The Xplor Xperience took place on 16 May 2024 at the Park Royal Hotel & Spa in Cheshire. Here are the top lessons for gym owners and operators from our expert line up of speakers.

The most ambitious gym owners and operators, along with fitness industry experts and partners, gathered on 16 May 2024 for the third edition of the Xplor Xperience.

The Xplor Xperience is purposefully different to other events on offer.

It’s all about helping your business thrive. With the right mix of carefully selected speakers and exceptional networking opportunities. And a tangible energy throughout the day to leave guests ready and empowered to think bigger and go further, faster.

This time around, the day focused on psyching guests up to take their businesses to the next level. Leaning into the psychology of mind and behaviour with ideas to help owners and operators:

  • Lead a successful business
  • Build a high-performing team
  • Win more new members
  • Keep members motivated for longer

Thanks to everyone who joined us – we were psyched to have you with us! Couldn’t make it? No sweat! We’ve got you covered here with this quick recap of the day.

Let’s get stuck in!

A photo of Adrian Marks, Founder & CEO of customer acquisition agency enjoy!, on stage at the Xplor Xperience in May 2024 at The Park Royal Hotel in Cheshire, UK.

Get them psyched up

First up to start the day off right was Adrian Marks. Adrian is the Founder & CEO of customer acquisition agency enjoy! and Managing Partner of coaching business Acceleratr Consulting. Adrian took an in-depth look at how you tap into the psychology of consumer buying behaviour to attract and sign up more new members.

Adrian shared how you can tap into ‘Buychology’ to win (and keep) members – using value and happiness to drive growth. By delivering better outcomes than expected you’ll create value. And that creates happy, satisfied members.

There are 3 steps to selling that’ll help you build, grow, and sustain a successful gym business:

  1. Understand why people buy
  2. Understand the process they want to go through to buy
  3. Fit your approach to sales, marketing, and retention to fit 1 and 2

The challenge is that most people don’t buy logically, instead they are driven by emotion.

“When it comes down to it, you’re motivated by two things and two things only. The ability to move away from pain or the need to move towards pleasure. That’s it.”

Adrian Marks, enjoy! & Acceleratr Consulting

Adrian explained how you can tap into the value flywheel framework to solve pains and deliver pleasure – creating value and making it easier to grow your business. There are 2 levels to this flywheel:

  • Outer flywheel – this is all about desire and belief – what outcome buyers want and if they think it’s possible to achieve that outcome
  • Inner flywheel – this is all about pain – how long achieving an outcome will take and how difficult it will be

Use this framework to score your business. The higher the score, the more you can charge.

“Price is irrelevant. Nobody cares about price ever. Buying comes down to two things… value… and affordability.”

Adrian Marks, enjoy! & Acceleratr Consulting

Once you understand what’s motivating your prospective members to buy, you need to know how people buy things. Adrian shared that people only see what they’re wanting to see – what resonates with their pleasure or pain.

As soon as they are aware of a pain/desire, they’re forever aware, journeying through to considering solutions, building a preference, establishing an intention and acting until it becomes a habit.

The key is to tap into each stage with the right approach to win and help buyers along to the next stage.

Convert more leads into sales


To end the session, Adrian shared 3 secrets that are guaranteed to grow and scale your business. This was one. To convert more leads into sales you need to sell the gap between where the lead is and where they want to be. That means using the value flywheel to create an irresistible offer that links the size and intensity of the pain that’ll be removed to the certainty and speed of success.

A photo of Shaun Wane, Rugby League Coach, on stage at the Xplor Xperience in May 2024 at The Park Royal Hotel in Cheshire, UK.

Keep them psyched up

Second up, we were lucky enough to welcome Rugby League legend, Shaun Wane to the stage. Shaun has coached the likes of Wigan and even a winning England team, so as you’d expect it was an outstanding session.

This session was all about helping you motivate your members to stick with you. And as a leader and coach, Shaun knows just how to drive people to achieve their goals.

Shaun had a tough start to life. And life could have turned out very differently for him if it wasn’t for a key decision he made. After having been arrested at 15, and with a difficult homelife, Shaun decided to rise above his upbringing and fight for a positive future.

Going onto professionally play Rugby League for 14 years, Shaun developed a love for learning that he’s carried on with him. A love that helps him achieve his goal of winning.

He brought this love of learning and winning into business too. Shaun explained how he achieve sales on his own terms, even in the tarmac industry where cheapest traditionally won out.

 “The amount of jobs we got when we weren’t the cheapest was unbelievable. We got so many jobs, and that’s because we were different. We had a point of difference.”

Shaun Wane

Shaun shared what it takes to succeed, even against the odds, and motivate people to win. Obsessed with winning and being different, Shaun prefers to start with the end. That means looking forward rather than backwards to pre-empt and prevent problems before they occur.

“We’d look at every single detail of what we need to do. And make brutal, brutal decisions, ruthless decisions on what we need to get there [to get to and win the final], and once we knew what we needed to do the decisions became easy.”

Shaun Wane

Using a care pyramid model, Shaun advised that to succeed in keeping and motivating members you need to care about every element of your business. Consistently setting the right standards and developing the right culture to match.

Everything needs to be consistently done well. Doing this will help you create great experiences for members.

This approach can also be taken to motivating members to achieve their goals. By breaking the action needed into smaller, achievable actions, the outcome becomes easier.

Shaun explained that by repeating and making improvements every day, change happens. However, he cautioned that results aren’t fast and take dedication.

So, to avoid members dropping out, find ways to create belonging. That way you’ll keep members feeling a part of something they can’t walk away from.

A photo of Lara Hall-Bryce from Resilient as Fudge, on stage at the Xplor Xperience in May 2024 at The Park Royal Hotel in Cheshire, UK.

Psych up your team

Following Shaun, Lara Hall-Bryce from Resilient as Fudge took to the stage for an inspirational and interactive session. Lara shared ways to apply evidence-based models and theories to improve the resilience and wellbeing of your team.

Lara explained that a resilient team is a helping hand for businesses. And key to driving sustainable success – winning and keeping members.

You need to help your team build resilience. The fudge tree model can be used to think about resilience and all the ways you can help your team build it:

  • Like a tree, resilience needs strong roots – that means creating resilient minds through self-awareness, positive intentions, honesty, and personal responsibility
  • Out of those roots, a stable trunk develops – that means building a resilient skillset through leadership, role modelling, and coaching
  • From the trunk, branches grow – that means growing a resilient toolset of self-belief, environment, connection, vision, outlook, and energy

As a leader you can support and boost the wellbeing of your team in a number of ways including effectively managing workload, open communication, clear feedback, recognition and more.

Lara highlighted that having a resilient team starts with you. Your behaviour and the environment you create, breeds resilient behaviour in your team.

The 4-3-6 resilience model can be used to help build resilience in yourself and your team. Lara explained that the system features:

  • 4 attitudes, beliefs and cognitive patterns that help individuals navigate hard things and come back stronger
  • 3 abilities and competencies that help individuals to adapt to challenges and change
  • 6 tools that act as resources and strategies to support individuals, teams and businesses to thrive

You get to choose – put your hand out.

Are you going to choose stress street, waiting for something to feel heavy, waiting for burn out?

Take your other hand [and place it under your outstretched arm], or are you going to go into life with resilience?

Becoming a better leader, a stronger leader, mentally more prepared and able to support a thriving team. You decide.”

Lara Hall-Bryce, Resilient as Fudge
A photo of Jamie Cartwright, Co-Founder of BOX12 and SAS Who Dares Wins participant, on stage at the Xplor Xperience in May 2024 at The Park Royal Hotel in Cheshire, UK.

Psych yourself up

Finally, to wrap up the May 2024 Xplor Xperience, Jamie Cartwright took to the stage for an incredibly moving and inspiring session. One that was all about mastering your mind to overcome obstacles and challenges that stand in the way of your success as a leader.

An accomplished fitness industry entrepreneur, Jamie is Co-Founder of BOX12 and a participant in series 6 of Channel 4’s hit series SAS: Who Dares Wins.

SAS: Who Dares Wins sees an elite team of ex-special forces recreate the SAS’s secret selection process. The series puts recruits through the ultimate test of their physical and psychological resilience.

For Jamie, it was a turning point in his personal journey. Through participating in the series, Jamie was able to exorcise and release past trauma that had a profound impact on his life.

Jamie started his working life as a professional football player. Jamie explained that his performance on the pitch was hindered by the impact that abuse suffered as a teenage footballer had on his mental health. Ultimately this led to the end of his football career at the age of 21.

Picking himself up, Jamie joined forces with a friend to build his first business – Ladyzone – a ladies only gym. The business grew into a chain of franchise gyms. And this success saw Jamie awarded the Young Business Person of the Year Award in the Sheffield Business Awards 2008.

Despite this success, behind the scenes, Jamie was struggling with a panic disorder. After 10 years in business, Ladyzone went into liquidation in 2015. Jamie felt like he was letting people down. He made a choice to continue forwards and rise up against the odds.

“What is it about you as an individual, that when you feel that pain and suffering in the pit of your stomach that you have a choice to make. That choice is whether you step forward or give into it. I was never willing to give into it. I was always willing to step into the uncomfortable.”

Jamie Cartwright, BOX12

Picking up the pieces, Jamie spoke about his decision to start the BOX12 workout concept – a franchise model business based on a 36-minute boxing and functional fitness workout. The business launched in November 2019 – just a few months before COVID hit.

“When I look back at my life there are times when I’ve had my back against the wall like you wouldn’t believe. You have to step into the uncomfortable to be able to survive it and then be able to thrive.”

Jamie Cartwright, BOX12

Instead of giving up, Jamie tapped into psychology to pivot plans for BOX12 and lead the business to success.

Jamie explained that emotions often dictate actions, he knew he needed to choose to act in contradiction to emotions. There was no clear path, the way forward had to be learnt along the way.

“The key thing for me is at that point when we wanted to act differently, meaning in line with our emotions, we decided to act in contradiction to our emotions.”

Jamie Cartwright, BOX12

By listening to your gut and understanding it, knowing when to listen but acting differently to do tough things, you can build the mindset that’ll help you lead a successful business.

The wrap up…

The Xplor Xperience left us feeling psyched up, with renewed energy and a load of learnings to put into action.

From tapping into psychology to attract more sales (and increase your revenue), to mastering your mind to overcome the challenges of leading a business, with the right knowledge and mindset you can take your business to the next level.

Watch this space for more details of the next Xplor Xperience…

The Xplor Gym team is here to help you apply these learnings and more to your gym business. And we’d love to have a chat and see how we can help. Get in touch now.

Article by Xplor Gym

First published: 21 May 2024

Last updated: 21 May 2024