What would happen to your training business if you approached your job like an elite athlete trains for their sport?

Fitness Center Portland OregonAfter working with hundreds of fitness professionals, I have a sincere belief that if you WORK like an Athlete, it will allow you to follow your passion AND reap the rewards of a successful training career. And in the end, it’s an awesome way to make a living!

Many trainers fail because they only work IN their business instead of ON their business.  No matter where you work (large multipurpose clubs, training gyms, parks, etc.), the best trainers and coaches maximize their income potential by having the discipline to do both.

With that said, here are 3 simple and effective “plays” to add to your Personal Training Business Game Plan:

1. Be Organized. Even if you are a team member of a club or gym, you are operating your own individual business.  The perception of you and your business is paramount. Organization is critical for consistency which is one of the keys to successful business branding AND making money! That means you must plan ahead, execute your marketing (social media posts, etc.), accurately schedule clients, and stay on top of your client records and programs. Let’s face it, you’re never really “off the clock” when you are running your own business.

2. Be Intentional. Whether you know it or not, people are always watching, so you must be present and aware at ALL times. How you interact with clients and other club members is part of your marketing and business exposure. EVERY day is game day. Make it your focus to be the source of positive energy to motivate and inspire. Does this apply for that 5am client? Absolutely!  Get up early, shower, comb your hair, show up clean shaven with a pressed uniform and bring the fire!  Oh, and please with sugar on top, spit out the gum and get rid of the coffee. Aim to LOOK like a Pro.

3. Be Social. Like it or not, the most popular, motivational and likable person always wins in the fitness business.  It is our job to enhance lives, but our focus must be on culture, relationships, connecting other like-minded people together (especially for small group training) and building a sense of community.  Being a genuine provider of fitness coaching and education is vital and the more social the trainer, the more business referrals result.

There are a lot more plays to add to a successful training business game plan, but evaluate yourself on the above first.  Like an athlete’s training program, it’s progression and small victories that lead to becoming a world class trainer/coach.  Stay tuned for more real life experienced training business tips and WORK like an Athlete!



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Good Pain is Good

Do you ever push your body further than you thought possible? That big sense of accomplishment can boost confidence and at times, be somewhat emotional. After 25 years in the fitness industry, I still love watching “everyday athletes” push beyond their limit. It’s just so invigorating to see someone give their best and blast through physical and mental obstacles.

I saw a great example of this while watching the 2013 CrossFit Games final on TV. Now, I must admit, I have been a CrossFit skeptic. I viewed it as a fad, questioned its training ethics (too much, too soon… not enough progression) and assumed it would fade away. Turns out, it’s exploded and become a big-time sport with huge crowds of spectators and fans. Their events are filled with amazingly positive energy.

However, what impresses me most, is the pain and suffering these athletes must endure to win.


Let’s talk about CrossFit champ, Rich Froning. This guy dominated the men’s finals and went on to win his 3rd CrossFit championship. Rich wasn’t noticeably faster or stronger than his competitors, but he seemed to have the special gift of enduring the most pain.

Armed with a cool headband and stylish sunglasses, he was a rock star in this group of athletes. While others grimaced and were visually suffering throughout the exercises, Rich appeared to be barely breathing hard at all (perhaps to get in the heads of his competitors as well). He had obviously put in tons of hard hours at the gym, which resulted in big confidence and multiple championships.

After he was declared champion, his sea of fans cheered. Rich threw high fives to them and then got back into the field to encourage his opponents to finish strong. It was awesome!

Now, think about your job as a sport.

  • Do you desire to be the best in your occupation?
  • What kind of training do you need to be exceptional?
  • How much “pain” are you willing to endure to achieve your goals?

Fitness consulting is my new found sport. I’m sure those that know me, know my competitive nature.  I now often think about being the best consultant in the industry. I still have much to learn, but I’m constantly soaking up knowledge as part of my training.  It will take time, sacrifice and hard work to be the best at what I now do.

Additionally, I train physically on a regular basis. Not only does it awaken and strengthen my body, it also gets my mind right. The pain I can endure fuels my confidence, helps me think creatively and allows me to tackle any challenge that comes my way.

Practice using consistent exercise as part of your everyday business strategy. As you expand your threshold of pain (by the way, I’m not talking about injury type pain), it will make you stronger, more resilient, focused and without a doubt, you’ll become one of the most self-assured individuals in your industry or whatever you are setting out to be.

Try it. Practice It. Train Hard.  Train Smart.


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CRUSHING the CURVEBALL — Controlling and Embracing Change


The best baseball hitters will tell you that hitting fastballs are easy IF you know when they’re coming. However, a pitcher with a great fastball AND curveball makes it anything but. A curveball looks like a fastball at first, but then it bends, breaks and slows down in multiple dimensions. When you don’t know the curve is coming, your knees buckle, you fear the ball is going to hit you and in the end, the pitcher ends up making you look like a fool after it’s called a strike.

As a hitter, it’s frustrating, embarrassing and and even demoralizing. However, the great ones get better at hitting the curveball by learning, studying, preparing and training for it. In the end, the hitter knows how to react when the situation arises.

This morning I was reading 2 excerpts from two impactful mentors of mine. One of them covered the topic of dealing with change and the other wrote about preparation and planning. We all know that life, business, and relationships are full of “curveballs”, but how we deal with them is what matters most. Are we going to be the hitter in the batter’s box, knees buckled and risk hearing the umpire yell “STRIKE THREE!”? Or are we going to WORK like Athletes in all aspects of our lives and businesses, be pro-proactive, plan ahead and ATTACK the challenge(s) in front of us? I’ll take the latter of the two.

So here we go, it’s still not too late to take control of your day and the rest of your week. Get out of bed early tomorrow, read something inspirational, something educational, create your plan for the day, for the week, and get your mind and body right with exercise. Celebrate your victories and anticipate curveballs. Knowing that change is inevitable and taking control of your reactions to them will determine your success.

Now, imagine this. The count is 1 ball and 2 strikes. The pitcher just threw you two fastballs away. Here it comes… the breaking ball. You’ve seen it before and now you’re ready. Wait, wait… BOOM! Game Over.

WORK like an Athlete.

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