The Three Primary Client Archetypes

By Shawn McQueen, Two Brain Group Coaching Mentor

I recently met a 60 year old woman in a free consultation who’s just beginning with my gym. 

In our consultation she shared, “I’ve tried CrossFit before with my daughter maybe 5 years ago.”

And when I asked her to describe her experience, I was disappointed. 

“You know, It felt like the focus was on doing things as fast as you could. They said okay go run 200m and I can’t even run. Then we came inside and we did a lot of situps and then it was box jumps and I was scared to jump on that box. It was high. And I didn’t want to get hurt and I didn’t think I could do it.  

The pace was fast and because I felt incapable with most things I never went back,” she shared. 

Now if that doesn’t sadden you a bit you’re in the wrong line of work.

This gym clearly missed the mark of understanding the needs, wants and even fears of members who work out in our gyms. 

Not everyone is the same or possesses the same drive, wants or abilities. 

That’s why it’s critical that as Owners we know and understand and then train our Coaches to know and understand that most people fall into three categories within our gym:

  1. Compete 
  2. Train 
  3. Sweat aka Move 


Those who want to compete, whether that’s at a high level or locally, are seeking a bit more. 

They are looking to maximize their own physical potential, build a well rounded based and leave no stone unturned. 

The CrossFit Games are amazing (I love the Games) and the Open is our universal hub of a worldwide competitive event but we NEED to recognize and understand: 

This in MOST cases is the fewest percent of our gym population (<5-10%)

It’s also the lowest percentile of people who bring in revenue to our business. 

Yet most gyms make the mistake of prioritizing competing,  “RX-ing” workouts or even programming skills that most people really could even care less to do. 

*Don’t confuse that last statement with progress. Everyone wants progress. Progress doesn’t have to be squat snatches, muscle ups, handstand pushups or even toes to bar. 

The classic mistake (I too made for too long) is prioritizing the programming, coaching and even communication style in a way that seemed to make this relevant. 

The cost? 

It costs us small business owners thousands of dollars in revenue lost because it costs you members leaving.  Values and beliefs not aligning.  Not making fitness approachable, winnable and prioritizing the wrong things. 

Your coach’s priority with the compete members should be to consistently check first on their particular area of focus that will help move the needle of improvement for them for that day.

So your coach can be on the same page and coach them to become better (provide value!) 

The coach should also ensure they are consistently challenged, improving and are doing the right things outside the gym (Sleep, Eat, Recovery and Mindset work.) 


Then there are those who want to train

They follow your consistent training program achieving consistent results (with little to no desire to compete maybe outside of the open or the occasional toss their hat in the ring at your or a local partner event for fun.)

These folks for the most part know their numbers, have specific goals, are after the 1% daily improvement and they remember important things to them (ie: power clean PR, how many pull ups they can do, their 500m row time, max unbroken set of double unders etc.)

They are intrinsically and extrinsically driven. 

They have experience and time under their belt and your coach’s highest priority with these members should be constant engagement, finding and coaching the small margins to gradually help them make improvements and progress and be consistently guiding their development, improving their efficiency and maximizing their enjoyment. 

This in most cases is also a low to moderate percent of members (<20-30%) 


Then there are the majority. 

Those who want to sweat and move. 

They want the basics that fitness provides. 

Confidence, feeling good about themselves, health, better looking body, the capability to do things they once couldn’t. 

They don’t do this on their own.

They like and thrive on the structure, having somewhere to show up, be at and that everything is taken care of for them.

Sometimes they forget if 3×8 means 3 sets of 8 reps or does that mean 8 sets of 3 reps?

They need your business and coaching to help them continue to thrive in their health and wellness.

Your Coach’s top priority with these members is to make fitness approachable, customizable and winnable. 

They desire a great workout.

Not an impossible task or constant feelings of inadequacy or defeat. 

Why is this so important? 

This in most cases is the majority of members (60-80%)

How do you create a cohesive and inclusive environment where all can thrive including the business? 

Next blog. 

Now that you better recognize and understand the 3 main archetypes in our group fitness classes, next we will teach you the steps of how to upgrade each archetype’s experience in our next blog. 

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