Brothers Celebrate Two Years with MADabolic Strip District

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Brothers and co-owners of MADabolic Strip District, Jesse and Dan Holloway, have built a strong presence in the Pittsburgh market since opening their studio in 2020. They have also faced obstacles they didn’t anticipate when they decided to go into business together. 
 
The challenges in year two have looked different than the challenges they faced in year one. But each of the brothers brings a unique skillset to their partnership. Not only has the business benefitted from the balancing effect they have on one another but overcoming challenges has also helped their personal relationship grow over the last two years. 
 
This month, MADabolic Strip District rounds out its second year in operation. Jesse and Dan reflected on the key takeaways from their entrepreneurial journey together:
 
The MADabolic Strip District team has seen many members stick with the training program since their first few months in business. “The best part of having members with us for the long-haul has been seeing the transformation that takes place when they begin to trust MADabolic as a broader system rather than an isolated workout,” shared Jesse, who manages day-to-day operations of the studio. “They take their rest days. They train four days per week and work at the prescribed effort. They begin to see food as a fuel rather than something they must earn. And as a result, these are the clients who become stronger and more resilient. The quality of their movement patterns is mechanically sound, and they’re able to move heavier weights. They find that this training system naturally leads to the results they were in pursuit of without starving themselves, without overtraining.”
 
The duo opened the gym during the midst of shutdowns and ever-changing regulations. “It was hard for us as new business owners, but we were grateful we could offer a bright spot in our clients’ days during a time when it was particularly difficult for people to take care of their health and have social outlets,” explained Jesse. 
 
“When we first opened, we had three trainers on staff, and a manageable member base,” shared Dan, who helps keep the business running behind-the-scenes. While the challenges of the early days have faded, the last year has come with new challenges as the business has grown. “As the business has grown, we’ve had to learn how to develop systems and delegate tasks across our team so we can keep up with everything that goes into operating the studio.”
 
“With a team of eight trainers now and a larger member base than we had in our first year, there are more moving parts,” added Jesse. “It’s required us to rethink how we approach our operations, how we streamline, and how we build in additional support. We’ve made a lot of adjustments, but we have a very capable, high-performing team, and we’ve been learning to lean on some of the proficiencies and skillsets that we have in our network.”
 
As they have worked to scale their operations, Jesse and Dan have been grateful to have a network of MADabolic franchise owners as a resource. “We faced different challenges from year one to year two, but with the network of other MADabolic owners, we’ve always felt like we had resources in our corner,” said Jesse. Jesse has also found value in building a network of business owners outside of MADabolic who can offer their learnings from growing other types of businesses as he learns how to best manage a team, manage his time, and think about the bigger picture of building a presence in the city. 

The brothers’ entrepreneurial journey has been a success beyond the growth of their business. “Our personal relationship has benefitted from working through the obstacles we’ve faced in opening and growing our business,” explained Jesse. “I’ve appreciated Dan as a business partner, in part because we view so many things so differently. We tend to balance each other out, respect each other’s differences, and ultimately respect what each other brings to the table. It’s helped us reach a lot of conclusions either of us may not have come to independently.”
 
With year two under their belts and some “forced personal growth” behind them, as Dan affectionately reflected, Jesse and Dan have systems and structures in place that leave them feeling ready to handle the studio’s continued growth as they dive into year three.
 
MADabolic has nearly 90 studios operating or in development. As the industry’s first and only strength-driven interval training franchise, MADabolic offers a results-driven strength training program, structured resources to ensure the success of studio owners, and a team of experts behind the brand. 

For more information about the MADabolic franchise opportunity, please visit https://www.madabolic.com/own-a-madabolic.


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