Independence CrossFit

Independence CrossFit


CrossFit Independence owner Joel Woods opened his affiliate in January 2011.

Before finding Madlab in 2013, his on ramp system was a mess. Usually intro classes consisted of small groups of three to six people, and every six months Joel would try to re-invent his whole intake program as nothing was bringing him much success.

Pre-Madlab, he had six part-time coaches all getting paid $15 to $20 an hour, all of whom had other nine to five jobs, leaving them little time and zero incentive to really care about CrossFit Independence’s livelihood.

Woods arrived in Denver for the Madlab Business Mentorship course in September 2013 and returned home to Cleveland ready to overthrow his system.

“I came home, and sat everyone down. I’ve always had a goal of being a world class gym, but I wasn’t sure how to put it into a system,” Joel explained. That is, until Madlab showed him the way.

“I came back and said, ‘We’ve found something here, and we’re going to do it,’” he remembered of what he told his coaches after his weekend in Denver.

First, he made morning and evening coaching teams, ensuring no coach would have to coach at both 6 am and 7 pm, ultimately avoiding burnout.

“And then at the end of a couple weeks, we took them all out for dinner, one-on-one, and gave them some feedback and asked if they were on board with Madlab, and whether they were interested in becoming a full-time coach,” Joel said.

Joel saw an instant difference in his coaches, who were suddenly more invested in their job at his gym. “Classes started running so much smoother, too,” he said.

Today, things at Joel’s affiliate look much different than 2011. On-ramp is gone in favor of 12-15 personal training sessions – which coaches get paid a percentage for – and Joel’s personal coaching hours have done way down leaving him more time to work on other aspects of his business.

Further, revenue in the first month went up by 38%, and he finally started to see a profit. “We used to average $500 a month in profit. And in the last three months, we have made $5000 a month,” he said.

On top of this, he now has three coaches doing the apprenticeship program. He’s learning as he goes, but Madlab’s Online Library is constantly providing him the information he needs to raise his apprentices into professional coaches.

The Online Library provides him with structure to the program, data in the form of real numbers to show his coaches so they truly understand the system, and valuable resources, such as written exams for his apprentices to write, in pertinent fields like anatomy, exercise physiology and nutrition.

Madlab has also made Joel an even bigger believer in the free market. “It gives your coaches self-worth and a sense of accomplishment – a sense of ownership. They learn that, ‘This is my business and I can be as great as I want to be,’” explained Joel of why he believes paying coaches based on the revenue they bring in is better than paying them a small hourly wage.

“Also, it gets us in the same boat. We have the same fears, the same risks,” he said. “It drives excellence,” he added.