Building one of the biggest fitness business conferences


Gym World comes from Kilo co-founder John Franklin, who shares lessons about making money in the fitness industry.

In business, luck matters.

What’s going on Gym World?

Last weekend was the Two-Brain Business Summit.

Over 750 gym owners, coaches & vendors attended, making it one of the largest fitness business conferences in the world. 🤯

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TBB Summit 2022 vs. 2023. The compound effect at work.

The conference has grown 5x since I started marketing for Two-Brain 5 years ago.

So how did we get here?

While I’d love to credit my marketing skillz, my biggest takeaway from the weekend was:

Luck matters in business

In 2013, I got 120 members to sign up at my first gym before I opened the doors.

My secret?

I literally top-ticked the CrossFit trend.

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U.S. interest in CrossFit from 2007-present

That initial burst of success made me believe I was a good marketer, which set off a series of lucky breaks. Here’s how:

Finding Two-Brain at the right time.

I joined Two-Brain as a client in 2017—that was when the CrossFit trend was in decline, and gym owners were looking for a way to get more bodies in the door.

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Chris Cooper, the Founder of TBB, wasn’t a fan of paid marketing; in fact, his first blog was called Don’

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I was running four gyms at the time, all of which relied on Facebook ads, and I shared what was working for me in the Two-Brain Facebook group. Over time, I built a reputation as “the marketing guy” in that community.

💡 My locations were in high-cost transient cities (NY, Philly, & Hoboken). Most members moved every few years. Paid marketing was our means of survival.

The brand equity I built in the group led to a massive long-term partnership with TBB when Chris wanted to grow his business with paid ads.

I was in the right place at the right time with the right skillset.

Since then, hundreds of good marketers have come through TBB with similar (if not better) skills & diligence than me, yet they couldn’t achieve a similar outcome.


They were late to the party.

Chris Cooper got lucky too.

Chris was a gym owner that hit rock bottom and desperately needed to find a way to make his gym profitable.

He found a local mentor and shared the lessons he learned with other CrossFit gym owners on his blog.

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When Chris started his blog

Little did he know CrossFit would become the fastest-growing fitness chain of all time.

And that blog would become Two-Brain Business, the largest gym mentorship company in the world.

💡 Remember: Riding a trend doesn’t always feel like overnight success. It took Chris 3-years of writing daily blog posts to hit his first 100 subscribers. The same can be said for Mr. Beast, who took over two years to get 1,000 subscribers, but is now the most successful YouTuber in the world.

Luck is only one part of the equation

Other CrossFit gym owners were sharing content at the same time as Chris, but none of them are relevant today.

You can be in the right place, at the right time, with the right skill set, but still mess up a huge opportunity.

Entrepreneurs LOVE shooting themselves in the foot when they have a good thing going.

IMO, Chris did three things that separated him from the pack:

  1. He stayed in his lane. While competitors were trying to start franchises, equipment companies, & marketing agencies, Chris kept mentoring gym owners and sharing helpful content.
  2. He was prolific. He wrote 750 words every day for 10 years.
  3. He was consistent. He has been repeating the same 5-6 business principles over & over & over.

Luck can be manufactured

Luck matters in business, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting lucky.

Here’s what worked for me:

  • Joining fitness masterminds
  • Attending 3-4 industry conferences a year
  • Hosting networking dinners with gym owners every 3-months
  • Cold-calling or emailing people in the industry that I admire
  • Participating in online communities like Gym Owners United

And while following a plan like this won’t make you the next Chris Cooper, you never know—you might just get lucky.

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