Stronger Sundays

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

July 7, 2019

Quote of the week:

"If all the scary stories about diet soda were true, I'd weigh 300 pounds, 95 percent of which was embalming fluid."
                       - Lou Schuler on Twitter, responding to  "The Case for Diet Soda" in the Washington Post                                 
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. Continuing ed: Learn less, learn best    
  2. A better way to think about weight loss
  3. I'm with the band(s)
  4. Nobody is born with courage
1. Continuing ed: Learn less, learn best

The most successful fitness business owners tend to be relentless pursuers of information.

Cressey Sports Performance cofounder Pete Dupuis is one of them, "eagerly jumping into my next book before fully processing" the one he just finished. But as Pete notes in his newsletter, that’s not the best way to learn.

According to this article in the Harvard Business Review, most of the $90 billion companies spend on ed ucation and development each year is wasted. The better way to learn is to "break lessons down into small, digestible pieces" and then find ways to nudge yourself to act on them.

"You learn best when you learn less," the author concludes.

Go deeper: In our recent article on continuing education for personal trainers, one of our experts gave us three simple criteria for a useful seminar or certification program:

* Limited in scope
* Includes a hands-on or practical component
* Applies to most of the clients you work with

You’ll find lots of options in the article—including some focused on specific skills, equipment, or populations—along with this brief note of regret from trainer Nathane Jackson:

"Knowing what I know now, I would tell my younger self to pass on the BOSU ball cert."

2. A better way to think about weight loss

What if we told an aspiring runner that to be "successful," she’d have to qualify for the Boston Marathon—something only 12 percent of marathoners are fast enough to do? Or if we told a guy walking into the weight room for the first time that he’ll be "disappointed" if he can’t get strong enough to squat two times his body weight?

But that’s exactly the way our clients think about weight loss, wrote weight-loss specialist Yoni Freedhoff, MD, in this 2016 Vox article.

In one study, women with obesity told researchers they expected to lose a third of their body weight. (Losing 25 percent would be "acceptable," they said.)

Yes, some people really do lose that much weight, just as some people who take up running or lifting reach elite levels.

But no one should expect that kind of success. Nor is it necessary to enjoy significant benefits.

As Freedhoff wrote, "In every other area of our lives we readily accept our best efforts as great, and we need to do that with weight and healthful living too."

Go deeper: This PTDC article by Menno Henselmans offers five proven, practical ways to help your clients lose weight.

3. I'm with the band(s)  - Lou Schuler

The older I get, the more my joints protest traditional presses, squats, and deadlifts.

That’s why my shoulders, knees, and lumbar spine have become such big fans of resistance bands. My guess is that your older clients will appreciate them as well.

For example, in place of squats and lunges, I do this quad-dominant alternative from Chad Waterbury.

In place of horizontal pushes, I like this banded bench-press equivalent and this push-up variation with a miniband, both from Ethan Benda.

From Dean Somerset, my go-to source for shoulder-rehab movements, I learned the horizontal overhead press with a miniband.

And for an angle in between horizontal and vertical, try the tall-kneeling Landmine press with band resistance from Meghan Callaway.

Go deeper: If you work with disjointed people like me, check out "What Are the Rules for Training Older Clients?" Among many great insights from the coaches I interviewed, you’ll find this memorable quote from Dan John about why old age begins at 56:

"Once you make it to 25, you’ll make it to 55, almost no matter what you do. Fifty-six is when the statistics punch you in the face. Fifty-six is when the guy knocks on the door and says, ‘It’s time to pay the piper.’"
4. Nobody is born with courage - Jonathan Goodman

If you’re a new trainer, I can give you strategies to get your first job.

If you’re an experienced trainer, I can share advice on how to get more clients.

I can give you lots of knowledge. What I can’t do is give you confidence in your own abilities.

To have confidence, you need courage.

Courage to come up with your own ideas.

Courage to create original systems and content based on those ideas.

Nobody is born with courage. It develops when things don’t go your way. It develops when you fail.

You can’t fail if you don’t try. Which means you need to try new things before you have confidence.

You think failure will crush your confidence. But the opposite is true.

The punishment for failure is never as bad as we fear. It’s rarely catastrophic or absolute. Instead, it represents a new challenge, one you didn’t account for, and one that forces you to figure out a solution.

Over time, you become pretty good at figuring out how to escape from your own failures. And over more time, you become confident that, no matter what happens, you’ll figure it out. None of this happens if you don’t try stuff.

So try stuff. You’ll figure it out.

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

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