Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

"It’s not wrong to incorporate a fitness or motor drill because it looks and feels like the sport skill. It is wrong to reject one just because it doesn’t."

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

In this issue:

  1. Pricing: "There is no right answer"
  2. The whole truth about protein
  3. A good rant about bad exercises
  4. How much do you make?
1. Pricing: "There is no right answer"

Mike Doehla, founder of Stronger U Nutrition, sees a pattern in the way prospects and clients talk about money.

A client who started off saying she wasn’t sure if she could afford to hire a nutrition coach will soon be on the company’s forums asking about expensive supplements, or high-end cookware, or designer workout clothes.  

"A lot of people who run from prices aren't running because of prices," Doehla says. "It's because we did a crappy job of showing them how much we can help."

The takeaway: Don’t beat yourself up over pricing because "there is no right answer," he says. "Refocus your attention on making sure they know your s*** works."

Go deeper: We’ve been looking for an opportunity to share our favorite Mike Doehla quote, which was a comment on a Facebook post we shared a couple of weeks ago:

"The only complaint we get from our clients is, ‘I don't feel a connection.’ It's never, ‘My coach doesn't know nutrition.’ The coaches who have the longest-term clients are the ones who have personality, who care and are involved in their members' journey. Not the ones with the most letters, or experience with their face in a textbook."

Go even deeper: To figure out how much to charge for your services, check out our free 3-lesson mini-course that teaches you how to become a wealthy fit pro.

Lesson 3 is all about pricing. Here's the link:

2. The whole truth about protein

Supplement companies have been trying to make the case for branched-chain amino acids for as long as we can remember. And for as long as we can remember, the scientific case for using BCAAs has ranged from weak to nonexistent. "BCAAs provide only half the anabolic response of a whole, high-quality protein source," notes Brad Schoenfeld on Instagram.

So why do they remain popular? Apparently because consumers want to believe they work. That’s why they create "what if …" scenarios to justify buying them. For example: "What if I train fasted and want to blunt protein breakdown?"

Schoenfeld’s response: "If you consume BCAAs, you aren't training fasted."

The takeaway: "If you want to take BCAAs, go for it," he says. "But if the goal is to maximally build muscle, whole protein sources that contain [all essential amino acids] are the better choice. It's really not debatable."

Go deeper: Do your clients (or you) have frequent questions about dietary protein? You’ll want to bookmark "A Trainer's Guide to Protein," by Mike T. Nelson. It’s both comprehensive and brief, with 22 references at the end for those who want to let their nerd flag fly.
3. A good rant about bad exercises - Lou Schuler

I stay out of exercise debates on social media for one simple reason: No one cares what I think.

But that hasn’t stopped me from having opinions about exercises. Two that absolutely mystify me: burpees and kipping pull-ups.

I have lots of company on kipping pull-ups. It’s like they were invented for comic relief. Mike Boyle, in his "no bad exercises?" series on Instagram, says they aren’t a real exercise so much as a way to cheat on a real exercise. "It’s like inventing the bouncing bench press and saying it’s not cheating."

As for burpees, Boyle once described them as the world's dumbest exercise: "Wrist impact, shoulder impact, lumbar flexion. A million opportunities for bad mechanics, with what upside? It's hard? Is that upside?"

The takeaway: "It's our job to choose exercises that are effective," Boyle says. "It's also our job to keep our athletes and clients healthy. If you look at an exercise and see injury risk and can't really explain why you do it, that makes it a really bad choice."

Go deeper: The burpee has a noble history as a fitness assessment, even though its inventor, bodybuilder and exercise physiologist Royal Burpee of Columbia University, wouldn't recognize the current incarnation.

That’s according to his granddaughter, personal trainer Sheryl Burpee Dluginski: "I think he would be cringing and very unhappy to see trainers asking unfit clients to do 10 burpees in a row just to get their heart rate up, even if they don't have the core strength and the mobility to do it properly."
4. How much do you make? - Jonathan Goodman

Yes, it’s a personal question. It’s also in many ways the most important one for fitness pros.

No matter how much you love training clients, you need to make enough money to stay in the fitness industry, to grow and prosper, and to have a fulfilling life along with a meaningful career.

But here’s the problem: We don’t actually know how much money the average personal trainer makes. We’ve quoted figures compiled by ZipRecruiter and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But what we want to know is how much our audience makes—that is, those who visit the PTDC, subscribe to this newsletter, and/or follow us on social media.

That’s why we’re asking you to participate in our first annual PTDC Personal Trainer Salary Survey. It’s 100 percent anonymous, and 100 percent useful to us going forward.

It helps us establish a baseline so we can see how much trainers’ incomes are growing in future years. And it helps us decide what to cover, and how to cover it, in future articles, books, and courses.

So please help us help your fellow fitness pros by taking our salary survey. It takes just two minutes, and like I said, it’s completely anonymous.

Here's the link:


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

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