Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

"There are huge differences among what athletes need to do, want to do, and are willing to do.

Good luck finding a textbook to walk you through these differentiations.

Time in the trenches to establish relationships and read personalities is imperative."

                                                                                          - Eric Cressey on Twitter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. How to help the people who can’t afford you
  2. Invest in asymmetrical risks
  3. This is your brain on Goop
  4. What the best trainers know
1. How to help the people who can’t afford you - Jonathan Goodman

Most of my time these days goes to my newest project: Online Trainer Academy Level 2. The first beta group is starting February 3rd. It's very exciting.

Unlike OTA 1, which focuses on the transition from training clients in person, OTA 2 shows students how to create a premium program and sell it to online clients at a premium price.

Ideally, it’s a win for both parties: Trainers make more money, and clients get a transformational program.

But it also highlights a conundrum that almost all trainers face at some point: You’re passionate about helping a type of client who can’t afford your services.

I get it.

Fitness pros are good people. In many cases, you’re the best people. Like, truly, the best people.

You want to help so deeply that it sometimes blinds you to the real opportunity that arises when you make more money from fewer clients: You can help people without the pressure to get paid for it.

It doesn't actually matter where money comes from.

What matters is that your business model allows you to make enough of it.

If there’s a less affluent population you want to help, you don't need to target them with your high-end training.

In fact, you shouldn't.

A smart business model targets people who can pay. When a smaller number of clients pay a premium price, you have more time to support people who can't afford your high-end services.

Or, to put it another way:

If you are passionate about dental hygiene in third world countries and want to donate a lot of toothbrushes, you don't need to start a toothbrush company. You just need to start a company that makes a lot of money in order to buy a lot of toothbrushes to donate.

Ready to start your online training journey?

--> Click here to read about OTA 1 and book a call with an alumni

2. This is your brain on Goop

Chances are, people who can afford your services are going to live longer than those who can’t. The reason is simple: They have more money. As explained in this New York Times article, wealth matters more than education or social class.

Which brings us to the $72 candle sold by Goop, the bane of health and fitness professionals who value evidence over pseudoscience.

"Unlike the toxin-spewing Yankee Candles of unwashed commoners," Alan Levinovitz writes, "Goop’s scents have ‘healing properties,’ since they are ‘composed entirely of rare, all-natural elements imbued with the power to entrance, heal, and transform.’"

Why does one company’s B.S. matter? "The engine of Goop’s brand is the premise that natural purity is expensive," he says. That leads to a fundamentally toxic idea: The only people who can be pure are the ones who have enough money to buy products like Goop’s.

The takeaway: "While money can indeed purchase wellness, it is not through the alchemical power of natural goodness but rather the ability to afford healthcare," Levinovitz writes.
3. Manage your asymmetrical risks

Fortunately, as Dan John points out, there are much cheaper ways to achieve a longer, healthier life: Do what you can to prevent what he calls "asymmetrical risks"—potentially catastrophic problems that can be mitigated simply and inexpensively.

Think of it this way:

What would you lose if you sustained a catastrophic head injury? How does that compare to easy, cheap precautions like using a seatbelt and wearing a helmet when you ski or ride a bike? What’s the cost of advanced skin cancer, compared to the minor inconvenience of getting regular checkups to make sure you don’t have it?  

Put another way, what do you lose by taking a preventative measure compared to the risk of not doing it?

The takeaway: The benefits of exercise are similarly asymmetrical. Helping your clients build strength in the basic movement patterns, and encouraging them to move more on their own, produce outsized benefits, at a reasonable cost, compared to the risk of losing functional abilities as they get older.  

Go deeper: We tackled the benefits of the basics in two recent articles:

--> Functional Training for Older Clients

--> Four Movement Patterns Your Clients Need to Master, at Every Age
4. What the best trainers know - Lou Schuler

The first time I met a personal trainer, he stuck his butt in my face. Weird story, but absolutely true. Jump forward 30 years, and I make my living working with, and writing for, personal trainers. Best gig I’ve ever had.

This new article was a rare opportunity to share what I’ve learned at the PTDC with a non-PTDC audience (Bodybuilding (dot) com). It features hard-earned insights about personal training from Meghan Callaway, Ethan Benda, Kevin Mullins, Danny King, Chad Landers, Lisa Simone Richards, Brittany Byrd, and Dean Somerset.

My favorite tip, though, applies to everyone and to every aspect of life:

"It's important not to beat yourself up too much when you make mistakes," Melody Schoenfeld told me. "I can tell you from experience that it's a waste of time and energy. Everything I've done up to now, even the f***-ups, has gotten me to where I am."

--> Click here to read the new article, What the Best Trainers Know

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

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