Tag Archives: Business

What most PT’s don’t want you to know

I’m going to let you in on a secret held closely by those in the fitness industry.

The majority of us have no real clue what we’re doing.

Honestly, in the early days apart from knowing a few basics on from (even that is questionable) when it comes to putting together training programs we’re woefully underprepared.

This is speaking from experience.

Initially what got given to people was nothing more than copies of what had been found in books or learned in passing by those more experienced.

This wasn’t really programming, it was merely getting people to exercise and expend energy.

Don’t get me wrong, for the larger population of gym-goers all they want is to feel like they’ve done something, they care little for the details or even if what they’re doing is optimal for them.

So long as they enjoy it that’s all they care about.

Do you know what, that’s 100% cool because if it keeps people training then it doesn’t really matter if their coach/trainer doesn’t really know what’s going on, so long as the client is happy that’s the priority.

It took me years to really get a good grasp on programming.

Even then there was still a lot of gaps.

Of course, over time a deeper understanding has been gained and now more can be seen in each successful program/protocol that is out there.

Has this improved my ability to coach/plan?

Yep, without a doubt.

Has it been something I will share with my clients?

Nope, most don’t want to know. They just want to be told what to do, how hard to work and that’s it.

Sadly the only people care about the quality and details in training programs are the coaches (and a few unique clients).

Thus you don’t have to be good at the above to do well in fitness, you just have to give the people what they want, a solid business tactic.

One word of warning though, the approach of giving people methods without understanding will only really work on beginners.

This is why you rarely see a PT/Coach in a gym wh works with anyone at the intermediate level or higher (they lack the depth of knowledge to do so), and do you know what, this is a good thing because it’s almost more hassle than it’s worth.

Being someone who has gone through various stages of learning and coaching I can tell you this much, no one really cares how much you know.

No one cares that a decent program can take several hours to write, in fact, most will be just as happy with something you cut & paste from the internet (cookie cutter stuff).

The only person that will ever know is you.

If you want to delve this deep then these three books are good places to start:

– Super Training by Mel C. Siff and Yuri Verkhoshansky
– Periodisation by Tudor Bompa
– The Transfer of Training in Sport by A.P. Bondarchuk

You can also find a lot of great info online for free.

Another gem of a book is Viking Warrior Conditioning by Kenneth Jay.

The choice is yours, my friends.

Enjoy,
Ross

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The problem with making your passion your purpose/profession.

 
You see this in fitness all the time.
 
People start up a fitness business because it is their passion and all they want to do is help people.
 
While this is all very nobel and altruistic it has a glaring flaw.
 
If someone is truly passionate that is.
 
This little shred of wisdom is often forgotten in the passion fuelled haze of progress –
 
Not everyone shares your passion, nor do they want to share it and as such they don’t want what you have to offer.
 
^^ Newer people and even some older ones in fitness take this personally when they really shouldn’t.
 
Why?
 
It’s not personal, it’s just business.
 
That’s the problem with making your passion your business.
 
It’s your passion, not everyone else’s and trying to force people to feel the same way you do about XYZ is a surefire way to crash and burn.
 
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care about what you do, however you do need a healthy amount of disconnect from it and to understand that if you do decide to make your business something that surrounds that which makes your heart sing that you might be doing a solo.
 
This isn’t aimed at shitting on your dreams.
 
It’s aimed at giving you a dose or reality because I’ve seen so many people fail and it’s not something wanted for you, or anyone embarking down the route of running a fitness business to be fair.
 
Fail to heed this warning at your own peril.
 
You’d also do well to remember that this is said from experience because it just so just so happened that this befell me and it took years to understand.
 
As such I failed my way to success 🤦‍♀️
 
So if you wish to make it in the endeavour above you must not only make the focus of your work YOUR passion, you must make it appeal to the passion(s) of your target audience/clients/buyers.
 
It’s less about you and almost always all about THEM.
 
Keep this in mind and you’ll find your dreams don’t end up in the dumpster like many others have before yours were even dreamt up.
 
Be passionate, just also remember to be vigilant.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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***Warning, contains truth***

If you dislike an objective view of things then you best stop reading.

You won’t be judged, shamed or have your profile smeared.

Yet if you are someone interested in hearing a few bitter pills to swallow then please continue on.

I’ve heard many a conversation in many a gym over the years.

In the last decade though there has been an underlying tone in a lot of them; life, the world or however you describe it seems to owe ‘them’ (the collective them, as in everyone) something.

The world, people, what/whoever doesn’t own you jack shit.

Honestly.

In this life while there are those born with a silver spoon in far better stead than others and are presented all the opportunities, that doesn’t mean that just because you haven’t had this that you’re owed something.

People have become very weak-minded these days.

Take the example above, I’m sure you know someone who has it all.

They never asked for it all, they just happened to be one of those few who happened to get it due to the hard work and sacrifice of someone in their daily at some point.

Same will be true for your progeny.

Whatever you achieve and the foundations you lay will be used but hem to get a better foothold in life.

The people of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s all did this for their young.

Then there was a time of bountiful harvests, follow day people gaining the attitude of being entitled and this is where things started to go wrong.

Sadly we are entitled to nothing in this life.

To be alive and have things as good as we have them is already a gift.

Don’t believe me?

If you’re reading this then I’d say you’ve already got it better than some who either will never have the chance to use modern technologies or others who have had their basic humans rights stripped away, not naming any northern countries or anything.

This is why I love fitness.

It keeps you humble because you don’t get results without effort, sacrifice and time given to the iron gods.

True enough some people have better genetics.

If you feel yours are lacking and that you should have better ones then I truly hope that txt time you choose to be born of better parents.

Think back to school, you had all the gifted kids and most of them now will be nothing more than a memory because they wasted the 3 space head start they had and rested on their laurels.

Anyone who gets a head start in life while lucky isn’t guaranteed success because the world doesn’t owe it to them, remember that.

So my dear friends, have you ever felt that you deserve more than you have?

That you’re owed something for nothing because reasons.

Sorry buttercup, you ain’t.

Neither am I.

We may not ever get what we feel we deserve, yet is what we feel we deserve actually what we are due? – Now there is a good thought.

Do what you can without the thought of reward just because you can.

In the end if you’ve given whatever you see as a priority everything you have to give you’ll probably be satisfied with what you have in the end.

Don’t except the world to cater to you for nothing.

Life doesn’t work that way for most of us.

Also if you’ve been one of the few to start severals steps ahead of the rest I am happy for you, truly. Now use that opportunity to do great things and don’t fuck it up.

To everyone else I will say one last thing….

There’s always a bigger fish.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Deliberate Practice FTW!

Did you know you’ll never be good at the things you don’t do.

🤯🤯🤯

I know right, quite the mind blowing sentence.

Funny thing is this is something a lot of people actually forget or just don’t seem to be aware of.

When it comes to fitness, or movement as a whole the use/disuse principle is quite really one people should keep in the back of their mind at all times.

If you are looking at having a certain set of skills they need to be practiced.

^^Once you acquire the skills maintaining them (depending on how high a level you want to retain) can take minimal effort.

Same goes for an area you’re aiming to improve or build upon, it needs some attention. 👀

All that being said, you’ve also got to accept there may be some form of sacrifice of what you have to gain what you want.

The cosmic balance must be maintained as it were.

I like to think of it like spinning plates.

You can spin only so many as one time, those will be the ones that are looking good yet there will be some that are slowing, others that are about to topple and a few that are already in free fall, that’s just life.

Using fitness as an example.

You are rather unlikely to bench press 500lbs while also being able to run a sub 5min mile pace on a marathon.

True enough it’s not an impossible task to achieve, however it’s just not probable or reasonable for many.

In our mind we see ourselves at our peak or what was our last peak of fitness, this leaves us with a hefty dose of cognitive dissonance in regards to our abilities.

You’ll also find it’s another reason people won’t push themselves out of their comfort zones and be humbled.

Unless it’s proven it can be ignored. 🤔

Many would rather live in blissful ignorance than uncomfortable awareness.

Sad but very true.

So to wrap up this little mid morning musing take some time to be honest with yourself.

What areas do you need to work on more than you do?

^^This can be in relation to fitness, life, business and more.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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It’s for them, not you

When it comes to writing about your company, you’d really dow ell not to make it all about you.
 
I know how odd that sounds, however just bear with me.
 
Take a look at any companies mission statement, or their values, beliefs or anything else of that nature.
 
You will see this word a lot – ‘We’
 
“We have the best facilities with high end equipment.”
 
“We have experts trainers in various fields.”
 
“We are basically the shit and that’s why we’re valuable.”
 
^^ This is what those kinds of messages are conveying.
 
Believe it or not this is rather common.
 
Seriously go to any business page about the company and you’ll likely see something like that.
 
You might be asking – “Is this really a bad thing? They just want to showcase their skills and all the have.”
 
While this is indeed all fine and dandy, it’s about the company and what it does, instead of trying to connect with their audience and what they can do for them.
 
In the famous words from one rather flamboyant US President.
 
John F. Kennedy – “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
 
Your messages should more often than not be about what you can do for the person/people you’re trying to reach.
 
Writing in such a way that has them visualise themselves being a part of your community, your tribe (popular word these days), as it were.
 
Let us take a look at my two arbitrary example above once again.
 
“We have the best facilities with high end equipment.”
 
“We have experts trainers in various fields.”
 
Classics, now if we tweak them, with a couple of different words you’ll notice the massive difference it makes.
 
“You will have access to the best facilities with high end equipment perfectly suited to your needs.”
 
“You can speak to any one of our experts trainers whenever you need some help with your goals.”
 
While a tad longer the message is far more inclusive to the person and will be read by them, the individual as they can now start to picture themselves being there.
 
If we wish to keep them to one line here are some other tweaks we can make to convey the same message.
 
“You’ll access equipment suited to your needs.”
 
“You have our experts trainers to help plan your goals.”
 
It is little tweaks like these that can set your apart from the rest because of one simple reason.
 
You’re showing that you care about them (your potential clients) and it’s all about their journey and helping them, it’s not about the company itself and how brilliant it is.
 
Don’t get me wrong, the company or business may indeed be brilliant, however blowing your own trumpet before showing people you’re their to help them and care about them first is not the wisest route to take.
 
People buy from people after all.
 
Give the above some thought and if you have any little bits of scripture you want to share in the comment, please do so.
 
Will do me a favour?
 
Take a look at your current business adverts/mission statements etc, read them as a client and ask yourself this one simple question –
 
Is the company talking to me or merely about themselves?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Fellow trainers, this ones for you.

How do you train your clients?
 
Is to improve them or merely to impress them….
 
There is an amazing difference between the results of the two.
 
You’ll also find that the majority opt for the latter.
 
Sadly we live in a world where people need to be kept constantly entertained and pandered to, as such it has caused training to devolve over the years.
 
This is one reason why group exercises is so popular.
 
It’s exciting, entertaining, fun and may produce results.
 
Now it is true not everyone trains because they want to get results or fortify their bodies for life, and this is fair enough.
 
If you’re the kind of trainer happy to provide that service then great, you’ll have quite a lucrative business, you just have to remember you need to keep adding in new things to keep people attention.
 
Perhaps that isn’t you, maybe you are the sort of trainer who has peoples best interest at heart and is just not sure how to go out programming for such a thing because we still have to keep people on side and while training might be what people need, it may not be what they want.
 
Once you understand what people want, you can create what they need based around their biases, preconceived ideas and understandings of what they think PT is.
 
To be fair you’ll see a lot of trainers/coaches share videos on social media that look epic, however the likelihood of their training produce sustainable results is slim.
 
One thing to remember is that as a trainer you’re in the service industry.
 
This being said, you need to decide what kind of service you want to offer.
 
One that seeks to impress clients.
 
Or
 
One that seeks to improve clients.
 
While you can indeed combine both, they’re not mutually exclusive.
 
Over the years I’ve found some consistent ways of provide both to clients that you can take and apply to your own.
 
Here is the structure for most of my classical sessions:
 
– Warm Up (clients need fulfilled)
– Skill (clients need fulfilled)
– Strength (clients need fulfilled)
– Conditioning (clients want fulfilled)
– Cool Down (clients need fulfilled)
 
The conditioning section will often confirm a bias or a preconceived idea of what they feel they need to be going to achieve the results they want.
 
If it’s fat loss, this section will be hot death and leaving them a smouldering mess on the floor because that’s what they feel they need to be doing for fat loss.
 
Say they are looking to add muscle, it will be some disgustingly high rep pump driven super-ultra-mega-drop set that blows them up and gives them DOMS the next day, because that’s what they feel they need to be doing to achieve their result.
 
I’m sure you get the idea.
 
People come to us as trainers/coaches with ideas already formulated or how they think it will go.
 
Now you have a few options here.
 
Do what they want and potentially get results (more likely a no result outcome).
 
Do what they need and definitely get results (which may oppose a belief/bias and even if they get results they will not enjoy training and stop, madness).
 
Do what they need at the start and finish with what they want, subsequently getting them results and confirming the ideas they had in their head, then over time educate them as to why what they thought was incorrect.
 
^^ Never tell them straight tout they’re wrong, unless you’ve sold yourself as that style of ‘non-nonsense’ trainer who won’t tell people what they want to hear.
 
Many people don’t like being told their wrong, even if they are.
 
It’s the classic – “The customer is always right, even when they are wrong, which is all the time.”
 
You need to be clever because you’re running a business after all.
 
Now it might be common sense that you’d not hire an electrician and then proceed to tell them how to rewire your house, yet in fitness people will hire you to train them and always tell you how it needs to go, I know, I know.
 
Everyone thinks they know how to train, as such it’s best for you to go along with them and aim to educate each client over time.
 
This can be in the form of work shops, nutritional meetings, client Q&A’s, that way you can set out from he start that in each there will be objective discussion about how things actually work.
 
In this way you can question peoples misconceptions without causing them to be offended because they chose to come to said event.
 
Honestly if you run 2-3 weekly discussion/Q&A sessions you’d be surprised how many people will come to them.
 
That said, you’d do well to do some gym floor walking and subtly ask people what burning topics of curiosity regarding fitness they have, that way the talks will ‘feel right’ for them and something they can’t miss.
 
Okay, I’ve gone off on a tangent, again.
 
Simply you need to remember this; work with your clients to improve them, not merely to impress them.
 
If you have any questions please leave them below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A Words Worth

We do love a fancy word or two in fitness, don’t we.
 
Metabolic Conditioning, sexy.
 
Anaerobic Lactate Intervals, nice.
 
Max effort ramping to ratchet loading, tasty.
 
Super-mega-ultra-saiyan-sets, sign me up!
 
It seems the more frivolous the word of title, the more people are drawn to it.
 
Such simple creatures we are.
 
I get it you know, like the humble magpie we like shiny things that catch our eye and for all intents and purposes there is very little wrong with being dawn in by fads.
 
Well, apart from the potential impact on your wallet.
 
Looking for the next best thing, the next suck fix and miracle that will solve all your problems (for about 6 weeks) is just how it goes.
 
Promise someone the world in 12 weeks or less and you’ll have them hooked.
 
Try to compel them to accept responsibility for a lifestyle change that will have them retaining the results they achieve for more than 2 weeks and you’ll see them scarper faster than Scooby & Shaggy when they found a monster.
 
Perform kettlebell swings for 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 10min total.
 
^^ Pretty effective, in the rest do some active recovery in the form of a mobility movement.
 
Here is how it can be named.
 
Option 1 – 30/30 kettebell swing intervals for improving body composition
 
Option 2 – Kettlebell Metabolic Accelerator for Fat-Loss
 
If I was to post an add with a video which title would grab people attention.
 
Yep, it’s obvious, essentially they both say the same thing, just in different ways.
 
Alphabet gymnastics truly are the mark of a good salesman.
 
Give some thought to the above.
 
If you’re in the fitness industry and struggle to attract people it could be because you’re boring in their eyes.
 
Or at least not speaking the language that resonates with your potential clients in the demographic you have.
 
If you’re not sure what words they want to hear, go ask them.
 
Have some conversations and listen to what people are saying, instead of trying to tell them what you want them to hear int hew you want to say it.
 
You’d be surprised how often if you ask people what they want they will tell you.
 
Well, in so many words you might say.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1

Had this little gem fly in to my head on a whim, thought you might enjoy it.
 
Load up 80% for whatever lift you desire.
 
Preform 1 rep, rest 30 seconds.
Preform 2 reps, rest 60 seconds.
Preform 3 reps, rest 90 seconds.
Preform 4 reps, rest 120 seconds.
Preform 5 reps, rest 90 seconds.
Preform 4 reps, rest 60 seconds.
Preform 2 reps, rest 30 seconds.
Perform 1 rep, move on to something else.
 
Keeping the load static in the ascending 5 is a good idea, when you start coming back down towards 1 rep again you can choose to lighten the load or keep it static.
 
This is only 25 reps, however it would be 25 good reps.
 
Once you’ve done this you can do one or two additional movements, I’d set it up like this:
 
Main lift – as above
Secondary lift – 3-6×6-8 – 60 sec rest between sets
Accessory lift – 2-3xfail – 30-60 sec rest between sets
^^ You can of course tweak these for varied goals such as fat loss for example.
 
The secondary lift an antagonist to the first for balance or an agonist to the first for strength, the accessory lift can be a weak point focus and hammered for pump.
 
Nice and simple.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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3 Reasons you need to ask for help this New Year .

As silly as it seems, a lot of people won’t ask and for stupid reasons as well.
 
It is important to seek out others to support you.
 
Of course there are more than 3 reasons, however these are the most relevant.
 
1 – You can’t do it alone
 
Might seem obvious, yet so many will try and be a one-man band and tackle it all, then they wonder why everything is on mediocre at best.
 
The whole idea of you being a combination of the 5 people closest to you, its kinda like really true.
 
Give it some thought.
 
2 – Skill Gaps
 
As people we want to think we have all the skills we need, and this is sadly not the case for the majority of us, we need people we respect and trust at our side to fill in our gaps.
 
Take the PT business for example.
 
New people to the fray just about know how to train people, just about. In regards to business most have no clue on the following – Marketing, Taxes, Business Planning/Budget Management, the list can do on.
 
Yet even potentially knowing this they won’t seek out some guidance, often using money as the excuse, yes excuse because that is what you have business loans for to help you get your business up and running by hiring the people you NEED to help you succeed.
 
Many won’t, how do I know this?
 
I know more people who failed to stay in the business than actually stayed, and I see more people dropping out every day.
 
Ask for help, it will be worth it.
 
If your skill gaps are in say the knowledge of fat loss and that is your goal, then please hire one of the aforementioned PT’s.
 
3 – Being too scared to ask
 
This one is the easiest to understand.
 
People don’t want to seem weak, or like they can’t do something, I get it, it’s painful to admit you can’t do something and it makes you feel bad about yourself, however that is a mindset you’ve learned, you weren’t born with it.
 
Do you think a child feels bad when it’s learning to walk and keeps falling over?
 
No, it just keep doing what it needs to, and when it can’t do it alone it gets helps, either form a parent or something close enough to grab on to.
 
We are taught that asking for help is a bad thing from our earliest days in school.
 
Think about it, teachers would not give you the answer, they’d want to you find it for yourself, and while this is an incredibly useful skill it planted a seed that this is how we should do everything, and that is just not true.
 
In the working world if you don’t know something you must ask for help, less you completely balls up a project that could not only cost the company millions, it may also cost you your job.
 
Yet in knowing this we still fear asking for help.
 
To some the feel as if asking will put them below other people, they’d be someone to pity, subject to their benefactors benevolence, and whatever else you want to say.
 
This might be true, however once you’ve gotten the knowledge, or the skills and you know how to move forwards you many not need that specific person every again, however you do need what they know.
 
They weren’t wrong when they said that knowledge is power, because it is.
 
Better to ask a question and be thought a fool for a mere moment than stay silent and be branded foolish for life.
 
Give the above some thought and share your personal reasons below as to why you don’t, won’t ask of help.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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In the wise words of Porky Pig

That’s all folks.

2018 is over.

2019, it awaits you.

Will this year be any different from those of previous?

Perhaps, there is no inherent need for that to be the case, however it is often the done thing.

You know, self improvement and all that good stuff.

Thinking back over my goals there have been a fair few that have been accomplished and their memories stored away safely.

Some of the changes lead to a long lasting impact, others were just because it gave something different to do for a while, this is what defines the importance of a goal.

We can easily work towards the ones that are nice, however the ones that are necessary, those are a bit tricker to tackle.

You might call those the long term goals.

Simply because they can’t be accomplished in just one year, as such perhaps focusing on a portion of ‘that’ goal would be rather sensible and over time you can add up the parts and finally put the entire goal together.

So far I’ve achieved all of this ones I had, that is those that didn’t require waiting on the singer of others or certain elements of the career based environment, those are sadly subject to things outside of my complete control, thus they will take a tad more patience.

Have you given any real thought to what you desire this year?

I have two main ones this year.

The first is something nice and simple, doing higher rep sets in my typical training as such I’ve made a pact with myself to do no less than sets of 10 if it can be helped (rest pause work, extended sets, drop sets etc are of course obvious exceptions which will total higher reps).

Nice easy to achieve and measure.

My second goal, I want to create something that people who are venturing in to the industry of fitness will find valuable, not for profit or anything so grandiose, more just to hopefully help at least one person out there.

Of course this wouldn’t be anything unique as there are already hundreds of these sorts of things out there and from some very good people too, however that doesn’t deter me from wanting to give something back to this industry which has been good to me.

As such I have a question for you who are just starting in the industry, what do you want to know?

Leave your thoughts below.

Enjoy,
Ross

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