Barbell Business - Podcast for gym owners by Barbell Shrugged

There is a big difference between working IN your business vs ON your business. No matter what industry you are in, there is a milestone that every entrepreneur needs to hit in order to take their business to the next level. That milestone is systemization. 

In this episode, we catch up with Angelo Sisco, our head business coach at Barbell Ethos, and Jason Dunbar, founder of Iron Fire Athletics & CrossFit Poway, to talk about the process of setting up systems in a gym business. model. 

If you are currently in a place with your gym where you are coaching classes, doing admin work, managing finances, and struggling to find time to even think about sales & marketing, you are very much in a survival state. It is common as entrepreneurs to assume that the answer is to just work harder. That is simply just not true. In my experience, and what holds true in all business, is creating an environment where  the day to day tasks are outsourced, automated, and systematized. When this is achieved, there is a shift out of the the survival state into a state of clarity where you can focus on growth, and more importantly, create the time to focus on what you enjoy doing.

Enjoy the show,


Direct download: BBB_Poway_Audio.mp3
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Direct download: VSLETHOS.mp3
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As entrepreneurs, we all have a vision for what we want to create in the world. Having a vision is great, but it is worthless if you are not executing on it. One of the most effective ways to take action is to work with someone who has achieved the same goals you aspire towards. Not only will they help you create a strategy, but they will hold you accountable to executing on that strategy.

In this final episode of this 3 part series, we are going to talk about how our individualized coaching program, can help you execute on your vision.

If you are a gym owner looking to build a thriving gym business, and are willing to put in the work to get there, we invite you to apply to our new coaching program, BARBELL ETHOS. This is an individualized, one on one coaching program, so spots are limited. To learn more and apply, visit

With gratitude,


Direct download: Ethos_PLV3_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CDT

Community is the corner stone of what makes a box thrive. It is what sets you apart from the rest of the gyms out there, and with an ever growing competitive market, that is more true than ever before.

One of the hardest aspects of growing a gym business is maintaining a strong community while scaling the business. It is challenging to do both, but not impossible. 

In Part 2 of this series, we talk about how you can scale your business while still maintaining the “tribe: like feeling for your members. 

The thing is, there is no “one size fits all” approach to succeed at this. Rather, you need to analyze what matters most to your members and build an experience around that. We can help you do this.

Watch this episode of our 3 part mini series to learn how, and leave us a comment to let us know how this has provided value to you. 

With gratitude,


Direct download: Ethos_PLV2_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CDT

As gym owners, we are in the business of showing people the value of coaching and investing in their health. As entrepreneurs, it only makes sense that investing in ourselves is equally as valuable. 

In this week’s show we interview Marci Lock. Marci is a very successful coach, and you can tell why as soon as you hear her speak in this episode. She works with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, and charges 1 million dollars a year to work with her.

She obviously did not start out that way, and in fact was a waitress at the Olive Garden when she got started with coaching. What elevated her success, was her willingness to invest in herself and make bold decisions even when others encouraged her to take the safe path. 

As entrepreneurs we can’t afford to take the safe path, and in this episode you will find some insight into how you can start on a path of growth in your entrepreneurial journey.

Enjoy the show,


Direct download: BBB_Marci_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CDT

Anytime I wanted to be the best or even just a little better at something, I got a coach. Whether it's being a better weightlifter, a better entrepreneur or a better husband to my wife, I got a coach to help me.
As a gym owner, you know the value of coaching to your members, but do you apply that in your business? Gym owners absolutely need coaches to help them with the business too.
But what makes a good business coach? What qualities or traits should you seek out in a business coach? Obviously, someone who has experience and success but that's only surface level. Think deeper and there are skills that all great coaches must possess to truly enact change and progress with their clients.
What can happen to you without a coach? You may fair ok in the short term, but more than likely in the long run, the journey will be way more difficult with less return for your efforts. There also may be some consequences besides making running a successful gym more difficult that you may not have thought about.
That's why we decide to open our Personal Business Coaching for Gym Owners series with why it's absolutely critical for you as a gym owner to have a coach. Watch or listen to our mini-podcast below and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Thanks for taking the time,
Mike Bledsoe
Direct download: Ethos_PLV1_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CDT

If you have been watching our show, you have heard us say it many times- We are in a relationship business. With the amount of gyms in the market, that is more more true than ever before. If you want to succeed in building a strong community, you need to focus on connecting with your clients and building an experience that they value. That experience starts the first time they walk into your gym. 

In this week’s show, we are podcasting with Jordan Harbinger. Jordan runs The Art of Charm, a podcast focused on helping top performers build advanced social skills. Art of Charm has been around for over 10 years and Jordan has had his fair share of experience diving into the deep psychology of communication and social interaction. Not to mention, Jordan has is a member of a CrossFit gym, and shares his experience of what it was like joining multiple gyms in the LA area, and what each gym felt like from the clients perspective. 

In this episode, we discuss, 

  • Tips & Tactics for developing higher level communication skills
  • Why community is the most important aspect of your marketing
  • Physical and verbal tactics for making the best first impression
  • Why you need to remove negative people from your business and personal life

Enjoy The Show,


Direct download: BBB_artofcharm_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CDT

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a process in life that could help you rapidly advance your progress?

Well there is. It’s called mentorship. Just like a coach or a personal trainer, a mentor is someone who can guide you through the process and show you a clear path to your goals. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do the work, it just means you have someone who has gone through the same process to help you get there faster, and with more clarity.

We visited Mycal Anders at CrossFit PHX to talk about this topic. Mycal is the founder of PHX and also the host of the Feed Me, Fuel Me podcast. Mycal has built an amazing business, and is very focused on giving back and providing opportunities to those passionate about building a career in the fitness industry.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The apprenticeship phase and the value of learning from experience
  • How to provide growth opportunities in your community
  • How to find passionate individuals to mentor and work in your gym 
  • Why building a team allows you to be a better entrepreneur 
Direct download: BBB_PHX_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CDT

If you are like most gym owners, you started a box because you are passionate about fitness. You wanted to turn your passion into a career, and you started a gym on the side in conjunction with your day job. 
Now if you are like most gym owners, you also noticed that running a gym and trying to work your day job was a lot harder than you expected. You hit a plateau with how your business was scaling, and you realized that there are just not enough hours in the day to have a day job, and still have your gym grow into what you want it to be.
If this was you, or is still you, you need to listen to this episode. This week, we met with Christian Valencia at his office in Orange County, CA. Christian is the CEO of a company called HIIT Bottle. Although Christian is not a gym owner, his story is very similar to yours. 
Christian came up with the idea for HIIT in 2014 after exploding a generic shaker bottle of whey all over himself. He realized there needed to be something better, and he got to work in creating a higher quality all purpose shaker bottle. What resulted was HIIT Bottle. 
Since then Christian has been on a journey of shifting HIIT Bottle from a side project to a fully operational business. In his story are lots of insights and tips on how he transitioned into running HIIT Bottle full time.
Enjoy the show,
Direct download: BBB_HIITBottle_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CDT

We are excited to share a special kind of show with you this week. We had Justin Ross of Monkey Reel Media come visit us to teach you about marketing with video. Justin creates high quality video content for gyms and in this episode we talk about why video is the most important type of content you need to have in your marketing strategy.
This is a special show because instead of just an interview, we shot a live demo where Justin shows you how you can create high quality video testimonials with your iPhone. You do not need expensive equipment nor do you need to hire an outside videographer to make videos. It just takes a little know how. We are excited to have Justin on to show you how to make your content stand out. 
Since part of this show is a demo, you are going to want to watch this episode instead of listening to the audio version. Head over to the Barbell Business blog, or tune in via our youtube channel to learn how you can stand out in the market, and start shooting high quality videos for your gym. 
Also, if you are excited about creating video content for your gym, and want to step up your game, Justin has put together a training series to help gym owners learn how they can create high quality video content on their own. We highly suggest you check it out.
enjoy the show,
Direct download: MonkeyPodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am CDT