Did you catch the video I posted last week about hip and spine mobilization from Jeff Cubos? I really thought it was a great refresher and reminder of treatment and training ideas for a key body area. There’s no doubt that the hips are one of those areas we could likely make a career out of. Here’s the post if you missed it.
Today here’s another great video from Dean Somerset. Dean likely doesn’t know this because we don’t know each other well but I am actually a tremendous fan. Dean has amazing knowledge and ability to assess and evaluate biomechanics, he’s a true master in our field. Here’s a really awesome video on hip mobility that I also shared with my training team.
If you like the content in this video there’s no doubt you’ll want to check out the product they offer for core and spinal health, it’s a phenomenal resource that will undoubtedly benefit your clients.
I’ve always told both my training clients and upcoming trainers in the certification courses that I’ve taught that as trainers we could easily focus our whole careers on three key areas, hip function and mobility, the stabilization of the shoulder girth, and of course core function.
Here’s a great short little video that was forwarded to me from a friend and colleague Rick Kaselj on assessment and mobilization of the core and spine. I felt it was informative, I immediately shared it with my whole training team and I thought I’d post it here for you as I figured some of you would benefit from it as well.
If you like the video you might want to check out Rick and Jeff’s product, it’s very well done, highly informative and there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll gain tools that will immediately benefit your clients and ultimately the growth of your business.
Welcome back Dr. Dan…
The Boomer and senior market will be the fastest growing “niche” if you can call the soon to be dominant market a niche in the fitness industry. Boomers are turning 65 every day at an alarming rate! 10,000 every day!! I won’t bore you with stats on how this population segment is exploding, since for this post I want to focus on how small group personal training is very successful currently in our studios for clients over age 55.
I often get the question from younger clients, ones in their 30s and 40s…..”So how do you train people of different levels and you aren’t going to stick with me with old people are you?” I try not to laugh, but can’t hold back a smile when I say I tell you what we will put you in training groups appropriate for you, and then as you are ready to move up we will look at moving you into more challenging groups. Then I ask so do you think you can do 30 pushups on your toes, with good form and no rest? One of our 82 year old….and female clients in small groups can do that? The reality is our small group clients in their 60s, 70s and beyond are inspirations to all the clients younger than them, and actually create a more relaxed non-threatening environment for all those younger women who honestly are terrified of a gym, a bootcamp or a training facility. They see women older than them and realize good grief if they can do it, and kick my butt doing it…..I gotta get going.
Small Group Training for older clients works very much the same as for younger clients. Now we do have to be selective on some groups and it is more beneficial to put several over 70 clients in a group together at their pace. But we certainly have many clients in their 50s and 60s that can hang with the younger crowd just fine.
The biggest difference is simply being a little more aware and a little more prepared with modifications. With a small group made up of all clients over 60 you are bound to have some knee, hip or shoulder issues so you have to be prepared with several modifications. Burpees, Squat Jumps, Mountain Climbers will probably not be your go to exercises with these groups. But there are many great exercises you can do and incorporating some more balance and mobility focused ones works well also. Lunges and Squats are still great, Total Body Extensions (Squat Jumps without the jump), Step Ups, many different forms of pushups ranging from on the wall to a bench to on your knees to the full toes can all be incorporated.
Of course for our facilities our entire focus is on the 50-65 year old female client, so small group training is what we have designed and planned with them in mind. Do we occasionally get a new client in that isn’t ready for small group because they have too many joint issues and too much deconditioning, yes that does happen and then we require they go through 1-2 months minimum of 1-1 training to be prepared for small group training. Of course this is at a much higher price point. And we do still offer 1-1 training long term if people really want that, but we try to steer most people into small group training since it is much lower cost to them and much more profitable for us.
We have found that by being singularly focused on the 50-65 year old female we attract men 50 and over easily because we simply don’t have the no-pain, no-gain, yelling and screaming testosterone pumping environment. It also immediately becomes a place where women 30-50 feel comfortable with their weight loss struggles. Do we struggle to attract the super fit, super buff young males and females…..yes we do, but that is okay because we don’t want them anyway!
The final benefit is the small group training to the older clientele fills ups your days. We have group training at 9am, 9:30, 10, 10:30, 11am, 1215, 1, 130, 3, 3:30, 4, 4:30…..and of course all your early morning and evening times for the younger working folks. These older clients allow us to have a group training schedule that keeps trainers training all day long. If you aren’t thinking about the boomer and senior market it is time you woke up to the next big thing in the fitness industry. These older clients have the financial resources and the physical need; they will be the dominant force in the fitness industry.
Dan M Ritchie, PhD, CSCS, HFS-ACSM
Dan Ritchie, has a broad background in the fitness industry including training and management in commercial and university/hospital-based fitness, for-profit, not-for-profit and educational facilities. His primary areas of expertise are in personal training for special populations (pregnant women, those with chronic disease and/or disorders such as Parkinsons, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Fibromyalgia and Alzheimers, etc.). He has participated in state funded research on exercise for Alzheimer type severe dementia and regularly presents at national and regional conferences. He is a past Board member of the Midwest American College of Sports Medicine and was nominated for the ACSM National College Board of Trustees in 2008. He has been the Enhance Fitness Master Trainer for the State of Indiana since 2007. While at Purdue, he received a Lynn Fellowship and a National Strength and Conditioning Association research grant, and in 2009 his Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology, with a minor in Gerontology.
His experience also includes:
- FallProof Instructor Certified, from California State, Fullerton, 2006-present
- 2005 Thesis of the Year Award from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
- 2004 Graduate Student of the Year, American College of Sports Medicine, Midwest Chapter
- 2005-2007 Student Affairs Committee, ACSM
- 2005-2007 Board Member Midwest American College of Sports Medicine,
- 2008 Nominated for ACSM Board of Trustees
- Enhance Fitness Master Trainer for State of Indiana 2007-current
Presented at Amercian College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning annual meetings, Athletic Business Conference, National Council on Aging annual meeting, World Congress on Physical Activity and Aging
It’s always been my belief that Profitable Personal Trainer should be about more than just great business building systems and effective personal trainer marketing tactics. Though it’s clear that there has always been a gap when it comes to simple, practical, effective business education through the standard personal trainer education channels; most of us are always programmed to watch for useful technical and coaching information that allows us to be continually better trainers.
Here is another guest post from Cody Sipe, PhD, him and Dan Ritchie, PhD are two of the most effective and successful guys I know when it comes to training older adults, they really do create miracles at Miracles Fitness. I hope you find this helpful, take it away Cody…
I’m often asked what the best exercises are for older adults and I always reply “best for what?” I’ve researched, studied and tested more exercises than I care to remember to try and figure out which ones are the best for improving physical function. It is difficult to make an absolute list because the best exercise for an older adult is determined by their current needs and abilities. However, after two decades of training older adults there are several that have risen to the top of my list because they offer a multitude of benefits for clients, can be easily modified or varied, and can be used with a wide range of functional levels. So here are a few that you’ve just got to try.
- Standing 1-arm Cable Row: This is a great functional way to challenge the posterior chain with a small transverse plane demand. Put clients in a split stance with legs slightly bent in order to resist the forward pull of the cable. Posture is key so cue them to stay upright and “solid” during the rowing movement. Do not allow them to twist about the waist. You have the option of doing this with same foot forward as the hand holding the cable (ipsilateral) or opposite foot forward (contralateral). Switch back and forth from session to session for variation. Vary the height of the cable to alter the line of pull and create a new demand.
- What time is it?: Awesome exercise that includes multi-planar lunges while challenging cognitive processing. Have clients stand in an open space and imagine they are in the middle of a clock face that is on the ground. 12:00 is in front of them, 3:00 to the right, 6:00 behind and 9:00 to the left with all of the other numbers in their normal positions. Call out a time, such as 12:00. The client should lunge to that time and then return as quickly as possible. For the numbers on the right side of the clock they should lunge with their right foot and vice versa for the left side. You can increase the cognitive aspects of this exercise by calling out the times quickly so they have to react quicker or by calling out 4 or 5 times in a row that they must remember. This exercise is very scalable. For frailer clients or those with balance problems I have them step instead of lunge. For advanced clients I have them perform upper-body tasks simultaneously with the lunge.
- Power Stands: Getting out of a seat is a common, everyday task. In order to add a power aspect to this movement I have clients perform chair stands explosively. They begin in a standing position and lower themselves slowly to the chair. Once they transfer their weight to the chair they must “explode” and stand up as quickly as possible. The movement should be similar to jumping but without plantarflexion so that they clients don’t actually come off the ground (for the few that could). Foot position affects performance and varying foot position can be beneficial. The basic position is feet in front, shoulder-width apart. You can also do wider than shoulder-width with toes pointing slightly out or shoulder-width but with a staggered stance (one foot slightly ahead of the other). When using the staggered stance you can have them take 3-4 steps after standing like if they were taking off from the chair to race someone.
- Through the Gait: Practicing different gait patterns has huge benefits for older adults. Their gait tends to become stiff and inflexible so that they cannot negotiate environmental demands as easily such as steps, slopes, slippery surfaces, uneven ground, etc. Some of my favorite gait patterns to use are Monster Walks, Sleeping Dog, Carioche, Braiding, Red Light Green Light (yes like the children’s game), Heel Walks and Toe Walks. Cueing vision is very important. Clients have a strong tendency to look at their feet the whole time. Cue them to keep their head up and focus on something across the room. Safety is also a major issue. Be sure to use an open area and stay close to them so you can catch them if they stumble.
- Knock-outs: You can use a low-inertia cable column, a Keiser (pneumatic) cable column or a resistance tube for this movement that focuses on anterior core stability. Do not use an old school cable column that doesn’t allow you to perform fast movements without the weight jerking around. Have clients grab the cable with it anchored at about chest height. The client gets in a staggered stance and turns away from the cable so that they can perform a 1-arm chest press. Keeping an upright posture have the client “punch” in front of them by extending their arm and twisting their body slightly. They should not lean forward but rather maintain their upright posture throughout. A great variation of this is to have them stand beside the cable. So let’s say the cable is anchored to their right. They will step to their left and turn their hips and body to the left simultaneously while punching. Since they have turned their body they end up in a lunge position punching straight ahead. So it is as if they are trying to punch someone beside them. In fact, I typically stand beside them and put my chin out as a target and tell them to try to knock me out (one person almost did when I stood a little too close!).
As trainers we never stop learning, you can’t, there is simply too much to know. Even things you’ve done a certain way for years can suddenly take on new meaning, like a normal barbell bicep curl for instance.
This blog post isn’t about business, marketing, lead generations or pushing profits into the stratosphere. Yet if it get’s you thinking and improves your skill as a trainer (or mine, or someone else’s) then it is absolutely about business, clients success, retention and industry longevity. All are inclusive of exactly what the Profitable Personal Trainer is all about.
So let’s have some fun, let’s talk about bicep curls. (And for the record I can’t even mention the word bicep without thinking about Pumping Iron and good old Arnold and Franco training back in the day.)
Barbell bicep curls are for me a product of an era gone by, my bodybuilding days. When I think about bicep curls I can’t help but think about one of my major mentors and role models from my younger days, you might recognize him. When vanity was my primary objective and having those big hanging biceps was part of the job description I did a lot of bicep curls. Over the years as I evolved as a trainer their use faded, as truly for most it’s not a movement that serves for much of a variety of purpose. We know that many of our clients will often present with rounded shoulders, the sign of a deteriorating upper shoulder girth, shortened pecs, internal rotators and quite often shortened biceps.
In its simplest form the bicep curl doesn’t really seem like a logical choice dealing with someone with rounded shoulders and deteriorating posture. In no way am I disputing this but then sometimes the most difficult part of working with a client as actually physically getting them to perform, activate or use the actual muscles that you want them to. I’m sure like I have, you’ve found scapular retraction/manipulation to be one the most common, and often difficult, focal points of improvement for clients.
Recently I’ve taken a keen interest in Serratus Anterior and it’s role. I’ve always found it interesting that if we removed all the muscles from our shoulder blade it’s basically only attached to our skeleton at the end of the collarbone where it meets the sternum. Without the muscles holding it in place it could move all over the place, yet containing the shoulder joint it’s a major stabilization point for our arm and many of its movements as well as our head. It’s easy to see through our life, with most of our life spent moving in front of us, why the muscles of the shoulder girth could become unbalanced and dysfunctional. To me it’s even more frightening to think about how bad it really could get with the only structural anchor point for the shoulder girth to be at the sternum, this creates a broad range of displacement for a lot of muscles involved in a lot of movements.
Anyways, serratus, as you probably know the serratus originates on the back side of the shoulder blade, it wraps around our torso attaching to a number of ribs on the front side of our body. In conjunction with other muscles of the shoulder girth one of the big things it can do is flatten the shoulder blades (scapula) against the rib cage. Because of the convenience generally of our lives this is typical point of dysfunction. Our lives are typically not physically demanding enough to encourage efficient, regular neurological recruitment of the serratus to flatten the shoulder blades.
If you Google or search YouTube for improving serratus function you’ll undoubtedly find modified versions of push ups and presses, all of which I am a fan of and use extensively. However from a pure coaching standpoint recently I have had tremendous success with my clients using a light barbell bicep curl.
When my client is performing the barbell bicep curl I will stand behind them cuing them to flatten the shoulder blades and squeeze the bottom of the scapula together. I ask them to try to maintain this position while performing the bicep curl. I then place my hands on top of the shoulder with my thumbs sitting just below the ridge separating supraspinatus and infraspinatus so I can detect any movement.
Just about everyone moves a little, and this greatly decreases the efficiency of movement of the bicep curl. But what it does do is give them an immediate sense of what their scapula is doing, feeling the activation of lower trapezius and serratus as the attempt to keep the scapula from moving or stabilizing by elevating the traps with their upper fibers. This ineffective bicep curl has proven to be extremely beneficial in establishing the mind to muscle connection for better serratus activation and postural improvement.
The best part is your clients can see and feel an immediate difference. We all know with great results comes great client retention, increased customer referrals, and the development of your brand. Just maybe bicep curls can find a place into your business building strategy afterall.
What a weekend!
Well if you missed out on Saturday’s Profitable Personal Trainer Workshop I wanted to give you a recap.
We were very fortunate to have North America’s top fitness business coach Bedros Keuilian in Calgary; not only an extreme privilege but the guy barely made it, for some reason Canadian Immigration seemed to think the information he was bringing was so valuable that it was barely legal! (Well no not really but he always has some rather amusing experience at the border and secondary inspection. 🙂
So here’s how it went…
We started off with something critically important to you, your business and your clients…recognition.
Throughout the day 4 of my superstar coaching clients were recognized for their successes over these last months. Humairah & Faraz have learned so much about sales and client attraction it’s crazy, Chas has continued to streamline her facility from the depths of a monthly burn rate to reaching profitability, Tim has paid of 10s of thousands of dollars in debt in just month and Sean basically went from zero to nearly $100,000 in program sales in just 4 months, talk about action takers! (And silly me forgot to make sure we got pictures to save the moment, perhaps the individuals mentioned will proudly provide some with their award. J)
On to content…I started off by sharing the 5 key things that trainers need to understand and do in order to quickly reach the 6 figure mark and beyond, this applies whether you’ve been in the industry for years or were certified last weekend.
1) Don’t be afraid to fail, simply keep taking action!
- This means imperfect action is better than waiting too long to make it perfect.
- This means don’t screw around because you are afraid which leads you to being “busy” and kills action and all momentum.
- This means be 110% committed to your business but any new idea only needs to be 70% ready to put it into action, the best place to see and fix the problems is when they arise not sitting around guessing what they might be.
- This means success loves speed, outsource where possible so you can be doing more things
2) Identify “Your Most Likely Customer”
- This means completely describe them with a word picture as completely detailed as possible. And by that I mean try to explain exactly what you seen to your best friend if you drove by your customer standing in their own backyard watering their lawn. What type of clothing, what they enjoy, and every possible detail. Your marketing, promotions, everything needs to appear where your prospects frequent and in language that will both appeal and make sense to them. This is the basis of grassroots marketing and how you make a limited to no marketing dollars maximize their efforts.
3) Build a list and they will come.
- Seminars and strategic alliances with local businesses work amazingly well to quickly build a list and a reputation offline.
- Kijiji, Craigslist, Facebook and Adwords dominate for cost effectively finding new customers in your area, experimenting with these mediums can lead to quick and massive success.
- Leverage technology, use email software and the ability to schedule content delivery in advance to chunk tasks and make your day more efficient.
4) The More you give the more you get.
- This was the biggest take away in the 5 basics. After many years I didn’t get it either but there is one thing that has proved true over and over again, the most profitable and successful fitness professionals are the ones that get busy the fastest. The easiest way to get busy is to train people for free. Think about it your biggest immediate obstacle is no one knows you or your ability (and you may even doubt yourself) but even with that if you offerred 5-10 sessions free most people are likely to accept. You now have 5-10 opportunities to show them how great you are and why they should pay to continue, I think there is a far better chance in communicating this message in a free session than there is in a printed ad, a radio campaign or other generic marketing medium, don’t you agree? The bonus is that the people around you that suddenly see that you are really busy naturally assume you must be good at what you do because you suddenly were busy over night.
5) Nothing matters if you don’t take action.
- I know sounds repetitive but most people leave a seminar like this so inspired to wind up the next day feeling so overwelmed they don’t know where to begin, this point of fear (essentially or old same limiting mindset) prevents them from taking any action at all. So here’s what you need to do, go through your notes if you were there or pick 1-2 things from this article if you weren’t and write it on a small piece of paper. Make that your top tasks to start tomorrow, it’s only 2 things not much you can procrastinate on or avoid you must begin with one or the other. If you simply did this every day just imagine how many great things you could accomplish.
Next Bedros took over and really knocked it out of the park with helping you to understand and shift your mindset. Even though him and I have spent a great deal of time talking about these things and I’d even heard this content before for some reason this time it really hit me differently. The underlying message is that we will at some point always revert to our “scarcity mindset” or whatever that starting point is that proves to be the toughest obstacle when it comes to reaching our goals and dreams. It’s important to find away to continually develop your mindset of “abundance” by surrounding yourself with people you wish to emulate while limiting your exposure to people and situations that would have you return to your “scarcity mindset.”
If this all sounds like gibberish to you, you need to check out the audio/book Bedros highly recommended; Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. (Trust me it is captivatingly interesting and will change your life.
Once afternoon hit we took things in a more serious direction, I gave everyone a look at the in depth systems behind our million dollar training studio. How we manage everything from recruitment to compensation, automatic billing, planned and controlled growth, client retention, trainer retention evaluation, sales, marketing and so much more. The best part I explained how we can analyze the performance of our business in 10 minutes or less from anywhere in the world and then coach our team as needed.
I noticed a number of people experiencing the signs of mass writing cramp as they tried to document each detail, though for some this lead to confusion it illustrated the importance of defined systems as you grow and that the ceiling of your growth will only be dictated by the systems you apply.
To wrap up the day Bedros took everyone through his specialty, the path of ascension and how we go about attracting prospects and leads and the exact steps to convert them to paying clients. Not just scripts, tactics and ideas were shared but the exact breakdown and mechanics of building a full sales format system
I think all attendees would agree that it was impossible to have been at the Profitable Personal Trainer Workshop and NOT taken at least one thing away that could potential double, triple or massively blow up their business.
You guys are so awesome, what an amazing day I appreciate you all so much! Look forward to more, I’m currently looking to schedule 1-2 more live workshops before the end of 2011.
Ok it’s Monday, it’s where the rubber hit th road. Everyone in attendance last Saturday was challenged with “Taking Massive Action” with renewed confidence, enthusiasim, knowledge and power. Now I’d like to know what was the first thing you did Monday morning? Where has your vision stretched? What do you see on the road before you and the future of your business?
Please post your comments below.
Well I am just getting set to head out to Las Vegas to see all my colleagues in Bedros Keuilian’s ‘Seven Figure Mastermind’ group. It’s no secret at all that I believe a big reason my life has changed so much in the last three years is that I’ve turned to coaches and trainers that allowed me to overcome many fears, doubts, and insecurities when it comes to business.
As fitness professionals we know full well the value we provide to our clients in terms of knowledge, support, accountability and reassurance when it comes to pushing them to reach our goals. As effective coaches it’s all of those things that we then hope drive our clients into taking action, implementing immediate change into their life and voila! Each time someone does rapid physical change occurs.
After 19 years in the fitness industry, after being near bankrupt, dealing with bill collectors, wondering how I was going to buy groceries next week, to being defeated to the point of leaving the industry not once, not twice, but three times, I can tell you I have a faced fear a few times. Sometimes I’ve won, other times I’ve completely failed. Sometimes I was so dejected I would even spend a few of the final dollars I had to my name on a single lottery ticket. Not because I really believed I would win, but simply for the positive feeling of “what if?” Just that moment to dream would be enough to inspire me to pick myself up and take the next action, even just a little one.
A wise piece of wisdom someone once told me, “You know what a rut is? It’s a grave with the ends kicked out.”
I’ve had training clients and now coaching clients who have expressed to me their fears, in days past they’ve told me why they can’t do something, why now is not the right time. Next week I might be having that same conversation with one of my coaches, its human nature.
Frustration, discouragement will inevitably occur and that’s why we are needed by our clients; that’s why you need colleagues to turn to. If you are stuck in a rut now or the next time you experience that feeling remember those wise words that someone once told me, “You know what a rut is? It’s a grave with the ends kicked out.”
Fear is natural; fear prevents us from action, the number one rule of success in business: Continue to take action. It’s true, and if you doubt it for a second look at your client success stories, the biggest successes come from frequent repeat action.
As Jim Collins talks about in his book Good to Great, it’s all about continually pushing on the flywheel; inevitably momentum occurs and swiftly carries you forward. I’m off to Vegas to share the tale of the wonderful momentum we are now experiencing after months of trying to correct a few little problems, the inspiration carries and I know they will provide tonnes of new ideas that will continue to carry us all forward.
Forget your fears, push them aside, take action today. Right now make a list what are the 5 SPECIFIC things you need to complete in the next 7 days to push on the flywheel of your own business? Don’t be afraid it’s never the right time!
Video should be an essential part of your personal trainer marketing strategy.
This post is maybe a little different than my other posts but I feel it is as important to the topic of fitness marketing and selling personal training than any of the other content I’ve posted.
This last weekend marked the first mastermind meeting for my elite fitness marketing coaching clients. We all met at my facility in Red Deer in an unofficial sort of board of directors meeting. The power of many like minds in the same room (individuals with bigger businesses, smaller businesses, those just starting out or those rapidly growing) every single person had something valuable to share to each other as we all discussed the ‘next step’ or ‘major obstacles’ within our individual businesses. The best part is just when you thought you were a solo entrepreneur going it alone you realize you have an amazingly qualified team at your fingertips. Some of our group are even competitors within their respective markets but the power and synergism of forming relationship ensures that every individual reaches new heights, greater success, and further insulations from changing economic conditions. In this industry of fitness marketing and selling personal trainer I am sure every single person in that room would agree that what we can do together ensures the typical fears every solo entrepreneur faces are pretty much now absent from our respective businesses.
If all the great fitness marketing, ideas, tools and resources that were shared amongst the group weren’t enough North America’s top fitness marketer Bedros Keuilian (and the head of the 7-figure mastermind I’ve been a part of for some time) was also here in Red Deer. In addition to Bedros boot camp superstar and info marketer Shawna Kaminski (www.FemaleFatLossOver40.com) was also here to share some of the top fitness marketing strategies that have allowed her business to continually grow with break neck speed.
The moral of this story…
1) We sell personal training to people who want to look and feel better about themselves. They have a goal and we know we can provide value and can help them reach it easier and faster. Why would you think running a successful business (big or small) would be any different? Get a coach or support network!
2) You can guard your ideas with the fears of your competitors catching on or you can share and trade them with other quality people. Working together as a group it doesn’t take much to realize there is no way a competitor can ever keep up all they are left with is desperation to follow and copy rather than lead.
3) Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy; it’s damn hard and often feels like a pretty lonely road. Surrounding yourself with others provides the emotional fortitude that I am sure is found inside Fortune 500 board rooms.
On a closing note it would only make sense to add a shameless plug for my fitness marketing coaching program. I would like to expand it slightly with just a couple more key individuals. I’m not looking for just anyone but if you think you have what it takes (as in you are a serious action taker determined to reach 6 or even 7 figures in the next 1-2 years) submit your request for an application on the contact page.
Additionally I’m just nearing the end of Jim Collins book, Good to Great, I highly recommend you add it your reading list.