CROSSFIT CUMMING: A FUNDAMENTAL CUMMING OF AGE

Cumming CrossFit

Hunter and Jill Thornton opened CrossFit Cumming in Cumming, Georgia in April 2013 and immediately launched themselves on the fast track to burnout.

They were coaching pretty much all day everyday, not to mention trying to handle the business development and administrative side of things, as well as hosting community building events. In their first few months – between the two of them – they were easily investing 110 hours into their business each week. Outside of this, Hunter was holding on to his full-time job as a software developer.

They realized what they were doing wasn’t sustainable, but they weren’t sure how to go about making the changes. In fact, they weren’t even sure what the changes should be.

They reached out to Madlab Group member, Dan MacDougald of CrossFit Atlanta, and he steered the young couple toward Madlab Group, and before they knew it Hunter and Jill were off to Denver for Madlab’s Business Mentorship Program.

The first change they made after learning about Madlab’s business system was to start a true fundamentals program – a program that puts new athletes through 10 to 12 personal training sessions and graduates them to classes based on real physical benchmarks.

Charging $500 for 10 sessions was difficult for them at first, but the result surprised Jill.

“I was waiting for people to say, ‘I’m not doing that’ and walk out the door. But that’s not what happened…,” she said. What happened instead was that people – including themselves – started recognizing how valuable their product really was.

“The cost up front sounded like a shocker to us, too, but what people started to realize was that we’re not offering some sort of P90X ninety-day weight loss challenge. What we do is a lifelong process,” Hunter said of how he started to build confidence in what he was offering.

Jill added: “People who have been brought through the fundamentals say they can’t imagine starting a group class without doing fundamentals first.”

“And it’ s so much easier to coach now. Last summer, we’d have a group of 10, plus three people would walk in for a free trial, and I wouldn’t be able to work with the 10 people because the three new people needed to know how to start their rowing machine or do an air squat,” she added.

Today, Jill never has this problem. Instead, classes are full of people who have a solid understanding of all the movements, so they run much more smoothly and are less stressful for the coach.

But the real proof is in the numbers. As soon as they added more personal training, their revenue jumped from $8,000 to $12,000 in one month. And a couple months after that, they hit $16,000 in one month.

What has made making the change especially painless for Hunter and Jill has been the Madlab tools. The online library has provided them with constant information about business and coaching, and Zen Planner has allowed them to properly keep track of both their member and financial data. And the numbers do not lie.

“Zen planner is the financial heartbeat of our company as it tracks all of our financial data as it relates to our members…it is a must have for us,” Hunter said, adding, “Despite how we feel the gym is going, the tools tell us how we are really doing.”

But the tool that has helped them the most is the physical Benchmarks. It allows their members to understand exactly what level they need to be at to graduate to classes, so there’s never a gray area between the coach and client. This has helped make personal training sales much easier as it gives a tangible measurement to the sales process.

Hunter and Jill’s next step is to focus on their coaches, helping them earn professional wages. And they know that Madlab’s free market compensation system is the way to do it. It has given them a roadmap for success.

“Before, we didn’t have a plan. We didn’t have a plan at all,” Jill said. “And it seemed difficult to implement at the start, but you just have to have the confidence that your product is worth what it’s worth,” she said.