Stronger Sundays

Dominate your fitness business with this weekly collection of strategies, tips, and tricks.
By trainers, for trainers.


Quote of the week:

"If you think that skeptics focusing on ‘fringe’ or ‘kooky’ beliefs is a waste of time, remember: When you embrace one crazy idea it changes your whole web of beliefs. Alternative facts don’t exist in isolation."
                                                                                          - Religion professor Alan Levinovitz on Twitter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. We all want a quick fix
  2. Speaking of that exercise pill …
  3. The slow road to permanent weight loss
  4. How to ask better questions
  5. BONUS: Instagram Tips (Scroll to the bottom)
1. We all want a quick fix

A lot of fitness pros are quick to make fun of people who want a quick fix, notes Jay Ashman.

Yes, we all know it’s silly for anyone to think someone out there has a magic diet or workout plan or pill that will get them twice the results in half the time with little or no effort. (More on that pill in a moment.)

But are we really any less susceptible to magical thinking? Haven’t we all heard of trainers who spend thousands on a business coach who promises overnight results? Or who buy social media followers in bulk, or hire SEO scammers to plant links to their websites? Or who try to get attention by starting online arguments?

All with the expectation that if they just do this one thing, new clients will throw money at them?

The takeaway: "An attempted quick fix by any other name is still a quick fix," Ashman says. "All of humanity wants the easy way out. Our business is no exception."

Go deeper: Some of your clients will buy into the latest weight-loss fad. And that’s annoying enough. But as Kevin Mullins explained in this PTDC article, many more of them will believe at least one of these debunked ideas:

--> 10 Myths Your New Clients Probably Believe

2. Speaking of that exercise pill …

It may be here sooner than we think. As described in this episode of Freakonomics Radio, scientists are racing to develop exercise mimetics—drugs "that would mimic the effects of exercise in the absence of actual exercise."

One of them is Salk Institute biologist Ronald Evans, who says his pill "does exactly the same things" as exercise. "It gives you this increased energy expenditure, you burn more lipids, you burn more sugar, and you correct your insulin. Your adipose depot starts to shrink, so you lose weight. And the drug, by itself, gives you adult neurogenesis."

Or, at least, that’s what happened in mouse studies. There’s no evidence yet that it works that way in humans. (Which didn’t stop cyclists from using it as a PED.) And scientists who don’t have a financial interest in the drug’s success—Evans cofounded a pharmaceutical company called Mitobridge—are understandably skeptical.  

So it doesn’t look like a pill is going to put personal trainers out of business anytime soon. But it’s also exciting to think there may soon be a safe, effective medication for people with movement disorders, muscle-wasting diseases, and other legitimate impediments to exercise.

People who could eventually be your clients.
3. The slow road to permanent weight loss – Lou Schuler

Another quick fix that’s been in the news lately: electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), which I wrote about in this article for You can guess how skeptical I am about its potential to give you the results of training without the time and effort we associate with training.

Coincidentally, a new paper describes the role of energy flux in weight loss maintenance. The basic idea: It’s unrealistic to think that someone who lost weight through calorie restriction (eating less) will be able to keep eating a low-calorie diet in perpetuity.

So if a higher-calorie diet is inevitable, the best way to mitigate it is with higher energy flux—moving more while eating more. I explored it in depth in this article.

Go deeper: Trainers have an obvious role in the "calories out" part of energy balance. Just be careful of how you sell the benefits of exercise to your clients. We explained why in two recent PTDC articles:

--> Metabolic Conditioning: Don’t Say It Unless You Understand It

--> The Myth of Fat-Burning Workouts: How the Body Fights Back

4. How to ask better questions - Jonathan Goodman

The following is an (unedited) excerpt from Chapter 2 of my next book, The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Getting Clients and Referrals, which comes out in January, 2020:

You want to get better at your business. But you have questions. Maybe you think about hiring a fitness business coach or some kind of consultant. Because you have questions.

So many questions.

Know what? You don’t need to hire anyone. Information is abundant and (mostly) free. You can learn anything you want. But it requires one fundamental skill: You must be able to ask good questions.

The world is more connected than it’s ever been, and as a result, communication skills are at an all-time low. Being purposeful when asking questions in a community not only shows respect to the other members, but also that you’ve considered the problem.

The result? You’ll get a much better answer.

My two Facebook groups, Fit Pros Unite and Online Trainers Unite, have tens of thousands of the smartest, most passionate trainers you’ll ever meet. They’re true communities, with abundance mindsets where everybody wants each other to succeed. If you want help with a specific issue you’re having with a client, or marketing, or anything else, you can get it in there.

But we can only help if you ask a good question. "I’m looking to get started with online training. Any tips?" won’t get you anywhere. It’s a waste of your time to write it, and a waste of anybody else’s time to answer.

Most won’t.

Tell me why you want to start online training, what you’ve been doing previously, and who you want to train. The more specific you are with your question, the better the answer because there is no one best way.

Pretend you’ve only got one shot at this.

Pretend you’re going to put a stamp on your Facebook post, send it off in the mail, and have to wait six weeks to (hopefully) get a response.

If you pretend that the process is harder, you’ll be better.

**Thanks for reading. What to do next**

Want to improve your fitness business? Buy a book or two from the PTDC book store.

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#Instagram Engagement is Dead. Here's the Six Things You Must Focus on

With public like counts going away, this short article shows you what you must focus on.

This walk-through published on Linkedin includes annotated examples.

You can see it here:

--> #Instagram Engagement is Dead. Here's the Six Things You Must Focus on

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