Big Picture Principle: 3 Step System to Simplify Your Client’s Diet Plan

Your clients have probably been bombarded with all sorts of advice and ideas. And you might feel like you are just adding to their burden by recommending yet another regimen to follow. Instead what they really need is a simple shift in mindset and an approach that will allow them to make better choices without sapping their willpower and beating themselves up. If you help them understand some basic principles they can easily remember, you’ll empower them to take control of their health and be responsible for creating more vitality in their lives, with you as the catalyst, not the commander.

When I was a child I started reading nutrition books. I became particular enough about food that my mother was concerned I was anorexic even though I had a big appetite. I actually only went through one phase where I was counting calories and the amount of nutrients I was getting. Most of the time I wanted to enjoy life and not be too particular.

What health trend do you think has been a positive one that you would like to stick around?

While there are plenty of new, reinvented, and even old fitness trends that are all competing to be the best, fastest, and most beneficial to get the fitness professional and their clients in shape, there’s one that holds truer than all of the others – Body-Weight Training!

So, why body-weight training? 

Enclosed below are three points to further state why body weight training is so effective:

Back To The Basics – To start, body-weight training can be a great tool to help the fitness professional learn about their clients’ movement patterns. You could make the argument that if someone isn’t able to perform stabilization, strength, and power movements using their own body correctly, then they shouldn’t progress into using equipment.

Is it important to focus on a niche within training? How do I begin to figure out which niche is best for me?

The fitness industry is in massive grow right now. The opportunities for personal trainers or other fitness professionals are astounding.

But, if you haven’t clearly defined your niche within the industry, chances are you’ll simply be lost in the ever-growing fitness industry.

Niching down allows your marketing efforts to have a more significant impact and a much better chance of growing your business quickly.

People tend to seek out personal trainers because they have specific goals in mind. Maybe they want to burn fat, bulk up or get ready for their sporting season. When those prospective clients start their search for a personal trainer, they are more likely to search for a niche trainer instead of a generalist who claims they can do it all.

How do I go the extra mile as a trainer? I want to add the most value I possibly can to my clients.

The first step to answering this question is to ask yourself right now, “What do my clients value?”

Your value as a personal trainer is  obviously important to your short- and long-term business growth, but take note that your client’s valuation of your business starts with their first interaction, before they actually speak to you. These things must always be considered in your analysis of ways to improve the value of your business and coaching.

The most direct way to increase your value, in general, is actually very simple and straightforward: build on top of and improve your pre-existing value.

As a trainer, how much should I know about nutrition?

It is the responsibility of the trainer to only advocate eating habits they know well. Nothing is black and white.

Even common vitamins can be beneficial for some and toxic to others.  Supplements compound the issue. If your trainer recommends you take a supplement, I recommend you do your own research before buying it — especially if the trainer is the one selling it to you.

Large commissions are paid to trainers who sell supplements to trusting clients. Multi-tier marketing schemes are rampant in gyms across North America. Whether or not the products are effective is not up for debate here. What’s important is that full disclosure is given if the trainer is receiving compensation in any way for the recommendation.

Are you a martyr to life as a fitness professional?

Life is just one big rollercoaster ride filled with climbs, drops, twists, turns, and moments of fear when you are hanging upside down and don’t know where the next turn is going to take you.  Sometimes it is an awesome rollercoaster where you can see everything that is ahead, and sometimes you are hanging out on the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ RollerCoaster in Disney World, a pitch black indoor coaster where you go from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds, never knowing what is ahead.  Sometimes these roller coasters can be awesome experiences, other times they can leave you a little nauseous and just wanting the comfort of a warm bed.

No matter how great we are at masking them or imagining they’re not there, rollercoasters are part of life.  Many times we are told that it is how we take these challenges, embrace them, and push through to the next door that defines who we are.  In most cases, I truly believe this.

How to bring new clients and keep existing clients motivated?

Gaining new clients can be easier than you think!

Creating a short-term challenge through your business is a great way to bring in new clients and keep existing clients motivated.  Fitness can be a hard sell but introducing a FREE short term challenge may actually be beneficial as it has a very low barrier to entry. You may hear that giving away services for free devalues your business, but we must remember that fitness can be a very hard sell for the majority of the population.

The following tips to run a free short-term challenge can actually be less work than you think.  All you need is an email list of prospects and daily challenge emails!

I recently injured myself and cannot demonstrate new exercises to my clients.  Do you have any suggestions for what to do when I can’t physically demonstrate what they should do?

The physical nature of personal training is one of the many appealing benefits for those of us who become trainers.  However, the downside of relying on our body as a primary tool to do our job is that we only have one, so if we break it (literally!), it could be out of commission for a bit.  Luckily, there are a few ways we can work around injuries that prevent us from being our typical physical selves and help us continue to provide value to our clients. 

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Just because we can’t demonstrate an exercise, doesn’t mean we can’t have someone else step in!  There are many quality videos and websites with exercise tutorials from established professionals that can be shared.  As you are programming your client’s session, have a few links to these videos pre-downloaded and ready to use as needed.

How often should I recommend my clients supplement their strength and conditioning workout with alternative options like running or yoga?

A big part of helping our clients achieve their fitness goals is keeping them healthy, injury-free, and motivated to maintain this lifestyle.  Clearly, we all know the importance of strength and conditioning when programming for our clients; however, how often do you take a look at the bigger picture and identify areas of opportunity beyond specific sport or strength training?  Whether your clients are runners, hockey players, or weekend warriors, cross-training is an important component of an effective and comprehensive fitness plan.

ACE defines cross training as a “type of training that is characterized by variety and the use of different exercises and equipment”.  Even simple program design changes such as altering intensity, movement patterns, or exercise order, can also be considered cross training. The type of cross training each client engages in – and how often they do it – will look different for everyone based on their specific goals and their current program.

How do I get personal training clients?

How do I get personal training clients?

It’s a question I heard every time from trainers.

A full-time personal trainer needs 15-20 clients to work 30-40 hours/week considering that the average clients train 2-3 times a week. What other business do you know only needs 15-20 customers? Building up relationships with your clients is the only way to succeed. They love you, not your gym. You must take responsibility for your business and yes, it’s your business even if you work for somebody else!!

I have two rules for success. These two rules have been applied in my career for the past 20 years:


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