Stronger Sundays

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


What a
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Preorder Now Available!

We're excited to introduce book #1 of the Wealthy Fit Pro Guides – Starting Your Career.

This guide is designed to help you become the best, and most successful, trainer possible after getting your certification.

Book ships worldwide June 11, 2019.

Click here to preorder for only $9.99 (save 33%)

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Not a new(er) trainer?

If you've benefitted at all from our material, please buy at least 5 copies of the book and gift them to friends, colleagues, and staff members.
Quote of the week:

""The simpler the solution, the more powerful it is." — I.M. Pei, the legendary architect who died recently at 102 years old"
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. How to deal with the negative client
  2. Beware of the fake business coach
  3. How to find your coaching style
  4. Jonathan Goodman on giving away advice for free
1. How to deal with the negative client - Jerilyn Covert

Negativity tends to lead in one direction, and it’s not toward the client’s goals.

"It can really snowball," says psychologist Lisa Lewis, EdD. "Once it gets going, your clients may start to believe their own negative thoughts as being true, even if they’re irrational or hyperbolic. So interfering with the snowball is a good skill set to have."

Negative thinking comes in many forms, Lewis says.

"All-or-nothing" thinkers beat themselves up if they don’t perfectly hit every goal. Those who "filter" weed out all the positive and focus only on the negative. "Catastrophizers" take a small thing and blow it up.

An example would be, "I had three cookies last night, so my whole program is ruined."

How do you respond? Like a scientist.

"It’s just data," Lewis says. "Observe what you’re hearing, and try to take something useful from it." Figure out where the negativity is coming from. Is your client frustrated? Tired? Lacking self-belief? Use the info to help tailor her program.

You may be able to offer solutions. Or, if that doesn’t seem to help, simply acknowledge the client’s feelings and shift the focus to something positive:

"I’m sorry you got off track this weekend, but you always crush your workouts. So let’s get after it, and I bet you’ll feel better when we’re done."  

Then do what you do best: Instruct. Physical work helps the client get out of her head and into the moment. "Thoughts are mental," Lewis explains. "If you’re focused on the process of training, it’s going to minimize or even remove negative thoughts from the here and now."

The takeaway: Don’t expect instant change. You see your client for, what, an hour a day? That negative inner voice has access 24/7. Accept that you may not be able to fight it. But for that hour you’re together, you can at least put that voice on mute.  

Go deeper:
Lewis wrote this article about negativity for Mark Fisher Fitness, and talked in more detail about motivation in this podcast with Jason Leenaarts.
2. Beware the fake business coach

Jonathan Goodman was surprised to see a recommendation for a shady business coach in Online Trainers Unite, our free Facebook group that you're welcome to join.

"Despite this person being in business for three-plus years, I’ve never heard of anybody having a positive experience," he wrote in a recent email. So why would someone recommend him?

It didn’t take long to figure it out: The endorsement was written by someone who works for the coach but didn’t disclose his affiliation—an obviously shady practice.

"If this was an isolated incident, then it’d be one thing," Goodman wrote. "But it’s not."

A year earlier, the business coach was caught recommending his own services through a fake Facebook profile, which he used to insinuate himself into groups of online trainers, including Goodman’s.

How was he exposed? He used a male porn star’s picture for his fake profile.

The takeaway: There is a process to weed out con artists posing as business coaches, Goodman says.

First, consider how you came across the coach. Did you hear about him before you heard from him? Has he worked with people you know, whose recommendations you’d trust?

Second, testimonials are important but check references, Goodman warns. The same coach caught using a porn star’s image in his profile was also caught buying fake video reviews. Again, it was laughably easy to figure it out. His "satisfied customers" were offering fake endorsements on Fiverr for $5 each.

(This is why we include contact information for every one of the 100+ successful Online Trainer Academy students featured on our success stories page.)

Go deeper:
Jonathan Goodman wrote a great two-part series that analyzes and exposes the fitness business coaching model to help you make better decisions. Part 1 begins here.

3. How to find your coaching style

One of the best trainers we know is a former high-level hockey player.

His hockey coaches included plenty of tyrants. You know the type because we’ve all had them: lots of yelling, lots of punishment.

Our friend never really cared for this approach or thought it brought out the best in players, including him.

So when he became a strength and conditioning coach himself, he was determined to go in the opposite direction and be the sort of caring and compassionate coach he’d always wished he had.

The problem was that he went too far in the opposite direction and wasn’t holding his clients accountable.

Now our friend has found a middle ground that works for him and gets great results for his clients. It took several years, and it wasn’t easy.

The takeaway: Like our friend, you have to understand that a coach isn’t a friend or teammate. You’re a coach. Your job is to help people get better.

That doesn’t mean you have to be a tyrant every minute you’re with your clients or athletes. But sometimes, yes, that’s what they need, and that’s what you have to be.

Go deeper: If you want to become a better coach, here's an article from Kevin Mullins with three tips to level up your coaching ability.
4. Why you should give advice for free - Jonathan Goodman

Should you give advice for free? Many say you shouldn't. But I think you should.
The best metaphor for business done right these days comes from Seth Godin. It’s "whales and minnows."

The PTDC website reaches 4 to 6 million trainers a year. We invest more than a million dollars a year just on free content. How many of those 4 to 6 million actually
buy a book or certification course from us? A tiny percentage.

And how many get free information? A ton.

It’s not just our
articles at the PTDC. Anybody can ask questions on our Facebook groups, and get answers from experts who, in many cases, would charge for that information.

The takeaway:
If you want to win in business today, you must help a ton. When you do, some will put their hand up, willing to pay a premium for you to guide them farther, with price irrelevant and competition nonexistent.Whales and minnows.
**Thanks for reading. What to do next**

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What a
pretty book cover you're missing
And don't forget to preorder your copy of the brand new book!

Save 33% and get the audiobook and eBook free when you preorder your copy of the Wealthy Fit Pro's Guide to Starting Your Career for only $9.99 today

Book ships worldwide June 11, 2019.

Click here to preorder for only $9.99 (save 33%)

Not a new(er) trainer?

If you've benefitted at all from our material, please buy at least 5 copies of the book and gift them to friends, colleagues, and staff members.

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