mash Compound that are just as close to my heart as blood relatives. In certain cases, I have members that have grown closer to me than blood relatives.

It’s not that I don’t love my family. I do! It’s just what happens in a gym. Watching people improve their very life from being in better shape, getting stronger, and looking better is an incredible honor to be a part of. That journey is full of ups and downs that a coach experiences with those people. People overcome self-doubt, injuries, and an obstacle course full of challenges to reach their goals within a gym. This journey is an emotional roller coaster that a coach rides with each and every athlete and member.

I have athletes that are like sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters, and they each know who they are. I cry when they cry! I laugh when they laugh! When they win Gold, so do I! When they come up 1 kilo short, so do I. There is no other relationship quite like the strength coach and the athlete, and I love it.

Now The Barbell Life is taking me in about two different gyms per month teaching my Learn 2 Lift Series. I am getting to know some of the most amazing people in America. One thing that you can all be confident in is that gym owners are some of the most humble and gracious people that I have ever met. They all started their business because they wanted to help other people. Their very lives revolve around helping others reach their own personal goals.

I can’t help but to love each and every one of them. They are all so similar. They put the needs and wants of each and every one of their members way before their own. It’s not because they are trying to get rich. It’s because they want with every ounce of their being to help each and every member. If they had 100 members with 99 exceeding their goals and 1 falling short, they would not sleep a wink trying to figure out how to help that one person. It’s just who they are.

Meeting all of these amazing people has caused me to want to do more to help them all succeed. These people work 14-hour days and seven days per week, and they deserve to be successful. I have some great ideas to help them that I will release over the next month, but for now I want to write at least one article per week designed to give them new ideas and information to help their business.

Today I just want to give you all some things to think about before opening your gym/box. I have never met a person that loved to work out that didn’t want to open his or her own gym. My friend Ox and I knew that we wanted to own our own gym while we were banging weights in college. We daydreamed of owning our own facilities stocked with all the best equipment, training all day long, and helping people get jacked in our spare time. We knew that when we opened the doors people would flock in to work out with Ox and the Mash Monster. Right? No very wrong! Here is the truth!

• Getting a decent loan is almost impossible without collateral or a bank account already full of money. My wife and I did things the old fashioned way. We saved the money by working hard and saving. It’s funny because now people are begging to loan us money, but we don’t need it now.

• Employees will open their own facilities if given the chance, and some people will leave with them. No matter how hard you try, this is a fact. My advice is to get Rock Solid Non-Competes for each employee to sign before working one second. Today’s gyms are easier to open than in the past. With $10,000 a person can start a decent facility. Besides getting a Non-Compete, I recommend acquiring funds to open a facility that is hard to compete against. Open the best place in the area, so that not any Tom, Dick, or Harry can open up and compete.

• Members that you thought were loyal will leave you for other facilities no matter how close you think that you are with your members. Don’t sweat this. It is just business. If you don’t have thick skin, be careful of taking the plunge. Once again have the best facility in town.

• If you think that you are going to kill it because you are the best coach in town, get ready to fail. The key to doing well in the gym business is to separate your gym from the other gyms. You need the best CrossFit competitors in town, or the best weightlifters in town. You need the best strength and conditioning program with the best athletes in town. You need something that sets you apart from the other people. This will form your culture, and it will attract the people that are interested in that particular aspect of fitness. Everyone thinks that they are the best coach. If someone is shopping around, they are going to hear each gym claim to have the best coaching. The key is to have something that the other gyms can’t claim.

Don’t be just another gym talking about your superior coaching. I hear that all the time. I have news for you. Everyone believes that their coaching is the best. Everyone can boast this whether it is true or not because the average person has no idea. You can’t boast having the best CrossFit Team around unless it’s true.

• Realize that the gym business is one of the most volatile businesses in America. Gyms go out of business each and every day. If you do not have a solid business plan with solid cash flow, you are going to have a hard go at it. I recommend having your sales software, systems, accountant, bookkeeper, lawyer, and reporting systems in place well before opening day.

These are just a few things to consider before taking the plunge. I am not trying to talk you out of it. I am just trying to make sure that you are prepared first. If you are not prepared, take a little extra time to get prepared. It’ll be worth the wait, and your members will appreciate it.

We are opening up the “Mash Barbell Club” Affiliate Program once again. We have added staff, programs, and services, and we are now prepared to watch this thing spread. All proceeds will go towards helping the Mash Elite Team, so all affiliates will be actual team members. Here are some of the benefits:

• Mash Elite Coaching Certification
• Programming
• Branding (banner, logo use, etc)
• Affiliate Page on Mash Elite Website with website, info, and location
• At least one podcast per year on The Barbell Life
• Ability to publish articles on Mash Elite Website
• Secret Facebook Group to communicate with Mash Elite Coaches, athletes, and other affiliates
• Access to “at risk” program, strategy, and implementation
• Growth Strategies (marketing, social media, advertising, and retention)
• Recruiting strategies for athletes and “at risk”
• Identifying potential top level international and National athletes
• Quarterly updates, feedback, and input

If you are interested, email us at:

affiliates@mashelite.com

A Weekend of Knowledge Bombs

A Weekend of Knowledge Bombs

TravisMash-ZachEven-Esh

One thing that separates great coaches and athletes from mediocre ones is there desire for knowledge. I am 42-years-old, and I have been training for 31 years. I competed when I was 12-years-old. So I have been competing in the Iron World for over 30 years. I am more excited about training and coaching now than ever before.

Why? That’s the real question! Isn’t it? How does someone stay in the game this long, and still gets up on Max Out Friday like it is Christmas morning? It is because I surround myself with people that love it, and as Zach Even-Esh says, “people that live the code”.

I mean just look at what I have accomplished over the last three weeks. I met my man Cory Gregory, Co-Founder of Muscle Pharm, and decided to try his “Squat Every Day” Program. I have been hearing about such programs for the last five years, but only Cory convinced me to try it. Why did it take Cory? Because he lives it man! He runs a $200 million dollar business, and he still gets up every morning to squat and train. That inspired me. I also trust the advice of people that are living the code.

Now I am the strongest that I have been in over ten years. At 42-years-old I was willing to try something new, and it paid off. Never stop learning! That is the secret to success in this industry and life. I just keep turning over rocks until I strike gold! Here is a video of some of my training lately:

I am pumped about hooking up with my Zach Even-Esh again this year. We are doing a dual certification September up in New Jersey, and again October on my farm in North Carolina. I am just as excited to learn, as I am to teach. Zach’s energy and passion for success in life is contagious. He simply refuses to let people fail.

USC & L2L Dual Certification

Last time, we did a certification here in North Carolina, and I learned so much about Zach’s unorthodox ways of training. He loves Kettlebells, Dumbbells, Sand Bags, Ropes, Tires, Sleds, and Stones. These are all things that I love, but I admittedly am not an expert in these areas. I was like a kid in a candy store learning about all the different movements. Zach is a wizard of the old school movements.

I left the certification with a whole list of movements that I have added to the workouts of my own athletes including my own workout. I can jerk 400lbs, but a one handed Clean & Press is incredibly hard for me. I just spend way too much time with a Barbell. My body has adapted very well to a barbell, but when you add one of these others exercises; my body has no idea what is going on.

Kettlebells, Dumbbells, and Strongman movements are great to expose weaknesses and muscular imbalances. Anything unilateral is hard for me: carries, pulls, or presses. My body has adapted to using the barbell to hide my weaknesses. Zach’s style of training will expose any and all weaknesses.

Zach’s philosophy on life and business have inspired me for years to stay true to who I am. Zach preaches to find your passion and stick to it. I love coaching. If I am not coaching athletes, then I will become depressed quickly. God has given me a passion for helping athletes reach their goals, and all the while avoiding the many mistakes that I made along the way. Anything else in life that I try that isn’t related to my passion is a distraction.

When you put Zach and I in the same room, it is simply magic. You get two coaches that are famous for producing some of the best athletes in the country. You also get two different strategies that have both produced tremendous success. If you are smart, you will listen to both of us and use all the information to formulate a masterpiece-training program. That’s what I did! I implemented a ton of Zach’s dynamic warm-ups and training exercises.

Here is what I learned from the dual Underground Strength Coach and Learn 2 Lift Cert.:

• Unilateral movements will expose the bodies’ weaknesses from right to left
• Heavy Carries will expose weaknesses overall core weaknesses.
• Training is about overcoming mental obstacles as much as it is adaptation
• Know your passions and principles
• Don’t let money or power sway you from the path.

I am excited to hit these next two certifications. I want our dual certifications to be the best on the planet. Between the two of us, you have just about every discipline covered. You also have two people that have succeeded both athletically and in the fitness world. You will see that we used the same strategy to be successful in both.

If you want to get better as a coach or athlete, you need to check this thing out. We will train together, learn about business together, eat together, and the best part is the Q&A. During the Q&A you get to ask whatever it is that you want to know. I normally learn the most during this time as well.

You get:

• Programming from both of us (I will give you all some insight on my squat every day)
• Barbell Movement: Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat, Bench, and Deadlift
• Kettlebell Craziness
• Sandbag, Stones, Tires, Sleds, and Rope Training
• Q&A
• How to Build a Solid Business in the Fitness World

Sign up for the Dual Certification here: USC & L2L Dual Certifications

This year we are also giving you guys the option to stay an extra day and take part in one-day Mastermind with Zach and me. Here is the link on Zach’s page to read all about that:

Zach Even-Esh and Travis Mash One-Day Mastermind

Learn 2 Lift Seminars are coming to Livonia, MI, and Zach Even-Esh and I are teaming up for two big combo Certs. in September and October. Click here to check them out!

Don’t miss The September 5th Labor Day Mash Strength Spectacular! Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Strongman, and GridStyle all together on our 10 acre farm. Hurry because Early Bird Specials End July 15th!

Nourish the Tribe to Grow the Tribe! Community!

Learn 2 Lift Seminars are coming to: Roscoe, IL, Columbia, MD, and Livonia, MI! Get your tickets here!

The Mash Mafia Barbell Affiliate is growing! Programming, business support, branding, and Masterminds! Check it out!

Nourish the Tribe to Grow the Tribe

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“Community” is the new buzzword in the gym world. CrossFit has expressed the importance of this principle, since the day CrossFit was conceived. Community refers to internal and external relationships formed by the members of individual boxes/gyms. I call it Barbell Life, which is where my podcast got its name. The unique family like atmosphere formed at these gyms is a real phenomenon that blows my mind.

I travel all over the world with my Learn 2 Lift Clinics. Every single successful box has that same community of people with the only common bond being the barbell and/or a love for fitness. When I walk into a facility, it is like walking into a family reunion. I never feel like a stranger that has traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to teach a clinic. Because of the barbell, I feel like I already know these people. It’s a real iron miracle.

Growing a community is crucial for the success of any CrossFit, Studio, or Strength & Conditioning Gym. People want to feel a part of something special, and this community will allow owners and coaches the ability to coach countless hours without burnout. No one gets tired of hanging around family! Here are some ideas for growing the perfect community.

First, community should be the heartbeat of a predetermined culture. What kind of culture do you want at your facility? There are a few things that you need to figure out first. What are your values? What do you stand for? You are going to want to surround yourself with people that value the same things.

If you want a family oriented facility, then you might want to have outside hangout times at a local pool. You can encourage your members to bring the kids. If you want a gym full of people that love heavy lifting, then host a competition. If you are a Christian gym, hold a bible study.

Here’s the hard part of this equation. When you have someone that obviously doesn’t fit into that culture, then you might have to make some hard decisions. If this person is obviously causing disruption with the other members, then you either have to meet with the person to correct the behavior or have them leave. Odds are this person would be happier somewhere else. I have no doubts in that. I have made this mistake more than once, and it has bitten me every time.

Once you’ve established the culture, find unique ways to hang out and grow the community. If the only community activity within your facility is hanging out before and after class, then you need to use your creativity. When I first opened my Strength & Conditioning facility, we developed a relationship with a local restaurant called Chang Thai. The owner was actually one of my members, so his restaurant was the obvious choice.

We started hosting community events at his restaurant called “Chang Thai Friday Nights”. It was the most fun ever! We would have 40-50 people there every week, and then afterwards we would go back to the gym and just hang out. Mash Elite Performance was built with Chang Thai Friday Nights. Not only would we get to hang out and fellowship together, but all the people at the restaurant would see the family like atmosphere. Remember, everybody wants to be a part of something special. Every Friday, I would speak to someone new that wanted to be a part of the tribe. Chang Thai Friday Nights ended up being my number one marketing tool.

Last encourage your members to help you grow the tribe. The key is to host free clinics, workouts, or other events every month, make it into a party/hangout, and get your members to invite their friends. Normally the friends of your members are for sure going to fit the culture. If I were you, I would spend a big chunk of my marketing dollars towards making these monthly events awesome. You have to make it into something that people want to be a part of, and something that they are actually excited about.

To summarize:

• Predetermine the Culture of your Community around your own personal values.
• Find unique ways to nourish that Community with unique experiences and ways of hanging out.
• Encourage your members to help grow the tribe!
• Set aside a chunk of marketing funds to aid in the effort.

Growing a thriving community is something that starts from the very beginning. These are plans that you should make within your initial business plan. If you didn’t, then you need to write out a community strategy plan right now. Community is what will make or break your facility, and community is directly attributed to the amount of joy that you will experience from your facility. The people at Mash Elite Performance have brought me years of smiles and great memories. I wish the same for you all!

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Who Are You?

The Mash Mafia Barbell Affiliate Team is growing, and I love it. My goal is to help these gyms flourish. To find our more, click on the link:

Mash Mafia Barbell Affiliate

The Online Weightlifting Team is over one year old! That is a dream come true! Find out more about our Team below:

Mash Mafia Online Weightlifting Team

Who Are You?

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Last week at the Barbell Mastermind, one of the sessions was about the branding of your company. A lot of us think about logos, colors, and fonts when we think branding. If that is what you are doing, then that is a fail. To be honest, I have never intentionally branded anything or even thought about the topic, so that is a fail on my part.

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Instead of the business catch phrase “branding”, we should all sit back and think about what we are doing. We need to ask ourselves some serious questions. What do we want our companies, gyms, and teams to represent? What do we want to come to people’s minds when they think about what we are doing? These are serious questions that we need to answer.

Branding is how the world perceives your organization. I am not just talking to business owners. I am talking to coaches of teams. No matter what we think, our team or organization is making a statement to the world. Personally I want to focus that statement on something positive, empowering, and mostly glorifying to God. I don’t think that I have focused on this enough, but I am totally ready to tackle this massive step now.

The first step was asking a lot of my partners and athletes one important question. What does the Mash Mafia mean to you? Truly I wasn’t sure what I would get, but the answers brought tears to my eyes. Almost unanimously, they said “family”. That’s exactly what I have wanted from the beginning, but I didn’t know that they all felt that way.

I had no idea that one could spark such a high-powered feeling like “family” from their business. Content is the key to painting the picture in the world’s brain. Videos, short clips, and articles should all say the same message. I want the world to know that I care about all of my athletes from the tone of my articles and videos. Some coaches want to project a sense of “win at all cost”, and that is fine too. The important principle is to remain constant in the message.

It’s not that hard once you have clearly defined the message. I made the decision about a year ago to focus more online. I wanted my online athletes to experience what my onsite athletes had experienced for years. I wanted them to have a coach that cared about them as a person and an athlete. This has been a massive challenge, but one I have enjoyed immensely.

I am still working on bring my online clients that personal experience. The distance obviously makes it a little tougher, but I am making some major decisions right now to improve this aspect. I will say that it is super humbling when one of your online brothers or sisters writes you and email asking about life. I have had people ask about careers, family, and most importantly my relationship with Christ. Awesome!

When they ask these questions that is a win. Now keep in mind I am not talking about financial wins. You should think of your brand or world perception as your “art”. I want the world to perceive me as their onsite coach. That’s a big challenge. When people are asking me these personal questions, I know that I am getting my message across. I want to help all of these people become better athletes and better humans. I have never just wanted to make great athletes. I want to affect the people that come to me for the rest of their lives.

Once you have chosen your message, now it is time to make it beautiful. Everything that you put out should be wrapped in a beautiful way. This is the part that I am going to work on starting today. I can put out some content better than most people, but I haven’t always taken the time to make it beautiful. I am meeting with my creative team today to change all of that.

Your life work is in reality the picture that you paint for the world. It is the art that you will leave behind when this life is over. There is a picture in my head of the way I want it all to look that my creative team are going to help make reality. This project will be a lifetime of perfecting. I am talking about everything from my facility, to me website, and my social media. I want the look to portray my message in a beautiful way.

Anyone that knows me realizes that this project is out of my toolbox. I am not artistic at all. Luckily my wife and our friend Mark are amazing. They have the unique ability to conceptualize thoughts and desires with art and images. Who knows!!! I just know that they are amazing, and I am extremely thankful to have them in my life.

I hope that this helps you all. This message pertains to athletes as well. As an athlete you should ask yourself how people perceive you. You are sending a message out to the world as well. The better you become, the bigger the message will be, so start thinking about that now.

Remember this: Our actions are only as awesome as the world’s perception of those actions!