My Five Absolute Favourite Exercises

As a personal trainer, I often get asked what my favourite exercises are. Truth be told, that is a bit like asking a doctor what his favourite medications would be. I will never get tired of saying that fitness is a very individual thing.

Without taking you through an individual assessment I'm unable to determine exactly what type of training programme is right for you. Some of the exercises I love might hurt you if you have certain issues or there could be better options for your particular needs.

The bottom line here is that you should work with a trainer to find what the best exercises for you are. But still, to answer the question, here is my personal top five. These are all moves that I use myself, performed correctly, I am sure they will benefit you a lot!

The Overhead Squat

Woman doing ovehead squat

This is a slightly intimidating version of the traditional squat but trust me, it truly is for everyone. More than a simple leg exercise, this one is perfect for mobility training. It's a great exercise for your legs, but more importantly, the overhead squat trains stability and mobility in the core and shoulders.

It is one of my favourite exercises to use as an assesment tool. When a new client comes into my studios the overhead squat is one of the first things I have them do. Simply performing this movement will show me any tension or restrictions that exist in the hips, shoulders, and back.
Hunched back, rounded shoulders, rigid spine, and weak core are just some of the issues that you can notice. The overhead squat can also help you correct them.

Here is what I love to do. Start without any weight and simply extend your arms over your head. Watch yourself in the mirror while you perform the squat. Be mindful of any tension or pain you feel in your body. Do ten slow and controlled reps and notice what feels uncomfortable.
Is it difficult to keep your arms extended?
Does it create tension in your upper back? Are the fronts of your shoulders feeling really tight?
Or is your lower back taking too much stress?
How is your balance?
Are you able to perform a deep squat or does the tension in your hips, knees or ankles prevent this?
Is your right side tighter than your left in any of your joints?

Everyone will be different. Use this movement to find out more about your own body. Work on the overhead squat focusing on that weak link. Once this has been addressed you can gradually progress things by adding a small amount of weight each time. This way you can improve any issues you have with your posture, prevent back pain, and strengthen your core and lower body all at the same time.

The Deadlift

How do you build lean legs, a sculpted butt plus some solid core? Deadlift. It belongs in everyone´s list of favourite exercises. The deadlift builds upper and lower body strength like no other exercise. It is the quintessential compund exercise. One thing I particularly love about deadlifts is they build strength around ligaments and tendons. Over time this will really protect you from injury.

The flipside here is that technique is crucial. Here are a few tricks to perfecting your deadlift (a.k.a. not wrecking your back):

Keep your back strong and flat, learn to flex forwards from the hips don't round your back. If you can't help but round it then you need to lower the weight.

Push, don't pull. Yes, your upper body will be engaged in the movement but don't think about lifting with your arms, your glutes and hamstrings should be doing most of the work.
Your feet should always stay flat on the floor, find a position where they are as stable as possible.

Move in time. Make sure your shoulders and hamstrings ascend together. If either lags it means you are using your lower back.

Pull-Ups

Going fancy on equipment is not always the way to go. I believe bodyweight exercises are the true measure of strength. The pull-up in particular is a great benchmark for overall athletic ability.

Learning to use your body is truly empowering. The pull-up is challenging, yes, but it is also very rewarding. Most clients I work with hate it, I admit. At least they hate it at first because it seems impossible. But in fact anyone can progress to a pull-up. Here are the steps that have helped even complete beginners to achieve it:

Start with a row.
Move on to bodyweight row (in an upside down pushup position).
Go for band-assisted pull-ups.
Attempt the real deal.
Progress your training by working with a partner have them assist you to top of the movement and lower yourself down. This eccentric development will turbocharged your pull-up goals!
The Plank

Yet another bodyweight move. The plank belongs in my all-time favourite exerices as the king of abdominal work. Much like the deadlift, the plank is compound, it builds strength to protect you from injury, and it improves your posture big time.

There are studies that show planks to be the single best exercise for abs. They provide 100% activation of your abdominal muscles. Crunches only give you around 60% depending on your technique and the type of crunch.

I recommend planking every day and you will see a serious boost in fitness level in no time.

My secret tip for holding a plank longer is to relax the upper body, draw your belly button in and really focus on the core. When you tighten your abs your entire body becomes more stable. Less shaking means you can stay in the plank for longer. Of course, you have got to start small. 30 seconds to a minute is a good bench mark for a first timer but try to increase that by 10 seconds every other day. You will be surprised at the difference this makes! The goal of a serious "planker" is to achieve a 3 minute hold.

The Kettle Bell Swing

You can`t have a full list of my favourite exercises without mentioning Kettlebells. There are so many options, infinite modifications, ways to target every single muscle on your body. In my opinion, though, nothing can beat the simple, well-executed Kettlebell swing. It is a full-body workout in a single exercise.

What makes the Kettlebell better than other weights? The design. With the handle on top and the weight concentrated in the bottom, the center of gravity is significantly lower. You are forced to use muscles which builds strength and mobility.

The swing is mostly a hip movement, not a shoulder exercise so my biggest advice for you is to loosen up your upper body. If you grip too tight you put unnecessary tension in the back and shoulders. Hold the Kettlebell as you hold the remote control. Strong enough not to drop it but no additional clenching. Focus on the rhythm and really activating your glutes with every swing.

Do you have any favourite exercises of your own? Which of these do you think everybody should include in their workout routine? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Cheers,

David


Local Business Marketing Guide For Personal Trainers

Maybe you’re looking to become a personal trainer or are an established fitness industry professional. Either way, in a world where everyone in the health and fitness industry is trying to plug their s**t on social media and the internet, in my opinion the power of other local businesses as a marketing tool is being neglected.

The way a local community used to work was your reputation was established and maintained through word of mouth, consistent integrity, and a close knit network of other businesses which had your back. With the advent of social media, a lot of that traditional thinking seems to have gone out the window!

Some of this is a bit old school but I always look to do what my competitors are NOT doing to get the edge on them, and so far these methods have never failed me.

If you’re a new personal trainer or an established fitness business that’s struggling to get new clients through the door then you may find these hacks useful.

The best thing is: most of these ideas cost nothing or very little, unlike Facebook and other ads which can slowly drain your cash.

All of the principles in this post were inspired by my new book, The Trusted Trainer which helps those looking to become a personal trainer and established fitness professionals alike.

Hack 1: ‘The Big Reveal’

When I was starting out, trying to become a personal trainer and make a big impression and generate a lot of publicity in my local community, I didn’t have much money.

With the help of other small local businesses, I designed a big publicity stunt that was featured in the local paper (yes people do still read them) and was all over social media giving my business great free marketing and a good handful (4-5) new fee-paying clients.

Organising a before and after publicity stunt gives your PT business great free marketing.

Here is what I did:

  • I contacted a small local hairdresser, beautician, dentist to offer teeth whitening and female fashion brand and asked whether they would be interested in partnering up and offering a small amount of their time for free;
  • I targeted small businesses (not big companies) as they would be more likely to be seeking additional publicity and invest their time;
  • I used Upwork to have someone create me a cheap logo for the event, we called it ‘Highgate’s Finest’;
  • The scheme was: offer a complete female makeover and transformation to the winner of a raffle prize – my part of the deal was to write the training programme and to spend a few hours each week with the winner – it didn’t take much of my time at all;
  • The ‘makeover’ process lasted six weeks and involved a minimal time commitment on my part;
  • We contacted the local paper who did a piece on this process and included before and after pictures (the actual pictures turned out really well); and
  • The great thing about this is that people love before and after transformations – you only have to look at the popularity of before and after instagram posts or programmes on TV to prove that – so it’s always going to drum up publicity in a local paper or magazine/newsletter.

This produced many new enquiries and eight new solid clients for my business.

A feature in the local paper generates great business, especially in the early days when you are trying to become a personal trainer

Hack 2: Get a small local coffee shop on-side

There is a little boutique coffee shop located next door to my gym. It was really important to my business early on to get them on my side when i was trying to become a personal trainer:

Why?

  • They roll out the red carpet for me and my guest (be it a potential business partner or an important client) which creates a fantastic impressioA local coffee shop can double up as your corporate hospitality area in the early days – get the owner onside quickly!
  • n on my guest – it’s like having my own mini corporate hospitality area;
  • I know and control the environment (I feel like it’s ‘my home ground’ which immediately gives me a psychological boost);
  • If I’m negotiating or agreeing the terms of a business deal or trying to win over an important personal training client, it’s one less thing to worry about – I don’t want to be worrying about whether I can get a table or whether the service will be poor (this was a great help when I was trying to become a personal trainer).
  • I always get the best available table and amazing service from the  because I take time out in my personal life to make the restaurant and the owner feel supremely valued – I get the same in return. I’m not talking Starbucks or Costa here, focus on small local coffee shops with character and individuality.

“If you’re always getting bad service, you’re probably a bad customer” – a philosophy I like to live by!

How did I do this?

  • I took time to get to know the manager and their family and we have open conversations about stuff going on in the local area throughout the year.
  • I always tip very generously (usually around the 25% mark, which is a lot in the UK!) – a cup of coffee costs me 50 pence extra every time but it creates additional goodwill which is key;
  • I pay extra attention to the staff and am never rude. I’ve found through experience that in any organisation, *everything* (good and bad) gets back to the important decision makers, so always be cheerful and interested in what other staff have to say no matter how far they are down the corporate hierarchy, don’t neglect them (especially if you are trying to become a personal trainer).

 

Hack 3: The Menu Makeover

Similar but different to Hack 1 above, it helps to have built up a solid relationship with a local restaurant for a few reasons.

Again, you should take time to build up a good relationship with the owner and his/her staff to solidify the relationship and don’t forget to tip handsomely.

A few simple tweaks to a local menu can stand you in good stead with locally-based customers

Here’s an initiative I ran a few years ago to help generate new clients for my personal training business:

  • I approached the restaurant and asked whether they would let me pay for their menu  to be reprinted (this was at minimal cost, you should be able to get this done for around £30 at a local printers);
  • I said that I would also review the menu and find the healthiest food items (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • There was a small section on the menu that explained what the healthy choices were and the number of calories in the healthy option. This was accompanied by a small logo advertising my gym and a written offer for a free consultation.
  • I had control of the menu printing process, which meant I could control the branding and publicity given for my gym. I didn’t overdo it, I just went with something subtle that could be seen by health conscious customers.

Hack 4: Schools – Relationships with local schools and PE Sessions

I have, in the past (especially when I was at the early stages of trying to become a personal trainer) run very good initiatives with local schools in the community offering free PE lessons and mini talks on health, exercise and diet.

It’s great to educate young minds (or at least help their teachers and parents get the information they need to improve kids’ health) on topics such as exercise and healthy eating as this information was never available when I was at school.

More importantly this will generate MASSIVE goodwill for your business. Think about it – a school is a key hub in your community, if you are regularly contributing positive things to the welfare of the pupils, teachers, parents and grandparents will take notice and you’ll develop a good name among an older audience who have cash to beef up your bank balance! 😉

Hack 5: Don’t be afraid of the Dentist

 

A winning smile often means health conscious clients for your business

I have a very good business relationship with the local private dentist in town close by to my business. It has turned into a very lucrative strategic partnership over the years. He refers a lot of clients to me on a regular basis.

Why is it useful to have a dentist on your side if you are trying to become a personal trainer?

  • Tooth and gum health is an indication of overall health and in particular, heart health. If your dentist suspects that lifestyle choices and a lack of exercise is contributing to oral problems he will recommend lifestyle changes to diet and exercise – I have had very many referrals to my business from this dentist;
  • Private dentists are always keen to grow their businesses and establish strategic partnerships. They tend to attract the kind of clientele that are concerned with their appearance and have the money to take your personal training business to the next level.
  • Clients will regularly ask me for referrals to a good teeth whitening professional. My local dentist offers this and I am able to say with confidence to my clients that this is the guy they should use.

 

Hack 6: Get the local hairdresser working for YOU

We’ve all been stuck in a conversation with a hairdresser or barber, some good some bad. They are paid to cut hair but also have expertise in people skills. Above all others, hairdressers are ingrained into the local community like few other businesses are in 2017.

Think about it, a haircut is a rare occasion where people are forced off their phones and into a physical store to interact with a real person. This puts a hairdresser in a unique position of speaking to hundreds of people a week in your local community for an extended period of time.

Get the right type of client into your business

Maybe you haven’t thought about it like this before but a hairdresser is in a position of trust (particularly for women!). If you have determined that women are a key target market for your personal training business, then it’s great to have their hairdresser on side.

If you get the hairdresser on side, he or she is going to sell and market your business.

Here’s how to get your hairdresser onside:

  • Build up a relationship first before mentioning business or trying to sell them something;
  • Refer people to him/her: initially your team members and well known clients, making sure they mention that you sent them (aim for 5 referrals);
  • Listen. People value things they invest in. Get the hairdresser to invest by talking to you for an extended period. Listen. This goes for everyone you interact with in a business setting; it’s way more important (and powerful) to listen than to speak;
  • Offer the hairdresser and its staff a discount (I suggest 25%) on PT sessions and a free consultation for each member of staff – you will know what is appropriate for you;
  • When you’ve got him/her on side, ask if he would mind if you gave him/her a little set of business cards to put on the side. Don’t give him too many, you’ll come off as a cheap takeaway pizza shop. A key principle of marketing is scarcity, give him 10 business cards and top him up next time;
  • Make your business card simple – black background with white text will stand out – simply put the words (obviously insert your own details) – don’t worry about branding and other bullshit at this stage – keep it simple:

PERSONAL TRAINER

HIGHGATE

079123456789

  • Get ready for a steady stream of new clients from your new free sales team 😉 When I was trying to become a personal trainer, this was really valuable to my embryonic business.

 

Hack 7: The Charity Giveaway

 

In the early days I used charity raffles to generate lots of high quality leads and goodwill for my business. Offering your services as part of a raffle or charity auction prize are massively useful to your business because:

(a) you help the local community which creates goodwill and

(b) they promote your business to a large number of people at once.

Free charity give away – my method:

You need to make a bit of an investment here, but not in cash – in time. Here’s what to do:

  • Go on Upwork and get some ‘Personal Training Vouchers’ designed (don’t pay more than $5-$10 for this);
  • Look for events in your local newspaper or yearly recurring events – school fetes and festivals are best.
  • Speak to the organisers (early) – don’t leave it to the last minute.
  • Make the prize something BIG – the key is to ensure that your prize is first prize (you must always think big – second prize won’t carry the same notoriety).
  • I recommend offering around five hours of PT consultations as the prize;

 

Hack 8: The Florist is Your Friend

It may sound weird, but a florist is a very useful ally to have on your team sheet if you are a personal trainer.

There are countless occasions where you’ll need flowers on hand as a personal gesture for a client to keep in their good books and stand out from all the other trainers that don’t bother – birthdays, wedding anniversaries and engagements and other celebrations.

In the past, I have sent clients bouquets of flowers on key dates for them and have decorated the studio with subtle floral arrangements – something the female customers ALWAYS comment on as a selling point.

A florist can really help you create a gym or training environment that works for all of your clients – unless you own a gritty bodybuilding gym!

This is particularly so if you are targeting the family friendly and women’s niche – a highly lucrative market that I focus on. For this demographic adopting little feminine touches is crucially important to your success as a personal trainer.

I talk about the importance of adding ‘the feminine touch’ in my book. One of the mistakes personal trainers make that can be fatal to their business is not catering for their target market.

Use the principles mentioned elsewhere to get a florist on side. Charm them, tip well, refer business to them and offer them free or discount personal training sessions. You’ll find it’s worth the investment and can bring some much needed creative and feminine flair to a  traditionally male-dominated gym floor.

Estate Agents Sometimes Get a Bad Rep But They Can Really Help Your Business if You Do the Right Deal

Hack 9: Move in on the Estate Agents

Without a doubt your local high street will have an estate agent, if it’s anything like mine then there’s probably five or six of them, meaning there’s no excuse for you to not go for this guaranteed hack. It will take a little bit of work on your part initially but if you play it right this could be the single biggest source of referrals for your business… so what do you need to do?

Estate Agents sometimes get a bad rep but they can really help your PT business if you do the right deal

Firstly you need to write a little report titled “The Top 10 ways to de-stress after moving house” include a few generic lines on sleep, watching a movie, going for a walk etc and then go for the money shots – get a massage, find a personal trainer, eat well etc. add your logo and contact details to the report hand over 10 of these reports to the agent asking them to leave them in the welcome pack they give to every new homeowner. Throw in a branded postcard from your business that simply says “Welcome to INSERT AREA” and add a hand-written message wishing them good luck in their new home and offering a free consultation with you once they are settled in their new home.

Now you need to do a deal with the agent, this is the easy bit. Estate agents love cash so don’t waste your time offering them discounts off personal training just simply tell them that you will hand over £50 for every client that signs up with you for a 10 session / 3 month / 6 month programme, you need to determine what’s appropriate. Make that first payment to them as soon as possible and they will quickly come back with more.

Hack 10: As a Personal Trainer, Strive to ‘Have The Solution’

One of the chapters in my book is given over to the importance of having the solution for your clients.

As a personal trainer, you work in a person-centred business. As such, you need to be seen as a trusted advisor to your clients. That means not only will you need to deliver excellent health and fitness advice, you will also be able to advise them when they turn to

you for a whole range of other problems that they may have from time to time.

In most cases, simply knowing where to look is the answer that solves the client’s problem. I advise all new PTs to fill out the below table with their small business contacts in the local area.

Obviously you will have done your due diligence on the list below that all businesses are legit and provide a decent service. It will have a negative effect if you just refer people to businesses not known to you.

The client will be thankful that you know someone that can solve their problem, and the business will be grateful for new custom and will hopefully return the favour to you in due course. Everyone wins!


Become a Personal Trainer - 9 Mistakes That Kill Your Business

Don’t make any one of these 9 fatal mistakes if you’re running a personal training business. I’ve seen these happen over the years and it always ends in a DISASTER (or something close), so please learn from my experience, avoid the pitfalls and SUCCEED! I hate to see history repeating itself.

Violate your client's privacy and be prepared for the consequences.

1. Violate your client’s privacy

Violate your client’s privacy and be prepared for the consequences.

Personal training is a business where the customer puts you in a position of trust. Trust takes a long time to build up and an instant to destroy. At all times, you must listen to, and respect, your client.

Unfortunately, not all trainers got the message: I have seen instances where trainers took pictures with their iPhones of their clients working out on the gym floor and then posted those images on social media to boost their own profile to boost their social media presence.

WTF were they thinking?

This is absolutely unacceptable.

Clients come to you precisely because they don’t feel in perfect photogenic shape. The last thing they want is for a personal trainer to violate their trust for superficial commercial purposes. See yourself as a trusted advisor, not an Instragram junkie.

For most women, the idea of an image of themselves red faced, sweating with no make-up on, wearing an unflattering lycra outfit  appearing on social media is an absolute nightmare!  If you take photos of your clients without their express written consent, sorry, but you’re an idiot. Do it at your peril and watch your business go down the proverbial toilet.

I’ve seen it happen many more times than is comfortable for me so I had to say something.

Your integrity can only take so many hits before no one will deal with you and you’ll be stuck in a rut with nowhere to turn, your reputation is everything in this industry, forego a few likes on Facebook and build real trust with your following.

2. Ignore the local community

Use local businesses and publications to generate publicity on top of your social media marketing strategy.

Use local businesses and publications to generate publicity on top of your social media marketing strategy.

A personal trainer is often part of a much bigger ecosystem of goods and services consumed by your clients.

I’ve seen a lot of trainers perish because they think they can exist in isolation without the help of their local community.

Get it into your head that you can massively succeed just by tapping into the power of local businesses – you don’t need to worry about online marketing bulls*it until you’ve got the basics down.

Your customers will regularly be looking for services closely associated with personal training (such as nutrition advice, dentistry and the massive industry of beauty good and services…it’s a long, lucrative list).

Accept you are part of the local business community and get to know the key players in your community (over time this becomes a healthy, two-way relationship where you refer clients to other business and vice versa). If you neglect your local community – word will get out and you’ll be done for.

Check out this post with videos (it’s a private post, the password is simply ‘password‘) suggesting ten quick hacks of how to market yourself in your local community. These old fashioned principles will never fail.

3. Failing your target market

If your gym adopts a young, grimy weight lifting culture, understand it may deter a more affulent demographic

If your gym adopts a young, grimy weight lifting culture, understand it may deter a more affulent demographic

Look, everyone wants to look good and get their perfect physique. But from a business perspective, which target market is going to be must lucrative for you?

Remember you are in business to make money, not to impress your mates.

In my experience, it’s best to focus on middle aged clientele looking to make key health improvements than on gym freaks looking to add weight to their bench press one rep max.

Why? Simple.

Money. The thing that keeps you and your business alive.

I’d rather target a more affluent audience and adapt my marketing message accordingly than be begging and borrowing for scraps off students with no cash looking to up their bench!

If you run a successful gym for a younger audience – that’s great.

Just keep one eye on where the real money’s at and don’t forget:

Not every client wants a six pack and two tickets to the gun show 😉

4. Staff lose interest

If you sense that your team of trainers are losing interest, it may be time to let them go.

If you sense that your team of trainers are losing interest, it may be time to let them go.

I’ve run a gym for well over a decade so I am qualified to say that your trainers, over time, can lose interest – and if you’re not careful harm your business.

It’s not their fault.

It’s YOUR FAULT for not setting realistic career goals. The fact is, if you’re the best gym owner in the world you’ll train and manage your staff so well that they feel that they can leave and set up shop on their own.

At around the 2 year mark you will start to encounter resistance from your good trainers who want to fly the nest and set up shop on their own.

By this I mean they will start to behave insubordinately and think they know best. This is natural if you’ve hired good people in the first place.

The big secret of most major professional services firms is they don’t really want new graduates to stay there for life, they want them there for a fixed time of around two years to get a sweet period of good work out of them before they become too old/disillusioned/accomplished to want to work for you any more.

If you’re UK based, I recommend trying to tap into the huge volumes of new European trainers that are (for now at least) able to work for you in the UK. It’s a sweeping generalisation but, they tend to be massively incentivised by relatively higher UK wages.

Consider also tapping the Australian market which produces a steady stream of able trainers that want to work in the UK for two years but no longer.

Always see your business model as relying on graduate trainers that will work for you for no longer than two years. This keeps your business young and exuberant – exactly what you want in this industry.

If you want to give your existing staff some reading material, you can always hand out a few copies of my book. The Trusted Trainer. 😉

5. Fail to protect yourself legally

Avoid

This one is simple but so many gym owners and trainers don’t do it.

Clearly, you need liability insurance.

You also need a comprehensive health and safety policy (there are plenty of templates available for free online).

And you need prominent notices all around your training space and in your terms and conditions that people visit your gym at their own risk (insofar as the law will allow) – these are entirely standard: visit any decent gym and you’ll see them everywhere.

And – if you miss any of the above and you get burnt by an aggrieved client, you’ll be sorry and out of pocket.

6. Keep the wrong clients on your books

If your client is always late for things it might be time to FIRE THEM!

If your client is always late for things it might be time to fire THEM!

If you’re anything like me you’re a motivated and ambitious health and fitness pro.

That’s why when you design a training and diet programme you expect your client to stick to it and achieve amazing things. I always feel a sense of ‘what could have been’ when they are clearly not keeping to their side of the bargain either by turning up late or not at all, or clearly f**ing up their diet, even if they try to create an illusion of progress.

I’ve been there so many times on the gym floor early in the morning or late at night only for my client to cancel or postpone me at the last minute.

Trust me, if someone makes it clear to you they can’t honour a basic commitment to their own success then it’s time for you to move on. I talk about this in my book.

The caveat to this is if you’re brand new to the industry you might wanna hang in there for a year or so just to get the experience and establish momentum.

However, if you’re just a little bit established and your clients keep sapping your energy by failing to keep their promises – drop them like a Bomb Over Baghdad (as the famous song goes) – they are not worth it (despite their verbal protestations to the contrary that ‘they will change’ or  ‘things will get better’).

There’s an endless line of good clients out there, you just have to find them.

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

7. Forgetting it’s all about Location, Location, Location

Great potential as a gym facility...but it means nothing if it's in the middle of nowhere.

Great potential as a gym facility…but it means nothing if it’s in the middle of nowhere.

I know a lot of gym owners that made a big mistake. They were seduced by the prospect of owning a large, modern facility with a huge plot of commercial floor area and high ceilings with amazing loading bays.

“This is going to be an amazing gym, right?” they think.

Wrong.

I’d rather own a small garage in Chelsea than an entire fitness complex in middle of Butt F*** nowhere. Location is everything.

Remember that an individual’s gym commitment is part of their daily routine and if you underestimate the importance of travel time to and from your facility, you’re a poor strategist.

I’d prefer a shitty facility in a prime location within walking distance of residential areas than an amazing facility in a retail park 15 minutes’ drive from all human civilisation.

8. Being a cheap ass with your gym equipment

 

Pay more and pay once

That’s my motto.

It’s very true of buying new gym equipment.

If you need to leverage yourself, just a little bit, at the outset to buy the best available gym equipment then I totally recommend that you do so. If you try and skimp on the equipment at the outset then your client base will notice and regard your facility as a low quality facility with under-par equipment.

The other big mistake is to buy equipment that will intimidate and be inconsistent with your target market’s needs (see point three above).

The classic example is a young gym owner that think’s its imperative to buy a power rack and sawdust pit when most of their customers are middle aged women looking to keep their health in check. This is plain stupid.

If you’re starting a cross fit studio, then buy the aggressive power lifting equipment if you must.

But if you’re looking to tap into a lucrative Mum’s market, think about what they want to see and don’t go to grand with your gym equipment, keep it reasonable.

9. F**king up your own appearance

Say the words Personal Trainer and some people think of this...If you’re a muscle-bound, tattooed, human growth hormone meathead working in a facility for bodybuilders then… keep doing what you’re doing.

If you want to attract a clientele with real money you’re going to take a long hard look in the mirror.

Being a personal trainer requires you to be in shape, dress well and pay close attention to your own grooming. If you look like sh*t – why would people hire you to help them look great? Equally, if you don’t look like someone that is approachable, friendly and suited to your target market, why would they buy from you?

You’ll regularly be physically in close quarters to your clients so make sure you’re well groomed and shower regularly.

Cheers,

David

PS – if you have any (good) questions…leave them in the comments section below and if I’ve pissed you off then I’ve achieved my objective. The biggest factor in designing a successful business in ANY area is to be true to yourself, if you agree with everything I’ve written then I’m doing something wrong.


Body Fat Percentage Calculator

It's well established that being fat is terrible for you. It's bad for pretty much every biological system in your body, it places unnecessary stress on your vital organs (including your heart) and makes you look less than your best. But. What can be measured can be changed. And that's why I recommend that all my clients trying to lose fat get their hands on a body fat percentage calculator.

This is what 5lb of fat looks like - disgusting isn't it? - this is at at the lower end of what you can expect to lose on my Can Do Chef diet (below).

The bottom line is it's well worth it and it's best to have your own at home so you can keep the time and conditions consistent each and every week so that you get an accurate, reliable reading.

The body fat percentage calculator scales I recommend are these ones

 These ones are wireless and connect to bluetooth and are low profile for ease of storage.

I'm sure you've seen them around. They look like regular scales but do so much more and link up to your phone so you can track your progress.

If you're still using simple scales to weigh yourself week in week out, you're missing out on key indicators regarding your body composition that your overall bodyweight alone will not reveal.

For instance, if you are trying to lose weight by following a weight training regime, you could have lost fat and gained muscle but still be the same overall bodyweight on traditional scales.

A good fat loss calculator, on the other hand, will give you a full panel of data that explains the numbers.

Traditional scales are almost certainly giving you imprecise results

What does a body fat percentage calculator tell you and how should you interpret the results?

Getting down to the nitty gritty of the data, a body fat percentage calculator can tell you a lot about your overall health. I'm going to pick out the key indicators I use with my clients:

One of my female clients kindly agreed to share a screenshot of her doing well on the Can Do Chef!

  • Weight - a body fat percentage calculator will give you an accurate and exact total body weight which it will use in combination with your height to give you your BMI.
  • Your BMI - your body mass index, the universal measure used by doctors to determine if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
  • Body fat percentage - useful for measuring actual progress in fat loss and excludes water weight and changes in muscle volume density - unlike traditional scales.
  • Body water percentage - how well hydrated are you, this number is usually around the 50% -65% mark  if it is much less than 50% then you probably need to recover better with proper hydration.
  • Visceral fat - this is the nastier kind of fat that hangs around around your vital organs and has a higher likelihood of causing conditions such as diabetes. Avoid.
  • Muscle mass - increased muscle mass starts a positive feedback loop for fat loss, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. Weight training is shown in countless studies to be excellent for your physical and psychological well being.

One of my male clients agreed to share his overall health indicators before starting the Can Do Chef

Things to remember when buying a body fat percentage calculator

  • Don't mess around trying to write things down on paper to record them, you'll lose/forget your details.
  • For this reason, you'll want one that has bluetooth and connects to your phone.
  • Always be consistent and weigh yourself under the same conditions in the morning before breakfast.
  • Don't weigh yourself more than once a week, it'll create an emotional rollercoaster. If you keep the time of your weigh-in consistent it's something to work towards. I like to recommend my clients use their body fat percentage calculator on Monday morning first thing.
  • It should go without saying you shouldn't be wearing much other than underwear when you weigh yourself!
  • Use an app so that it instantly sends the results to your phone. That way you can always have easy access to a list of your results and the full data to track your progress in your phone.
  • Get scales that allow multiple family members to use the device during the same period where individual data is stored for each person.

I find the 1byone  interface to be the most user-friendly for tracking progress

Cheers,

David

P.s. the body fat percentage calculator scales I recommend are these ones.

P.p.s....

Lose Fat By Following the Can Do Chef

To get the most out of body fat percentage calculator scales you need to use them in conjunction with a tried and tested diet regime (you get fit in the gym but you lose weight in the kitchen).

Earlier this month I put together the 'Can Do Chef' a very specific diet programme I now insist all of my clients in London follow when they begin working with me. It's designed with the general population in mind (rather than endurance athletes and power lifters). I've since made it available for free online (below).

The thing that works about the Can Do Chef is that it is an exact programme. Nothing is left to chance. There are no cheat days. That's the only requirement is that you stick to the full 30 day programme. During that time most people will lose 5lbs - 8lbs of body fat (depending on your starting point).

The point is you can't just leave things to chance by eating salad and 'health foods' and expecting the scales to move in your favour. You have to be exact (at least at first) and then get the specific data by using a body fat percentage calculator in order to track progress and move forward.

Get the Can Do Chef - 30 day elimination programme


Plantar fasciitis shoes for women

If you have Plantar Fasciitis, you might be wondering what are the best plantar fasciitis shoes for women. Many of my female clients despair at the thought of not being able wear heels or wedges, here is how I usually advise them:

  • Flats don’t cut it – you need proper foot support. When you can, wear these trainers for maximum support.
  • Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation, not a fracture – time under tension exercise  will help get your body moving in the right way to reduce strain injuries such as plantar fasciitis and food allergy testing can help identify contributing factors in your diet to inflammation.
  • Choosing Plantar fasciitis shoes for women doesn’t have to be depressing – you may need to forego high heels at times, but it’s worth it in the long run to boost recovery.
  • In my professional experience, the number of women who recover from plantar fasciitis and no longer need specially adapted shoes by cleaning up their diet is AMAZING.
  • Use trigger point therapy to combat plantar fasciitis (see below).

What Is Plantar Fasciitis

The foot.

It doesn’t get much airtime in the fitness industry. As unglamorous as it sounds, the foot is centrally important to your posture, mobility and stability and therefore is key to your overall health.

The structure of the foot is incredibly complex – a minor injury to any one of the bones, ligaments, nerves or muscle tissue can create immense pain and destabilise you!

A few years ago, I had to have surgery on a foot injury I sustained through sport and so I know just how debilitating any kind of injury to the foot can be. The foot is key to your balance and the way that you move – and without that you’ll find it very difficult to exercise.

For example: try performing a dead lift or squat during a weight training programme with a *seemingly* minor injury to the big toe and you’ll quickly find yourself off-balance and unable to complete the exercise properly.

When you wear high heels, a lot of pressure is put on the arch of your foot which can, in the long term can mean plantar fasciitis shoes for women – this is tough to deal with!

High heels and flip flops are often to blame

At this time of year we throw out the boots and comfy trainers and slip into some strappy heels/wedges and flip flops, and whilst we may look great for the summer, your feet may not thank you for it.

Without the support of a “proper shoe” your feet don’t function in the way that they should and as a result, a number of people suffer from heel pain which caused by something called ‘plantar fasciitis’.

A painful (but very common) condition that affects one or both feet and can mean, tragically, you have to avoid wearing high heels for anywhere from few months to a year. Don’t be that girl!

Not good plantar fasciitis shoes for women!

If you’re experiencing foot pain (over and above what you’d usually expect after a day on your feet or an evening on the tiles) make sure you get to the docs and get a proper diagnosis.

Another risk factor of developing this condition is being overweight, so make sure you keep your diet in check – you get fit in the gym, you lose weight in the kitchen.

Plantar what?

Plantar…fash—eee—eye—tis

A lot of my female clients are suffering from this condition after years of wearing high heels which can put repetitive strain on the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot pain, it is usually found in one heel, although it can occur in both which can get worse over time, and it will need to be treated once diagnosed.

If you have this (very common) foot condition, it will need to be treated. You can’t just ignore it. Tragically you may need to throw out the wedges and stock your cupboard full of plantar fasciitis shoes for women!

Most people feel the pain associated with plantar fasciitis when they get up to walk after they have been sat or laid down for a long time but some people will find that the pain simply does not go away.

Wearing flats can often hold the solution

How long does typical recovery from plantar fasciitis take?

Typical recovery can take months, sometimes up to  12 months. With supportive shoes, rest, and exercises that stretch the plantar fascia, and the calf muscles, it is likely that you will make a good recovery. The remedy that is often recommended by doctors is to avoid wearing high heels entirely (in rare tragic cases you might need to permanently stop wearing high heels).

If that doesn’t sound like much fun you need to take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place:

How do you prevent Plantar fasciitis happening to you?

Using a foot roller and trigger point therapy can really help with plantar fasciitis
Using a foot roller and trigger point therapy can really help with plantar fasciitis

Switching to supportive flat trainers or other plantar fasciitis shoes for women when there is no need for heels can eliminate unnecessary risk – bad news for Russian girls everywhere! 😉

  • One cause of Plantar fasciitis is repetitive stomping on the foot which cause micro-tears to appear in the ligaments underneath the heel. If you wear high heels on the commute to work make sure you switch to supportive trainers (I recommend the Asics brand to my clients) that support the fasciitis ligament and don’t stomp your in high heels all the way to the office.
  • Don’t stomp on your heel when you walk (particularly if wearing shoes without a lack of support such as slip on flats), try to walk with good posture with your weight evenly spread on your foot.
  • Massage the underside of your foot regularly to ensure the muscles stay supple and reduce possible inflammation with a foot roller – this is also an effective recovery tool from plantar fasciitis.
  • You may be able to get fitted insoles that can help you to walk properly in high heels, while offering you foot or feet much more support.  You can buy these off the shelf from your local chemist but I would recommend that you visit a podiatrist or physiotherapist who can diagnose exactly what’s going on with your feet and help you choose the right insoles.

Recover with trigger point therapy

Using a foot roller and trigger point therapy can really help with plantar fasciitis and avoid the need for plantar fasciitis shoes for women

If you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, trigger point therapy is a great way to help alleviate pain associated with the condition, personally I’m a big fan of this type of treatment, but not a lot of people are aware that this type of therapy exists.

The goal of trigger point therapy is to release some tension within the plantar fascia. If you’ve had the pain for several months then initially applying pressure to this area is going to be uncomfortable. You need to add a reasonable amount of force – what I would typically call “good pain” but, if you’re holding back the tears then you need to ease off!

Some people suggest that you use golf balls or even solid metal object to perform this type of treatment but I would always recommend that you start with a tennis ball and work up.

Once you’ve managed to hit the spot that is causing you irritation, you need to relax as much as possible and if this is performed correctly, then you should feel the sensation fade away by up to 80% of the original pain. For some this make take as little as 10 seconds, for others, several minutes.

Do your feet a favour

Plantar fasciitis can be quite a painful condition that can make walking and standing unpleasant and rule out certain types of footwear such as flats and high heels for a long time.

The cause of this condition can be due to a number of factors, but the good news is that with a bit of rest, maybe some ice and trigger point therapy you can recover. You may not need plantar fasciitis shoes for women.

If you are affected by any kind of foot pain, please seek medical advice as soon as you can. Your condition is likely to get worse unless you treat it. Do your feet, and your health a favour, and speak to a physiotherapist or a podiatrist as soon as you can, so they can help you get back on your feet in no time.

If you require any further information on this subject then feel free to get in touch and I can give you more personalised advice on your condition.

Cheers,

David


Personal Trainer Books

 

When I first started my business, a mentor of mine at the time told me something about personal trainer books:

“Success is kept on the top shelf and the only way to reach it is by standing on the books you have read”.

This quote has stayed with me and over the last ten years, I have devoured a huge number of books on training concepts, nutrition and rehabilitation but importantly I’ve also built up a library of books on business, management and self improvement. When trainers look for personal trainer books they don’t always gravitate to entrepreneurial titles, but they should.

I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite personal trainer books below.

I hope these will help you in your business as much as they’ve helped me!

Old principles still apply

1. How to win friends and influence people – Dale Carnegie


This is the classic self help title that
started the self help movement. It’s been in print a long time now. Even so, the principles in this book have helped me create amazing relationships with personal training clients and potential investors over the years.

I’m amazed how many self-help junkies haven’t heard of this title, it’s a book that should be on everyone’s list of must-read personal trainer books.

One of my favourite quotes from the book is:

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

Most trainers forget that they operate in a person-centred business, meaning that it is vital to get them to invest in the relationship by telling you about their lives, Carnegie’s book is great for showing you, step by step, how to do that.

It’s simple and user friendly, and the ideas can be quickly implemented in your life without much work.

I’ve got an old beaten-up copy that I re-read once a year to keep my skills in check. It’ll always have a place on my shelf of personal trainer books at home.

Amazon: How to Win Friends and Influence People

2. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini (the most manipulative of personal trainer books)

Whereas Carnegie presents a somewhat jovial and old fashioned account of getting what you want, Cialdini presents a lesson in arch manipulation for modern times. This book is a bit more corrupt than the first title. It is a new classic that every person in sales or marketing (that’s you, personal trainers) should own.

It shows you the dark arts of influence based around 7 key principles (Cialdini ‘Weapons of Influence‘) here’s a summary:

Reciprocity – You get what you give. It’s true.

I always offer a small amount for free in my consultations with clients, it builds goodwill and whatever I give always comes back to me and more. (I talk about this principle a lot in my video guide and post on PT local business marketing)

Commitment and Consistency – you should be peddling the same message in your PT business, it goes without saying that you need show commitment with your clients – turn up on time (which means at least an hour before your PT sessions and never miss a session).

Social Proof – if other people in the demographic you are targeting with your training services are buying from you, and you can prove it in your marketing efforts, then you’ll increase the chances that others will.

Liking – the friendly thief – people buy from people they like, use Carnegie and my book to build up a likeable persona as a PT if you think you struggle in this area.

Authority – you need to be an authority in everything you preach to your clients. This can be tough given the amount of conflicting information available but everything I write on my four pillars blog is internally consistent and based on science not fitness fakery.

Scarcity – the most fascinating principle of all, never be ‘too available’, there is nothing worse than an empty restaurant to tell people not to visit the restaurant.

If you’re already a bit of manipulative b********, this will make you worse. Be warned.

Amazon: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

3. Ego is the enemy – Ryan Holiday

So many trainers put ego first. Leave it at the door.

This book talks about the sheer number of people that have put their ego in the backseat and have achieved success through focussing on higher-order goals. A principle I always stand by. If anything, a new personal training clients comes to you for an ego boost, they don’t want your ego foisted on them at every turn. I’ve seen so many trainers perish by behaving like this.

‘Ego is the enemy’ encourages the reader to take a look at their lives and examine their behaviours from a different angle. The book goes on to mention that even though most of us try to satisfy our ego, we often see nothing wrong in pursuing goals that will ultimately make us feel, and look better. Here is where Holiday comes in and turns everything you thought you knew on its head. Instead of encouraging us to make the world a better place by aiming to achieve what we want, instead he asks us to focus on a higher goal, and begin to work towards the needs of a higher purpose.

Most trainers want to offer people the chance to feel better about themselves, by working on their bodies, and their minds. But as Holiday suggests ego can play a part in the work that we do. We want to be seen as the best trainer around, but in the midst of achieving that goal, we become blinded by our ego, and fail to see our faults.

We would be nothing without the paying customers who set foot on our gym floor every day, and ‘Ego is the Enemy’ can help us to realign our focus, and realise that reaching for our own goals can make failures worse. If instead we focus on those who come to us to build a better body, and a healthier lifestyle, we can be free of our own desires.

Holiday also points out that by focusing on others you will “..be liberated to accomplish the world-changing work you’ve set out to achieve.” Let this book be one that you add to your must read personal trainer books list and leave your ego at the door.

Amazon: Ego is the Enemy: The Fight to Master Our Greatest Opponent

4. Your money or your life – Vicki Robin

Robin takes a look at the impact of money and economic uncertainty, and applies it to how we live our lives. Robin claims that many people concentrate on making a living, rather than making a life for ourselves.

These days everyone has concerns about money, and how they spend it. However, this book goes into great detail about how you can get yourself out of debt, resolve the conflicts you have between values, and the lifestyle you lead.

Trainers, you could impart your new knowledge learned from this book onto your clients (remember it is not just about training), helping them to become more focused about what is important to them. Show them how to change their lives for the better by leading by example. Tell them what you have learned, and how changing your priorities has made your life better.

Amazon: Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

Experts rate this top of the list of personal trainer books 😉

5. The Trusted Trainer – David Osgathorp

Released in July 2017, this modern classic has already sold over 16 million copies and is available in 15 languages. 😉

All joking aside:

This is my account of the trials and tribulations of growing my personal training business in London over a 16-year period. I talk about how to win new clients in a saturated marketplace, how to create a positive team culture and more.

Most importantly I talk about my flaws and the huge mistakes that I’ve made along the journey. Success is the problem but failure is the formula.

If you want to get a flavour of what the book is like, check out 9 fatal mistakes that kill your PT business.

Oh and if you want a free copy of the book, send me an email: david@davidosgathorp.com and I’ll send it to you while stocks last!

Amazon: The Trusted Trainer: How to attract, amaze and keep your personal training clients for life

6. Start With Why – Simon Sinek

Most companies know what they do, some of them know how they do it but only the truly great companies know WHY they do what they do. Sinek’s book focuses on why natural born leaders seem to be so successful, before getting the reader to understand that they can learn to be as successful as the leaders they admire.

Sinek asks us to think about why people do what they do, rather than focusing on how they do it. Of course, in some instances you do need to know what it is that you do, and how you go about doing it, but you ultimately need to focus on why you’re doing it in the first place. Sinek explains that all of the great business leaders, and leaders in other fields at one time or another asked themselves why they were doing what they were doing.

Sinek then goes on to explain how we can take a look at the work we do, and apply these principles to it. Trainers, why do your train? Why do you do what you, rather than anything else? Why is what you do so important to you? If you keep asking “Why?” Sinek suggests that you could potentially become as successful as the business leaders you admire. Add this book to your pile of personal trainer books.

Amazon: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

7. The E-Myth – Michael Gerber

Most of you will reach the stage where you need to make the big decision to move from the operative of the business to the owner of your business. You have built a business on the fact that you are great at what you do. but the entrepreneurial myth is that all people who start businesses are entrepreneurs. There is a huge difference between someone who understands the technical aspects of their business can successfully run a business that does technical work.

This is the reason why 80% of businesses will fail within 10 years. I urge any personal trainer at any stage in their business development to devour the priceless advice held within this fantastic book.

Amazon: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

8. The Go Giver – Bob Burg

In ‘The Go Giver’ Burg explains that most people refuse to believe that being successful is not down to taking what you can, instead it is down to giving.

This ground-breaking books tells the story of a man who is desperate for success, and despite all of his hard work, he seems to be further away from his goal than ever before.

One day the man decides to seek advice from a consultant known as ‘The Chairman’ who introduces him to open himself up to the possibility of giving.

This revolutionary book teaches the reader to put other peoples’ interests first, while also adding value to their lived. It’s this that is thought to lead to some unexpected results. In addition to offering the reader a new way of looking at life, the book also includes a question and answer section where Burg addresses some of the questions that readers have asked him, offering everyone a chance to benefit from his wisdom.

Books such as this one can offer you an insight into a new way of working with your clients. Just as ‘Ego is the enemy’ asks you to forget your ego, ‘The Go Giver’ asks you to forget about taking what you want. You may be able to relate to this book if you have previously looked from what you could gain from being a trainer. Although there is nothing wrong with looking at life from this angle, if you concentrate on giving your clients that little bit more, they will be more likely to trust you, and wish to keep working with you.

Giving more can give you more job satisfaction, as you’re likely to see more improvements in all areas of your work, helping you to achieve the level of success that may have previously seemed out of reach.

Amazon: The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

9. Purple Cow – Seth Godin

In ‘Purple Cow’, Godin states that you could be one of two things, a purple cow, or nothing at all. You can be remarkable, or you can be invisible, it’s up to you to choose what you want to be.

This interestingly titled personal trainer book goes on to list some of the worlds’ most successful businesses, before asking you what the have in common, and how they have achieved growth while leaving other brands fighting for a slice of the pie.

Godin explains that the P’s used by the marketing industry (Pricing, promotion, and publicity) just don’t work any more, instead it is time to add a new P to the equation, the Purple Cow. This original concept asks you to put the Purple Cow into every single thing that you do, so that you become remarkable, rather than invisible.

What Godin might be saying in a ‘round about way is that you need to offer something different. You need to fill a gap in the market, and offer something that your competition doesn’t. If you’re looking for a list of personal trainer books to read, I highly recommend this one. The title of this book is offering something different, it’s asking to be noticed, and chances are it has grabbed your attention. Now it’s your turn to do something similar with your life.

Amazon: Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Develop good habits

10. 7 Habits of highly effective people – Steven Covey

In this book that should be added to your ever-growing stock of personal trainer books, Covey offers a holistic approach for dealing with and solving professional and personal issues. Using anecdotes and insights, Covey shows how every one of us can lead a fairer, honest life that is full of dignity and integrity. The book goes on to explain that the principles Covey has set out can make us more adaptable to change, while grasping the opportunities that change can create.

While many people fail to take risks, and instead lead a life that is almost static or stationary, Covey asks the reader to change the way that they see the world, so that they can become more successful in all areas of our lives.

‘7 Habits of highly effective people’ asks everyone to take a good look at themselves, and slowly introduce a new way of thinking, so that we move from being dependent on our static lives, to being independent, with a view to finally becoming interdependent.

This book ultimately encourages the reader to begin with the end result in mind, for example we trainers may want to run our own gym, but how do we get there? We look at how we can get there, and how we can make those changes ourselves.

I urge any trainers to read this book, and consider the opportunities that change can give you. While change can potentially be disconcerting, it can open the door to a new world of possibilities that could help you become more successful in every aspect of your life.

Amazon: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Good personal trainer books come from all walks of life, including hip hop.

11. 50th law by Robert Greene and 50 cent.

This book really helped me in the earlier days when grinding to create a profitable PT business. Robert Greene is a great writer and 50 cent is a legitimate businessman. Look beyond the frivolous rap persona, there is a real business brain behind 50 cent.

It taught me incredibly useful things about adopting a gritty mindset. If you haven’t already you should also check out Mastery and the 48 laws of power by Greene, which is also fantastic. What did this book do for me as a young PT?

– making the best out of a bad situation (‘turning s**t into sugar’ as Greene and 50 cent call it).

– vindicated my decision to be my own boss and not work for anyone else!

– taught me how to dominate the competition

– how hard work pays off – don’t just do the minimal amount necessary to complete a task (there is an anecdote about 50’s ability to produce masses of mix tapes in this book which was inspiring).

Amazon: The 50th Law (The Robert Greene Collection)

Put this book on your list of personal trainer books to read, as I believe it could help you adopt that gritty mindset that helped me to create my own profitable PT business.

Cheers,

David


Personal Training is a Waste of Time

If you are an established personal trainer or are looking to become a personal trainer you are judged on one thing…

…your ability to get real results for your clients.

If you are looking to become a personal trainer, no amount of cash thrown at marketing your business or new gym equipment will save you if you fail to get results for your clients.

On the other hand, if you do get good results for your clients – expect an avalanche of new business, totally free word of mouth marketing and wads of cash to follow.

Personal Training is a Waste of Time

If you want to become a personal trainer that delivers excellent results time after time then you need to understand that the training component of your client’s fitness regime is just one small piece of the puzzle.

That’s why personal training alone is a waste of time.

If you have even the smallest amount of knowledge on health and fitness, then you understand that making any kind of physiological change to your body is going to require a lot more than a few tough training sessions each week.

People come to you for results, not fads!

In my opinion to achieve drastic change in your physical appearance, the actual training element comes way down the list of importance!

You can’t bullshit your clients into believing that 3 sessions per week with you is all they need to achieve that perfect beach body. You have to ensure that they keep a strict focus on their diet, adhere to a fixed routine that allows them time to sleep properly and recover effectively from your training sessions and a strong mindset to stick with this routine for more than just a couple of weeks!

Get your clients results by giving them the full package of nutrition, recovery, mindset and training advice and assistance

Far too many trainers either fail to understand this or let their ego get in the way by believing that their perfect training programme (which they’ve probably copied off the internet) is all their client needs to achieve their dream body.

If this sounds like you then you need to stop wasting your client’s time and money NOW by placing far too much focus on the training time in the gym.

Training someone is just one small part of your job!

If you’re a personal trainer then you’re probably desperate for your client to come in 4 or 5 times per week. If you’re doing this then I believe you’re stealing  from them! Stop wasting time as a personal trainer and learn how to be a great coach.

Educate your clients and empower them to train on their own whilst providing them with enough support to conquer their goals with effective strategies for nutrition, mindset and recovery.

If you miss out on any one of these four components to generate results, you’ll never generate the profits that follow results.

To achieve what others can't, you need to do what other's don't - food allergy testing is something you can look into recommending

The Four Pillars of Health (Training is just one of them!)

The four pillars of health that are the foundation of all I do (with my celebrity PT clients, at my London gym, at Red Bull Racing F1 Team and on this blog) are always the same:

  1. Nutrition – ensure the client is aware of their relationship with food and well educated about proper nutrition.
  2. Mindset – understand why the client is training and how they mentally approach each training session.
  3. Recovery – sleep, rest, de-stressing and injury prevention/management.
  4. Training – focusing on proper training strategies (such as time under tension).

If I am working with a client and I have missed one of those things out then that client simply isn’t going to get the results that they’ve paid for. When I first become a personal trainer, I only did the ‘training’ part and got zero results.

Remember when you work with a client, your sessions are about them, not you! Most clients will come to you for weight loss – therefore your number one goal is NOT your sexy new training programme – its the more boring task of teaching them to eat properly.

“You get fit in the gym, you lose weight in the kitchen!”

A saying I like to regularly remind my clients of.

Here are some examples where training alone will never be enough for you to succeed as a personal trainer:

  • If a client has no concept that some so-called ‘health’ or ‘low fat’ foods contain buckets of sugar  – they will never out-train their bad diet;
  • If a client is chronically stressed from over-training (particularly long steady state cardio, which I hate), more training is the opposite of what they neBecome a personal trainer: Food allergy testing can often help clients beat inflammation see my post on this
  • ed, you need to learn to send them home, give them a proper recovery strategy with adequate time in between sessions;
  • Similarly, if your client is chronically fatigued you often need to take a dual pronged approach by looking at their nutrition (for example by looking at their caffeine consumption to address sleep issues or recommending a vitamin deficiency test) and advising them on their mindset (such as by suggesting that they are trying to accomplish too much in their lives in general or maybe they would benefit from a workout partner or writing things down;
  • If your client is on a diet that triggers certain food allergies in them (suggest my elimination diet or that they get a food allergy test) – one client I had insisted natural yoghurt was great for him…until he found out he was completely allergic to lactose, in all its forms,  through food allergy testing;

If any of the above was news to you and you are looking to become a personal trainer – you’ve got work to do, my friend.

Once you’re confident you’ve done what you can in the domains of nutrition, mindset and recovery, address the fun part, training.

Make sure your client is not making any of these mistakes (the big mistake people make is advocating long, steady state cardio that doesn’t burn fat, it just fatigues the client).

Talk to your client regularly about their hopes and ambitions for the future

Communication

Effective communication with your PT clients is key, especially when you’ve just become a personal trainer

In order to deliver a programme that ticks all of the boxes for your clients then you need to really work on your communication skills.

If you’re going to deliver great results then you need to understand your clients, and determine exactly what each one of them needs.

I will write posts later about how to properly communicate with your clients but if you’re not hearing about their lives, their stresses, their strains, their past injuries and (sometimes) their social life on a regular basis – you’re doing something wrong! Many of those who’ve just become a personal trainer miss this out and it is FATAL to their business.

You want to build a dialogue about things that happen off the gym floor.

Personal Trainer – Capital P, small t

To generate proper results for your clients when you become a personal trainer, refer to the Four Pillars – training alone doesn’t get the beach body they all want!

In order to be a great coach, you need to be a great communicator, you need to understand your clients needs and you need to deliver a solution that is unique to their specific requirements.

You have to forcefully tell your clients exactly what to do in a manner that motivates them and doesn’t piss them off. You’ve got to be firm but fair and show them that you genuinely care about the results they are seeking. This way if they go off track then they know they’re letting you down as well as themselves!

In your role as a great coach you’re going to need to be comfortable having conversations about a client’s work life, their home life, their relationship with food – amongst many other personal things and so you’ll need to build a strong all round *personal* relationship with each client that you work with.

A vision of the future if you don’t adopt the four pillars when you become a personal trainer

If you do this consistently, you should expect to charge serious money for your sessions – similar to what a qualified accountant can expect to charge. If you don’t you’ll be earning less than a burger flipper at McDonalds.

The benefit of following my Four Pillar approach is that you get results for your client AND you get to know them on a personal level.

All of which means you stand out from the crowd of gym monkeys looking to make a buck through their latest crossfit fad or misplaced ‘get ripped to shreds’ regime when their prime target market is middle aged women!

Become a Personal Trainer – More on the Four Pillars

The point of this site is to convey my method which has lead to me working with numerous celebrity clients, running my own studios for over ten years, commanding £100 + /hour PT consultations and working directly with the Red Bull Racing F1 Team – it’s not rocket science, but it does rely heavily on becoming an all-round Personal Trainer and not just someone who knows how to spot a bench press in the gym.

If you liked this post, you'll love my book.


Beach Body Challenge - The Can Do Chef

So summer is in full swing (Not that you’d know it in London this weekend)! The perfect time to launch my beach body challenge and Can Do Chef companion PDF.

Maybe you’ve been on the beach or by the pool this summer, margarita or ice cream in hand?…

Those New Years resolutions are now a distant memory.

Maybe you didn’t quite achieve what you set out to at the start of the year to look your best on the beach. But, there is still time to dramatically improve how you look and feel in just 30 days and eek out the last of the summer sun with my beach body challenge!

The Can Do Chef beach body challenge – will you stick to it? 29 pages of a diet that is PROVEN to work IF you stick to it.

The Can Do Chef – Beach body challenge

That’s why i’m launching a ‘beach body challenge’ in my new North London fitness studio, a 30 day nutrition programme I call The Can Do Chef.

This is something that I’ve been tweaking with a number of clients over the last year or so and now I’m happy that when followed exactly this programme will produce some amazing results.

It will not only get you great results, it will also allow you to discover just how your body works. Which foods your body thrives on and which foods are causing you to become tired, bloated, irritable and fat!

The best part? I want to give it to you for free.

The rules of The Can Do Chef’s beach body challenge

The Can Do Chef comes with a few big promises that must be kept:

  • You acknowledge from the very start that this programme is not going to be easy, it is not a quick fix. I’ve spoken many times before about why false promises and quick fixes are the lifeblood of the fake fitness industry. This is the real deal.
  • You take 100% personal responsibility for following the diet during those 30 days. That means there are no cheat days or deviations from the exact foods and amounts I prescribe within the guide.
  • If you cheat on the diet don’t listen to other experts that tell you to ‘forgive yourself’ – I want you to dwell on what you’ve done wrong otherwise the next week, you’ll do it again.
  • No booze is allowed on this programme (along with a host of other toxins that are holding you back).

Why does the Can Do Chef work so well?

  • It targets inflammation in the body by eliminating the vast majority of foods that could possibly be throwing your body off balance (wheat and dairy are just the tip of the iceberg). This is great if you haven’t had a food allergy test to find out for sure.
  • You’ll lose a lot of unnecessary water weight (particularly if you have been consuming excess carbohydrates) initially in the first week so expect the first week’s results to be the most dramatic.
  • It’s a prescriptive programme. If you follow this word for word you will get fantastic results, I promise.
  • The flip side of that is there are no grey areas, you must follow it exactly, you can’t cheat. If you cheat on the diet at the end of the 30 days other people who have followed it to the letter will look and feel great and you’ll be left wondering what went wrong.

How many people start something in life and by the start of week one they’ve dropped off? I hope I’m not talking to you. So let’s get started.

Download the Can Do Chef for your beach body challenge

Here is it, the programme in full. I suggest you print it out or access it from an iPad. Take time to familiarise yourself with the programme as a whole so that you are well prepared.

Get the Can Do Chef - 30 day elimination programme

Put your email address in the box below and the full 29 page PDF will be sent to you immediately so you can get started.

Although I don’t promote any quick fix solution I do believe that it is vitally important that any great trainer has the tools and abilities to achieve rapid body makeovers with their clients.

For any trainers reading this, feel free to use my programme and start your own beach body challenge.

This is one of those tools that I like to use with my personal training clients and in fact I won’t work with clients unless they are prepared to follow this programme.

For me the primary objective for this comes down to educating my clients on proper nutrition and emphasising the fact that you simply can’t out train a bad diet. I hope you enjoy the programme and more importantly the amazing results that you will see over the next 30 days…

The Can Do Chef was designed with the general population in mind and I guarantee this programme will get results for 90% of you.

If you have any underlying medical conditions then I would recommend that you speak to a nutritionist and look into food allergy testing. This diet also won’t be ideal if you’re training for an endurance event, you will need a more specific nutritional programme for that.

It’s for the average person, who perhaps works out 2-3 times a week, looking to lose at least 5-7lbs of fat. If you want to get really detailed you can look into calculating the amounts of your foods with a macros calculator, readily available online but the aim of the guide I have put together is to keep things as simple as possible so that you stick to it!

Good luck!

David