Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

“Young, inexperienced athletes crave direction. They need more regimented programs to learn what works. Overhauling works better than tinkering.

Experienced athletes have more refined approaches because they’ve learned what works for them. Tinker (at most), but rarely overhaul.”

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

In this issue:

  1. Yes, you can train online without in-person experience
  2. A food journal is like a bank statement for your body
  3. This week on the Online Trainer Show
1. Yes, you can train online without in-person experience Jonathan Goodman

I’ve promoted online training for seven years (keep reading to see just how humble my origins were).

And for seven years, I’ve heard this question:

“Do I need to work in a gym before I can train clients online?”

Until recently, I answered in the affirmative.

It’s not that you need in-person experience. Some of our most successful Online Trainer Academy graduates have never worked in a gym or coached anyone face to face.

But most trainers, I thought, would be more confident after a couple years of traditional training. You’ll know which clients respond best to your coaching, and which clients you most like to work with.  

I don’t say that anymore, as I explain in my new article.

You can guess the reason.

If you’re starting your fitness career in 2020, how would you even get a job in a gym, much less find clients who’ll pay you to train them?

I won’t say it’s easy. Testimonials from successful clients are the most powerful marketing tools for an online trainer, and you don’t have those yet. (You can buy fake testimonials, but I really hope you don’t.)

Instead, you have to endorse yourself. That is, you need to tell your own story—how you transformed your own health and fitness and discovered your passion for helping other people like you.

Use your story to find clients trying to overcome the same challenges you faced.

Once you have a solid base of clients and proof of your success with them, you can branch out to clients who have different goals. But training a variety of clients is never step one. You always want to master one type of client first.

For a step-by-step process to starting your training career online, check out the article here:

--> How to Train Online Without Any In-Person Experience

2. A food journal is like a bank statement for your body Esther Avant

Esther is an online trainer and nutrition coach (@esther.avant on Instagram) and author of the PTDC’s weekly Best Fitness Content feature.

Keeping a food journal is not a sign of obsession or disorder. It's just documentation, no different from a bank statement. Consider the similarities:

Finances: Unless you have unlimited funds, you need to budget your money so you can buy what you need most (food, shelter, clothing, childcare …) and what you consider most important.

Food: Unless you’re Michael Phelps training for the Olympics, you need to budget your calories so you can consume what you need (protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals …) along with the foods you enjoy most.


Finances: Spending more money than you earn has both short- and long-term consequences. You’ll get hit with penalties and overdraft fees that you have to address immediately, and the interest on your credit card balance will be with you for years.

Food: In the near term, eating more calories than your body needs means your clothes don’t fit and you feel physically uncomfortable. Over time, excess weight can negatively affect your health.


Finances: Managing your money begins with documentation. You have to look at your bank and credit card statements to know where your money is going. Only then can you figure out what spending is necessary and what’s frivolous.

Food: Managing your nutrition also requires documentation. Until you keep a food journal, you can’t know where you’re getting your calories. That calorie ledger allows you to choose which foods are important and which are excessive.

Whether we’re talking about finances or food, good record keeping is the key to making smart decisions and avoiding consequential mistakes.  
3. This Week on the Online Trainer Show
The Online Trainer Show is proud to be sponsored by PT Distinction. After carefully reviewing all the major software platforms, we recommend PT Distinction because it offers a unique combination of flexibility, coaching tools, and ease of use. That’s why we use it in Online Trainer Coaching, our just-launched personal training business.

Click here to get a full 60-day FREE TRIAL to try PT Distinction with your own clients.

Here’s what podcast cohosts Jonathan Goodman, Carolina Belmares, and Ren Jones talked about this week on the Online Trainer Show:

We’ve all seen the worst ways to engage in online communities. We’ve all seen the trainer who parachutes into an established group, uninvited, and immediately starts pestering the members and promoting their own services.

Episode 37, How to Use Organic Reach to Get New Clients in Facebook Groups, shows you the best ways to find the communities where their potential clients hang out, to integrate yourself into those groups, and to approach members without getting kicked out of the group and blocked by your prospects.

The episode was inspired by a question from an online coach who was making some of the mistakes we just described.

Ren’s shockingly simple advice: Be a human.

Find a group of people interested in things you like to talk about—music, comics, TV shows—and talk to them about those things. Be authentic. Let relationships develop. And when someone needs the service you happen to offer (which you’ll make clear on your personal Facebook page and Instagram bio), they’ll come to you.  

Episode 38, Growing Your Business From the Bottom Up, was recorded on September 17. On that day in 2013, Jon launched 1K Extra, the precursor to the Online Trainer Academy.

“It wasn’t put together well,” Jon admits, even though he was, in Ren’s words, “perceptibly excited” about his new venture. (“This was back when Jon had feelings,” Carolina adds.)

The initial program was a PowerPoint presentation Jon recorded on his computer while sitting alone in his apartment.

That humble start was Chapter 1. If somebody looked at the business now, with an authoritative textbook and tens of thousands of graduates in dozens of countries, they’d see Chapter 10. That first chapter would be completely invisible to them.

There’s an important lesson here for all of us: Don’t compare your opening chapter, much less the first draft of your opening chapter, to the middle of someone else’s published book.  

You’ll find every episode here:

--> The Online Trainer Show
P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways we can help you:

1. Grab a free copy of The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Online Training
It’s your blueprint to building a fitness or nutrition business online. --> Click here

2. Join the Online Trainers Unite Group and connect with other online trainers  
It’s our Facebook community where fitness and nutrition pros like you can share insights and advice about starting or running a successful coaching business online.
--> Click here

3. Join the Online Trainer Academy
Our world-class certification course is everything you need to responsibly and profitably coach fitness or nutrition online. --> Click here

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

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Can you really become a Certified Online Trainer for just $87/month?  

YOU CAN! Because the Online Trainer Academy—the world's first and ONLY serious certification course for online trainers—is now available in an all-digital format for $87/mo for 12 months.  

--> Enroll in the Online Trainer Academy now. (Start for just $87)

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