Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

"I’ve been doing yoga for 15 years, and every time I’m in class the teacher asks me if it’s the first time."
                                                                                          - Health journalist Olga Khazan on Twitter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. Why your older clients need plyos
  2. How to be a bestselling author
  3. Why job stability matters for your employees
  4. What I don't think about
1. Why your older clients need plyos

"I’ve got some clients in their 70s and 80s doing plyometrics," says Dean Somerset in the video embedded in this blog post.

He does it for a simple but crucial reason: Loss of power is "one of the major limiting features of the degenerative process." Loss of power means loss of function, and loss of function means loss of independence.

But to do it safely and effectively, you may need to adjust your perception of what plyometrics are. Somerset describes it as an "elastic tendinous response to rapid loading."

"Does that mean you take someone who’s frail and osteoporotic and start smashing out depth jumps?" he asks. If you do, you’d better make sure your insurance is up to date. But better yet, don’t.

"Rapid" is a relative concept. Is it a faster tempo than what they normally do? Is there a stretch-shortening cycle to produce force? If so, it checks the most important boxes. Over time, you can progress from simple marches and skips to box jumps, bounding, lateral shuffle drills, and max-effort throws.

The takeaway: The clients who do the aforementioned plyometric drills "have reactive abilities that anybody else, age-matched, would likely not have," Somerset says. "Having that power output means they have a decreased risk of fall and fracture."
2. How to be a bestselling author

Not long ago, Pat Flynn had a nice surprise: His most recent book, Introduction to Kettlebells, was the number-one Amazon bestseller in several categories, including Exercise & Fitness in the Kindle store.  

Why was this a surprise? For one thing, it’s a 30-page ebook. "I didn’t have many expectations," Flynn says in this Facebook post. "I just felt the need to put a simple beginner’s guide on Amazon."

It’s not exactly the first dance for Flynn, a kettlebell expert, guitar player, martial artist, and about 27 other things. His previous books include How to Be Better at (Almost) Everything and four titles in the For Dummies series, none of which came close to the bestseller status of his latest.  

Flynn knew there were ways to game the system and turn just about anything into a bestseller. "I never felt especially comfortable doing those things," he says. "Instead, I spent my time building my audience by producing content, and creating the most authentic relationship with them as I could."  

The takeaway: "Business is fundamentally about building relationships," Flynn says. Honest, deep, and long-lasting relationships create "a boomerang effect … between what you send out in the world and what comes back your way."

Go deeper: Flynn counts copywriting among his many skills. And as he notes in the article linked below, you can’t write persuasive copy until you understand three underlying principles:

  1. pathos (getting people to trust you),
  2. ethos (getting people to act by appealing to their emotions), and
  3. logos (giving them a reason to take action, something that justifies an otherwise emotional decision).
3. Power to the people

In a recent newsletter, Pete Dupuis describes an important shift in employee relations at Cressey Sports Performance:

"For the first 10 years we were in business, employees of CSP were offered an hourly wage and an open-ended agreement that employment would remain in effect indefinitely.

As a result, there was an underlying attitude that if/when someone moved on, there was typically a good guy and a bad guy involved. Walking away felt difficult, and there was little to no defined path for growth within our operation.

We've since transitioned all of our employees to two-year contracts, and introduced a director level to our staff hierarchy that allows for a wage hike and a target to pursue for those who would like to stay with the business at the conclusion of their initial two-year term.

The result? Staff morale has increased dramatically."

Go deeper: Dupuis uses that story to introduce this Harvard Business Review article on the importance of "core stability" in the workplace. Key point: "If you want to develop an environment where contributors thrive, your workforce must be able to count on some basic things: role clarity, timely feedback, adequate resource allocation, and attention to how [their] work is structured."
4. What I don’t think about - Jonathan Goodman

Tired and with achy, bleeding knees, Alison and I arrive at our home for the night in the village of Theth.

Our Albanian host shows us upstairs to our room.

Inside the stone guesthouse we see three single beds and a door leading to our private toilet—a luxury in these parts. The shower is cold, so we wash off the dirt and sweat from the hike but don’t linger.

We sleep soundly after an active day, wondering as we drift off how in the world we found ourselves celebrating our third wedding anniversary in single beds in a tiny village in the north of Albania.

To some, this adventure sounds like a dream. To others, it sounds miserable. It’s not a beach and it’s not a thing you’ll ever see a 21-year old influencer brag about.

It’s gritty and grimy and glorious. For Alison and me, it’s perfect.

We don’t spend our time thinking about most things. Neither of us follows celebrity gossip, or political gossip, or the financial markets. We don’t have any idea what new movies are coming out or what TV show is trending.

It’s not just that we don’t know about these things. It’s deeper than that. We don’t even think about thinking about them.

For better or for worse, obsessions like these are foreign to us. I don’t know if not thinking about this stuff is a good thing or not. It’s just something I was thinking about.

Adapted from this essay on Medium.

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

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Bonus Material - 4 Steps to Start Online Training

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