Logan Gelbrich, Owner of DEUCE Gym

This episode is packed full of great insights from Logan. He dives deep into learning concepts, growth through negative feedback, leadership capacity, and (most importantly) neck tattoos.

“Everyone can be a follower. You have to opt into leadership.”

“Everyone can be a follower. You have to opt into leadership.”


Logan Gelbrich

Logan is the Owner of DEUCE Gym, but that’s just one side of him. He’s also an author, a coach, an entrepreneur, and the creator behind the Hold the Standard Summit, a two-day experience for fitness leaders who want to create high performance organizations.

Show Notes

  • Who is Logan Gelbrich? [3:13]
  • Logan’s book, Going Right, and the logical justification for pursuing your dreams. [4:10]
  • The concept of tactical learning versus adaptive learning. [9:52]
  • Confronting disconfirming environments = GROWTH. [13:50]
  • Teams that operate at the highest level have unique levels of trust and willingness. [17:16]
  • Everyone can be a follower. You have to opt into leadership. [20:04]
  • Operating at your edge. [21:44]
  • Saluting the flag and neck tattoos. [29:07]
  • Logan’s model for excellent coaching and nesting dolls. [35:11]
  • Selling fitness is not easy. It’s hard. Really hard. [35:55]

Full Episode Transcript

Logan Gelbrich: There are four DEUCE tattoos floating around the world right now. Juan has a tattoo on his forearm, Lacey has a tattoo on her tricep, and then we got a guy in Louisiana with one on his chest and then another dude in Texas with one on his foot, but that’s just sort of like a random thing that’s happened. But the metaphorical saluting the flag neck tattoo thing is a joke that I say that comes from our rite of passage in Coach’s Prep. It’s just impossible that someone would go through that process and be sort of, kind of, maybe committed to this thing, and that is an advantage that we benefit from every minute of every day.

Dan Uyemura: Welcome to The gymOS Podcast. Helping fitness professionals become better business owners, one episode at a time. Today on the PushPress podcast. I’ve got Logan Gelbrich here. For those of you who don’t know Logan Gelbrich, I strongly suggest you find him, and pay attention to him. This dude is so smart. He is in the gym space. He actually owns a gym 10 minutes away from me here in Los Angeles, which is about an hour and 1/2 drive called DEUCE Athletics. And for the longest time, he’s been preaching a lot of high standard activities and by high standard, I guess, I mean, with an expanded mindset. This episode is pretty philosophically deep, so you’re gonna wanna pay attention here. Go on a long run or sit in a quiet room and listen to this because the concepts here that are being broken down are on another level and I mean, they’re not tactical things for you to do, they’re philosophical things.They’re like, they talk more to how human beings work and how we respond, and the motivation factors behind things that we do and and why that affects your gym. So if that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, probably skip to the next one. If you think you’re on that level and you want to really get in deep on why humans behave how they do and how to make your coaches higher performing coaches and how to make yourself a higher performing leader, this is the episode for you. But I guarantee you probably wanna listen to it two or three times. So with that kind of lead in, I’m gonna let this episode unfold.

All right, and we’re on, So  I got Logan… is it Gelbrich?

Logan Gelbrich: You nailed it.

Dan Uyemura: I nailed it. I took a risk.

Logan Gelbrich: That’s rare. Often not nailed.

Dan Uyemura: I got Logan Gelbrich here, he’s actually a local gym owner of mine, so he came down and had lunch with me today, pretty cool experience having lunch, so we already talked a lot about stuff, and we got things teed up here to talk about. But for those of you who don’t know Logan, he owns, um I’m gonna let him tell you himself about his background.

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah, gymwise, I own a brand called DEUCE. We have three gyms here in the LA area, and a lot of my work is outside of the gym coaching principles, many of which will probably talk about here. I have a seminar called Hold the Standard Summit and do a lot of online education surrounding entrepreneurship and coaching.

Dan Uyemura: Yeah. So the cool thing with Logan is here in LA, and I would wager, I feel like you’re a name brand across the world. I don’t know if it’s my proximity to you or not, but I ran across a gym owner the other day and I was talking about you, and they didn’t know who you were, and I was like, “What the fuck?” Like it was shocking to me, so, yeah, Logan, at least in my spheres, is a major influence. The conversation we had over lunch was I feel like, mentally I’m gonna be challenged to keep up with you. Smart fucking dude, man. Yeah, we’re gonna dive into some good stuff here. So Logan is the author of a book called Going Right, which actually probably isn’t the best book for gym owners to read, right? But it could be key for gym owners to understand their clients. Do you want to unpack that a little bit and maybe explain to the gym owners why reading this might help them understand their own clients.

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah, it’s an observation of human behavior. The book is a decision making book. You know, the best way to sort of sum it up, elevator pitch style, is in that that subtitle, which is it’s a logical justification for pursuing your dreams. If the word dreams makes you roll your eyes, we can just say your peak expression. And so I just found, you know, I was a team sport guy, got out of baseball and just realized that most adults were just not only just mailing it in, they were doing a lot of justifying and explaining as to why they should be living this sort of sub optimal expression. And so the book goes through basically this sort of like principles or amenities of people who go on these types pursuits, nany entrepreneurs know what I’m talking about, that make those pursuits, in my opinion, the most reasonable, most logical type of decision you can make. And, you know, if you’re already on that path, you know, I think the book will help anybody, but, you know, if you’re entrepreneur, you’re probably dealing with a lot of people who have these these justifications in their head as to why they ought to seek perceived safety and perceived comfort and perceived certainty. And if you understand that, I think you can speak to what that’s about,

Dan Uyemura: Yeah, and that’s, I think, one of the keys to going to market with whatever you’re going to market with, for the gym owner, that would be your gym service, coaching fitness, facility, whatever, but in order to go to market and speak to the pain points of the people that are there, you have to understand, like where they’re coming from, right? And that’s to me, it’s more important to read these books than self motivation books. Unless you find yourself unmotivated.

Logan Gelbrich: Well, it’s funny you use that word motivation, it’s sort of like one of my favorite lines in the book. No pressure. But, you know, I think I’m being verbatim when I say, “Motivation can mobilize us but rarely sustains us.” And so someone joins a gym on a whim is pretty fragile way to enroll in an endeavor that we know is, like a lifelong practice, a decade long practice. And so how do you create the structures that set people up for success in an environment that is largely set up for failure? And I think in our world, call it, you know, micro gym, service oriented business, especially when you’re selling something that’s particularly difficult you got, you have to know what it is that you’re enrolling people in order to have a chance in hell to be successful.

Dan Uyemura: Yes, what you’re just talking about I’m gonna hopefully remember to talk about in a few minutes, that we’re selling something difficult, because I feel like our audience is probably looking at that and going, it’s so easy, like selling fitness is easy, everyone needs it, right? This is the thing. But we’re gonna get back to that because I actually wanted to dive into another thing that just came into my mind when you’re talking was, I kind of mentioned when we first started that this book that you wrote was about understanding your potential clients, but as you were talking, I also realized it might help you be a better leader in your gym for your coaches and your staff.

Logan Gelbrich: 100%

Dan Uyemura: Because I feel like one of the bigger problems with running a business, especially like my experience now at PushPress, I’m here to facilitate my staff to become better employees, better workers, to unlock their productivity, and now that I’m reflecting back on gym ownership, I don’t know if a lot of gym ownerships are focused on their coaches as much as they’re focused on maybe even their clients or their business itself.

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah, 100%. And we were just kind of off air talking about a lot of the fragile tendencies of these types of businesses, where, you know, almost no one is doing a great job building teams. Almost no one is doing a great job professionalizing the role of coach or employee year or whatever the case may be, and so the book is a very universal conversation. The conversation we’re having right now is so much so embodied in that, but just in a more specific way and a lot of the work that I’m doing, I would say the most important work I’m doing now, is not just in my own businesses, but teaching other businesses what is largely in academia called, you know, building deliberately developmental organizations, meaning that for the sake of simplicity, you’re in the business of whatever it is that you sell and you’re in the business of developing people of almost equal, I would say of equal importance, and so, in our specific example, we slang fitness that’s how we make money. We also put as many eggs in the basket of development of leadership inside of our organization, and, you know, I’m not just giving lip service when I say I would have that orientation 1000 times out of 1000 if I had the choice. And it’s specifically the difference maker for us.

Dan Uyemura: Right. So, like I said, at least in my spheres there, a lot of your stuff comes across my timelines, across my feeds, and I never knew the inner workings of your mind until today at lunch, and now I’ve unlocked a lot, a lot of it makes sense, I’ve had that 6th sense moment where you can come back and see some of the way you propped up your coaches or you’ve done things and it makes more sense. But we’ve actually just inadvertently dove into the probably the biggest topic that I want you to talk about and that you’re probably here to talk about, and that’s this concept of tactical learning versus adaptive learning, which I feel like there’s a lot of conceptual stuff here, so you have to bear with it and then we’ll trying to pack it into, like, real world stuff for them.

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah, I think I can kind of bring this to the audience in a succinct way. Just to be clear, there’s two types of problems and therefore two types of leadership if we’re gonna oversimplify, and technical problems are these problems with known answers. The Internet goes down, you got to call an expert to turn the Internet back on, right? Someone has a fault in their hang clean, we have some technical expertise that can solve this. Now I don’t want to sound like someone who is downplaying the importance of technical problems because they can be life threatening or business threatening type challenges. All I’m saying is that there are known answers. There’s an expert out there, a PhD, there’s a subject matter expert, there’s a person to hire to solve these problems, and they’re critical. However, a big mistake that human beings make is we believe that all problems are technical and it’s now 2020 and we are in the heart of the information age. There are very few, if any, secrets left. Yet, we’re running around with the mentality that I am one seminar away from solving my problems. I am one external service provider, you know, marketing guru away from being a successful business. Meanwhile, maybe subconsciously ignoring this adaptive thing, and here’s the tricky thing about adaptive challenges, there are no known answers to this, meaning, and stay with me on this, meaning the person or the thing with the adaptive challenge would need to evolve into a bigger, more capable person or thing to solve them. Okay, and so if people are listening to that, like what the hell, I understand when my routers down, technical got it. What’s an adaptive one? There are countless leaders listening to this right now who have major business/life limiting challenges like, follow through or dealing with conflict or, you know, procrastination as a major hurdle in their life. Now, you know, you have me on the podcast for a reason. I know that I can’t say over the airwaves. Hey, guess what, Johnny Procrastinator.

Dan Uyemura: Stop doing that.

Logan Gelbrich: Stop it! Right? And then, oh, here’s a peer, you know, 500 pages of peer reviewed studies showing that if you don’t procrastinate, you’ll just be better off than if you do procrastinate. This is not the problem. And so what I know and what few courageous organizations know is that you can build cultures that drive and address this type of adaptation, and that’s what I’m specifically interested in.

Dan Uyemura: So I mean, speaking directly to maybe a pain point that a gym owner’s customer would have, let’s talk about, like diet, right? Everyone knows you eat clean, probably live longer. You’re probably gonna have health benefits, etc. I mean, the customers all know that, but they’re all gonna go home and eat a double triple cheeseburger whenever they want. So this is more about implementing systems that drive that adaptation where they’re doing it less or they’re maybe not doing it at all.

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah, and to be clear, you can have only a certain level of impact as you get further and further away from the center of the organization. So the most gnarly, aggressive, adaptive change is gonna happen in environments where you can do things that you can’t with other people. And so just to use an example, you know, the special forces in a military organization can operate in ways that, let’s say, newly enlisted folks can’t and we can talk about how to cultivate what we know about those teams, but what I’m saying is to drive adaptive change in your customers is a little bit more difficult than it is in your leadership or your staff. Now, doesn’t matter, I can answer your question by speaking to the the issue at stake, and we largely cannot make these types of adaptations because of assumptions and blind spots. And so we’re looking to put people in environments that change how much perspective we have and we can see. And so, essentially the simplest way to put this is we change between the ears when we see disconfirming information, something that challenges our belief, right. So, like Dan, if I just somehow had a list of papers that had everything that you believe to be true written on them, and I just sort of read that information back to you, you would be in that chair at the end of this weird exercise the same exact person. But if I could show you something that proved to you that you could not unsee, that challenged your beliefs, then you’d have an opportunity to change. And everyone who’s listening to this, everyone who I’ve ever met is highly interested in being different, more capable, and here’s the irony, we’re all thirsty for confirming information. We want to be reinforced as being right. We retweet the articles that prove our position right, etc., etc. Yet it is the confronting disconfirming environments that drive our evolution and you can you can look back in your life at all those moments when you had this sort of change, where you grew in terms of your capacity, and it wasn’t by receiving some sort of feedback that you already had. And so what we’re doing is we’re stealing this mechanism and designing teams and companies and systems that embrace the sort of ingredients we need for adaptive change.

Dan Uyemura: I got it. So from your perspective, is there a recipe, like, let’s say, as you mentioned, it’s harder for me to drive adaptive change from people that as the further away they get from my sphere of influence. And if I’m enlightened enough to understand this technology, let’s call it a technology. Is their framework for doing that? Can I go to my cofounder right now and deploy some of this stuff?

Logan Gelbrich: 100%. Yeah, So our model for culture is not like airy fairy woo woo magic. It’s real, and it’s a specific model that can be repeated, and you can look to the best teams in the world and see all the elements that I’m about to describe. Teams that operate at the highest level, specifically that drive adaptation that we’re talking about have unique levels of trust and willingness. So the first thing that we do that’s cornerstone to our culture is a rite of passage. So we don’t hire people from the outside, they have to go through this rite of passage. High level military teams have this, high level sports teams start ups, et cetera. The harder it is to get on the team, generally, the better team that it is, and so rite of passage, generally, it is difficult and transformative. For us it’s called the Coaches Prep, right? And so whether you’ve been coaching for 10 years and you’re, you know, national level athlete or coach or whatever, you have to go through this process and it’s gonna take a little longer than you want, it’s gonna be mentally and or physically arduous, etc., etc. Now what happens is on the other end of that, you can look across the room at someone who’s gone through this process with increased levels of trust, and they have increased levels of willingness in the system, and the reason why those two things are critical is because, the example I use a lot is like therapy is a hard ass transformative process if you go in there with this trust and willingness of the thing. If not, it’s just an expensive hour. So the reason why these two ingredients are paramount and high performing teams and cultures is because it takes trust and willingness to exchange the information, the feedback that drives adaptations. So we’re obsessed with negative feedback, essentially.

Dan Uyemura: Yeah. I mean, basically what you said earlier was in order to adapt you have to be able to confront something you think is true and let that change you, and if you don’t trust somebody or you’re not willing to then it’s never gonna happen.

Logan Gelbrich: 100%. If it’s not worth it to me, to tell you what I really think you need to improve, then I won’t tell you.

Dan Uyemura: Right. And if I’m not willing to listen, then it doesn’t matter.

Logan Gelbrich: 100%.

Dan Uyemura: Yep. Okay. Are there any more steps to that?

Logan Gelbrich: So basically, we call it this culture of truth. The best information is the truth. That seems obvious, but what’s ironic about that is most organizations “truth” is slanted towards positive feedback. It’s just way easier for me to be like “Hey, oh great job” or say nothing than to give the feedback that we need. And so it’s with this information that we can make the best decisions and involve and iterate and for us, what we’re trying to do is build a culture of leaders and, you know, if we define leadership in our culture as being responsible for the results then you don’t need to be of a certain age, you don’t need to have a certain title, you need to be accountable to the results. Also, leadership is effective when it drives evolution towards this,  peak self and so essentially culture, then, is doing the job of leadership in a collective sense. And so we use this rite of passage and then continuing development through feedback to get an organization where everybody is operating in leadership, and I view leadership as a capacity. It’s kind of like if you can deadlift 600 pounds then you can deadlift 600 pounds or 95 pounds. If you can’t deadlift 600 pounds, you cannot. So everyone can be a follower. You have to opt into leadership.

Dan Uyemura: Right, gotcha. And so I’m gonna keep driving towards this direction because, I mean, this would be like the holy grail of it all. Is there a way to empower your coaches, who I’m gonna call your like leaders. to create their own micro groups in the gym to get buy-in, trust, willingness to replicate this down the chain, or is that just not possible?

Logan Gelbrich: No, 100%. So this is the beauty, and I think we all understand this, if you’re a movement coach or you sell like a service, that is skill based in some way. We all understand how to improve skill, and it’s like operating at your edge, you know, if you back squat 500 pounds, you have to dance around a stimulus that is heavy enough to move that to one day, squatting 520 or whatever the number is. We know that. When it comes to development of leadership and moving down chain like you’re saying, it’s essentially about putting people in an environment that will expose their edge. And so, you know, the ways that it’s manifested, say, at DEUCE is the specialty courses. So if I need to evolve someone as a leader in a way that would maximize their expression as a person, one way to do it is to take all their money out of all their bank accounts, sign a 10 year lease in a building, and see if maybe it’ll work out. That seems like a high stakes way to grow, right, so what we do is we run experiments, right? Developmental experiments. So what we’ll do is we will lower the stakes, and we’ll make them an entrepreneur inside of the business, right? And so I need to be fully accountable. Can point the finger nowhere else but to yourself about the results of, let’s say, a specialty course like DEUCE Breath and Exposure. Okay, so this super obscure breath and exposure course is an experiment in being a next generation iteration leader entrepreneur with just less consequences. And what we do is we show people that they can grow into a bigger container than they were before, in a very controlled way that creates a win, win, win, win, win, win, win scenario. All upside.

Dan Uyemura: I love it. Yeah. Okay, So you’re really helping them grow by giving them entrepreneurial opportunities, like you said, with lower stakes and probably coaching them along because, I mean what I’ve seen, a lot of times, and I’ve been guilty of this is I’m like, “Hey, you want to do a gymnastics, you know, break off at the gym, cool, have at it,” and then it’ll be great for a month, and then it will tail off in six weeks and it’ll be over in 12, and really, it’s because I didn’t support the growth of that coach enough, right?

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah. And it’s also understanding where these folks’ edges are, you know…

Dan Uyemura: Or if they’re even suited to do it.

Logan Gelbrich: If they’re suited to do it, right. You know the gross way to explain it, and I use this imagery sometimes is like, I’m gonna put you in the deep end and I won’t let you drown, but you’re gonna think that you can’t touch the ground, right? And so it needs to be in an optimal environment to grow this person’s capacity. Same thing, like, if your, you know, best back squat is 500 and you put 700 on the bar, it’s like, that’s all bad, right? So we need the proper stimulus to drive this leadership adaptation.

Dan Uyemura: That’s great. That’s a great analogy. So for gym owners listening to this like, I guess it’s important to realize not everyone even should be out at the bar, right? Yeah, trying to squat at this point. There’s some development before that, like, if you can’t, you can’t air squat properly, then we’re not putting any weight on the bar, so you have to recognize that as you’re developing people. But I think that’s an interesting concept, because a lot of gym owners are struggling, to figure out how to unlock more revenue in their gym and it’s not, it could be as simple as figure out how to develop your coaches.

Logan Gelbrich: 100%. And you know, we do this mental exercise, not even really mental, it’s just an exercise in the summit, which is like, you’re gonna leave here with another revenue stream at least, and if I put you in a corner and say, “Hey, without any more resources, without any more people, any more money, could you develop a value add inside of this company right now?” You can do it, and, you know, there’s a lot of irony in our business and part of the irony is folks are, they’re wishing their team was as great as they were, and they want their team to step up. Meanwhile, they’ve made a company that can only be as big as them, and so you know, you have to look at what are you willing to give up to get the growth that you want? And if the whole company is a giant logjam around your approval and your leadership, then you’re building a small company. And so, you know, this is super meta because my development has to come from moving the needle on my leadership because there is no finish line, so now it becomes, “Man, could I coach another coach to coach other coaches?” Right? And the answer is yes, all right, and then it becomes, “Can I coach other coaches, to coach other coaches to coach other coaches, in another country, in another language?” Right? And so this never ends.

Dan Uyemura: Yeah, so I think that’s such an insightful topic because I feel like a lot of people out there running gyms are just worried about customers, like, they haven’t thought too much about the coaches because you empower eight coaches going to battle for you, that’s eight of, hopefully eight of you or eight of them as an expression of whatever you’ve taught them, out there going to battle for you or for themselves.

Logan Gelbrich: 100% and think about how many “problems” or limiting factors go away if you can create, yeah, shift the focus towards the development of the team. If you had in your business a team of employees that are making well over a living wage benefits they’re saluting the flag hardcore, they got neck tattoos of your gym logo. Whatever the thing is…

Dan Uyemura: That happened at your gym, didn’t it?

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah, pretty insane. So if you can provide that type of leadership role then now you have that type of leadership, you know, and you can just do more than other teams. Most people in our game are like, it’s like one person with money and maybe one person who’s semi charismatic leading a half a dozen loosely committed mercenaries who are late on their rent every month. Like, what kind of team is that? You know?

Dan Uyemura: Yeah. So one thing I’ve noticed, again observing from afar because I will not drive to Venice.

Logan Gelbrich: Respect.

Dan Uyemura: One thing I’ve noticed from afar is you seem to have created a pretty magical environment at DEUCE, in terms of neck tattoos on your coaches…who got the neck tattoo?

Logan Gelbrich: So we have, well, there’s a couple, there’s three, there’s four DEUCE tattoos floating around the world right now. Juan has a tattoo on his forearm, Lacey has a tattoo on her tricep, and then we got a guy in Louisiana with one on his chest, and then another dude in Texas with one on his foot, but that’s just sort of like a random thing that’s happened. But the metaphorical saluting the flag neck tattoo thing is a joke that I say that comes from our rite of passage in Coaches Prep. It’s just impossible that someone would go through that process and be sort of kind of maybe committed to this thing, and that is an advantage that we benefit from every minute of every day. I can’t underscore that enough times, you know, to the audience.

Dan Uyemura: So I mean, to go back to this, like when I am talking about, like you’ve created environment there, that in my opinion, appears to be magical, I’m talking about also from the customer standpoint, like one of my old gym members moved to Venice and became a member of your gym. Ben Wa, and he is all about it, and from what I’ve seen from people who’ve been to your gyms or, you know, social media stuff to gets shown around, that’s not, that’s not uncommon. Yeah, and I know most gym owners think that that’s the experience of their gym. But like, believe me, like what I see happening at DEUCE is on another level from pretty much every other gym that I see out there. Not not all the gyms, but almost all of them. Is that just a matter of empowering your coaches and getting them on the right page and in the right seats? Or is there more to it that trickles all the way down to the customer?

Logan Gelbrich: It trickles down to the customer, but let me explain how we model excellent coaching, because I think that will be inclusive of this seemingly extra stuff. And the reason why I’m saying this is because it’s not either or, like, we were talking earlier about, like, this place and like amenities. The tech world, for example, has a little bit of a fault in this way, where it’s like we need the brightest young graduates from the most choice colleges. So how we create “culture” is we have a nicer ping pong table than the other crew, and that’s very external and not inclusive of, “Is this a savage company?” Right? Or is it, “Do we have just beer pong at lunch?” Right? And so it has to be both. And so, the imagery that our model for excellent coaching follows is just like these nesting dolls here, is to transcend and include the previous stage, and the first stage of our model for excellent coaching is the technical base of coaching. If you cannot set, communicate, and build the standard in the gym, this is our language, but around movement at, a uniquely excellent level, then it all falls apart. Then it’s just a kitschy garage gym and the cool Instagram, and it’s the ping pong table without the savage business. So the core has to be, “Is this excellent at what it is that we do??

Dan Uyemura: Would that be the smallest doll or the biggest?

Logan Gelbrich: That would be the smallest doll. Then the next stage for us in terms of excellent coaching. There’s a lot of coaches that could do the technical thing. The next stage is, can you hold your craft in context? Meaning, can you place yourself and the people that you’re coaching in context of the grand scheme of things, right? The general way to say it is, are you missing the fucking point? And we can place that in context, not just technically, but like an abstract way like, yes, we’re here for the reps and sets, it’s not just about the reps and sets, and that takes a certain level of non dogmatic space and responsibility to create that environment.

We can think about some examples where this falls apart. You’re ripped out of your fucking mind, right? You’re the fittest person in your zip code. You’re the coach, but you can’t see that no one gives a fuck, right? We see that coach all the time. Yeah, you also can’t be the coach who doesn’t give a fuck. Can’t do anything, isn’t fit, and is saying, “Hey, guys, it’s just a community,” right? This is missing the context. It is both. And so, with this technical base, good coaches have that technical base and can hold their craft in context.

The third and final ring of this model is technical base. Yes, hold it in context. Context, yes. And you are inside of leadership, meaning you’re ultimately responsible for the experience and the results of this, this institution. And oh, by the way, the paradox of leadership is you’re never fully in control of those results. And so now you have coaches who are technical savages who aren’t dogmatic and who are always pointing the finger towards themselves, and now you have a chance to create a team that is really dynamic. And that is the thing that is dripping off of everyone in that place that is responsible for the magic.

Dan Uyemura: Man. That’s pretty amazing. I hope you guys had a pen and paper out or hit the rewind button a few times and write that down. I’ll tell you this much like running a business like PushPress is exactly what you’re saying, and that’s like kind of a learning process I’m going through is, like, ultimately, the buck stops with me for every failure that happens in this company, and that’s the first hurdle you have to get over, is it’s not the coach’s fault when you know a class goes awry or fails, it’s ultimately your fault. And I think a lot of the alpha types have a problem with that and that may be the first stumbling block of creating a truly special gym or business, you know, in general. Yeah, that’s nuts.

Cool, man. Oh, there was one point I want to talk about from way back now, we just kept going here, was about, you’re selling fitness, and that’s hard. Can you explain that because I would knee jerkedly go, “fitness is easy to sell because everyone needs fitness and the entire world needs to get fit, and we have an obesity epidemic epidemic and yada, yada yada,” and, you know, knowing what you’re probably gonna say, I think you’ve already touched upon it, but why don’t you, let’s just hammer this one home.

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah. I mean, so you’re right, thank God people want to look a certain way and oh, by the way, we’re all sick, so it doesn’t matter who you are, I know that we’re selling something that you need. Thank God. Also, here’s how I look at it. I was a high level athlete at one point in my life, and I know, and I’m not being facetious here, I know that I’m 34 now, if I had just had, like, another kind of job, I could not possibly show up to an anonymous corporate gym and figure out how to get better for the next 30 years in there, I wouldn’t know how to do it. I don’t have enough willpower, and I feel like a highly motivated, capable person. And so in that sense, this is difficult. And so if you are in your mind, as an entrepreneur, thinking that you are selling workouts, you have, in my opinion, no chance of doing this well. So what is it that you are selling? We need to sell an environment that is about learning and skill acquisition because no reasonable person is enough of a masochist just to show up to a place to burn a little bit more calories than they take in for the next 20 years. And so what we’re trying to do is be very clear as to what we are, and I’m not saying everybody needs to do this, I’m just saying I would never feel like I have a chance to compete in this industry, we’ll call it, with a perspective other than ours, which is “we are in business to be coached.” You are coming to school and I can create a lot of value with that. In 2020, fitness is free. It’s been free. There’s nothing remarkable or compelling about renting people dumbbells and kettlebells, regardless of how instagramable your gym is, we can create extreme value with the thing that sets us apart, and you need to know what that is, and for us, it’s coaching. We tell people you’re gonna find the best coaching experience here than you’ll find anywhere in the world, and we’re working really hard to make that true. I don’t know if it’s true. We’re working really hard to make that trip.

Dan Uyemura: Yeah, I mean, just at the surface level, without really digging that deep into it, fitness is, not only a commodity, like kettlebells can be used at any 24 Hour Fitness now, but I could go outside and do burpees and jump on a planter box all day for free. Yeah, what you are selling, and I’ve been long shouting this, is experience and education, like, there might be, like, one or two more tangential things there, but at the end of the day, if what you’re selling is the better ping pong table, you’re gonna lose to Equinox or someone like that, right? And if you’re if you’re selling community then, and you’re not developing your coaches, what’s gonna happen is one of your coaches is gonna leave and take that community with them, and then your whole business prop just went somewhere else. So yeah, I think a lot of and then, you know, a lot of gym owners are talking about churn being a problem or let’s put it in gym terms, like losing members being a problem, and if you’re developing what you’re talking about like you’re building a churn buster like people won’t leave because your coaches are happy, they’re making money, they’re staying there, and they’re learning stuff, right?

Logan Gelbrich: And it’s also that, specifically to that point, the context piece, it’s like, is your language and the thing that you’re teaching holding space for the fact that like, “Hey, we’re on an arc here,” we’re talking about like skill acquisition. It’s not more push jerks for the sake of push jerks, it’s like, “How are we doing this?” And can I weave a story that this is a 30 year journey of getting your black belt in fitness, and if you’re not telling that story and it’s just, you know, how much did you sweat or not to, like, take a jab at other fitness modalities, but it’s like, you know, if you’re counting these calorie burn zone thing…

Dan Uyemura: How many points did you get?

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah so that’s just not some and I could, I’m open to being wrong about this, but that’s just something that I know, I can’t I can’t show up for the next 10 years for that. I just can’t.

Dan Uyemura: Yeah, I mean, if anyone’s done those type of workouts, I basically make it a point to try every hot workout that comes out just to see what they’re selling because there’s actually things to learn from all of them. I could see how a lot of them will get really old really fast. And then what I know doesn’t get old is learning.

Logan Gelbrich: Yep. 100%. And the learning provides context for doing all the difficult things. And there’s such a valuable, I don’t want to say story, because that sounds contrived, but a valuable story to be built around this whole thing. For us just to share my limited perspective, it’s like if we’re a school, then it makes sense that, you know, because I can call on anyone’s school experience and they know it’s not just about what they did in class, there’s a social element there, there’s a community element there, there’s this long arc of compounding message. This is something that you can enroll in and show up for, and it’s not contrived or fake, that’s rooted in real performance, you know. So that’s the story that’s compelling.

Dan Uyemura: Yeah, that’s a huge topic. That’s probably a whole topic in and of itself. Let’s wrap this up, we’ve actually been going for a good amount. You’re actually a really deeply philosophical, thoughtful, intelligent dude.

Logan Gelbrich: Thanks, man.

Dan Uyemura: In a body that could squat 500 pounds, I think, right?

Logan Gelbrich: That’s right. ::laughter::

Dan Uyemura: So yeah, probably if you’re listening right now, you might want to rewind this a few times and, like, really think about what’s being said because there’s some pretty deep stuff being said here. Logan, if anyone’s interested in, like, catching you, finding you around, where can they find you?

Logan Gelbrich: Yeah, just on Instagram and Twitter @functionalcoach, and you can check out HoldtheStandard.com for online education, staff development, entrepreneur development, and then the information of the summit is there, so I just invite people to check that out. Any leadership role, any manager, any teammate of a small business would benefit from this two day course, and DEUCEgym.com

Dan Uyemura: When’s the next summit?

Logan Gelbrich: So we’re in Nashville, March 7-8, Los Angeles, March 28-29, and then Barcelona June 13-14.

Dan Uyemura: Worldwide.

Logan Gelbrich: Yep.

Dan Uyemura: All right, guys. Well, thank you so much, Logan. That was super insightful. I’m gonna re-listen this a few times myself to make sure I got everything outta here, but thank you guys for tuning into another episode of The gymOS Podcast, here to help you become a better business owner in your fitness facility. Make sure you like this episode or like our podcast, subscribe so you can tune into more deep hitting stuff like this, and until next time we catch you keep on grinding guys.

Alright. If that was your first time listening to it. Put this down. Go get a cup of tea, use the restroom, come back, hit the rewind button and listen to that again because if you really listen to that, you know, you probably need to listen to it again because there’s no way you can absorb that much high level, mind bending content in one sitting without needing to go back through it with a notebook and a pen and paper, you probably realize somewhere in there you need a pen and paper. In fact, I should have warned you that on the intro. So if you’ve listened to this more than once, now we can actually do the outro.

Hopefully, you just grasped a ton of stuff from that. I did. I learned a lot myself, and I feel like I talked to a lot of smart people every day. That was cool. So if you are getting value from this, here comes the ask. I do it every episode. You know what’s coming. Hit that like button, hit the subscribe button. Leave us of review, preferably a five star one with some comments in there. Let Google and Apple and all the rest of the other algorithms out there know that we’re providing value to you guys because you know what we really care. We really care about helping not just PushPress clients, but all gym owners succeed. So give us that like, give us that subscribe, if you’ve already done it, try and do it again, go to another platform and do it again, give it to us because that’s gonna get us in the hands of more gym owners were gonna be able to help more gym owners succeed, more gym owners are gonna be able to hear stuff like this to help them in their gyms. Rising tides float all boats. Is that how it goes? Rising tides rise all boats? I don’t know. You know what I’m trying to say. Anyway, go do that for me. I’m gonna keep grinding over here, creating podcasts and content for you guys to become better gym owners, better business owners, and until next time, keep on grinding and keep the faith.

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