Barbell Business - Podcast for gym owners by Barbell Shrugged

📲 🎧 Listen to the audio version on the Apple Podcast App or Stitcher for Android Here


Barbell Shrugged helps people get better. Usually in the gym, but outside as well. In 2012 they posted their first podcast and have been putting out weekly free videos and podcasts ever since. Along the way we've created successful online coaching programs including The Shrugged Strength Challenge, The Muscle Gain Challenge, FLIGHT, Barbell Shredded, and Barbell Bikini.


We're also dedicated to helping affiliate gym owners grow their businesses and better serve their members by providing owners tools and resources like the Barbell Business Podcast.

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Find Barbell Business Here:





Direct download: Michael_Cazyoux.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41am PDT

Some fear is great because it keeps us alive. Are you afraid of making a left turn out into traffic when there’s not an opening? Good. Don’t die. Other fears, while they feel exactly the same in our bodies, are less useful. Are you afraid of sales conversations with prospects? Or of public speaking? Or of raising your membership prices? Yeah? We need to talk about that.

This week, we met up with Peter Scott of Fearless Life Experience to talk about the fears that stand in our way and how to conquer them. A former investment banker, Peter shares his personal story about how fear got him into a career that he found to be empty and unhealthy. Once he recognized that fear was his primary motivation and saw the ruinous path he was on, he changed course and transformed his life. Now he coaches other entrepreneurs on fearless living, which leads not only to a life that’s more fulfilling but a business that’s more profitable.

By confronting fears head-on, Peter takes us through the small and big things we can do to transform our fears (which may manifest as stress, anxiety, or worry) into confidence. Listen in to discover what might be waiting for you on the other side of your fear breakthrough.

On This Week’s Episode of Barbell Business, We Interview Peter Scott to Discuss:

  • The difference between rational and irrational fear
  • How competence leads to confidence
  • The personal and business benefits of a fearless life
  • How to confront fear and transform it into confidence
Direct download: Peter_Scott.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

How do you make your gym stand out when every other gym in town offers the same services and specials? I mean, we know your gym is the best, but how will your prospects know? We asked killer marketer Jeff Sherman of Tech Sweat about how to make a connection with your clients before you even meet them.

In this episode, we talk to him about what in the wide world of social media marketing is worth our time, what trends to let go of, and why it’s necessary in order to get our potential clients to know, like, and trust us before they become members.

If you have some discomfort about putting yourself “out there” on Facebook Live, Instagram, and elsewhere on the World Wide Web, this episode is for you. Jeff walks us through the most effective and easiest ways to create and curate content for our audiences, so that when we make them an offer, they’re fully prepared to say “yes.”

On This Week’s Episode of Barbell Business, We Interview Jeff Sherman to Discuss:

  • How to get prospects to know, like, and trust you
  • How to create and curate content
  • How to create an effective advertising funnel
  • The best tools for online marketing right now
Direct download: Jeff_Sherman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

This week, we met up with our friend Conner Moore at a box in Mission Viejo, California. To be clear, we said “a box,” not “his box.” That’s because Conner shut his box down. Ultimately, this is a story of Conner’s success, but we met with him today to talk about that particular phase of failure, what he learned, and how it can help the rest of us.

“I am really excited to be a part of this and share the story, because I think one thing that we missed is the idea that we can grow from critical failure, and we attached the idea that something is a success or failure when it's really just another flow of experience that we can then leverage to create further experience down the road.”

We talk to Conner about finding the “why” behind your business. In his case, his “why” ultimately took him to a better career fit. Listen in to hear his hard-won wisdom about making the most of your life.

Direct download: Conner_Moore.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT

This week, we took a trip to fabulous Las Vegas to meet up with old-school Barbell Business podcast host and two-time world-record-setting powerlifter AJ Roberts (Instagram: @ajroberts). He’s one of the few people in the industry with a very solid perspective on both business and training, and he’s one of our favorite speakers of all times.

AJ breaks down what he considers to be the three pillars of running a successful gym: sales, marketing, and experience. If you’re like most box owners we know, crafting a great client experience comes naturally to you, but sales and marketing might feel like something gross that happens on the used-car lot. In this episode, AJ offers insight that helps gym owners better understand what we already know: At the end of the day, we’re selling people happiness.

Tune in for an authentic, non-skeezy outlook that gets the best results not just for your clients, but for your business. No matter where your gym is on its path to awesomeness, this episode will help you solidify your thinking about what you want your gym to be.

For info on books and additional resources mentioned in the show, go to

Direct download: AJ_Roberts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT

We haven’t been able to independently verify it, but we think MMA trainer and entrepreneur Mike Dolce, of Dolce Fitness and The Dolce Diet, might be the hero of an old-school novel. Hear us out. After his father suffered a massive stroke, Dolce got a job as a New Jersey dock worker at the age of eight. Eight years old. Scraping barnacles off of fishing boats for $2 a day, like a… well, like a character right out of a legend. Being a forward-looking youngster, Dolce knew that $2 in his pocket wasn’t just that: If he kept it up, in 100 days he’d have $200. And if he found other work, he would have even more money. Growing up in straight-up poverty, Dolce didn’t feel entitled to anything except the right to work.

As a savvy eight-year-old, Dolce knew he had to work around the child labor laws in New Jersey. He stacked a paper route on top of his dock work and got a job with a printing shop at the age of 10. At this point, he had officially outpaced America’s classic self-made man, Benjamin Franklin, whose lazy bones didn’t start working at a printing shop until he was 12. (Benjamin Franklin obviously didn’t have Mike Dolce’s drive for excellence.) Franklin turned his print shop gig into his own newspaper operation, but Dolce had the good sense to go down to the 7-11 and buy muscle magazines with his hard-earned cash –– because that was an investment in the kind of future he wanted to have.

Dolce opened up the first iteration of his current fitness enterprise when he was only 17, without going into any debt. Now the founder and owner of Dolce Fitness and Dolce Diet, as well as being the owner of a real estate company and the founder of a non-profit dedicated to eradicating childhood obesity and eating disorders, Dolce joins us on this week’s episode to talk about good old-fashioned bootstrappin’.

Listen in as Mike Dolce gives us the real talk he’s become known for: no sugar-coating, no B.S., straight-up advice on how to rise up from the ashes like a [expletive] phoenix to make Benjamin Franklin jealous of your determination.

Direct download: Mike_Dolce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

You may have heard the expression, “C students make the best teachers.” They remember the struggle of not getting it. They tend to give students the kind of support they wish they’d had themselves when they were struggling to learn algebra (or English, or chemistry, or whatever). The same can be said of functional fitness coaches. While natural-born athletes can certainly make great coaches too, the self-described “fat kids” have a natural empathy for their prospects that helps close the sale and keep clients coming back. And as perverse as it sounds, we’ve observed that true empathy is often the key to getting dollar bills to rain down from the ceiling.

This week we went up to L.A. to meet with Fit Body Boot Camp’s Josh Carter, a fat kid turned swole, and one of the best in the business when it comes to marketing. From copywriting to group-closing, Josh takes us through the process that contributes to the astounding success of Fit Body Boot Camp. And it takes more than just remembering the feeling of wanting to get fit yourself.

“Here's the first thing I would recommend people do, is know your audience,” says Josh. “That would mean poll your audience. Other than knowing them, ask them, ‘What do you want? What are your goals?'... And get them to tell you, and then use their words. When you use their words, you can better speak to them.”

Listen in to hear about what a comprehensive marketing plan looks like for a gym, and get some good advice on how to close those sales. (ABC: A - Always. B - Be. C - Collecting email addresses. Always be collecting email addresses.) The good news for the many of us who don’t love the “sales” part of our job: Closing prospects at a gym should be mutually beneficial every time––otherwise we’re just crooks. We should believe in our product to the extent that if a potential client walks, we legit feel bad for them. As Josh explains, “When we’re selling, we’re literally selling health and happiness.” Take this knowledge to heart, and then get them to sign on the line that is dotted.



Direct download: Josh_Carter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

We have a super-exciting guest this week. A big “get,” if you will. We’ve been wanting to feature him on the podcast for years, because we’re his biggest fans. That’s right, kids! This week we got to talk to Markus Gerszi, of Barbell Business fame! [Thunderous applause; confetti falls from the ceiling.]

Joking aside, it was very cool to be in Markus’s old box in Orange County, CA, this week. Markus is a smart dude, which is why we keep him around. We’ve been wanting to get his best practices for accountability on the record, so that’s what this episode is all about. [Thunderous applause; even more confetti falls from the ceiling.]

In this business, we tend to be very client-focused. We want the best for our clients, or we’d be doing something else for a living. We have a natural impulse to hold them accountable, with everything from documenting their workouts to journaling their meals to setting long-term goals (and occasionally standing in for their therapists). Join us as we talk about some common-sense, often-overlooked methods for reliable client accountability.

And while we’re on the subject of accountability, let’s talk about you. It’s almost second-nature to keep our clients accountable. But who or what do you have in place to keep yourself consistently in-check? This includes your personal fitness goals as well as the daily operations of your business. Long-term goals, too. If you’re like most gym owners, your answer to this question is, “Mumble mumble clients busy mumble.” And unfortunately, “Mumble mumble clients busy mumble” isn’t a sustainable strategy. As Doug points out, “Holding yourself accountable is a totally different ballgame.” Most of us know we should do it, but don’t have a great idea about how.

In this episode, we talk to Markus about the best strategies to hold your clients accountable, your team accountable, and yourself accountable. Listen in to learn commonsense strategies that you can implement right away for a stronger business.

Direct download: Accountability.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Who do you learn from when you’re already at the top of your field? How do you get the motivation to grow when you’re already, frankly, pretty awesome? Maybe there are worse problems to have… Okay, there are definitely worse problems to have. But as entrepreneurs, this is the challenge that we all hope to face at some point. This week we travelled to Chino Hills, California to interview someone who knows a ton about the top tier of personal development: Bedros Keuilian, CEO and founder of the Fit Body Boot Camp empire.

Bedros has one of the fastest-growing franchises on the planet, so when he thinks about improving his business and himself, he describes his current state as being like 211º degree water –– he just needs one more degree to make a monumental impact. While there’s a lot you can do at 211º, at 212º you have steam. It’s the difference between cooking an egg and powering a locomotive.

As tempting as it might be to stand on top of that mountain and pat yourself on the back, there’s so much to be gained from continuing to improve yourself, even when you’re at the top of your field. He maintains the same mindset he had as the fat, broke foreigner he describes from his youth, even though he’s now an ultra-fit kajillionaire. Self-development is the highest priority not just for himself, but for his employees (who he describes as working at a “self-development company that happens to be in the fitness industry.”) But where do the Bedros Keuilians of the world plug in? Just as his clients plug in to him for advice and growth, he needs to learn and recharge somewhere.

Listen this week to learn where to find your built-in mentors, why you want to be a fighter jet, and why Bedros would rather get attacked by a shark right now than go write the next chapter in his book. (And why he’s gonna go write the next chapter in his book right now anyway.)

Enjoy the show,


Direct download: Bedros_Keuilian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

What would it take to get Casey Jenks functional fitness sainthood status? Is that a thing? If we just put his face on a medal and wear it around our gym, will that do the trick?

Casey’s the creator of Fitbot, the software that keeps our personal training programs from being our personal nightmares.

One thing we’ve found as gym owners is that people very rarely stumble upon a great opportunity without first encountering a world of pain. For Casey (and for us before he came along with Fitbot,) the pain was in the logistics of maintaining individualized fitness plans for personal training clients. To manage all the aspects of a program with remote, in-person, and hybrid clients, the whole digital circus would have to come to town: email, Excel, Google Docs, Evernote, Vimeo, copying, pasting, smartphones, desktops. When Casey would ask other coaches how they were keeping track of fitness plans, the same gigantic list of tools would come up. Luckily for all of us in fitness entrepreneurship, Casey already happened to be a software developer.

“I got sick of it, and decided to fix it. And I’ve believed that I could do a better job than what was being done. And I believe that what coaches and trainers do is a super-important part of society, and the tools they had at the time were just complete shit. And I believe that they deserve better.”

But let’s back up to why efficient individualized fitness plans are even necessary: A lot of coaches start with group fitness, and this is where they feel most comfortable. So this is sometimes where they want to stay. But personal training is what your gym needs in order to extend the lifecycle of your members. We see a ton of burnout after two years, but with a robust personal training program, you not only extend the interest and commitment of your clients, but you create a useful career path for your coaches.

Join us as we talk to Casey about how well-managed personal training programs increase income, improve employee and client retention, and get the best athletic results.

Direct download: BBB_CaseyJenks_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT