Unveiling Gym World’s Weirdest Moments of 2023


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

What’s up Gym World? 

Last week, Mateo, Kaleda, and I crowned the biggest winners and losers of 2023. 

Today, we’re rounding out the awards by highlighting the best and weirdest moments of the year. 

Here are this year’s winners: 

Rookie of the Year

🏆 My pick: Fusion Gyms 

In the early days of Gym World, we loved reacting to the weirdest fitness TikToks. 

Imagine scrolling through the app and hearing, “Welcome to the best gym in the fucking world,” while seeing a guy standing on a Lambo. The camera then shows a massive space with a 100-yard football field surrounded by what seems like millions of dollars worth of gym equipment. 

That’s how I first came across ‘Relentless Tony’ and his $10M influencer gym

At first, I wasn’t sure if the gym would work out. But Relentless Tony has proved me wrong thus far. It’s gained millions of views on social media, and he’s opening more locations. 

While it’s early to say if Fusion Gyms will be profitable in the long run, it’s fun to watch their progress. I think they’re worth keeping an eye on. 

🏅 Mateo’s pick: The Trainer Page - Nick’s DM strategy is simple and effective. Many gym owners who adopted it saw an almost immediate increase in sales.
⭐ Kaleda’s pick: CrossFit Central London - Kaleda was blown away by Ian Duvall’s transformation of a struggling CrossFit gym. He changed the staff, launched a Kilo website, and got 135 leads in his first month after taking over.

Honorable Mentions

🏆 My pick: Chris Cooper 

Chris turned his passion for helping gym owners into Two-Brain Business, the largest gym mentorship company in the world. 

When we had him on the show in August, Chris surprised us with sides of himself we’d never seen publicly, and Gym World loved it. His insights, sheer Canadianness, and dedication to helping gym owners run profitable gyms make a huge impact in the fitness industry. 

There is no better person I can think of as my honorable mention. 

🏅 Mateo’s pick: Oskar Johed - Few affiliates put up Oskar’s numbers. He’s a prime example of what it takes to successfully run multiple CrossFit locations using a good, replicable business model.
⭐ Kaleda’s pick: Dane McCarthy - It was eye-opening to see Dane target Gen Z, a group most gym owners don’t focus on. He created a unique model that really fits what Gen Z wants.

Weirdest Trend

🏆 My pick: Bryan Johnson – Rejuvenation Olympics 

I’m a sucker for trendy stuff. If people are jumping into ice baths, you bet I’m getting one too. 

But there’s a fine line between trendy and weird, and Bryan Johnson is the perfect example. He’s invested over $4M into anti-aging efforts to not die as quickly as others. Time Magazine reports his extreme routine includes: 

  • Taking 111 daily pills 
  • Wearing a baseball cap that shoots red light into his scalp 
  • Sleeping with a tiny jet pack attached to his penis to monitor his nighttime erections 

And he’s not alone in this. There’s a whole group of rich people competing in Bryan’s Rejuvenation Olympics to slow aging as fast as they can.

DJ Steve Aoki was ranked 22nd out of 1,750 “olympians.”
Earlier this year, DJ Steve Aoki was ranked 22nd out of 1,750 “olympians.”

To me, it’s a bit weird. Is it really worth spending all that money for a restricted lifestyle just to stay young? 

🏅 Mateo’s pick: Though we’ve covered many content strategies on Gym World, it’s interesting that TikTok hasn’t been mentioned by any guest. It’s unclear if it helps grow brick-and-mortar gyms.
⭐ Kaleda’s pick: Kaleda was too busy leading one of the fastest-growing gym management software companies and too Canadian to call out a weird trend.

Best Moment

🏆 My pick: Kilo Ink 

Kaleda is gracious enough to give me a ‘shenanigans budget’ for whatever I want, as long as it helps bring attention to Kilo. 

So the second she went on vacation last February, I went straight to Facebook with a wild offer: anyone who got a Kilo logo tattoo would get a free website for life.

John Franklin post that says anyone who got a Kilo logo tattoo would get a free website for life

I got 30-40 messages from people asking for more details. And within 24 hours, two of our clients got inked.

kilo tattoos
They’re now saving $1,508 each year for as long as their gyms stay open.

It’s rare to see customers so dedicated they’d tattoo a company’s logo on their bodies. This brought me so much joy, and it’s a memory I’ll always cherish. 

🏅 Mateo’s pick: Creating the Kilo theme song was the highlight of Mateo’s year. He worked on it late into the night while his wife was on a work trip, just to bring you this special ad.
⭐ Kaleda’s pick: Kaleda’s top moment was attending the CrossFit Games and seeing Kilo take over TV screens. Also, reaching 1,000 Kilo clients was a big deal. It felt so far off 3.5 years ago, but we achieved it sooner than expected.
Kilo taking over the CrossFit Games on TV

Dream Guest for 2024

🏆 My pick: Nabil Saeed | CEO and Founder of Absolute Recomp

Nabil Saeed is my top pick for a guest this year. He’s got two influencer gyms and creates awesome content on social.

@ar_saeed1 Here’s how I started Absolute Recomp 😌 what a ride…. #gymowner #gymtok #fitness #business ♬ Ain't No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

What’s really impressive is how he started owning gyms at just 15 and now, at 25, is running multi-million dollar facilities. It’s kind of a mystery how he did it, but I’m very curious about his strategies and want to pick his brain about it all. 

So if anyone out there knows Nabil, let him know his friends at Gym World are eager to have a chat. We’ve got lots to ask, and I bet our audience would love to hear his story. 

🏅 Mateo’s Pick: Eric Schreimann - As the CEO of Club Fitness, Eric deals with one of the biggest challenges gym owners face: staffing and compensation. It’d be interesting to learn about how Club Fitness uses its Employee Stock Option Program for this.
⭐ Kaleda’s Pick: Andrew Hiller - Andrew’s a great Kilo client who likes to stir the pot. Kaleda thinks he’d be an awesome addition to Gym World.

Predictions for 2024

🏆 My pick: Modern Bathhouses and Country Club-Like Wellness Centres 

We saw a ton of ice bath influencers in 2023, but I think they hit their peak. While they won’t disappear, they’re probably not going to get more popular. 

This year, I’m betting we’ll see more modern bathhouses and country club-like wellness centers. People are lonelier these days and are looking for community. Those with disposable income are willing to spend on experiences that offer both wellness and connection. 

Places like Othership in Toronto are leading this trend, and LifeTime is trying to make these country club vibes more affordable with their new concept

So, spaces where you can relax, meet like-minded people, and feel good—that’s what I predict will be on the rise in 2024. 

🏅 Mateo’s Pick: Mateo also agrees that in-person recovery and wellness concepts will become more popular.
⭐ Kaleda’s Pick: As women’s professional sports are on the rise, Kaleda believes we’ll see more gyms offering women’s sports performance training in the coming years.

For a full recap of our nominees, be sure to watch or listen to the latest Gym World. And if you missed part one, check it out here


P.S. What do you want to see more of on Gym World this year? Reply back to this email with your answers.

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