How Nathan Got Started With Crossfit
Hey, this is Jackie Tann and welcome to the body’s built better podcast. On the show we chat with experts, athletes, coaches and authors to educate and inspire you. We explore the body’s incredible ability to heal, adapt, and evolve so you could crush limitations, reconnect your body and mind and discover your extraordinary potential. Today on the show, I chatted with CrossFit Zenit owner and coach Nathan West. Anyone who has been trained by knife will know he’s not just a CrossFit coach. He is your advocate, your cheerleader, your confidence, your accountability, your supporter, and your wake up call. And whilst His compassion and empathy will gain your respect, and remind you he too, is human, he also knows how to crack the whip, to get the absolute best out of you. Today, he gives some insight into why CrossFit is good for you, how to tackle your mindset, especially when you want to stop, and what it’s like balancing a growing business and a young family. If you’ve ever thought about trying CrossFit, but intimidated by it, Nathan will not only give you the reasons why you should give it a go. But put your mind at ease in the process. So enjoy this episode with my good friend, Nathan wese. Nathan, thank you so much for chatting with me today. I’m very excited to chat with you. We’ve known each other for a little while now. And it’s been really cool because we’ve actually got to see each other grow not only personally but professionally as well in business very much. And it’s really cool to see your business really thrive now. So I’m looking forward to chatting about that. But before we get into that, let’s give listeners a bit of background on you. How long have you been in the industry? When did you get into industry? and running businesses?
Yeah, definitely that Oh, firstly, thank you very much for having me. I really appreciate them taking the time to listen to me chat about what I got to chat about. So thank you. I guess I have, I’ve owned my own business for 14 years now. I I started off with a small, very small both in size and I guess physical size and size of the business franchise, business gym in Adelaide CBD. About 14 years ago, I really thought it was going to be a walk in the park. I was going to have no Boss, I could do my own hours, I could basically do what I wanted, I could pay myself what I wanted. And, man was I in for a rude shock.
I think you’ve just described every new PT or even
I 100% I walked out of PT school as if that’s what you want to call it, with them convincing all of us that we’re going to be walking into a $100,000 a year job in two seconds. And, and then. And then my parents were lucky enough to help me finance a business and I thought it was even better. I’m going to walk into a $1,000 a year job. And I don’t have to really do any work. So I can just get everyone else, everyone else to work for me. And yeah, things changed really quick. So I ran that badly for about four or five years. And then things didn’t fall into place I thought they would. And so I guess I kind of had a bit of a turnaround at that point about five, five years in that I was sort of I was at a bit of a you could say like a bit of a low point of like, Well, unless I actually do something with this. It’s gonna be I’m just gonna shut it down and walk away. And so I made the decision then to actually take this a little bit more seriously. put in the hours to stop trying to pay other people to do the work when I need to be doing the work myself. And the business really sort of picked it up when it turned around, and I had these lofty goals for it. And then I guess you could say that after about another Sort of five years, I had a bit of a realisation that that lofty goal that I had, was probably not within that gym, I had bigger plans on the outside, and that gym was never going to be the one that was was going to get me there. However, it needed to go through that journey or that path with that gym to, to get where I am today. So I saw that that was a journey in itself, trying to sell a business. That really was
Building A Successful Crossfit Business
because I remember the whole process with you Like, how long did that that was, was that four or five years,
That was a three and a half to four year process. Like, it’s just it’s that thing of, you’ve spent so much time investing your life in it, so you’ve got no connection, and then you’re going to give it to someone for a monetary amount. So you’re so much more invested in that than what they are, they want to pay as little as possible, you want to get this exorbitant amount that you think it’s worth and then try to meet in the middle. I guess the biggest blessing for that was that eventually, when I did sell it, I’d been trying to sell it for so long that I just I was at the point I was like, you know what I need to, I need to take that sacrifice and just take that cart and just give it to them for what they’re willing to pay. And just and just move on. If my dream gym is after this, that’s just what I need to do. And as you know, it is easily the best sacrifice I’ve ever made in my life. After that I am putting in a bunch of work. Actually, I signed a lease for a lot more than I thought I could afford, let alone a lot more than what I wanted to pay as well. Obviously, my lovely dad came to the rescue again and basically built this this place from from an empty, completely rundown warehouse into the CrossFit zenitel it is today, which is a I guess you could say I’d like to say it’s a thriving CrossFit business, thriving, health based CrossFit business 100 plus members, and we’ve been running for two years now. So every day is an absolute, without sounding cheesy, like an absolute delight to walk into this place. It is not a minute of it feels like work. Not a minute of it is such a passion. And yeah, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, besides marrying my wife and having two.
Very good. And you have produced some incredible while this incredible business. And I have to say I’ve walked into a lot of gyms, and I’ve walked or seen a few CrossFit boxes or gyms, whatever you want to call them. And yours by far, not only is it aesthetically incredible, like it looks excellent. But actually the vibe and the environment that you’ve been able to build is just incredible. And that’s a real credit to you. And obviously your values and your belief in what as you said, a health based CrossFit gym should be so congratulations.
The Changes In The Fitness Industry
you’ve been in the industry now you said for over 14 years. Yeah. And I’d really like to know from your perspective what would have been the things that you’ve seen? You know, throughout the industry, I guess these fads, these things that come and go. And what would you say have been like the positives and negatives from all that you’ve seen? I know. That’s a huge kind of generalist question. But
It is a great question, though. Because, because I guess in the last 14 years, like from when I started to now we have more information available as humans, I guess you’d say, more information available to all of us, like more than ever, like we know that like it’s all over our phones, it’s all over our computers, it’s all over our TV, our social media, like everything, like anyone, anyone can have all the information to make themselves as healthy as possible and as fit as possible. And yet, as humans, we are probably the unhealthiest we’ve ever been. Like, everyone, everyone thinks it’s just the information that we need. And then obviously, we’ve got all the information and that’s not so much what we need. So in the fitness industry, I guess the big thing over the last 14 years would be we’ve got a bit more of a saturated market now. All right there is a gym every every second block, so we’ve got a lot more choice. Now a lot more choice doesn’t always isn’t always a better thing to have. Because sometimes it’s that paralysis by analysis kind of thing. It’s like, Alright, cool, well, which gym Do I go to, or which form of fitness should I be going to and then someone just goes, look, it’s just too hard, I’m not going to do anything. So we’ve got more options. But if we want to look at some of the positives and the negatives, I guess, for people to really excel now, in the in the fitness industry, they need to really put in the work, there’s still a lot of people coming through, there’s a lot of people that start out, and they’re really excited for the first one to three months, then all of a sudden, they sort of realise like, Man, this is hard. Like, if I actually like it, you can’t just get away with it, I enjoy exercise. So I should be a personal trainer. It’s like if you want to be good and make a career out of this, you have to put in the work. And I think now, there’s a lot of people that have put in the work. I mean, you go back 20 or 30 years, like being a personal trainer, like it wasn’t Korea, like it was just, it wasn’t something that you plan on spending the rest of your life doing it was it, it might be something you did on the side, or something like that. So I think the positive is, he says a lot more people that are able to put in the work now teach themselves to get the growth in and treat this as a career.
Fitness Messaging in The Media
The other thing, though, is health, health messaging that we see in advertising and stuff along those lines, it’s more prominent than ever, which is fantastic. Right? It’s making people more aware of their health. Is it making people do more about their health? No, like not necessarily, we know what is good and bad for us, everyone. Most people, a lot of people know what they should be eating and shouldn’t be eating and where they should be exercising, shouldn’t be in sleep and stress and mental health and all that kind of stuff. Is anyone doing it? Some people are, that’s great, but a lot of the population are not. So that’s kind of a positive, that’s also a little bit of a negative as well like the information again, talking about the information, there’s more information than ever. However, there’s more people than ever, that’s not not listening to it as well. So I guess that’s sort of the positives, but sort of leading into the negatives. Probably one of the biggest negatives I see in the fitness industry at the moment is that people there just lead in a direction very easily, very easily. So an example would be fitness people on social media Now look, like everyone, everyone to their own. But just because I look at someone on social media, who is, you know, absolutely ripped and buff, and they’re selling their 12 weeks to the best ABS programme that does that does not mean in any way that they know what they’re talking about? Or does it mean in any way that they follow that 12 weeks to great ABS programme? All right. And it’s just them finding a great way to make money. And I think people are too quick to believe the hype. So I walk into a gym and say, go, Well, I want to, I want to lose 20 kilos, and the person behind the desk goes, terrific call. As long as you come in three times a week, for the next three months, you’ll probably lose 20 kilos, cool. And that person just blocked me from going. Alright, it’s that easy, excellent. Like I’m like, without anyone actually really breaking everything down for them and really running through their goals and sort of giving them a realistic timeline and stuff like that. I think. I think people are very quick to believe what they want to believe, when it comes to their health and their fitness. And unfortunately, there’s more people around and not giving people the correct advice, I guess you could say. So I find that a bit of a negative in the industry at the moment. So
it’s a bit sad because you could almost take advantage of that type of client because they literally just, it’s almost like they’re relinquishing all responsibility of their own health to someone else. So it is not great. Like that’s, that’s not what you want for someone. But yeah, then you’ve got that person who is meant to be the authority, who, unfortunately may take advantage of that. Now, I’m not saying all PTs do that, because there certainly are definitely not plastic people out there. But you know, just like any industry there, there are your fantastic professionals and then there are ones that just are not up to the same standard.
Learning To Be Patient As A Parent And A Fitness Professional
I feel like maybe society these days has a little bit less patience. I always, always talk about the patience that my parents had, even compared to some to my generation. I look at where my parents happen to, to be amazing and sort of babysit our girl. The patience they have with a two year old and a four year old when they are babysitting is phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. And not that me and my lovely wife don’t have any patience. But you know, I don’t think I could, I could sit there trying to write the same letter on a piece of paper for two hours. My parents are, they’ll be there the whole time. And I think, in today’s society as a, as a general, like, if I’m looking to get some health or fitness results […] if someone tells me that I can have them now, I’m going to convince myself that they are telling me the truth, because why would they want to lie to me? All right, if they’re telling me that I can have exactly all the health and fitness benefits that I want, in the next three months, when I went to another gym around the corner, where the guy really sat down with me listened to everything, and said, “Look, if you want to achieve those exact goals, that’s going to take you a minimum, a minimum of a year, and that year is going to be consistently three to five times per week,” this other person is saying I can have them in three months and I only have to come in two to three times per week. That’s where I’m going. And they’re cheaper. That’s exactly where I’m going. Because that person told me I could have been quicker. And unfortunately, that’s not the truth all the time.
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