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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:
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.
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
4. Come to the 3-day Mash Camp July 8th thru the 10th click the link below to find out more:
5. Volunteer with fundraising, administration, or simply prayers. If you want to help, email us at:
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!