Episode #310: Doug Katona, American Barbell, CEO

Episode #310: Doug Katona, American Barbell, CEO

Doug Katona

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Pete Moore: This is Pete Moore on halo talks NYC on location, Dallas, Texas. Finally in person, my second meeting, we decided to tape it. I’m here with Doug Katona CEO, American barbell, Southern California called Southern California boy like myself now. And he’s going to tell us about his progression into the halo sector and Southern know awesome things you guys are do in American barbell. So welcome to the show.

Doug Katona: Thank you very much. It’s kind of nice to be in Dallas with another SoCal guy. You got

Pete Moore: It. Know we travel together now, man. We’re like Southwest bandits.

Doug Katona: So you’re liking it though. You’re liking SoCal.

Pete Moore: You are New York. I got sunshine. Don’t check what the weather is, you know, and I don’t have to wear like you know, of like a wind windbreaker or jackets or anything. Well, when

Doug Katona: We met in Manhattan for it was late in the day, so we decided not to have a coffee and, and you ordered Camile tea.

Pete Moore: Yeah. Cause I’m, I was gearing up for my podcast, you know, I needed to get my, my throat, my chords ready for

Doug Katona: This. Yeah. And I was, I was like, right. I like this guy already. Oh, wow. Yeah. I don’t know

Pete Moore: Mill don’t I don’t the meal you’re I don’t want to be like the came meal guy for you. You know what I mean? I want to be like the, you know, three cups of coffee, you know, hard charging who you are. Okay.

Doug Katona: Fine. You are. But you’re showing that that balance, you know, in your life, any, any man, that’s not afraid to order cam meal at 2:00 PM is, is cool. Right.

Pete Moore: I feel like balance is like me more like exposure. I’m like exposing, you know, who I am deep down inside. I’m very sensitive actually. So don’t just be careful with me. very gentle. You have to, you know, I had some issues, but we’re working through ’em so let’s get back to what we were talking about. Oh yeah. Was nothing yet so your background in the industry is.dot, dot

Doug Katona: Madlibs. So, you know, remember that game. That was awesome. I just, I was just talking to the guy who really gave me my start. Robert Burns at shape of fitness center. Just ran into him minutes ago, just before this podcast. Mm-Hmm and guys 67 looks amazing. And we first start, we mean, I came out of USC, not really knowing what I wanted to do. Right. Mm-hmm so I remember graduating and, and driving home and thinking, yeah, what do I want to do? I’ve been an athlete all my life. Right. and I’ve always done things, kind of contrarian. I’ve always been a little bit against the grain. When I was at USC, I studied exercise science and movement and mechanics. And because I was an athlete, I always had, I don’t know, know, kind an innate understanding of it. So I had no money. I graduated, came home to, to mission Viejo and told my parents I don’t know what I want to do. I think, can I just crash on the couch for six months? Right. Mm-hmm . And while I was doing that, I started, you know, poking around and figuring out what was going on and, and found Robert burn shape up in the center, Costa, Mexico, California. And we, we started personal training in Newport beach. Like we were the

Pete Moore: First that’s a good market to start personal training. I, I ventured to guess.

Doug Katona: Yeah. I, I thought we didn’t, you know, that, that was one of the few things we did in the beginning. That that was good. And then, and then I remember playing, you know, janitor, front desk guy, aerobic instructor, all that. But doesn’t that like teach you

Pete Moore: Like everything though, like when you start from that level and just like be

Doug Katona: Able to see things. Yeah, man, it’s being I still am blessed every day. I show so much gratitude every day that I had that start. Cuz it does gimme the context. Right. And, and you know, from there long story short is I, I kind of was, I always say for it chose me. I didn’t choose it Uhhuh because I kind of just gravitated into being, you know, a, a coach, a leader, inspiring people, building teams. And we had a couple of gyms in SoCal and I wanted to continually be challenged and went to work for CrossFit HQ teaching, running mechanics. Okay. I was also working for Lee Steinberg and Warren moon. So the original Jerry McGuire, remember Jerry McGuire. Of course. Yeah. So that’s what I worked for a while as an athletic training consultant. And did really well with that started lecturing a lot, all the idea conferences, authoring presenting, and just developed kind of a little bit of a reputation for teaching Olympic lifting in my mechanics.

Doug Katona: And at the same time I was an athlete still. I was, I was competing as a category, two cyclist. Oh wow. But I was riding half the amount of miles everybody else was. And I would train in the afternoon, right. Strength training, deadlifting squatting, pressing, and everybody like you can’t do that as a cyclist. Right. The it’s helping me recover. It’s making me stronger. And I had a great it for 10 years won two state championships. So that got me thinking, right. They got me thinking about there’s more out there to talk about in the fitness industry. So long story short is COO for world gym international. After that developed something called world gym athletics, that was very successful. Mm-Hmm and it had always admired what Phil Patty had done at American barbell. And he and I just started talking and when COVID hit, I thought it was the right time to pivot become a partner in the company. And you know, we’re just, we’re stoked on what’s happening. But honestly now I kind of want to give back and leave some legacy in the industry. I think the, I think the industry’s ready for some leadership. Yep. Agreed. So,

Pete Moore: So let’s talk about American barbell because the thing that I find really intriguing is cuz I started back at Gold’s gym and I’ve seen kind of the progression of like studio concepts and everything’s kind of come back around to, Hey, I want to barbell, I want to do Olympic squats. You know, I think it’s like the most selfie thing in the, in the gym is when people do Olympic squats and you know, you talk to anybody and they’ll be like, look, you could walk, you could run on a treadmill. Like if you want to, you know, change your body, you got to, you got to lift. Like there’s really no way around it.

Pete Moore: First that’s a good market to start personal training. I, I ventured to guess.

Doug Katona: Yeah. I, I thought we didn’t, you know, that, that was one of the few things we did in the beginning. That that was good. And then, and then I remember playing, you know, janitor, front desk guy, aerobic instructor, all that. But doesn’t that like teach you

Pete Moore: Like everything though, like when you start from that level and just like be

Doug Katona: Able to see things. Yeah, man, it’s being I still am blessed every day. I show so much gratitude every day that I had that start. Cuz it does gimme the context. Right. And, and you know, from there long story short is I, I kind of was, I always say for it chose me. I didn’t choose it Uhhuh because I kind of just gravitated into being, you know, a, a coach, a leader, inspiring people, building teams. And we had a couple of gyms in SoCal and I wanted to continually be challenged and went to work for CrossFit HQ teaching, running mechanics. Okay. I was also working for Lee Steinberg and Warren moon. So the original Jerry McGuire, remember Jerry McGuire. Of course. Yeah. So that’s what I worked for a while as an athletic training consultant. And did really well with that started lecturing a lot, all the idea conferences, authoring presenting, and just developed kind of a little bit of a reputation for teaching Olympic lifting in my mechanics.

Doug Katona: And at the same time I was an athlete still. I was, I was competing as a category, two cyclist. Oh wow. But I was riding half the amount of miles everybody else was. And I would train in the afternoon, right. Strength training, deadlifting squatting, pressing, and everybody like you can’t do that as a cyclist. Right. The it’s helping me recover. It’s making me stronger. And I had a great it for 10 years won two state championships. So that got me thinking, right. They got me thinking about there’s more out there to talk about in the fitness industry. So long story short is COO for world gym international. After that developed something called world gym athletics, that was very successful. Mm-Hmm and it had always admired what Phil Patty had done at American barbell. And he and I just started talking and when COVID hit, I thought it was the right time to pivot become a partner in the company. And you know, we’re just, we’re stoked on what’s happening. But honestly now I kind of want to give back and leave some legacy in the industry. I think the, I think the industry’s ready for some leadership. Yep. Agreed. So,

Pete Moore: So let’s talk about American barbell because the thing that I find really intriguing is cuz I started back at Gold’s gym and I’ve seen kind of the progression of like studio concepts and everything’s kind of come back around to, Hey, I want to barbell, I want to do Olympic squats. You know, I think it’s like the most selfie thing in the, in the gym is when people do Olympic squats and you know, you talk to anybody and they’ll be like, look, you could walk, you could run on a treadmill. Like if you want to, you know, change your body, you got to, you got to lift. Like there’s really no way around it.

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