Fire All Your Clients

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Now Hiring: Partners
Throughout my fifteen years as a fitness professional, colleagues have complimented my work by commenting on the work ethic and results of my trainees. My trainees have complimented my work by keeping my book full and giving me the results that my colleagues notice. So how do I get the results? How do I keep a full book of high achieving, focused, and dedicated trainees?

I pre-qualify who I work with.

Let me be clear… I don’t care if it’s a Benz in the lot, I care if it was on time for our appointment (or fifteen minutes early); I don’t look for a Rolex, I listen for determination and a hunger to grow when goals are spoken; I’m seeking partners.

I’m not interested in taking any more clients… ever. Clients are consumers. They want to pay for my time, put their faith in me, and hope that I’ll change their life or, (it hurts to say this) some just look to talk about my services as a status symbol. I, like many other trainers, have been credited with changing many lives. Let’s be clear: neither I, nor any other trainer, is in the business or capable of changing anyone else’s life. I provide options and direction. I offer education and motivation. Clients set their goal and if they take what I offer, they will reach that goal. Many make progress, but when they leave their comfort zone, they quit. They choose to remain a client, consuming my time like a commodity, but never investing to change their self. I’ve had many trainees meet their goal and still remain a client. Once the goal is met, even before, I advise that we set the next goal to continue progress and continue their investment and truly make it a lifestyle. They meet the goal and want to ‘maintain.’ Maintenance is boring, so they wander, lose focus, and come back into me months or years later wanting to push the reset button on the goal we set way back when. They never invested in changing themselves. They PAID for my time and knowledge to meet a goal, but they didn’t INVEST in change.

Partners invest. They bring a goal, conviction to achieve that goal, and an understanding that the next goal will be waiting when we get there. Partners want to learn. They want to use me as a resource, but know that I’m not their guru. I’ll give them my professional opinion, provide them additional resources that I approve, and consult them on any outside opinions they bring to me. Additionally, I like to recommend that some of my trainees get a good PT certification. Some trainers worry that this will devalue their service – I offer them an exit to the profession. Like I said, I’m no one’s savior, but I’m not taking hostages here, either. I want my partners to have a better understanding of the knowledge behind the effort. My partners won’t always be training with me, but I will always be a resource for them. In turn they will be a resource for me – teaching me, enriching my professional and personal life, and filling my book with referrals.
That’s how I fill my book with driven, goal oriented, knowledgeable success stories. I seek driven, goal oriented people, cultivate knowledge, and we partner up on the story.

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-B

Defining Moments

How did you read that title? Was it, ‘a moment that defines you’ or ‘taking the opportunity to define the moment’? I prefer the latter but I feel most would hear/feel the former. This question came into my head during a workout earlier this week.

I was set for 5 sets of 400×2 on deadlifts. I’ve been spending too much time in bad positions (driving, sitting at a desk and the like) and wasn’t feeling good in my warm ups so I asked a guy I know to watch my pull and give me pointers.

Me: “I’m not sure I’m keeping a good position. Can you watch and give me your feedback?”

His response: “There’s only 315 on the bar.” (Even thought I try to keep it in check, my ego kicked in here and I felt the need to defend my workout. It happens)

Me: “Yeah. I’m scheduled for 5 doubles of 400 today”

Him: “You can’t lift 400?”

About 2 weeks before I read a post from Brett Contreras. If you don’t follow him, you should. He spoke about how he was set to pull 500 lbs for the first time. He was very excited, did all his prep work the week before, slept, stretched and ate as he was supposed to, but on the day he was set to hit his deadlift PR, he hit a “different PR” as he referred to it. He walked away from the bar after his warm up because something felt off on his back. Choosing health over ego, knowing that 500 lbs will be there next week and there is no competition in training. I loved this and even replied with, “I hope I can show the same restraint when the time comes.”

Me: “Pretty sure I can but want to be safe about it. Do you have the time?”

He watched and gave me a “Looks fine.” wave off.

I’ve known this guy for a while and he has the reputation of being a dick. Mostly because plenty of people have stories of “defining moments” like this. I’ve even had conversations with people where it’s been said, “It’s a shame because he is a great trainer, he’s just a shitty person.”

But we all have moments where we lose focus. I know there are plenty of people out there that are more than justified to call me an a-hole. That is why I regularly practice revisiting my mission and purpose. So when the time comes I can put my ego aside and define the moment and not let it define me.

BTW, I hit 400×2 on all except my 3rd set where my grip gave out on the 2nd rep. I tried to hurry and didn’t set up well. I felt the pang of ego kick in as I wanted to add more to the bar and show what I could do, but I chose to follow the program I had set. All in all it was heavy and easy… the way strength training should be.

-B

5 Dirty Little Fitness Secrets

1.) Be as naked as possible as often as possible in the sun. Getting skin exposure to natural light helps with increased VitaminKBSPool D production (which is tied to a litany of health markers moving in the right direction) improved serotonin levels (helps increase your mood) and a recent study showed being in natural light for just an hour lowered the blood pressure in all 34 participants. So get outside and get some time by the pool, walking in the park or chilling on your back deck.

2.) Masticate more! (Chew your food) Proper digestion starts with fully chewing your food. If food is not properly ground down by the teeth then all following digestive steps will be less effective. This means that less micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) get in to your system. Without these your body’s metabolism can’t fully function and that can not only stifle fat loss but cause weight gain. Luckily the chewing processes the most enjoyable part because you taste the food so most are happy to adhere to this. If someone is a habitually fast eater, I will have them chew each bite 30 times. This usually builds the habit in a week.

3.) Bend over, to the side, and really every direction. As our daily lives become more and more static in a seated forward hunched position, new medical conditions are appearing. Desk postureText neck” is the latest and is easily avoidable. If you work in a desk job find out what it takes to get a stand up desk. Worst case scenario is you need a doctor’s note. If you have a doctor that won’t write one you seriously need a new doctor. Next, set an alarm every 15 minutes. When it goes off, check your posture. Chances are you’re slouching. To correct it lift the crown of your head tall, reach your hands out to the sides palms up and pull your shoulders back and down away from your ears. While maintaining torso and shoulder position, bring your hands in to the keyboard. Now, every 3-4 alarms go for a 5 minute walk and stretch a bit. This can help, but you should allot time after every workout and in the evening to mobility work.

4.) Sleep around… 7-8 hours. So many people love to brag about how little sleep they need. And while there may be exceptions to the rule, chances are it’s not you. EVERYTHING functions better when you are fully rested. You think clearer and faster, you’ll be happier, hell you’ll even be stronger. Setting yourself up for quality sleep is key. No phones, tablets, computer or TV the last hour (or 2) before bed. The light wave coming off of these screens suppresses melatonin telling. This is your body responding the same way your ancestors did from the morning sunrise. “Time to get up and go to work” is not the message you want to be sending just before hitting the hay.

5.) But seriously… bang. As if you needed more reasons to have sex regularly, here’s a few:550px-Censored_rubber_stamp_svg lowers blood pressure, decreases pain sensitivity, has been shown to lower chances of heart attack and certain types of cancer. On top of all this it helps balance testosterone/estrogen levels in men and women which aides in improving sleep, handling stress and keeping a lower bodyfat percent. Yeah teamwork! You can even count it as a workout!

 

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