It has officially been a year…


It has officially been a year…

… since our studio reopened for training (for good!)

We shutdown RECOUP mid-March after being open for a whopping 11 weeks. Yep, weeks.

Like basically every other trainer out there, we looked at this forced shutdown as an opportunity to pursue online training. But to be completely honest, we were not excited about it even the slightest.

It was never the concept of training we were interested in, never felt like it served our purpose, and we didn’t feel confident in our ability to deliver the results we’d done so in years to date.

But, if you’re going to do anything, do it right.

We doubled down on an online portal, built it basically overnight, filmed countless hours of content, and three days after anyone knew what COVID was, at least locally, the login was in our client’s inbox with instructions on how to continue training with us.

Week 1 wasn’t too bad. We went through 5 or 6 different camera setups and worked out the kinks with our loyal following.

Week 2 we decided the only way to do this right was to do it on zoom so we could see everyone and work out along with every single zoom session. Yep, you read that right.

Week 3 and beyond we turned on the marketing and started dumping what little savings we had managed by then into Facebook marketing (ew) while all of our other gym owner friends loaned out equipment thinking it would only last a couple weeks.

We introduced ourselves to hundreds of new people, and at its peak had over 150 people in the program at once.

Here’s how we ran our online training business:

  • Multiple daily live workouts programmed by us and completed alongside the clients. (All workouts were also recorded and stored in a private channel for clients to access). 
  • Customized nutrition programming 
  • One 15-minute accountability call with each client each week. 

And a really neat price drop from average $500/mo. to $99-$149/mo..

By week 8 no matter what we did to encourage people to stay on top of their health, our new client sign ups dropped drastically and our zoom sessions went from 20+ live attendees to less than 5.

We were overexerting ourselves to the point of exhaustion and the flame inside was dwindling.

Worst of all, we’d realized we had spent nearly $25,000 on marketing and programs to grow a business concept we did not enjoy (well, that’s not ENTIRELY true) but it certainly wasn’t how we foresaw the future of RECOUP.

So when we got the news that it was safe to reopen our doors we were ecstatic. And after 10 weeks of shut down, we were able to get back to doing the thing we LOVED and put the woes of online training behind us.

Fast forward 365 days later and we have a semi-private personal training business that has been able to serve our community IN PERSON while other gyms were forced to limit their capacity or worse shut down completely.

So what did we learn?

1.) Weak people blame external factors on their downfalls. We can’t tell you the amount of times we heard “because of covid” as an excuse for why people didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t accomplish what they say they want to accomplish. We can tell you WITH CONFIDENCE that those same people don’t / can’t / won’t accomplish what they say they want to accomplish even when the world is “back to normal.”

2.) Successful businesses are malleable businesses. We strongly disliked online training. But we still had a ton of clients who valued being part of a community. If we were to throw in the towel when things got uncomfortable we would have not only missed out on the personal and professional growth, but we would have also let down an entire squad of motivated clients who needed us to provide them with strength and hope.

3.) Growth is not a straight line – it’s a roller coaster. Some months made us feel financially secure. Other months made us feel like we’re going bankrupt. Struggle is inevitable when learning new skills.

4.) Online training STILL sucks (for us, at least). That doesn’t mean there isn’t value or reward in pursuing a career as an online trainer or receiving help from an awesome online coach. But so long as we can provide training in person we will never again wish for days of writing programs from a beach on some tropical island.

In person training rules.

We’re sure there are plenty of lessons we’re missing but for now these are the ones we need to remind ourselves of as we enter the second half of 2021.

Next week, June 14th we close the studio again. This time by choice. We’re taking our families to Cabo to recharge and reflect. Thank you to everyone who helped us get there. We had an amazing core fitness family that made so much of this possible. Without you, honestly… we don’t even want to go there in our heads. We loved you through a screen, but so much more in person!

Mattison, Stevie & Bo