80. Andrew Frezza | Seven Figure Box

80. Andrew Frezza | Seven Figure Box

In this episode, Ackerman sits down with Andrew Frezza who is one of the owners of CrossFit Palm Beach in Jupiter, FL. Which has been open for close to 7 years, last year brought in over seven figures in profits and has reached that 500 members. For a box that is out of the heavily density populated area is amazing. This may be a surprise as you’ve probably never heard of either himself or this brother Tony Frezza or Crossfit Palm Beach if you live outside of Florida area. This episode really highlights what it takes to make your box grow as a business and how you don’t need to be on Staff to do that or have a Games athletes training at your gym. What it becomes clear from Andrew was how much he’s cared about his members having the best hour of their day had helped the box grow to where it is today. 

Timestamps

  • How did you get 500 members? (3:17)
  • How do you measure that it is the best hour of their for your members? (6:52)
  • Professionalizing coaching = professionalizing pay (9:02) 
  • Lesson Plans (10:42)
  • Ideal class size (16:52)
  • Finding new coaches (20:43)
  • Core Values (21:48) 
  • Taking the class (29:54)
  • How to connect with clients better (33:52) 

Books:

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

Enlightened Hospitality – A Service Guide to building and maintaining a beautiful business by Eric Fisher

https://www.amazon.com/Enlightened-Hospitality-building-maintaining-beautiful/dp/1945909242

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle

During the podcast, Andrew talked about his courses they that run it under Seven Figure Box.

Course:

https://rockstar-coaching-course.teachable.com/p/rockstar-coaching-course

Instagram:@sevenfigurebox

Social Media:

Andrew Frezza:

Instagram: @andrewfrezza

Crossfit Palm Beach:

Instagram @crossfitpalmbeach

Website: https://crossfitpalmbeach.com/

We value your feedback. After listening, please hit me up with any questions, comments, or thoughts on how we can make this show even better, and if you enjoyed it, please share it!

Instagram; @besthouroftheirday

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Check out our website – besthouroftheirday.com – to learn more about our private coaches development group.

Andrew Frezza .mp4 transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

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Ackerman:
All right, I’m here with Andrew Fraser. Andrew, you are the owner of Crossfit, Palm Beach. Where are you sitting right now?

Andrew Frezza:
I’m in Jupiter, Florida. I’m up in the office, upstairs in the gym.

Ackerman:
So do you know my good friend Jenny Orr?

Andrew Frezza:
I do know Jenny. Yes, she’s right. Right down the street. She did my level one and my level two.

Ackerman:
Yeah. So you grew up in New Jersey. Though, like like you didn’t grow up there. You were born there.

Andrew Frezza:
Yeah.

Ackerman:
Currently ,where are you?

Andrew Frezza:
I’m not claiming New Jersey . So, you know,.

Ackerman:
Where, where New Jersey are you from.

Andrew Frezza:
I was born in New Brunswick and we moved down here when I was three. But we’ve pretty much gone back every single year because I saw a family up there. So my family was in Piscataway for a while. My dad went to records and then they’re now a little bit north of there. And like Hackett’s town area, most most people don’t probably know where that is. But if you’re in New Jersey, you might have heard of it.

Ackerman:
Well, you’re in a much warmer place. You know, I’m from the from the northeast and I move down here a few years ago and I love it. But. Let’s be honest, a lot of people listen to this podcast and they’re used to these big names, Chuck Carswell, Adrian Bosnian, so maybe they’re tuning into this and like whose it is? Andrew Frezza guy right here and here. You have big shoes to fill here. But a lot of coaches listen in, a lot of box owners is something very unique about what you’ve been able to do is create quite a facility there. Crossfit, Palm Beach.

Andrew Frezza:
Definitely. I think anytime I can be on a podcast or in the same conversation as Chuck Carswell, it’s that it’s a pretty cool honor. So I’m excited about that. And hopefully, if anything, what I bring to the table is this idea that you don’t have to be a seminar staff, you don’t have to have a name in our industry to build a successful German, a successful box. So, yeah. I mean, we’ve been at Crossfit, Palm Beach for six and a half years now. My brother and I, we own the gym, Tony. And yeah, we built a successful business. Last year was by far our best year ever. We surpassed seven figures in annual revenue last year, surpassed 500 members, which was two goals we had for a while. And we have a thriving Crossfit, program. We have a thriving boot camp program that we called Beach Fitt. And and yeah, it’s been it’s been a good ride. And I think that we’ve we’ve done some good things along the way. We’ve made some mistakes. And I hopefully have a lot to to share with you guys today that will help some affiliate owners out there just like me.

Ackerman:
Yeah, that’s that’s why we have you on here. And I guess the first question I want to ask you is a lot of box owners hear Five hundred members. And they think that’s impossible for them to get to. What have been some of the decisions you’ve made along the way that have allowed you to get to 500 members? Because that’s I mean, that’s challenging, I think in this day and age for a boxes, One hundred to one hundred and fifty solid members, they’re doing a pretty good job. I think the average membership in a box is probably somewhere in the 60s average because we forget about all the boxes that are grinding it out or, you know, in small areas. So five hundred members is incredible. You know, congratulations on that. But how did you do it?

Andrew Frezza:
That’s a that’s a loaded question. Actually, right now we’re we’re in the process of finally like designing a really, really detailed staff handbook, and I was going through and creating like a year by year history for our gym. So it’s just kind of revisiting some of the some of the milestones along the way that kind of helped us get there. But I think the biggest one is just always putting our focus on the class experience. One of our core values here is the class comes first. You know, a lot. A lot of places have core values if you don’t yet have core values. I would highly recommend having core values, but a lot of core values are very up in the air things. It’s things like integrity and discipline and and stuff that, you know, one person hears that where they think of one thing, another person hears that where they think it’s something else. For us, we want to have something that was really tangible. And one of ours is that the class comes first. Then we’ve always tried to put our focus and attention on making that class experience a little bit better. And, you know, when you’re on the coaching floor, you’re 100 percent your attention is on those people in the class. It’s your coach in the 8:00 a.m. class. It’s the people that are there for from 8 to 9 a.m. And as soon as that class ends, that focus shifts to the next class to help them have that best hour of their day. And you know, when I was revisiting some of our history and we’ve had gyms closed down in the area, we’ve run things like the New You challenge and we’ve seen these huge spikes in membership.

Andrew Frezza:
But I think the only reason we’ve been able to hang onto those people and turn it into something is because we’ve always doubled down on that class experience. And I think that’s that’s something for all of gym owners to kind of hang their hat on as if you can keep that exceptional. And even when you’re not getting new faces in the door, you can at least hold onto the ones you have and get the occasional referrals here and there for when things happen around you. A gym closes down. You know, you get approached to do a new challenge or something just clicks for you. Marketing wise, you’re going to be a really good position. And I think that got us, you know, just kind of building that got us to about 300 members. What really got us the next step further was was focusing on processes and systems and in trying to work on the business and not just in for us. One of the biggest things that helped us was having a front desk staff. I mean, if you’re gonna have that kind of volume of people, you’d have to have a really structured staff that’s gonna be handling a lot of those repetitive miscellaneous tasks and can have a lot of those front end conversations for you. So that one was a big one for us. But but yeah, it just really just comes back to that class experience.

Ackerman:
You know, Coach Glassman has always said this box down the road, is having more fun. They’re going to do better than you. And I think too many boxes kind of look at it where where, you know, you’re in Jupiter, Florida. This is not like you’re in New York City. You can have a thriving box anywhere. You know, there’s no and maybe there’s a handful, but there’s not many places in the United States that can support a box like that. Now, something you said that I want to really dive into is you you make it the best hour of their day, which is, you know, obviously in the name of this show, Bay, it’s all about those people. How do you measure that? You know, it’s easy to say, hey, you can’t be on your phone. You know, focus on on these people. What are some things you do that trickles down to your coaching staff to make sure that culture is replicated for every hour that you’re open?

Andrew Frezza:
Yeah, there’s definitely some structural things you can put into place to to try to make this happen. So it’s not just about what you’re saying. Number one is meeting regularly with your team. We meet every single week with our team every single week. We try to incorporate some level of coaches development into those weekly meetings. So, you know, you have your general housekeeping stuff. But there’s some element of coaches development that we aim for at least three out of four meetings and every every month.

Ackerman:
So you guys meet. You meet every week, your entire coaching staff?

Andrew Frezza:
Yeah. We have eight coaches right now. We meet every Thursday, 1:15, and we usually meet for about 75 to 90 minutes.

Ackerman:
How many of those eight are full time?

Andrew Frezza:
They’re all full time now.

Ackerman:
So you have eight full time staff, plus you and your brother, you have 10 full.

Andrew Frezza:
No, we’re included in that. So my brother and I are included in that. Yeah.

Ackerman:
There’s eight of you says you’re paying six people full time salary.

Andrew Frezza:
Yeah. And I mean, there’s a little bit of a loose term with that full time in the sense for us full time means they’re coaching at least 15 to 20 class hours and a week. They are doing some sort of role outside the gym, whether that be programming, social media, front desk, facility stuff. And then they’re doing either personal training, personal coaching or nutrition coaching in addition to that. So they kind of have this three tiered approach where it’s classes, personal training or programming and a role outside of that. So if if we have a coach dabbling in all three, there’s obviously a lot I mean, someone could be doing one to two personal training hours in a week or a month and then someone else could be doing 10 to 15. So there’s a lot of flexibility with it, but that’s just how we define it. So, I mean, if you wanted to kind of nit pick it, probably you could say it’s more like five or six are full time of the eight. But, you know, by our standards, we call eight.

Ackerman:
But that’s their that’s their. Their way of making money, I suppose, is.

Andrew Frezza:
Their number one is their number one way of making money.

Ackerman:
Well, I’m not sure if they’re salaried or not, but the question that came to my mind when you said that is do they get paid for this weekly meeting?

Andrew Frezza:
Yes, they do. So they get paid for the meetings. That’s that’s a really good point. They get paid if they miss hours. So we do a simple math system where if, you know, if a coach averages 18 classes a week and they’re out of 30 dollars per hour rate, that 30 times 18 times,two, because they get paid bi weekly becomes their biweekly salary. So if they miss days, they get paid that same amount. They coach 15 hours in a week as opposed to 18. They still get paid for doing the 18. Right now, if that changes consistently, then we readjust that salary. But paying for meetings, paying for that coaching time, we pay for lesson plans. We pay for clothes, opening and closing duties. Those become part of their coaching hours. So we’ve really tried to. Yeah, I think that’s a big step in. Asking your coaches to be professionals is to professionalize it from the pay and compensation side. I mean, it’s trying to look at all these areas that they give their time to the business and try to try to calculate that and pay for that.

Ackerman:
Yeah, I think you’re right. There is an easy way to answer some of the this . If you want to grow your box and five hundred people, it needs to be a business and you’re asking people to come in for free. It’s not a business. It’s a it’s a volunteer job. It’s a hobby. If you want the people that are going to help you grow, they need to be treated fairly. I just see a lot of people, you know, with and I was guilty of this as well back in the day. You have these expectations set because you’re the box owner and you want it. And it’s important for you. But then you expect other people to show up for free. So it’s really great to hear that. Well. And beyond these meetings, what are some of the other things you do?

Andrew Frezza:
So another big one is utilizing lesson plans and then that kind of goes hand in hand with using slack, which we use for our internal communication. So we have this. We use the slack app. We have different channels on there for Crossfit, and Beach Fit lesson plans. We have a general channel. We have a front desk channel. We have new faces and drop ins channel. And that’s where all of our internal communication happens. So that that really helps to contribute to the team, feel everybody’s working together and then it just opens up this huge line of communication, makes it categorize, makes it searchable, makes it really easy. And then the other thing is, so me and one of our other coaches do the programming each week. So and every Wednesday we have it finalized for the next week with the coaches notes as well as purpose notes. So actually our members get notes about the work out of, hey, this is the goal for the today. This is why we’re doing this. This is the focus. And then on the back end, the coaches have notes about staging. We have notes about how to choose a wait for the day, how to present the work out at the whiteboard, what things you should put into your warm up and cool down, just suggestions. And then those notes are taken by the coach who’s going to be opening that morning, that 5 a.m. or 5 thirty a.m. coach for beachfront. And they’re creating a detailed minute by minute lesson plan. The night before that everyone can follow through the day. So my big thing with this is it’s not just good enough to be great. It’s it’s probably better to be really good and consistent than to be 100 percent amazing. I’d rather have a staff that’s ninety five to ninety eight percent of the way there. But it’s super consistent from the 5 a.m. class to the 7 p.m. class then to have these superstar coaches that really make something their own and change it. But then it looks really different. Now with that said, it’s not so rigid that you can’t bring a personal coaching style to the table, but it is very structured where if you took a 5 a.m. class or a 4 p.m. class, you’re going to have a very similar experience each day.

Ackerman:
Now, I think that’s important. And that’s I love the idea. I know some other coaches out there don’t agree, but I love the idea of coaching different hours. Some people say coach, you coach every day at 8am or every day at 3 p.m. But I love the variety. I love when I showed you a box and I get a new coach. And the only way you can make that happen well is if you have that consistency. Now, you must spend a lot of time on the programming, the timelines, the minute to minute break down, like you said. Why do you do that versus getting other programming? There’s plenty of other good programming out there, be it for free or paid. You know, we’ve had some people on the show from ham plan to NC fit warmup and workouts. Why do you do your own style?

Andrew Frezza:
That’s a really good question. It would be it would be a lot less expensive and time consuming for us to outsource at this point.

Ackerman:
Ya For one hundred and fifty dollars. It’s done for you for sure.

Andrew Frezza:
I think one of the things that we really love is that we have this this six and a half year history built up. And I think when you have recurring themes and recurring benchmarks that happen throughout the year and in and after a while, your programming starts to tell Story, and I think if you can evolve that story more so than change it completely, then I think the members really the ones who have been here awhile really latch on to that. Also, you know, I just see it as a great way to develop our team and to be able to do that with one of our our staff and a couple of our staff to have those conversations about programming. It’s developing a skill set that they can take to other things, whether that be coaching on the floor or something that we’re doing now. We’re doing individualized programming through active life. And now a lot of these coaches have the skill set of programming because they’ve been working on it more. But it’s something honestly, I’ve thought about all the time. I go back and forth on. There’s been times where we’ve followed something like Comp Train and just kind of made it our own. We kind of take their workouts and then make two or three tweaks to it throughout the week and kind of do it as is. But we’re just kind of in a nice groove right now where we’re doing it ourselves and we really enjoy it and the members are liking it. So yeah, I wish I had a better answer, but.

Ackerman:
Hey,.

Andrew Frezza:
I don’t. It’s not something where we definitely wouldn’t do it in the future. I can’t say that’s a sure thing.

Ackerman:
A yes. Old adage, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I just I think to my days in box ownership and think, well, if I can save all that time of programming and like you said, the timelines, it’s worth it. But I also think there’s value to what you’re doing. And I think you’re developing your coaches. And when your coaches have to think about the timeline and the breakdown, it’s very valuable. And it’s every box is unique. So you you’ve been able to program for your equipment, for your space center.

Andrew Frezza:
Yeah, that’s that’s one of my things that I encourage as I’ve talked about this a little bit with other podcasts on my podcast is if you are getting outsourced program and you have to do the extra 10 to 15 percent to cut, customize it to your.

Ackerman:
Absolutely. Yeah,.

Andrew Frezza:
You know, what we had to do as we grew was was putting a ton of time effort into staging and putting a ton of time and effort in this setup because, you know, if you want to design a workout for now, Max, class of 30, potentially 35 is a completely different mindset than knowing you have all the space in the world. You’re gonna maybe have eight to 10 people in class.

Ackerman:
If we follow NC fit at the box, I’m at use NC Fit has a beautiful app and etc. But oftentimes the busier classes are doing a different workout because you know, they don’t care how many rowers or bikes we have. They just play our good programming is solid and but if we don’t have enough rowers, we had to change something. We had a recent podcast where Fern and I discussed class size. What do you think is the ideal class size?

Andrew Frezza:
I’ve never been asked that question me before. I. I think, though, maybe this might go against what some people think is I think in general bigger is better.

Andrew Frezza:
And I think that no matter how many people will complain at times that they didn’t get enough individualized coaching or they want more individualized attention. I think what people really want is a high energy experience where there’s where they’re surrounded by other people who are pushing themselves, throwing down. And they people want to be at a place that other people want to be at. Right. Like the empty the empty bar, the empty nightclub usually stays empty until it hits a critical mass. And then everyone wants to get in and no one can get it. Like our 5 a.m. class is such a good example. It’s by far our busiest class. And I mean, who wants to wake up that early? The train? But like it’s a became the busiest class because we have this nice core group of people that came and threw down hard and pushed themselves every day. And there’s plenty of other class signs that people could make time for at more convenient times and have more one on one coaching. But they’re choosing to come to 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. And I think a lot of it is because they want to be in a group that has a high energy. It has a lot of people. And I think that you can still you can still get in a lot of really good coaching in those big classes.

Andrew Frezza:
That’s something I learned from from Ben Bergeron. It’s like our mindset when we started was we want to have one coach for every six or eight athletes or whatever it was. And I think, yes, if if you’re trying to completely optimize great coaching, that is the goal. But what we found as we’ve gone now in more of our larger classes, we’ve gone down to one coach and we believe that it hasn’t affected the experience in a negative way. In some cases, it’s affected the experience in a positive way, because now that coach knows that it is all on them and they over deliver in that hour. Whereas before if we had two coaches and a class of 12 to 14 people, it was just natural for one coach to actually both coaches a kind of sit on their heels a little bit. Yes, they were present. They weren’t on their phones. They weren’t eating off the side, but they weren’t it wasn’t that extra level that they would give when it was just 14 people to themselves and they were bouncing around the room, one person to the next and in creating this great experience. So I’m a big fan of prioritizing energy and flow and class experience over like purely a coach to student ratio in that sense.

Ackerman:
I definitely agree. There’s that mindset. It’s you know, there’s an old psychology experiment where it’s like somebody else will do it, you know, the more coach I. have. So I definitely like that a way.

Andrew Frezza:
One thing I do and so I do both now and what I find is that there is a tentativeness when I coach with the second coach because I’m like, I’m unsure who they got to and what they said to them. Now, when I’m in a one coach system, I know no one’s, but if I haven’t talked to them, no one’s talked to them. So I’m going to get to everybody.

Ackerman:
Yeah. We have an upcoming episode on how to effectively use a secondary coach. But one thing we always talk about on here is there’s no right or wrong. And clearly it’s working. So you every class you have is coached by one person. What’s the biggest that they get?

Andrew Frezza:
Usually. If so, the way we do it is of a class averages 15, 16 or less. We’re gonna have one coach in it. If it averages more than that, then we’re going to we’re gonna have two coaches. And for the most part, that that means our five and six and have those two coaches, a lot of other classes don’t weekend classes have it as well. Our beach fit classes, which are boot camp classes, always have one coach no matter what. And those can be a little bit bigger as well. But the nature of those having similar movements in them, we found that they can definitely get by with one coach and still have a great experience.

Ackerman:
Well, coincidentally, we said, you know, most coaches can coach more than 15 to 20 people. So there you have an area with that. Have you ever had to fire a coach?

Andrew Frezza:
Yeah. We’ve we’ve fired a couple and kind of mutually parted ways with others that you could probably argue where we’re fired.

Ackerman:
Yeah, like you’re fired. No, I quit. Type of thing.

Andrew Frezza:
Kind of a little bit. It’s what I’ve learned is that as we start to communicate more often and hold a higher standard, coaches will realize that they can’t meet that standard. And that’s things like like shining our core values back at them very often, whether that’s in meetings, group meetings or one on one meetings and just kind of reiterating what’s being asked of them all the time. And if you do that enough and you do that especially in a one on one setting, you’re going to realize who can’t meet those expectations and who can. So, yeah,.

Ackerman:
You’ve thrown out core values a lot. So let’s let’s talk about that. What does that mean?

Andrew Frezza:
What does that mean? That means you have specific values, specific attributes that you decide are going to guide all your decisions within the business, whether that be new initiatives, you want to add new programs, you want to add things like that. Where do you want expand, whether you want to add new equipment, whether you want to hire and fire a coach. All these different things in the business can then be run through this checklist of core values. We’re in the process of actually hiring a coach right now. And I’m basically reading and rereading our core values four or five, six times a day and reviewing that with and then we have a core values worksheet that we send to all new hires where they have to self evaluate them’s on on each other to our core values. And then we also do quarterly meetings with our current employees of how do they match up to those core values. And each one we try to break down specific attributes within that. So it’s not. Again, it doesn’t just be this pie in the sky thing, but it feels very actionable. So I can just run down a little list of ours really quick. One is.

Ackerman:
Before you do that . I know I love it and I’m a big fan of it, which is why I asked. And I sat down with my mentor and we talk about values. We used a deck of cards and isn’t value on each card. And you kind of go through and eliminate the ones that are important aren’t important. Keep the ones that are. Is that. How do you go about finding years before you tell us where they are? Because there’s so many values out there, right? So how did you find the right ones for Crossfit, Palm Beach?

Andrew Frezza:
We followed the process and the book traction, which that was another. That was one of our turning points is kind of reading that book traction and implementing what we could. It’s kind of laughable how little of that book we have implemented. There’s so much in that book and we don’t we didn’t really implement that much of it. The core values was a big one. And having like a 10 year vision and very structured goals throughout the years is kind of the big three that we we stuck with. But the thing that they recommend is, is keep them simple, simple enough that you can remember them. Really. I think we’ve kind of maxed out the most you could have, which is six. You really don’t want to you. Ideally, you have more like three, three or four of them. But if you have six, five or six that you really love, you can have that many. But the goal is to get them on paper. And then it really should take three to six months to evolve and shape those values. And we’re still adding and tweaking little things. We haven’t eliminated a core value anytime recently, but we’ve definitely added and kind of reshape those things or redefine what are some of the actions that might fall under that value.

Ackerman:
Yes, you talked about traction. The book, I believe it’s Gino,.

Andrew Frezza:
Gino Wickman,.

Ackerman:
Gino Wickman. It was recommended it actually by Connor Murphy, who is just on a podcast as well. So what are the values of your box?

Andrew Frezza:
So the first one is we are a family. So that’s like greeting people at the door, making people feel welcome, remembering names, stuff like that. Then we go into team over individual. So to me, that’s if there was one that’s the most important. It’s that because so little can happen if you have selfish people, you need people that are bought into the team.

Andrew Frezza:
And one things I’ve learned about team over individual is being a team player doesn’t mean just being willing to do stuff that better is the team that doesn’t better you or might not better you. It get it’s a good team player gets excited for that. They don’t even care what happens to them. They’re so excited to do something that helps the team that it’s not even just a willingness. There’s an excitement there. Number three is the class comes first and that affects all decisions from what equipment we buy to, you know, how we restructure rules around open gym and stuff like that. We have number four, which is get these out of order. But growth mindset. So that’s like listening to podcasts like yours, reading books. Stuff like that. Extreme ownership is another one. And that goes down to the most important piece of that is no gossip. Gossip is something that we found can tear down a gym faster than anything. It’s really, really hard to do. But having small, slightly uncomfortable, slightly difficult one on one conversations all the time is going to just be a game changer for your business.

Ackerman:
And then how do you stop gossip at a gym? So, I mean, Crossfit, is well known for being drama. Now, I will say the box that I go to in here keeps it to a minimum. And my box is back in the day. It was a fraternity house. It was partying. There was a lot of. Consensual relationship is being forged right amongst fitness. How do you keep drama and gossip to a minimum?

Andrew Frezza:
I think it really just stems from the top. My brother and I are people that, you know, we don’t we don’t really gossip ourselves. We’ve never really been people. That drama has chased us. You know, it’s something I see now where I’m hiring is just certain people. Drama just chases them around everywhere. And it’s it’s usually the person that says, I hate drama. You hear that statement. That’s a good sign that you don’t want that person on your team because drama chases them everywhere they can go. But, you know, we’re not we’re not immune to it. There’s definitely some here. And with 500 members, it’s it’s impossible. But I think it just really comes from leading from the top. And and when when stuff comes up and in coaches meetings, like one of things were big about and coaches meetings, it’s like when we bring up a member, let’s try to quickly you know, we have to bring up negative stuff that looks like gossip in a meeting about members because we’re bringing up problems that we want to solve. But let’s quickly establish what it is we’re trying to solve and work towards a solution. Once we stop working towards a solution, that’s where it becomes gossip. Or if you’re in a conversation casually, if it’s not 100 percent glowingly positive about that other person and they’re not there, then you’re better off just not saying it at all. So, so little things like that. And really just trying to harp on that with our teams and trying to be better about it in our meetings is probably the number one thing that we do to have that filter down to the members.

Ackerman:
And I think that’s really great. And that now I’ve found myself. You still get guilty and I’m like shooting out a text about someone. I’m like and I’m writing. I’m like, now I’m gonna get a response. Now get off a bike. Is it worth your time? Like, just if you’re going to talk, be with that person and talk to them. Have you fired a member because of drama or gossip?

Andrew Frezza:
We never fired a member for that. Man, I’m trying to think I can’t really think of any situations where we’ve had it’s gotten so bad we’ve had to address it with people in that to that degree. Yeah, I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

Ackerman:
All right. To go along, what was your last value?

Andrew Frezza:
Last value is constant and never ending pursuit of excellence. So that’s that’s kind of the easy one. And Crossfit,. You know, we hear Greg Glassman talk about that all the time of just trying to make things a little bit better. Going above and beyond. It’s a little OCD details in staging and organizing dumbbells and kettle bells and things like that, keeping the bathrooms clean, just wanting to make things just a little bit better each day. And and yes, just seeing where that takes you.

Ackerman:
Yeah. He used to say, show me your bathroom and I can tell you what type of affiliate you run. And that was something I held on to very early on. Now, with the programming that you put out there, do you take your classes?

Andrew Frezza:
Yes. And that’s a huge part. So that’s that’s probably the the next piece of what we talked about. We talked about regular coaches meetings. We talked about using slack, creating lesson plans. The next piece of that is having everyone on staff that is regularly taking classes. I think this is such an important piece. My brother and I have been doing this since the beginning and it’s there’s so many different layers to it. Number one, I think it is your best coaches development tool. If you want to learn how to be a better coach and you’re the primary thing you’re coaching is group classes, then you need to be getting in group classes yourself because you’re going to be able to experience it from the members side of things. It doesn’t matter how much thought and effort you put into the planning side and lesson plans and all that, you’re going to find out things. When you take it and when you’re in there, the other side of the equation that you never, never knew was there until you actually experience it. So getting in classes is huge for coaches development, picking up stuff from your other coaches that you can then use in your classes. A good example is tomorrow. I coach the nine, the 10 and the four. I will be in that 7 a.m. class so I can take the class experience it throwdown with the members. 8:00 a.m. I cool down. I might do some extra work. I’ll shower and then my 9, 10 and 4 I’m going to be ready to go. And I guarantee because I took that 7 a.m. class, there is going to be something that I do just a little bit different or better than I would have had I not taken that class.

Ackerman:
I agree. And I find actually often I coach on Thursdays and I rest most of the time on Thursdays. So I don’t get to hit the workout. And it’s and it’s harder for me because I don’t have that experience of having had class first and then I typically like to before I coach it.

Andrew Frezza:
Exactly. It makes such a difference. Another big piece of it. I think it’s an integrity piece. I think every day we’re at the whiteboard, we’re set or sales people. We’re telling our members in more or less words, we’re saying this is what you need to do, get to get fitter. And if you don’t, if you do something else to me, that’s sort of breaking integrity. I think there’s rare situations where you’re you’re you have an injury, you have your training for a specific type of competition that you need might need to get away from classes here and there. But I think those those things are so few and far between. And I think that that integrity piece is really huge. And then just from a buy into the community, remembering and learning names and that breaking down those barriers between you and your members and throwing down with them is another big piece of it. So, yeah, we when we right now and our coaches contracts, it says you’re required to take classes three times a week. At the minimum when we hire, we want coaches now that look at that number and laugh at that. They go through courses and we gonna be in one every day. That’s not a big deal. You know, like that’s what we hire for now. And it’s it’s something that if any if someone checks every other box, they check every other box of our core values. But they don’t check that box. We probably won’t hire them. We won’t we won’t hire them, actually.

Ackerman:
Is there any box they can not check and still get hired?

Andrew Frezza:
I mean, there’s always gray area, we’re sort with certain core values, you know, like when someone’s like, you know, man, I played I played baseball growing up, I played soccer growing up. I miss the team sport environment. I love that aspect. I’m just not getting enough of that at my current gym. I would love to be a part of a team that is just working towards, you know, being one of the best gyms in the world every single day. You hear stuff like that and then you hear people from like an extreme ownership standpoint that are like, yeah. I struggle a little bit with gossip. I’m it’s something that I know I could be better with. And that’s that’s usually a good sign, you know, that someone that’s not going to be perfect with it but wants to improve. But like that’s that’s a box that I would say they don’t quite check yet, but they’re certainly on their way to being able to check that box.

Ackerman:
Yeah. John Gilson, cause that conscious incompetence when you’re aware of which you’re not good at. So your box is thriving. You’ve created rockstar coaching. So your way of helping other boxes develop their coaches as well. And now I’m looking through some of the things you cover. Really interesting, really awesome stuff. Talk to me a little bit about some of these tools for remembering names and connecting with clients on a deeper level. So what are some things you preach in order to make that happen?

Andrew Frezza:
Yeah. So we talk about a lot of stuff that Ben Bergeron talks about. We talk about the emotional bank account. And in the course we break down just like 15 or 20 different deposits we can do in someone’s emotional bank account. And then, you know, another 15 that things that look like withdrawals. So spending more time in the deposits, things like being present in every minute of class. And then the big one is 10 minutes before and after class is. Are you investing that time, 10 minutes before and after class when people know that you’re you’re not on the clock. You’re it’s it’s really those minutes where you’re going above and beyond. I mean, that’s a really tangible thing that you can do when it comes to remembering names. It’s it starts with when you first learn someone’s name taking them in visually. So if I’m hearing your name, Jason, I’m going to be looking at your bread, your mustache, your hair. I’m gonna get this really good visual snapshot of you because we’re much better at visual recall than we are at just repetition. And if I repeat. Jason, Jason, Jason. In my head, that’s not a bad thing. It’s going to help me in the short term. Remember your name. So when I walk away, it’s not already gone. But I need to get this really good visual representation of you. And then one of things that I love to say say is like if I hear your name, Jason is like, oh, is that spelled normal? Do you have a Y in it? How has it spelled?

Ackerman:
Are you asking? Yeah. That’s fine. The typical Jason J-a-s-o-n.

Andrew Frezza:
So. Okay, perfect. So that gives me a second visual. So not only do I have you as a visual, but actually have your spelling now as a visual in my head. And then I’ll try to just so again, I don’t lose that name during that conversation. I’m gonna say, you know, it’s been great talking with you, Jason. Hope you’re looking forward to the workout today, Jason. I’ll say your name a couple times without being awkward. And then as soon as I walk away, I’m writing your name down. I’m getting that down on paper. You know, just yesterday we had we did Memorial Day worked out. We had a lot of drop ins. I’m writing names down for our coaches to make sure that they have it because I met some people at the front, like I’m doing those things all the time. And then the last thing you can do is get some sort of connection with it. So I might connect you to a friend of mine that also has a beard and a mustache and something similar. I might think of another Jason that that I know in the gym and start to kind of pair you in my mind with them. And I’m going to do these things sort of visually to help me remember names. And usually a combination of all those things will help. I still forget a lot of names. And then the last piece of it is, don’t be afraid to ask. You had this I don’t think you ever want to think of it too much like a window, but I think you have a window of three, four or five opportunities where you can react someone’s name before it’s awkward. And I think most people, by the time they get to the second or third, they think it’s awkward when it’s not and then they don’t ask and then they don’t get it. And then they go, you know, months and years without knowing someone’s name.

Ackerman:
That’s exactly when Fern and I set on our at the song about that. It’s like what’s more awkward at not asking or, you know, seven weeks later having to admit you don’t know their name? Yeah, I think it’s a little bit of cheating if you’re only putting me in other classes with people named Jason. And it’s a little easy. Sighs Hey, you’re the Jason class. It’s a lot easier.

Andrew Frezza:
Yeah, do that with partner workouts. You have to partner with someone that has the same name as you. That’s that’s one of the benefits of having 500 members. You always have a duplicate name in the same class.

Ackerman:
That’s true. So you’ve mentioned knowing they’re maximizing 10 minutes before and after class and it’s off your clock. Are you actually paying your coaches for that time?

Andrew Frezza:
Yes and no. I mean, we pay well for our classes, at least based on what I’ve seen in this industry. And we we do feel that, yes, we’re paying for that time to 10 minutes before and after class. You know, it’s just there’s so many opportunities there. We like one of things that I my personal goal and we talk about all the time is like, I don’t want my first interaction in a class to be me telling you something you could do better. I want my first class to be my first interaction, to be a hello. Hey, how’s it how’s it going? How you feeling? Are you saw from from Murph the other day? You know, like what kind of how you can attack today’s workout? I want to have those that little check in first. Prior to that. So if I get, you know, for an 8:00 a.m. class of 8:00 a.m. rolls in and I’ve talked to no one prior to that, then I have to spend the warm up doing that. And I have to spend the strength and skill work if there’s some doing that. Now, if I’ve done all that stuff in the 10 minutes prior class, now I can begin to coach a little bit and warm up.

Andrew Frezza:
I might still include some of those relationship building pieces. I just saw someone was on vacation. I might slip that in as I’m walking past them and a warm up and see how that went. But for the most part, like I want to begin coaching a little bit. I want to I want to begin going a little bit deeper. And if we can get that initial interaction out of the way, know then we’re just gonna be more successful in that hour. And there’s always gonna be little things that you have no idea. They’re going to come up, they’re going to come up in those little conversations that’s going to allow you to deliver a better fitness experience in class. And that’s what I think. And not enough people get, is that they’re not mutually exclusive. You don’t have the relationship building side and then the fitness side. Most of what we’re doing in here requires a deeper connection. Most of your veteran athletes. It’s it’s they’ve heard knees out a million times. It’s not that they need to hear it another time. There’s something else there that’s preventing you from getting that that progress with them and those little tidbits you can learn before and after class is usually that missing link.

Ackerman:
Yeah. What you’re defining is just connecting with other humans. I was I was just on a podcast talking about that with nutrition. So much of it isn’t about the food or the nutrition. It’s about understanding other human beings. So when it comes to those 10 minutes, is that required? What’s the expectation of coaches coaching the 4:00 p.m. class and have to be there by 3:50 and stay tuned 4:10? Well, how do you define that for your coaches?

Andrew Frezza:
Yeah, I mean, that’s that’s more or less what it is. I mean, we’re not enforcing it to the point that there is a specific check in or anything like that. Now, if we see a pattern of a coach. Coming in, you know, 52 after 55 after for that class and they could be getting there earlier. We’re going to have a conversation with them. But, you know, there’s a little bit of leeway there on a on a one one off instance or anything like that. But it’s just more or less, you know, a lot of this stuff just goes down to finding coaches that that, again, this stuff feels easy for them like that before and after class, the taking classes, wanting to learn and develop and have this growth mindset like, you know, we we have coaches that are sharing your podcast that you did with Dr. Shawn and our slacker, you know, having coaches like that on board that are just they love this. It doesn’t feel like work for them is really key. And we’ve done closer and closer to that over the recent months and years. And and that makes it a lot easier. I think that if you’re an owner who’s beating your head against the wall with your staff, it’s there’s probably a high likelihood you just don’t have the right people on board. Yes. You have to communicate. You have to have those one on one conversations. But if you set it over and over in a one on one environment, chances are you just need to get a new person on board.

Ackerman:
Yeah. My mentor used to say change the people or change the people’s. And that sounds like that’s what you’re saying. But I think what you’re. I think one thing you do, they you probably are aware, but maybe someone needs to tell you is you’re leading from the front. And I think by leading from the front, you’re going to get that buy in from your coaches. And it is easier to get them involved because they see that you’re willing to do it. You know, you’re showing up at 7:00 to take class. And for you, coach, you’re doing all the right things. This is this has been great. I think we can talk for hours. I would love to talk more with you, but I have to run. So I always like to ask. What’s one book you’d recommend that the listeners check out?

Andrew Frezza:
Ok. So we talked about the book traction. And I know I mean, a lot of the books I would probably recommend first have probably either already know about or happened said the one book that popped into my head that I think most people have checked out is a book called Enlightened Hospitality, and it’s a book by Danny Meyer, and I’m pretty sure that’s the book. Maybe that’s just the name of what they call it. But I can check on that. But basically, he has he’s the owner of Shake Shack. He’s the owner of a couple of restaurants that are like top 50 restaurants in the world.

Andrew Frezza:
And he has this view on hospitality and experience in a different industry that I think we can translate to our industry as coaches and gym owners. So it’s just really cool to see it from that perspective. I’m finding that I’m learning more from diving into other industries and other people than even more so from just being in this like black hole of Crossfit, stuff. So I’d highly recommend owners and coaches check that out. And then on that same token, he was featured in the book The Culture Code, which is another one of my favorites. So either one of those two books I would recommend and those are two that most people haven’t seen yet.

Ackerman:
You had me at Shake Shack, so I’ll definitely. That’s amazing. I’ll definitely check that out. And that reminds me of a book. I think it’s called the Ritz Carlton Experience or something along those lines that you’d probably like if you haven’t read it. We’re just a company like that, does it right. And the that four star five star experience out there. Well, I’m going to post all of your information out there, including the links to your course, your social media and all that. But like I said, I think we can have an entirely an additional podcast just because I love talking about this, as do you. And it’s been really great. And I think you can learn a lot from Andrew. So certainly check him out. Any last words you like to add?

Andrew Frezza:
No. I really appreciate you having me on. Jason, this is fun. Thank you.

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