Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

“Everything in business is either a win or a lesson.”
                                                                         - Jason Maxwell, PTDC Director of Marketing
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. Don’t give yourself permission to quit
  2. Your program is only as good as the client’s desire to do it
  3. Last week on the Online Trainer Show
1. Don’t give yourself permission to quit Jonathan Goodman

On paper, the children’s literature course looked easy. I was deep into my exercise science studies, and training my fellow students in the university gym, and needed an elective that wouldn’t take too much effort.

It turned out to be the most interesting and challenging class I took in my four years of college. The lessons of children’s literature are far more applicable to my life and business than anything I learned about anatomy and physiology.

Consider “The Fox and the Grapes,” one of Aesop’s fables.

The story itself is short and simple:

  • A fox sees juicy grapes hanging from a vine.
  • The fox jumps to get the grapes.
  • No matter how many times he tries, he can’t reach them.

“What a fool I am,” he concludes. “I’m wearing myself out to get a bunch of sour grapes.”*

The moral of the story: “There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.”

I think there are two lessons here, one negative, one positive.

The negative one is how obvious and transparent our excuses are when we fail to achieve something, or get rejected by someone. We tell ourselves the goal wasn’t worth the effort, or the person didn’t deserve our attention. But we know the truth.

The positive lesson is one we’re all familiar with: progressive overload.

Imagine if the fox, instead of giving up, had decided to train for a higher vertical jump with the goal of reaching the next bunch of grapes he encountered.

Imagine if you, instead of making up stories about why the thing you want isn’t worth pursuing, choose to work on the skills you need to achieve it.

Nothing worth having happens fast. The most important things in life take time, effort, and persistence. You get better incrementally, in fits and starts, with a maddening combination of breakthroughs, plateaus, and setbacks.

But you do get there, as long as you don’t give yourself permission to quit.

*If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase “sour grapes” comes from, now you know.

2. Your program is only as good as the client’s desire to do it

Simon Long is a personal trainer in the UK and an expert on long-term behavior change. His expertise, in part, comes from his own struggle to stick to an exercise program long enough to get the benefits he wanted.

That’s the subject of his 2016 TEDx presentation: “Why We Quit Our Exercise Plans, and What We Can Do About It.”

His own problem, he says, was boredom. He had a low tolerance for repetition. But, as every fitness professional knows, repeated efforts are essential to success in training.

He eventually found an answer, reducing his body fat from 36 percent to 6.5 percent and keeping the weight off for years.

In his new PTDC article, he shows how you can take what he learned about long-term motivation and apply it to the programs you design for your own clients.

His most important point, in both the article and the TEDx talk, is that self-efficacy is the key to everything. The more the client believes in their ability to do the exercises, the more motivation they’ll have to do them. Who doesn’t enjoy doing something they’re good at?

You can check out the article here:

-> Four Ways to Keep Your Online Personal Training Clients Engaged
3. Last week on the Online Trainer Show

Podcast cohosts Jonathan Goodman, Carolina Belmares, and Ren Jones are back with two new episodes:

In Episode 3, Your 1% Uniqueness Factor, Ren goes deep on Lifetime and Hallmark Channel movies (it’s basically one story, two hairstyles, and a curious resistance to aging), Carolina offers a real-life example of differentiating yourself by finding your community and telling your story (she generated 800 leads from a single Facebook post), and Jon explains why Donatello is the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  

In Episode 4, Why Online Coaching Doesn’t Need to Be Discounted, the team tells you why you don’t need to charge less for training people online. Jon details a way to raise your prices incrementally, so each new client or cohort pays more than the ones who preceded them. Plus you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about Canada’s mange problem, and Jon takes us back to his glory days in ball hockey with the Excalibur Knights.

Come for the wisdom, stay for the structural analysis of made-for-TV movies.

You’ll find every episode here:

--> The Online Trainer Show

**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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NEW! The Online Trainer Show

Want tangible insights and advice for building your successful coaching career online? Listen to our podcast! You'll laugh and learn with Jonathan Goodman, Carolina Belmares, and Ren Jones.

--> Click here to listen to the Online Trainer Show.

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