Ace Your Personal Training Interview!

Ace Your Personal Training Interview!

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Ace your personal training interview!

As the owner of Results Performance Training for over 14 years, I have done tons of interviews. Some were great, others were horrible! Here are a few tips to ace your next personal training interview.

Communication before the interview

Write professional emails and texts without slang or abbreviations. Do not take forever to respond to emails, calls, and text messages. Be professional when talking on phone interviews. This tells me so much about you! A major turn off if you have horrible communications skills.

Resume Current

Make sure you have an updated professional looking resume. This is your first impression. This can be the difference between getting called in for an interview, or not. We are not asking for your life story, just an overview of your previous positions. When I see training positions left off your resume, that come up during the interview, it raises a red flag.

How to Dress

It’s important to look professional during an interview. Make the most out of your first impression.

No need to underdress or overdress. Even though workout gear is what you will wear to work, I recommend not wearing workout gear to the interview. No Need to wear your Sunday best. Find an outfit that looks professional. Do not hesitate to ask if you will be required to demo exercises or workout.

Don’t brag about yourself!

The interview is a place to highlight your strengths. Do it in a way that does not make you seem arrogant.

When I hear someone say they were the best trainer on their old staff it turns me off. Never tell me that being a great athlete automatically makes you a great personal trainer. Heard a former athlete, uncertified with no experience, tell me “my playing career speaks for itself and this experience will make me a great trainer.” No, it does not.

Don’t Complain about your previous jobs!

This gives me bad vibes. If you complain about your previous job, I know it’s only a matter of time before you will complain about me. If asked why you left or plan on leaving, focus on career growth.

What If you are Not certified or have any experience?

Create a professional email to ask if they allow new trainers to shadow. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and learn more about the industry.Learn more about the facility you might end up working at.

Lots of gyms and personal training studios have positions for those who are in the process of getting certified. I have hired a lot of trainers who took the time to shadow or do unpaid internships before getting hired.

Must Read About Community and Network Marketing for Personal Trainers

Show up on time- AKA Show up early

This has ended so many interviews before they even started. I really hate when people show up late to an interview. If you somehow get lost , send a quick message beforehand. Still looks bad, because you should have done a test drive.

Arrive early and sit in your car vs trying to get there right on time. If you are late, don’t walk in acting like you were on time…ugh!!!!! At least apologize!!

Research the business and who you plan to interview with! –

It’s very important to research the company and who you plan to interview with! I am impressed when I can tell someone has done their research. Have intelligent questions to ask. It never hurts when a potential employee has a compliment for me:)

Qualifications and experience matter, but they are not everything

I have hired trainers with a million certifications and lots of experience, who were horrible. Or I should say, they were not a great fit on our team.

I have hired trainers in the process of getting certified who lack experience, who were great!

The person interviewing is looking at the little big things. Do you have a great personality? Good work ethic? Great at communication? Good energy? Will you show up on time? Growth mindset and coachable? If the answer is yes, then you are in a good position to get the position and have a great career in this industry!

Success is about the team. You have to be a great fit on that team. If you get rejected, it’s not the end of the world. Keep sending out those resumes and get experience with interviews.

Community and Network Marketing for Personal Trainers

Community and Network Marketing for Personal Trainers

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Community and Network Marketing for Personal Trainers

In my last post, I discussed that marketing is more than just posting on social media. You need to get out in the community and meet people. Do good things for people, the community, and it comes back to help out your business. A win- win! Plus, it feels good! It’s Fun! 

Below are a few ways my business Results Performance Training helps out in the community. These are low cost marketing options for personal trainers. You can steal a few of these ideas for your business. If you are interested in a FREE Coaching call with me to help you design your marketing plan, text 757 589 7028  

Joint Ventures with other Businesses 

Partnering with other businesses is a great way to get more leads. The key is to figure out what’s in it for them. Go in with a series of questions that make it hard for them to say no to. An example we use is….

 “Can I post your information on our community board for our members?”

We have a community board at our studio where we post community events, business cards, and information about local non-profits. We encourage our members to post and share what they have going on. 

Partner with Nonprofits

Nonprofits are always looking to raise money to help out in the community! We research local nonprofits to see what events they have going on.Don’t forget to check with your current members to see what organizations they are passionate about. 

They usually have events such as silent auctions, event nights, golf fundraisers, and other ways to collect money for great causes. 

Silent Auctions 

We donate our training packages, shirts, books, and consultations to organizations so they can auction them off. A win-win. They get your services to raise money for their organization. You get a lot of new eyes learning about your personal training business. We throw in friend passes, shirts, and books, so they can help bring in more of their friends after they win. 

Donation Drives 

We have a few months out of the year where we collect supplies for local nonprofits. Food items, school supplies, clothes, and the list goes on.  This is a fun way to get your members involved in the community events. 

Fitness Nights and Teambuilding 

We have partnered with local colleges and businesses to have team building events at our studio. This is always so much fun! We give them a great workout! To get the most out of these events we have a special offer for them after the session. We also have an incentive to leave a google review. 

Charity Fitness Nights 

Charity fitness nights are similar to the above, but we are donating money or supplies to a great cause. A certain amount of the proceeds, or all of the money, goes back to the organization. We have even done nights where they donate supplies for a free group training session. 

Public Speaking 

Public Speaking is a great way to show the community that you are the fitness expert in your area. Meeting people in person is way more effective than just posting on social media. Get out and have real conversations with people. Educate, have fun, and connect with people! 

Other Tips and Reminders 

Connect on LinkedIn and Social media – Use Social media to enhance what you are already doing. It’s so powerful! 

Get organized! – Some organizations are doing these things, but lack the organization to improve them over time. You need systems in place with all the details listed out. The small details like remembering to take that picture with them to share on social media, is a big deal. You need organized lists and documents.

Hey Personal Trainers! Stop Hiding behind Social Media!

Hey Personal Trainers! Stop Hiding behind Social Media!

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Hey Personal Trainers! Stop Hiding behind Social Media!

You post 30 times a day on IG, because the marketing guru tells you it will get you clients.

You spend all your time on IG getting exercise variations.

I see so many personal trainers hiding behind social media. All of you would benefit from having real conversations. Not messaging, but actually talking. Go to a conference and meet people. Schedule a time to shadow the coaches you are viewing. Have real conversations!

Posting 30 times a day on social media is NOT a marketing plan. Social media should be a part of your marketing plan, but NOT the entire plan. Get out and speak to people in Person! Go Network!

There is so much low hanging fruit outside of social media that will allow you to get more clients. I have coached trainers on things such as …..

  • Email marketing
  • Systems to get referrals
  • Systems to get reviews/social proof
  • Websites and landing pages
  • Blogging
  • Google and SEO work
  • Community marketing
  • Sales skills
  • …a million other things outside of social media

Do not get me wrong. Social Media is VERY important! Many of you reading this are older trainers like me. Probably happy you did not have to grow up in this era of social media controlling your life. So far, you have been nodding your head in agreement with everything I have said so far. Well, I am going to call you out…

Check out these essential Tips for Building Your Personal Training Business.

So many of you need to DO MORE with social media!

You have been changing lives for decades. You need to share that on social media! The newer generation of trainers can learn from you. Your next client can find you on social media.

A few tips for using social media….

  • Find the platform that works for you and your business. I see a lot of us older personal trainers afraid to use IG. Or a lot of the younger personal trainers not being on Facebook. In my opinion, everybody should be on at least those two platforms.
  • Make sure your content resonates with the person you are trying to reach! I see so many trainers making content for other trainers, when their target market is the general population just trying to get in shape. Your content is scaring them off! They are thinking “is he/she going to have me doing that?!”
  • Social media enhances what you are doing. It’s a way to share it with the world. It’s an amazing tool! But you need more tools in your toolbox!

Writing this blog post in the hopes that it will help you find a balance! Have a reason for being on social media. Who is your content helping? What is the goal? Who are the people you can learn from? Think about these questions before spending 20 hours a week on content creation. Before scrolling for hours to find 80 million variations of glute exercise!

Send me a message if there is any way I can help you grow as a personal trainer!

Tips for Building Your Personal Training Business

Tips for Building Your Personal Training Business

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Tips for Building Your Personal Training Business

Would you have your 60-year-old client who has never worked out before follow the LeBron James workout plan? No!

Then why do so many new trainers copy the marketing plans and advice from those big businesses. It works for them, so it must work for you. It will not. They did not do those things to get big. At least from the very start.

There is a big difference from going from 0 to 5k/mos, or 5k to 10/mos, or 10k to 15 or 20k per month.

So, this article series is for those with no money to spend on marketing. Those who have some experience as a trainer but are not fully booked with clients.

I will break this series down into a few parts….

New to Training and Working at a Big Gym with the Goal to Become Independent

Independent with Minimal Clients, but Needing More

Independent Personal Trainers Who are Getting Busy and Looking to Hire

Small Studio Owners

Today is an overview with a few quick tips….

Step One – Master Your Craft and Get the Basics Right

Please make sure you have taken the time to get the basic certifications and invested in becoming a solid trainer first.

Nothing annoys me more than some model, influencer, or athlete with no certification but expects to make six figures overnight as a trainer.

Okay, maybe the dude on YouTube who says you can make six figures online even if you have no certification or experience. With custom-designed programs blah blah blah…….No wonder so many of these new trainers have unrealistic expectations of the grind it takes to actually make six figures in this industry!

Step Two – Embrace the Less Glamorous Tasks

Building a strong foundation is never flashy but always required for success.

Some trainer making a ton of money says to post on IG a million times per day and it will make you rich! Social media is important, but just posting on social media is not going to make you money. You do it because of the rush you get when people like your post. You feel like you are doing something. Just like the person who does biceps curls and calf raises 6 days a week without a squat, deadlift, or press being programmed.

What is a strong foundation? Thanks for asking. Here are a few things I coach my personal training clients on……

  • Clear goals, mission, values – You must get clear on where you are going in order to get there. Why do you want to do this? Not liking your boss is not a strong enough why!
  • Understanding the numbers behind running a business – You need to be good at math to run a good business. It helps when you have a mentor that really understands the expenses you are getting ready to take on. The number of hours it will actually take.
  • You need a website, even if it’s a cheap one at first – You need a place to share your story, collect leads, and display value. Start somewhere. Build on it over time.
  • Are you swimming in red oceans or blue oceans – What really makes you unique?

If you are a 20 something year old trainer who wants to work with those who are already in pretty good shape then guess what? Just about all of your competitors want the same thing. Your ideal client does not have the money or a strong enough need to choose you over YouTube or IG. Or they can just go to the latest group fitness/fitness boot camp beat-down franchise that has way more money to spend on marketing.


I teach you to be unique and authentic. I work on finding a target that has money and can see the value in what you are doing. I help you build value in the consumer’s eyes.

  • Self-awareness and living in the real world – This comes with time, but I know my ideal target has changed in the last 20 years of being a trainer. The target population for my studio has changed over the past 14 years. A lot of that has to do with me understanding the new landscape of competitors. Understanding me. I have changed over the years and so will you. The goal is to have a long successful career in fitness.
  • Create a social proof plan – People would rather eat in the restaurant with 5-star google ratings and a line out the door, correct? They would pay more to eat there when compared to the one that has no social proof. I help you create social proof, even if you do not have that many clients yet. You have to look popular and have reviews to get more clients.
  • Make sure your record keeping is on point when it comes to emails, phone numbers, etc. – So many trainers are sitting on a goldmine called reactivating their old clients. But they don’t have the record keeping or systems in place to make it happen. A simple how are you doing to a former client, or newsletter tips can be worth thousands to your business.
  • Using social media for money and not to impress other trainers – Look at social media from the standpoint of the person who wants to give you money. Not from the perspective of another trainer or fit person who will give you a like on your post.
  • Sales skills and understanding value – Sales do not happen by accident. They need to see value. I will help you create value in your programs.
  • Referrals – Do not leave them to chance. You need systems in place for this. Going back to my point at the top of this article. Become great at your craft!

Excited to work on this series of blog posts! As usual, send me a DM or email with questions. It helps me create content!

Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Fitness Business

Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Fitness Business

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Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Fitness Business


In today’s dynamic and competitive landscape, the fitness industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and evolution. With an increasing emphasis on health and wellness, more individuals are actively seeking fitness solutions to enhance their physical well-being and overall lifestyle. This surge in demand presents a golden opportunity for fitness businesses to thrive, provided they employ effective marketing strategies tailored to their target audience.

Effective marketing strategies are not just about promoting products or services; they are about understanding the needs and aspirations of your audience and crafting compelling narratives that resonate with them. In this blog, we delve into the world of marketing strategies specifically designed to propel the growth of your fitness business.

From identifying your target demographics to leveraging digital platforms and implementing data-driven techniques, we explore a comprehensive range of strategies that will not only expand your reach but also foster meaningful connections with your clientele. Whether you’re a small boutique gym, a personal training studio, or a health and wellness brand, the insights shared here will equip you with the tools and knowledge to navigate the competitive landscape and carve out a successful niche in the fitness industry.

Also, read about Interview With Generationally Speaking

Advantages of Making Strategies to Grow a Fitness Business:

  1. Targeted Reach: By developing strategies, you can focus your efforts on reaching the right audience for your fitness business, increasing the likelihood of attracting interested and qualified leads.
  2. Brand Visibility: Implementing marketing strategies increases your brand’s visibility across various channels, making your business more recognizable and memorable among potential customers.
  3. Competitive Edge: Strategic marketing allows you to differentiate your fitness business from competitors, highlighting unique selling points and value propositions that set you apart in the market.
  4. Customer Engagement: Effective strategies foster engagement with your audience, encouraging interaction, feedback, and participation in promotions, events, and community initiatives.
  5. Lead Generation: Marketing strategies generate leads through various channels such as social media, email campaigns, SEO, and advertising, expanding your customer base and potential revenue streams.
  6. Customer Retention: Strategies focused on customer satisfaction, loyalty programs, and personalized experiences help retain existing customers, leading to repeat business and positive referrals.
  7. Measurable Results: Implementing strategies with clear objectives and KPIs allows you to track performance, measure ROI, and make data-driven decisions for continuous improvement and optimization.
  8. Adaptability: Having well-defined strategies enables you to adapt to market changes, industry trends, and customer preferences, staying agile and responsive to evolving needs and opportunities.
  9. Long-term Growth: Consistent and effective marketing strategies contribute to sustainable growth for your fitness business, building a strong foundation for future success and expansion.
  10. Brand Reputation: Implementing successful strategies enhances your brand’s reputation and credibility, earning trust and loyalty from customers and stakeholders in the fitness community.

Here are the Names of All the Strategies Mentioned in the Outline for Growing a Fitness Business:

  1. Understanding Your Audience
  2. Online Presence and Branding
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Email Marketing Campaigns
  5. Social Media Marketing
  6. Paid Advertising
  7. Customer Retention Strategies
  8. Local SEO and Community Engagement
  9. Analytics and Performance Tracking
  10. Continuous Learning and ImprovementUnderstanding Your Audience:

This strategy involves identifying your target demographics, analyzing their behavior, preferences, and motivations, and creating detailed customer personas. By understanding your audience on a deeper level, you can tailor your marketing efforts to resonate with their needs, interests, and pain points, leading to more effective communication and engagement.

Online Presence and Branding:

Building a strong online presence and brand identity is crucial for attracting and retaining customers. This includes creating a professional website that reflects your brand’s values and offerings, optimizing your presence on social media platforms, and consistently showcasing your brand’s personality and expertise to establish credibility and trust with your audience.

Content Marketing:

Content marketing involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and engaging content such as blogs, videos, podcasts, and infographics. This strategy aims to educate, entertain, and inspire your audience, positioning your fitness business as a thought leader and providing solutions to their fitness challenges and goals.

Email Marketing Campaigns:

Email marketing is a powerful tool for nurturing leads, fostering customer relationships, and promoting your services. By building an email list, sending personalized and targeted emails, and leveraging automation for efficiency, you can stay connected with your audience, deliver relevant content, and drive conversions.

Social Media Marketing:

Social media platforms offer opportunities to connect with your audience, showcase your brand’s personality, and engage in conversations. With social media marketing, you can create compelling content, interact with followers, run targeted ads, and build a community around your fitness business, driving engagement and brand awareness.


Paid advertising involves using platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and PPC campaigns to reach specific audiences and promote your services. By strategically allocating budget, targeting relevant keywords and demographics, and measuring ROI, paid advertising can amplify your reach and drive traffic and conversions.

Customer Retention Strategies:

Customer retention strategies focus on nurturing existing relationships, encouraging loyalty, and increasing customer lifetime value. This includes implementing loyalty programs, sending follow-up emails, providing exceptional customer service, and creating memorable experiences to retain customers and encourage repeat business.

Local SEO and Community Engagement:

The goal of local SEO tactics is to increase your presence in local search results and draw in nearby clients. This involves optimizing your Google My Business listing, participating in local events, partnering with community organizations, and engaging with the local community to build relationships and establish your fitness business as a trusted local resource.

Analytics and Performance Tracking:

Analytics and performance tracking are essential for evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, measuring ROI, and making data-driven decisions. By monitoring key metrics, analyzing trends, and optimizing strategies based on insights, you can continuously improve your marketing campaigns and achieve better results.

Continuous Learning and Improvement:

Continuous learning involves staying updated with industry trends, experimenting with new strategies and technologies, and adapting your approach based on feedback and data. By embracing a culture of learning and improvement, you can stay competitive, innovate, and drive ongoing growth for your fitness business.


In conclusion, implementing effective marketing strategies is vital for growing a successful fitness business in today’s competitive landscape. By combining a deep understanding of your audience, a strong online presence, engaging content marketing, strategic email campaigns, active social media marketing, targeted paid advertising, customer retention initiatives, local SEO efforts, and data-driven analytics, you can create a comprehensive and impactful marketing strategy that drives business growth.

It’s essential to continually assess and optimize your marketing efforts, adapt to changing trends and customer preferences, and foster meaningful connections with your audience. Building a strong brand identity, delivering exceptional customer experiences, and providing value-added services are key elements in retaining customers, fostering loyalty, and generating positive word-of-mouth referrals.

As you navigate the dynamic and evolving fitness industry, remember that successful marketing is a continuous journey of learning, experimentation, and improvement. Stay proactive, stay connected with your community, and stay focused on delivering results that align with your business objectives and customer needs. With dedication, creativity, and strategic planning, your fitness business can thrive and achieve sustainable growth in the long run.

Why advanced programming is slowing down your client progress

As a new trainer, you’re probably excited to jump right into an epic workout and hammer your clients all the coolest moves. The truth is, flashy exercises are not the most effective choice for 99% of clients. New trainers often lack the experience to understand how to work with clients who have never been active, never played sports… maybe they’ve never even been to a gym before!

Why advanced programming
is slowing down your
client progress

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As a new trainer, you’re probably excited to jump right into an epic workout and hammer your clients all the coolest moves. The truth is, flashy exercises are not the most effective choice for 99% of clients. New trainers often lack the experience to understand how to work with clients who have never been active, never played sports… maybe they’ve never even been to a gym before!


Workouts are not about looking cool, and personal training is not about getting clients to fit a mold of what you think a workout looks like. It’s about meeting each client at their level and creating sustainable results.


Truly professional trainers know how to ace the fundamentals even with the trickiest clients. Skillful programming strikes the right balance between a solid foundation and a creative approach.



Are you ready for some game-changing tips to start programming like a pro? The first step is self awareness of your habits and limitations. Check out these 5 mistakes new trainers always make:




1. Programming to look cool.


Can your client perform a bodyweight squat correctly?

Do they know how to hip hinge?

Don’t jump straight into complex combos until the fundamental components are mastered.

Always nail foundations first. Focus on creating muscle memory in all the basic movement patterns. Every client needs to have these 100% ingrained to successfully progress to more complex exercises.

Programming to nail the basics is more complex than it seems. You need to account for each client’s unique strength and mobility limitations, plus address imbalances in the chain as soon as possible. For example, one client’s squat might be held back because of tight hamstrings, while another might struggle with stabilizing their knees. Each one will warrant a different approach.

Learn a variety of regressions and what equipment works best for different issues. Boxes, bands, and balls are all incredible tools, but they need to be applied intentionally- not just because they seem fancy.



2. Skipping assessment.


Your cert probably walked you through some of the basic movement compensation patterns, but do you really know how to spot and address issues across a variety of body types?

Assess your clients regularly in every exercise they perform. Really watch what their bodies are doing. Think critically about the patterns you observe and choose exercises that they can perform correctly, or can safely adjust if their form slips. Practice using different form cues and learn what your clients respond to best.

Over time, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the mechanics of every exercise and how to troubleshoot more efficiently. Be honest with your clients. Tell them if they need to regress an exercise and why. Explain how their programming will help them reach their goals. Communicating your strategy builds rapport by showing them you have the expertise to guide them, even if the workout looks different than they expected.


3. Changing it up too soon.


Let’s be real- when it comes to gaining strength, progressive overload is king. Effective programming is always repetitive. Progress typically looks as simple as moving a few more pounds of weight, or grinding out a few more reps every week.

Successful programs can look pretty boring. Make sure your clients know that. Sure, keep things fresh and switch out a movement here and there, but don’t let it distract you. You can’t track changes in performance without repeating exercises. If you don’t come back to the same staples, you could easily spin your wheels because you aren’t assessing meaningful changes.


4. Hammering the intensity for no reason.


Beatdown workouts and fancy plyometrics will definitely leave your clients panting for breath… maybe even throwing up. But what are you really accomplishing?

Overdoing the intensity can scare some clients off- and for most people, it’s actually overtraining. Just because it feels intense doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for reaching your client’s goals. HIIT style circuits don’t need to take more than 15 minutes, sometimes even less for a beginner, and there are lower-impact programming options for building work capacity, including LISS cardio and strength training.


5. Getting stuck in your comfort zone.


As a new trainer, most of your experience comes from training yourself. It’s easy to fall into a rut of just training clients how to do your personal favorite exercises. You’re also more likely to overlook problem areas you haven’t personally struggled with. If you’ve never had lower back pain or a muscle imbalance, and haven’t worked with other clients with similar issues, you won’t have the knowledge to quickly and intuitively program for those problems. Your textbook might have touched on them when you studied for your cert, but that is no substitute for hands-on experience. 

Sure, there are plenty of exercises that are effective 99% of the time, but if you notice your overall programming looks essentially the same among clients with different goals, stop and analyze your approach.

Ask for feedback and mentorship from more experienced trainers for a fresh perspective. In fact, one of the best ways to deepen your knowledge is to hire your own trainer and experience a new approach firsthand.

Or, take continuing education workshops and certificates. Mix it up by attending different fitness classes. Exploring new modalities helps you expand your toolbox and better serve your clients. You never know what amazing techniques you might discover by trying a new style of workout.


If you recognize yourself in this article and are worried you’ve been doing it all wrong… that is 100% normal! You have to trust the learning process to make it in this industry, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Use this opportunity to identify your next step to becoming a better trainer. Pay attention to your clients and honor their unique needs. Focus on creating direct, goal-oriented workout plans and taking steps to expand your knowledge a little more every day. Stellar results are built one simple step at a time.

  • Fill out the contact form below!

Not Another Group Class?

Not another group class?! Stand out from the competition with group sessions that feel personal and get real results

Group exercise is a great way to reach more clients and make a broader impact in your community. But with most gyms offering an endless parade of overpacked classes, how do you stand out so your sessions don’t get lost in the crowd?

Not Another Group Class?

Stand out from the competition with group sessions that feel personal and get real results!

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Group exercise is a great way to reach more clients and make a broader impact in your community. But with most gyms offering an endless parade of overpacked classes, how do you stand out so your sessions don’t get lost in the crowd?
Classes are an accessible way for members to start working out, but risk losing the customized adjustments that make personal training so effective. With a proper game plan for your sessions, you can bring your signature coaching style into a group setting, creating a next-level experience. Follow these tips to streamline your group training style so your clients get the most out of their workout.




1. Introduce yourself to new attendees and keep an eye out for them.


New members will probably need some extra individual attention, while returning clients probably have the hang of following along. Introduce yourself and let newcomers know you’ll be coming around the room and making adjustments, so they’re prepared and comfortable with it.


Keep new members together at circuit stations so you can help them at the same time, instead of bouncing all over the room. The last thing you want is for other clients to need to play trainer because you couldn’t help someone out.




2. Make sure your members know got their back.


A confident attitude and communication let your clients know they can trust you. If they feel like they’re in good hands, they’ll keep coming back for more. Don’t wait for clients to approach you- put yourself out there. Encourage them to ask questions and request help.


Check in with new gym members before or after sessions. Make sure they know their way around the facility and what to expect from class. Supporting clients in feeling at home at the gym is one of the best ways to encourage them to stick to a new program.




3. Prepare your program and modifications in advance. 


Plan your sessions in advance and take the time to review them before class. You don’t want to get stuck stumped for the next exercise or end up with an imbalanced workout.


A group format means you’ll have people of all ages, strength levels, and fitness backgrounds. You’ll always have members who need modifications. Make sure you have those programmed in advance and any necessary props already set out so you don’t lose the flow of the class. Be prepared to demonstrate all movements, and to help attendees figure out how to set up any equipment.


If you have some more advanced members, you can also add some progressions to add a challenge. Keep an eye out for anyone attempting a variation beyond their skill level and help them adjust to the appropriate version.



4. Don’t trap yourself front and center.


Move around the room! You probably aren’t observing the room as well as you think you are from the front. I’ve had members tell me they’ll slack off when they think the trainer isn’t watching. Cover all your bases and keep your group motivated.


Being more involved with the entire room creates a stronger sense of connection with you as a leader. It shows that you’re involved and creates rapport when you can’t talk to each client individually. Plus, demonstrating exercises from different spots helps everyone get a closer look.




5. Program efficiently.


A group is way more hectic than a one-on-one session. You’ll have a whole room of people to keep track of- so keep it simple! Make sure you don’t intimidate newcomers away because the moves are too complicated.


Be careful with jumps or moves that get up and down off the floor- always offer low-impact variations. This keeps the workout safe and accessible for beginners and older members. You also want to watch out for moves that require extra mobility or balance. Focus on foundational basics and move up from there. Take note if any exercises tend to give a lot of members trouble- you may need to swap those out for something more accessible or take extra time to demo in the future.

These tips might seem simple, but many group exercise instructors aren’t using their full powers of observation or bringing a critical mind to programming in the same way a personal trainer does. Gym members know when they’re getting a quality experience, and that keeps them inspired to show up week after week. Treat your group sessions with the same care as your one-on-one clients, and you’ll make a powerful impact for even more people. I’ll be exploring the specifics of how to coach groups more in depth in future articles, so keep an eye out for part two!

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Writing Effective Training Programs- Your first plan never works

You’ve meticulously planned your client’s program for the next six weeks and included exercises and training methods that will help them reach their desired goal.

You’re chomping at the bit to get started and then you spot your client struggling as they enter the door. Uh-oh, this doesn’t look good.

“ Coach, I threw my back out again while helping my wife with laundry. You know I’ve done this a million times before so I didn’t want to cancel. Anyway, we can work around it today?”

Then your head starts spinning because you’ve got no idea what to do next.

Mike Tyson once said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

This is a trainer’s punch in the mouth.

What separates the good from the great trainers is the ability to think on your feet to solve a client’s problem. You don’t just teach exercise you need to be a professional problem solver too.  


When You Need A Plan B


There are a couple of situations where you need to go off-script to keep the training session flowing and to keep your paying client happy. They are:


1.     All the Equipment is Taken- If you planned bench presses on a Monday, you might be out of luck. There is not much time to wait for equipment when your client’s session is between 30-60 minutes.


2.     Client has an injury, or an exercise variation hurts- working around an injury or pain requires you know regressions and training methods to reduce the discomfort so the client gets a training effect.


Let’s look at these two scenarios so the next time your client or the busy gym throws you a curveball, you’ll be ready.


Lack of Equipment

Let’s look at the two most popular pieces of equipment and what to do when they are not available.

Problem All the benches are taken on national chest day, otherwise known as Monday.  

Walk into any gym on a Monday and you’re probably wishing for an empty bench. We use benches for bench presses and other upper body exercises like rows, pullovers, and seated shoulder presses too

Don’t let the lack of a bench hold you back. Instead of you and your client waiting for a bench to become available do these bench-free exercises.


Barbell Floor Press


Unilateral Dumbbell Floor Press


Dumbbell Z Press


Dumbbell Pullover on Floor


Wall One Arm Row


The advantages of these exercises are

  • More core engagement
  • Don’t require a bench
  • Safer for sore shoulders
  • The floor provides the client and trainer with feedback on technique



All the barbells are taken or there is no space to train with one.

Having exercise variations that train the muscles and movements of the squat, hinge, and bench without the barbell is handy to have in your back pocket when you and your client haven’t the time to wait for a barbell. For example


Dumbbell Squat Variations


Band Elevated Split Squat


Mechanical Advantage Dumbbell Bench Press Drop Set


Decline Dumbbell Floor Press With Glute Bridge


Staggered-Stance Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift


The advantages of these exercises are

  • Trains the same muscles and movements of the squat, press, and hinge Unilateral variations help strengthen strength imbalances between sides
  • Improved core strength
  • Dumbbells are easier on the joints than barbells


The client has an injury or an exercise that hurts

Training through pain is a no-no. We are not doctors or Physical Therapists and only they can diagnose something. Although we can make guesses on the causes of their pain, we can’t make a diagnosis.  What we can do is make exercise modifications so the client can train pain-free.

Let’s look at some exercises and training methods to train around the discomfort of the knees, hips/lower back, and shoulder region.


Training Methods When Pain Is An Issue

When an exercise hurts, or the client has a non-serious injury there are three methods to use as your plan B. 


1.     Exercise Regressions


When form or technique isn’t part of the problem, dialing down a movement by reducing intensity, increasing stability, or bringing the weight closer to the working muscle can help.

For example, if a Goblet squat hurts their back/hips/knees then bringing the weight closer to their legs (Sumo squat) may solve the problem while still training the squat.

Other examples of regressing an exercise while still maintaining a training effect are

Note- this isn’t an exhaustive list, and you need to use your best judgment. The exercises below start from difficult to less difficult.




Barbell back squat-Barbell Front Squat-Dumbbell Front Squat-Goblet squat- Sumo Squat


Bulgarian Split Squats- Walking Forward lunges- Forward lunges- Reverse lunge- Splits Squats-Assisted split squats


Barbell Deadlift- Trap bar Deadlift- Rack Pulls- RDL’s- Single-Leg Deadlift- Pull Throughs- Banded Hip Thrust


Bench Press- Unilateral Dumbbell bench press- Dumbbell Bench Press-Floor press- Weighted Push Ups- Bodyweight Push Ups- Incline Push Ups


2.     Reducing Range of Motion


The process of pain is complicated, but in simple terms when the brain senses a threat (real or perceived) pain happens. And by reducing the range of motion to a pain-free one, you cut the threat and you still get to strengthen the muscles around the joint.

Hopefully, by reducing the threat, you can strengthen the muscles around the joint while reducing the client’s pain while maintaining a training effect. This proves to your client what they can do and not what they can’t.

Here are some examples


Box squats (adjust the height of the box to a pain-free range of motion)


Rack pulls (above or below the knee)


 Dumbbell Floor Press


3.     Isometrics


Isometric exercises are muscle contractions without movement. There is more to isometric exercises than just planks. These exercises help to strengthen the muscles around the painful joint without the joint having to move. Plus, isometric exercises have been shown to give short-term pain relief also. (1)

Start at 30 seconds and then work into the 1-2 minutes range depending on the client’s ability.  

Iso squat


Iso Split squats


Iso Push Ups


Iso Chin Up Hold


Iso Single Leg Hip Extension


Wrapping Up

Safety of the client and keeping the personal training session flowing is your utmost priority. There are times when you need to go off-script due to injury, lack of equipment, or your client’s stress levels. Having plan B in your pocket reinforces your expert status and keeps your clients happy.



1. Physiother Res Int. 2018 Oct;23. Effects of isometric, eccentric, or heavy slow resistance exercises on pain and function in individuals with patellar tendinopathy: A systematic review.  Lim HY1,2, Wong SH.

How to Play the Long Game, Or Better Yet The Infinite Game in Your Personal Training Career


Are you playing a long game with your personal training career or business? Or will you fall for the traps that will end your career or shut your business down in the first 3 to 5 years, if not sooner?


As a personal trainer and business owner with 20 years of experience, I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. Although these last two decades came and went faster than I could have imagined — they taught me how to have a successful career in fitness.


A great book I came across recently, called the “Infinite Game” made me reflect back on my career and helped put some things into perspective. While reading the book, I realized I can use my experiences, both positive and negative, to help the next generation of trainers or personal trainers who run businesses.   


If you want to be in this industry for the long haul, you’ll need to play an Infinite Game. To do that, you’ll need to learn and develop the following five traits as outlined in the book. 


1. Just cause

This is not the same as your ‘why’. Your why comes from the past. Whereas having a just cause comes from a specific vision you have for the future, it doesn’t exist yet. But this vision you hold is your inspiration to stay focused. It’s bigger and more worthwhile than any small wins you might celebrate along the way.


Some attributes of this vision include:

  • Something positive and promising

  • Inclusive for all who want to participate

  • Service orientated and beneficial to others

  • Can endure unforeseen advances and changes 

  • Idealistic, big, and bold


Only the coaches and businesses who stand for something will last. The ones who make money their only goal, will likely fail. 


Let’s take a perfect and relevant example — COVID and the resulting pandemic.


You might have taken the important and necessary steps like getting your certification, a job, made some money and earned a little recognition. But when something like the magnitude of COVID hits, what now? 


Without a long term vision or having a just cause, none of the finite stuff holds up. Your vision and cause will give you the strength to endure a lot. And going through a lot teaches and prepares you to get what you want.  


For me, my ‘why’ is multi-layered. It goes far beyond the desire to teach someone how to squat. I want to have a lasting effect on someone’s quality of life. To help give them more active years, to make it easier for them to play with their grandkids, or help improve their mobility and strength so they can go on that trip of a lifetime.


Also, it’s important for me to develop good trainers into great ones, those who need the right guidance in order to break through. In short, my cause is about changing lives. 


2. Trusting teams

Anyone who’s successful in this industry rarely did it alone. Most have mentors, a strong network, and possibly a team of staff members who contributed to the long-term success of these trainers, coaches, and business owners. This network might also include family members, friends, a spouse, or partner.


The reason these key people played a part in the individual’s success has a lot to do with trust.


Working well together is one thing, but having a group of people who trust each other — mentally and emotionally — is something else entirely. This is a vital part of the long term success equation.


Also, your team has to be on board with your cause. If that changes slightly down the road, it’s important that your team can roll with it and adapt. Otherwise, a change in your team might be necessary.


3. Worthy rivals

Stop viewing the competition as people you need to beat. Instead view them as worthy rivals who can teach you how to be better, in a business and personal sense. Those who are a step ahead and reached the ‘next level’ of success could help you grow and evolve. They might push you to be the best version of yourself.


Know that these people are more like you than you think. They were likely in your shoes at some point. Take that as encouragement and motivation to get you to your next level of success, in whatever form that takes.


Also, it’s critical to be around people who think big. Those who understand that no dream is unattainable. They know how to hold a vision in their mind until it becomes reality. These people are rarely negative. Instead, they focus many of their thoughts and attention on staying positive. 


I’m definitely a competitive guy, which has helped and hurt me. And let’s be honest, there’s a lot of competition in this field. At first, you might beat out most people just by showing up consistently and outworking them. But then you get to a point where working smarter, not just harder will benefit you more.


So, I challenge you to think bigger and reach out to the top people in the industry. The ones that motivate you and stretch you. You’ll find that most are willing to help you get to where you want to be. Even if some aren’t eager to help, don’t let that derail you.


Stay focused on your mission and work with those who will help. In time, you’ll find your niche and realize there’s no ‘real’ competition other than yourself.


4. Existential flexibility

This term refers to extreme adaptability and a love for change. An infinite minded person who demonstrates existential flexibility is someone who welcomes challenges, even in the most intense form. Real coaches live for this.


It might sound strange, but I got excited when COVID hit. Not because of the threat it posed to people. But in the way, it disrupted my current reality by presenting an extremely difficult set of circumstances. In other words, I perform well under pressure and never step down from a challenge. Also, I never see a situation as ‘game over’ because I’m a process minded person. 


Even more, I’ve been part of this game long enough to know that some people will flat out fold during tough times. And this has nothing to do with finances, but everything to do with a lack of love for the game. So, to embody this trait you need a strong love for what you do, which will give you the strength to come out on the other side. 


5. A courage to lead 

When you’re working with an infinite mindset you’ll have the courage to change your perception of how the world works, which will give you the courage to lead. Being open-minded is key. How you see the world now will likely change in the next 1, 3, 5 years, and beyond. The change in your outlook and views will help you adapt to the changes in competition and advances. If not, you’ll be out of a business. 


I see the world much differently now than I did 20 years ago and in the subsequent years since. If you don’t evolve and accept that things will change, then you won’t be a respected leader. Or a leader of any kind.


Final thoughts

To survive the long game, take note of these five traits for success and work on developing a specific skill set. Based on my experience, I learned that some of the most valuable skills to have include patience, drive, and a strategic and future-oriented mindset. Take the longest path to success.


With my 5 to 10-year goals, I focus on the actions that will get me there. But, I often do things quickly with the understanding that failure is my biggest ally. This is something I know to be true because I’ve seen it happen time and time again over the last 20 years. Waiting for perfection is holding most of you back.


You might also be holding yourself back because you’re not where you want to be yet. And those around you seem to have it all. The ‘superstar trainers’ might be a leg or two up on you, but if you commit to playing an infinite game, you will pass them, guaranteed.


A Look Back on the Most Invaluable, Life-Changing Lessons During COVID-19

There are times in life that feel heavy and dark. But, we always make it through. Then there are unprecedented times full of unknowns, which is our current reality because of COVID. It’s an entirely new and different beast.  

Navigating through this has been challenging and excruciating at times. Because of it, I’ve learned that certain things are completely out of my control. When I made peace with this fact, my stress began to subside.

And although COVID isn’t over and the pandemic’s still affecting many around the world, I’ve learned so much from this time. I’ve grown as a business owner and personal trainer, and I’m still standing and going strong. 

Now is the perfect time to reflect on and share 8 lessons I learned during the COVID shutdown and the slow return back to the new ‘normal’.

1. The importance of gratitude

Gratitude is like a superpower. The more grateful you are, the happier you become and the better you feel. When you’re not in a state of gratitude, you may become fearful, depressed, and quickly enter victimhood. This is a place of disempowerment. When you’re dealing with the unknown, like COVID, that’s not a position you want to be in. 

To step back into your power, write down 3 to 5 things you’re grateful for every morning. Say them out loud over and over until a smile appears on your face.

I’m thankful that my fitness business is still successful even with the COVID crisis. Not everyone has been as fortunate. Some people lost everything. When I’m feeling down or frustrated, I shift my mindset and think about everything in my life I’m grateful for.

I think this mindset is one of the main reasons my business persevered.

2. There’s more than one way to make money

Don’t get married to how you make your money. And don’t get stuck in the limited belief that money is hard to come by. When you get creative and think outside the box, you’ll realize there are lots of ways to make money in the fitness industry.

For starters, there’s online one-on-one coaching, virtual group training sessions, paid writing gigs, affiliate marketing, teaching opportunities, and more.

Focus your attention on making money, instead of fearing the lack of money. This is a basic principle of the Law of Attraction. Ask for what you want and it will come. Ask for what you don’t want and that will also come. You get to choose.

3. Let go of the “old, comfortable way” and learn to adapt

The key phrase here is “let go.” Release your attachment to the old way, to the way you’ve always done things. And adapt to the changing environment around you. If this pandemic taught us anything, it taught us how to be resilient and adaptable in the face of adversity. Extreme adversity I might add. 

So, if your regular clients are Baby Boomers and don’t like training online, be okay with that and understand where they’re coming from. Pivot and adapt. Make adjustments to stay in business.

Making money keeps you in the game for the long run. And not only you but everyone down the road who stands to benefit from your expertise and services. 

When we switched to virtual sessions, we noticed our senior clients dropped out at a higher rate. So, we focused our marketing efforts on young athletes to help make up the difference in income. We also transitioned to more one-on-one and semi-private options. 

4. Become more open-minded

I never saw myself giving live coaching sessions online, but I adjusted and enjoyed being at my gym while coaching virtually. It gave me more energy to focus on expanding my leadership and personal training skills. And more energy to attack different revenue sources with my writing and coaching other trainers.

Instead of hating the idea of coaching virtually, I chose to see the positive in it. And from that mindset, I attracted people I wanted to work with. In other words, I changed my perception of virtual fitness training and found a way to make it work for me.

5. Never underestimate the power of your network

A network isn’t just useful and practical — it’s necessary for success. And in the case of a global pandemic, it was necessary for survival. I was fortunate to have established a stable and powerful network long before I actually needed it.

So, it was easy to ask for help and to help others in my network. Honestly, I don’t know what I would’ve done without my network of fit pros who were also going through the same thing.

If you ever questioned your network before, this time probably helped you see who was on your side and who wasn’t. When your network is defined by a healthy, team-spirited culture, they’ll always support you, even through difficult times.

And if there’s any negativity in your group, you’ll see that very clearly. And your inner guidance system will tell you to part ways with the people who don’t have your best interest at heart. 

As a takeaway, make it a point to develop meaningful connections — one’s that last. One’s that stand the test of time. Not only for your sake but for their benefit as well. We’re stronger together, as you know.

6. Study your numbers and track them close

It’s not always about how much you make, it’s also how much you keep. Make your money work for you. Get better with money management if that’s something you struggle with

There are tons of great online resources and books on the subject of finances. Spend some of your downtime learning and soon enough you’ll be more confident in this area. Also, be sure to have great bookkeepers and accountants on your team.

These important financial steps and decisions can end up saving your business — literally.

7. Ground yourself before making quick decisions

Before making an irrational decision from a place of emotional duress, stop and take a breath. In fact, take several of them. You don’t always have to make decisions at the drop of a dime. You often have more time than you think.

Spend time grounding yourself before making an impulsive or costly decision. This doesn’t have to take days, this can happen in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. 

Go for a walk alone, step your feet onto the grass, feel the connection of the earth. And don’t forget to take breaths, pray if you want to. Having a quiet, uninterrupted moment where you’re breathing slowly and calmly will end up providing you the best insights. 

Coming from a calm, grounded place helped me make decisions fast when I needed to. Like taking the steps to move our training sessions to a virtual platform, which enabled us to maintain our members. 

8. Remember your ‘why’

Why did you start your own gym? What was your main inspiration and driving force behind it all? Now, get back to that.

Remembering why you got into this industry in the first place will bring back a flood of good memories. Such as your love for fitness, your passion for serving others. And your calling to bring joy and health into the lives of those who step foot into your gym.

Your ‘why’ is powerful. It’s going to help you get out of any bind and jump over any hurdle. You got this