Episode 41 – Joe Bauer- There’s opportunity everywhere, be ok with the slow grow- Business growth for Cycling & Triathlon Coaches

The strong savvy cyclist & triathlete podcast

Transcript

Speaker 1:

(Singing) Human Vortex Training and Menachem Brodie present The Strong Savvy Cyclist and Triathlete Podcast, where we talk strength training, physiology, psychology, tech and much more to help you get fitter, faster and stronger in and out of your sport, giving you expert insights, talking with other leading experts. (Singing). And now, your host, world-leading strength coach for cyclists and triathletes, Menachem Brodie.

Menachem Brodie:

Hey, everybody, and welcome to this episode of The Strong Savvy Cyclist and triathlete podcast. This is episode 41, where we talk with The Get Better Project’s Joe Bauer. Joe and I have become quick friends and good friends over the two years or so that we’ve known each other. We were actually introduced to each other by last week’s guest, a good friend of mine and business mentor, Eric Malzone. And the feedback from those of you at home, who’ve been listening to this, and thank you for your five-star ratings and for sharing this, has been fantastic. A number of you have emailed or more correctly, Instagram messaged me and said, “Hey, Eric’s podcast was really great. I’m not a coach myself, but I’m an entrepreneur. He had a lot of really good nuggets.” So I really encourage you to reach out to Eric if you have not listened to that podcast yet.

This podcast you’re about to listen to was shared with you by an athlete of yours or a fellow coach, [goba 00:01:39] over to The Strong Savvy Cyclist and Triathlete podcast at any of the welcoming purveyors of podcasts where you listen, SoundCloud, iTunes, Anchor, or anywhere else and take a listen to episode number 40 with Eric Malzone. I promise it will not disappoint. Lastly, before we jump into the episode with Joe here, I am launching or have launched the 60 day home body weight strength training program for triathletes. Now this program is piggybacking a little bit off of the massive success to this point of the four weeks that we have done of the 60 day body weight for cyclists strength training program. So the program here is going to launch on May 17th, 2020.

If you are interested, if you’re an age group triathlete who has not done strength training before, or has dabbled a little bit, but it hasn’t really seen the results that you’d like to, or maybe you have been doing strength training, but you’ve been in lockdown at home and don’t have much if anything at home, this program is for you. However, this is a founder’s program. What that means is, these are a conglomerate of programs that I’ve worked with other triathletes that I’ve worked with one-on-one or in small groups. I found trends and I built a program out of those trends and my current best practices for a 60-day super focused, super powerful program. It is for age group triathletes. Primarily, that’s most of the people I work with, are age groupers. Those who are looking to maybe become professional, but enjoy racing triathlon.

So if you’re interested in finding out that you don’t need much beyond your body weight, a towel, a place that you can do some workout at home, as well as maybe a reusable bag with some filled water bottles, equal to about 12 to 15 pounds. And I don’t even know if we’re going to get that heavy here, but it’s going to be 99% or 98% body weight exercises, two days a week of highly structured, very specific body weight exercises combined with one optional day to take you through movements, to help you continue to refine, as well as one run or bike workout. Your choice of which sport to choose, depending on if you want to take a weakness and make it into a strength, or if you’re just looking to polish up and make it even more devastating to your competition or to your previous PRs. If you’re interested, go ahead and shoot me a message, B as in boy, R-O-D as in dog, I-E@humanvortextraining.com.

Last thing before we get into today’s episode with Joe Bauer of The Get Better Project, where we talk about systems for online training, for setting up your online training business, and about how Joe and his fiance have been traveling the 61 national parks. I think he said they’re down to the last three, including Samoa, which includes a flight to Hawaii, and then another small flight to Samoa, but it’s only twice a week or something like that. So think about the commitment that he has to have, both of them, excuse me, have to have to be able to travel around all these national parks and to continue to serve extremely well to his online clients. So Joe isn’t just talking from an armchair, he is actually doing, he has been doing for the last year and a half.

We talk about process, the systems, who should and shouldn’t get into online training, as well as how to deal with the adversity and how to really build sustainable growth. It’s a slow grow that we’re after. Before we get into that, one last thing, if you haven’t already picked up a copy of my book, The Vortex Method: The New Rules for Strength and Performance in Cycling, it’s over on Amazon, it is available on Kindle and Paperback. The audio book will hopefully be out in the next couple of weeks. With the lockdown, the sound engineer has been having some issues with internet because everything is getting throttled down in his area of the world. So it makes it a little bit interesting, but it will be out.

Now, last little bit before we get into Joe. Next week’s episode is going to be focused on those of you who are cyclists and triathletes looking for performance. The reason I’ve gone off on the coaching business side is because a lot of those of you who listen are entrepreneurs is or coaches yourselves, and we’re in this thing together. We’re one giant family. We want to make sure that we are all taken care of and we are all supported. So there’s still a ton of nuggets in here that you’re going to get from Joe. If you’re a cyclist or triathlete about consistency, dealing with adversity, rolling with the punches and figuring out ways to succeed based upon trends that you’ve seen or trends you see in other people. So it’s an absolutely a phenomenal episode.

If you haven’t already given us a five star rating and written us a nice short little review and shared us with fellow coaches or athletes, please do so this week after this episode. And if you notice the other intros are a little bit different, that’s because this week I wanted to change it up a little bit. I wanted to change the feel of the intro to have you a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more open, a little bit of jazz, a little bit of an upbeat tone, as opposed to the [inaudible 00:06:34] that we normally have. So I hope you’ll enjoy, I know you’ll enjoy today’s episode on The Strong Savvy Cyclist and Triathlete Podcast. Without much further ado, here is today’s guest, Joe Bauer of The Get Better Project. Joe, thank you so much for joining us today, man.

Joe Bauer:

Menachem, it’s my pleasure, man. It’s so good to talk with you.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah, it was funny because we became bros over my coming on your podcast. You and Emily wound up coming here for, I think it was three or four days and staying with us in Tel Aviv while you guys traveled abroad, and now we’re reconnecting here. It’s just awesome, man, to see what the interwebs can create with connection.

Joe Bauer:

Absolutely. And you mentioned it before we got on, that it’s been a year and I can’t even believe that it’s been a year. And it’s like, you’re one of those guys that we connected with right off the bat. I honestly I’m like, dude, we haven’t really talked in a year, then emails or Instagram messages. No way, time flies.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. It’s like you get a ping here. Well, that’s the great part about, I think a true friendship is like, you can pick up exactly where you left off and it’s not like, Oh, Hey, how are you doing? It’s like, Hey, what’s going on? It’s like, Oh yeah. Cool.

Joe Bauer:

Yeah. It’s funny that you mentioned that. I have two other people in my life that I can do that with. And yeah, we picked up, we did just that. It’s fantastic. I love it.

Menachem Brodie:

We actually spoke for what, 40 minutes here before we hit record. Sorry, you guys get the short end of the stick. Well, let’s talk a little bit more about exactly this, being connected in the online world. A lot of people now, you use the verbiage of, coaches are scrambling to get online. Let’s talk about that a little bit. You have The Get Better Project, you’re helping athletes of all backgrounds. Tell us a little bit more about getting started and how to embrace this as a coach.

Joe Bauer:

Yeah. I think that it’s an interesting topic and like you said, people have been thrown into this right now. It’s not necessarily that all of them wanted to be, but if you have to make a living and you didn’t necessarily plan to have some time off right now, you’re having to figure out these ways or these avenues of meeting people online. And I think that there’s a lot of opportunity here. I’ve been doing this personally for about a year, year and a half when my fiance and I decided to hit the road and live in a sprinter van. So I didn’t want to completely shut down my business, obviously, because I don’t have a bundle of money sitting in someplace and I love teaching people. So it had to be something that was accessible and that we could do from the road with actually minimal internet connection at times.

So figuring that out was something that had led to, well, started and then came to this virus thing or COVID, or however we’re calling it these days. And then me going through those struggles early on set up to have this workout really well. Then having coaches come to me and figure out, or me trying to help them figure out how to monetize their businesses in such a way. I think that connecting and figuring that system out of where you’re going to connect with those people is something that’s really interesting that I’ve had to go through and talk to a lot of people about. So figuring out if you’re going to connect via email or text or Facebook, or all of these other platforms, I think is the first step.

Using what you’re comfortable with would be where I would start rather than trying to create the wheel again, which is something that I’ve felt like a lot of people that I’ve talked to have been trying to do. I’m trying to pull them back and being like, “Hey, there’s this great software, but if you don’t know how to use it, don’t worry about it. Use Facebook messenger or use text message or FaceTime or whatever you’re comfortable with, because if you’re comfortable, you’re going to come across better in that particular platform.” So I say that that’s where I think people should be starting and this conversation should kick off.

Menachem Brodie:

Let’s go down that because a lot of cycling and triathlon coaches, in particular TrainingPeaks, and this is not a knock against them. They were the first in the market, there is nothing wrong with their software at all. It’s a fantastic platform. That’s what I use, but I also use Today’s Plan. And it seems like a lot of the cycling and triathlon coaches are very hesitant to shift. Now of course, if you’re looking at investing, as we spoke about for part of our 40 minutes, that’s one of the four Ms you look for, is that moat, that brand moat, that pain of switching. What about the coaches out there who are saying, “Okay, Joe, that makes sense. I want to get online, but TrainingPeaks is complicated. Or I’ve been on TrainingPeaks. I’m not really happy, but all of my workouts are on TrainingPeaks and I don’t want to switch. What would you think would be a great way to look at getting over that obstacle so that they can get out there and help more people?

Joe Bauer:

Yeah, I think that’s an interesting question. You and I can go back and forth on this one because I’d love to hear what you think about it as well. But my first thing would be to ask yourself, do you need something like TrainingPeaks? Do you need something like what I use, is SugarWOD? But just so that people know, I’m teaching people mostly in a group setting, so they’re getting a group style workout. I do individualize things for them, but it’s more on a one-on-one basis. I might have a specific, we actually use email. So it’d be like SugarWOD. And then a specific email that comes from a weekly athlete check-in that we do. So you’re going to have to ask yourself, number one, is it worth it to go down a TrainingPeaks or a SugarWOD and learn that platform? Or is it better to just keep it super basic?

You can tell me, I’d love to hear it. If you think something like learning a new platform would be useful. Or you could just do email and you could be like, “Hey, I’m emailing you this program.” I make a video and I attach it to my email every day. And if you getting your best across to that particular person is email, I’m like, sure, man, go for it. You don’t need the fancy bells and whistles, but maybe you’re a tech guy like me and you look at it and think, Oh, this would be super fun to learn. But if it’s not super fun to learn and you’re thinking it’s going to hurt your business because of it, I would say, don’t even worry about it. But I’d love to hear what you think also.

Menachem Brodie:

It’s tough. I had an athlete come to me through another coach last year actually. He was on Today’s Plan. I had heard of it, I proved it. The pain and the time associated to learn that new platform is real. Especially as a coach, without systems in place, that was another thing that you and I spoke about a lot when you were here, was just systems. How you build a system to manage these athletes where they’re getting the individual attention? So exactly what you’re talking about is finding what works for that athlete. I think that’s where we should go next is, this is an opportunity to connect with people. You and I, I think it’s safe to say are more introvert than anything, and we’re comfortable being online.

There’s also a number of athletes out there who have been really comfortable in-person but towing the online. I don’t think that the platform necessarily matters. It’s more of how much time and brain space do you have to commit to that? And that’s something people don’t think about. So with the athlete on Today’s Plan, I just said to him, “Mark, I really like this platform. I like how they do things. It’s different. I can’t upload all of your workouts into it like I had with TrainingPeaks. It takes me a half hour per workout and that’s just, it’s not fair to me. It’s not fair to the other athletes. Can you help me?” And he was really happy to do so. It got to the point where I did it for about four months. I still really liked the platform, but I also liked the TrainingPeaks platform.

It depends on the athlete and how analytic they are. TrainingPeaks has WKO5, but when it comes to the strength training, I only use TrueCoach for one reason. I can upload library and it’s there. I know that I can punch in and I know that for the farmer carries, I have Tony general cores… Sorry, Tony, I’m stealing your stuff. But I have his instruction for the farmer carry because it’s so good. I don’t have to go and make it again or send somebody on my phone a five minute video of how to do it. But I think the big thing is that mental energy. That was the thing for me with Mark was like, I want to learn this. I’m going to be completely screwed if not.

Joe Bauer:

Sure. Yeah. And something that I’ve used or I’ve implemented in order to overcome exactly what you’re saying, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, is I do themed days. So I’m only going to work on programming one day and it’s all… Well, I shouldn’t say the whole day, half of my day on Sunday is just programming. Every single Sunday morning, if you were to send me a message, I’d be like, “Hey man, what’s up, I’m doing programming today on Sunday morning.” That’s always blocked out and it’s always specifically put in that time because I know that there’s not going to be a lot of people that are coming to me for things on a Sunday morning and it works out great.

Then Sunday afternoon, I do all of my videos that I have to do. Could it be internal videos, it could be marketing videos, it could be videos for specific people. Like I have a specific running coaching thing I’m going to do this Sunday. I think that in that mental capacity space, that is something really important to do because if I didn’t do that, then I’d be spreading it all over the week. And let’s say I had to learn a new platform like TrainingPeaks, if I was putting all of my time to try and learn that rather than just saying, all right, on Mondays, I’m going to put as much time into learning TrainingPeaks as I can.

Then if it gets to Tuesday and I haven’t learned all the features, then that’s okay. I’m going to do what I can on Tuesday because Tuesday is going to be a completely different theme and that will be fine. I do that because I can get incredibly overwhelmed, and I’m sure a lot of other people can as well, and lose a lot of time when we should be focusing on our craft. And for me, that’s right in a great program and that’s connecting and making great videos that I feel like are going to connect and motivate people to do the workouts that I want them to do.

Menachem Brodie:

Totally. And that was one of the things you’re seeing, you hear, and how focused you were and how easy it was for you just to do the programming on Sundays. That changed my approach because I was in the mindset of my system’s the best, it’s the one that works for me. Especially as coaches in cycling and triathlon are far worse than any other. It’s my secret. I can’t share it with anybody. And really it’s a matter of that community’s lacking. What you had with that programming on Sunday completely revolutionized, revolutionized literally how I did my weeks. Now I have Monday and Wednesday, I watch video upload unless someone has a major problem. Like right now I just kicked off a 60 day foundational challenge, not a challenge. It’s a program that they’re helping you refine before launching.

Now I have a couple of people that really need help. So today’s Thursday, yeah, Thursday. So I wound up jumping on and Joshua needed some feedback he had asked. So I did like 10 minutes. But the sharpness of having Sunday, it’s like you’re going to the gym and doing a weight workout, as opposed to I was thinking like an hour a day. It makes it so much easier. You click on the mind, you turn off your phone and notifications and you just go and you just grow as a coach, so fast.

Joe Bauer:

That’s funny, the growth thing. Yeah, I hadn’t even considered that, but yeah, you’re right. It’s like, because you have that muscle that you’re using just at one particular time, and then you might even be able to do it a couple of times a week. But I feel like I put so much mental energy into that time block and I might be able to do it two times a week, but that one time for now, for me is really, really good where I’ve got my coffee, my meditation has happened beforehand. I’ve gone outside and moved a little bit. And then it’s like, here we go. Like I said, for me also, I find this really interesting thing about working on a Sunday, where I can almost feel less stress in the world on a Sunday, and which I’m sure there are different places that work on Sunday, but in the United States, we don’t usually work a lot on Sunday.

So on Monday is my slower day. I purposely do that because I know that tons of people are going to come to me for things on a Monday. But on Sunday, I’d be surprised if I get 10 emails. Nothing’s coming at me, I get to relax. I get to have my coffee and just really crush it and grow like you said. And because of that, you grow and there are patterns and program, you learn different fun things that people are doing and reacting to. And yeah, the growth is a big part.

Menachem Brodie:

It’s also a big obstacle. To me, at least when I started doing online coaching, it was a necessity. The people that I was working with wanted to stay with me when I moved abroad and I also needed the money. I knew I didn’t save up. It was just like, yep, we’re just going to do this. Throw the papers in the air like FTS, then you picking it up. You’re like, wait, it’s only Thursday. I think for the coaches listening and also the writers, people are like, Oh, just go on swift. It’s not just changing your ride. The mental approach that, what you just described about feeling the energy around, think about the energy that you have before a workout. You know, and you get yourself either amped up or cooled, chilled out before and there’s this balance to it. Now everything’s been thrown off. You have that also. You guys jetted from Idaho to Washington in what, a day because they closed all the campgrounds?

Joe Bauer:

Yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

So how did you shift that energy? What helped you center yourself and maintain that balance as you went through that shift?

Joe Bauer:

I’ve had to think about this a lot in my life ever since I lived in New York city, and the energy was absolutely out of control for me as an introvert living in New York city working as a personal trainer. Woo! I had to learn a lot really fast and I wasn’t good at it. I crashed and burned heavily. And I think that that’s where I learned to feel and think about these different energies and be able to react to them quickly. I also think it helped me with working from a 80 square foot van with Emily full-time. We have to find these spaces and times that work really well for us and whether or not it was having a gym back to Eastern Washington because they’re closing the campgrounds, or whether that’s because we’re in Whole Foods because it’s the only place to get internet or Starbucks is the only place to get internet. You’ve got to find that right space and mindset.

I think for me, it’s become all the same. I just have specific routines that I’m able to use in order to get into that space. For me, those things have to do with several different things. If I know that I’m going to be in a more stressful situation, the movement first thing in the morning is really important for me. So whether that’s doing burpees in a Starbucks parking lot or doing squats inside the van before I walk in there, it just totally levels my mind out and allows me to get into a place that I can focus.

I’ve also noticed this and been trying to do as well, if you can get that morning sunlight thing, and I’m sure that you know all about this stuff, but it has helped so much with not only getting, not testing it as I do it, but the cortisol levels up in the morning. But then also to sleep better at night, which then is the full round circle. We go so deep here. Because we’re talking about energy, but then we’re talking about different sleep cycles and things like that. I think they all come together. But for me, I think that if we could talk about one specific thing, it would be the awareness of what you’re feeling and what you’re going through in order to actually make the changes that are better for you. Because if you’re not aware of it, you’re probably having these things impact you and you don’t even know.

Menachem Brodie:

That’s a fantastic point. We had Eric Malzone, a friend of both of ours and also a podcaster, last week and he spoke about that. What does it mean to you? How are you letting this? And you’re bringing up a fantastic point of, it’s not just through team, but it’s also, how are you setting yourself up for a win? As a coach, let’s go back to how you made that transition a year and a half ago to the online coaching. If you can remember, what were the two major obstacles where you’re like, man, I just got to wrap my head around this and just put a routine in or make it a two-step process?

Joe Bauer:

Yeah. The first would probably have been how I was going to present what I wanted to, and whether that means through… I didn’t use SugarWOD at first, I started out completely on a private Facebook group. But having to present in a way that you either wanted to reach people or they wanted to be reached, or you were just going to force it down their throat. Meaning that, all right, I don’t really care if you like TrainingPeaks or SugarWOD or whatnot. This is what we use. And if they don’t like it, then whatever. That was a hard obstacle for me. Because I tend to be a pleaser where I’m always trying to help people out. And I’ve noticed that I have gotten better about being like, no, this is how things work. Maybe it’s not the right fit for you. And that’s okay. That was probably the first obstacle.

The second obstacle was figuring out the timing for when I was actually going to work based off being on the road and running an online program. So ever since we’ve had this at home thing going on, it’s been so much easier. I didn’t even realize how much work I was having to put into batching my work times. When I was living on the road, which is fine, but we had to set up this very strict schedule that when it goes back to how I do the theme day. So we always were going to be at a place with as good internet as we could find.

Sometimes we’d have to go to like three different places to find the best internet on a Sunday and a Wednesday, which were my days that I needed to upload stuff. Then everything else fell into place around those particular times. But I would say that those are the two obstacles, or actually I think that ended up being three. How I was going to present my material, being okay with people not fitting exactly with my program, and then having to manage time that I was going to actually do the work.

Menachem Brodie:

Just to make sure we bullet point these for the listeners, because there’s a lot there in a good way. Batching the work time, which allows you to create theme days which anchor your weeks, just choose a platform and just go with it, and that will allow you to schedule things. So it’s not starting off with a schedule in mind, it’s actually starting off with anchors and then building from there. Instead of putting the ship in the Boston Harbor, you just, where do we want to be? Which Harbor do we want to be at? And then choose from there.

Joe Bauer:

Yup. Yup, absolutely. And I would be lying if I said that it hasn’t evolved over time, but it seemed like it evolved at the right times if I was to look back over the last year and a half. Whereas we started out on the Facebook group and then it was like, all right, there’s these limitations here. Then we move over to a SugarWOD and then, Oh, there’s still a little bit of limitations there. So then we have SugarWOD, YouTube, and now they’re working together. But for a while it was videos coming from different areas. So there’s evolution, and I’m still looking for that evolution. If you asked me how my system works today, I would say that it’s okay, but I’m still on the lookout for better things. And if something came along, then I would try and evolve into that particular thing.

But it is nice at this point where I have a large enough group of athletes that I can start getting polls from people. So I will ask them, I’ll be like, “Hey, if you guys… What do you like about this? What do you not like about it? Would you feel comfortable with this?” And a lot of the stuff that I’ve done also on a side tangent is beta testing stuff before I actually launch it. So I’ll get three to five people that I’ll say, “Hey, would you be in this beta group for me?” They’re always stoked to be in something that you’re testing and start programming or sending something their way on that particular new idea and see how it goes.

Menachem Brodie:

That’s something that I think a lot of coaches can use to launch online, is you just call it beta. Automatically, it denotes two things to people. One, there’s a value here, but I know that I’m going to get the core value, but there’s going to be little bumps in the road. And the second is, people don’t think this way, some people do, but it’ll probably be a little bit less. So I get in on the ground floor. It’s a, not an IPO, but 18 months after an IPO, or it’s a good business and you can get in. I think for a lot of the coaches listening, that’s important. Just call it a beta. Say, even if you know that you’re going to go online or you’re being forced to, because you have to put food on the table, a roof over your head, call it a beta.

Be honest with people. Also, don’t do this thing. I saw a trainer who had a very explicit instruction, not an instruction. Man, I’m spacing. I’m blanking on the word, have to go back and edit it. Conversation with, and it was pretty heated because they were berating me for being an online trainer. And now they’re like, “Oh, I’ve been thinking about going on online for so many years.” I’m like, “No, you weren’t. Just three weeks ago, you’re telling me how that’s not real training.” Just be honest with people. I think that that authenticity and the honesty will really help people come in and grow your business. That’s the thing I’m hearing, you had said before, from you and a number of other coaches, is they’re seeing massive growth online with their online coaching platform and they get better projects. It sounds the same as well.

Joe Bauer:

Yeah, absolutely. I would love to unpackage something that you had said there earlier about the beta thing. I would even like to go further into saying beta and then adding slow grow to that and expectation because if that’s not your core business, it might not blow up and give you the same amount of income that you had right away, or really quickly from what you’re doing right now. And I feel like that expectation is not something that we should be thinking is going to happen. I’ve talked to several coaches, myself, about this and they’re like, “Yeah, you’ve been doing online. How did you do it? Give me all the information.” And I have to tell them, I’m like, “Well, I’ve been screwing it up for the last year and a half. It’s still not perfect, but it’s been a completely slow grow. It’s nice that I went into it with that expectation.”

A lot of people in this world that we have now want things to happen really fast, but I don’t think that that is going to be the case for a lot of us. But it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do it. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be thinking a year, two years, five years down the road. My goal for The Get Better Project was to be at 1,000 members by five years. Because if I ever got to 1,000 members in The Get Better Project, which I will, that’s great. That’s like, you do the math on it and you’re like, “Man, I can have these three people that I’m employing full time, that I really want and already have those people picked out, and I can be living the life that I want to.” And it all follows the business plan.

But there’s a lot of people that will come into that and be like, “I want those 1,000 people in the next year.” Maybe for some people it will happen. And I’m sure it will. I’ve even studied people that have had it happen in the online fitness world, but it’s not going to be a common thing and that’s okay. If you start off with two members the first month and then five members in the next month and you just build off of that, unless you hate it, which I don’t recommend people do anything that they just dislike, that doesn’t fuel them on a daily basis. That’s cool. Who cares? In a year, three years, when we have this next, something else hits and you’re patting yourself about having this online business, great. That’s freaking awesome, man. Good job for starting and be okay with that slow grow. I really think that that’s an important thing to think about, to me at least.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Fasten your seat belts. You’re listening to The Strong Savvy Cyclist and Triathlete Podcast with coach, Menachem Brodie. Don’t forget to subscribe.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah, totally. And most people, myself included, we miss it sometimes. I had in my mind based on the number of coaches I spoke to, The Strength Training for Cyclist Certification course will be huge. It’ll help thousands of athletes in the first year. It’s just not that way. And that’s a good thing because I’m so happy that I had a small group of coaches go through it because it allowed me to get good feedback and refine it. I see these other, like Joel Jameson’s program, Bio Forest Certification, it’s that every time it’s released, it’s closed. I actually value, now higher going on a little bit of a side note here, I value the certifications and the courses that are closed, except for once or twice a year. And the individuals are fixing it up and making it better than before. It’s not about that sale. It’s about how do we deliver a better product?

Joe Bauer:

Oh man. Absolutely. And if you’re thinking about making extra money with this, I almost feel like you’re in the wrong spot because you’re going to have to have a lot of failures in order to do it correctly. And it is a ton of work. I’ve even consulted with some CrossFit gym owners that can’t function right now because of people having to stay at home. And I’ve told them, I was like, “Man, if you’re not passionate about doing the online training, your passion is to see people in person and you’re that extrovert person, then probably this isn’t the right space for you.” I’ve even often offered, and I haven’t had anybody take me up on it yet, but I’m like, “Hey, I will package The Get Better Project for free to your members so that it’s a value to their membership. So they don’t cancel their membership with you, and we’ll not take them on as clients otherwise, so that you can focus on what you’re going to do better at your actual gym. So you don’t have to try and build an online platform.”

I think that there’s this, if you have an in-person thing and you hate the online thing, we could also talk about that as well. How you shouldn’t maybe get into the online thing, but if you like it and you think that that’s a long-term play for you, because it probably is going to be a slow grow, then start it now, start thinking about these things that we’re talking about and start moving down the road and making mistakes.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. You hit on numerous important points there. I think the biggest one is, if you don’t like something, it’s not that you’re unsure. If you look at the online coaching and you really don’t want to do it, you hate sitting in front of the computer and programming, hire somebody else who is passionate about it, agrees with your core principles and go with it. That’s massive. You want the best for your clients. I don’t know a single coach that has gotten into this for the money. For the notoriety of being the big trainer, yes. But we all can see that coming, you know those people. But they also attract clients like that.

Let’s flip the script on the other side. What are some of the challenges that you’ve seen as a coach with athletes who are very hesitant from online? Have you had to let clients go or say to them, look, online coaching just isn’t for you? Or have you seen more people very hesitant, not even tow the water, but throw a stone and see if it floats and come back with the floaties and go? How did you help them through that process? And at what point do you say, you know what, maybe this really is not for you?

Joe Bauer:

Sure. That’s a fantastic question. Because I think that there’s so much available right now. Once a client goes to online coaching, that they get this entrepreneurial shiny object syndrome that we tend to have as entrepreneurs. If you’re an entrepreneur, you know exactly what I’m talking about here. Where there are so many options for you. As a coach though, we know that our program is set up to be linear or at least we try and make it linear. So one day plays off of the next day, plays off of the last training cycle, plays off of… We’re thinking three, six months out potentially, depending on what the program is designed for. The clients don’t always know that. Maybe a lot of the clients do, that are cyclists, that are higher end, they understand, Hey, I’m going to hire Menachem and he’s going to give me this great training program because he has all of this knowledge.

But a lot of my clients are more the people that are generalists, they want to get in good shape, they’d like to feel better, they want to have more energy. If they could see their abs this summer, they love you forever. They have so many things coming at them right now where they’ll join a program like mine. And they won’t understand that the program is designed to make them better one day after the next, and they’ll see this new YouTube video that’s talking about 10 minute abs or something like this. And they’ll be like, “Oh, so I did your program for a week. And then I saw this new video and I’m like, okay.” I really have to reinforce that I’m thinking about, as I’m writing the program, them. The more input and feedback that they give me, that’s going into the program.

The videos that I’m making are addressing their movement patterns and they’re addressing the things that they need to work on. And the weekly coaching check-ins are talking about their nutritional needs. That has been a really, at least early on, and it still isn’t an issue, where people get, “Oh, I’m going to go and jump to this new thing.” Something that has really helped though, that I’ve talked with three other coaches about this in the last few days, this weekly athlete check-in thing that I’m doing. So if you coaches out there are not doing this and you probably are, but the format that I’ve been using has been just dynamite, where I send them a Google, generalized Google form to all of my athletes once a week. And it just has drop-downs with option of giving more information.

They go through and they’re rating, how many workouts did I do this week? One to seven, there are seven options or something like that. And they’ll fill it out. Comments, how did your diet go? How many days did you log your nutrition and how close were you? It has a little explanatory boxes that’s like, all right, if you’ve got a 10 and a 10 means that you logged your nutrition every single day, and you were within 10% of all of your macros and calories. You nailed that. Then it gives you more information. Every single week I’m getting this gathered information about them. Then I put it into a spreadsheet and I can see clearly where their deficiencies are, whether they realize it or not. And I can see where they’re making improvements. Just this spreadsheet of different things of five or six different categories has been the coolest thing that I’ve done as a coach for a long time, because it’s so basic. Yet it’s so groundbreaking for them because there’s two things that it does for them.

Once I have a few weeks of data, I can come back and I can say, “All right, this is why, in a very nice way, this is why you’re not getting results, or you’re having problems in your life.” And any of these particular areas, we even deal with stress and sleep on there as well. Then it also provides them a way of talking about the things that they’re dealing with. So as a regular human being, for most people, we don’t talk enough about our feelings or we don’t journal enough. This allows them to do that and I’ve found that it’s a great outlet for them. And they get more information on what they’re going through, which is great as a coach. But I think it’s a win-win in that regard. Side tangent, super cool stuff. If anybody wants to steal it from me, you should.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. The thing that I’m hearing there is, is that you’re meeting the client where they are, you’re personalizing it. And that was my issue. I had a number of coaches ask me, because the first two weeks that everything hit, I’d actually put the podcast on hold because I was burned out from the certification, the book, all that stuff, second surgery. We all, and I think… Who wrote it? Dean Somerset put a post up about, he’s only done three lifts in this whole month and a half. Tony, Tony put a post up about, work out if you feel like it. If you don’t if you like it, don’t. But there was just, and there still is this massive push from all these trainers to just go crazy and give free, free, free.

You had mentioned before we started recording, some of the people that you’re in masterminds with, sell, sell, sell, and others are free, free, free. It’s a matter of finding what works for you, but having that plan. I had two or three people that follow me, send me angry emails. It came from a good place. But they’re like, “Why aren’t you putting out total workouts, you should be doing that. Your YouTube channel is growing and why aren’t you doing it?” My response was, “I just stole from Jack Bogle’s quote of don’t just do something, stand there.” Let’s see what happens. Let’s do this with a steady focused mindset.

Nobody knows the drill. As an EMT, you roll up to the site and you have a checklist in your head. Sight, smell, what’s going on, you’re using all of your sense. I’m just getting tangles thinking about one of the scenes we rolled up on. People think EMT is like, book it out of the ambulance and… No, it’s a method. And so many coaches and trainers out there, exactly what you’re talking about. I see so many people, “Oh, well, I saw that this Instagram person had this profile and then they had this workout. So I’m going to do that one. And then she looks great with her glutes. So I’m going to do this one. I need it. And then his six pack.” It’s just, you’re throwing pickles with nannies at the glass, essentially.

Here, you’re talking about a simple drop down form and getting into a program where there’s some built there. So as an athlete, what would your word of advice be to them of like, these workouts are great, but how do they find someone like yourself for The Get Better Project, or myself where it’s focused? What are the questions they should be asking? What should they be looking for?

Joe Bauer:

I think that it’s about asking about the background and really interviewing people. If we’re talking about that. Well, if I’m an athlete, I’m going into this, like you’re saying. I’m interviewing you and being like, “All right, why are you the right coach for me? What’s your background? What are you interested in doing? Why do you want to work with me?” Then if we have that connection and you like the way that I speak and the way that I motivate, then I think that that’s something worth trying. And then we never really know what the program is going to be like that you or I write for somebody until we get into it. I feel like both of us would probably be confident in saying that if we had an athlete for long enough, we could figure out what was the most effective for them, because they’re all a little bit different.

But there’s a lot of this testing phase, where we don’t really know what’s going to work. We have science behind it, but still we’ve all had the athletes where we’re like, man, that didn’t work the way I thought it was going to. And that’s okay. The thing is, a lot of athletes don’t realize that that’s okay. If we could put them through a month of training and they don’t get any results, it just means that we’re a month of training closer to figuring out what we need to do in order to get them results. They might get frustrated with that. But if we can communicate to them that that’s gathered information and we have the thought process, and we’re thinking about that, we’re not just throwing the pickles on the wall, which is great. I’m going to use that analogy in the future. Then hopefully, they’re able to actually… You still got me?

Menachem Brodie:

Yep. I still got you.

Joe Bauer:

Okay. So then hopefully they’re able to actually think like we are [inaudible 00:45:36] what our thought process is so that they’ll decide that we’re doing what’s in their best interest.

Menachem Brodie:

You bring up an interesting point and something that I prided myself on just because I was so freaking… There are two things that I prided myself on when I started online that were just bullheaded. One was not having any general plans. And then I came to realization, I think about a year before I met you, of these general plans from the good coaches, they find trends and they know exactly who that… They’re not posting a 12 week or eight weeks super booster power workout for everybody. In the description, it says exactly who it’s for. So I got over that. But the second one, and I’m just getting over it now, is having a four month contract because exactly what you said, I’m looking number one, do no harm.

Let’s make sure that we’re getting you a little bit better, get your movement patterns or synchronicity a little bit better. Then it really takes three to six months to begin to unbuckle and unpack some athletes. I don’t know about you actually. I think we had a discussion, I think it was you. You realize who the real athletes are. When I say athletes, their movement literacy is fantastic.

Joe Bauer:

Yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

Very quickly, you know in a month, okay, I can throw this at that person and they’re going to know, “Hey, this is for me, or, Hey, this isn’t.” Versus can’t give this to John because he’s just going to go so far down. Well, I couldn’t do it with no weight. So I grabbed the 24 kilo kettlebells and decided to do it.

Joe Bauer:

Yeah. And that even takes us down a further rabbit hole of, well first, yes, an online makes that so much harder to identify who those athletes are that you just talked about. I felt like when I did in-person coaching, I could see that maybe even in the first session, definitely in the first few sessions with talking with them, you get that really in-depth connection and see how they move and how they interpret what you’re actually telling them to do. With online, it takes definitely at least five times as long, I would say, just because you don’t have that in-person connection that you can feel. And that’s all right. Then the, let’s see, the other thing is getting okay or being okay with the generalized programming, which I think we got into the first time that we talked or the second time that we talked, I think, and it’s like, if we want to reach the largest group of people and have the most impact, we can’t always make things perfect for everybody.

It’s really hard for us as high level coaches to have this conversation where it’s like… I remember, I think it was when we talked maybe the first time I was like, “Man, I need to create an online platform, but the way that I want to do it is such a way that I would feel silly telling somebody that [inaudible 00:48:26] we know so much and how you can work with somebody one-on-one than if we were working on a whole group of people.” I think we had a laugh about that. And I was like, “You just got to go do it and know that you’re helping people in one way or the other and the people that want more specialized stuff can come to you. But you can’t worry about the Menachems and the Joes in the world that are going to be judging you, or they might be judging you.” You know what I mean?

Menachem Brodie:

That’s a big thing for a lot of coaches, is the fact that they are worried about being judged by going online and not having as high of, what’s the word I’m looking for? Efficacy, I guess, for the program. It’s one of those things, if someone has that big of a problem… The number of athletes I’ve had that were hesitant to go to virtual sessions the last couple of weeks, and once we did it, they’re like, “Wow, wow, this is amazing. Why didn’t we do this sooner?” There also things we screwed up. I always say, well, we’ll do this better when we can figure out the camera angle or where you are. But so many people have this self pressure.

There’s no real pressure out there. Nobody should expect you to do just as good of a job online in a virtual session, as you would in-person touching, especially if that athlete responds to tactile. I think that’s a big problem. There is interconnectedness, but there’s also certain obstacles. And as a coach, know your strengths, know your weaknesses. Where I’m really going with this is, what you were talking about, about five times. I think that’s a very generous number. I’d say 10.

Joe Bauer:

Yeah. That’s funny that you mentioned that. Because that was my first thought. And I was like, Oh, people might not resonate. Or they might think, Oh my God, 10 times? But yeah, I would agree with you.

Menachem Brodie:

How much do you have your athletes video? Because that’s something I’m curious of. How many, do you have them? I do specific sets of specific exercises because I want to see certain trends. In The Get Better Project, do you ask for specific videos or you just tell people video as you want? How does that work?

Joe Bauer:

That’s a great question. I went down the road of trying to get people to video, everybody to video, and it really turned people off.

Menachem Brodie:

Really?

Joe Bauer:

Yeah, yeah man. And as somebody that’s used a lot of video and watched a lot of people move and thinking about how much better I can coach them if I know how they move, I don’t understand that personally, but it was like pulling teeth to get people to video. So I had to change my approach. I think it has to do with the clientele again. If I’m working with an athlete that’s really interested in getting ready for, let’s say a triathlon or a Tough Mudder or a CrossFit event, then they’re going to video for sure. They’re going to be like, “Yeah, man.” Anything that I want, they’ll video it, no problem. But the person that is there to look good this summer, they feel uncomfortable giving me a video.

So I have to do and say so much in my workout explanation video. Because I do an explanation work, a coaching video for every single workout that I post. Because they’re generalized, I’m not doing the specific workouts like a lot of you might be doing. I need to be very specific in what I’m looking for. Like, all right, this is the position that I want you to be in, and this is the position I absolutely do not want you to be in. Because I’m not going to get the feedback that I always need or want from the particular athletes. I have a open door policy with videos. It doesn’t cost you any more for me to review videos or anything. And I want to see as many of them as you will send me. I get some athletes that send them to me, almost every workout. And that’s great because I’ll just look at their video, I will digest it and I’ll shoot them a video back with what their coaching tips should be. But man, it’s been really hard for me to get videos.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. That’s funny. I’ve had more issues with that because I just have people upload. I’m like, “Do you have any videos for me today?” Sometimes it’s the platform. Because the way it’s programmed is they have to finish uploading before they can move on in their workout. I’ve told a couple people, if that were me, I’d just throw the phone across the gym. Like, screw this. I’m just going to do it by memory. I tell people, but there are specific things, I guess maybe it’s because I’m working with cyclists and triathletes and those movement patterns, but that’s a really high level of coaching. Just as a personal question, how do you manage the time of the videos? Obviously, the first time you’re watching all of them very closely, how do you balance that and making sure that you’re getting the individual that feedback?

Joe Bauer:

As far as it relates to my batching and theme days, I haven’t figured that one out. That’s still something that is chaotic and that if you were my client and you sent me a video and it was not on one of my video days, if I have a break in my day, I will just hop outside or go to my gym location after watching the video of course, and then make another video and upload it as soon as I can for them. I know that this is going to end up being a problem for me as I grow. That’s why I’ve already have a list of people that I’ve talked to that are going to be coming on as coaches for me to help with this load. But yeah, man, it’s not a science for me, unfortunately.

Menachem Brodie:

We’ll talk about that more personally. I know we have just a handful of minutes here to finish up, but it sounds like the program itself is grown really a lot since I saw you last year. I can’t believe it’s been a year still. But it sounds like it’s grown really well. So I’m going to ask you a question that another coach asked me yesterday in a direct message. Tim asked me, “How have you gone about developing your remote coaching clientele?”

Joe Bauer:

So like how am I marketing or trying to build that process?

Menachem Brodie:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joe Bauer:

Yeah. Here’s what I can tell you. I do as much as I possibly can on my marketing day and throw that pickle like it’s still hot.

Menachem Brodie:

It’s so good. Right? That’s what it is.

Joe Bauer:

Yeah. I can tell you that my personal Facebook, which I have, I think like 3,000 or more, maybe 4,000 friends now, has given me the most fruit from the tree, followed by Instagram, which is interesting because I have like 17,000 followers on Instagram, but my 3,000 on Facebook has done better. And then other than that, let’s see, my email list is third for bringing people in, which is interesting. I think I have 800 on that particular list that I’m marketing to. Then it’s sporadic, but definitely the largest, I would say like 75% of the people come from personal Facebook and then 15% from the Instagram and then some email and then who knows where?

Menachem Brodie:

It sounds like the key is a little bit of everywhere, but you’re really focusing in three or four areas where you’re producing content and each is unique. I know the Facebook posts are a lot more personal at least, and how I read things. I connect with both, but I totally get it. There’s no one answer. The coach was asking because they wanted one answer and I was like, “I’m just putting out high quality content, engaging with people, sending people personal messages, just connecting and not looking for a sale. I’m just talking to people.”

Joe Bauer:

That’s big, man. That’s big. I wish we had a whole nother hour to talk about that. Yeah, and not looking for the sale. I’ve done so well with doing the opposite of what most people do on Instagram. I’m sorry, on LinkedIn, which is first connection. “Hey, I’ve got this product, do you want to buy it?” I’m like, “How are you? What are you up to?” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I don’t sell at all. I’m just in the conversation. I have an online training program and they’re like, “Oh cool. How does that work?” I’m like, “Well, right now we’re offering a 30 day free if you want to try it out.” I would say that 75% of the time, they’re like, “Sure.”

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. That’s the same thing. I throw a post occasionally. If you’re interested, message me. And that’s it, leave it alone. I know we have to wrap up here. One, we definitely have to have you back again. Two, you and I need to communicate more frequently. It’s always fun, right?

Joe Bauer:

Yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

But where can everybody find you? I know The Get Better Project, AllAroundJoe, where can the folks here find you and connect with you?

Joe Bauer:

Yeah. If you want to see what I’m doing with The Get Better Project, anywhere, Get Better Project online should get you there. Instagram, Twitter, the website is The Get Better Project, or Facebook. And if you want to see any of my personal stuff, like you mentioned, I’m at AllAroundJoe.com and AllAroundJoe elsewhere on the internet. So anybody has any questions or anything that I can help you with, I am always down. Whether it’s little things about platforms or coaching or marketing or whatever. Reach out to me. I’d love to talk with you.

Menachem Brodie:

Awesome. Joe, thank you so much for coming on today.

Joe Bauer:

Thank you, Menachem.

Speaker 1:

Let’s go. That’s it for this episode of The Strong Savvy Cyclist and Triathlete Podcast with world-leading strength coach for cyclists and triathletes, Menachem Brodie. Don’t miss an episode. Hit that subscribe button and give us a review. For more exclusive content, visit humanvortextraining.com or get the latest expert videos from coach Brodie on the HBT YouTube channel at HB Training. Until next time, remember to train smarter, not harder because it is all about you.

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Menachem Brodie

Menachem Brodie

Coaching since 2000, Menachem Brodie has been working with athletes in a number of settings, and a broad variety of sports.

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