Welcome to Salty Talk. This is a special edition of Healthy Rebellion Radio. Each week on Salty Talk Robb will do a deep dive into current health and performance news, mixed with an occasional Salty conversation with movers and shakers in the world of research, performance, health, and longevity.
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Nicki: Welcome to The Healthy Rebellion Radio. This is an episode of Salty Talk. A deep dive into popular and relevant health and performance news pieces mixed with the occasional salty conversation with movers and shakers in the world of research, performance, health, and longevity. Healthy Rebellion Radio’s Salty Talk episodes are brought to you by Drink Element, the only electrolyte drink mix that’s salty enough to make a difference in how you look, feel, and perform. We cofounded this company to fill a void in hydration space. We needed an electrolyte drink that actually met the sodium needs of active people, low carb, keto, and carnivore adherence without any of the sugar, colors, and fillers found in popular commercial products. Heath rebels, this is Salty Talk. And now the thing our attorney advices. The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary or fitness change. And given that this is Salty Talk, you should expect the occasional expletive. Test.
Robb: Crabby McCrabberkins. Snake Plissken.
Nicki: Snake Plissken?
Robb: Escape from New York, Kurt Russel.
Nicki: I never saw that.
Robb: Yeah. I can tell. Well, we’ll see how our outtake goes as the intro to the intro.
Nicki: Yeah. I don’t know if it’s going to work.
Robb: Well your dog woke us up at 3:00 today, so.
Nicki: And I’ve got my smoker voice this morning.
Robb: It’s pretty sexy.
Nicki: No, it sounds terrible.
Robb: Sounds good to me because it’s the only game in town for me. Covid or no covid.
Nicki: Well yeah, 3:30 this morning my dog who is a 105 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback started barking, which he never does. He sleeps through the night. So if he barks there’s something going on. Did you just fart?
Robb: I might have.
Nicki: Jesus babe.
Robb: I don’t think it was loud enough to be heard on the microphone.
Nicki: It just might have been.
Robb: We’ll see. It’s one of those days. You guys took me out to Mexican food for Father’s Day.
Nicki: The quality of this particular episode folks, we apologize in advance.
Robb: Zero fucks given.
Nicki: Yeah. So he was barking like crazy. I didn’t let him out. I looked out and I didn’t see anything and I didn’t let him out because sometimes we have wild animals in the backyard an I didn’t feel like dealing with a dead one this morning. So then-
Robb: Because Dutch has killed an armadillo, a fox-
Nicki: A raccoon.
Robb: And that’s just the things that we’ve found.
Nicki: Yeah. So I didn’t want to have to deal with that. So he went back to bed. We all went back to bed. Took a while to fall back asleep of course, after you get woken up to hound dog levels of-
Robb: He doesn’t bark a lot but when he barks it’s like a bomb going off.
Nicki: It’s loud.
Robb: So what’s my usual response?
Nicki: This is where we both wake up going … And Robb’s like, Jesus fucking Christ. Like it’s so loud.
Robb: I like levitate two feet-
Nicki: Both of us it’s like being woken up in the most non relaxing way.
Robb: And I sleep with earplugs and it still is so loud that-
Nicki: So then we fall back asleep and it probably took me 45 minutes or so to fall back asleep. And then 5:30, another bout of it, this time I let him out and he just ran around the yard barking and barking. I couldn’t see anything, I couldn’t hear anything. Clearly he heard something.
Robb: But then you did see a little fox trotting up our up driveway a bit later.
Nicki: I did just see a little fox. Yeah. So anyway, that’s our morning tale.
Robb: I doubt if anybody came here for that. Although I don’t know why anybody comes here at all but thank you for doing so.
Nicki: Yes. Yes. So today you have an interview with Craig Patterson, one of our long time friends who we met in the early days of CrossFit. We met him in … Gosh, we probably met him in 2004.
Nicki: I think it was the very first CrossFit level one seminar that I attended.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. And just an amazing guy. It was interesting. Craig arrived there with two friends and one of them a physician, the other one … I think he was like a personal trainer at the time.
Nicki: I can’t remember.
Robb: Of the three, everybody predicted that the doctor and the other guy were going to be super gung ho. I’m like no, Craig Patterson’s going to be the one that takes this ball and takes it into the end zone and I was right on that.
Nicki: Well because I think in the beginning he was the most out of shape out of the three of them.
Robb: He was a smoker, he drank-
Nicki: And these are like three Canadians that are hockey players but definitely like to get rowdy.
Robb: They like their scotch. Yeah.
Robb: But Craig went on to found the first CrossFit affiliate in Canada and we unpack a lot of history. There’s some history here that probably needs to be said. So we talk a little bit about the ongoing developments within CrossFit et al. And this is some of the stuff that is … Aside from whatever the sexual assault allegations are around CrossFit in general and Greg Glassman in particular, the early alteration of CrossFit, the early development of it if you can even call it that, looking back at it from a business perspective, there were a ton of handshake deals that were brokered. And some of those included … Early in this whole story, Greg Glassman didn’t want the YouTube channel for CrossFit. He very dismissively said, we want to keep that bandwidth and Craig Patterson basically owned-
Nicki: CrossFit YouTube.
Robb: CrossFit YouTube.
Nicki: And the URL in Canada. crossfit.ca.
Robb: Yeah. CrossFit.ca. And all that stuff was given to him on basically a handshake which can be a problem. Particularly when the person decides that they’re going to go back on that handshake obligation and sue you or threaten to sue you or do combinations of both. And ultimately just wrest that stuff away. And there’s all kinds of stories like that. Like Jeff and Mikki Martin with CrossFit Kids. And this is just some of the ugly shit that even … Let’s say whatever other genius Greg had. Like he wasn’t that great at business. We operated with CrossFit NorCal for like four years without an affiliate agreement. Were we that long into it?
Nicki: No. No, no, no, no, no.
Robb: But we were there a long time.
Nicki: You moved to Chino in 2003. No. We withdrew our affiliation in 2006.
Robb: We withdrew and then we went back in and it was still like a year later before we got an affiliate agreement.
Nicki: Oh, an affiliate agreement.
Robb: It was ages. Like there was no written affiliate agreement.
Nicki: Actually, I don’t think we got an affiliate agreement until we rejoined in like 2008.
Nicki: Yeah. No you’re right. You’re right.
Robb: So there was a lot of stuff like that. And on the one hand you can give it a explanatory deal that they were just figuring stuff out. But definitely not super professional but my main point to this thing is there were a ton of things, like Jeff and Mikki Martin being given CrossFit Kids. And it was basically taken away and there was some sort of a severance there but it really wasn’t commensurate to the effort put in and then people like Craig. I’m blanking on the guys name that had crossfittshirts.com. But this was another website that was in a handshake deal. Hey, go be, achieve, do all this stuff. And then when the Reebok deals came down, instead of doing something that was like win-win … “Hey, think you for doing what you’re doing. We’ve got to consolidate this stuff under one banner so that this Reebok thing goes through. What’s a good number for you to make this worth your while in the future severance?” And instead it was like fucking boot on the neck, horrible emails, threatening people. This is the dirt baggery that … Now as I’m kind of coming out of this and the reality that Greg has just fucked everything up that the hope of CrossFit health and all the rest, that ship has fucking sailed, that I’m like … I guess this is kind of like a PTSD thing.
Robb: When they were in a position to possible do some good I was willing to kind of put all that shit aside and now it’s kind of like, who fucking cares? The story kind of needs to be told. If for no there reason so that when people motor through life and they experience something like this, handshake deals don’t work. You need a fucking contract. You need at a minimum, some sort of a joint venture agreement. What’s that saying? Good fences make good neighbors. And there’s a similar application there with contracts and whatnot. But Craig and I talk a little bit about that stuff. Talk a little bit about, just kind of the state of affairs within CrossFit. But then we definitely unpack a lot of what they’ve done with MadLabs with regards to creating a business system that a CrossFit type gym or honestly any type of a service based fitness oriented entity could do really well taking their methodology and kind of plugging it into what they’re doing.
Robb: And again, this is one of the things that we kind of unpack but I think it’s worth saying again, when we got booted due to the black box summit, like some people will say, “Oh Robb you got kicked out because you were advocating for paleo and CrossFit wanted The Zone.” And that was kind of like the veneer. The real story though was that for whatever fucked up reason, Greg’s neurosis and paranoia were such that he didn’t want anybody figuring out how to actually run a legit business. Because if you knew how to run a business, in his mind there was the potential that a band of people could come together and they could create an alternate brand, an alternate entity, and one that actually supported and helped people run the brick and mortar business, which CrossFit HQ did fuck all for that. And in fact, you could really argue … It reminds me of like descriptions of the old church where they would keep people ignorant and they couldn’t read and they would just look at the illuminated sections of the bible and provide the interpretation for it.
Robb: So you basically wanted this underclass of people that were ignorant and stupid and didn’t question anything. Just keep paying us our affiliate fee, keep re-upping on your certs and you’re good. But if you raise your hand and you’re like, “Hey, should I think about a ratio of personal training to group fitness with regards to the robustitiy of my business and the health?” Off with your head. Fuck you. Out. Done. And so what HQ did in multiple iterations was, chased anyone who had an inkling of how to run a fucking brick and mortar gym out of the operation. And now we have some other people who are fucking unethical shitbags that are jumping in and they may have one some CrossFit Games in the past, but they don’t know how to run a fucking gym and they’re like offering up … We’ve got the solution to your business problems. I would ask, you know what? Maybe a follow up deal is the questions you should ask of Jason Khalipa before you buy into his-
Nicki: You’re getting spicy today babe.
Robb: I am getting spicy today. But Jason wasn’t the most ethical of people either. He had another one of the back stories. He basically had CrossFit HQ more or less threaten to sue us so that he could have NorCal CrossFit versus CrossFit NorCal. When we got kicked out, I was like, “Hey, could this be like a jersey that just gets fucking retired? Like there’s a pretty good namesake to this.” And Jason was like, “Nah, fuck you. I want that name.” So he isn’t really the most ethical of individuals either in this whole story and I would recommend about a million other people besides him to go to if you want some sort of a business deal. Including MadLab.
Nicki: And with that ladies and gentleman, let’s segue into the interview with Robb and Craig.
Robb: This one is a Salty Talk.
Nicki: It is a Salty Talk.
Robb: Good enough. Okay.
Robb: Craig Patterson, how are you man?
Craig: Robby Wolf, the sheriff. My personal hero. How are you buddy?
Robb: Good man. Thank you. Thank you. We were supposed to have video and for some reason the video didn’t work so it’s audio only today, but neither you nor I are particularly good looking so I guess that’s not the end of the world. What’s new man? There’s been a lot of change in the last week and a half, two weeks.
Craig: Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff that came down the pipe that I think me and you thought would have happened a lot earlier than this. But anyway, one of the recurring things I see with people is they want to rebrand or they’re running for the hills for a rebrand. And that is something we encourage people, you should own your own brand and there’s very specific reasons for that. And mostly because if you’re going to toil away for 15 or 20 years and create a professional gym, you want to have it reflective of the people and the services and the systems. And I think those are more important than whatever the fitness protocol even is. The way it’s delivered is more important and is more indicative of your brand than any fitness protocol that’s out there. And the big reasons why is you don’t own the brand, you don’t control the brand, and you can’t sell the brand. You can’t sell it, but the license. So it’s like … I don’t know. We just encourage independent gym owners to be independent and not being under anybody’s thumb. And it’s perfectly fine to be affiliates if that’s what you choose. But for us, we went away from that brand a long time ago and we’ve been doing our own thing and teaching independent gym owners how to build a professional gym. Truly what we’re up to.
Craig: And that’s kind of where we are. I think back in the day Robb, that’s kind of what we were all doing when we first started this thing.
Robb: Yeah. I mean there was clearly a big love for CrossFit as a concept. Definitely a ton of love for the community. Like I met some of my people that are by all likelihood going to be lifelong friends and some of the best friends that I’ve ever known I met through the experience with CrossFit. But it was pretty early in this scene, we opened the fourth affiliate gym in Chico California in 2004 and it wasn’t … By the time 2005 rolled around, there started to appear to be some problems with having a brand that we didn’t own lock stock and barrel or at least had some optionality around controlling what the messaging was and the branding and all that type of stuff. And it made us a pariah to make that a thing. Which I find interesting within the greater narrative of CrossFit that they’re all about quality and quality control and professionalism and everything. And if you aren’t worried about what you’re providing folks, then you shouldn’t worry about the fact that they can just as easily as pulling off a piece of velcro, remove your branding. Because if you’re not doing for folks that are paying you handsomely to have access to the licensing, but if you’re providing a real value then you shouldn’t hold people at gun point effectively to keep them in.
Robb: And so we had some misgivings with that early on and I know you did as well. We went on kind of parallel experimental tracks. You guys really took the systematization of these gyms to another level, but it was interesting, when we first started comparing notes it was like, at least 50% of your income had to come from personal training and small group or you were done. It was an expiration date. There was a lit fuse and at some point that thing was going to blow up on you. And that was such a contentious topic. Could you talk a little bit about that? I think it’s so important. It’s one of these things that is just super low hanging fruit but it’s a really contentious topic.
Craig: I’ll just back that up to give some context. A few years ago … I don’t think I ever told you this story. I got contacted by a group in London, England. I’d been over there doing a speak. And had a guy show up and he was trying to start his own … He worked for a big hedge fund over there. He had access to billions and he had this idea with these guys that had done it before to do a franchise. So I get on a plane, go over to London, think I’m quite important. Get to sit in a room and the guy’s a billionaire and all this stuff. Anyway, sure enough we get to this meeting and they start telling me what their plan is. In this whole plan, I just never heard anything about the clients themselves and what they’d be doing and what they coaches would be doing and then what whoever bought the franchise would really be doing. But what I kept on hearing about over and over and over was we need to pre sell 300 memberships and that’s the most important thing we need to do.
Craig: And I was like, “Okay.” And then I was like, “What are you going to do with them?” I go like, “What’s your client development process?” And they were like, they didn’t really know what that meant. I had to describe it quite a bit and then they said, “Oh, just put them right into a group class.” These kids. And I said, “What’s your coach development process?” “You know it’s a couple of weekends and we teach them how to basically run this group exercise class with the TVs and all this stuff.” And I was like, “You realize that’s going to churn 70% of the people in about nine months. That’s what that model does.” And they go, “I’m not sure about that.” They got someone to go in the back and we kept on talking and they came back with a bunch of papers. And they said, “Yeah, it’s actually a little worse than that but I guess that’s not a problem.” So I was like, “Okay, I guess that’s not a problem.”
Craig: And I go, “What about your coach development, coach pay and all that stuff?” And they go, “Well shit, we can find anybody to come work basically for minimum wage and these things.” And I go, “That’s going to churn out about twice the client churn rate. Like pretty much everybody’s gone by 18 months.” And they go, “Yeah, yeah, well we know that. But we can always find new people.” And I go, “What’s going on here?” I was like, well they have the branding and they got this whole beautiful elegant gym that’s on the ground floor of a major thoroughfares and stuff. I was just like, “What is the game here?” And the guy’s, “Well, we need to get out within five years. The game is to sell these franchises, pre sell 300 members and then we move on.” And I was like, “So the clients leave, the coaches all leave, and then the owners are going to be left with this thing after five years.” They’re like, “Yeah, that’s not our issue.” It really fucking opened my eyes to the fitness industry has been driven by some kind of investor scheme from the top down forever. And you look at the global gym thing. That’s always a real estate ploy. Sell as many memberships as you can and pray they don’t come.
Craig: It’s never been driven from the ground down, where CrossFit really was at one time. You know what I mean? Greg was a personal trainer. You were there before me. I got there in 2004 and it was really about the training. It was really about professionalizing the industry and the coaches and all that stuff. And at some point in this whole thing … I don’t know if it was intentional, inintentional, but we went from a … We were for years there, we just had 50 gyms. When you were there you were four. I think I was number five on that list. There’s some debate. It was definitely less than seven. My fees on time or something. You know what I mean? But we were all trying to it different ways and at some point the biz came along and it was like, put people straight in the group class. That allowed them to go from a few hundred gyms to 10, 15,000 in a hurry. You look at 2010, ’11, ’12, all you had to do was put a shingle over the door that said CrossFit and 100 people would show up. So how do you handle that? Well, you need to put people straight into a group class and you need to pay coaches by the hour. You need to be able to handle all these people and scale it. You know what I mean? So it’s easily scalable.
Craig: And that seems to the model in all the gyms that went down that path which wasn’t really … The excellence in the fitness protocol and all that, that happened for a long time. But the excellence of what’s going on inside of a gym, how it’s run, why it’s run the certain way, that’s what we’ve been doing. That’s what I’ve been up to the last 15 years. We took a lot of flack for it because people think we’re criticizing CrossFit. Its got nothing to do with that. That’s a fitness protocol. If you want to professionalize your gym and your coaches there’s a better way to do it. It’s all empirically driven. It’s stuff that we’ve been tested. Shit, we even did an 18 month test with Zen Planner looking at every way you could bring in a client that we could dream of. When you look at churn rates, look at average client values and then you could pretty much see what worked and what didn’t work.
Robb: It’s interesting because there was a period of time where … I don’t know. Maybe there were like 2,000 gyms at this point. It’d be interesting to go back and look at this stuff. It was small enough that the bulk of us … Like people would say, “So what do you need to do?” And we were like, “Well, you need more personal training. At a minimum, whatever you do, don’t get into a race to the bottom on pricing.” Nicki had sat down and did a spreadsheet with that and she was like, “Dude, if you start heading into this 100 bucks a month unlimited deal, you’re dead.” She plugged in some churn rates, she plugged in the ability to pay yourself, keep the lights on and everything. She’s like, “This things dead in like six months to a year if you do that.” I feel like there was kind of like some linking of arms at that point where people were kind of like okay, even if they … You know, they had a gym down the street, they had a little bit of an amicable relationship and they’re like, we’re both going to have a reasonable cost. We’ll keep almost like a cartel in a way I guess. A little bit of price fixing.
Robb: But, as soon as one or two people broke that, then I feel I it was just like pulling a drain out of a bathtub. And everybody ended up in that race to the bottom on the pricing and the Groupons and everything. You saw that process closer and really analyzed it more than I think anybody else in this scene. It’s just been poisonous to these gyms. Just incredibly injurious. And Craig, when you showed me some the early iterations of what you’ve done with MadLab and this has got to be like seven years ago, I was floored. I felt a little hoity toity about what we had developed within our gym. Comparatively it was pretty good. Compared to the other knuckleheads running around it was pretty good stuff and then I looked at what you put together and I was like, oh my god, we’re infants on this. You really had some amazing stuff. That has been iterated on and developed so much but what’s been kind of like the guiding principal for you to develop these systems? You’ve mentioned empiricism. Glassman used to mention that a lot. But nobody’s really applied that to the business side of this thing. Which at the end of the day, people can get their panties bunched about like, wow, it’s all about money.
Robb: But here the reality. If you can’t keep the lights on and the bills paid, then the gym closes and it can’t do a goddamn thing for anybody. So it’s got to be financially successful enough to warrant continuing to do it. So how did you make that process empirical? What were you looking at? What were the things that you tried? What were the things that failed?
Craig: Yeah. If I look at MadLab, we started exposing Groupon as really bad for you as your churn rate is going to go through the roof. Coaches don’t want to be around because when people leave they feel like a failure. I know for me, I was in the gym for shit, probably 10 years and I hated losing people. And that was the premise behind all of it. T Bear became my first coach and I was like, I didn’t want to lose him. You know what I mean? I had to figure out a way where the clients didn’t leave and they paid me fair value for a high value service, the coaches didn’t leave me, and then at the end of the day, I needed to make money to make it worth my while. So it became very simple in my mind to how we looked at this thing. It had to work for the clients and what could you measure? You could measure a fran or a two mile run. You could have all these measurements but at the end of the day if they’re not leaving and they’re paying you a lot of money, I’d say they’re doing pretty good. No one’s going to pay you $300 a month and not show up. If there are those people, I want to find them.
Craig: Anyway. So you know, they pay you a lot of money and they stick around. And we started doing tests around this early days. Like 2005 and ’06. 2004 I was just a personal trainer and Greg was my mentor and he was teaching me all this stuff and it was brilliant. He knew what he was doing. And I became a decent personal trainer, then we opened our first gym. I got thrown out of every fitness center we could find doing the stuff we were doing and then we opened our own gym. Immediately my two partners were like no, we got to hire girls and we got to put people straight into the group class and pay them by the hour and stuff. So if you start looking at that model, people do this, what I call napkin math. They say well, shit at that time it was 150 a month. That was kind of the standard. It was for a class. Greg didn’t talk or no one talked about a client development process or a coach development process or an owner development process. We started down that path early on and we realized that, if we could make every decision we made, it worked for the client, worked for the coach and it worked for the business.
Craig: And then we had numbers around that, which was, I would say the average client value in churn and then for the coach … So he could make what a general electrician would make by year five. I think that’s sustainable. And that’s around $45 an hour. But we don’t pay them by the hour. And then total coach pay, if they could make 80,000, 100,000 a year, some markets 60,000 a year, they’re probably going to stay in it. They’re not going to leave. The problem with this industry is it’s designed top down as an investment vehicle and the people that work in the place are not even fucking thought about. Not even an consideration about how do we make these people win? They come last. It’s almost like a dilapidated class of people that have been extorted for so long they don’t know any better. So that’s the way we went about doing it and then at the end of the day, at the business, when you look at all the financials and you got hard costs, variable costs and … The business needs to make 20% return on investment for it be worth my while. And that’s I’m paying myself for everything that goes into that.
Craig: Those are the six measurements and we just started trialing and erroring it and then as I started with MadLab Group we did an alpha test of seven gyms and they started showing really good results so we could tweak and play around with things like, for example, should clients go straight into a group class? Should it be a group on ramp? Should it be how many sessions? How much does it cost? What are the dollar values? And we started seeing … Especially when we had the Zen Planner. We looked at 1,600 gyms, CrossFit gyms and ours and all kinds of other things in the industry like yoga and pilates and stuff too. Just to kind of get a cross section of how this thing works.
Craig: And we could really quickly take a look a gym, take a look at their website, take a look at what their onboarding process was and then look at the churn rate over the year. At the end of that year, the first year, we were showing … It was quarterly results. It was a lot of work. The Zen Planner guys were super interested in this stuff and we were showing that doing … It was a really clear equation that came out. It was that, the better the coaches do in the ratio, IE one on one being best, the more you charge and the more sessions you do, the better the churn rate and better the average client value over the course of the whole year.
Craig: Where we were showing churn rates of less than 20%, the average affiliate was showing churn rates of greater than 80%. And in our little group of 55 gyms, they were showing … It was almost standard deviation. We were showing 20, they were showing 40, the other gyms were showing 80. You could show these correlations. Maybe it’s a causation. That’s where this stuff gets over my head a little bit. It’s all pretty simple math. There’s not a lot of boundary value problems here. You know what I mean?
Robb: Right. And Craig, just to unpack that a little bit, like we can say an 80% churn rate per year. But just to put that in context for people, let’s say you’ve got a gym of 100 people, what that means is on average, 80 of those people in the course of the year are gone and then you add another year and let’s say you refill the 100 people that left, now you have 80 more people that left. Let’s again, just say that you’re goal is to just have 100 people in the gym. That means throughout the course of the year you are battling if you’re running these things like a knucklehead, to basically replace the totality of your membership every single year.
Craig: I think it was worse back then. I think they have the standard model of a commercial gym, or I would call it a commodity gym really is you’re following someone’s brand and you got the workouts and you hire people and pay them by the hour and stuff. I think they’ve gotten better but it’s a model that you just can’t polish. You can polish it and polish it and it just turns dull. It’s just not designed to win because it was designed for scalability. If you look at an Orangetheory right now … And I know we’ve got friends that own four of them and I talk to them about how they’re doing this. And it’s all set up for a first day. And it’s all set up that they bought this franchise, they make 60,000 in the first month. But what does it look like in year three, year five? You know what I mean? This thing is designed to fall apart. It’s designed to handle people up front but the consequences are it falls apart over time.
Craig: Now if you look at our target for me, we’re a straight consulting group. We use a lot of software and stuff like that. One time I thought it was software as a service. That’s not it. We’re straight up consulting and mentorship for the gym owners and the coaches. What we really realized over time was, okay, the coach … If you look at that piece, I think it’s easy for people that understand the onboarding thing. If everybody did 20 personal training sessions before they came into a group class, how much better would the gym be? But the biggest part is the coaches need to be rewarded based on metrics. Like I ask gym owners all the time. They say, “Well I got great coaches.” I bet you they are technically great and everybody loves them. But I ask them, “How much gross revenue did they generate last year?” They never have the answer for that. And if you look at the Orangetheory model which is pretty prevalent in all these pilate gyms. If you look at what the coaches are paid as a percentage of the membership, let’s say they’re paid $20 an hour and let’s say the membership is $200 a month for example.
Craig: You’re going to have so many classes. We figured out like 25 classes or something like this. You can do the math. It’s about 12% of the gross revenue. And that’s the problem. And they’re not paid on any kind of a key performance metric. I come from an engineering background. I come from a Fortune 100 company background. If you can’t measure them, how the fuck do you know what they’re doing? So we made it really simple. We measure them on client success. If the clients pay a lot of money for a high value service and don’t leave, guess what? The coach does better. So now you’re removing all these layers of middle management, the person up front at the desk, the client success manager or the person that takes the phone calls at the start and tries to sell them. You’re basically removing all this middle management and you’re making a way higher value service and you get less churn. Guess what, now the coaches can get up to 40 to 50% of the gross revenue.
Craig: Then you start looking at, is it a real professional gym, can they make $80,000 a year? Can they take five weeks of paid vacation? Do they get an RSP or a 401K program? Would that help them stick around? So far at my gym, T Bear’s been there 15 years, Andy, 13, Sheppy 12. These are full-time coaches. Their livelihood depends on it. I don’t see out there anywhere else in the world because the model that they’re using to pay the coaches does not align with client success or in business success.
Robb: I could be wrong but to my knowledge, the only gym I can think of that offered a retirement 401K and some retirement was our gym. At least until we sold it to a guy who had historically run Globo gyms and then kind of commoditized the trainers and the patrons and within six months, it was gone.
Craig: If people want to do that … I see a lot of guys … We interview all kinds of people and the person that we really like … I kind of forgot that a little bit, a minute ago. But the person that’s a target client for us is someone who’s a good coach, someone who cares, someone who wants to have a good life and they love what they’re doing. But they realize now, they’ve been coaching probably for five years, maybe seven years and it all still falls on their shoulders. And that’s the problem with the model that’s out there now is like, it’s really difficult to develop full-time coaches that’ll stick around and take the burden of client retention off your shoulders. I can go away for six months and I know my coaches got it. During this pandemic, we didn’t lose hardly a client until like month two and I think we’ve maintained more then 90% of our clients. And all of our gyms have. Because the client relationship with that coach. And I did nothing. I made three phone calls and the guys took care of everything. I didn’t do a single thing in the gym. I called my lawyer, my accountant. Who was the third one? My financial planner. And they’re all clients and I was like okay, what the fuck are we going to do now? And I called you as well.
Craig: I think I might be going bankrupt. Anyway, the whole thing pulled through. I feel that we’re here for a reason. My reason is to professionalize the coach so that we can actually make this industry not be such a laughing stock. The reason why we have massive problem with preventative healthcare is the doctors and physiotherapists and epidemiologists, you name it, they don’t have relationships with the guy at the gym. Probably because they got a two day course and they’re getting paid $15 an hour to run a group class. And that model’s just not going to do the things we need it to do to save the healthcare industry or to affect common people, generative disease, whatever you want. I really think it’s going to take a relationship where the fitness coach, healthcare, whatever it is, they make those relationships. And in our facilities, they’re doing that. They’re well respected and they would say hey, this happens all the time. Hey T Bear, I got a guy with this problem. Hey Sheppy, I got someone who’s on an insulin pump. What do we do? And they have a relationship like with a doctor or physio or whoever it is, like a true professional. And that’s just really where I think this whole industry needs to go and it just seems like it’s one financial instrument after another that comes down and fucks up us doing it really well.
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Robb: One thing that’s … Man, I want to ask this but I want to do it in kind of a non leading way but I’m not sure if I can. But why is a well run gym like what you are talking about … Why is that even important in this day and age? What’s the value there?
Craig: Well I mean, for me I think it’s a really well run gym is a place that can leave a legacy in the community for solving some of these chronic degenerative diseases. Even for regular people to have a good life. At my golf course I see lots of guys in their 70s and their posterior chains are falling apart. And I don’t know how quite to reach them that you should be deadlifting. You need to learn to deadlift and squat. And they’re like oh no, that’s for somebody else. Right now the story and the narrative in our place … We rebranded long ago but we’re doing professional branding with a professional company. You pay like $8,000. You go through a 13 weeks of workshops and we’re like, what are we really here for? I think that’s what we’re really here for is to get regular people to have a better life and to have those relationships between coach and client that can make a real difference.
Robb: I agree and I don’t want to drive this thing off a cliff by beating up on CrossFit, but this is part of why I’m so angry with the way that all of this has played out. Because there was a long period of time there where I was kind of dropping this term the gym as primary care medicine. It’s like, if you end up at the doctor’s office or the doc in the box or the walk in clinic, that’s secondary medicine. Primary medicine is going to a gym and talking about sleep and food and getting exercise and having community and getting some sun on your skin. That is primary care. Everything else is secondary and tertiary. And the opportunity that was available there to really … I saw very much the same opportunity you did with creating relationships with doctors and physiotherapists and mental health practitioners and really professionalizing that thing so that people got some soup to nuts assistance in their lives and it could really benefit them.
Robb: Given what’s going down in CrossFit, where do you see the potential there? Is the concept still true? Does it still march forward and it’s just going to be a lot of hopefully well run but independent folks doing it? Has some of the missteps of CrossFit nuked the whole thing for the whole scene and we have to wait for a generation before this opportunity arises again?
Craig: Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I think there’s a whole lot more to come here with that whole thing. But you know how the game was played from early on. People used it in their branding and it exploded and then it was like, oh no, you can’t use it in your name now and there’s all these things changing over time. I really think people should … You want to be an affiliate and you want to use that fitness protocol, I still their fitness protocol is relevant. I think it was a great start as well. I think it changed the world 20 years ago. It’s how the business model itself is delivered though that’s kind of the problem. When they started the level two surge and Greg was like, “Go to it. Check it out.” If I ran my business the way they were teaching me to train people, I’d be bankrupt. It was like you have seven brand new people that walk into their first day and you’re running around like a madman trying to correct every one of them. You know what I mean? This was like speed dating. This was like having fucking sex with seven people or something. To me it made no sense.
Craig: What our process is, is to do a three day assessment, one on one, and then probably another 15 or 20 personal training sessions to really assess that person, figure out what’s going on with them, why they’re there, what their pain is, and how to have a good life. The group class is still totally relevant. It’s awesome. It’s a big part of our model. We’ve found that a combination of personal training and group, we can retain people higher than just personal training. Personal training has a higher churn rate than a hybrid membership of even once a month you see your coach and then you go to unlimited group classes. That’s got a higher retention rate than personal training alone.
Craig: So where it goes with CrossFit and all this stuff, I kind of put it out of my mind. I got pulled into the 10 year anniversary thing. Greg one on one was brilliant. He was a brilliant mentor to both of us. I learned a shit ton from him. But when he went down the path of starting to figure out how to monetize it, he always said chasing excellence, but I was like what excellence are we chasing now is what I asked at one point. And I got no interest in piling on. I really think that this takes professional coaches, professional gym owners who own their own brand that are independent gym owners. And if you want to have an affiliation, if you feel that helps you on a truly business side … I don’t have an affiliate anymore, but I had an affiliate after we had a legal action in 2012-13 and CrossFit had tried to hire me a bunch of times. I just didn’t agree with the direction it was going. So I started my own company. And it’s been a hell of a lot longer and a hell of a lot harder than I thought it ever would be, but right now what we’re doing is completely relevant.
Craig: We want to teach people to be independent and not dependent on anybody. We want to teach you that in your neighborhood people should be looking for you. They should be googling you. They should be googling your coaches. They should be known as the best gym in town. You have full-time staff who are well respected in the community. They’re valued as leaders in the community. And you have a real desire to build a legacy that lasts and not just running a commodity workout really. I mean, they turned into two different things right?
Craig: And that’s why I had to rebrand and that’s a long story. I got an NDA. I can’t really talk about it. I’m disappointed Robb, that it could have went a different direction at one point. But it didn’t become about chasing excellence inside the gym and that’s what I’ve been doing. That’s what I focused on. And there’s a lot of shade thrown our way just to try and make it right, to do it right, which I had a hard time understanding. But that’s where it went.
Robb: No, that is one of the most perplexing things that I’ve never really … Even in the limited dealings I’ve had with Greg since 2009, we would text occasionally and whatnot. I got invited out to a couple of the CrossFit health gigs and opted out on that. But I never got an answer as to why are you openly antagonistic towards people that are helping you maintain these gyms? And I know that there was some anxiety that if somebody came in and taught great business systems and then took the basic CrossFit methodology and gave it a whizzbang name and got 200, 300 of these gyms together that you could end up with a competitive entity on your hands. And I guess I kind of understand that to some degree but also the lifeblood of the business was the affiliates and so it’s just perplexing to me that folks that smart couldn’t figure out some sort of a win-win so that people like you and people like us that were just trying to help people run these things so that they didn’t just run it into the ground, that they could do it. So that’s something that I hope someday I get an answer on, but-
Craig: Yeah. I think you’re right. I mean, there’s always the threatening stuff. Anybody threatened him. But I mean that’s basically what Orange Theory and F45 and those guys are, only they’re running them even worse. You know what I mean?
Craig: The fitness protocol’s actually not as good. The coaching systems are even not as good as that. And the guys are making millions selling to franchises and stuff right?
Craig: I don’t know why we got so much flak. I probably brought some of it upon myself. We had some clickbait titles. Like why CrossFit gyms, 90% of them are fully going bankrupt. I showed real math of why that’s happening and we got attacked. But I mean, that was a title that I got talked into. It was funny, we were on the way to the hospital. Braxton was supposed to have a home birth and there I was with the shower curtain, me and Audrey, and no midwife or no doula or nothing. It was me delivering this baby in the fucking shower curtain. And I’m talking to Breaking Muscle saying, “I can’t think right now. Just go ahead, print it.” And then six days later all hell breaks loose. But at the end of the day there’s a better way to run a gym. But if all you want is sort of you want a hobby gym, you don’t want to have any complex systems, you’re just doing the workout of the day and have another full-time job, and you have part-time coaches and you’re happy with that, then okay. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Craig: We’re just doing something different and we really think the world needs it. The world needs professional coaches.
Robb: The one thing I would throw out there to the hobbyist … And this actually leads into another question that I have for you. But for the hobbyist, at least for the love of god make a reasonable market growing rate for your services. Don’t undercut the market so that the other people that are actually doing this as a livelihood, there’s just that much more confusion and you turn the whole thing into a commodity. Do the folks around you a solid. If you do believe in the methodology and you think it benefits people, but you don’t want to make it fully your gig, at least professionalize it to the degree that you charge what is a reasonable amount so that you don’t ruin the whole market for folks.
Craig: I’ve talked to CEOs of these franchises, even like the Hard Exercise Works and Iron Tribe and all these guys and they say listen, with the model they need to charge over $200 a month even in Alabama in a smaller town, for it to work at all. I’m not saying it can’t work, but to make it work it needs to be over $200 a month and then it could make 8% after everybody’s paid. But you’ll never professionalize a coach with that thing and I don’t think it’s going to solve type two diabetes and people with all these hip replacements. You know that stuff better than I do Robb. But I don’t think it’s going to solve those issues. It’s kind of built for the 4% that are going to gyms. You know what I mean?
Robb: Right. Craig, who … Oh yeah, keep going. Keep going.
Craig: Well, just one last thought. I just don’t think a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon or epidemiologist or whatever, I don’t think they’re going to … I know they won’t just point blank say, “Hey, go to this Orangetheory. Just walk in there and go right to a group class.” That’s death. If you’re running your systems similar to that, there’s just a better way to do it if you care about your clients and your coaches and you want to have a longterm asset that you can sell. The biggest problem with the hobby gyms, there’s nothing to sell at the end of it because you don’t have any people working inside of there that are stable. You need a stable business that earns a real profit in order to sell that thing and leave a legacy and pass it on to the next generation and these kinds of things.
Robb: Right. No, fantastic point. Craig, let’s say that somebody’s been running a gym, let’s say they are a CrossFit affiliate, and I think you’ve kind of addressed whether if they feel like it’s still a win for them to carry the CrossFit name then by all means do that, but clearly you’re making a strong case for them to figure out some locally identifiable, ownable branding that is arguably kind of their primary shtick. I think that there’s a pretty defensible case to be made for that. But I’m sure that there are a lot of folks that with all the happenings of the last couple of weeks within CrossFit, they’re kind of looking around, they’re like, “What the fuck am I doing?” And Covid on top of that. I mean, these gyms already were oftentimes kind of teetering on the brink and then you make it impossible for people even able to go to the gym and they haven’t built a relationship so people didn’t subsidize the gym during these closure period so that the gym is still there.
Robb: There are probably a lot of people precarious there, but who is it that could be saved and/or benefited by joining something like MadLab? And then who is beyond saving? The reason why I ask this is we were talking ages ago and I’ve thrown out some ideas that I thought were good and one of the ideas was, hey Patty, why don’t you put this thing together called Life Preserver? Like a really limited offering of what the MadLab deal is. We could save these people that are going over Niagara Falls and they’re about to go and we throw them a life preserver and haul them back to shore and in fact that ended up being an epic waste of time because once people pass a certain line, they’re done. So that ended up being a boondoggle and some horrible advice on my part.
Craig: Well, it sounded like a great deal and some of our team are going to start doing the six week challenge rehab. I’ve had a come to Jesus moment about all of that. Like trolling the bottom of the lake for the people at the bottom is not … I don’t do that anymore. I mean, if I would say who’s a good fit for us and who’s not a good fit, if you really are in this thing to make a difference and you have people that want to be full-time, you have coaches that are professional coaches … I have people that are both the investor side of people and they have a really good GM and their coaches and they’ve got a good mentor network and they work with our mentors. Doesn’t necessarily have to be someone in the gym, but whoever’s running this thing in the leadership has to know how to train people. The base of it is all about allowing the coaches to make relationships and allowing them to grow and become really professionals. I don’t think you’re a professional in less than five years of training. My guys are improving all the time 10, 15 years in this thing.
Craig: So it’s for that gym out there that they’re probably off the kool-aid. I mean, if it’s simply CrossFit, CrossFit, CrossFit and I love it and I just want to run my workout of the day and people come in and I have part-time coaches and all that, it’s not really for us. We’re looking for the people that are truly committed to making a difference in this thing. And Robb, the equation I have now is math. It’s math first and what MadLab Group … We’ve been criticized because sometimes people don’t understand it. Or we just talk about the math. I stayed away from the emotional side of this thing and trying to show people a business proposition based on the math. So one part of it’s math and that math fucking works. It’s worked for 15 years and we honed it and make it better, but the math works.
Craig: And then the second part is relationships. If you’re not really interested in making those deep relationships with people that make a difference, that’s not what we’re up to. And it’s not about being cool and it’s not about coming in and the coaches put on their one hour fucking performance and leave. It’s about caring for people and making a difference in people’s lives. And then the last part I say is integrity. You have to live your life with 100% integrity in everything you do. And as it turns out, that whole equation equals love for me. My coaches are still my best friends. My clients see me on the street. People haven’t seen me for five years say, “Hey Patty.” We’ve developed a level of respect. And especially through this covid thing where we’ve picked up so much business from partners of people that wouldn’t come in for years on how this things been handled. And all I can say is if you want to have a life you love and have people that love you, you also need to be financially stable. You need to make some real money in this thing. And that’s what we’re looking for.
Craig: If you’re going to keep your second job or you want to kind of just hobby this thing, that’s okay. All respect. We’re looking for the people that want to take this to the next level.
Robb: I love it. I love it. Craig, where can folks track you down and learn more about this and kick the tires on whether or not MadLab is a good option for them?
Craig: Well, madlabgroup.com is our website and there’s a landing page. There’s a little button called the five shifts, which I talk about a lot of this stuff. I don’t mention much of the CF stuff in there. I’ve just kind of moved on from the whole thing. I think there’s lots of CrossFit branded gyms or affiliates that could do our thing. And surprisingly it was to me there’s still quite a few that are branded and they can still manage to sell 10 PTs for 800 bucks into a market that’s been eviscerated. That still surprises me. Anyway, and the MadLab Group on Instagram and MadLab group on Facebook. But that five shifts webinar explains it pretty clearly what we’re up to.
Craig: And I talk about five shifts and the shifts are real simple. First of all is just short term thinking versus longterm thinking. You really want to change your mind away from this mass scalability and quantity and I need to get leads, I need to get leads. The whole industry got swamped by those companies doing six week challenges and free ones and there’s a lot of integrity lost in there with that stuff and it destroyed a lot of gyms as well. And that had nothing to do with CF, it’s just they couldn’t get a lead. So really the first step is are you trying to create something that lasts a couple of generations or has a legacy?
Craig: And then after that it’s the math. You look at the six week performance indicators, you look at our eight laws, and the math adds up. The clients win, coaches win, and the owner wins if you follow it properly and you just operate with 100% integrity. And at the end of the day it all really is about love. And my real win here Robb is with business owners. I talk to them. I’m the gatekeeper in this stuff now as Audrey’s probably our best business development coach. And I handed her a few people come from 6-week challenge stuff that were desperate, and she was like, “I can’t help these people Craig. They want to sit behind the computer and run Facebook ads and think they’re going to run a gym from behind a computer. It’s not what happens.” So yeah, I hope that explains what we’re up to here Robby.
Robb: It does and I think it’s just interesting timing the way that everything happens and I do remember that phone call where you were like, “Dude, I’m going to go bankrupt due to covid.” And then it was a couple of weeks later, I got another ping and I’m like oh man, what shoe has fallen off of what other foot now? And then Patty shared with me that stellar work and stellar business activity because covid forced a lot of people to really reevaluate where they were and what they were doing. And they wanted to stay in it. They wanted to be in the fight and provide for their community what a really well run gym can give it. So I mean, there’s actually been some silver linings here and there from that whole shit show, which is phenomenal. And I just can’t say enough good stuff about what you guys have done. I’ve been in kind of a cool position because I’ve seen a lot of people that have built some really amazing things and I’ve seen how the sausage was made and it’s oftentimes ugly and you’re kind of amazed at what goes into making it sometimes and the amount of soul searching and iterating and stuff that you’ve done is just incredible.
Robb: It really is incredible, but it really benefits people too. And I do think that if someone has a calling for really wanting to help people, I think running a good gym you’ll save more lives than a doctor, a lawyer, a fireman, a priest. You can save so many lives, do so much good, but you’ve got to do it right. There’s got to be some basic infrastructure in there to make the whole thing function.
Craig: Yeah. At the end of the day I think we’re all going to die anyway, what are you here for? And for me, I could have chosen a lot of paths that probably would have had me retired by now but this has been a labor. It’s not been easy, as you know Robby. I think I’ve faced bankruptcy, pretty clear looking into the abyss, three times now. Where I was like, oh, that’s it. I’m fucking done. And not the covid thing. That was a scary moment, but there’s been times where I’m like, dude, I can’t pay my rent, I can’t pay my own rent. You know what I mean?
Robb: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Craig: So coming back from those places … And if I could add one last thing. People that might have been in MadLab Group five years ago, the math worked. Our ability to teach people how to do the math with love and relationships and integrity. Like all of our systems and services, we’ve gone through another five iterations and what we have now is really relationships first. We thought that we could create software and the machine would teach everybody and that was a mistake. Now it’s like you get your own business coach. Each coach gets their own mentor who’s learned how to generate $15,000 a month themselves in a MadLab style gym. The math always worked and we’ve honed it and refined it. But our ability to teach people how to do this stuff, that’s what’s really improved in the last two years.
Robb: That’s awesome. And it’s interesting, a parallel evolution for the last 10, 15 years there’ve been billions of dollars spent trying to create apps that foster behavior change and diet change and healthy lifestyle and they’re abject failures. None of them do anything. And what folks are finally waking up to is there has to be some sort of a professional health coach involved in that process and there has to be a relationship. We’re a long ways away from pulling the meat bot out of that equation and having anything work well. So even within medicine itself there’s this kind of understanding that oh, we probably need to default to group health scenarios where if you’re a type two diabetic maybe have a doctor or a diabetes educator talking to you, but they’re talking to a group of 10 or 20 people like you and you build relationships and there’s accountability there. And this is working so much better than either the one off deal of going to see a doctor or the dream of our tech overlords to have some sort of an algorithmically driven app interface that somehow pats you on the back when you’re feeling down and makes shit work.
Robb: AI may make it there someday, but it’s a long ways off from that. So it’s interesting that there’s some convergent evolution both on more the fitness side but also the more mainstream medical side.
Craig: It’s interesting. They have to make a robot as charming as you Robby. Maybe that things got a chance.
Robb: That’s a low barrier of entry to beat that because I’ve been a prickly jerk of late.
Robb: Well Craig, I love you man and I just, again, can’t say enough good things about what you’ve been doing. It’s a huge honor being your friend and just being with you on this adventure. It’s been kind of crazy and we had predicted some of the things, at least in broad brush strokes, that have been playing out. Kind of thought it was going to happen sooner. It will be very fascinating to see how it all plays out over the long haul but I definitely agree with you that there’s a really important place for folks that want to run a professional gym and it’s a critical service to offer to communities and if the spirit calls you I would implore people to check out MadLab and do it right or at least kick the tires on doing it right. We’ve seen so many people … One of the most frustrating things that I personally saw within the CrossFit scene is there was this kind of dismissal of systems and hey kid, you get to go out on your own you figure it out and if you’re the smartest person you’ll get it. And that sounds great, but what the reality of that is is a bunch of idiots doing exactly the same mistakes that everybody who came before them did and there was no …
Robb: Civilization has occurred because we can learn from both the mistakes and the successes of our forebearers and within the CrossFit scene that was removed. You’ve just got to reinvent the wheel every fucking time and it had entirely predictable outcomes. And that has been maddening for me.
Craig: Yeah, there’s so many good people in there too. The people that are joining right now, some of them are … One’s a black gym owner and crying on our shoulder of how let down they were and stuff. But the biggest shame of this thing is gyms are doing the same mistakes. And I see a new guru or a new movement system or a new marketing thing come along every … Someone, just the loudest guy in the room, especially in those forums, which are probably the … I take myself out of those forums now on CrossFit. They’re probably the darkest place on earth. If you talk any sense you get attacked from all sides and people are still learning the stuff we learned 15 years ago and making the same mistakes like, “I’m going to do a free class on Saturday and we’re just going to run 15 people through a workout of some sort.” It’s like, god, you know there’s a way better way to do all these things. And it was always like go run it any way you want and you’re going to be successful. You know that’s not true.
Craig: CrossFit can be all kinds of different things. It can be a 24/7 card lock place with just equipment. It could be the commercial or commodity market. It could be that. It’s fine. The brand is whatever it’s become. If you want a professional gym that’s going down that path of trying to tackle the big problems … Robby, I know we’ve got to go, but we’ve got just a couple of things. We’re competing against drug companies now. That’s really what we’re going after. And they’re number’s like 2,000 a month. So I think we can do better than that for 1,000 a month. I know we can cure a lot of these type two diabetes problems and there’s all kinds of gyms joining us now that never were ever in the CrossFit community that are … They’re physiotherapists and they’re bolting a clinic onto this thing. They’ve got doctors and nurse practitioners and they know they need a professional coach to solve the problem. And it’s like look at all those corporate wellness programs. What’d they really do? All they did was the people that already have a gym membership, they get a free one.
Craig: The people that are in trouble or the people that we need to make a difference in, they’re not going to just walk into the gym. They’re not going to do it without very specific protocols of how to even get them in there in the first place, which is going to require a relationship. Instead of competing against the guy down the street that’s charging $10 less and fighting over those 5% of the people that would even go into a gym for $150 or $200 a month, now we’re looking at okay, we’ve got gyms in our network that are charging $1,000 a month. Because the alternative is $2,000 a month for pharmacological solution. So anyway, one last thought there.
Robb: No, I love it. I love it. I mean, that was a nice segue into the continuing work that I’m chipping away at on this medical risk assessment front. And some outfits like Virta Health where they’re reversing type two diabetes and they’re charging a small fraction of what the yearly nut is for dealing with a type two diabetic in exchange for giving these people back their lives. And they lean heavily on good coaches, both more like health coach versus trainers. But the way that they’ve grown and iterated over time is that they need more connections, more community, more people all working towards this common end because it’s a unfucking chronic degenerative disease is like … It’s very simple in practice and it’s incredibly complex in application because of the world we live in.
Craig: Yeah. 100%. I just had a thought, which is that the dolphin and the shark evolution, they kind of look the same after a while. I think you’re the shark and I’m the dolphin. This is where maybe we start working together again Robby. You know what I mean?
Robb: I’m in. I’m 100% in.
Craig: I’d love to bring the band back.
Robb: It’s too good of an idea for it to not happen so I’m in. This is part of the reason why I started The Healthy Rebellion. Our goal is to liberate a million people out of the sick care system. I’ve got kind of a three point delineation of what it means to be out of the sick care system. Really applies very tightly to the United States because of the broken third party payer system. Places like Canada and the UK and whatnot there’s some modifications to it, but fundamentally you need to know if you’re metabolically healthy and then you need access to good functional medicine practitioners. You need access to coaches. And then we need to deal with the payer piece ultimately. But yeah, I mean it dovetails in beautifully with what y’all are doing with MadLabs.
Craig: Yeah. I’d like to learn more about your three steps.
Robb: Well, we’ll talk more offline. I’m still keeping a little bit of that close to my chest, but I’ll share all that with you.
Craig: Well, Robby you’re my personal hero. You took a bullet for all of us, showed us what was coming down the pipe and prepared us. And I’ll always love you for it. You’re one of the toughest fucking kids I’ve ever met.
Robb: Thank you. Well I can’t wait to see you in real life and the first round of scotch is on me.
Craig: I got your first 15.
Robb: Okay, perfect.
Craig: But we got a lot of gyms in Texas so … We’ve got a lot of really good ones in Texas actually so-
Robb: Okay. Well, I hear road trip. I hear road trip and barbecue in the future.
Craig: The border’s still closed to July 21st is the latest I’ve heard, but we’ll see.
Robb: Okay. Well, we’ll make it happen. Well Craig, again, thank you so much for coming on and I’ll get in the show notes the link to the five shifts, to all of y’all’s contact info on social media and then also the main MadLabs website.
Craig: Yeah buddy. Play the long game. Always the long game man.
Robb: Okay. Take care.
Craig: Okay buddy.
Nicki: Spicy one today babe.
Robb: It was. I think the intro may have been even more spicy than where Craig and I were at. I was still kind of pumping the brakes on some of this stuff.
Nicki: I don’t know. Maybe it was the early hound wake up that set you off.
Robb: Provigil, coffee, and the rising sun just got me fired up.
Nicki: There we go. Thanks everybody for checking out today’s episode. Remember to check out today’s sponsor, Beekeeper’s Naturals. Give their propolis throat spray a try. Go to beekeepersnaturals.com/thr and use code THR at checkout for 15% off your order. And that’s a wrap folks. Thanks again for listening to another episode of Salty Talk.
Robb: Thank you wife.
Nicki: Thanks hubs.
Robb: And thank you everyone. Take care.
Nicki: We’ll see y’all next time.
Robb: Bye bye.
Nicki: As always, Salty Talk episodes are brought to you by Drink Element, the only electrolyte drink mix that’s salty enough to make a difference in how you look, feel, and perform. Get salty at drinklmnt.com. That’s drinklmnt.com