Shrugged Collective

Barbell Business – How to Automate Your Gym


  • The difference between systems and automation
  • Why you need both
  • How to start creating systems at your gym
  • Automated sales/marketing campaigns you can implement at your gym
  • The system we developed and use to do it all

Let’s start with the basics – the difference between systems and automation. Mike explains that a system is a procedure or process that’s used for providing specific products or services to your members. Automation is what happens next. It’s taking the systems you’ve defined as the very best and setting them up so there’s little to no human touch needed.


AJ suggests that one of your business objectives should be to build your gym as if you’re going to sell it. It’s irrelevant whether you want to sell or not and here’s why. One of the things buyers look for when deciding to purchase a business is if it can run without you there. If your gym depends on you to be the manager, leader, sales rep, marketing pro, Insta-model, and head coach there’s nothing to buy except for a bunch of equipment that’s depreciating by the metcon. If you were to structure your gym so it’s less dependent on you and your staff just think of what that means for your quality of life. That means you can actually take a vacation and come back with the electricity still on.

Automating your sales and marketing is a great place to start because there’s a lot of repetitive, mundane, (let’s call it what it is) bitch work that goes into keeping that aspect of your business running. These boring details can suck the passion out of any gym owner, leaving you no time to think about big picture ideas and strategic ways to make the world (or at least your surrounding area) a fitter place.

Delegating is a better option for you, but it still sucks for your staff. Your coaches left their sales jobs to coach, not to do sales for you. Hiring an intern is also an option, but is it wise to pass off some of the most important aspects of your box’s success to a kid who recently retired his kendama?  Operating marketing and sales properly is a tough and important task which is usually why the owners just suck it up and do it themselves. Does this sound like you?


Markus suggests you start by identifying the times you communicated with a member or a potential member and nailed it – then template that. Replicate it over and over again and make sure you’re tracking its success or lack thereof.

As a business owner, chances are you’re a highly intuitive person. That’s definitely something to celebrate as it has its perks in all walks of life. But you can’t always rely on your gut. Often times, what you feel isn’t necessarily what’s happening. Membership cancellations and no shows become emotional when your strategy is based solely off of what’s happening in your head. Tracking your systems’ successes with metrics will help you make better business decisions sans emotional outbursts.

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A photo posted by Barbell Business (@barbellbusiness) on


If you’re a fan of our show, you’ve heard our team discuss the importance of 4-hour work weeking the hell out of everything you do. If you’ve ever read Tim Ferris’ book, you know that this concept is a no-brainer to align with but it’s also a pretty difficult thing to set up. Sure you can implement a few campaigns like the examples we just gave you, but creating systems that run automatically to create maximum results with minimal effort which still has a personalized and one-on-one feel takes a LOT of upfront work.

And when you’re in that never-ending cycle of trying to run your gym the manual way, it just doesn’t seem like a possibility. It just didn’t sit right with us to preach that you should automate, and create, and run your gym, and differentiate, and do content marketing (the list goes on and on) without offering a way to do all of this that makes sense for the average gym owner. That’s why we teamed up with Markus and his team to create Barbell Logic.

If this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, click here to watch an on-demand webinar of Barbell Logic. 

Mike Bledsoe

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