Physical fitness

Five Coaching Mistakes Every New Trainer Makes


There are Five Coaching Mistakes That Every New Trainer Makes

In yesterday's post on Marketing 101, I mentioned my friend Dax Moy, the highest paid trainer in the UK for very good reason.

In dealing with his own PTSD after surviving the tsunami in Thailand, Dax realized that many of the ways he (and everyone else) was coaching clients, including how he talks to them and how he frames questions, were actually making things harder for them.

So instead of fighting with non-compliant clients, instead of stressing then out and making them feel threatened by yelling at them, giving them ultimatums, pushing too hard, and expecting way too much, Dax started really listening to his clients and approaching them from a different place.

A place of support, understanding, and healing.

Do you make these five coaching mistakes?

Does your trainer or coach make them?

There is a better way!


Marketing 101 for Personal Trainers


Marketing 101 for Personal Trainers is much needed education that you won't learn in the gym or in your certification course.

One thing I never learned in any my fitness or pilates certifications was how to market myself and my services.


I learned how to teach and perform exercises, safety consideration, etc. But nothing on how sell this knowledge.

And things are even harder now, since there are so many more trainers and pilates teachers on the market right now.

To make things worse, most of the entrepreneurs who want to help trainers market know nothing about our business or our needs.

Now, I am lucky at this point to be in a rarified level of trainer where my clients consistently and happily pay $125-$250 an hour for my services. I rarely discount deeply (maybe 5-10%). And I am full with a waiting list for standing appointments.

And the fitness professionals that I learn from are all at my level. One of my favorites is Dax Moy, whose Fitness Marketing Made Simple FB group is one of the most brilliant forums for learning and coaching that I have seen.

We don't screw around with discount sites and selling. We just do what we do very, very, very well and give our clients consistent results.

Yes, that's right - we give our clients consistent results.

We don't lie to them, we don't sugar coat, but we also respect our clients. We get to know where to push them, when to coddle them, and what results they are looking for.

And when they need help that we can't give, we refer them to people we know can help.

Marketing 101 for Personal Trainers begins with knowing your skills and being solid in them and knowing your clients and how you can help them.

Note that I use the word "help" and not the word "fix".

No matter how much we get paid, we are helpers.

So, what are your best skills and how do you help others? Once you identify this, you can think about how to market.

Tracy Anderson Diet Deemed Unhealthy by Physicians


Tracy Anderson Diet Deemed Unhealthy By UK Physicians - "Raises Risk of Anorexia"

Back at the end 2012, The NY Times ran an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer, Tracy Anderson. In this interview she discussed her "Method":

Ms. Anderson described her own philosophy as “the method,” and talked passionately about the science behind it, tossing around terms like “proprioception perception,” “strength of synapses” and “muscle confusion.”

“I move across the large muscles in a way like when you were a kid you got an Indian burn, building collective strength between muscle groups,” she explained with a smile.

Ms. Anderson has not sought certification in fields like exercise physiology or teaching, she said, because, “I am so hard on myself with not deviating the amount of time that I have for research and development of the method.”

As for coming up with moves to slim problem areas where women are predisposed to store fat (“disproportionate struggle,” in Ms. Andersonspeak), she painted a vivid picture.

“I’m completely focused on how can I get forces to travel from opposing directions and end up creating a contraction in a muscle that’s going to then pull in,” she said. “And then as we lose the fat the muscular structure will be vibrating so well that it will have the connective tissues pull the skin back to it.”

So what does this mean? Scientifically, and in terms of how exercise really works, it is meaningless. Of course, she is NOT a certified fitness professional, so what do we expect? And why would you trust a trainer who refuses to study for a fitness certification exam? Would you trust a lawyer who wouldn't take the bar exam? A physician who never passed the Boards?

And now Ms. Anderson has a diet program, that involves eating 500-1000 calories a day for up to 90 days. While, of course, doing 1-2 hours of her high intensity exercises.

Normally a woman should eat about 2000 calories a day at the minimum.

According to the Daily Mail,

Yesterday the British Dietetic Association and eating disorder charity Beat both voiced concern over the regime, and said Miss Anderson may be particularly popular with impressionable teenagers because of her celebrity status.

Dr Frankie Phillips, of the BDA, said of the plan: ‘It’s extremely low in essential fats, low calorie and low in carbohydrates other than from fruit and vegetables. It also looks to be very time consuming. You would need to spend a lot of time preparing and shopping for the different meal plans.

‘It just means that [followers] might be more at risk of an eating disorder, of developing a disordered eating pattern.’

And if you look closely at the condition of Anderson's hair and skin in the article photos, as well as that of her clients, you can see that they are in poor condition. Dry, brittle, not great.

That is what happens when you eat no fat for way too long. Your hair, skin, and nails will show the damage first. And then your bone density also starts to weaken.

I for one am tired of listening to Tracy Anderson giving unhealthy advice to keep women "super-skinny" with no concern about health maintenance over the longer term.

I wish US physicians would start to call her out as much as UK people are. Her method is unscientific, dangerous, expensive, and promotes an unhealthy and unrealistic body image for women.

Book Review: Stick With Exercise For A Lifetime


Can sticking with exercise for a lifetime really be enjoyable? Yes, says Robert Hopper, Ph.D. in his latest book, Stick With Exercise For A Lifetime: How To Enjoy Every Minute of It!

Stick with Exercise for a Lifetime: How to Enjoy Every Minute of It!

As a fitness trainer or fitness coach, my job is to keep my clients excited and motivated to exercise. Some people see me once a week, some twice, and some four or five times, but what they all have in common is a commitment to themselves. My clients pre-pay, they pre-book, and are fully charged for late cancels or no shows, which keeps them focused.

While many Pilates teachers require their clients to learn about the equipment and how to set it up on their own, I do not. While I will teach that is asked, I am well compensated to adjust people's equipment and remember their favorite workouts and styles so that they keep moving forward and feeling better. All they need to do is show up!

My clients tend to be successful at fitness because they follow Hopper's seven "Best Practices" for success:

  1. They have fun! I love my job and my clients, so we always have a good time. We laugh through the hard work and it makes it a little easier.
  2. They work with a coach. I push them when they need it and pull back when they need it. I teach my clients correct form and discuss why it is correct. They learn, and they are accountable.
  3. They join a team. Whether it is simply showing up to a private or duet session, or taking a regular pilates class or kettlebell workshop with me, my clients have joined a team and have other folks to talk to and other people who want them to attend the session.
  4. They schedule exercise time.This is crucial! Regularly recurring exercise time makes it easier to exercise.
  5. They enhance performance with supplemental exercise. Really! I have clients who want cardio and go to Soul Cycle, others who run, and still others who prefer yoga and Physique 57. Even better, I have clients who started with me in pilates and then added TRX training or kettlebell sessions with me to increase their overall fitness.
  6. They set goals for improvement. Sometimes the goals are external - wanting to look great in a dress or swimsuit for an event, for example. Others are performance-oriented - wanting to run faster and further or play better golf or tennis. Sometimes the goals are about pain - I had one client for several years whose first goal was being able to wash her feet in the shower (that's how bad her back was). Her last goal with me before we both moved cities was to play competitive racquetball, and she did!
  7. They make winning choices at so-called "Championship Moments". Many of my clients are high-powered executives and see me at 7am, sometimes after being up until 1 or 2am. The championship moment is when they decide whether to late cancel or just suck it up and do the exercise. Most times they come in!

Fun is what is most important for Hopper, and he suggests that people start with any activity that they enjoy, whether it's line dancing, martial arts, swimming, or bocci.

My only concern is that this all requires a certain level of income and comfort in spending. And while Hopper does address this concern in about one out of 120 pages, what he ends up saying is, "Don't let [cost] be a barrier for you." Unfortunately, cost, even $10 a week for a class, is what stops many people from engaging in their preferred activities.