Black Box Summit: Can you Forcast?

Hey y’all. I wanted to share a brief outline of the next BBS and mention an important feature that will be offered at this gig. Here is a brief outline for the event:

Robb Wolf:
Nutrition tweaks for:
1-Performance (Crossfit, power athletics and beyond)
2-Body composition shifts: Fat loss, muscle gain.
3-Matching nutrition to changes in training.
Also offering free personal nutrition consult with one lucky attendee!

Michael Rutherford:
History and Elements of MEBB (Max Effort Black Box)
Prevention of ACL injuries in Female Athletes and Anterior Core Progression Plan.

James Fitzgerald:
Pain, intensity, and higher levels of thinking. Personal experience in training, business systems, and facility operations and how these key factors contribute to forward progress.
Also, One free online consult for one lucky attendee

Nicki Violetti:
On ramp programs and introducing the new client to your box.

Aimee Anaya & Greg Everett:
Hands on Coaching clinic of the Olympic Lifts. Also offering book and DVD give aways, as well as Personal video analysis for one lucky participant.

Dutch Lowy:
Identifying and addressing weaknesses in an Athlete. Also, giving one free programming consult to one lucky attendee.

So, a pretty action packed weekend all and all but I wanted to highlight one offering that I think is particularly valuable: Forecasting. Not the weather (just poke your head out your window for that) and not markets (Buy low! Sell high!)  but your ability to forecast how a change in your business will affect your bottom line. A significant part of forecasting or modeling your business is having a very tight understanding OF your business. What are your operating expenses? How are you paying your employees? Do you still think those people coahing classes for you are “independent contractors”…wink, wink, nod, nod? What if you want to change your pricing structure because it seems “cool”? Well, you can do it the hard way: Enact the change, see what happens. Or you can use a model of your business to game play something which initially might seem snazzy, but would actually BANKRUPT you. Check out this post from Nicki’s Blog. I’m going to pull out one section of that post:

I recently had a CrossFit affiliate contact me for feedback on a new pricing structure for their box.  It sounded like a pretty good concept and the reasoning behind it (some pricing incentives based on how long a client was a member) seemed logical.  The word doc I received to review the new model showed the yearly revenue per client to be the same as this affiliate’s current pricing structure.  At first blush it seemed like a totally reasonable model.  Alas the shortcomings of the simple word doc!

Truth is in the numbers, and a word doc doesn’t show everything we need to see when evaluating a significant change to one’s business model.  Yearly revenue was the same for the first year only!  When I projected the model out 3 years I found that the box would be profitable only during months 5-10 and would never be profitable again….in fact the model clearly showed the affiliate would be bleeding an increasing amount of money each month of operation!

We did stuff like this all the time in our gym. We learned the hard way…but many people are not learning these lessons fast enough to keep their doors open. Nicki has received about 30 emails from CrossFit Affiliate alone who would have closed their doors had they not enacted the OnRamp Program and some stratified skill levels to their classes. These are simple concepts you see in most successful service oriented businesses. Similarly, successful businesses are able to forecast potential changes to get at least an idea if it’s a smart or a dumb idea.

If you run a fitness related business you might find my wife’s presentation on how to use XL in your forecasting useful. Or you can just sit back and enjoy the pseudo-science!

Categories: Events


Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation

Have you heard about the Paleo diet and were curious about how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? Then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation is for you.


  1. Matt says

    Has been any talk about possibly taping the BBS and selling a DVD to those of us who can’t make the trip out?

  2. says

    Wish I could go to the BBS. Delta 5 Fitness needs a kick in the pants. I’ll stay tuned to see when you’re doing the next one…till then I’ll just lurk your page and all the successful small gyms out there. Thanks for all you do, Robb!

  3. Chad Cilli says

    Nice call Matt, I’d definitely be interested in picking one up. It’d be a lot cheaper and more convenient than traveling across the country.

  4. Rudy says

    How does someone go about requesting a spot for this seminar? I think I saw a link for RSVP on Facebook but I am currently at work and unable to get to alot of webpages because of our proxy server. Sorry if this has been asked anywhere else. Have a great day.


  5. Shawn says

    I would love a DVD of the footage! Being in Canada, I’ll likely never get to a Summit, so I would gladly buy DVDs of the event!!!!

  6. Justin De Quimly says

    Right i’ve had enough of this. It’s ridiculous
    Robb Wolf..what can i say ….i taught him all he knows..he physically stole my manuscript, left me for dead in Tangiers ( the things i had to do to obtain my freedom are not for the squeamish ) and now he’s, ahem, palming my work off as his own.
    He knows nothing..he’s actually a dental floss Salesman from Montana who wears womens undies and can makes exotic forms of cheese on toast.

    Squire am on my w/e and vetured to yr site…this is the kind of dross one writes if ones born to South Yorkshire sheep phuqers and then to add trauma one is then educated by Jesuits !!
    Joshing aside am looking fwd to yr book very muchly.
    You in Seattle or BC anytime soon ?

    All good things to you and yr Clan

  7. Dave says

    Are the skill ouputs on the “stratified skill levels” sheet the baseline to enter that level or exit that level?

  8. says

    I still get a chuckle out of your “pseudo-science” wisecracks. Please don’t ever stop doing them. And best of luck with this Black Box Summit. Hopefully there won’t be some egomaniacal d-bag to ruin it this time.

  9. says

    Any chance you might share your modified “stratified skill levels”. ?
    Do you have any thoughts on using this with older athletes? We have a number of over 50 members at our affiliate. I don’t see any that could make it beyond level ll.

  10. Jim Climer says

    I’m not an affiliate, but interested in attending…

    1. Why does the registration link get blocked by web sense filtering for ‘sex’?
    (I understand its power to sell, but c’mon).

  11. Javier says

    hi robb,
    with those skill level standards you linked to on your website, is there a time limit for each of the skills? for example, level 2 pushups is 30 for men. does that have to be within a certain time?

    i really like that list, i feel like it will give me some well-defined goals to work toward. also, is there a reason that standing press isn’t on your standards list? thanks so much for such providing such a great resource!

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