Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

“Three tips to not eat all the Halloween candy:

  1. Keep it out of sight and hard to reach. Don’t make your life harder by testing yourself 1,247 times a day.

  2. Build it into your budget. What happens when you can’t have something? You want it more. Take 10 to 15 percent of your calories and save them for treats.

  3. Remember it’s not actually special. Candy is available year-round. If you don’t care about Twix bars the rest of the year, there’s no need to lose your mind over them now.”

                                                                         - Esther Avant ( on Facebook
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. Why you should set ambitious goals: a case study
  2. Meet one of the most successful fitness entrepreneurs of our time
  3. This week on the Online Trainer Show
1. Why you should set ambitious goals: a case study Jonathan Goodman (follow him on IG @jonathan_goodman101)

My 35th birthday was Tuesday.

Normally I don’t care much about birthdays. But this one was special.

Eleven years ago, I was busting my butt training clients in the gym. A normal day was waking up at 5 a.m. and working 12 to 14 hours a day.

I knew it couldn’t last. I was 24 and wanted to do so much more with my life. So I told myself I would have three things by my 35th birthday:

  1. A million dollars in savings and investments
  2. The freedom to travel the world
  3. A wife and family

Why 35?

I guess because, when you’re 24, 35 seems ancient. And ancient people should have stuff figured out.

I had no idea how to get from where I was to where I wanted to be. I didn’t know anybody who lived that kind of life. Most were salaried employees at big corporations.

Nothing wrong with that, but it was never for me.

I first glimpsed the life I wanted when a client handed me a copy of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

That was the start of my education. Within two years, I’d written my first book, launched the PTDC, and left the gym. Within six years, I had money and freedom, the first two goals on my list.

I hit the trifecta on my 30th birthday.

That was the day that I proposed to Alison at Culzean Castle in Scotland. After she said yes, we drove to the nearest McDonald’s for free wi-fi to tell our parents.

But even though I’d hit my goals five years early, I was just getting started. You know what my team and I have done since then.

Hot damn, it’s been a good ride. And it all started because I was a lonely and burned-out 24-year-old who wanted more, had no idea how to do it, but was determined to find out.

And I still feel like I’m just getting started.

2. Meet one of the most successful fitness entrepreneurs of our time Lou Schuler

Back in 2012, I was doing pretty well as a fitness author. Alwyn Cosgrove and I had published the first three books in the New Rules of Lifting series and had a contract for two more.

Chad Waterbury and I were writing a hybrid food-and-fitness book with Wolfgang Puck, one of Chad’s clients.

I had several books near the top of the Weight Training bestseller list on Amazon.

But virtually overnight, it seemed, a guy named Mike Matthews placed multiple titles on the list—Bigger, Leaner, Stronger; Thinner, Leaner, Stronger; a cookbook; a motivation book.

I’d never heard of him. I didn’t know anybody who knew him. I couldn’t figure out how his self-published books were suddenly competing with mine.

Within a few years, my books had mostly fallen off, but Matthews was still on the way up. He has four of the top nine books in Weight Training as I write this, and 11 of the top 26.

Eight years later, I finally got a chance to ask Matthews where he came from, and how he built a dominant fitness brand that now includes Legion, a supplement company with $20 million in annual sales.

I identified nine lessons fitness pros can take away from Matthews’ story.  

Even if you have no desire to write fitness books or produce supplements, you’ll want to check this one out:

--> How Mike Matthews Built an Eight-Figure Fitness Business Without Training a Single Client in Person
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:

In Episode 45, The Hybrid Training Business Model, Jon takes on the biggest problem faced by gym owners and gym-based personal trainers:

At a time when online trainers can serve clients anywhere in the world, how does anyone survive with a business model based on attracting customers who live within a few miles of your facility?

Especially when a pandemic or natural disaster can shut your facility down at any moment?

The answer, Jon says, is the hybrid model—train some clients in person, some clients online, and most clients both in person and online. It’s the ultimate insurance policy for personal trainers as well as gym owners.

No matter your business model, if you’re new to personal training, you need more clients. And as Ren explains in Episode 46, Choose the Best Package Type for Your Business, you probably need to spend a lot more time doing the things that will attract new clients, and keep your current clients engaged.

The best way to do that, Jon says, is with consistent content, which gives you consistent opportunities to reach out to potential clients.

That’s the first “secret” to building your clientele, which of course isn’t a secret at all.

Another non-secret: Structure your business so clients aren’t paying for your workouts. They’re paying for the confidence that, with your coaching, they can achieve their goals. That single change allows you to charge more, get longer commitments from new clients, and build a sustainable brand.

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**

Want to improve your fitness business? Buy a book or two from the PTDC book store.

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