Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

"You work. You struggle. You persevere. And if it pays off right, people will look at what you’ve done and think it just came naturally. They’ll think it was inevitable. It wasn’t, of course. But they’ll see what they’ll see. And you’ll know what you know."
                                                                                          - Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur, in his monthly newsletter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. Online training and the adherence problem
  2. Why weight loss is so hard
  3. Social media for sociopaths
  4. "But I’ve tried everything!"
1. Online training and the adherence problem

Mike Doehla describes a conversation every coach, online or off, will face from time to time:

A client "swears she’s doing everything right and not seeing results." You go over potential problems and solutions, but she’s not having it. She tells you "everything is perfect."

Because all this happened in an online community, a friend of hers saw the post, and emailed Doehla to call BS. "I see her multiple times a week, and she’s not doing what she says she’s doing."

His reply: "I know."

"We’re good at convincing ourselves of a story that just isn’t true," he says. But even if you aren’t tracking your meals accurately, "your body still is."

Although it’s not easy, Doehla says, the coach needs to convince these clients to log meals "like your life depends on being relatively accurate. Your life may not actually depend on it, but your happiness and results do."

Go deeper: In the comments, Mark Shields links to this classic BBC documentary showing how easy it is for us to deceive ourselves about how much we’re eating. Researchers used doubly labeled water—a reliable (and extremely expensive) way to measure energy balance—to show she was underestimating her calorie intake by more than 40 percent.

Speaking of online fitness training . . .
Coming Sep 10th – The Wealthy Fit Pro's Guide to Online Training.

We are excited to announce that the highly anticipated next book in the Wealthy Fit Pro's series will be available on September 10th.

No presale is available and we expect to sell out our first print run quickly on the 10th so look out for an announcement then.
2. Why weight loss is so hard

Even with diligent tracking and exemplary adherence, there’s a very good chance your weight-loss clients will be disappointed by their results. A study published in 2016 illustrates why.

The researchers looked at data compiled by the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Survey from the early 1970s to the late ’80s. Calorie intake and body weight increased dramatically during that time, as we all know. That’s why we called it an obesity epidemic.

But the researchers found an anomaly: The relationship between calories, physical activity, and weight changed over time. For a given amount of food and exercise, the expected BMI of the individual somehow rose by about 10 percent.

In an interview with The Atlantic, the study’s lead author offered three possible reasons why human bodies became more susceptible to weight gain:

  • Exposure to more hormone-disrupting chemicals
  • Use of prescription drugs, including antidepressants
  • Changes to our microbiomes

The magazine’s readers threw out two more possibilities:

  • People got worse over time at self-reporting their meals and physical activity.
  • People were as bad as ever at self-reporting, but as work became more sedentary (sending emails instead of walking to a colleague’s office, for example, or searching online for a document instead of getting up and opening a file cabinet), all of us moved less throughout the day.

The takeaway: No matter how you approach weight loss with your clients, you owe it to them to be honest about the challenges. That means avoiding bogus claims about your magical AMRAP HIIT metabolic-training protocol, as Christian Finn explains here:

--> "The Myth of Fat-Burning Workouts"
3. Social media for sociopaths

Jay Ashman has cracked the code for succeeding on social, assuming you have no shame, self-awareness, or ethics.

Among his tips:

  • "Talk about how carbs are good and make fun of keto." Bonus points if you drop the mic with an appeal to authority.
  • "Preach about … loving the skin you’re in while getting lean and ripped for your own website photo shoot."
  • "Make infographics using someone else’s information, but tweak the images and words a little to make it seem like your own."

Go deeper: If you want to grow your audience in an ethical, positive way, we highly recommend "How to Build an Online Following from Scratch." It features insights and anecdotes from seven well-known fitness pros, including Mike Doehla, who’s everywhere these days.
4. "But I’ve tried everything!" - Jonathan Goodman

Right now, at this moment, somebody out there is ready to give up.

If you ask them why, they’ll tell you it’s because they tried everything, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Meanwhile, I’m getting ready to publish my ninth book on September 10.

(Okay, technically, it’s my tenth. But one of those books wasn't very good (the precursor to Viralnomics) so I don't count it.)

In addition to the ten books I've started and stopped three membership programs, hosted five conferences, developed five digital programs, and founded the world's first certification for online fitness trainers. All told, my company and I have published over a million words for fitness professionals in the past 8 years.

I'd be lying if I said that everything I've done has been a success. But, over time, when you keep trying, you figure out some stuff.

And my next book, The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Online Training, which goes on sale September 10, is a perfect showcase of what happens when you continue to push and produce, year after year, despite whatever adversities appear.

Unlike my previous books—or, really, any book from an established author—it’s not available for preorder. But it’s already a success, thanks to the 10,500 copies we’ve sold in bulk orders through various partnerships.

If it were conventionally published, and those were preorders to individuals, it would be virtually guaranteed to land on the New York Times bestseller list.

The partnerships are a new strategy for me. Same with my approach to selling the book to individuals, starting on September 10. (No spoilers now, but I'm doing something VERY special!)

At the end of the day though, I don't know if what I'm doing will work. I hope it will, but you never know what you have until you put your work out into the world.

Sure, I've figured out some stuff over the years. It'd be impossible not to. But we're all making it up as we go. Myself included. And the only way to really figure out anything is to try and to see what happens.

In some ways, I feel like I’m just getting started, even though it’s my ninth (or tenth) book.

It's scary to put yourself out there – terrifying really – even for somebody like me who has been doing this for many years.
The important thing is to keep producing. Keep working. And keep putting yourself out there, day after day, month after month, year after year.

This is a long game, and I hope you play it with me.

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

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