How To Go From The Basement To The Penthouse

How To Go From The Basement To The Penthouse

Posted on 06. Jul, 2009 by in Marketing Fitness

Getting into the business side of fitness definitely takes some hustle

And when it comes to hustle, the guy I have on the blog today has plenty to spare – it’s BJ GADDOUR, famous for the BOOTCAMP BLUEPRINT program and getting to the top of the fitness business in just  few short years.

I recently contacted BJ for a new product I’m working on that’s going to cover all of the world’s major bootcamp programs and the people behind them.  It was my first chance to really talk to BJ, and to say I was impressed is an understatement.

In this clip from the interview we recorded for my new product, you’ll hear about how BJ got himself and his wife out of his father-in-law’s basement by launching successful bootcamps, and how he parlayed his success with bootcamps into a major business venture with Pat Rigsby, Nick Berry, and Jim Labadie.

And as an added plus, you get to watch me interviewing him – ha!  If you have bootcamps, don’t miss how BJ explains how to grow one very rapidly in the middle of the interview.  And if you got anything out of this interview or have anything to add to the discussion, don’t forget to leave your comments below:

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Georgette Pann

06. Jul, 2009

Bootcamps are exploding and for good reason….they are a win-win


06. Jul, 2009

Great interview as always. The tryout type bootcamp to get people motivated to get into the real bootcamp and pay is genius. Totally flips the script on how to get clients.
I hope this doesn’t mean the end of one-on-one sessions as a means of making lots of money though. That is what I want to focus on for my own business.

Michael Duivis

06. Jul, 2009

Hey Kaiser the video during a phone interview is a great idea.

I was looking forward to this interview, BJ has some great ideas.

Especially minute 4:38 – that’s an AWESOME mindshift in how to sign people up.

Doug Groce, CSCS

06. Jul, 2009

Enjoyed the interview – It’s becoming very clear that most of the top trainers are big advocates or some kind of group training as opposed to 1 on 1. Unless, of course, you train 50 cent :)

Greg Justice

06. Jul, 2009


Great interview, BJ is one of the brightest young minds in our industry. I’m proud to call him my friend and business partner.

When I put my Corporate Boot Camp System together there was only one person (BJ Gaddour) I considered calling to develop the workout programs.

I met BJ a little over a year ago and knew immediately that he was going to be a superstar in our industry.

Thanks for sharing this interview.


06. Jul, 2009

Great interview Kaiser. I love the idea that the two week trial is like an audition. I still do one on one and two person training mainly because my studio can’t fit any more than that. I’ve been wrestling with the idea of permanently making the first month half off. If I do decide to do that then I’m going to treat it as a tryout. You get two weeks for me to decide if I want to take you on as a client. I LOVE IT!!

Luke Wold

07. Jul, 2009

Yo Kaiser!

Cool video, bro, it gave me lots of ideas.

I use the 1 week free trial for clients coming in off of my sales page, and 2 weeks free for referral clients.

During the workouts, I’m constantly building “yeses”. “Isn’t this th most fun you’ve ever had while you’re working out?” “Don’t you think this will get you to your goals more quickly than anything else?”

And I also have them qualify themselves to my bootcampers. “What do you think John, doe Katie have what it takes?” John says “Yeah, I think she does.” I repeat stuff like that for their first 2 days, and then call the trial client at work and say, “Everyone is really impressed with your attitude and energy. I just want to let yo uknow that not everyone has what it takes, but I think you do.. Have a great day, drink lots of water, and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

That way they’ve gotten appreciation from me, qualification from the other bootcampers, and have made a lots of verbal commitments during the “yes”-building that almost forces them to be consistent and continue.

And then my bro Steve Hochman hooked me up with a great way to get everyone signing up for 12 month contracts after their free trial, which freaking rocks!

Thanks Kaiser,

~ Luke Wold


09. Jul, 2009

Excellent! I’m in talks with some locals clubs about getting my bootcamps started, and am PUMPED to hear I am on the right track with my approach!

Keep it up!

Steve Morris

10. Jul, 2009


The program that BJ talks about (the one he bought before he got started) is well worth it!

I highly reccomend it.


09. Aug, 2009

I’m glad to see this post was so well received – even though it was short, their was some excellent info here.

John Ashworth

26. Apr, 2011

I agree. EVERY fitness pro out there running their own business should be looking for ways to leverage their time. Boot camps and group fitness are an excellent way to do that.

I also think it’s important for me as a seasoned fitness professional to comment here for younger, more inexperienced business owners.

In efforts to market business building programs, the discussion always becomes 1-sided in favor of the methods being promoted. This is fine, that’s called selling. For me as a writer, fitness professional and owner of a web site devoted to helping fitness pros advance their careers, I want to remain honest about the potential for 1-1 training and coaching programs as part of an overall business plan.

When structured effectively, billed at appropriate rates, built in a way where you get paid whether clients show-up or not, & then offered in combination with group fitness, you create an aspect of your business that is not only profitable, but an important part of developing your skills as a fitness professional, building relationships with important community members that lead to opportunities, and an opportunity to create some of your most powerful success stories. And we are all aware of how powerful success stories are in helping us promote our businesses.

I fully realize that you believe strongly in what you are promoting, but I think it’s dangerous for all of us to pretend their is only 1 way of doing business in this industry.


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