Shrugged Collective

From $0 to $60k in 6 months – Case Study with Adee Zukier


Have you ever thought about coaching clients online? If so, this episode of Barbell Business is just what you need to hear.

This week we chat with Adee Zukier, weightlifter and founder of the wildly successful nutrition consulting company, Working Against GravityIt’s true, in just one year Adee’s business has grown from zero to 700 clients, and is now producing around $60,000.00 in monthly income. That’s extraordinary, but her success makes perfect sense after hearing her story.

Here are 4 key lessons that she has leveraged from the very start.

1. Start by sharing your experience.

Adee wasn’t looking to start a business at first. She was actually in the process of completing her master’s degree in education at the time. Also, she was getting ready to move down to North Carolina to train with Travis Mash.

The only thing she had left before graduation was her final project, which was to create an online portfolio of her teaching experience. But Adee wanted to take it a step further. Her advisor agreed, “Why not create a website that will promote your journey as an athlete, and also help you to connect with people?”

As Adee progressed as a lifter she naturally started to get a lot of training and diet questions on social media. Before long, friends were getting great results and were more than happy to pay for her help. In that sense, starting her business was the obvious thing to do.

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 10.36.54 AM Check out Adee’s site, Working Against Gravity.


2. Automate and systemize.

How does the WAG team actually manage the diet programs of 700 clients?

On the podcast, Adee talks about how overwhelmed she was after growing her business from 5 to around 80 clients. It just seemed like so much work. Each new program was taking about 45 minutes or more to create, which in hindsight was just far too much time.

If you want your business to grow, you should make sure that your efforts scale. That means implementing simple systems for tasks that can be automated. For example, program and food selection templates now make it possible for Adee to create new client programs in just about 10 minutes.

Other examples include putting together videos or FAQ sections to better explain programing and address commonly asked questions. That keeps you from having to repeat yourself, which wastes FAR more time than you might think. And of course, it also improves the quality and consistency of communication.

It’s also a very good idea to automate routine client emails, just because writing dozens and dozens of emails instead of just sending it out one time is silly.


3. Build better relationships. 

Automation might sound like a great way to do less work (it is!), but it also allows you to spend more time on what matters most – Building better relationships with the people you work with.

It’s no surprise why Adee has done so well. She reinvests all the time saved back into her clients, and they seem to love her for that. They also get better results because of it, and actually end up doing a lot of her marketing via word of mouth and social network shares.

The other upside is that the most successful and passionate clients also tend to make great coaches when recruited. That’s definitely been a big factor in Adee’s growth.

Ain’t nobody messin’ with my clique. Look out for A Weightlifters Journey Part 4 on @barbellshruggedpodcast. A photo posted by adeezukier (@adeezukier) on


4. Remember, just give people what they want. 

The biggest mistake you can make in business is trying to do what YOU think is important all the time. That’s not how it works.

This is also where the relationships come into play again. If you take the time to engage and listen to people, then you will have a much better understanding of their true wants and needs, right? From there, success in business then becomes a simple thing to achieve. All you have to do is give your clients exactly what they want.

That doesn’t mean you can’t deliver more, but if you start with their specific needs and desires you’ll create a superior experience.





Chris Moore is a writer, recovering meathead, fledgling raconteur and rabid imbiber. He's also cohost and resident potty mouth on Barbell Shrugged, a weekly podcast devoted to Crossfit, strength, fitness and all things brash. His experience is drawn from over twenty-years spent training for and competing in American Football, Powerlifting, a bit of strongman and a dash of mixed martial arts. Also, it's possible that he's had one too many cups of coffee. A caffeine fever is a hell of a thing, you know?


  • I absolutely loved this episode! Adee, I google-stalked you after listening and came across your Catalyst Athletics forum entries from 2011 and read each one, is that weird? Anyways, your business resonates with me in such a strong manner. I love the work you are doing and someday I hope to help people in the same way! I currently design macro-balanced meal plans on the side for friends and family (with great results) and the only thing holding me back from making it a business is the legal/licensing side of things (I’m not an RD or a nutritionist).

    I think it’s genius that you REQUIRE “before” photos in order to receive a plan. Also, the positive affirmation prior to stepping on a scale is a great idea!

    You’re an inspiration!

  • I really took a lot away from this podcast, I’m definately going to try and implement some of these structures in strengthgeeks. Great work guys!

  • This podcast was awesome. Definitely enjoy hearing from entrepreneurial guests. You guys should try to get more guests from the sports nutrition/supplement industry like Cory Gregory, Brian MacKenzie, etc.

    • When you commit to a program, and have a person on the other end holding you accountable, real changes start to occur. Give it a try. Worst case, you get leaner.

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