What it means to be a MadLab First Seal Facility

Like the Michelin 3-star rating system for restaurants, we have our own MadLab 3-star system for gyms.

The 3 levels are designed so owners can monitor their progress as they build their business to eventually become a Three Seal facility.

The ultimate business goals being:

  1. A sustainable business model and business plan
  2. Professional coach/trainer development
  3. Quality control — specific standards

We believe this is the best way to bring a level of standardization to the fitness industry, so clients, coaches and the business are all successful.

Let’s take a look at what is required to reach the first step: A First Seal Facility.


Dan ‘the Dood’ MacDougald of CrossFit Atlanta receiving his First Seal at the MadLab Summit in Vegas last June

To become a first seal facility, you need:

1. Owner Mastery

The owner/head coach must first become a leader capable of selling and delivering world-class training (one-on-one personal training) to clients before he begins training other coaches to work under him/her.

2. Robust fundamentals program

This means new clients all must go through 12-20 one-on-one (or two-on-one) personal training sessions with the same coach (their coach for life) before eventually graduating to group classes/hybrid membership/specialty classes.

After completing their fundamentals program, clients should be familiar with all the movements required for ongoing fitness via group classes, specialty courses, continued personal training and/or individual programming. More importantly, all clients should have an understanding of appropriate progressions, as well as their current fitness level and limitations.

WHY we believe fundamentals should be done this way:

One-on-one personal training is the best way to:

a. teach people how to move properly

b. develop relationships with clients

c. encourage client referral and retention

d. increase business revenue

e. incentivize coaches to be invested in their clients.

In short, it is the only way to professionalize the fitness coach. Without a robust fundamentals program, there is no chance.

3. Graduation from fundamentals

Graduation to group classes should be done based on MadLab benchmarks (objective physical standards in place to keep people safe and injury-free, and to ensure everyone in group classes has a solid understanding of the movements and their own fitness level and limitations).


4. Cost

Minimum cost of personal training needs to be on par with your local market personal training rates. Monthly memberships/hybrid memberships need to be near high-end market rates.

Stay tuned for 2nd Seal Facility Requirements next week!

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