#792 – The REAL Cost of Running A CrossFit Affiliate w/ Chris Cooper

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Sevan Matossian (00:00):


Chris Cooper (00:01):


Sevan Matossian (00:02):

Uh, bye Caleb. You’re a good, you’re a good human. Bad things happen to good people.

Andrew Hiller (00:08):

Look at that. Beer just got coming in.

Sevan Matossian (00:11):

<laugh>. Uh, guys, I am very excited about this show for a bunch of reasons. Uh, it’s a show that I’ve been wanting to do for, uh, several, several months now. And, um, I’m like, uh, nervously. I’m very nervous about the show because I don’t wanna mess it up because I think it offers a, a tremendous amount of value. And the premise for the show, there’s a lot of different premises, but originally, I, I got tired of hearing people complaining about how expensive CrossFit gyms were, are for people to go to and participate and, uh, get the cure for the world’s most vaccine problem in a real, uh, you know, holistic, uh, way. Meaning, uh, nutrition support from, uh, coaches, support from your peer group. And then, uh, obviously the, the movement piece, and it’s, I, I, I, and everything is free on the internet, so I was just like frustrated.


And that’s how a lot of us actually here, uh, probably started, um, CrossFit. We probably were just going to the internet and taking stuff, uh, for free because that was the model that Greg wanted to use, even though many, uh, people with business acumen, um, told him not to do it. Then that being said, I had, I w I worked at CrossFit Inc. I had something called the CrossFit podcast. I had Chris Cooper on, and Chris Cooper’s the gentleman over there, over there. And, uh, we, I, I think he, I had him on twice. Uh, I really enjoyed him. I liked him as a human being, and he was a OG affiliate owner who did a lot of good stuff. And, um, all, all the things for the gyms, you know, he even had the program there that, um, helped, uh, autistic children and, and autistic adults. I mean, he, the, the whole gambit right from the elite athletes to, uh, people that it could actually nutri people overlook nutrition and movement as a, uh, huge benefit to those people’s lives. So, and, uh, then we have two, uh, former, uh, we have two other affiliate owners. Do you still own an affiliate, Chris?

Chris Cooper (02:14):

Yeah, I actually just got that one back. CrossFit

Sevan Matossian (02:17):

Brain. Okay. And then we have, uh, uh, uh, an affiliate owner, CrossFit Livermore, my partner, uh, Matt Suza. I’ll tell you a little bit more about him in a second. And then we have, uh, Andrew Hiller, who I’ve, uh, built a dear friendship with, um, who is over there. It’s probably not the best what use of my hand to do that. That’s

Andrew Hiller (02:36):

Perfect. I can think of better uses, but that was all right.

Sevan Matossian (02:39):

<laugh>. I don’t know what is going on here. How Come on there. Over there. He’s down there. Um, and an Andrew Hiller is a former affiliate owner, uh, still a personal trainer and a man who may or may not have even put a bid on a CrossFit gym to repurchase it in the last, let’s say, few months maybe. Congrats. He didn’t get it.

Andrew Hiller (03:01):

I, I, I used, I I used his two brain business info on that. It was pretty good.

Chris Cooper (03:06):

Wow. You did. I It didn’t work that time. I

Andrew Hiller (03:08):

Did. Yeah, there’s, there, there’s a website on the, uh, the value of a CrossFit affiliate, and it’s written by Chris. I’m

Sevan Matossian (03:14):

Sure you I used that when you put your bid in. Okay. Okay, cool. Um, and then, and then Matt Suza, who, um, I built a friendship with, uh, kind of a superficial friendship, um, uh, just like, I’m not, wait, let me use a different word, <laugh>. O over the years when I worked at CrossFit, he was, you know, just one of the, uh, the many in the kingdom, but you had

Chris Cooper (03:33):

To say hi, you had to say hi,

Sevan Matossian (03:35):

<laugh>. But, but, but we built a friendship. And then, uh, after I was fired, uh, Matt reached out to me, and it’s a story. My sister sent me a, uh, text, I don’t know, six months ago, and said, Hey, nev, don’t ever stop telling that story. It never gets old. And the stories like this, I had Chris on, uh, twice on the CrossFit podcast. Matt was watching the Pod CrossFit podcast. He owned a struggling gym. He used the free resources, which there are many from Chris Cooper. Um, and he was able to get his gym, uh, back in the positive cash flow. And to the point where several years later after I had been fired, Matt reached out to me and said, Hey, I’d like to support you to start up a podcast again. And he had enough resources to actually offer me one of his employees to work, uh, on the podcast for me. And, uh, that was his way of paying it forward based on the information he had gotten from the CrossFit podcast, which we had shared with the public via Chris Cooper. By the way, both of those podcasts are still available somewhere. I’m sure you could just type in, uh, Chris Cooper CrossFit podcast. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and, uh, it looks like Caleb took one, took a potty break already

Chris Cooper (04:41):

You got upset, you told him to leave. He took it literally <laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (04:43):

So, so, so, and, and then, and then I wanna show you this, um, this, this document here. This is a, uh, yearly, uh, magazine that comes out to all the people who are, uh, members of Two Brain Business. And it says up here at the top tier to everybody, man. Everybody. Yeah.

Chris Cooper (05:01):

We’d send 15,000 of these out for free.

Sevan Matossian (05:03):

Wow. Okay. Yeah. This thing is amazing. If you are a Jim owner, if you, uh, and you don’t own this, uh, you want this, um, it says two brain business. We make Jim’s profitable, and it’s a state of the industry. Um, you know, it, it almost seems like this stuff should be, uh, kept secret, the stuff that’s in here, but I guess Chris isn’t keeping it secret because, um, he gave out 15,000 of them. They’re very nice, by the way. This is like, this is

Andrew Hiller (05:33):

Like, I’ve gone through that. It’s cool.

Sevan Matossian (05:35):

Yeah. Very

Andrew Hiller (05:36):

Cool. I like it a lot. You

Chris Cooper (05:37):

Designed that,

Sevan Matossian (05:38):

Uh, this is warkin a hundred percent. Yeah. This thing is, uh, even the paper choice was, uh, it’s yummy. Yeah. The visuals are

Chris Cooper (05:45):

Great too.

Andrew Hiller (05:46):

There’s a downloadable PDF too, right? I think that’s where I saw it.

Chris Cooper (05:51):

Yep. You can get the PDF for free too.

Sevan Matossian (05:54):

And so what we did is, um, I have a list of, uh, questions for, uh, the group, uh, for Chris, but also at some point during this, uh, podcast, we’re actually gonna pull up a spreadsheet and we’re gonna plug in the numbers so that you can see, um, so in, in my community, Santa Cruz, California Family of Four, that makes less than $120,000 a year living below the poverty level. And so we’ll show you how much money you would need to charge. And, and, and there’s, um, probably six affiliates in my area.

Andrew Hiller (06:28):


Sevan Matossian (06:29):

And so I’d like to show you what you, um, and, and so if there’s six CrossFit affiliates, you also have to remember there’s probably six knockoff gyms. And I say that o obviously I know I’m being kind of mean like that, and I know I’m biased, but

Andrew Hiller (06:42):

There’s six gyms. No, you’re gonna call ’em out, call it as a

Sevan Matossian (06:44):

Series. There’s six gyms that are using the methodology, um, that, um, that, that aren’t calling themselves CrossFit. And, and if you wanna fight with me on that and say, Sev, it’s free. No one has to be cross. I I’m not gonna fight with you. I agree with you. I’m just, I, I know I’m biased. Um, so, uh, I’m just gonna start with something really broad, and any of these questions, Chris, if they’re just too broad, just go ahead and just push back and be like, Hey, dude, it’s too broad. But, but, um, sure. Uh, and by the way, so I wanna say this is data from 11,000, nearly 11,000 gyms closer to 11,000 than 10,000 gyms around the world. It’s pretty crazy. And, uh, and, and another point is, uh, 25% of the respondents have been in business for less than four years, and 75% of the respondents, uh, have been in business for less than 10 years. So it’s a pretty good, uh, swath of, um, experience. Okay. And there’s the layout that’s beautiful. Okay. So you can see the vast majority of the gyms are CrossFit gyms, but we got some martial arts gyms, some other personal training, strength and conditioning.


Yep. Yeah. Uh, coop is the man. And so thank you. A another thing that happened, um, no, not you, Hillary. I said Coop’s the man

Andrew Hiller (07:55):

<laugh>. I know.

Sevan Matossian (07:55):

Oh, okay. Okay, fine. Okay. Easy. Two

Andrew Hiller (07:58):

Ears, easy shots fired.

Sevan Matossian (07:59):

Early Easy. <laugh>. Uh,


We, we started this affiliate series, um, on the show where we bring in an affiliate, uh, once a week. And I knew it was gonna happen, but just like, uh, a couple days ago, you have this great guy on, uh, Javier, Jaime out of Texas, and I’m not even, I’m not even searching. And lo and behold, he’s like, by the way, we do Two Brain, and, and that’s the largest gym consulting company in the world that I’m referencing. And that’s started by Chris Cooper, uh, an affiliate owner. Um, so, uh, Chris, I’m gonna hit Hitch You up here, right here, uh, start off, and I, I, some of these questions I’ve asked, because I think that they would make great, uh, clickbait videos in the future and take

Andrew Hiller (08:42):

Cash. <laugh>, I’ve never been clickbait. Would you open a CrossFit gym in 2023, yes or no?

Sevan Matossian (08:48):

<laugh>. Oh, okay. Hey, I don’t even

Andrew Hiller (08:49):

Have that written down across. Go.

Sevan Matossian (08:52):

Yes, let’s go with that.

Andrew Hiller (08:53):

You not know what I do for a living on

Sevan Matossian (08:55):

<laugh>. Go ahead, uh, Hillary, ask him that. I’m gonna defer. I’m, uh, your honor, I’m gonna give my first question to Andrew Hill, Andrew Hillary,

Chris Cooper (09:01):


Andrew Hiller (09:01):

<laugh>. Chris Cooper, would you open a CrossFit gym in the year 2023? A hundred percent, or in the near future? And

Chris Cooper (09:08):

Yeah, there’s never been a better time to start.

Sevan Matossian (09:13):

Hey, how are you saying? Yeah, thank you.

Chris Cooper (09:17):

Well, for a few reasons. I mean, the, um,

Sevan Matossian (09:20):

By the way, Don just wiped his brow sweat off his brow. He’s like,

Matthew Souza (09:23):

<laugh>, that would be, that was starting to form. He’s like, whew, okay.

Chris Cooper (09:27):

Well, Don would, would be on my top 10 list of reasons to do it now,

Sevan Matossian (09:30):

Honestly. Okay. Uh,

Chris Cooper (09:31):

I, I had never met him, um, before he was on your show Chevy, but in the last five minutes he said something like, CrossFit’s job, CrossFit Q’s job is just get everybody doing CrossFit. And I was like, that’s it, that’s the mission. He’s right. Um, and so, you know, that’s one of the reasons, uh, economically, it’s not expensive. I started mine on $16,000 back in the day, and you can still do that. And, um, you know, it, there is enough of a worldwide brand, like let’s face it, for $3,000 a year to be able to leverage a brand like that in almost any way that you want. There’s really no parallel to that anywhere else in the world. So, uh, the best business to open is a gym. And, um, I think the best gyms to open right now are CrossFit gyms.

Sevan Matossian (10:12):

Uh, what about the, um, let me also say this. I don’t see it in my notes, but I know I read it in your, uh, your state of the union from two brain business, the a, oh, here it is. Average cost to open a gym though in 2022 was $58,000, page 45.

Chris Cooper (10:27):

So that’s a mean average. So you’d be looking at, you’d be comparing, like me and Sain Marie with people in like Seattle, right? You’ve also got two or three really big, like, uh, access-based gyms, and those things are 300 grand to a million to open. And so that’s gonna pull that number up. But the reality is like, you could, you could build yourself some plyo boxes. Uh, you could make yourself some wall balls over the old CrossFit journal with the rice and the expanding foam <laugh>, and you could start in the park for virtually nothing.

Sevan Matossian (10:55):

You know what I mean?

Chris Cooper (10:56):

Okay. No reason not to do it that way.

Andrew Hiller (10:58):

What’s the cheapest gym that you’ve seen open? Do you have that off the top of your head?

Chris Cooper (11:02):

Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s $0 really to zero. Yeah. Yeah. That’s, um, it’s not as common anymore, but you used to see it. I mean, we used to get these four by four pressure treated posts and put like plumbing pipe in and make our rigs that way. And, um, you know, if I, if I look at, at mine, I think like all I had, so my first gym was a personal training studio, but my second gym was a CrossFit gym. I might’ve had five grand to spend on equipment, and we did it,

Andrew Hiller (11:28):

It’s like a K Star gym.

Chris Cooper (11:30):

Yeah, yeah. There you go. It looked a lot like that <laugh>. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (11:34):

I, I used to just go to the track, um, with a, we had a, a 330 meter track in Berkeley open to the public. It had pull up bars there, parallel bars, and I would take, I would, in the back of my truck, I would just throw my weights and some D balls. Yeah. And, uh, and I, I was doing, uh, probably 10 people week on average that I was, I wasn’t even trying to just people because I went there so often and worked out myself. They joined, I didn’t charge ’em anything. I never opened a gym, but I probably had 10 regular clients a week. It was pretty crazy,

Chris Cooper (12:04):

You know? Can I give you guys another little piece of

Sevan Matossian (12:06):

Coffee? Please. Please.

Chris Cooper (12:07):

It’s never been easier to open a CrossFit gym. It’s never been harder to keep one open.

Sevan Matossian (12:11):

Oh, okay. And, and explain please.

Chris Cooper (12:14):

Yeah. So what happens is, like, we all, we’re all passionate practitioners, and a lot of us really just like love the method or whatever. I had opened one gym before I found CrossFit. So you, you get off and you’re like willing to work crazy hard, 16, 17 hours a day for no money. Like, you’re willing to take a valve poverty to make this thing work. Uh, but what you find now is that you’re coming into a much more crowded market. Like when I opened my first affiliate was oh eight. I’d been a gym owner for a while before that, um, I was getting all the early adopters who just wanted to try CrossFit, but now you’re competing for the, their eyeballs with orange theory with F 45, with all of the, the other like, similar ones. And, you know, these guys have more business acumen, right? There’s nothing out there that’s actually helping affiliates open profitably and, and accelerate fast enough to stay ahead of the wolves at the door.

Sevan Matossian (13:07):

And, and when you say business acumen, I wanna be defined that basically what you’re saying is because of the low barrier of entry with CrossFit. Yeah. Because of this freedom that we love about each person can run their own gym, there’s a greater kind of hit or miss. But with Orange Theory and F 45, it’s like they’re all the same, right? You need these mats, you need this number of machines, you need this much square, uh, uh, square feet, and this is what you’re gonna say to people. Yep. Here’s the script. And so they have this sort of like, proven way for you to make, um, uh, $28,000 a year o uh, in the first year opening your gym

Chris Cooper (13:44):

O or Omar. Yeah. And the, the thing is, like, I think Greg’s greatest gift, honestly, was he launched 30 or 40,000 small businesses, right? Like, the fitness was amazing. But the reality is though, that most CrossFit affiliates, sorry about the phone there. Most

Sevan Matossian (14:00):

CrossFit No, it makes you sound professional. Makes you sound, that’s

Chris Cooper (14:02):

What I was gonna say. Yeah, good problem.

Sevan Matossian (14:03):

It’s not even a real phone. It’s not even a real phone,

Chris Cooper (14:05):

Too corporate. Yeah, I know. I was gonna, God,

Sevan Matossian (14:08):

That is a corporate cheesy ring. Uh, Chris

Chris Cooper (14:10):

<laugh>. I know it’s my fax machine. You just below

Sevan Matossian (14:15):


Chris Cooper (14:15):

Just moment. Yeah. So, um, what it does is it attracts first time entrepreneurs, and they are scrappy as hell. They’re tough. They have like a very, like a mission to pull them through, but there’s always this misconception that like, being a great coach is going to make me a great gym owner. And that’s what almost killed me. It, it wasn’t like I expanded too fast or anything like that. It was, I thought being a great trainer would make me a good gym owner. And they’re completely different jobs. So, um, what generally happens is you get all these first time entrepreneurs opening up CrossFit gyms, and then there’s this this lag where, you know, passion keeps them going. And then slowly there’s this daunting realization that like, Hey, you know, I’ve gotta answer the phone <laugh>, and, and I’ve gotta like, learn how to run a business. And that’s what we’re here today to talk about.

Sevan Matossian (15:04):

Um, what, what is the main reason why people, um, open a CrossFit gym? The number one reason they like

Chris Cooper (15:10):

Doing CrossFit,

Sevan Matossian (15:11):

And so

Chris Cooper (15:13):

They wanna buy themselves a job doing that.

Sevan Matossian (15:16):

And, and, and doesn’t that seem that, isn’t that just crazy? So people love something so much that they want to turn that into. That’s not why people go get a job at Starbucks. You get, you don’t get a job at Starbucks because you love coffee, right? You get a job at Starbucks because it pays decently and because it has health insurance and because you, and it’s gonna give you regular hours and you need to pay rent and, and support your weed habit.

Chris Cooper (15:39):


Sevan Matossian (15:39):

I mean, right?

Chris Cooper (15:40):

Well, you gotta be, you gotta pay for the beanies. Yeah. You beanies.

Andrew Hiller (15:43):

Yeah. <laugh>. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (15:45):

All right guys. I see how it’s

Chris Cooper (15:46):


Sevan Matossian (15:47):

No beanie today for Susan. Okay. And, and, and so does, doesn’t that, doesn’t that, why doesn’t that automatically guarantee success? What? There’s that conventional wisdom that’s like, Hey, do what you love and, uh, and, and eventually you’ll get su success. You’ll

Andrew Hiller (16:03):

Never work a day in your life, I think is the bullshit.

Sevan Matossian (16:06):

Yeah. Yeah. You’ll, yeah. Thank you, Hillary. And there’s the, that one you’ll never work a day in your life.

Chris Cooper (16:10):

My high school guidance counselor literally had that on her wall <laugh>. Um, but you know, the sad reality is there’s this very real thing called the technician’s curse, where you open up your coffee shop because you love coffee and you absolutely like ruin your passion because now you’re a starving barista came and afford a new beanie, and then, you know, you eventually grow to hate it. Like the, the best way to ruin something you love is to like open a business where you’re doing it 16 hours a day. Um, and so what happens is, like, you just have to kind of fall in love with the business part of it. And that’s tough to do. Um, you know, and I, I know that I’m gonna be here talking about spreadsheets and stuff, but I, my goal is get people so fired up about these numbers that like, they wanna run a mile and crush a beer can on their head, and, you know, whatever.

Sevan Matossian (16:58):

<laugh>, okay. If the re, if the number one reason why people open CrossFit gyms, do we all agree on that? Hillary and Susan, the number one reason people open CrossFit gyms is because they love CrossFit. They love the working out. Yes.

Andrew Hiller (17:09):

How many affiliates are there right now? 15,000

Chris Cooper (17:12):

Unknown. Uh, our counts, there’s 11 six.

Andrew Hiller (17:15):

Okay. 11 six. Was there ever anything close to 15? Or is there number I’m way

Chris Cooper (17:18):

Off on? No, there were, yeah.

Andrew Hiller (17:20):

Okay. I would bet that 10,000 of ’em are probably because they love CrossFit. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (17:26):

So is there, is there a better reason to open what would be the litmus test to, to not only open a gym, but to know that you’re gonna be successful at it? What, what, what else should it say on your teacher’s wall besides, um, you’ll never work a day in the life if you pursue your dreams.

Chris Cooper (17:45):

Uh, it should also be that you are to create, um, create impact by creating a sustainable platform for your family, your staff, and the clients in your town.

Sevan Matossian (18:00):

Ah, uh, like

Chris Cooper (18:03):

This is problem is like, you know, there’s 30, 40,000 affiliates that have started less than half or left. Okay? And so it’s, it’s really, really easy to start, but it’s really, really hard to keep. And that’s where that mindset pivot has to happen.

Sevan Matossian (18:16):

Um, are, is there anyone else in the market? What, what’s the deal with that on, um, like Starbucks? Like, I remember, um, I don’t know what year it was, but there was a year where Starbucks closed like 25% of its, uh, locations. Are there any other, I don’t remember. Do you remember what year was that? Like 2011? There was a time when Starbucks, like they, they realized they’d opened up too fast. Are there any other businesses, you know, where that’s happened?

Chris Cooper (18:39):

Uh, it just happened with F 45. It just happened with Soul Cycle. The, the problem with the franchise model,

Sevan Matossian (18:44):

Meaning, meaning they shut down a ton of locations. Yeah. Oh, it happened with Curves, right? They shut down like 75% of the locations. Right? Okay. Yeah. That’s a throwback there.

Chris Cooper (18:51):

That’s the, um, that’s the problem with the, the franchise model is it’s so fragile. Anything goes wrong, it goes wrong for all of them. And, you know, we do have other franchise, um, franchisors and coaches call us. And I, you know, I just met with some and they’re like, well, you know, we’ve got 4,000 franchisees in the States, but half of them are losing money. Thank God they signed a 10 year commitment to this. Or they’d be gone where, uh, I think if, if a lot of affiliates were making more money, they would still be here in 30 years creating an impact and, and actually changing things. Um, and we can go down that road if you want. This is a conversation that I have luckily had with Don Fallen Austin Mallilo a few times.

Sevan Matossian (19:34):

Um, I, I I wanna say this, I don’t wanna drag you into the gutter, but there’s some huge truths to this <laugh> of the 11,000 boxes, what percentage were open by guys looking at Chase tail. Uh, honestly, I want to tell you, I I guarantee you it’s, um, uh, 50% and of those 50%, fuck. Oh dude, I’m a hundred. Dude. I, dude, listen, that’s

Chris Cooper (19:53):

32. Yeah, listen, it’s

Sevan Matossian (19:55):

32%. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. Where do you have the graph here? The state. Here’s the thing. Most guys don’t even know that. Most guys aren’t even willing to say that. I’m telling you. Uh, remind me to tell you something when we’re off the air, I’ll tell you the origin story of CrossFit that’s never been heard. Why? Actually there is a CrossFit Inc. Uh, yeah. That, that that’s why men are born. That’s why when we’re all sitting in the ether and like, you’re like, uh, God, turn soon, do you wanna go back to earth? The 99% of the reason guys come to Earth is for that reason. Oh, thank you Kayla, for bringing us out of the gutter. And this is an important, uh, stat here. Uh, uh, the clientele breakdown is 50 50, which is just cool to see. What’s the relevancy of this? Well, most, I mean, I like to see

Chris Cooper (20:34):

It. Most chains and franchises right now are targeting women because, um, their, their data set would show that like women would spend more. Um, what’s really interesting though is like the fastest growing market doesn’t even call themselves fitness anymore. They call themselves the afterschool industry because they know that you can charge a kid like three or four times what you would charge an adult. And the adult will usually pay that, right? Like, uh, your kids are the exception savan, your, your, uh, jiujitsu instructors wildly undercharge, but like in Ninja Gyms, gyms, et cetera, they’re charging like four times what they would charge. We would charge an adult in a CrossFit gym.

Sevan Matossian (21:11):

Oh, okay. And, um, wow. And what’s interesting about that is, I think I saw a stat also that only, uh, gimme a second here. I think it was like 3% of the revenue, no, that was 3% of the revenue comes from supplements. I, yeah. I’m not sure what pages, but I think it’s only 5% of the revenue from CrossFit gyms around the world comes from CrossFit Kids. So you’re saying that’s a huge missed opportunity for gyms.

Chris Cooper (21:36):

Yeah, I mean, I, I know exactly what happens. You think, well, that kid is half the size of an adult, I’m gonna charge half as much. Like we’re charging people by weight or something. And, um, which this broo <laugh>. Yeah, exactly. So, you know, we definitely undercharge for that when in reality like that’s probably our place of greatest impact. And uh, if you have a CrossFit Kids program, that’s super important. But

Sevan Matossian (22:00):

So, so the two reasons you should want to open a CrossFit gym are, one, you love fitness and you love CrossFit. And then the second reason is because you want to have, make an impact on your community with a focus on sustainability for not only your gym, but for your family, your lifestyle. And you want to build a, a a a community where people can feel that.

Chris Cooper (22:19):

Yeah. I mean, if you really want to have a meaningful impact on your community, you have to be around for a couple of generations, right? Like our goal, our mission at Catalyst is to expend the health and lifespan of 7,000 people, because that’s 10% of our local community. And I think that if we can get 10% eating better and exercising, that’s immediately gonna impact spouses and kids. So that doubles that number and that trickles out to affect everybody.

Sevan Matossian (22:45):

Yeah. It, it’s this, um, totally untapped, uh, I don’t know, maybe marketing, um, slogan or something, but I totally agree with you. When, so when you say you want to affect 7,000 people, it doesn’t even necessarily mean you want to get all 7,000 of them into your gym.

Chris Cooper (23:02):

No, we only take 150 at a time.

Sevan Matossian (23:05):

Your gym. That’s it. Yeah, 150. Okay. And we’ll get into that in a minute because there’s this thing that I’ve been just keep thinking about over and over that wow, paying money to an affiliate is, you should feel great about it. You should feel absolutely great because of the ripple effect, uh, it has on the entire community. Cuz every person who does CrossFit is, is a good influence on someone else’s lifestyle.

Chris Cooper (23:27):

That’s right. Yeah,

Sevan Matossian (23:29):

Yeah. We’re all just mirrors here.

Chris Cooper (23:31):

Hey, real it, well, it, it also provides ascension value, right? So it’s like the people who are working out at 24 hour, whatever, um, they have nothing to aspire to unless you place, you know, a, a higher level. So forging elite fitness, uh, it, it at least creates the mindset that like, this is easy for me now I’m gonna go to the next thing. And, and, uh, you know, that’s what CrossFit did in our community is there’s a lot of knockoff gyms and maybe people start there, but then they come to Catalyst later

Sevan Matossian (24:03):

And, and not only get fitter, but um, uh, start more importantly, at least for me as I get older, to, to make sure I’m around people who will inspire me to fiddle with my diet, to eat better. Yeah. To do things that are just generally better for my body. Sleep, sleep more. I mean that’s, that’s a huge topic in the community in the last couple years, right?

Chris Cooper (24:22):

Yeah. Big time.

Matthew Souza (24:24):

Real quickly, step, I want, we kind of touched base, but I just wanna make this point here because, uh, especially coming out of the, um, affiliate gathering, one of the things where a lot of people were speaking up was like, Hey, we need more, more or less, what they were saying is, we need more control over the brand of what’s happening in our affiliates. So that way there’s consistency because they think that by them going to CrossFit gym, a, getting a bad experience is turning more people away. And I just want to take note with this real quick. That is not what you guys want. If you just think about some major franchises that are here that have a consistent product like McDonald’s, like a Starbucks, you know that you drive past the one closest to your house to go to the other one because they’re better than the one closer to your house.


So if you guys think that kind of franchising the model, which essentially is a separation from a licensee to a franchise, is the more control you usher in, that’s what switches it over. That, that, that’s gonna be good for the brand in total. And I just want you to be a little bit more thoughtful about what you’re asking for there, because we don’t want more, uh, control. Because all these things that Chris is talking about, about implementing him in with supplements or the kids course, you have the freedom to kind of choose how and, and why you wanna do that. Um, and then how long you wanna do that for. If it was a franchise model, you would not have those choices. You would have to go down the path of every single other one. So just wanna make that point real quick. You

Sevan Matossian (25:38):

Agree with that, Chris? What, what about, what about the gym? I go to a, a CrossFit gym and the first day is just absolutely horrible for me. I don’t get the attention I need. I’m asked to do movements that no one explains to me. People are rude to me. Um, you don’t think that there should be a, a protocol where every gym, um, hey, you have to say hi to your clients. This has to be the first workout you do with everyone. You don’t think that there should be some protocol in there that protects all the gyms? Well,

Chris Cooper (26:03):

There’s, it’s a slippery slope. If you control that thing, then what else are you gonna control? You know? Um, and while there’s some argument for that right now, honestly, CrossFit HQ does not have to do that because guys like me will say, you know, here’s what you should do and publish that every day. And so, um, there’s kind of like a mutually beneficial relationship there where they don’t need to produce data in numbers and best practices because guys like me are just gonna do that. Um, as far as like enforcement, there’s no way that’s gonna happen. You know, uh, Andrew did a great show a couple weeks ago about trying to enforce the use of the CrossFit term by some products and not like, it’s just impossible to even enforce use of hashtags, like let alone enforce policy in Jims, right?

Sevan Matossian (26:50):

Yeah. Andrew’s tripping right now that you watch one of his videos, <laugh>. He’s like, I saw it. I saw it. Shoot. I just made Chris Dumber. I’m sorry. Chris <laugh>.

Andrew Hiller (26:58):

Damnit <laugh>.

Chris Cooper (26:59):


Andrew Hiller (27:00):

Hey, that wasn’t my intention.

Sevan Matossian (27:02):

Andrew, why did you open your gym?

Andrew Hiller (27:04):

I bought into my gym.

Sevan Matossian (27:06):

And why did you do that in

Andrew Hiller (27:07):

2014? Um, because I had this ever, like, never ending goal of trying to work with as many people as I could for as reasonable as a price as I figured it would be. I, I, I had an issue working in studio gyms and as a personal trainer, charging a hundred to $150 an hour while I was making 20 to 30 bucks. And I would only see the benefit of them coming in no less than three days a week. And then they’d be four 50, $500 a week, $2,000 a month. And I’m like, well, it’d be even better if you could come in four or five days, but then you are paying $800. And then when I saw CrossFit for the first time, it was 150, 200 bucks a month. The more you come, the cheaper it is. And it was just beautiful. I’m like, all right, keep coming in. And then you could also work with 150 people all at once. Like Chris just said, it was like the golden ticket.

Sevan Matossian (27:58):

So let me see if I understand. So you were already a trainer, but you liked the business model of CrossFit more in terms of how many people you could affect and at what cost?

Andrew Hiller (28:09):

Correct. And at the time it was just if I wanted to make a living and if I wanted to have people come in more, more, more, more, more. But I never had this sense of good in me to be charging the price point. And it never also made sense for me and the person at the time. And then CrossFit, it kind of made sense from all angles. Just the model. Yes, the model.

Sevan Matossian (28:30):

I, um, uh, j Jacob, uh, I, uh, oops, my mouse isn’t working. Um, I went to Popeye’s Chicken once and got the worst service you can imagine. I went to different Popeye’s and got great service. This is the nature of people, not franchises. I go to the places with the, honestly, I go to the places with the best looking people.

Matthew Souza (28:47):

We all have our preferences.

Sevan Matossian (28:49):

Yeah, I’ll go, I’ll go to whatever if, if there’s, if they’re attractive people or young happy people. I mean, I have no interest in going ever really to Chick-fil-A, but every time I’ve been there, because the people are so nice, I kind of like, I’m enamored by it. Do you know that place? Do you guys have that place up there? Uh, Chris,

Chris Cooper (29:08):

We don’t have Chick-fil-A. We have Popeye’s though, so I do know what that person’s

Andrew Hiller (29:11):

Talking about. Spicy Chicken sandwich.

Sevan Matossian (29:12):

Decent Chick-fil-A is like this hardcore like, uh, I think they’re like a hardcore Christian, uh, company right? Too. Like they got John 16 on the bottom of their co even in and out. You walk in and pe the, the Fry guys like, Hey, how you doing? You’re like, whoa, this is weird.

Matthew Souza (29:24):

The thing with Chick-fil-A is they actually choose their values over money. And you could note they do that cuz they’re closed every Sunday. And if you were to take all those franchises and say, how much dollar amount are we missing out just by being open on Sundays, it’s a ton. So they’re purposely refusing that in exchange for their values. So that’s why a lot of people Okay. Shift to it more so than just the John three 16 at the bottom of the cup, they’re actually living their values, which is something that is, uh, attractive outside company. Mm-hmm There’s also something like 60,000 applicants each year for that franchise model. And less than 1% get to, uh, become a franchise.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

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