Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

"Intelligent people tend to overestimate [how] much of what they know is common knowledge. Share what you know; you never know who might need the information."
                                                                                          - Author Bill Masur on Twitter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. The first change is the most important
  2. This is how make a fitness resolution stick
  3. How to become a strength coach
  4. Will this be your best decade ever?
1. The first change is the most important

It’s the first week of January, and if you work in a commercial gym, you can’t take two steps without bumping into a potential client. Many of those new gym members believe they’ve already taken the most important step toward fulfilling their New Year’s resolution to get in shape.

But they haven’t.

"The vast majority of people who embark on an exercise journey will fail," writes Bryan Chung. "This is because learning how to exercise, at first, has absolutely nothing to do with exercise itself."

The first step, Chung says, is "realizing you can do it." The second step: create space for it by displacing something else. Your potential clients need to "uncrunch" their lives just enough to free up time to work out.  

Go deeper: Freeing up time doesn’t guarantee they’ll use it to stick to the program. For that, they need to master self-regulation, as Justin Kompf explains:

--> The Number-One Skill Your Clients Need to Succeed
2. This is how make a fitness resolution stick - Lou Schuler

Have a client, friend, or family member who struggles to maintain a fitness routine? I recommend sharing this Facebook post from Dean Somerset with them.

His first of five tips—"pick an activity you enjoy doing, and stick with it"—is both the most common and the least understood.

In my experience, people choose activities based on the desired outcome. Someone who wants to look lean and muscular will hit the gym, even if they don’t actually enjoy lifting or being around people who lift. Someone who wants to lose weight will often take up running or some other form of endurance training, even if they hate every minute of it.

The takeaway: "Time and frequency produce the biggest results," Somerset writes, which means you’re better off doing something you love being immersed in. "Whatever activity you choose, let it pull you forward and make it fun."

Go deeper: A few years ago, my brother in law asked me how to get motivated. The question stumped me. So I asked Alwyn Cosgrove to explain how to get to your "why":

--> How to Motivate Yourself to Start Working Out
3. How to become a strength coach

Enough about your clients. Let’s talk about you. Chances are, a lot of you went into the business with the goal of training athletes, elite or otherwise. And chances are, you quickly discovered there’s no easy or simple way to break in as a strength and conditioning coach.

If that describes you, you need to watch this video by Brett Bartholomew, author of Conscious Coaching. It could be the most valuable eight and a half minutes of your career.

In the video, Bartholomew offers four unconventional tips about applying for jobs, networking, business, and getting started. In the final part, he notes that all training experience is valuable. Even if you aren’t training athletes, you’re still learning how to train people.

And if you are training athletes, you’ll learn more from helping a kid "who may not be able to blink and breathe at the same time" than you will working with an elite athlete who’s 95 percent of the way to their full potential.

Go deeper: This article by Yunus Barisik offers the closest thing you’ll find to a formula for breaking in:

--> I Want to Train Elite Athletes. This Is Exactly How I Made It Happen.
4. Will this be your best decade ever? - Jonathan Goodman

I started the 2010s as a 24-year-old personal trainer with no girlfriend and no direction.

What I wanted to do was help personal trainers navigate the challenges of the fitness industry. It’s a service-based business, and the training doesn’t really prepare you for the rigors of the job, especially if you don’t have a background in business or marketing.

I had a rough draft of a book laying out some of those solutions, but no idea what to do with it.

In 2011 I took a leap of faith in myself and self-published Ignite the Fire.

I then launched the PTDC to build a community of like-minded personal trainers.

I figured all of us, at some point, ended up in the same place: We need to make a bit more money in a bit less time with a somewhat better schedule, one that allows us to have a fulfilling life outside the gym.

I left personal training after eight years to focus on these new ventures, and you probably know what happened next: Starting with Ignite, which has now been translated into four languages, I produced a dozen books and wrote hundreds of articles.

I created 10 digital products, including the first-ever certification for online trainers.

Altogether it’s more than a million words in the past 10 years.

Not bad for a guy with a degree in kinesiology.

Even more important, I took care of that "no girlfriend" problem. I got married, had a son, and lived abroad for seven years in 10 countries.

I never envisioned any of this when the decade began. And if I’d left that rough draft of Ignite on my computer, none of it would’ve happened. My advice to you is to never leave a rough draft lying around. Put it out into the world. You never know what will happen.

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

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