Tag Archives: knowledge

4 Basics Lessons to Build Your Fitness Business

A lot of hopeful people jump into the realm of fitness.
 
It seems easy because they themselves like fitness, they’re passionate, have a story to share of how they lost weight etc, and they really really want to help people.
 
Obviously for the sake of helping people, not to fulfil an emotional need or anything.
 
In the early days of being qualified many are fuelled by the promises of instant business from friends, family, colleagues and people that they happen to know.
 
I’m going to tell you that this is folly.
 
Those promises rarely become a reality and we are naive for believing they ever will because while people judge themselves based on their proposed intentions (even if never followed through on), we judge them used on their actions.
 
To most people it is enough for them to say they will do something and not do it, they still get the initial feeling of being good, helpful, needed/wanted/important, yet that’s as far as many go because they’ve gotten what they need at no actually cost to them.
 
So this being the case, why would they then pay?
 
🎓 Lesson 1 – Don’t rely on the good will of others because they will let you down.
 
When a new trainer/coach gets about 6months into their fitness business journey things start to change.
 
Suddenly they realise that people didn’t suddenly flock to them because they were nothing special, in fact they were just another trainer.
 
Yep, once qualified you’re nothing special, just one of many.
 
At this point the need for an individual identity starts to become apparent, some being to hammer their social media, sharing all sorts of motivational quotes, photos and videos of –
 
“This (insert target demographic) can🏋️‍♀️ 🏋️‍♀️ all you need is to believe”
 
It may spike some interest, however there is still very little of value for people because all that they do is copy what others are doing.
 
Now copying trends isn’t a bad thing, so long as it’s a successful one and you know WHY it works.
 
If you don’t know why then you won’t make it work.
 
You can go for all the fads and trends available to you, yet without a solid message or set of values backing what it is you’re saying there will be no call to action for people because it’s just not real.
 
🎓 Lesson 2 – Jumping on the bandwagon to try and become different/noticed doesn’t work, it makes you the same as everybody else doing it.
 
Finding a niche that you can call your own isn’t easy.
 
In fact it can take many years because a lot of people are still influenced by what they themselves find enticing, and while this isn’t a terrible thing it doesn’t mean that the potential clients available to them will react in the same way.
 
So many talk of being their best self, an individual, different.
 
You will find that many potential clients and those who have stagnated often talk of wanting those very things, a coach/trainer who is their best self, an individual who different and does things differently.
 
Alas, if you do things that are not familiar and truly different this weekend warrior of the majority will put in a subtle dig along the lines of
 
– “We usually do it this way.”
– “I like to do ti like this.”
– “My/Our old trainer used to do it this way.”
 
My answer to anything similar to the above is as follows:
 
“I thought you said that you wanted something different?”
 
Or
 
“That’s cool, they sound like a great coach, so why did you leave them?”
 
Yep I will put people on the spot and call out hypocrisy and bullshit because I’m just too tired to be tactful these days.
 
You see as much as people say they want something different what they actually mean is something different yet familiar and basically the same as what they’re doing, but still different though.
 
It’s fucking maddening.
 
This is where taking the jump and creating a true niche that is different takes courage because the world and it’s dog will tell you have the things they’ve already done are great and that you’d do well to adopt some of those ideas.
 
Which is the height of disrespect in my eyes.
 
If you truly want to be different be prepared for criticism.
 
🎓 Lesson 3 – People will tell you how they want you to run your business, by all means listen and be thankful for any advice/feedback, just remember you don’t need to bend yourself out of shape to help other people fit in. If they don’t fit, that;s okay, they can go somewhere else.
 
Th hardest part about running any business is understanding that you’re in actual fact running a business.
 
As such you can’t afford to piss about.
 
Too many in fitness don’t understand this and try to make it a hobby that pays them, and one that pays them well, this is a mistake.
 
The only people who can get away with running a fitness business like this are of the following:
 
– People who are retired and don’t need to work
– People who have a job they can step back into at will
– People who come from money
– People who have a partner who supports all other finance
 
^^ Many don’t like this, yet it’s very much the truth.
 
Running a business isn’t easy, and yet in fitness so many think that once they become qualified people will just rock up and throw money at them, that they ill be abel to do 3-4 clients a day only, train whenever they like and live ‘the good life’.
 
This is a dangerous attitude to have.
 
The average fitness professional will work a 12+ hour day in most cases, and that isn’t taking in to account all the behind the scenes things such as admin, tracking, program writing and the logistical part of running a business.
 
If you think it will be easy you’re in for a shock.
 
🎓 Lesson 4 – Remember you’re running a business, not a charity or a hobby that pays well, a business.
 
If you are someone new to the industry you’d do well to hire a mentor.
 
Now many will say they can’t afford this investment and to that I have this reply for their consideration:
 
Can you afford not to be successful then?
 
There are many ways to find the cash to invest in your business, and having someone in your corner to help you avoid making silly mistakes, while perhaps costly in the early days will save you literally thousands moving forwards.
 
You may choose to consider or ignore the above.
 
Either way I hope you do well and don’t end up as fitness fodder.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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Are you brave enough to try this?

Once again we will be calling upon our friend the dice.
 
Instead of training 2-3 days per week though you’ll be training everyday, or if you want to also leave that to fate you can flip a coin to see if you’re training, then go to the dice to find out what you’re doing.
 
Here is how your training would work.
 
You’ll be doing one these movement parings:
 
– Push & Hinge
– Squat & Pull
– Loaded Carry & Sprinting
 
^^ You can do them in this sequence, meaning they repeat every 4th day, or you can choose to do only one pairing, it’s entirely up to you.
 
The exercise choice is up to you.
 
Next you will roll the pair of die, the number you see is the reps you’re doing, so 2-12 and in the case of the carry/sprint it means 20-120m.
 
Next up you will roll the pair three times, this will give you the time limit you’re training for, so 6-36min (this includes your warm up because you’ll be ramping/waving the loads/effort each set).
 
Once you’ve gotten your reps and your time limit you train.
 
The aim of this is to improve density/work capacity.
 
Give me a second I will roll the dice and see what I get for three days of training, I will pick movements too.
 
Day 1 – Deadlift & Floor Press: 4reps, 27min
Day 2 – (clean) Front Squat & Bent Over Row: 7reps, 13min
Day 3 – Bear Hug Carry & Sprint: 80m, 24min
 
Not a bad little rep/time count.
 
Th difficult thing with the above would be for the times you get a session lasting 10min or under, it would get it to the heads of most people as they’d feel their training wasn’t one enough.
 
Now this might be true, however it would give you focus in the time you had.
 
Too many people mess about and waste time and this eliminates this issue entirely, the only hard part will be picking the movements you wish to work on.
 
“It is vain to do more with what can be done with less.”
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Controversial…

Three things in business you need as a PT/Coach that are undervalued and overlooked way too much.

1️⃣ – An application form to train with you.

^^ This helps with information gathering and will also allow you to know if people are willing to put in the effort for you to work with them.

Think of it this way, if they can’t get past filling in the form then they’re not ready for you yet.

2️⃣ – Minimum commitment agreement.

^^ Further refining the type of client you work with can have you find the people that are truly ready to change.

Example: 6months, 3 sessions per week, only 10 client spaces, etc

As nice as it will be to train once a week for a month and have all their problems solved that’s not how good coaching works.

Setting up minimum’s is very useful, in the example about having 3 sessions per week would also be a good place to start, that way if someone says “Can I do just one per week” you can honestly say “I’m afraid the minimum is 3 per week as this provides more favourable results.”.

It’s a test of commitment and dedication to the cause.

3️⃣ – No free trials.

^^ Controversial, however it will serve to further your business.

This doesn’t mean you can’t offer a discounted first session because this still gets people into the frame of mind that if they want your time/expertise they need to be ready to invest.

Free stuff is nice, however too much of it can, in regards to trial sessions etc, can devalue how people see your services.

🤔🤔🤔

Food for thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Tackling walls head first

The longer you spend in fitness the more it seems as if you’re banging your head against a brick wall.

Some will listen, some won’t and when some do they end up tweaking and changing things to fit wha they want to be, rather than how it ought to be.

Given the almost endless amount of information we have access to, finding patters of what work is easy.

The hard part is having people stick to them.

You see most things will work provided you give them a fair crack at the whip.

Does it mean it’s the ‘perfect’ method for you?

Absolutely not, you might be better off doing something else, however unless you give a good amount of time to anything then nothing will ever work.

How long do we need to stay with something?

That’s the million dollar question and I don’t have a good answer for it.

6 weeks?
12 weeks?
26 weeks?

As with a lot of things it will come down to the ever classic fallback of – it depends.

One thing may work for you for 3 weeks only, something else might work for 3 years, it’s truly a pain in the ass to know, however you simply need to take that chance and give something a go.

If you find it isn’t doing anything, then go back to what you were doing.

The tricky part is actually having the courage to try something new and the faith to stick at it for a while.

You’ve probably heard of the old sayings surrounding change taking time, that results (whatever they are to you) will be less a straight line and more like and spirograph.

I truly wish I could tell you exactly what YOU needed to hear.

I can’t and anyone who claims to is either a tad naive or is trying to sell you something.

Giving general advice however, well, stick with something for at least 6months, if nothing happened then chances are it’s not the right thing for you to be doing.

Say you are getting results and they seem consistent, great, keep going.

Simple really.

Enjoy,
Ross

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That is why you failed.

One of the main reasons for failure in regards to a training sense is not sticking to the program. 

Here is my view these days:

The cause of a persons deviation can vary, however many will say that training a certain way didn’t work for them and yet they didn’t stick to what was written for them. 

In the modern world where everything needs to be constantly tweaked because of the CF influence it’s not wonder people stall out. 

You’d be amazed just how far you can get doing a very simple protocol, there is little need for all the fancy fluff other than to appease peoples need to be entertained.

This is why not everyone enjoys my own coaching style. 

You get what you need, not what you want. 

Take these movements for example, they provide much for people and you’d not need any more for quite some time. 

  • Front Squat
  • Press
  • Pull Up

Or just do this: 

  • Loaded Carries & Loading Medleys  

Super simple, super effect, super non-sexy and dull which is why it’ll never sell. 

A minimalistic approach has many benefits, the main issue that I can happily admit is that it’s very dull for most people. 

This actually can be quite telling of what it is they’re after though in the grand scheme of things. 

While many claim it’s results, that is only true to a point, and this must come from doing things they enjoy of find that hold their attention.

There’s only so many ways we can talk about the above, you know, movement patterns and following the basic ones. 

This is where you’ll find the dice or coin protocols mentioned in the past are fun for people, yet even with the you’ll soon find the bias of the person comes out with what they want to be doing, and if questioned as to why it will come down to they’d either see someone do it online or it’s because they feel they need to. 

Frustration.

Dear readers, what you do want in your training and why?

Please do leave your thoughts below. 

Kind Regards 

Ross

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Rest is best

What is the shortest amount of rest you can take while still being able to maintain high effort outputs?

Knowing this will allow you to perform HIIT. 

It will also allow you to build up an acceptable level of metabolic fatigue for some added benefits to power endurance, however be aware that this won’t necessarily take your ability to produce power up, to do that you need to be fully revered and some. 

Having so many training options is both a blessing and a cruse. 

Due to the popular majority being focused around ‘feeling worked out’ or ‘tired’ it leaves too many people lacking any form of meaningful progress once they get past the point of beginner. 

Training is meant to make you stronger, not leave you smaller and more frail each time you push your limits, which is what happens to a lot of people.

There is one easy way around a session that tips you over the point of good stress (eustress) and into the realms of bad stress (distress).

Timing your rest periods. 

I know, something so simple it’s as if experts in the field of progress/performance have written about them for years. Oh, wait…

As a general rule these are what typical adaptation common rest periods are linked to:

<60 seconds = aerobic & muscular endurance 

120-180 seconds = anaerobic endurance/tolerance & muscular hypertrophy/strength 

180 seconds > = ATP-PC power/performance & muscular strength (absolute)

Now this is a very brief and wanting guide, to truly appreciate rest periods you’ll want to put income effort and start your reading journey with the glorious book: SuperTraining. 

Under recovering with short rest periods because you want to feel tired will indeed yield that result, however that’s all you’ll get from it because you’ll be unable to repeat productive efforts in your sets. 

While aiming to create ‘in-road’ and elicit and oxygen debt is indeed something viable, you must first understand the necessity for rest first and how manipulating rest periods works. 

Say you wanted to perform an anaerobic bias training set, what some call ‘metabolic training’, here is what it may look like on paper:

A1 – T-Sprint x 30-50m

A2 – Clean x4

A3 – Push Press x4

A4 – Sled Sprint x20m

A5 – Weighted Pull Up x4

There will be a 15-20 second average transition time between movements

Total rest between series is 4-7min 

2-3 total series

Most people will think they can use less rest because they’re special or unique, they are wrong. 

In the above example you’d want to rest the length of time that allows you to repeat a series with the same level of effort/output/performance, meaning the first rest might indeed be 4min, the second rest block might be 7min though.

The majority of people need more rest, not less.

Well, if they want to actually make decent progress anyway. 

The next time you train take a stop watch with you and stick with your rest periods that your coach (or whomever) has suggested. 

If it says 90seconds, that’s what you rest, so you start you next set bang on the 90 second mark, if you feel yourself slowing or in fact lose a rep on a set you’re done, unless otherwise advised by your coach to say drop 10% load of however they’ve set up your program.

Rest as little and as long as you need.

Enjoy,

Ross  

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Well that’s just not cricket

Misleading before and after photos.

Believe it or not you see these all the time.

The amazing results you see that are often claimed to have happened in such a short space of time can often be up to 10 years apart.

The same is true for the shots that people have angles the shit out of, filtered to within an inch of existence and sharpened so much that you’ll get cut just by gazing upon them.

Yep, after seeing plenty of colleagues/friends share their transformations photo’s to gain a nice hefty chunk of appreciation this elf us that have been in their lives for some years recognise the before picture, and it’s old.

These will of course pack the desired punch needed.

While the photos are all real, the story is misleading and that just bugs me.

If you’re going to compare a photo of yourself then 6-12months apart is a good idea as it will allow you to share the lessons you’ve learned in that time with your followers and fans with some honesty and for the purpose of helping them, not just boosting your likes.

This is of course not to say that a collage of your journey from day one isn’t worth of praise, oh no it is, so long as you exhaling how long the expanse of time covered from photo 1 to this present one is.

A year by year comparison will do many things:

1 – Show how progress is slow and change is gradual (for the most part)
2 – That consistency wins out in the end
3 – Change need applied effort (explained in lessons learned in each photo/reflection)
4 – Provide a true account of your journey, the progress/ & regress because that happens too
5 – Keeps you humble

We could list many more things here however I’d like to keep the one short for once.

In closing, be honest with your photos, your stories and worry less about trying to be impressive for the sake of it.

Share your knowledge, experience and let people know that you too struggled to get where you are and that one day, if that’s what they want, they can get there as well.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Old Texts, New Findings

Digging through some older writings of Russian powerlifters has been quite interesting of late. 

Apart from the magic numbers that seem to be floating around and the common use of certain well known set/rep protocols there is pattern in the way they train. 

Most claim to follow this pattern:

  • Press heavy every 3-5 days
  • Squat heavy every  5-7 days
  • DL heavy every 10-14 days  

A good general rule, yet as they got more experienced they seemed less focused on the heavy element and more on building up the medium/light numbers and volume, that was very fascinating to me. 

The really interesting part is how they set up a training week because it’s clear that some could train any day required, whereas others still had full times jobs and as such had to stick to specific days of the week, as such this gave some dramatically different looking programs they yet still followed the same basic principles.

The expression of Light-Medium-Heavy is often in reference to their efforts, as opposed to just pure load not he bar, however you can rest assured the loads were also hefty. 

Example: Rotating days 

Monday – Press (medium) & Squat (Heavy)

Thursday – Deadlift (Light)

Sunday – Press (light) & Squat (Light)

Wednesday – Deadlift (Light)

Saturday – Press (Heavy) & Squat (Medium)

Tuesday – Deadlift (Heavy)

Friday – Press (Light) & Squat (Light)

Monday – Deadlift (Light)

Thursday – Press (Medium) & Squat (Heavy)

Sunday – Deadlift (Light)

Wednesday – Press (Heavy) & Squat (Light)

Saturday – Deadlift (Heavy)

Tuesday – Press (Light) & Squat (Medium)

Friday – Deadlift (Light)

Monday: Potential lift variation change, protocol change or repeat of previous. 

You can see they lift every 3 days, alternating Press & Squat sessions with Deadlift Sessions, some would choose to also press on the DL day as well however that would often be light or a special variation press to target weak/sticking points from what I read. 

Leaving 6-9days between heavy pressing and more between heavy squats and DL seemed counterintuitive at first to making progress, yet it worked. 

Looking at the older lifting protocols these people followed was truly a worthy habit hole to go down. 

**Please note that light or even medium to these people in say pressing was 400lbs, which to us mere mortals isn’t light at all**

For those that had set days, such as 2-3 sessions per week this was what it tended to look like:

Monday – Deadlift (rotating H-L)

Thursday – Press & Squat  (Rotating H-L-M)

Saturday –  Press & Squat & RDL/Stiff leg variation (mostly L-M)

A lot also added 2-3 accessory lifts for weak points and lagging areas, this seemed to be a lot of Lats, Tricpes, Hamstrings, Glutes & Lower Back. 

Some added in additional shoulder pressing however as it wasn’t a given necessity for comp many would do it in the off season unless they specifically responded very well to it on a personal level. 

Now after reading their loading parameters and seeing their overall strength levels the above didn’t seem too odd to me, yet reading some journal notes it seemed many trained this way from day dot, just because that’s what the ‘strong comrades’ did, and that is food for thought. 

Many got into the pattern/routine of people much stronger than they where, and while the frequency may go against current science for optimal, many stuck with it one the long haul and seems dot make great progress, yet these days many would argue they shouldn’t have, yet, they did. 

I can’t tell you why. 

Perhaps they were able to focus more on RFD in a session, of maximal contraction each rep, utilise heavier loads and push the envelope a tad more due to the extra rest. Hell they may have been on all the PED’s from the start (doubtful though), there are many potential extra factors, however one thing that seems clear is this; they did less better and made it work. 

There were also several notes regarding people who were tempted to do extra training (boxing, wrestling etc) and told not to as it owed effect their recovery, so it is worth remembering that the people chose to do only PL.

Limiting their other activities meant they worked when they had to, and at what we may predict was a high effort, whereas these days we add in a lot of extra training/stress, meaning that while we can keep it all up, the total accumulation of volume still takes a toll  because we can only adapt from what we can revere from and if there is more to recovery from then the adaptations il be minimal due to the massive amount of resources used by our body to return us to our baseline from all that training/stress. 

***Allostatic load! been trying to think of that term since posting this as it disappeared from my mind the second I went to write it down. It would have been in the above in this sort of form – ‘We have to be careful not to overshoot the hermetic effect and our total amount of necessary allostatic load.’ – Been bugging me all morning that has.

Certainly worth more digging into. 

How much training do you do, and when did you find that doing more started getting you less?

Enjoy, 

Ross 

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Excuse me, your bias is showing

Fellow Trainers & coaches.

Your own experience will influence the way you train others. 

We touched on this yesterday, and this is by no means a bad thing however it’s easy to fall in to the trap of giving everyone what you like to program or feel comfortable programming. 

Again, while not necessarily a terrible thing, it is 100% a lazy thing.

Don’t get me wrong and think that this never happened my end because it did. 

Many times. 

While you can indeed find reasons for falling back on something that is quick and easy to spam out in a program, such as people asking for free advice, when you have paying clients it’s not the most optimal thing to be doing. 

Of course we will have various tools/protocols/programs stored in memory that we can draw on and guess what, they will work for a lot of people. 

This usually happens because these adhere to some basic and fundamental principles of training. 

If you take some time to look at the way people write programs you’ll notice a pattern in what they do. 

One of mine is the classic 3-week wave, often varying the lift itself at the end of each micro block, this is because it keeps people consistent because sadly most can’t stick with the same things for too long due to their addiction to social media and the constant need for novel stimulus and dopamine hits. 

While variety is a good and sometimes necessary thing, too much of it will not have you getting any form of decent result. 

How do we know this?

Look round at people who attend multiple classes or hope from program to program weekly, they may have some degree of fitness however it’s a far cry from where their current potential is. 

Now many will jump up an down championing “If it makes them happy leave them to it.” and these people are justified in saying that, however would you really be happy putting in what you feel is a tremendous amount of effort and not getting any real results?

Personally that is madness to me, why put in all that effort for no reward?

That’s like going to work and not getting paid.

You are by no means required to get results from your training/nutrition though, becoming strong, confident and have favourable body composition isn’t something you MUST do, yet if you’re going to put in the effort why not aim for that result?

The choice is yours on that one because that will come down to priorities.

You can train like a demon and do everything that will yield the above, yet you enjoy multiple alcoholic beverages each night so while you may build incredible fitness/strength you may still look like you don’t even train and hey, if you’re cool with that then fair play to you, fill your boots. 

I’ve digressed. 

Fellow coaches/trainers, do you program based on what is needed of simply what you know and can fall back on easily?

Training ideally wants to focus on these three things:

  • Keeping the goal the goal
  • Enhancing the participants life
  • Making that person better than they currently are (physically & mentally)

To do this we have many tools, these three principles will help you massively though:

  • Consistency 
  • Waviness of load 
  • Specialised Variety 

Feel free to look back on here and you’ll find plenty of programs I’ve thrown up over the years. 

You’ll see my biases creeping through, all geared towards strength for the most part and of late gaining maximum benefit with minimum effort, so a high ROI (tertian on investment).

Any questions please leave them below. 

Enjoy, 

Ross

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Are you real?

Why do you try to be something you’re not?

As tempting as it is to play a role flawlessly, it’ll never be you and as a result you’ll always be on edge, anxious someone will find out and mercilessly unmask you for all to see. 

Leaving you broken and wallowing in an endless flood of shame. 

So here is my advice; stop pretending and defending that is the real you because it’s not. 

The fitness industry is rife with this. 

Online persona’s are very far removed from that of the one owned in reality, I’d even go as far as to say it may be the reason so many more people suffer from anxiety these days. The pressure of trying to live up to who they proclaim to be online is just too much, so these being anxious as an excuse not to go outside or be with people that might cause their house of cards to come crumbling down. 

Like it or not we can’t change who we are. 

This is not to say we can’t become a better person though, yet there still needs to be that acceptance of what the raw source material is. 

If you’re a piece of shit to the very core then that’s your lot in life, however you can concisely choose not to do shitty things to others. 

Perhaps you’re someone with a heart of gold who puts on a tough demeanour, stop it. You’re not going to win any prizes or acting like a tough person when that’s not you, yet you can learn some resilience.

Too many people talk of change, or being the best version of themselves and yet they ironically don’t even who they are. 

How can you hope to change that which you don’t understand or even know?

As a person we need to embrace everything we are and simply be content with just being. 

Once this hurdle is past us we can become more self aware.

The longer you hide behind who you say you are in the internet or pretend to be in real life, the longer you will suffer. 

Don’t do that to yourself.

Go take a long hard look at the image of the person you portray, is that really you or the you you wish you were.

Acknowledge the raw materials at the essence of your heart and soul because you can’t change those for anything else what is there is there, you’ve got what you’ve got, however you can refine them over time. 

Who know, perhaps that lump of coal if given enough time and the right pressure will oneway reveal itself to be something more, something that’s always been there, or maybe it won’t. 

Regardless, you’ve got to take the first step by taking a good long look inwards. 

You should investigate this thoroughly.

Enjoy,

Ross 

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