Hiring CrossFit Coaches & The Craigslist Penis Effect

I LOL every time I think about Ramit Sethi’s epic blog post about the Craigslist Penis Effect.

Before the days of Tinder and Bumble people would post dating ads on Craigslist.

Any woman that was brave enough to post in the “women seeking men” section of Craigslist would, without fail, receive dozens of dick pics in their inbox.

These guys would have been better served reading the ad and writing a few sentences complete with punctuation and properly capitalized words.

I.E. you could dominate dating on Craigslist by spending just a little more effort than the dick picing majority.

This is the Craigslist Penis Effect.

The hiring process, especially for CrossFit gyms, is prime example of the Craigslist Penis Effect in action.

The bar is set really, really, low. Take this job posting for example:

CrossFit Coach Posting.png

After reading that  are you foaming at the mouth to work for that company?

No, it’s terrible.

The person writing that job post obviously does not give a fuck.

This ad is hurting their business more than helping it. Why? Because it deters good talent from ever applying there.

If they spent a little more time on the post, they would attract better talent.  

Contrast that post to the Hudson River Fitness hiring page:

Hudson River Fitness hiring page
Hudson River Fitness Hiring Pg. 2

While it’s not perfect, we put some time and effort into this page. If saw this and decided to apply, you'd probably take a little more time writing out your application.

On the page we explain what we stand for as a company and we give you the opportunity to develop a relationship with Ashley.

If our messaging resonates with the applicant in some way, they’ll want to work with us over the “Need Coach Now” people.

To weed out the poor candidates we make the application process difficult.

We tell potential candidates that there will be multiple tests and interviews. We also make them respond to 3-4 long form questions during the initial application process.

Intentionally making your process difficult is great, because it weeds out bad candidates and allows you focus your time and effort on the people that do a good job on the application.

Making the application hard, allows you weed out people like this:

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 10.35.29 AM.png

^^^ you sound super dependable

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 10.39.45 AM.png

^^^ you got the job bro.

A Players want to be around other A Players. So if you’re looking to attract top talent, you need to show good people that they’ll be in good company if they work for you.

After the initial application, the next step is a quick phone call to determine:

  1. If the person is a serial killer

  2. A time to come in for a quick interview

If they pass the serial killer test, you’ll want to get a little deeper during the initial interview.

Good questions to ask during this first interview:

  1. Why did you apply for this job?

  2. Why do you want to work here?

  3. What do you think this job entails?

  4. What do you hate about your current job?

  5. What are your goals?

  6. What do you like to read?

  7. What are your thoughts about CrossFit?

  8. If it’s a part time job, ask about availability.

  9. If it’s a coaching position, ask which people in the industry inspire them.

After this interview, wait for them to send you a thank you note. If they do not acknowledge that you took time to interview them, nix them here.

If you get a thank you note, the next step is learning more about their personality. We do this with a Myers Briggs test.

Myers Briggs CrossFit.png

LINK: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

Make sure their personality aligns with what is needed for that specific job. Also, pay attention for how long it takes for that person to respond to the request. In most cases, a faster response is better.

If they take longer than 24 hours to respond, nix them here.

If all goes well with Myers Briggs, have them take a StrengthFinder.


You’re assessing their ability to follow instructions properly and perform tasks quickly. The StrengthFinder also give you more insight into their personality.

Again, you’re looking for a response time that is less than 24 hours.

Once you have both tests, the next phase is to bring them in for a stress test.

A stress test puts their resume to the test.

If you’re hiring a front desk person, give them a copy of your sales scripts, and then role play common scenarios like someone walking into the gym and wanting more information, or someone calling about the gym on the phone.

If it’s coaching candidate, have them come in and coach a busy class.

Just make sure you set expectations with the person before they come in for the stress test.

Ex. “you’re going to be coaching our 6:30pm class. This is a busy class, the athletes vary in ability. Here is a copy of our class coaching checklist. It outlines our expectations for coaches. Please review it, as this will be what we will use to evaluate your performance.”

After the stress test, sit them down and ask them questions related to their Myers Briggs and StrengthsFinders tests. The idea is to ask general questions about their results to see if they were being honest when they took the test.

Questions like:

  1. What do you do for fun?

  2. How do you unwind after a stressful day?

  3. Do you prefer to have a lot of friends, or a few really close friends?

  4. Describe a time where you had a conflict with someone, and explain how you handled it.

This will give you insights into their actual personality.

After you ask them personality questions, have them meet the key players on your team. Give your current employees the opportunity to interview the prospective hire. If anyone on the team has a bad feeling about the person, do not hire them.

If the stress goes well, you are ready to make an offer.

Like your job description it is important that you take time to make the offer letter good.

We make formal job offers to everyone on the team including working members, cleaners, and unpaid apprentices.

Here is an example of one we recently made to an apprentice:

We are excited to have you on board the team here at GYM.
There is no better company in the world to learn the ins and outs of the fitness business.
If you work hard, you can move advance quickly.
Mateo and Ashley can attest to this personally as they both started out as apprentices and now own and operate multiple facilities.
They are living proof that the model works.
That said, they also busted their asses to get there.
We’d like to offer you a position in our Apprenticeship Program. This is a rigorous program that we’ve developed in-house to create amazing coaches.
The details and job description of an apprentice can be found here: LINK TO DOC
Additionally we would like to offer you some paid administrative work immediately. Mateo will work with you on setting up on schedule that works for both of you.
Attached are the details of the admin position: LINK TO DOC
Additionally here is the checklist by which you will be evaluated: LINK TO DOC
I am also attaching our Staff Manual: LINK TO DOC
It is robust and details the work we do and why we do it. You will be expected to know and understand the content in this manual.
If you accept this offer, please reply to this email and let us know when you would like to start. We are happy to begin your apprenticeship immediately.
This offer isn’t exploding, so take time to think about it and ask questions if you have any.
If you do accept, be ready to hit the ground running.
Upon acceptance of the offer. We will get together and sign the staff manual, job descriptions, and employment agreements. We will also create your weekly schedule.
If you have any questions, just reach out.

Upon acceptance of the offer, we’ll schedule a time to sit down, go through all our corporate documents, the position description, expectations, and evaluations. We’ll also give the new hire some t-shirts and gym branded swag.

This process has been refined a lot of the last few years. We’ve found that if we spend more time and effort hiring and onboarding, we hire better people and create a better work environment.

How We Implemented Profit First Accounting

When I started my business, I was financially illiterate.

I didn't really know whether the business was doing good or bad. It was all based on feel and the numbers in Zen Planner.

Offers were made to new hires based off of what I felt was right.

My pay fluctuated based on the amount of money in the business bank account at that particular time.

New equipment purchases, taxes, and business savings were not planned for in a systematized which caused huge cash fluctuations.  

That was all until I read Profit First.

This is one of the few books that dramatically changed the way I run my business.

The central premise of the book is that GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) teach us to focus on growing our revenues instead of our profits. When we do this, the really important stuff-- profit and owner's salary-- become an afterthought.

That's so ass-backwards.

Owners need to focus on profit first, and then use the remaining money to plan out the operating expenses for the business. It’s the only way to make the business sustainable.

The Profit First formula is simple:

Sales - Profit = Expenses

Thinking about your business in terms of Profit First allows you manage cash better, relieve financial stress, and make your business more resilient.

Running a healthy business boils down to two things-- spending less than you make and learning to get more enjoyment out of saving your money rather than spending your money.

Implementation is simple:

1. Use multiple small accounts rather than one big account-- each with it's distinct objective. We have one for profit, one for owner's pay, one for taxes, and one for operating expenses.

2. Keep a Rhythm-- Move money on the 10th and 25th. Controlled and frequent cash flow management allows you to see where you money is really going.

3. Move money in the right order -- Always move money to your profit account first, then to your Owner's Pay Account, then to your Tax Account, with what remains to expenses. If there isn't enough money left in your expense account to pay the bills, don't borrow from your other accounts. This is your business's way of telling you cannot afford all your expenses and cut costs.

4. Remove Temptation -- Keep your Profit Account and Tax Account at another bank. This removes the temptation to steal from them.

Profit First Ready

Here is what we did to set up Flipside for Profit First Accounting.

Step 1 -  We set up an Owner's Pay Account and an Operating Expense Account with our existing bank.

Step 2- Then we set up a Profit Account and a Tax Account with a separate bank. Don't set any convenience options-- that allow you transfer money quickly and easily-- for these accounts. You don't want to be tempted to borrow from them.

Step 3 - Set Allocation Percentages. This is the amount, per dollar of revenue, that you're going to put in each account on the 10th and 25th.

Here are the Target Allocation Percentages given in the book based on real revenue ranges. Real revenue is your total revenue minus materials and subcontractor costs used to create and deliver your product.

Since Flipside does between $1-5mm per year our goal percentages should be:

Profit - 10%

Owner's Pay - 10%

Tax - 15%

Op Expense - 65%

(You can find out your allocations by taking the instant assessment-- available for free here.)

My actual numbers showed that our business expenses ate up .69c of every dollar we made.  

Our goal is to get that number down to .65c.

Armed with this information I set the following percentages, with the goal of getting to the Target Allocation Percentages by Q1 2018:

Profit Account - 10%

Owner's Pay Account - 10%

Tax Account - 10%

Operating Expense Account - 70%

This is how I distribute every dollar  that Flipside makes. This ensures that the business is always profitable, I'm always getting paid, and we can pay our tax bill.

Step 4 - Explain the new system to accountant & staff

I drew everyone a picture of how the money is moved around, and then had a quick phone call to explain the system my team.

Step 5 - Set up Profit First meetings in the calendar

I block off 3 hours of my time every 10th and 25th to move the money around and pay our bills. So on July 10th, I add up all the deposits from May 26th - July 10th  and distribute that money in accordance with the percentages from Step 3.

That's all the maintenance that is required.

At the end of each quarter -

1. I take 50% of the Profit Account as an owner's distribution and leave 50% alone. The 50% that is distributed from the Profit Account does not go back into the business.

2. I pay my estimated tax bill using money from the Tax Account

3. I adjust my allocation percentages (my goal is to add 3% to tax savings, and remove 3% from operating expenses each quarter, until we reach the Target Allocation Percentages)

4. I use the money that remains in the Profit Account as an emergency fund. 

If you have business debt use 99% of the Profit Distributions from step 1 to pay down the debt. The remaining 1% is paid out as an owner's distribution. This puts you in the habit of taking a distribution from your business.

All in all, it took about 6 hours of work to get this all set up. 

If you want to set up PF, figure out your allocations then-

Create a plan -

1. Once we were armed with our allocations percentages, we looked at our budget and forecast to figure out what changes we needed to make to get to our target allocation %s

2. From there we created a to do list of everything we needed to do to hit our target allocation %s.

That's it.

If you do not have a strong finance system for your business, you owe it to yourself to implement Profit First.

The 7 day gym launch funnel that generated $200,000 in a weekend

I am going to show you the exact email marketing sequence we use to pre-sell hundreds of memberships before we open the doors of our gyms.

Over the last four years this EXACT sequence has sold over 350 memberships with a total membership value of over $1,000,000. We have given this email series to two other gym owners and they both produced six digit results.

(3 day of sales - all refunds. Actual sales numbers before refunds totaled $212,938.58)

Today, I am sharing this member producing machine publicly for the first time.

This is a six email sequence:

  • the first two emails are educational

  • the third email is a transition into the pitch

  • the last three emails are sales oriented.

DO NOT copy these emails word-for-word. Use them as a outline for your own message and your own program, or you’ll come off as insincere.

The Set Up

  1. Create a basic landing page. You can use Squarespace, Wordpress, Leadpages, or Clickfunnels. We used Leadpages.

    1. Here is a quick tutorial on how to set everything up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zExuuvLc0Mo

    2. Here is the exact landing page we used for a gym we recently bought: https://flipsidegyms.lpages.co/rittenhouse-founding-members/

As you can see, it is super simple, but it converts really, really well

  1. After you have the skeleton of your landing page setup, you’ll need email software to run your autoresponders. We use Infusionsoft, but that is too much software for someone starting out. If you’re just getting started, a regular Mailchimp account is fine.

    1. Integrate your Mailchimp with your Leadpages Account

  2. After you’ve set this up, it’s time to draft up your emails and put them into Mailchimp. Here is the flow we used:

Email Order

Email # | Title | Date sent out | Time

1 | Let's talk about CrossFit | Within an hour of subscribing

2 | What makes a good CrossFit gym | 2 days after | 12:00:00

3 | Why I hate most fitness advice | 5 days after | 12:00:00

4 | Starting out at HRCF | 7 days after | 12:00:00

5 | Enrollment is open | Friday of Pre-sale | 8:00:00

6 | 24 Hours | Saturday of Pre-sale | 12:00:00

7 | Closing | Sunday of Pre-sale | 2:00:00

Email #1

Let’s Talk CrossFit

Hey, hey, hey!

John here.

If you're completely new to CrossFit, fear not. We've crafted a couple short e-mails to let you know what we're about.

If you've been CrossFitting since the womb, don't start yawning just yet. I bet you'll be surprised by what you learn here. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

In late 1995, Coach Glassman, an eccentric, Libertarian, college dropout in Santa Cruz was fired from his seventh gym for making clients scramble up a 30 ft column in the middle of the gym. The off-beat coach built a small following by prescribing wacky routines that combined gymnastics and weightlifting.

By 2000, Glassman had a motley crew of cops, professional fighters, and Silicon Valley keyboard crunchers that religiously following his programming. Every day they would meet in a 1,250 square foot truck garage in Soquel, CA to flip tires, and throw around heavy weights.

Glassman offered a welcome reprise for anyone bored with standard weights routines and ellipticals. To reach a wider audience, Glassman started posting the workouts on his website, CrossFit.com.

It seems unlikely from today’s perspective, that a rudimentary fitness site run by an overweight college dropout could create a lifestyle brand that generates over a $100 million in revenues, and garners global brand sponsorship and ESPN coverage. Yet, Glassman’s radically loose business model forever disrupted the stagnant fitness industry.

Today CrossFit is advertised as “the sport of fitness”. CrossFit is constantly varied-- you’ll rarely do the same workout twice in one year. The programming is broad by design. The goals is to build bodies capable of handling anything life throws at them.

Our classes are universally scalable, making CrossFit perfect for most individuals, regardless of experience level. That said, every CrossFit is independently owned and operated, and that independence is reflected in the culture of each gym.

Hudson River CrossFit differs from the big box gyms of the world. You won’t find ellipticals, weight machines, “sales professionals”, or Zumba classes here. We only offer CrossFit. Specializing allows us to do one thing really well.

Most commercial gyms operate on a simple model: sign up a bazillion people at a super low rate, charge their credit cards every month, and hope they never show up.

In contrast, we are small by design. We don’t want a million members, because we want to know everyone’s name.

We don’t send direct mail blasts to every mailbox in Hudson County, because your results are our marketing. We don’t want you to miss class, because we have a vested interest in your success. In sum, our goals align with yours.

That said, we are looking for nice people who are interested in learning about fitness, improving their appearance, and making a few friends in the process.

We are not a testosterone pit. We are not a night club. We are a supportive community, working toward a common goal.

In our next email, we’ll cover what makes a great CrossFit, so you can make an informed decision when choosing a gym.

In the meantime, do me a little favor and send me a quick introduction @ John@HudsonRiverCrossFit.com. Let me know who you are, and why you want to try Hudson River CrossFit. I respond to EVERY email.

Talk soon,

Email #2

Why I HATE most fitness advice

It’s funny to watch all the fitness “experts” talk about “20 Ways to Drop 20 lbs FAST”.

My favorite is “The 7 Best Foods for 6 Pack Abs!!!”

Few of them ever touch on any psychology.

Why? Because they think “education” is a panacea for everyone’s health and fitness problems, when in reality most of the “education” being pushed around on the internet is overly simplistic content designed to waste our time. It does not address real solutions.

Can you think of ONE person who would easily shed 20 lbs and rock six-pack abs if only some fitness vigilante could explain to them that "spinach is a magical superfood"?!

Which of your friends would actually “Blast Belly Fat” if they’d just commit the “5 Quick Exercises for Flatter Abs” to memory?

The result of these "fitness tips" is a glut of people using all their willpower to refrain from eating a cookie in the office break room with no discernible results... and a side of soul-crushing guilt.

We all have a good idea of what constitutes an active lifestyle, or a healthy diet. So then why aren’t we all rocking shredded midsections?

It’s because we’ve formed bad habits, and bad habits are really, really, ridiculously hard to change.

Willpower is a finite resource. You need to take a different approach, such as changing your environment, removing triggers, and taking baby steps.”

Think about the insane amount of willpower necessary to permanently develop a good habit:

  • If you want to go to the gym after work you need to come home (after burning up a lot of willpower at work), walk past your comfy couch, avoid your awesome tv, computer, tablet, i-whatever, change into your workout clothes, walk past all your awesome things again, go out in the cold, walk to the gym, decided what exercises you’re going to do, set your rep schemes, pick your Pandora station etc. etc. etc... I’m getting exhausted just typing this.

  • If you want to cook healthy food you probably need to walk/drive/bike past hundreds of world class restaurants just to get to the grocery store.  From there you need to walk past thousands of delicious corn products like cookies, potato chips, sodas, ice cream etc. Then go past those delicious restaurants again. Avoid using your phone or computer to order delicious food right to your couch. Ignore all the awesome things in your apartment, and THEN START to cook.

When spelled out, these tasks seem nothing short of impossible. To break bad habits, and build better habits, we need to understand our shortcomings and use systems, automation, and a judicious use of our limited willpower to tackle things that really matter while ignoring the rest.

We need to focus on what actually matters.

We all “know” that eating right and exercising is important. We say that being healthy is a “value” of ours. We all want toned abs. But when it comes time to make a change we focus on silly things like opting for club soda with our vodka, crash diets and cleanses, and buying the optimal shoes for inclined treadmill running.

It’s time to stop focusing on the minutia, and prioritizing what actually matters.

For example, if your goal is to get back into shape, you need to focus your limited attention on removing any/all barriers that will stop you from working out.



    • What happens on day 31? We need to build long lasting habits if we want to form actual changes

  • Start a 5x a week workout routine at four different gyms while simultaneously attempting to change your diet, and learn the mandolin

    • Small actionable steps will always produce the best long term results in spite the urgent desire to get that beach body NOW.  

  • Buy 50 workout magazines, the best exercise shoes money can buy, and a grab bag of as seen on TV products

    • You’ll burn up all your precious willpower researching this stuff, learning how to use it, and figuring a way to logically implement it into your life. Introduce me to someone who has beat type-2 diabetes with a shake weight, and I’ll give you a free membership for life.

  • Tweak your ab exercises

    • Does it really matter if you’re doing v-ups vs. bicycle crunches if you’re only coming to the gym once every two weeks?


  • Set a workout schedule in your calendar, and treat those blocks of time as you would an important meeting with your boss

    • Start small. Begin with 2x a week, and only add a third after attending the first two are a habit (i.e. showing up takes as much willpower as flossing).

  • Go to the gym in a time slot that you have control over

    • Don’t let late meetings, upset clients, or public transit interfere with your workout time

  • Hire a professional to think about the technical stuff for you

    • Do you really want to waste precious willpower on selecting your exercises,  choosing your rest intervals, playing with rep schemes, and researching good form?

So next time you’re reading advice about “15 Workout Routines to Get You Beach Ready in No Time Flat” or “8 SURPRISING Foods Making You Fat”, ask yourself: has this really helped anyone? Are the millions of people who follow this advice really not “trying hard enough”? Or is there a systemic problem that has us using our limited cognition on small tasks that produce no discernible long term results.

Instead, how can we focus on the big wins, and develop small incremental changes that will produce massive results?

Talk soon,

Email #3

Scared to Try CrossFit? Read this.

We've read the stories.

The media portrays CrossFit as scary. I imagine a shirtless monster, with rhabdo, throwing around heavy barbells. It couldn't be farther from the truth. I'll tell you why.

In the first email I send you, I ask you to share your fitness goals. I've now read over 500 responses, and do you know what 95% of them say?

I'm bored with my current routine, and I want to lose 10-15 lbs.

Our membership is comprised of regular people-- doctors, bankers, chefs, and moms-- who just want look and feel a little bit better.

Almost everything we do is centered around helping people lean out. Seriously! The programming, the movements, and the structure of the classes are all set up to help folks lose weight and get healthier.

To ensure your success, we start you with our Fundamentals Program. This program is all about starting smart, and preparing you for your first regular class. It’s like starting a new game.

When playing a game for the first time, you don’t start at the hardest level.

Doing so would be silly: you’d get frustrated, and stop playing the game. That is why game developers strive to create a game environment that is challenging, but still easy enough for the player to constantly succeed.

In gaming, the benefit of a success based environment is twofold: 1. you keep playing the game, and 2. you develop the necessary skills to tackle the harder levels…

Think of your Fundamentals Program as two weeks onboarding in the game of fitness. During your four fundamentals classes you’ll learn how to:

  • develop good movements patterns, so you’ll stay injury free

  • set quantifiable goals that produce big returns

  • perform most of the movements you’ll encounter in our regular classes

  • scale movements that could potentially agitate old injuries

and you’ll also make some great new friends in the process.

At Hudson River CrossFit, we do things a little differently than most CrossFits. We are truly blessed to have:

  • Ridiculously small class sizes

    • We never have more than 14 people per class

  • Amazing coaches

    • On top of being nice, professional, and approachable, our coaches come from amazing athletic, academic, and coaching backgrounds

*****NOTE - Link out to bio page if you have set up^^^^ *******

  • Smart programming

  • A great location in the center of Hoboken

Hudson River CrossFit is a special place, and we are confident that you’ll love it.

That is why we’ll be sending out an email tomorrow that’ll explain how you can try Hudson River CrossFit RISK FREE.

Be sure to TAKE ACTION, this is the first time we'll be opening enrollment for our Fundamentals Program, and we only have a few spots available.

Talk tomorrow,

Email #4

The Charter Membership is open NOW (through Friday)

After months of hard work, we are proud to announce that Hudson River CrossFit will open on September 9th (opening party details coming soon).

I want to thank you for your interest and attention over the last few weeks. After personally speaking with most of you, I can say that we have the potential to build a great community.

I hope our emails have made it clear that we want you to succeed at HRCF. The Charter Membership is an excellent way to receive all the value HRCF has to offer at a fraction of the price.

So, what does a Charter Membership include?

  • Hudson River CrossFit’s two week Fundamentals Program (required for EVERYONE)

  • Unlimited monthly CrossFit classes

  • A month-to-month contract that allows you to cancel at any time

  • $50/$50 referral system. For every new member you refer us, they get $50, and you get $50 (credited to both accounts the following month)

  • A special shout out on the Hudson River CrossFit website

  • A ridiculous money back guarantee

  • All for $159 a month

Let’s see how this offer stacks up against the other affiliates in the area:

Gym -Fundamentals Price -Monthly Price -Total Cost

GYM 1 -$250 -$230 -$480

GYM 2 -$225 -$225 -$450

GYM 3 -$350 -$300- $650

HRCF Charter -FREE -$159 -$159

NOTE - When I opened Hudson River CrossFit I offered one option-- a month-to-month membership at $159. When I opened Bowery CrossFit, a 3,000 sq ft facility, I had over 5,000 subscribers to my e-mail pre-sale list so I made everyone pay 3, 6, or 12 months in full, at a higher average price point, in order to keep our sign ups at a manageable level and not overcrowd the gym on day 1.

If at any point during fundamentals you realize HRCF isn’t for you, we’ll refund 100% of your money. We are the only gym in Hoboken with an advertised money back guarantee. I wholeheartedly believe that we can make you healthier, so I’ve made the process risk-free.

The catch: this offer is only good until 11:59pm on Friday. After that, we switch to our advertised price of $199 for fundamentals, and $199 per month after that.

------------------------------------>CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED<-----------------------------------

After signing up, we will send you an email about enrolling in fundamentals. Remember, you must attend all the fundamentals in a series. We will work with you, on any scheduling conflicts. We also offer private make-up classes at $50 a session.

Our fundamentals classes, offered the first two weeks after opening, on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, at 5:15 am, 6:15 am, 5:15 pm, 6:15 pm, 7:15 pm, or 8:15 pm. You will need to pick one time, and attend all six fundamentals classes.


Those with chaotic weekday schedules can opt for our four class weekend fundamentals series, offered the first two weekend after opening, on Saturday and Sunday at 8 am, or 10 am. These classes will be 1.5 hours each and cover the same material as the six class fundamentals series.


If you cannot attend any of the fundamentals series, or want a little extra attention, you can do private fundamentals for an extra $199, or you and a friend can do it for an extra $150 each. To schedule just contact us. ←---- Link to a contact form

------------------------------------>CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED<-----------------------------------


What does my $159 get me?

The $159 includes all your fundamentals classes, plus two weeks of unlimited CrossFit classes. After that, you’ll continue to receive unlimited CrossFit classes at $159 month. You can cancel at any time, just email Billing@HudsonRiverCrossFit.com.

I’ve taken fundamentals before. Do I have to do it again?

As frustrating as it is to review movements that you’re familiar with, we do feel that there is significant benefit to retaking fundamentals. That is why we require every new member to complete fundamentals regardless of CrossFit experience. To ease the pain, we are offering fundamentals at no charge for all Charter Members.

There are only a few fundamentals classes, and there is a metcon integrated into each one. Since the class sizes will be so small, we can adjust your fundamentals experience to make it tougher.

What if I cannot make all of my fundamentals classes? Do you do private fundamentals?

If you are unable to make a single fundamentals class, we offer private makeup sessions for $50. If none of class times work for you, or if you want a little extra attention, we offer private fundamentals for an extra $199. Or you and a friend can arrange private fundamentals for an extra $150 each. To schedule just contact us. ←---- Link to a contact form

When does my membership start?

Your membership starts on the day of your first fundamentals class. You will be prorated for the month of September, and then charged for your a full month on October 1st.

Can I take a free intro class before I sign up?

If you’re unsure about the charter membership, you can still take a free intro class after we open. But, if you choose to sign up afterwards, it will be our normal price of $199 for fundamentals, and $199 per month after that.

------------------------------------>CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED<-----------------------------------

Again, our Charter Membership is open until 11:59pm on Friday. Please use this opportunity to enjoy HRCF at a fraction of the normal cost.

I cannot wait to work with all of you,

Email #5

Charter Membership closes tomorrow, did you decide?

I’ll make this quick.

The Charter Membership closes tomorrow at 11:59 pm, did you decide?

You’ve been reading about HRCF for weeks now. I've also been replying to hundreds of emails, so many of you have heard directly from me.

By now you should have a good idea if HRCF is right for you.

Just two reminders:

  • You don't like the space, instructors, programming etc.? Email me by the end of the month. I'll refund your money. Simple as that.

  • We close down tomorrow at 11:59 pm Eastern

Here is the link:


I mentioned this before, but it's so important that I’d like to re-emphasize it. We are in the business of community building. Our members are one of our most valuable assets. That is why the Charter Membership is only for people that have bought into our mission. We don’t do daily deals. We don’t flyer. You’ll never see a HRCF employee passing out coupons on Washington St. Instead, we use those resources to offer you a very special experience.

It's been a privilege being able to chat with you, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.

See you soon,

P.S. Just a reminder, if you’re not happy for any reason in the first month , I’ll refund 100% of  your money, no questions asked.

Email #6

Last reminder: Charter Membership closes in a few hours

To all the new Charter Members-- thank you. Be on the lookout next week, we’ll be sending you all the information regarding fundamentals.

For those who have not signed up yet, this is the final reminder: the Charter Membership closes at 11:59pm TONIGHT. It will be the last opportunity to receive a HRCF membership at a discount. 

Here is the link:




Next Steps

After you’ve finished drafting your emails and placing them in Mailchimp, you need to set up your Facebook ads.

There are a ton of tutorials on how to set up FB ads so I am not going to get into the weeds on here.

For the ad set up, use stock images of fitness models. We’ve done a TON of ad tests with different pictures and for whatever reason cut up fitness models alway outperform our own professional photos.

For the copy, use something like this:

Finally, make sure your Facebook targeting is narrow, especially if you’re in an urban market. I plan on doing a whole video series on Facebook targeting but for now, keep your targeting:

  • Within 1 mile of your gym if you’re in an urban location

  • Within 5 miles of your gym in you’re in an suburban location

We will usually set up 2-3 male and female audiences within our target age range and separated them by their interests. We will test each audience with $15 per day, and we will let the ad run for a minimum of 3 days before we make any changes. If a certain audience is performing well, we’ll ramp up our spending to $60-90 per day. If another audience is performing poorly, we’ll just shut it off altogether.


You’re going to receive A LOT of emails if you’re running this campaign correctly. A LOT. Make sure you have the time and the manpower ready to respond to people quickly. Speed is the name of the game here. If you do not answer emails or answer the phone quickly, they’ll join a gym that does.

This campaign works really well. If you want to keep it on after you’re presale, it will still work really well. For the last few gym openings we’ve done, we ran this campaign on a rolling basis.

For our gym Hudson River Fitness, we tweaked the copy since it isn’t a CrossFit gym. We ran the edited campaign for the first 2 months we were open. It resulted in 78 new members at an average price point of $199 per month.

We’ve tested this campaign with personal training studios, strength and conditioning gyms, and CrossFit boxes. I think it will also work with yoga studios, globogyms, and cycling gyms as long as you tweak the copy to make the message authentic.

This campaign was written in 2014. When we did this campaign with CrossFit Rittenhouse in 2017, we set up an option to book a 15m discovery phone call with a coach at the bottom of each email. These phone calls allowed us to connect directly with prospects and accelerate the selling process. We use Acuity for all of our call scheduling. It is super easy to use.

You can also doctor this campaign a little bit to launch new programs in your gym such as nutrition, bootcamps, midday classes, or specialty classes, though when we’ve done this, the results were not as good.

How did you do?

After you try this campaign, let me know your results. Or, if you need a little help getting this all set up, drop me a line.

How to network better than 99% of gym owners

As a gym owner part of your job is creating community. A community is a network of people tied together by some commonality. Part of the reason people love your gym is because they get to make new friends that also love fitness. 

Today information is cheap. People can find 1000s of free workout programs online. Connection is what matters. 

As an entrepreneur you should be developing a community of entrepreneurs outside of your gym. In short, you need to network. 

Networking for entrepreneurs

If you’re like me, your time is spread thin. That’s why you need to efficient with your networking. This post will show you the exact tactics I use to throw Mastermind Dinners, which allow to network 500% more effectively than 1-on-1 coffee or lunch meetings. 

So what is a Mastermind Dinner? It’s simply a dinner of 4-6 carefully selected people you want to connect with. 

Coordinating a Mastermind Dinner is great because you’ll

 • Provide a TON of value to the people attending (I’ll show you how)

 • Develop relationships faster than you would in a 1-on-1 coffee meeting

 • Connect other people in your community

 • Grow your network 5x faster

 • Get out of your comfort zone, which is critical for growing as a biz owner.

If you take the time to properly plan experience and curate a good group of entrepreneurs, the payoff can be tremendous. 

Choosing The Right People

The going rate for a good mastermind is $25,000 per year. Using this the Mastermind Dinner method I’m about show you, you can create your own Mastermind Group for about 1/50th of the price.

The key to a successful dinner is targeting the right people.

The first thing someone will think about when they receive your invitation-- especially if it’s a cold email-- is “what is in it for them.”

Try to create a theme to the invite list.

Everyone at the table should have something in common. The more unusual that commonality, the more valuable the dinner will be to the people in attendance.

For example, entrepreneurs with 7 figure businesses reflect 0.1% of the population. Groups like EO charge $10,000 a year to get groups of entrepreneurs like this together. If you can curate a group like this, you’re offering the people you invite something of tremendous value.

Once you have your commonality set, create a list of potential invites.

Then, research these people.

Do a Google News search of their name and their business. Try to find their personal blog or any videos they’ve done. Check LinkedIN and Facebook to see if you any mutual friends. Remember, this is a successful person, so they probably get invited to do stuff all the time. Showing them you’ve done some research will help you stand out from the noise.

If you have a mutual contact, I recommend having them introduce to you. If not, the next best step is sending them an email.

Reaching out

My go to subject line for the outreach emails is “NAME, I’m doing a dinner with a group entrepreneurs…”

It’s open ended and piques the person’s interest.

If I have a mutual connection I’ll say, “CONNECTION, told me to reach out to you…”

Any time you reach out with a cold email, it’s best to start with a short email, and then follow up with a longer email once you’ve received a response.

The first email is just to get them interested in your opportunity.

“Hey NAME! I’m planning to hold a dinner next with a group of fitness entrepreneurs, interested?”

If he says yes, you have your foot in the door, and now it’s time to send all the details like the time and the date.

To stop yourself from going crazy, download Mailtrack. It will allow you to see whether or not someone received your initial email.

Choosing your spot

Controlling the environment is critical. 80% of the battle is curating a good group, but the restaurant experience is still important. For most people at the table, it will be their first impression of you-- make sure it’s a good one.

Choose a location where you will get a nice table away from the waiting area. Your guests are their to network so make sure they can hear each other. Also, pick a place that can accommodate most diets; this is important if your dinner is with people from the fitness industry.


Upon acceptance of your invitation send that person a calendar invitation with all of the specifics.

On the day of the dinner:

  • Call the restaurant to confirm the reservation

  • 2-3 hours before the dinner send a personal text message to each of the attendees telling them how excited you are to meet them.

  • Get to the restaurant at least 30 minutes early. You want to be there great anyone that arrives early.

During the Dinner

Set the ground rules.

Tell everyone to keep their phones in their pockets. If they need to make a call, have them step away from the table.

Explain that what is said at the dinner, stays at the table. Confidentiality is important to most high level entrepreneurs.

State an end time in advance. Sometimes these dinners will go very late and some of your guests will want to leave. Give them an easy out by setting a hard stop time and allowing them to take off without feeling guilty. For the party animals, let them know they’re welcome to stay as late they’d like.


Start with a round of introductions. You should go first.

Open up and be honest. The vulnerable you get, the more vulnerable your guest gets. Vulnerability will allow you to go deep, which is key making these dinners valuable for everyone at the table. Here is the intro structure I use:



-Business accomplishment that you’re most proud of

-A bold goal

-Thorns and Roses - this is just one thing that is going well in your business, one thing that could be great but isn’t quite there yet, and one thing that is a pain

After the intros, the conversation should flow naturally if you’ve curated the right group.

Before you leave restaurant make sure you take a picture of the group as you’ll want to follow up with your attendees later down the road.

After Dinner

Send out an email that introduces everyone that attended. Thank them for their time and includes one or two interesting points or resources that came up at the dinner.

If anyone replies to your email and asks how they can help you, reply with “can you connect me one other person you think I should meet?”

If you’re facilitating any introductions, make sure that you ask both people if it is O.K. ahead of time. Doing an introduction without permission is a violation of trust. Don’t do it.

Set a reminder in your calendar to follow up with the attendees in the group in six months. In the follow up, Include the picture of the dinner and ask if there is anything you can help them with.

That’s it. This simple strategy will help you network better than 99% of entrepreneurs. You’ll be providing people with a ton of value and you’ll be seen as a connector within your community. Doing a dinner once every 3-6 months will change your business-- especially if you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur.

Let's get started

I'm John, the creator of Flipside Performance, Rook Capital, and this very website.

John Franklin

I made this site to share some of the successes and failures I've had over the last few years while growing Flipside Performance.

My belief is that by sharing truth, helping others, and dropping carefully timed F-bombs, I can make the fitness industry a better place for all of us.

This site isn't intended to sell get-rich-quick sales tactics, info-products, or much of anything really.

The goal here is to pay-it-forward by sharing some of the insights, strategies, and resources that helped me build a business and a lifestyle that makes me happy most of the time. 

I also want to spread cautionary tales of the problems, mistakes, and oversights that have cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars.