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One Simple Habit To Guarantee Fitness Success

One Simple Habit To Guarantee Fitness Success

One Simple Habit To Guarantee Fitness Success
First, the sad truth: conventional ideas about so-called fitness motivation suck.

You can’t count on “wisdom” that belongs in fortune cookies. Nor can you count on hardass sayings that belong on t-shirts.

Neither will get your butt out of bed and into the gym at 6:00 AM on those cold winter mornings.

The truth is a much simpler and vastly more effective:
Set a training schedule and stick to it.

It’s the best way to lock in consistency with your diet in the training and make better progress. Which brings us to…..

The Day I Met Arnold Schwarzenegger

Well, almost. I didn’t actually meet Arnold Schwarzenegger.

There I was sitting in a cafe in Venice, California with my wife and a friend. And then… there was Arnold. In the flesh! I gasped, did some weird shaking thing with my hands, and lost my shit like a pre-teen girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

But it wasn’t just the fact that I saw Arnold. It’s what he was doing.

He was exercising. Riding a bike, actually. With a full boot on his leg.

Think about that for a second. Yes, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger, arguably the most influential figure in the history of fitness.

But he’s still a 70-year old man crushing exercise after an obvious injury or surgery. For all I know, he could have broken his foot delivering a face kick to the predator and saved us all from impending doom.

But that wasn’t it.

Two fellow trainers in town for the same event also saw Arnold the day before and day after. Guess what he was doing? Training at Gold’s gym.

Arnold had every excuse to not be motivated and skip training. His leg was jacked. He’s probably insanely busy. His joints likely ache and pain from decades of extreme training. But at the end of the day, these are all excuses.

And excuses are the result of relying on motivation; rather than habits, to drive action. All of which leads me to say…

Fuck motivation.

It’s only temporary. You don’t need it. You need habits. And one habit in particular: a regular workout schedule, like my client John.

John’s Story

John is 35 years old and single. John made a lot of money in his business and cashed out. He can do pretty much whatever he wants pretty much whenever he wants. All day, every day.

But John is 70 pounds overweight. He’s frustrated and overwhelmed by information overload and his inability to stay consistently motivated.

He’s sick of feeling embarrassed to take his shirt off on his boat (#firstworldproblems) and hates the way his clothes fit.

Still, when John is motivated to train he’s strong and focused…for about a month at a time. He loses weight, his clothes fit better, and he starts going on dates again.

Then, all hell breaks loose. He relies on motivation and starts training at consistent times. Soon, 3:00 pm becomes 4:00 pm. Then, it’s 4:30 pm..then he cancels.

His diet falls off and he’s back to crushing fast food because it’s convenient. The “lack of motivation” leads him astray to the vaunted negative feedback loop and he adds the same 5-10 pounds back time and time again.

Does John sound familiar?

Chances are, yeah. Either you or someone you know has the same struggle. Motivation crumbles and program hopping sets in. One Dorito leads to the whole bag. Soon, you’re ordering Dominos and falling into the same old trap of…

* frustration
* no results
* wasted cash on over-hyped up supplements, and “lose ten pounds by yesterday” schemes

The Real Answer

So what’s the solution? Sure, giving tough love and saying “suck it up, buttercup” sounds great in theory. But it doesn’t always work in practice. Most times it doesn’t.

So, what is the one thing that really helps people stick to their fitness routine, get stronger and look better naked?

Setting a rigid schedule and sticking to it. With consequences.

And no, I’m not talking about punishment burpees. I’m talking cold hard cash. Read on…

If you’re here, you’re probably in the minority of folks who enjoy exercise. But we both know it’s never enjoyable to do anything you don’t like, whether it’s suffering through another episode of Lost, working a job you hate or eating a bland diet of rubbery chicken and broccoli.

Instead of wondering….

“Will I be motivated to lift after a work and sitting in traffic?”
“Can I really stick to workouts before work?”
“Do I have enough time to exercise today?”

We need discipline to drive action, not motivation.

How To Make It Work

We need to set rigid guidelines to clarify action and purpose in today’s work. Currently, we all have too many choices throughout our day. As pointed out in the Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz, our plethora of options isn’t doing us any favors physically or psychologically.

“Autonomy and freedom of choice are critical to our wellbeing, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.”
— The Paradox of Choice, 2004

Basically, we have so many choices we have no idea what to do with ourselves. This leads us to piss our time away on social media and snapchatting “date night” instead of being present.

We focus on tasks that are neither associated with our goals or have any positive impact on our lives.

They’re just empty entertainment at the cost of your goals. With this in mind, I propose an idea have a directive to get you back on track to building your best body.

Plan exercise, so action is no longer a choice.

It’s not an option “when it’s convenient,” because that time will never come. There is no perfect time. It’s time to stop relying on emotion.

Do you want to know who relies on emotion? Dogs.

rockyAnd as much as I love dogs, their emotions dictate they’ll eventually shit on the floor. Or pee on your comforter.

Even the guy at the left.

Your ability to set a schedule and make decisions based on their benefit, rather than your raw emotion separates you as a human from an animal. It also separates who build the high-performance body they want from those who don’t.

The choice is yours. Are you ready to take the next step?

Then set a schedule and stick to it.

Back To John and Arnold

This is what John and I agreed to. No longer would “fun” plans or an unplanned moving knock him off his plan to workout. No, it wasn’t fun to get up at 5:30 AM and be to the gym by 7:00 AM when he could have slept in. But it didn’t matter. It got the job done.

Thinking back to Arnold, there’s no denying he’s blessed with incredible grit and genetics to be in great shape. But he has the determination to set habits and make training a priority in his day.

It’s not a choice. It’s a planned event in his day to improve his health so he can stay jacked enjoy life to the fullest.

There’s no need for motivation if you set habits and get it done.

There is no hoping for time to train if you make the time.

Schedule workouts like any other meeting or event. Organize your life and responsibilities around them.

True emergencies can prevent you from training. Such is life. But you can still make progress by using 1% of your day, a measly 15 minutes, to workout.

It’s okay to dial back your training or trim a workout to a fifteen-minute bodyweight circuit. But it’s not okay to completely stop training for weeks or months on end. When you remove choices, you’re only left with the option to take action and succeed.

My Challenge to You

Set a schedule for working out. I recommend getting up earlier and doing it before the inevitable “panic emails” or emergencies of the day occur. Pick when, where, and how you’re going to train.

Take out $150 in cash in $5 denominations. Grab two envelopes, one labeled “hits,” and the other labeled “misses.” Tell someone you need their help to keep you accountable this month.

Hits: Plan a night out 30 days from now or a purchase that costs $150. Start with all your money in the “hits” envelope.

Misses: Think of a cause or charity you hate. Politics seem to have everyone’s panties in a bunch, so pick a politician you despise.

What to do: Every time you miss a workout, take five bucks from your “hits” envelope and put it into your misses. At the end of the month, send your hard earned cash to your misses.

Why this Works: Loss aversion is the powerful tendency of people to avoid loss. It’s twice as powerful as acquiring gains.

What Will Happen?

If you step up to the plate and own it you’ll lose fat, build strength/ muscle, and achieve any other goal you set your sights on. Plus, you’ll “find” $150 to spend on something you enjoy. Score.

If you swing…and miss? That’s okay. We all fuck up, but you still need to put $5 into the “misses” envelope. Use screw-ups as a reason to get back on track. Pick yourself up and make the next best decision…or fund something you despise.

But if you stay in the dugout and skip workouts? You’ll stay the same…searching for the magic cure and fall into the same vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting and program hopping. Plus you’ll waste $150, which really sucks.

We all have choices. Be like Arnold. Stop treating exercise as an option;. Make it an event.

Your ability to set a schedule and limit decisions preserves your ability to make the right decisions for the goals you really want to achieve.

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Are you ready to step up to the plate?

Then all you need is an expert plan, the accountability to see it through, and the consistency to take action.

But will you?
Further, if you were going to take action…wouldn’t you have done it already? 

All great transformations take the right customized plan and hard work. But working with an expert coach accelerates your progress by giving you elite knowledge, motivation, and the accountability to build your best body.

Those are what’s missing, and I can supply them to help you build your best body. 

I’ve recently opened new spots in my elite online training program and want to personally invite you to join the elite and build your best body. Why me? While it’s “cool” and a stamp on my ego to tell you I’ve helped hundreds of people transform their lives, worked with everyone from busy men and women to elite athletes and published content read by millions on every website from CNN to T-Nation…

 

my real passion is helping busy people like John retake their bodies, build muscle, lost fat, and build a body that looks as well as it performs. 

If you have a spring-break to get ready for, a New Year’s resolution to crush once and for all, or just a strong desire to transform your body, retake your health, and optimize your life then I want to help you.

No one builds their best body alone. I know I haven’t. So let’s do this together. Believe in yourself, put your faith in me, and apply for the program. Spots are competitive, but if you’re a good fit for the program, we’ll get after it and transform your life.

You’ll transform your body.

You’ll get strong AF.

You’ll simplify your training and diet.

You’ll look better naked.

 Let’s do this together.

 

====> Apply Today ⇐===

 

 

A Motivation Story (And Four Killer Tips)

A Motivation Story (And Four Killer Tips)

A Motivation Story (And Four Killer Tips)

Guest post by Jack Purdom

This is a fitness motivation story with a twist. It’s about  how an unmotivated client finally got into the fitness habit, once and for all…without the use of a megaphone. It’s a new take on the old problem I deal with in my free eBook Getting Past Busy <<<=== Download Here

Whether you’re a coach or a personal training client, you’ll probably find it resonates with you. It helps solve the perennial problem of motivation to actually getting workouts done. And I’ll top it off with four tips you can use right away.

Liz’s Fitness Motivation Story

It all began with a text from my client, Liz:

“I don’t feel motivated to go to the gym today.”

Now, is this an unforgivable crime against the fitness world or mankind as a whole? Obviously not. I think we’ve all been guilty of feeling this way at one point or another.

Liz’s problem? She sent that text (or one like it) at least once a week.

We tried rah-rah pep talks.

We had discussions on the importance of consistency.

We experimented with positive and negative reinforcement.

Hard-assery, open and honest discussion, anger, compassionate understanding: none of it worked.

Nothing ever changed.

Inevitably, I would receive a text or call a couple of hours before our scheduled session complaining of a lack of energy or motivation.

I was at my wit’s end. So was Liz, she felt l her goals would never become reality.

We both felt helpless.

I was convinced I had failed her and she was convinced she had failed me. Both of us assumed responsibility and wanted to make it work. But we didn’t know how to “create motivation” on days where there wasn’t any.

How Everything Changed

Liz had gone away for a week on vacation. She actually showed up for her first post-vacation session. It seemed like a good opportunity to something new and different.

So I hit Liz with this non-negotiable demand:

“I want you to make your bed every morning for the next week.”

I didn’t demand she change anything else.

It had nothing to do with fitness. It had nothing to do with what she was putting in her body for nutrition. And it had absolutely nothing to do with her goals.

What Happened Next

To cut to the chase: it worked like a charm.

The first week went by and Liz proudly reported that she had stuck to the plan and made her bed every morning. Outside of that, she didn’t feel much different. In her words: “Life was business as usual.”

With a successful week of bed-making behind her, we added drinking a full glass of water upon waking to her morning routine. At the end of the second week, she walked into her session beaming.

Not only had she completed her tasks every morning, but she was bursting to tell me that she felt she had made much better choices when eating during the week.

Over the next two weeks, we added a couple more small items to her day. Liz completed them all.

After a month, Liz had solidified four habits into her daily life.

But that wasn’t the best part…

Liz didn’t miss a workout all month. She didn’t even realize it. Liz had been so laser-focused on completing her tasks every day that she didn’t notice not missing workouts.

The added bonus? Liz also lost five pounds that month. It was a tasty cherry on top.

According to her, “the workout was just another part of my day. I didn’t think about doing it, I just did it.”

And that’s the beauty of habit-building.

The Power of Habit in Fitness Motivation

Allow me to let you in on a secret.

The almighty Church of Motivation is selling you lies and hampering your progress.

– You don’t need to watch another video montage to the soundtrack of The Dark Knight dubbed over with inspirational speeches.

– You don’t need the perfect Spotify playlist with every song synced to a specific section of your workout.

– You don’t even need to be feeling great or having a good day.

Motivation is fleeting and can only carry you for so long.

Habits, on the other hand, work regardless of circumstances and are lasting. Once built, they stick around and actually lead to unconsciously building other habits.

They don’t need to be difficult, they don’t need to be time-consuming, and they don’t even need to be directly related to your goals. (At least at first.)

The Takeaway

Here are four fail-proof methods to begin your own habit-building journey:

1. Create a Morning Routine

There is no more surefire way to increase productivity than by starting your day out with a few easily repeatable actions in the morning. It will lay the foundation for success and frame your goals for the day.

How To Do It

  • Choose 3-4 small actions
  • Ex) Glass of water, 10 minute run, 3 goals for the day
  • Select a “habit trigger.”
  • Ex) Water bottle, running shoes, notebook
  • Review and Adapt
  • Ex) Completed the routine for two weeks, add 10 minutes of reading

2. Prep and Plan

As the old saying goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Set yourself up for success so there are no excuses. Take one hour out of your week before it begins and plan the following:

  • Your weekly meals and the necessary groceries needed
  • When you’ll workout and exactly what you’ll be doing
  • Your wake up and bedtimes (set 15 minute reminder alarms)
  • Your next hour of review and planning

3. Flex Your “No” Muscle

Now that you’ve made the decision to improve your life and designed your plan, don’t let anything or anyone stop you. Identify where potential obstacles may exist and prepare your response. This doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun the rest of your life, but it has to be within reason. Your family and friends will understand and support your newfound decision to create a better life. Examples of possible situations:

  •  Text from a friend inviting you to a late night at the bar
  • Your aunt forcing a homemade dessert on you
  • A lousy night’s sleep leaving you tired and wanting extra sleep instead of the gym
  • Co-workers trying to coerce you into getting fast food for lunch

4. Avoid Throwaway Days

Don’t let one bad meal or a missed morning routine turn into “I’ll just do whatever I want the rest of today and start again tomorrow.” Hit the mental reset button immediately because tomorrow turns into Monday, or next week, or next month, or even the infamous New Year’s resolution. If you feel like quitting because of one bad decision, try this:

  • Repeat the mantra, “One mistake is not enough to knock me off track”
  • Look ahead to the next item on your improvement plan and commit to making it happen
  • Remind yourself that a 90% successful day will still bring you closer to your goals while a 0% day will take you in the wrong direction

What new habits will you add to your day?

And how will you make time for it all?

Find out in my free eBook Getting Past Busy <<<=== Download Here

About The Author

jack-purdomJack Purdom is a Chicago-based trainer and writer who helps busy people lead better lives. He holds a M.S. in Exercise  Science and Nutrition, with additional certifications as a personal trainer and nutrition coach from The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Precision Nutrition. Jack blogs at Trainer Jax. 


Get More Personal Training Clients With 5 Simple Email Tricks

Get More Personal Training Clients With 5 Simple Email Tricks

Get More Personal Training Clients With 5 Simple Email Tricks
Are you sick of thinking “I don’t have enough clients?”

I hear you. Finding clients willing to invest in themselves and buy online training isn’t an easy task.

But with these easy to implement methods you’ll be ahead of the curve to growing your personal training business.

Here’s how more to get more clients by reaching the right people and solving their biggest problem.

(1) Create an Email List and “Solution”

If you don’t have a website or email list you need to take action. An email list is the foundation of any online business and a vital tool for brick-and-mortar personal training businesses.

Here’s what you do:
Define your ideal client. Take out a piece of paper and outline the following information. Think of a past client you enjoyed working with and get as specific as you can.
– Name
– Occupation
– Age/sex
– Family/relationship status
– Interests: Sports, music, books, hobbies, movies
– Their number one fitness problem

Create an eBook or short video course that solves your ideal clients’ number one issue.

Further reading:
How to Find Your Ideal Clients

In exchange for the eBook or course  you’ll gather an email. I prefer using leadpages for high-converting opt-ins and then, Aweber to send out pre-planned emails.

Remember, the goal of any business is to solve problems faster and more effectively than your competitors. Personal training is no different. To stand out you need to reach ideal clients and solve their problem better and faster than anyone else.

Determine your ideal client.

Solve their number one problem.

Create a course or document explaining HOW to do it, and offer it in exchange for an email. In time, you’ll build a data-base of ideal prospects to support your business.

(2) Email Your List for New Clients

At a recent conference, Noah Kagan, founder of SumoMe asked “If you had to make $1,000 today what would you do?”

The number one answer around the room of people much smarter than me was was a resounding, “email my list.”

P.S. Noah actually did this with a random business idea, and Sumo Jerky was born. Check it out here.

Let’s pretend you have a list of 500 people on your email list that lived in your area. Or, if you’re an online coach 500 people spread around the world. Hypothetically, you decide to sell a monthly training package at $100/month.

If 0.5% of your list buys (a doable percentage), one email can generate 2-3 sales at $100 each.

I’m an optimist, so we’ll round up to three, meaning every email you send is worth $300. And if you repeat the sequence for 2-3 days during a special, you’ve pocketed $600-$900.

Not bad, right?

Don’t get hung up on the exact numbers, but use the hypothetical example for what it is: A clear illustration on the powers of email marketing and building a customer database.

Even on a small scale, having an email list of targeted leads and offering valuable services is one of the best ways to get more personal training clients.

(3) Engage Old Clients

Your best source of income is previous clients.

If you’ve helped your clients crush their goals, they’re walking billboards and raving fans for your business. Even more, they’re the most likely people to re-invest in your services.

Think about it. You’ve already created a personal relationship and showed your value and expertise…why endlessly chase new leads when you’ve already done the heavy lifting?

Contacting old clients is the best way to re-engage them into new training and drive referrals.

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Write all the emails and contact information of old clients and store them in a file, such as google sheets.
2. Divide your list of clients into two separate groups. The separation doesn’t matter, just do it.
2. Alternate each list, or half your clients, once per month.
3. Next month, email the other half.

Do not try to hard-sell former clients each month. They’re know you’re a trainer and are always seeking new business, so don’t be a blatant douche. Instead harvest the relationship by sending one of two types of emails.

(4) Send A Helpful Email

Your goal here is to provide actionable information to help your clients. That’s information that relates to their fitness goal and solves their number one issue. This works best if it’s an article you wrote, but sharing other content is fine as well.

Helpful Email Example:
Hey (name),

I was researching (their goal in training…or similar interest) and came across this article (link). I found this interesting ( interesting tip) and thought you would benefit.

Hope all is going well!
– (sign off)

(5) Send A Friendly Email

People don’t buy training; they buy trainers. The friendly email should be an entertaining story, a rapport builder, or a memory relating back to your personal relationship with your client. It’s great to get great results with clients, but if you couple a great relationship with crushing their goals you’ll turn happy clients into raving fans.

Hey (name),

I was looking at tickets to a comedy show this weekend and saw Louis CK (some event/activity they’re interested in) was in town! I remember you said he was one of your favorites. Anyway, I thought you might be interested if there are still tickets I know you love his stuff.

Let me know, maybe we can grab a bite to eat before the show.
– Sign off)

The goal in both cases is to re-engage your clients in friendly conversation. They know you’re a trainer and run a business. So be a friend first, not a pushy salesman. You’ve built the personal relationship. Now it’s on you maintain and stay at the front of their mind. Once they’re ready to jump back into training, you’re at the front of the list.

Methods Are Many…Principles Are Few

Email is one of many methods you can use to drive new clients to your business. These email hacks will help you focus your efforts. You’ll be marketing to the right people, providing insane value, and building your business by building personal relationships.

Are you ready to take action?

Then Stop Trading Hours For Dollars and build freedom into your fitness. The next step: Join our free webinar on how to build your Hybrid Fitness Business in the Next 60 Days.

Watch Eric Bach’s Free Online Training Webinar Now And Learn How To Build Your Hybrid Fitness Business In The Next 60 Days. 

Register today, it’s free. 

 

Who Not To Train Online

 

This article will help you avoid mistakes that could cost you your reputation as you expand from in-person training to online training.

Along the way I’ll answer two key questions:

1) What are the two types of clients you should never accept for online training?

2) Should you accept true beginners for online training?

Expert coaches working in-person with clients can make real-time adjustments to form and technique. This optimizes performance and reduces injury risk.

But online?

You can asses technique by asking clients to send videos of everything from basic overhead squat to the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) or a few compound lifts.

But you can’t make the real-time adjustments to technique. And you can lose your edge as a coach if you give up training in-person entirely to coach only online, something we recommend our hybrid business coaching clients avoid. 

Beyond that, there are…

Two Types of Clients You Should Never Train Online

Client #1: The Elite/High Level Athlete
Listen, you can train elite/high level athletes online. It can work. But in many cases, the margin of error is razor thin for optimizing performance. Without seeing the day to day fluctuations in performance it’s damn near impossible to make the tweaks necessary for world- class performance.

Client #2: The Injured Client
Technique is always important, but technique becomes 100% crucial when refining movement patterns with injured or recently injured clients. From a liability perspective, you’re still at risk if a client gets hurt using your online program.. From a performance perspective, subtle changes in technique can be the difference between an exercise being the perfect rehabilitation tool or a first class ticket to pain and dysfunction.

But What About Training Beginners Online?

It’s complicated. What follows is my own perspective, supplemented by the views of some top coaches.

Think back to the first time you lifted. Or the 30th. Chances are, you felt foolish and wish you had a little guidance. Personally, I remember trying to bench press in my basement without a spotter AND clips on the bar. The bar came down like a speeding bullet, taking away my lungs and sending my legs kicking in terror. Thankfully… I was able to roll the bar down my body and not die…but this could have ended ugly.

Bottom line: Beginners need in-person coaching to lift safely and effectively.

Where Do You Draw The Line?

If you accept the premise that beginners shouldn’t be training online, the question then becomes how you define a beginner.

A few weeks ago during a call,  one of our business coaching clients asked a deceptively simple question: “What do you do about training beginners online?”

For a moment I was stumped.

Then I thought back to my own experience. I do occasionally accept a near-beginner client. In this case, I do the same screening process and request the same video demos and background information as I do with more advanced clients. I start simple with basic movement patterns to groove technique and gradually accommodate to training and build from there.

But for the most part my clients are well-versed in the gym and often ex-athletes. They move decent weight and have sound technique. My job is to provide assistance with expert programming, accountability, and creating a practical, effective routine.

That’s my perspective. But I wondered how other coaches with other types of clients thought. So I asked them to contribute to this article.

How To Read The Coaches’ Comments

If you’re an online trainer, use this as a guide to check your perspective on working with beginners as clients. This article will also help you find your ideal personal training clients.

If you work with clients in-person but want to add online training to your business, use this as a framework for finding your ideal client. Also, consider joining our Hybrid Fitness Business Coaching Program. We’ll help you build an ethical online and in-person fitness business. Find out more here. 

If you’re not a coach but want to be well informed to train safely and make progress, use the answers as guidelines for finding a coach.

I asked each coach:
“How do you go about taking beginners as online clients? Do you do it? If so, what assessments do you use to ensure safety?”

The Coaches Weigh In

Tanner BazeTanner Baze
tannerbaze.com
I do work with beginners, but I don’t love it.

I begin immediately by getting video of their basic movements: Squat, hinge, overhead press, and some pulling motion. This way we can at least begin highlighting what sort of major issues and movement imbalances they might have that need to be addressed along with their goals. Obviously, their goals take precedence over damn near everything else, but reaching those goals as safely as possible is the big goal here. We’ll typically keep frequency and intensity relatively low for a few weeks, focusing on big compound movements.

From there we tend to keep nutrition as simple as possible. Focusing on whole, nutrient dense foods with an emphasis on protein and plenty of colors. In fact, the more colors we can get in, the better. We also immediately begin using a food log so we get in the habit of tracking food, but don’t worry about calories just yet. As time goes on we’ll start including tracking calories and ramping up training intensity and frequency.

Dr. John Rusin Dr. John Rusin PT, DPT, CSCS, ART, FMS1-2, SFMA, FDN
DrJohnRusin.com
While I truly don’t believe that a true novice is an ideal fit into an online based fitness program, I do believe that there are precautions that need to be taken if and when novices register in these types of programs. First and foremost, an in- depth movement evaluation must be completed. The last thing you want to be doing is virtually injuring people, that’s a no-no.

Online coaching takes away your eyes, ears and real-time common sense of training as a coach, so you better do your due diligence to objectify movement capacity before prescribing exercise. For my clients, we go through the exact movement screening and pattern evaluation as I do in my physical location. Yes, it may take a ton more time, but the results speak for itself. If you are trying to make a safe and effective impact in the lives of your clients, this is a non-negotiable aspect of online training.

Charles StaleyCharles Staley
targetfocusfitness.com
I love helping beginner clients, but I typically work with only those who are looking to lose fat. My clients fill out a detailed questionnaire for screening purposes (I won’t take folks with certain health issues) and we focus mainly on nutritional habits and increasing overall activity rather than solely focusing on resistance training.

A huge part of this type of coaching involves the development and sustainment of habits and strategies that will support the creation of long-term energy deficits needed for fat loss: goal orientation, self-tracking, environmental optimization, and social strategies, just to name a few. I’ve had a lot of success with these types of clients and it’s certainly possible and incredibly fulfilling to see the changes they’re able to make.

Robbie FarlowRobbie Farlow
sidequestftiness.com
If I have anyone who is 100% new, we start slow and conservative. As a starter, I look for videos of a bodyweight squat, plank, as well as some baseline overhead mobility movements. I include a Par-Q and thorough health history form. In general, I limit my coaching of beginners. I won’t take people who have a long list of injuries or health issues that are out of my scope of practice.

Alex MullanAlex Mullan
MASSthetics.net
Simply put, I don’t train beginners online. I’ve set up my content and site so that people who come into my world have familiarity with training. The couple times I’ve taken on rookies, all hell broke loose.

That being said, if we have a chat and they can prove to me that they’re willing to take it slow, go step-by-step, and the have realistic expectations for progress, I can be swayed into making an exception. Still, safety and ensuring optimal technique is my first priority.

If I were to take a beginner client, I would first move forward with simple program design, I coach them through the basic movements and have them send them to me. Once all is good enough with technique to prevent injury, we’ll move along.

Joey PerciaJoey Percia
joeypercia.com

Eric’s side note: Joey Percia trained me for three months. He’s an excellent coach with an epic beard.

I have great results with beginner clients in the gym, but my coaching style and philosophy makes it hard to mesh online. I’m a huge proponent of…

  1. Making movements look pretty as hell
  2. Being able to get as strong as possible while staying out of pain
  3. Looking sexy as hell

Most beginners that I come across need to work on #1, so they can do #2, which in turn is going to make #3 Much more effective.

And who doesn’t want more #3?

For that reason, I typically don’t accept online coaching clients starting from complete scratch with no training experience. If it’s just nutrition related, I’m definitely more lenient.

That being said, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to help people who are willing to ask for help so I make some exceptions if they can prove a few qualities to me.

In this case, I use simple video demonstrations of a few bodyweight movements: walking gait, squat, walking lunge, vertical jump, pushup, pullup or row, 10-yard sprint, back to wall shoulder flexion, and others that are goal dependent. We hit safety first, then optimize movement patterns for optimal performance and looking sexy as hell.

Joel Seedman, Ph.D.Joel Seedman, Ph.D.
advancedhumanperformance.com

Although working with beginner level on-line clients comes with its fair share of obvious challenges, the protocols I use for accepting clients is nearly the same. I’m less worried about their current or pre-existing levels of training, fitness, or training experience and more concerned with how mentally engaged and committed they are to the process.

I try to gain as much insight as possible as to how well they’ve tried to educate themselves on training and fitness, regardless of their level of training. This indirectly informs me how mentally engaged and focused they are on their goals.

In essence, I’m less concerned with their levels of fitness and training experience and more interested in their psychological mindset and level of mental engagement.

Regardless of their level of training experience, it’s my job as a coach to teach a lifter how to properly move and control their body. This is the same whether they are an online client (where I train them via Skype or FaceTime) or whether I train them in person.

If they’re lacking these attributes and are mentally lazy, then their ability to learn and apply the information I teach them will be limited at best…especially online.

The Takeaway: The Four Laws of Online Training

You can train beginners online. But the devil is in the details.

1) Put safety first.

2) Do a thorough movement screen. If all is solid, start with basic movement patterns.

3)Keep it simple and provide gradual overload.

4) Selling online training for the sake of money is a poor business model. Work only with those you can help.

Use long-term, habit- based approach to keep clients engaged and focused on their goals.

But remember, there are no absolutes. You shouldn’t take every online client that comes your way. Respect your scope of practice.


Are you sick of information overload, split shifts, and struggling to build a sustainable fitness business?  

Join our Rapidly Growing Facebook Community of Online Trainers dedicated to helping you.

Join here>> The Hybrid Business Facebook Group

How to Find Your Ideal Personal Training Clients

How to Find Your Ideal Personal Training Clients

By Eric Bach, CSCS is a personal trainer, author, and fitness business coach in Denver, Colorado. Eric’s passion is on simplifying the process of building an online fitness business and helping trainers overcome information overload to a build a successful fitness brand.

Discover How To Make More Money & Work Fewer Hours With A Hybrid Fitness Business. Grab the Six Figure Fitness Business Guide below.

>>>Pick it up here. <<<


Whether you train online or in-person, do you want to get beyond just surviving as a personal trainer to build a thriving fitness business?

You first need to find your ideal personal training client. And then you need to find more clients just like them.

But that’s easier said than done. So please read what follows. It can help you avoid the mistakes I made. You’ll jump start (or supercharge) your career.

The Story

Let’s begin with how I looked at things in my early years as a personal trainer. Every gym member was a prospective client. It didn’t matter who they were. Young, old, male, female, athletes, obese, or otherwise…I’d slam another grande Americano and train anyone, anywhere, anytime.

After all, I was just another broke trainer living paycheck to paycheck. I couldn’t be choosy. I worked split shifts and hustled every way I could.

And while it was a great learning experience, some clients drove me insane. I’d dread their upcoming 5:00 am session.

As a trainer, I’m sure you’ve been there: Hustling, grinding and scraping by with everything you have. You take on anyone, even the time wasters. And to an extent, you need to hustle and see dozens of clients with different body types, goals, and training histories.

But after you’ve improved your ability as a trainer,  it’s far better to have clients who:

  • Share your interests
  • Value your expertise
  • Know that you can solve their problems
  • Will become raving fans who refer others to you

The only problem? It’s hard to find that ideal client. And in the meantime, you have bills to pay.

So you end working with clients who are far from ideal. That makes it more difficult to get great results. But your business is built upon getting and replicating results for your clients.

The result? A bad business model that leaves you just grinding and surviving, not thriving and satisfied.

How to Identify Your Ideal Client

For a while, I thought l wanted to work only with athletes. That was until I found my true passion: helping busy guys (often ex-athletes, ironically) look better naked, simplify training, and maintain pain-free performance. I want to make having a strong, lean, and athletic body practical for busy dudes. Now, I wouldn’t have understood who I liked working with most…unless I took every client I could in the beginning. But that’s a short-term solution to a long-term problem.

Take five minutes to brainstorm your ideal client using the format that follows from my own business.

Client Name: Will

Age/Sex: 35 year-old male

Job/Income: Corporate attorney

Training History: Former high school athlete, played intramurals in college. Still plays pickup basketball and is well versed in the weight room.

Favorite Sport: Football, Virginia Tech Hokies (his alma mater).

Wants: To look better naked.

Biggest Struggle: Nutrition, namely fitting healthy habits into his schedule that often is full of business meetings, late nights, and entertaining clients.

Other interests: Travel, entrepreneurship (he wants to start a Vodka company, actually) Comedy (he listens to Louis CK on his way to work), Tesla (he drives one.) Coffee.

The more you know about your clients, the better you can target everything from marketing to coaching cues and writing an article.

Remember: people don’t buy personal training; they buy trainers. The more you can understand their fears, frustrations, desires, goals, and paint a picture on how to solve them, the more likely you are to be successful.

What You Need to Know

Originally used for writing sales copy, The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy recommends you answer the following questions about your clients.

What keeps your clients up at night?
Find this and solve it.

What are they afraid of?
Is it a lack of confidence? Not getting laid? Long-term health issues preventing them from being active with their kids?

What are their top frustrations?
It could be staying on a diet without counting calories. Or drinking socially still staying in shape. Or exercising and staying active without pain.

What changes are occurring in their personal or professional lives?
It could be major purchasing decisions, the start of Football season (this is a big deal) added job responsibilities, life events.

Who do they secretly, ardently desire most?
Do they want to look like a Football player or more of a Hollywood physique? Don’t laugh at the cliches, these are often the comparisons clients use.

Consider how your clients think. Are they analytical or intuitive? Do they have their own lingo? If so, try to adopt it. It is also helpful to know their income level, hobbies, political affiliations, and favorite TV shows.

What else interests them? Think beyond just the fitness industry to what their other interests may be. Political affiliations, hobbies, TV shows, music, and books are all great “depth” builders and conversation points with potential clients.

Here’s the takeaway.

(1) The most important thing is what’s important to your client (and NOT to you.)

(2) Meet clients where they are, not where you wish them to be.

(3) Grab our FREE Six Figure Fitness Business Guide for more tips, here.

But How Do You Actually Find The Ideal Personal Training Client?

Want to train athletes? Then why are you working at Planet Fitness? Looking to charge a premium for high-end clients? Look at gyms in major metropolitan areas near financial districts.

Consider where your prospective clients hang out. Is it in coffee shops? Then spend time in coffee shops and get to know the baristas. (Hat tip to Jon Goodman of The Personal Trainer Development Center for this tip.) Ask if you can put a flyer up for your services, buy the occasional coffee for someone else, and start making connections.

If you’re looking for online clients, ask your ideal clients where they get their fitness information. If you don’t have access to your ideal clients yet, search mainstream sites to see if your marketing messages are on target.

Athletes/Hardcore lifters: T-Nation

Powerlifting: EliteFTS, JTStrength

Fat Loss, looking better naked, activities outside the gym: Men’s Health, AskMen, Men’s Fitness

Facebook and Social Media
One of the best tools to finding your ideal client is this little-known website called Facebook. Somehow, Facebook convinced everyone it was a great idea to put their relationship status, age, address, favorite movies, books, video games, politicians, sports teams, job status, income, language, and about 1,000 other characteristics within a profile for the world to see.

So use Facebook wisely and don’t be a sleaze. It’s a bit creepy but Facebook has a wealth of demographic information about your ideal clients. Without going too far into the Facebook magic that we teach in Bach Performance Business Coaching you can create targeted ads that yield great results. Dani Singer of Fit2 Go called our expertise “a rare gem” after he spent $1,286 and brought in $35,256 in new clients, all in the span of a month and a half.

Determining Your Unique Selling Proposition
(USP)

Your USP sets you apart. It is the benefits your clients reap from working with you or buying your product.

How can you stand out from thousands of other trainers?

1. Be unique: As Scott Stratten once tweeted, “If you are your authentic self in your business, you have no competition.” I’d say 90% of trainers operate with the same few principles. The only way to stand out and be extraordinary is with passion, personality and excellent ability to relate to your clients on a personal level.

2. Focus on benefits, not features: No-one cares that you have an exercise library, a spiffy training app that integrates with myFitnessPal, and a plethora of experience as a coach. They care that you have an exercise library of exercises to help them train safely and make progress. Your training app is great, but the real benefit is it allows you to track, tweak, and optimize their program so they stay safe, pain-free, and healthy.

3. Expertise over experience. You have experience? Cool. I know a dude at my gym who’s been training for 25 years. The real benefit of your experience is your ability to navigate the tricky fitness world, helping your clients avoid the most common problems and get better results faster.

Your clients don’t care much about your certs, experience or tools. Those are all in the past. Personal training is a “what have you done for me lately” industry. Your clients want results, now. It’s your job to deliver the results.

Find your Ideal  Personal Training Clients

Remember, people hang out with people who have similar interests. If you’re able to attract your ideal clients, they likely have five or more friends with similar goals and an interest in your services.
Build a personal relationship with your clients beyond the gym. Do a great job helping them achieve their goals. You’ll be rewarded with an endless supply of similar clients.

P.S. Need help?

Hundreds of trainers have grabbed their Free Six Figure Fitness Business Guide and started making more money online.

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The Fitness Myth That Kills Progress

INCLUDES [FREE] Men’s 5-Day Transformation Course Worth $147

There is a fitness perpetuated by the fitness industry.

No one is innocent.

Not me, you, expert coaches, powerlifters, athletes, CrossFitters, or the swole bro’s at your gym.

It leads to information overload and the frustration of pulling your hair out and worrying that you’re doing it all wrong. It leads you to ditch your diet for the next cure-all diet plan, the next perfect workout, and another 6-week empty promise.

You’re constantly bombarded with information, leading to yo-yo diets, overuse injuries, and ineffective training.
You know the feeling. When you’re sitting with your coffee, digging into your reading list.

Your hands jitter, your mind races like a meth-laden hamster stuck on his wheel. More often than not, you’re …do I have it all wrong? 

Am I not doing enough?

I read squats are good, let’s do 10×10 instead of 3×8.

Sprints too, how about hill sprints after squats? We fall into a trap that if “some” workout is good, then doubling its intensity or volume is even better.

Which all leads me to the title of this post: The Biggest Fitness Myth Killing your progress.

If a little is good, then more is better.

Applied outside of fitness justifying the “for more is better” idea seems ludicrous, but logic is perpetually ignored when it comes to training.

If two beers gives you a buzz then let’s drink six and a do Power Hour!

If you need you need to get from home to work and back, a Honda will do, but why not a Porsche? Who cares if the lease is as more than your rent #yolo.

Neither of these (well, maybe beer) sounds like a good idea.

So why do we ignore common sense when it comes to training?

Now, we have power clean timed trials and box jump competitions and ultra-complex hybrid programs like Carb-cycling complex training cross-pollinated with German volume training.

Yep, it’s really shitty.

Quality has gone out the window, overtaken by the endless chase for excess under the false premise that more is better.

Quality Over Quantity: The Key to Crushing the Biggest Fitness Myth

Training is a double-edged sword. One part is stress to produce a training stimulus, while the other half is recovery. But hard training rarely, if ever is the missing component. Quality training and recovery are.

The harder you train, the more you must recover. Conversely, when you train hard without an adequate focus on recovery, you’re taking one step forward and two steps back.

Obviously, you want to make gains as fast as possible. That’s why I’m going to cover the sexy process of training and adaptation, giving you the strategies to keep your training fun, effective, and maximize your time in the gym.

P.S. Are you looking to simplify fitness and lose fat faster? I’ve put together a FREE course to help you lose fat and look better naked.  just click here. 

How to Make Progress in the Gym

Making progress requires the stimulus from training and adequate recovery to make you stronger, leaner, and hotter.

Side note: How fucking awesome is this picture?

gains2

Without recovery, there won’t be progress!

GAS: General Adaptation Syndrome

Back in the day, a smart dude named Hans Selye described whats known as the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). The body responds to a state of responses, such as workout. It also responds to adaptations, a collection of focused workouts. All this happens after exposure to a stressor, the training itself.

This is where it gets real. Your body goes through three stages from training and recovery:
* There isn’t enough stress to stimulate change (under training)
* The perfect amount of stress and recovery, contributing to the holy unveiling of gains (perfect)
* and the last one, too much stress with insufficient recovery. This leads to…death, (overtraining.)

Per the examples above, it’s best to shoot for the middle– optimal training and recovery. So the real secret is training and recovering enough to stimulate, but not annihilate your body.

The keys? Consistency and micro-progressions.

Consistency Over Time Gets you Massive Gains

Saying consistency is key is not as sexy as saying: “100x sit-ups/day gives you those sexy v-lines on your tummy that look really good on spring break, ” but ask yourself:

What are your goals?

What are your actions, or what are you currently doing to make big things happen?

Now, do your actions match your goals?

Match your actions to your goals.

Now, keep doing them for weeks, months, and years. Applied to your training, these simple tips will these simple tips will get you leaner, stronger, more muscular, or more athletic. Whatever your goal is, crush it consistently.

Stick with a Body Composition Goal for at Least Twelve Weeks

One of the questions I ask my coaching applicants is, “If we were to meet in twelve weeks, how would you want your body to change? ”

Ask yourself the same question right now, and write it down.

This creates the picture of where you want to go and pushes you to focus on one clear goal: losing fat, building muscle, building strength, or improving athleticism. Now, that doesn’t mean they can’t make progress in all these areas. But having a singular focus sets you up for success.

Even more, all goals take time to see what works. Your diet needs 1-2 weeks and training 3-4 week before you can really see how your body is starting to change.

Making changes before that is a mistake. Once you’ve given your body time, then make small changes to push results.

P.S. Are you looking to simplify fitness and lose fat faster? I’ve put together a FREE course to help you lose fat and look better naked.  just click here. 

For fat loss, this could be finding the right caloric deficit to trigger fat loss and get the scale moving.

For building muscle, it could be finding you need 500 more calories, not 200 more calories to make the scale budge and actually pack some meat onto those toothpicks hanging from your shoulders.

Without a singular focus, it’s impossible to make serious progress in any direction. In essence, you go one mile wide, and one inch deep.

Spend time to find what’s working, then go all out for twelve weeks in one direction.

Stick With a Program for 4-6 Weeks, Minimum

Per my last point, keep a body composition goal like losing body fat or building muscle for at least twelve weeks before switching gears. Within that time frame you have options and can change programs, but keep each for 4-6 weeks as long as they’re still focused on the primary body composition goal.

To quote Dan John, “Everything works for six weeks.”

31852344_m

Four to six weeks gives you the stimulus you need to train and adapt, yet a view of the end to keep you motivated and entertained with your programming.

Further, the effectiveness of many programs takes one or two weeks after its completion to become apparent. Without completing a program, you never give your body a chance to super-compensate and make progress.

On a side note, everything I mentioned here applies to a diet, whether it’s IIFYM, intermittent fasting, or six meals per day. You must give your body time to adapt and results to take hold.

Micro-Progressions

It’s best to stay consistent with your lifts and rep schemes for the duration of a program. Program hopping has kept tens of millions of people smaller, weaker, and fatter. Conversely, a few basic programs have made millions stronger, leaner, and bigger by doing less, but better.

Within a program, keep the changes small. The right amount of change prevents boredom to keep you motivated while too much blurs your goal and prevents adaptation. Here are the best micro-progressions.

Change Stance or Grip Every Few Weeks

The more advanced the lifter, the more variation they can handle and in some cases, need. But I’m not referring to completely changing exercises and technique like moving from a back squat to front squat.

Instead, make small changes with an exercise.

Move from your bench press grip in two inches.

Narrow up your squat stance.

Externally rotate your toes slightly on a conventional deadlift.

A slight change is enough to change muscle recruitment patterns to break a plateau without completely changing your program.

P.S. Are you looking to simplify fitness and lose fat faster? I’ve put together a FREE course to help you lose fat and look better naked.  just click here. 

Cover Diet Basics First

Eat one “fist” size servings vegetables with every meal.

Drink half your body weight in oz of water.

Eat 1 g of protein, or 1 “fist” size serving with every meal.

Until you’re doing those three things, you don’t need supplements. On the note of supplements…

Add One New Supplement at a Time

Most of my fellow trainers will nod their heads in agreement when I say: we get more questions on supplements than all other fitness related topics combined.

Like making changes in training or a diet, the best way to tell if something is working is only change one factor at a time.

Say you read an article recommending you take Athletic Greens, Creatine, Whey protein, and fish oil as supplements to improve performance and health.

brotein

Rather than taking them all right away, do it this way:

Day 1-7: Start with a Greens Supplement

Note any changes: More energy, clearer skin, better digestion?

Day 8-14: Add in Whey Protein

Note any changes: Less muscle soreness, improved performance?

Day 15-30: Add Creatine

Note any changes: Improved strength and power, Increased bodyweight, Improved cognitive function?

Day 30-40: Add Fish Oil

Note any changes: Less joint pain, better cognitive function?

Even seven days isn’t a long time to adjust to a new supplement, especially with supplements predicated on health like Greens or Fish oil. But, If you don’t test each product individually you’ll never know how you react.

If you don’t know how you react, then you’re throwing money away, or attributing success to something that just doesn’t work for you.

Pick “One” Free Training Day Every Two Weeks

Once every two weeks on a Saturday, train completely free from your program.

This isn’t the time to go find a 1-rep max; rather, time to play around with a new technique, 6 bicep curl variations you’ve been craving or work on exercises that are “fun.” Rake an hour and do curls, lateral raises, and calf raises if it makes you happy.

Hell, go spar and join a fight club, just enjoy yourself.

nutrition myth

The best bodies are built by those who work in the direction of their goals. And at the same time, find joy in working towards achieving your six-pack, new deadlift P.R., or adding ten pounds of sweet, sweet gains.

It’s rare to find someone consistently doing things they hate, so give yourself a break and have fun training. You’ll build a wave of momentum that keeps you working hard and consistent.

Overcoming the Biggest Fitness Myth

If a little is good, then more must be better.

Bullshit.

Higher quality work and intelligent training and nutrition to support your goals is better.

Consistently crushing workouts that support your goals is better. Then, make micro-progressions to stay motivated, keep training fun, and build a bad-ass body.

A final note. I have a gift for you, our FREE physique hacking Cheat Sheet. 

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  • The real reason constant dieting doesn’t work…and how to reboot your metabolism
  • The best exercises to stimulate massive fat loss without losing strength and muscle
  • How to enjoy your favorite foods and still make progress in the gym
  • How exercise so it improves your life rather than consumes it

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How To Improve Training Consistency


When it comes training, we tend to like the results a lot more than the process. Guest blogger Olivier Poirier-Leroy explains how to build a workout routine that will last. 


The January hordes have already begun to thin out at local gyms. Familiar faces are coming back into focus as many of the New Year’s resolution people fade away.

Training consistency is the key to long term success. And that’s where many people come up short. Making exercise a regular habit is a real struggle. The problem is almost universal.

Whether your goal is to master your bench press form, improve your front squat, or simply miss fewer workouts this year, here are a few ways to make the routine stick.

Make starting your workout the easiest thing you will do all day long.

Take one step at a time.  Avoid  lump-sum thinking that leaves you dreading all of the effort that will be required to do the whole thing. Instead, think about the effort required:

  •  to drive to the gym
  •  to put on your workout clothes
  •  to do a five minute warm up

training consistency

Break things down. When you make the goal the thing before the goal, things become easier and less intimidating.

Start smaller every time you have to restart.

There will be misfires on your journey to finding a routine that truly sticks. The first attempt at anything rarely works out, so why should making working out a habit be any different?

If you find yourself going all-out for a few days or weeks and then briskly falling off, start over with a cooler head and smaller expectations. Remember: the goal, above all else, is improved training consistency.

Remove obstacles.

What are your excuses for avoiding going to the gym? What are the things that pop up, over and over again?

If you are like me, you might put off your workout until the end of the day. Solution: work out in the morning.

Or you might expect too much of yourself, setting yourself up for disappointment. Solution: lower expectations.

Here’s one way to cope….

Make your goal driving to the gym.

Habit-creation is tough, especially when it comes to a behavior as complex and requiring as much willpower as working out.

How many times have you gone to the gym and done half a workout? Probably never, right? Once you get going,  you complete some sort of workout. Sure, it might not always be pretty, but generally the workout gets done.

We can’t always control how great/crappy our workout will be, but we can always complete the easy task of driving to the gym. Or pedaling down the block. Or running that first 100m.

If your goal is to wake up and run for 100m each morning, that is a much easier habit to build than, “I am going to wake up and run 10k every day.”

Make your workout routine kick off on something laughably small. When you need to be 100% fired up to make it to the gym you have a problem, because motivation is fleeting and it is fickle. Some days you have it. Others, not so much.

Design your workout routine so that you can start a workout even on the days where your motivation is at an all-time low.

Make your fitness goal walking through the doors of the gym, and that’s it. No motivation required.

Pick things you actually enjoy doing in the gym.

Seems blatantly obvious, but it’s still worth saying: your workouts don’t to be nothing but of exercises you hate doing.

If you love running, run. If you love powerlifting, do it. If you like going to the park and running around with your dog for an hour, do that.

When it comes to performing consistent exercise something is always better than nothing, and something you like is always better than something.

Mind your surroundings.

Our environment has a remarkable way of dictating our behaviors. Whether we realize it or not, the cues and triggers and even the people we surround ourselves with color our decisions and influence whether we can make that new ritual stick.

Some easy ways to “hack” your environment include:

  • Laying out your gym gear on the floor beside your bed before you pass out.
  • Carrying a water bottle with you at all times to get more water in ya.
  • Spend more time with people who have similar fitness goals as you.
  • Have pre-made (convenient!) healthy snacks for those moments when you get violent hunger pangs.

Moving beyond existing behaviors is tough. But you can make it easier. Manipulate your environment to help the change along. You’ll develop healthy new habits as you travel the road to consistency that leads to success.

IMG_9725About the Author:

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is an entrepreneur, athlete, and writer. He’s also kinda tall. He writes over at YourWorkoutBook.com.

 

 

 

 

What I Learned Attending My First Marathon


Forgive me my barbell brethren, for I have sinned.

I’m a self-proclaimed meathead. Yet I spent this past weekend attending my first marathon.

I didn’t shake my head at the collection of nipple chafing and “confused” people training “wrong.”

My biceps didn’t atrophy.

I didn’t, by mere physical proximity, lose 12 inches off my vertical jump.

Far from it. I was intrigued, inspired, and impressed.

The running community has it figured out. Weekend warriors, powerlifters, CrossFitters, and bodybuilding tribes all need to catch up.

Gasp…

Headshake…

I know, it’s crazy. Right?

Let me explain:

Since January, I’ve watched my wife Lauren crush her workouts. Ten degrees or eighty, rain or shine, sore or fresh… she got it done.

No excuses.

No “I’m too busy,” or “it’s too cold.”

No “I’m traveling, and working out is too hard.”

By all means, she did exactly what all high-performance beasts do— she showed grit.

Problem is, most people I know  in the fitness industry would scoff at the idea of someone “running” being high performance. They think running an endurance event is somehow inferior to every other fitness pursuit.

Shamefully, I’ve perpetrated this myth through my bias as an athlete and coach of mostly power and anaerobic events.

“Running is catabolic, it breaks you down and zaps your strength.”

“You’ll lose muscle and get/stay skinny fat.”

“Running is easy, I could do that.” (Note: most new clients can barely skip or stay on their feet beyond bilateral exercises. So no, you probably couldn’t.)

Before you gasp and send research to @Eric_Bach  attempting to back-up any of these beliefs…arguing semantics and physiology isn’t the point of this post. Greg Nuckols already dismissed most of them here.

Instead, here’s the deal:

Being a high performance beast is about setting a goal, then finding a way to get it done.

It’s developing the warrior mindset of pride, passion, and persevering through the inevitable roadblocks that stand between you, and whatever you’re looking to achieve.

It’s the process and the mindset that makes you a bad-ass…not the event.

lolo marathon

More simply, it’s not hoisting an elite powerlifting total. It’s improving your technique and attacking your weaknesses without fail.

It’s not about running the marathon at a specific time. It’s about running rain or shine — whether you want to or not. 

It’s not hitting your fat loss goal, it’s making incremental changes to your lifestyle to make sure the weight stays off.

It’s not signing the business contract at the end of your meeting. Instead, it’s knowing the product inside out, and preparing g to the best of your ability.

Being high-performance isn’t simply about the end result—it’s the process of preparing to the best of your ability.

I have a new respect and mindset toward the running community. 

Far and away, runners created the most positive competitive environment I’ve ever seen.

Sure, I saw skinny fat bodies, technical breakdown in running mechanics, and dudes with bloody nipples.

Still, I saw plenty of jacked physiques, big biceps, and smooth athletes completely in the zone mastering their craft. At the end, zipping around Minneapolis to cheer on Lauren was an overwhelmingly positive experience.

She showed me how much of a high-performance bad-ass she really is.

lolo marathon finish
She opened my eyes to put my personal training preferences and biases aside.

She set a goal and outlined the process, then made no excuses and got it done.

Being a high-performance bad-ass isn’t your deadlift. It’s not your training style. It’s not your marathon, nor your income. It’s the process of setting your goal, seeing it through to the end, then smashing it.

As Lauren put it, the race was just the victory lap. The real competition was the process of getting there.

Will you step up to the plate and master the process?

Minimalist Training: Stop Making it so Damn Complicated

Minimalist Training

Maybe you’re an accountant during tax season, constrained by dozens of last-minute documents and sleeping under your desk. 
Maybe you’re a full-time student working two jobs, managing your classes, and trying to have a social life.

Sound familiar? Sometimes everything else in life gets so damn hectic that we can’t fathom training. The thought of blitzing another training session with advanced methods and timed rest periods is too much to handle.

I understand, I’ve been there. This is when you should adopt minimalist training. 

During different times of the year, I get slammed busy.

Coaching gets busy, and my writing and training take a back seat. That doesn’t mean I get lazy, half-ass my workouts, and stop making gains. Quite the opposite: I’m forced to hone in on what matters, what gets the best results, and rid my mind of all but the essential. I perform minimalist training sessions. It’s Pareto’s Principle, the good ole’ fashion 80:20, and eliminating all that is least efficient.

“It is quality rather than quantity that matters.” – Seneca

As a coach, I need to know the ins-and-outs of training protocols for clients and athletes.

It’s part of the job.

I need to know how to do them, how to progress/regress, and understand how the body reacts.

While it’s great to be well-versed in advanced training methods, it’s not necessary for most people.

Post-activation potentiation, dynamic effort training, strength curves, timed rest periods, bioenergetics, and understanding how your body responds to insulin is all gravy, but don’t get lost in sexy terms and complicated matters.

Before you lose your mind, switch-gears, and freak out over training ask yourself the following questions:

1.) Am I getting stronger? Progressive overload is and always will be the premier way to build muscle, gain strength, and improve your fitness.

2.) Does my nutrition reflect my goals? Looking to lose weight? Burn more calories than you consume and see the scale drop. Looking to gain muscle? If you’re not gaining the weight you’re looking for the answer is simple—eat more. Eat your greens, get plenty of protein, healthy fats, and consume carbs to match your activity levels.

3.) Does it hurt? Then don’t do it. Understand the difference between strain and pain. Strain builds your body and character, pain screams “back the hell away!”

4.) Am I focused? Are workouts taking two hours? Unless you’re an advanced athlete (often it’s still a stretch) focus on the essential and drop the rest. You’re here to train, not have social hour and do 27 exercises for your “anterior pelvic tilt” or tight lats. Get in, get out, and get focused on your training.

Stop multi-tasking and over-thinking every aspect of your training. Instead, Focus on your goal, and only your goal.
Focus only on what truly helps you reach your goal, and forget the rest.

Focus on One Goal:

1.Multitasking is less efficient. Switching back and forth between goals zaps focus takes more time, and often results in you abandoning your goal.

2.Multitasking is complicated, leaving you more prone to mistakes and stress. You’ll major in the minors and never build muscle, shred fat, and take control of your life.

3.Multitasking makes you GO CRAZY. In the information age, we need to reign in terror and find a calm medium.

Simple Goal Setting:
Pick a big goal, like gaining ten pounds of muscle.Following the goal, pick out what small, behaviors you can do each day for two weeks that will help you reach your goal. Once you have mastered and tracked that goal for two weeks, add to it with another behavior.

Here’s an example:
Main Goal:I want to gain 10 pounds of muscle

Behavior 1: Lift weights 3x per week focusing on squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and chin-ups (check off every day for two weeks)

Behavior 2: Consume a post-workout shake of 30g protein and 60g carbs. (check off every day for two weeks)

Behavior 3: Get at least 6 hours of sleep per night. (check off every day for two weeks)

Get the point? I work with my clients to add one behavior at a time for 12-week blocks. Taking things step by step, focusing on one goal at a time yields real, practical change no matter the goal.

Don’t be the “10-year guy” who despite his hard work, lives the same life with the same body, same frustrations, and exact same goal. It’s that guy we all know doing 3 sets of 10 with 135 on the bench press….every day.

Stop Making it So Damn Complicated and adopt Minimalist Training

We all have jobs, school, family life, and life stressors that we’re responsible for.
Stop complicating training and adding it to the mix.
Use training as a stress-relief, not second-guessing and listening to what your friend (the former trainer, since we all know a few) recommends.

Stop asking about how you compare to others, stop critiquing your selfies, and focus on your goal and only your goal.
More isn’t better, more is more. Adopt a minimalist training perspective. You’ll stay the simple course and reap big rewards.

Should Women Train Differently than Men?

Recently, I’ve been receiving questions on how females should train. Most have the goal of looking leaner, toned, and a more curvy. In this post, I wanted to answer the most frequently asked question, “Should Women train differently than men? ”

Short Answer: No, not really.

With the questions I frequently get, I have put together 7 considerations for helping sculpt a sexy female figure.

1.) “Toning” and “shaping” are not the answer.

Weight training in popular media for women generally revolves around words such as “toning and shaping.”
Lets examine “toning” This term is used to make muscles appear firmer, and tighter without them appearing bigger. It’s a common, but extremely thawed thought. Routines based upon “toning” likely involve extremely light weights for very high rep amounts. Think pink dumbbells for 20 rep sets of triceps kickbacks. Unfortunately, these routines are not challenging enough to the muscle to force growth and change.

Without challenging you body to grow and change, how will it look any better?  With or without excess fat, a body looks healthy and fit with a little more muscle.

Shaping offers a different, yet equally confusing idea. Muscles cannot be shaped; rather, they are pre-determined by your genetics. You can’t physiologically change a muscles shape, only whether it is bigger or smaller.

2.) You should lift heavy.

Certain goals for both men and women are similar. The most common is a firm, toned, sexy look. One of the best ways to get that look, for men or women, is with heavy weight. Lifting heavy weights is the fastest, and most efficient way to build myogenic muscle tone… or the highly dense, toned muscle that you seek.

Photo Credit: List09.com
Photo Credit: List09.com

“But won’t lifting heavier weights make me bigger?” This leads to right to my next point…

3.)No, lifting weights will NOT make you bigger.

Why? Building muscle is very, very, hard. Ask any guy. There is a reason we train year in, year out, eat copious amounts of dead animal flesh, and cherish any small, muscular changes. And that’s with a plethora of hormonal benefits from testosterone helping us out! Unless you have extremely rare genetics you won’t be piling on slabs of muscle and look like Hulk Hogan.

Additionally, there are tons of factors that mitigate muscle growth: Training style (most importantly, muscle tension and training volume), diet, and hormones (as mentioned above.) Unless you are taking external testosterone, training with way too much volume, and consuming a ton of excess calories you won’t be getting bulky.

With that thought, I recommend all women do some sort of heavy training once per week. 
Try squats, deadlifts, bench presses, push presses, and rows for 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps with the heaviest weight you can safely do.

4.) There is no such thing as spot reduction

Men and women deposit fat differently. Men generally carry more body fat centralized around the abdomen whereas women carry more excess fat around the hips and thighs. For both genders, spot reduction is a popular topic. In most cases, body fat is lost evenly throughout the body. Therefore, in order to be leaner in a particular area fat loss needs to occur all over.
I find the best exercises for losing fat all over are done in a standing position, such as sprints and high intensity weighting, rather than a seated position like a stationary bike, or rowing machine.

5.) Women have a different weight distribution than men.

Because women carry more weight in their lower body they are generally relatively weaker in the upper body, but just as relatively strong in the lower body. In most cases it’s best to regress upper body exercises, such as a push up or pull up.  Rather than watching in horror as a female grinds out worm-ups, regressed the exercise by performing it with a barbell racked off the ground. Just because someone can’t do a full exercise…yet… doesn’t mean they shouldn’t perform any variation.

6.) Women have better stamina than men

Women can handle a higher training density– less rest between sets and a higher volume– than their male counterpart. This may be due to an overall decrease in relative strength. This factor allows women to train at a higher frequency with a higher density than men.

*Note: Training density (doing more in less time) is a huge variable for fat loss.   

7.) Women need more protein

I find most of my female clients drastically under-consume protein. Protein does three awesome things for your body: Protein can blunt your appetite to keep you fuller for longer, speed up your metabolism, and help you maintain your muscle (giving you that toned, dense look) while stripping off  unwanted fat. I tell my female clients to have protein with any carbohydrate source and shoot for their body weight in grams of protein. This would mean a 120 lb female consumes roughly 120 grams of protein per day.

Wrap Up

Okay, I’ve got to run, but I gathered a list of great sites and resources for you to check out. These are some of the best fitness sites for females looking to build awesome bodies. Fellas, you can take a look to and stop giving poor advice to women who ask you :).

http://www.soheefit.com

http://bretcontreras.com/strength-training-for-women/

http://www.jensinkler.com

http://www.negharfonooni.com

http://www.girlsgonestrong.com

http://www.cassandraforsythe.com

Let me know any questions you have and how you currently train!

Resources:

“Beautiful Crossfit Woman.” List 09. N.p., n. d. Web. 18 Sep. 2013. <http://www.list09.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/crossfit-girl-Laura-Plumley1.jpg>.

Romaniello, John . “Sexy Female Training.” Roman Fitness Systems. N.p., n. d. Web. 18 Sep. 2013. <http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com/blog/6-tips-for-building-a-sexy-female-body/>.

Schuler , Lou, Cassandra Forsythe, and Alwyn Cosgrove.The New Rules of Lifting For Women . New York City: Penguin Group, 2007. Print.

 

 

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