IAM2143 – Fitness Enthusiast Helps Clients Improve Their Health Inspired by His Own Weight Loss Transformation

Podcast Interview with Matthew Bible

As someone with an interest in fitness, helping as many people as possible improve their health and seeing the benefits of his own weight loss transformation, Matthew Bible started his fitness company, CASS Fitness in September of 2013. The company started out with Matthew and his two partners Stephen Sengstacke and Ramon Thomas.

Matthew is an in-home personal trainer, traveling to homes, apartment gyms, parks, offices, and more in Montgomery County, MD, Arlington, VA, and Washington, DC. Over the next few years, Matthew helped to recruit several talented personal trainers in the DC area as independent contractors. In 2017, CASS Fitness began teaching outdoor classes for the Parks at Walter Reed in DC and gained their first trainer in Pittsburgh, PA.

Website: CASS Fitness
LinkedIn: Matthew Bible

Previous Episode: iam115-fitness-enthusiast-helps-clients-improve-their-health-inspired-by-his-own-weight-loss-transformation

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Matthew Bible Teaser 00:00

I think everybody needs to help prevent injuries, just to help help someone recover once, once they're cleared from a doctor or physical therapist, just to help them out with, with preventing that kind of injury from happening again, it just, so much of it's just occupation, occupational majority of folks now, or, we're sitting at desks most of the day, maybe not in the most ergonomic, most like ideal ergonomic situation, or there's a lot of repetitive motion.

Intro 00:25

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview. If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.
Gresham Harkless 00:57
Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Matthew Bible of As someone with interest in fitness, helping as many people as possible improve their health and seeing the benefits of his own weight loss transformation, Matthew Bible started his fitness company, CASS Fitness, in September of 2013. The company started out with Matthew and his two partners, Stephen Sengstacke and Ramon Thomas.
Matthew is an in home personal trainer traveling to homes, apartments, gyms, parks, offices, and more in Montgomery County, Maryland, Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Over the next few years, Matthew helped to recruit several talented personal trainers in the DC area as well as independent contractors.
In 2017, CASS Fitness began teaching outdoor classes for the parts at Walter Reed in Washington, DC, and he also gained their first trainer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Matthew, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?
Matthew Bible 01:52
I am ready. Yes.
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Gresham Harkless 01:53
Awesome. Let's do it. So the first question I had was just to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.
Matthew Bible 01:58
Alright. So I've had an interest in the world of health and fitness even when I was working on my degree at Penn State. And then, of course, as you mentioned, I did experience my own 50-pound weight loss, and I was compiled by well, the weight gain was resolved bad decisions in college, but then the weight loss was just motivation, just really just ready to get back into shape.
But then I was also helping people with, like, advice on their nutrition. They're like, well, how'd you do it? And I was like, okay. Let's do this, this, and that. For you, a little bit different with this and that. Helping them with certain exercises.
Unfortunately, at the time, I put my desire to get my personal training certification on the back burner. I was like, okay. Let me get finish my degree. So I got into the corporate world for a couple years, and then I got laid off. And then I fell back on hospitality, hotels, which actually worked most of college.
So and at the time, I had some aspirations of actually owning a resort. So I was getting promotions at the hotel I worked with. So I was content, but I wasn't too happy with it. So then I saw the stress that general managers and sales managers went through on a daily basis.
And I kept, like, thinking to myself, oh, no. So I saw, like, corporate, the corporate company I ran in my hotel, fired people left and right, and actually took elimination of my position by corporate and then demotion back to the front desk to really kick start my dreams. So I left work. Yeah. Pretty angry that day, understandably.
So I went to the gym for my second workout, but I usually worked out before work. And I heard a commercial for the NASM, National Academy Sports Medicine, one of the certifications. So that night, I looked at NASM and a couple other accredited certifications.
I liked that they had a science based program, and I liked that they had a actual payment plan too. So I pulled the trigger that night, signed right up. I knew right then and there I wanted to start a fitness business. I knew which direction I wanted to go to. I mean, my parents, they were initially against my decision to not start at a gym, but I was trying to give them my reasons. I was like, well, seeing the high turnover of trainers at my gym, fear of losing my job no matter how well I performed just drove me away from working at a gym.
So then I got together with my two bachelor partners, Ramon and Stephen, who actually were a huge help in providing, like, marketing, the graphic design, web design, second opinions of my decisions. They knew the potential in in a fitness business, provided their services to help us get a good start.
So, I really wanted to start controlling my own destiny and play by my own rules. Too many times, I went through manager changes at old jobs and then when a system work, things always change mostly, at least in my opinion, I think for the worst. I also started a company because I wanted to build a foundation where I never have to stress out about bills, and I'm doing something that makes me happy.
Gresham Harkless 04:32
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, having been somebody that's been laid off once and, was about to get laid off again, I can understand how you might have felt angry because I know I definitely felt I think angry was a nice word. I felt at that time. So, but no, I think it's a true sign of an entrepreneur to be able to take those hard times and those things that happen, but to be able to try to turn them around and, look within yourself to see what you're passionate about and march along the the beat of your own drum, so to speak.
So, and create your business. So I definitely appreciate you for doing that. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper and hear a little bit more about what you're doing at CASS Fitness. How are you helping out and serving these clients that you're working with?
Matthew Bible 05:04
Okay. So we primarily provide in home personal training for one-on-one clients, some small groups. And as mentioned, we do travel to the apartment gyms, condo gyms, houses. And some people have equipment, and it's been a lot of anything.
So I so we all travel with, know, anything from mats, bands, small weights, or exercise balls, like battle ropes, pretty much anything that's not a barbell or, like, some or like a sandbag we have. I will bring it to them or parks, office gyms. Me, personally, I mostly work with weight loss clients. And weight loss, it's more than just it's like every person's like a different it's a different situation, different pieces to the puzzle.
It's a lot of it is a workout, but it goes beyond the workout. And it's helping with nutrition. Nutrition is actually nutrition, although it sounds so simple, it's actually very tough because one, you I mean, there's so many contradictory articles out there, like, do this diet, this diet, that plan, that plan, and all the these are some incredible people as well.
And then so there's always so much confusion. And then, all the marketing out there, even, like, TV ads, like, I always go by if you see something advertised on TV as far as food, 99% percent of the time, it's not actually healthy, even if they say so.
So there's, and it's just temptations from work, stresses. So that part of it, very personal to each person. And then I do help a little bit with corrective exercise as well. That was actually my second certification was NASM's CES, Corrective Exercise Science. I found that as actually somebody that went through a pretty debilitating back injury for about a year, I just found corrective exercise to be so useful.
And it actually about half of half of our clientele needs some form of it, whether well, I think everybody needs to help prevent injuries, but, just to help help someone recover once they're clear from a doctor or physical therapist just to help them out with preventing that kind of injury from happening again.
It just it's so much of it's just occupation. Occupational majority of folks now are we're sitting at desks most of the day, maybe not in most ergonomic most, like, ideal ergonomic situation or there's a lot of repetitive motion.
So to it's like our and our technologies actually our technology is hurting us, like, physically. So it's like we gotta combat that. That's a two this main two categories, and I do help, what in the fit as well they call them newbies, I guess, in the strength world. I was also that really skinny kid at one point too. I've really just helped like, beginner to intermediate lifters get to the next level with their strength training as well.
Gresham Harkless 07:32
Now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this is something that you feel like makes either you or your organization or both of them unique.
Matthew Bible 07:39
What makes us unique? I feel we truly make in our clients experience personal every person we treat them just treat them just like it took totally different. I mean, everybody with respect, of course, but, like, just every situation is different. Every program is different. There's no cookie cutter program to 30-day, like, this and that.
There's it's, like, nobody's a one size fits all situation. I think with every with every trainer that's with us, not only has personal training experience, but almost everybody has customer service experience from other jobs. And I've had a lot of it, especially drawn from working at hotels for several years. Just knowing is even especially when you when you got into, like, higher end hotels, like, just just providing a certain level of service each time.
And I think I drew a lot of that from the customer service world. And I think a lot of us have gone through personal journeys, whether it's been weight loss, injury recovery, or we have or we had a trainer for a while. She, still very close with her. She moved to North Carolina, but she actually had a really inspirational story.
Like, she was she actually turned 50 I think 51, got to bodybuilding four years ago, just totally transformed her life. Actually, she was on And she was just all play that role model role for like a lot of women and especially in their 30s and 40s and 50s. I think with us being human just got to think you see too much on social media.
You see and I did this kind of singly early on I'd post like all kinds of crazy stuff I would do, but it's like, that's not what most people want. There's a very specialized group of people that do, but it can be intimidating to some folks, it's just so I drove away from that and just really just focus on, alright, what do they need.
And then we also in addition to personal training, we do like to work with different budgets because we realize not everybody can afford personal training, but we wanna help out as many people as possible. We wanna help out with that college student. We wanna help that teacher just got his or her first job at a college. So we derived from a couple of my clients moving out of the area and still want to work with me to a client that lost their job and still on the work with me.
So I was like, alright. Let's do online training. Now a couple people that moved, I do Skype sessions with. But then so that was born. And then the program is kind of my budget option that I work with. So I usually will give somebody a questionnaire. They'll give stats where they work out at or what they have access to.
And then from there any injury history, goals, occupation. From that through our app, we customize a workout just for them. So we program it for them every month what they wanna work out 3, 4, 5x a week. We'll put that in there, and then we'll give them email support at least once a week.
So that's something that I really also running with. And I can go multiple areas with that. I mean, I'm more so focused in the DC area pretty much with that. But expanding out and just have try to help as many people as possible. For example, yeah. You can read out of a magazine. You can read watch, you can get YouTube videos.
You can get programs anywhere. But, yeah, somebody with a knee issue, squats are great at the best. But, yeah, you got knee issues, squats, probably not the best choice. So it takes injuries into account as well. And then, we we give them instructions, full instructions on everything, videos, some that we've done.
And if they haven't been ones we've done, we've handpicked every single one of them, that align with our values. Because it helps somebody when they go to the gym because you go to a gym and probably half people are doing exercises wrong. You go to a gym, you see, like, lat pull downs, bicep curls, all kinds of stuff just butchered. Sometimes big strong guys. I hurt myself early on in my lifting for I didn't you know? I'm like, okay. I'm just gonna watch what they're doing and and pay the price.
Gresham Harkless 11:16
Doing the right thing either. So it just manifests itself and keeps going. It's like a snowball, so to speak.
Matthew Bible 11:24
Oh, yeah. I've definitely had a better rotator cuff, not a terrible rotator cuff injury, but I've had a had some rotator cuff issues in my beginning from watching stuff.
Gresham Harkless 11:32
Right. Right. Right. Well, cool. Well, it's great that you have that kind of individuality for the for every person so that you're able to kind of fit their needs. And what I wanted to do was switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an Apple book or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.
Matthew Bible 11:47
Definitely. I'm gonna yeah. Definitely, I gotta expand upon actually the app that I just mentioned. So it's called Trainerize. It's one of the more popular fitness apps out there. You can use it as an app, but there's, of course, the full capability on on their website.
So without doubt, it's been crucial in, like, business development and retention. So we use it for everybody. We use it for our one-on-one programs because it helps client keep track of their progress. They could see what their workout's gonna be. And then, of course, I could easily substitute a exercise.
And then, of course, we do use that for our online clients. And then what trainers is cool, they can also they can check-in. They can chart their weight, their measurements. They can actually link, like, MyFitnessPal and other apps on their Fitbits as well.
So we can see their daily calorie intake, their macronutrients split. I mean, it just it makes again, I mentioned it makes it easier for trainers as well. And then now that I, and then now that I have several contracted trainers, it also so that's a good way to check our stats as well for everybody.
Gresham Harkless 12:46
Yeah. Sounds like keep everybody on the same page as well too, which is always important. So, now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice, or if you can hop in a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?
Matthew Bible 13:00
So I wanted to grow so fast. When I first started, we had we ended up getting our first contracted trainer. I was like oh my gosh. This is awesome. I would like I wanna get all sorts of people. I thought they were too much. I did have one no. Love my love my contractors I have. They're great. I did have one guy, though. I didn't do enough of, like, a stringent, like, interview process.
So it's I remember this. So he was having a habit of being late a lot or not showing up. He was no showing to clients. And now he's starting to get it's my first time I had to really handle customer complaints, which I dealt with that all the time working at hotels, so I was prepared to do so. And it was like and I did train on Sunday. That was like the first Sunday I took off for a long time. My niece was just born right before that. She's about three weeks at the time.
So I drove up to Hershey, Pennsylvania and go hang out for the weekend. And he had this trainer had clients lined up. It was all Sunday morning, and I knew two out of three of them. And I actually gave him one of mine to get him started. And all three of these were friends of each other. And then so one texted me, he was like, he never showed up. He said he was gonna be 5 minutes late.
And I was like, oh, no. And then I'm just sitting by the phone. I'm like and then the second one calls me. And then the third one calls me. I was like, oh my goodness. I mean, thankfully, I knew them. And I was just one of those one of my former clients. I haven't become a client again. So I rectified it. I didn't did have to give away some free sessions. I did that to some volunteer work for a bit.
Gresham Harkless 14:26
Yeah. That makes sense. But, that's huge in making sure and I can definitely understand that trying to grow and, trying to grow fast, especially sometimes you can sometimes skip over some of the people you're bringing on, but it's great to hear you. You've kind of definitely rectified that with your company and being able to provide quality services to people now.
But that's usually sometimes the the hardest way to learn, but sometimes it's the best way to learn. Yes. I'm definitely seeing. So now I wanted to ask you for my absolute favorite question, which is the definition for what it means to be a CEO, and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So what does being a CEO mean to you?
Matthew Bible 14:57
CEO. I mean, it really it's a position where you're in control. It's a position where you really truly get to change lives. You get to get to play by your own rules. You get to do what you love every single day.
Gresham Harkless 15:13
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Matthew, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know, and then also how best they can get a hold of you.
Matthew Bible 15:21
That's why they get a hold of us. You can go to our website, It's our official site. Phone line's always open as well even through email, through our website, we have a contact form on there as well. This kind of and we actually have a nice blog on there as well.
We actually have a lot of guest writers that come in. You can sign up for the emailing list as well and deliver the blogs to you exclusive tips that you may not find on the website. Exactly. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to hearing from some of you as well.
Gresham Harkless 15:55
Definitely. Well, I appreciate you again. And what we'll do is we'll have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow-up. But, again, I appreciate your time, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.
Matthew Bible 16:00
Thanks. You too, bro.
Outro 16:01
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.
Want to level up your business even more? Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos at Also, check out our I AM CEO Facebook group. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.
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