The process that made 43 millionaire gym owners


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

Inside Two-Brain’s quest to discover the “right way to run a gym”.

Sup Gym World?

I ran five small training gyms from 2013-2019.

My biggest problem during that time was a lack of focus. There was so much conflicting information on the “right way to run a gym.”

Guru A says you need to do free trials

Guru B says never give your service away for free

Guru C says you should invest in a nutrition program

Guru D says every gym needs a kids program

Guru E says go all-in on Facebook ads

Guru F says ads don’t matter if you create content every day

One thing was clear: small coaching gyms needed better data to make better decisions.

At the time, there were good industry guides available for globo gym owners, but no one was releasing similar guides for small coaching gyms. So in 2020, Two-Brain Business set out to create the best source of industry information for small coaching gyms.

The result was the State of the Industry report.

What is the State of the Industry (SOI)?

The SOI uses a combination of quantitative with qualitative insights from over 10,000 gyms to reveal what sets the best and worst gyms apart.

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Source: Qualtrics

To start, Two-Brain gets data from major gym management software companies like Kilo, Wodify, GymMaster, Pushpress, and TeamUp—which paints an accurate picture of top-line revenue, member count, attendance, etc.

But this doesn’t tell the whole story. It lacks insight into things like:

  • profitability
  • building size
  • staff compensation
  • the number of hours the owner works etc.

To get a complete picture of the industry, Two-Brain asks over 30,000 gym owners to fill out a 5-min survey.

The survey, coupled with the GMS data, gives us insight into what the best gyms are doing.

That information is then packaged into a report with lots of graphs and pictures, and is shared with the entire industry.

Screenshot 2023 08 18 at 11.18.10 AM

Yay, graphs and pictures!

Here are some key insights from 2022

1. The average gym owner makes $3,787/mo. This number includes personal expenses that are run through the business, like insurance, phone plans, and the owner’s car.

While owner pay is increasing slightly year over year, it’s still way too low for the hours most owners are putting in, considering that the average US household makes $70,800/yr.

2. The average wage of the highest earning staff member is $28,709/yr

3. There is a positive correlation between owner pay and the pay of the highest-earning staff member. The adage “a rising tide lifts all boats” is true.

4. Nutrition programs are time-consuming and expensive and only makeup 5% of revenue on average.

The data shows that most gym owners are better off investing time elsewhere. Consider partnering with a nutrition coaching company or running a few coach-led nutrition challenges throughout the year.

5. Youth training is underrated. Kidsprograms make up 9% of revenue for the average gym owner. Youth programs are typically less time-consuming, have lower churn, and are more profitable than nutrition programs for the average gym owner.

As a parent with two young kids, I can safely say that I’d pay big bucks for an hour of kidless quiet time each day.
Screenshot 2023 08 18 at 10.16.25 AM

6. The average gym owner is selling large group training but delivering small group training. The median cost for large group training was $160/mo, but only 6.6 people attended the average large group class.

The most successful gym owners I’ve talked to train 5-7 clients per class but charge 2-3x that price because they market it as small group personal training.

Get early access to the 2023 State of the Industry

The 2023 State of the Industry survey is live now. Invest 5-min and fill it out:

Doing so gets you early access to the report—which will be released mid-November—and a special surprise from yours truly.

Using data to help gyms pass $100k in net owner benefit

This week I had Chris Cooper on the show to talk about Two-Brain Business’s data-driven approach to making gyms more profitable.

Watch it on Gym World or listen on Spotify.

Until next week,


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