Episode 04: Mike Doehla, Stronger U Nutrition
Dan, PushPress CEO, and Nick, PushPress CHO, travel to New York to sit down with Mike and discuss how his company is changing the nutrition industry.
“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion”
— Mike Doehla (from anonymous guy on his flight)
Selected Links From the Episode
Links to interesting items (books, podcasts, fitness, food, and the occasional adult beverage)
- The story of Mike Doehla. [1:58]
- The switch from banking to nutrition. [3:30]
- Your relationship with food and one cookie vs. the entire roll. [5:40]
- The 1-2 punch of fitness and nutrition. [7:52]
- The effects of nutrition on your gym’s churn. [8:58]
- The myth of undereating. [9:55]
- Why tracking your food doesn’t have to drive you crazy. [11:50]
- Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion. [14:23]
- The importance of a tribe and how Stronger U works with gyms. [15:22]
- Happy members, happy gyms, and the data to show it. [18:22]
- “We don’t sell nutrition, we sell a better life.” [20:26]
- The importance of non-scale victories. [23:24]
- The importance of buying back your own time. [27:27]
- What’s coming in 2020 for Stronger U? [30:00]
Full Episode Transcript
Dan Uyemura: Welcome to The gymOS Podcast, helping fitness professionals become better business owners, one episode at a time.
Part of the purpose of The gymOS Podcast is to introduce you to business concepts that are gonna help you become a better business owner. But another big part of this podcast is to introduce you to a lot of people in the community who are doing big things and can help you in your gym help your community. All of us here, you included, are on a mission to try and make the world a fitter place, and Mike’s been making a pretty big dent.
We recently flew out to New York, got to meet Mike and sat down to record this podcast, which I’m excited to share with you today.
Dan Uyemura: All right, let’s kick this off to start. We’re gonna go around the room and just talk about what we’re drinking. I’m having a French Toast Double IPA.
Nick Reyes: Michael, what are you drinking?
Mike Doehla: Water…like a good nutrition person.
Nick Reyes: I’m having some black tea that I overflowed the coffee maker haha.
Dan Uyemura: Alright, cool. I just want to illustrate that Mike is actually drinking water.
Mike Doehla: Yeah, I wanna be on my best behavior for this thing.
Dan Uyemura: We tried for one whole meal.
Nick Reyes: I did not.
Dan Uyemura: Anyways, this is Dan Uyemura, CEO of PushPress.
Nick Reyes: Nick Reyes, Chief Happiness Officer at PushPress.
Mike Doehla: Mike Doehla, CEO and Founder of Stronger U Nutrition.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, super cool. So we flew up to New York specifically to meet Mike here. Kicking ass. He’s the CEO of Stronger U Nutrition counseling, coaching program? Is that the best way to describe it?
Mike Doehla: Yeah, yeah.
Dan Uyemura: We’re gonna let Mike talk a little bit about that himself. Super interesting guy, very humble. Totally the type of guy that we could fly to New York and hang out with. I was telling Mike yesterday when we first met, I feel like we’ve known him for 10 years. Super easy to talk to you. But let’s let Mike, why don’t you go ahead and explain what you do?
Mike Doehla: Yes. Ok, my back story. I guess I’ll start there, and I’ll make it kind of quick. I was a fan of CrossFit, I was a CrossFitter. I wanted to start a gym so I did that. I built a gym in my garage at home, about 500 square feet. Nice, pretty orange walls. New equipment on black Friday sales. This is, I believe 2013. It didn’t really work out. Nobody really cared to work out in my cold garage. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was just kind of winging it. A year later, I realized that what I thought people really needed was nutrition help, and that was where my strengths were. It was where my abilities really were, it was in connecting with people via the Internet, in person, trying to solve their food problems and basically being an aid to their CrossFit training that they could get even better at some local places around us. So almost five years in, 30,000 clients, it’s pretty crazy. Seventy-five staff members, pretty much all word of mouth. Huge part of our growth was thanks to the CrossFit community. We helped so many gyms with their members’ nutrition and really saved them from having another job. I know a lot of CrossFit owners have like 10 jobs, so if we can come in and help, you know, we’ll do what we can.
Dan Uyemura: Very cool. Very cool. So, you said 30,000 clients?
Mike Doehla: Yeah. We’ve had over 30,000 clients in about 50 countries.
Dan Uyemura: That’s awesome. So one thing I noticed last night when we were talking is you mentioned you used to be a banker? Then HR? How did you find your way into nutrition from that? Seems like the opposite side of the world.
Mike Doehla: Yes. So I was trying to figure my whole thing out, right? I was fortunate. I was, you know, pretty athletic growing up, always moving. Didn’t really have any bad relationship with food. So I didn’t deal with real obesity problems myself. But I describe myself as the skinny fat guy, right? I wanted to build some muscle, but I had some body fat to lose, so I tried all kinds of different things. I was trying to eat, “clean”, whatever that means. Tried to do paleo, try to do this, try to do that, and then after awhile you start to find the common denominator in a lot of these problems. You don’t really eat as much as you think you did or you overeat too much, and you’re just not eating the right distribution of food. You start to really find the science behind the nutrition and the practical application. And I think that’s the sweet spot for most people, is finding what you’re supposed to do, how to do it, and why you should do it, and just learning, getting certified, having some really great coaches myself, kind of set me up to help other people,
Nick Reyes: Gotcha, and you said, you have how many coaches working at Stronger U now?
Mike Doehla: About 70.
Nick Reyes: 70 coaches? Jeez, so it’s all one-on-one?
Mike Doehla: All one-on-one, no templates. It’s nothing like that. When you sign up, you get a coach, that is your person.
Dan Uyemura: Cool. You kind of mentioned the concept of a relationship with food. I first heard of that term maybe 18 months ago, and it kind of changed my mind because I realized I had a pretty fucked up relationship with food. When I was tired, I wanted to eat, when me and my wife were fighting, I wanted to eat, and I was like, “Why do I behave that way?” I still don’t know today.
Mike Doehla: That’s probably deeper, that’s out of my scope of practice haha.
Dan Uyemura: But can you elaborate more on that? Because I feel like a lot of people I don’t really see, don’t really realize that there’s a relationship with food, and they behave a certain way around food.
Mike Doehla: Yeah, so It’s interesting, and we have to, backtrack like hundreds of thousands of years. If you think about what food is for, it’s to help the human race survive, so they can reproduce and just live on. Now we’re just in this environment that is way too easy to overeat. There’s more stress than ever. We move too little, and a lot of times we’re searching for happiness and fulfillment, and food is the easiest, cheapest and sometimes most pleasurable option there is. And we don’t, unfortunately, really respect food for what it is. And I’m not here to say, “food is only fuel.” Yeah, that’s basically what it is. But food is also enjoyment. It’s cultural. It’s everywhere we go. And when you can really tighten up that relationship with it, and respect it, is when it’s just a really freeing moment. You can just say, OK, I need to do this, I probably shouldn’t do that. This cookie makes sense sometimes, but a whole roll of them doesn’t. And it’s just when you can kind of figure out how that makes you feel and how your decisions are influenced from it, that’s the thing that I wish everybody could just get. I get super deep, sorry.
Nick Reyes: No, no, I’m just over here thinking “What’s mine look like? Like what, where do I have these holes in here where, I have this unhealthy balance. I know it’s there.
Dan Uyemura: I’m the worst one here for sure. Absolutely.
Nick Reyes: I don’t know, dude.
Mike Doehla: You did have salad today? I had some french fries.
Nick Reyes: I had some french fries too.You know, there was one trip to LA that I literally had a burger for every single meal. I don’t think I’ll ever live it down.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, that did happen.
Mike Doehla: You guys are alright.
Dan Uyemura: So probably gonna have a lot of gym owners listening to this. Let’s frame some stuff in the context that’s useful for gym owners because your product is more for their clients, as opposed to the gym owner themselves. How can you see a gym owner approaching his client base and introducing some of these topics you talk about or making a change in how their clients see their nutritional/food relationship?
Mike Doehla: So I think, outside of the gym owner because they’re probably well aware of the importance of nutrition, is the customer or the member of the gym. A lot of people think they can outwork bad diets, and very few people can do that. So typically, most gym owners or trainers in a gym have a member that’s there for an hour a day. That’s 4% of your day. What happens outside of that gym is kind of out of their control, and it has a lot more impact, usually negative, on their physique, their health, their well being than the positive of that gym experience. So this is almost like a compliment to that. And that’s what a lot of the gym owners we work with say is like finally, the people that they bust their butt in the gym, they go home and they sabotage themselves, and that’s done. Because now they know you guys were there watching their back when they leave us. And that’s the coolest thing is to have that 1-2 punch of fitness, nutrition. Just take care of these people that couldn’t figure out why they weren’t getting the results.
Nick Reyes: Yeah, we’ve actually, at Kansas Athletic Club, got a little bit of data behind a member survey, like at 18 months perceived value dropped fairly sharply with our clients. Then what we realized was that without nutrition, when only you have fitness, then you introduced them into CrossFit, you almost always, it’s like 100% chance you’re gonna get results for about 18 months, right? PR everything. You’re gonna lose weight, but at some point, if you don’t change your nutrition habits and the gains or the loss are gonna stop.
Mike Doehla: Yeah, the newbie gains are done.
Nick Reyes: So as they stop, they don’t see the value in your fitness program because there’s no underlying nutrition support, right? So it’s super critical, I think.
Mike Doehla: And then what’s the risk? They might drop out of the gym?
Nick Reyes: They churn, they go look for the next best thing. They go to OrangeTheory. They go do something else, right?
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, so I’m curious about one thing. Something that I always had a suspicion with at my gym, but I never actually took a survey or followed up. I mean, I don’t know if people would even be honest in a survey, but I always felt when people left the gym, they’d tell me that they were doing all the right things because that’s what they should tell me. But I had a suspicion, not everyone did, most people didn’t. From what you see with having these coaches that are connected to somebody 24 hours a day potentially, do you feel that is the case with normal people? They think they’re eating 2000 calories, but they’re eating 3500 and/or do you think having that coach stops or can break that behavior.
Mike Doehla: Yeah. I mean, I was waiting for you to finish talking because I’m so excited about this part because that’s it. People overeat. There’s this myth out there that, you know you’re not losing weight because you’re not eating enough. That’s bullshit. That will never happen. I use the example of if you chained me to a tree for a week, I’m going to lose weight. My body is not gonna go into starvation mode, so we kind of go into that as trainers with trust, right? I think my clients doing the right thing, but if they’re not losing weight somewhere, they’re making a mistake. So tracking what you’re eating with accuracy and honesty, no matter how difficult that is, is extremely important for our clients and our members. We have to know what they’re eating because if something’s not going the way it should, based on whatever perception they have around food, we know what it is. And we can pinpoint that in a matter of a week or two and solve years of problems.
Dan Uyemura: Right. It’s kind of like I’m in some business coaching classes or groups, and I feel like it’s kind of the same idea. I’m working with somebody who’s helping me accelerate my growth because they’re stopping me from fucking up, as I’m fucking up.
Mike Doehla: Yeah.
Dan Uyemura: Another question I had, this one’s personal because I’ve worked with nutrition, people have one major problem with it, and I’m curious if it carries over to your clients. I go out to eat or something and I need to record my food, log my food, and it’s just like I’m just guessing. You know what I mean? And I feel like the burden of recording food down to as close to whatever unit of measure you’re eating. It’s so overwhelming for me as a person. Maybe it’s my mental state of mind or how I see things. I always fail, I always give up. Do you guys have strategies for that? Or do you find that there’s a presenter? Clients that are like that and they’re just failures? Or how does that work?
Mike Doehla: Yeah, so most people, if I were to ask you, “Do you want to track your food?” You would say no and I’m the same way. I don’t love doing it. And I like to do, like we talked about yesterday, I’ll have a tune up every once in a while. So I’ll kind of cruise around in lifestyle mode, which is heavily influenced by my education of tracking for a while. So I think it’s important to realize what the value is of it, and I use the money analogy all the time. If you go broke every single time you get paid, it’s because you’re spending too much money. If you refuse to track and figure out what those things are, then you have to be okay with going broke every single time. And that’s kind of how this works. If somebody doesn’t want to track, it’s good to know the value of tracking. It’s good to know that you don’t have to be perfect and nobody cares if you’re perfect. You just have to be close most of the time, and that doesn’t mean bring a food scale to a restaurant. I think that’s personally ridiculous. I don’t tell our clients to do that. I’ll tell them another way is just order something that you can probably eyeball type in a few things into my MyFitnessPal, whatever app you like, and log it and go about your day. It really doesn’t add that much more trouble, but it adds so much more control. And I think the value that control provides far outweighs the friction or the negative side of tracking food. I mean, it’s “Do you want to get better?” “Do you not?” “Is it worth it for you?” I mean, most people that we can get to track are very, very happy that they did it.
Nick Reyes: So even if they’re just eyeballing, they’re tracking, it’s better than no tracking.
Mike Doehla: Oh, yeah, but that’s kind of where I think people graduate to after fine tuning the tracking, that’s where I could be. I could look at a steak or a chicken breast or some rice on a plate and say, “That’s probably this much.”
Dan Uyemura: That’s a pretty poignant concept given if you’re paying attention to all the stuff we’ve been talking about, it’s all about, in the business world in your gym, if you don’t track these numbers and you’re not paying attention to what your gym is doing. How do you expect to get better? Well surprise, and it’s funny, because this is actually an analogy I use. I’m like, you can’t have a client come in and tell you they want to lose weight and refused to step on a scale and refused to tell you what they’re eating. Because if you don’t know that they’re KPI’s in terms of their nutrition in their daily life, how can you get them to lose weight?
Mike Doehla: You know, without data, you’re just another person with an opinion. That’s it.
Nick Reyes: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, man. I like that.
Mike Doehla: Yeah, I stole that off a guy’s laptop. I was on a plane and he was creating a powerpoint, and I was like, “Oh, that’s good, I’m writing that down.”
Nick Reyes: I do like that. Thanks, anonymous guy, I’m writing that down.
Mike Doehla: Thanks. Yeah, that’s not from me.
Dan Uyemura: Can you say that one more time?
Mike Doehla: Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.
Dan Uyemura: Right on. All right, cool. Have you, with Stronger U, worked directly with gyms before?
Mike Doehla: Yeah. So we have some semi-professional, fine-tuned relationships. We are trying to figure out some sort of affiliate program of sorts to help the gyms out a little more, but we have loose relationships right now.
Dan Uyemura: Could you share with whoever is listening to this right now what that looks like? How you might be able to help them with what they’re doing?
Mike Doehla: Yes. So they can, if they approach us, they say, “Hey, Mike, I’m the owner of this gym, I want to help our people with nutrition. Is there something you guys could do for us?” And we’ll say, “Yes, we will help them.” We will come up with some idea on how to incentivize them to mention it to their members without being like sales people. Usually, we get the owners on the program, so they can taste it because I don’t want anyone recommending anything they don’t know or try themselves, so we’ll usually hook them up with something. They do it, they like it. Then they introduce us to the gym or to the membership. We usually have like one or two coaches per gym, so we have that consistency because we’re so big on community, just like CrossFit. That’s something I definitely got from the CrossFit community, the importance of that tribe.
Dan Uyemura: And when you say one or two coaches per gym, you mean one or two of your coaches?
Mike Doehla: Yes.
Dan Uyemura: What does the rollout look like? How does it work?
Mike Doehla: So it’s usually not like this grand, it starts on this day, everybody must sign up now. I’m not a big fan of the mass rollout of nutrition programs. I think it creates a short term mindset. And we’re, you know, whether you do 12 weeks, six months, a year, whatever with us, we want you to learn things for the rest of your life. So people sign up whenever they want to sign up, usually with the code from the gym. They’ll put the gym name on the form so we know where they’re coming from, and then we’ll just get him set up within a couple days from there.
Nick Reyes: Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s a good way to do it. You have to be ready for help in order to truly receive help, right?
Mike Doehla: Yeah. I don’t want to get someone super excited to get on board, and they’re not ready and onboarding 10, 15, 20 people at once, it’s hard to get everything, smoothed out and consistent for that. It’s better to do it in little cohorts,
Dan Uyemura: Right. I guess that makes more sense, in the fact that you’re basically letting people trickle in as they’re seeing results from other people.
Mike Doehla: Yeah, and that’s usually what happens. Two people will be on, and then their gym friends will be like, “What the hell did you do? Six weeks later, they’re like, “I see you every day, and now you look like a different person”, and then they talk to these people, and then they get on, and then the other people get on, and then their family members are on, and it’s crazy. We have some gyms where 100 people did our program, it’s last nuts?
Dan Uyemura: For those gyms, do you feel like it’s impacted their top line, bottom line? What do you think that does for a gym?
Mike Doehla: Yes, so it’s hard to say, and right now, I’m gonna sound like just a person with an opinion because I don’t have the data, but I think it goes without saying that when your members are changing, and they’re happier, and they have another built in community within a community, their retention is just gonna skyrocket. Their happiness is gonna go up. Their performance in the gym is going to go up. And if you want to get specific, the gyms are probably benefiting in terms of revenues and things like that as well. So I don’t have the actual data. I would love to collect it, but right now it’s like they’re happier. Happier usually equals longer retention.
Nick Reyes: I have some data.
Mike Doehla: Go ahead.
Nick Reyes: Our nutrition program is relatively new, we haven’t churned a nutrition client yet.
Dan Uyemura: 100%.
Nick Reyes: Four months in. It’s a small sample size, but yeah, I mean, they’re happy.
Dan Uyemura: Wouldn’t it be crazy if somehow Stronger U could integrate into PushPress and you could get that data.
Mike Doehla: Haha yes.
Dan Uyemura: Wouldn’t that be nuts? I
Nick Reyes: Insights into conversations.
Dan Uyemura: Anyway, so one thing I heard you mention, which I’m curious about, is do you take out ads?
Mike Doehla: No. Well, we have, we did one for Cyber Monday, Black Friday, wasn’t a sale. We use a firm for our financing for our monthly payments and things, we did 0%. But right now, we don’t really do any ads. We might. By the time this is released, you might come across a Stronger U ad because I think it’s probably smart. At least, get into it a little bit. But 99% of our people are coming from a happy customer that used us before.
Dan Uyemura: Right. So that is one going to be a cornerstone concept that we will be talking about here at PushPress. Ads are good for expanding your reach, but it shouldn’t be your reach. Can you talk about any tricks, hacks, things that you did or do to make it that you grew to 30-fucking-1000 clients without spending any money on head?
Mike Doehla: I mean I could probably think of a 1,000,000 different little things, but it really is looking at nutrition and even for the fitness community there is what you actually sell is probably not what you think it is. I thought when I first started, we sell nutrition coaching. What we don’t sell is nutrition coaching, we sell a better life, and a recent survey solidifies that. People are better in every aspect of their life, even in terms of job performance, after our program. It’s nuts. So when you identify those improvements, it’s easy to talk about with people and have them encourage their network to get on as well. So if you could harness that, I guess, that word of mouth marketing, encourage people to talk about it, have a referral program maybe, have people post, have them share their story with you, so you can do member spotlights, things like that, it’s just highlighting the clients, making them feel happy, giving them a world class experience that they probably don’t get anywhere. And to me, I’m so cynical about who I do business with now, because everyone from landscapers to dentists to Home Depot, the supermarket, every interaction sucks. And it’s so easy to make an interaction good for a customer. And I don’t know why not enough companies do it.
Dan Uyemura: I feel 100% the same.
Mike Doehla: Give what people expect and a little more, and if you help them out, they’re gonna tell everybody. But nobody’s telling people about the shitty experience they had you know, they tell people why not to go there.
Dan Uyemura: You know, it’s funny, on that note, is people are so used to having shitty, mediocre experiences that when they actually get a good one, it’s something remarkable, right?
Mike Doehla: It’s crazy. You know, I had my car parked outside of a restaurant a couple weeks ago. Somebody drove into the front bumper. I was like, “Oh, crap.” Now I gotta go to the body shop. It’s gonna be a miserable, miserable experience. They’re not gonna fix it right. They’re not gonna call me back. I’m gonna get there, it’s gonna be a disaster, and it was nothing but a pleasant experience. I was like, “Holy crap like this was amazing.” So I need to go leave them a review. Yeah, it was so rare, and it’s like every time you give someone money for a service, it should be like that.
Nick Reyes: So the trick is knocked their socks off.
Mike Doehla: Yeah, to me, it’s so easy. It’s so easy.
Nick Reyes: Well, you know, and we talked about this a little bit last night. It’s pretty easy to tell, with a short conversation, that you truly care about every single one of the clients that’s being coached.
Mike Doehla: If I cry on a podcast, I’m gonna walk out.
Dan Uyemura: Let’s dig.
Mike Doehla: Yes, it’s nuts, man.
Dan Uyemura: So there’s a concept you actually just brought up that will get glossed over unless I bring this up, and I’m gonna surface it. You did a survey. I overheard you on the phone. You did a survey where you ask people things like, “Has your sleep improved?” “Your job performance improved?” Your sex life improved?”
Mike Doehla: We didn’t ask that, but I’m just gonna guess “yes.”
Dan Uyemura: But the remarkable thing is, what you just alluded to was every aspect of your client’s life seemed to improve, generally speaking across the board. If you don’t ask those questions, people don’t realize those things, right. So something Nick and I have been working on this whole week or the last two days is this concept of creating the experience you want your customers to have. So, by asking those questions, you make them realize those things and by making them realize those things, you actually put it in their brain that this is actually happening. Did you do it on purpose? Was that accidental discovery?
Mike Doehla: Yes, and that was only influenced after I started hearing these things. So a lot of people refer to them as the non-scale victories, right? Because most of our clients and most people that go to CrossFit they want to lose weight, and they want to be healthier and stuff like that. But no one’s really thinking of “Did your job get better?” “Is your nutrition knowledge better now?” So whether you’re with us or not, you’re better off later. So I was like “Shit, man, I need to figure this out.” I need to get the data, and we had 3,000 people take the survey and it’s crazy, I can’t wait to share the results, but, like 90% of people said “My nutrition knowledge is higher,” and that’s a big thing.
One of our pillars is education. Stronger U, Stronger University, Stronger you as a person. It’s like the perfect little name, right. It’s just knowing that these people wanted to come here for something like weight loss, and they just accidentally got a better life. And I think if we can set those expectations with new members, and let them know like these are some of the things you should be looking out for as you go down this journey, you’re gonna be a very, very happy person. Because if they step on a scale every morning and it doesn’t show them what they think it should, their day could be impacted. But if they say, you know, I woke up happier today than I used to, holy shit, that’s a win, and that was something we asked, “Are you happier when you wake up?”
Nick Reyes: That’s really powerful, especially in what you do, which is where we’ve kind of created this culture that the number on the scale is the world, but really, there’s so much more to it than that, and that’s got to be a tough psychology to break for a lot of people.
Mike Doehla: It’s just like the weight on the barbell? It’s part of it maybe, but do you look better? You’re stronger, who cares if it’s a 300 pound squat if life is better, right?
Nick Reyes: Yeah.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah. It’s funny in you saying that, you flash me back to my first gym where I used to tell the people who are coming into the onboarding, on-ramp that you’re not just gonna get fitness here. You’re going to get an education about how to move, and why movement matters, and how injury prevention concepts, and you’re gonna learn a bunch of stuff and the fitness is just the cake, right? And it’s funny because I’ve kind of lost sight of that a little bit, but as a nugget for people to take away from that are listening to this, you need to put that in front of people right away, and all the time to make them understand that the value that they’re getting out of your gym isn’t just looking better naked, right? There’s the unquantifiable “how you feel.” But there’s also I know how to get out of the way of something coming at me without twisting an ankle, which is ironic because I just twisted my ankle.
Mike Doehla: Haha I was just thinking that…maybe you need to get back to CrossFit.
Mike Doehla: It’s so true man, and it’s like what people think they’re signing up for vs. what they end up getting it’s pleasantly surprising for them.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, we’ll kind of start wrapping this up. What I’m seeing is there’s a lot of gym owners who need other things to help their clients, right, and nutrition, everyone knows, is like 90% of the progress, right? It’s the one big thing that gets the least amount of attention. For gym owners that want to work with you, that’s easy and obvious, right? You’re accessible. You’re easy to find. Somehow I found you.
Mike Doehla: Yeah, I’m all over the Internet playing around.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah just go to Reddit, but let’s say for a gym owner who’s kind of likes to do things themselves, they want to take it under their own wing or they have a coach on staff who knows this stuff, is there a path that you could recommend they take to do this as easy as possible or as minimalistically as possible to success
Mike Doehla: Yes, so there’s a few routes. One they could email me and we could talk about this stuff, just kidding…but not or you can, I mean if you want to do it yourself, there’s a 1,000,000 different certifications, but to me, that’s just adding another job, right? The gym owners already have enough jobs. We have the people that are qualified to do it. We have registered dietitians. We have a PhD who leads our education department. so that’s really what I’m hoping to do is provide a solution for gyms that isn’t just adding another job, but being a kind of a partner in the whole thing, right?
Dan Uyemura: Yeah. We’re big fans of, and we actually advocate and employ ourselves, the idea of buying back your own time as an entrepreneur, and instead of trying to do more work, leverage more people to do the work. Yes, your cut is gonna be less, but you’re adding more. service, without adding more work, right? That’s a huge thing we advocate for
Mike Doehla: I mean as I was growing, when I quit my job in HR, I was like, “Cool, I can have more free time,” and then we got busier because I had more attention to give people, and then we had to hire more coaches, and then I was like, “Crap. I need admin staff to do customer service and take phone calls and things like that, and then we need a content person.” Then, we have a Chief Experience Officer now, and it’s like I could do some of this stuff, but I value sleep and the growth of the business, and the health and happiness of the rest of the team. So, yeah, I’m all about that “buy more time” thing. I love it. It’s a great concept.
Dan Uyemura: Steal it.
Mike Doehla: You stole it from someone, probably,
Dan Uyemura: I absolutely did.
Nick Reyes: Oh, definitely.
Dan Uyemura: There’s not many original thoughts anymore.
Mike Doehla: No, it’s just repackaged, but that’s even like nutrition. We know the science of nutrition. We just have to get people to apply it, so we tried to fix the things that people struggled with. It’s almost like reverse engineered dieting in a way.
Nick Reyes: And have had some great success doing it.
Mike Doehla: It’s crazy. The results of our members, it’s just mind blowing. If it wasn’t our people, I would call bullshit on the results. I’d say that’s not really, but it’s crazy because I know these people. It’s so cool. I love it.
Dan Uyemura: So for the people out there who are paying attention to Stronger U, what do you have coming in 2020, what’s on the horizon for people to see?
Mike Doehla: Finally, an app so our coaches can do their check-in’s better and more effectively. Our members can log and communicate with coaches, our admin team can assign, and help people better, our management team can make more data informed decisions. We have some educational tools coming. We want to do more seminars around the country, so I’m just thinking of every little thing that can help people in some way. And I can’t wait for this tech to just fall into our hands. We’re testing it now, and it’s beautiful.
Dan Uyemura: You mean making an app is not easy? I hear it’s so easy…
Mike Doehla: I’ve been trying for four years and we’ve had multiple teams, and it’s finally happening. Some of that is my fault with poor project management, I will own that but now our tea, Volume 8, they’re awesome dudes. I love them.
Dan Uyemura: Maybe we can hire them
Mike Doehla: No, no, no. I need them.
Nick Reyes: When you’re done.
Dan Uyemura: All right, cool. Any parting questions you have, Nick?
Nick Reyes: No, no, it’s been awesome to get a chance to meet you, and yeah I’m looking forward to maybe doing it again sometime.
Mike Doehla: Yeah. Can I just plug my email in case anyone wants to talk to me?
Dan Uyemura: Oh, yeah. Let’s actually set that up here, so for anyone who needs to get ahold of Mike at Stronger U, wants to chat with him about nutrition programs at your gym, and how that might help you, how can they get a hold of you?
Mike Doehla: Mike@StrongerU.com. Instagram: @mdoehla is my personal.
Dan Uyemura: Can you spell that?
Mike Doehla: Yeah. @mdoehla (M-D-O-E-H-L-A), that’s my personal instagram and then Stronger U is @StrongerU.
Dan Uyemura: So there you have it. That was a super cool conversation with Mike Doehla from Stronger U, and like I said earlier in the intro, these guys are doing some really cool things when it comes to nutrition, helping gyms keep track of their clients for the 23 hours that those clients aren’t in the gym, and generally just reshaping a lot of people’s relationship with food and nutrition. That brings to the end another episode of The gymOS Podcast from PushPress.
I’m Dan Uyemura, the CEO of PushPress. I’m always excited to talk to and work with gym owners on how to help them build a better gym. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you check us out at PushPress.com. We’re working hard every day to bring the most streamlined and efficient gym management software to market for you.
If you haven’t already done so make sure you subscribe to our podcast. We’re available on Apple podcasts, on Spotify, and wherever you’re happening to listen to us right now. We’ve got a ton of great stuff coming up for you in future episodes.
We hope to get you there, but until then, keep grinding.