Focused on the Long Game with Gym Owner Ashleigh Gass
Ashleigh Gass, the owner of MOVE Gymnastics Inspired Strength Training in Clearwater, Florida has been a Madlab Group member for the last year-and-a-half. She’s been in the field of Exercise Physiology and Strength & Conditioning for 20 years.
When she came to Madlab, she had a strong private clientele and newly forming group class structure, but she was basically giving away her fundamentals program for free: Five classes for just $65.
“We kind of were just copying what other Gymnastics Bodies Affiliates were doing at the time—offering a really cheap starters package,” she said. Eventually, though, Gass realized her fundamentals program was too cheap and that she needed a better client onboarding system if she wanted to stay in this for the long haul.
“We got rid of that shortly after being introduced to Madlab,” said Gass, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Sports Nutritionist (CNC, MS, CISSN). Now, her fundamentals program costs $387.
“This program is still a relatively low barrier to entry, but it gives people skin in the game,” she said. And once their skin is in the game, she is confident they will continue on into a hybrid membership, which includes group classes, as well as private training with their coach—another feature she implemented since joining Madlab.
The addition of hybrid memberships have been “the biggest area of growth” since joining Madlab, said Gass, whose gym offers a blend of traditional strength and conditioning, joint mobility and stretching, functional range conditioning (FRC), CrossFit, gymnastics strength training and acrobatics.
“It really helps coaches take care of their clients by having direct contact with them more often, and helps members not get lost in the shuffle (once they’re in classes).”
Once Gass made changes in her membership structure, it became time to work on coach development. Her problem was similar to that of many other gym owners. She felt she needed to duplicate herself, as she was just too booked with clients, which took away from her ability to work on the business.
She was introduced to Jason Lapiana, who has been a “godsend” and is now head coach and Senior Apprentice leader. Blythe Zava (we think she’s secretly Wonder Woman) has recently also stepped into a bigger role at the facility, leading many of her own classes and taking a larger role in the private training side of the business.
Gass now is able to spend more time “ON” the business, which includes strong growth in the online space, which she heads up with coach Jason.
As Jason and Blythe continue to grow and expand their business, Gass will focus more on business development, client care and retention, online program development and scaling. She’s hoping in the next couple years, Jason, Blythe, and Kyler (current junior coach) transition into full-time, career coaches and business owners themselves.
Gass’ other big goal is to continue to build her online business, which currently brings in approximately 20 to 30 percent of MOVE’s revenue.
Though MOVE’s online program, which includes assessment and individual program design for remote clients, is something she built without Madlab’s input, Madlab was instrumental in helping everyone wrap their heads around delivery in the online space—particularly within the facility—with the live streaming of classes and continual coaching of private clients.
“When COVID hit, Madlab really helped us think about how to transition the gym business into a seamless online presence. They helped us wrap our heads around it,” she said.
This has only helped her continue to build her remote training business since reopening her doors, and she hopes her online business will eventually become an equal source of revenue as her in-person one.
Like all Madlab gyms, Gass is focused on the long game.
“I just want to keep growing. In two years, I’d love for us to be an even stronger presence in Clearwater, to have more full-time coaches, and to have a really great online presence, she said.
And she knows having Madlab in her corner can help her achieve this.