Brian aka “Peeler” on Bravo T.V.’s “Workout” demonstrates what must be an approvedÂ Jackie Warner workout for your abs.Â
Peeler is billing at $135.00 per hour.Â But that didn’t help him avoidÂ the ultimate indignity as a trainer – having Jackie Warner correct him on exercise form in front ofÂ his client.Â (Come on Peeler – keep that core engaged.Â Pure isolation exercise is for wimps and the functionally phobic)Â
So now dear reader, you be the judge on his stability ball form…
It’s refreshing to see a show that captures both the business and personal side of personal training – making it accessible to all. As a personal fitness trainer and business owner, I found myself smiling again and again at the business environment and personality combinations that form the essence of the “Workout”.
Power, Passion & Passive?
Jackie Warner is the owner of LosAngeles based SkySport & Spa. She comes across as knowledgeable, likable, ethical yet somewhat tyrannical as she drives toward her goal of making SkySport the best gym in L.A.. She is mentally and physically strong, yet we see her submissive side when she deals with the personal tension created by her girlfriend Mimi.
Every “Body” has a Story
The Workout also offers the personalities and lifestyles of Jackie’s core personal training team. Their quirks, interactions and issues will undoubtedly provide the fuel for highly combustible episodes. Set against a backdrop of celebrity, glamour, and adrenaline I think the Workout Series on bravo has the potential to be red hot with viewers.
Lessons For Trainers
For personal trainers the show offers all the Diamond Cut principles of elite personal training in action. Study Jackie Warner and you’ll see how it comes together. She definitely understands the magic formula and her success is an ideal case study for entrepreneurial personal trainers. I’ll break down her applications in future posts.
If She Can Do It So Can You
Meantime, if you’re a personal trainer, ask yourself what business Jackie Warner is really in? How does she manage her environment to go beyond working out and create “exercise experiences” for her clients? Why is she paid $400.00 per session? How can you make the same?
As I get ready to watch my first episode of “Workout” tonight, I thought it might be interesting to post some excerpts from reviews.Â Here are three…
If the trick of a docu-reality show is finding a good character, Jackie’s a gold mine; she’s attractive in a curious, non-Barbie way and even her platitudes come across as biker-Zen deep.Her supporting cast isn’t quite as distinctive. The show purports to show the inner workings of a gym, but these trainers are no less cliquey than high school kids. Rebecca â€” who did a turn on “Amazing Race 6″ â€” is a pathological flirt. Brian (nickname: Peeler) is a would-be ladies’ man who’s jealous of Jesse, the slightly smarmy teacher’s pet.The plot points follow unimaginatively. Things get interesting when they return to Jackie: We get to revel in her vaguely Machiavellian style of management and gawk at her fights with girlfriend Mimi, a stormy and jealous Brazilian who, because of some quirk of underexplored psychology, likes to bite.
Warner is a bit stiff at first, and the premiere episode is unfortunately the most lackluster. As Erika, the only seemingly normal trainer, points out, you have to keep things interesting to stick with a workout. The same holds true for TV
Reality shows and docudramas routinely feature stereotypically good-looking participants and depict them with hair and makeup intact even when engaged in an activity (hiking up a mountain, building a house) anyone else would look, at best, disheveled while doing. Work Out doesn’t have to worry about such incongruities, since it’s expected that employees at such a place would have toned (and in L.A., tan) bodies. In addition, though, this series films the trainers and clients as they sweat, grunt, and strain for those bodies. Yes, it really does take work, on and off the camera.
There has never been a better time to build a fitness business. We are on the cusp of a massive demand for fitness professionals. Consider the following…
The number of personal trainers is expected to grow by 46% by 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, which listed personal training as one of its top 15 most desirable fields in which to work.
*Opportunities are expected to be good for fitness workers because of rapid growth in the fitness industry. Many job openings also will stem from the need to replace the large numbers of workers who leave these occupations each year.
Employment of fitness workersâ€”who are concentrated in the rapidly growing arts, entertainment, and recreation industryâ€”is expected to increase much faster than the average (27% or more) for all occupations through 2014.
An increasing number of people spend more time and money on fitness, and more businesses are recognizing the benefits of health and fitness programs and other services such as wellness programs for their employees.
Aging baby boomers are concerned with staying healthy, physically fit, and independent. They have become the largest demographic group of health club members. The reduction of physical education programs in schools, combined with parentsâ€™ growing concern about childhood obesity, has resulted in rapid increases in childrenâ€™s health club membership.
Increasingly, athletic youth also are hiring personal trainers, and weight-training gyms for children younger than 18 are expected to continue to grow. Health club membership among young adults also has grown steadily, driven by concern with physical fitness and by rising incomes.
As health clubs strive to provide more personalized service to keep their members motivated, they will continue to offer personal training and a wide variety of group exercise classes. Participation in yoga and Pilates is expected to continue to grow, driven partly by the aging population demanding low-impact forms of exercise and relief from ailments such as arthritis.
If you are you considering getting into fitness or are currently in the field, now is the time to position yourself to take advantage of powerful demographic trends. What are you doing to prepare?
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Fitness Workers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos296.htm (visited July 25, 2006).
WorkoutÂ - the new Bravo T.V. show about Jackie Warner andÂ herÂ Sky Sport and Spa clubÂ isÂ just about to air.Â
I think anytime an industry is portrayed on T.V. it’s a double edged sword.Â On one hand, theÂ audience exposureÂ to the benefits ofÂ personal fitness training will be great for the industry as a whole.Â From the reviews and background information I’ve read, Jackie Warner, the show’s main focus is credible, professional and genuinely committed to making a difference in clients lives.
On the downside, there is always a risk of alienating viewersÂ when you showcase the high end of the personal training profession.Â Exclusive L.A. studios and spas, egotistical trainers and super-fit clients may not provide a realistic portrayal of fitness training for the masses.
But hey, I’ll reserve all judgment at this point.Â I’m looking forward to watching the show.Â I’ll be back with my review.
Many personal trainers with advanced experience and skills can get stuck in a rut.Â They fall prey to the “do it all” trap.Â They run from client to client, workout to workout becauseÂ the trainerÂ is the business.Â When they max out, so does their income.
To avoid the trap, advanced trainers need an advanced business.Â They need to leverage the assets of their skills, experience, track record and client demand into something bigger than themselves.Â Here’s the formula to take you there.Â It’s the secret all elite personal trainers know.Â The numbers in the formula represent assets.
The Magic Formula
1 + 1Â = 3
Wait a minute – that goes against traditional thinking.Â Doesn’t 1 + 1 = 2 ?Â For most people that’s the case.Â They see the world in a linear way – work an hour, get paid for an hour.Â When you’re an advanced personal trainer your abilities can change the math.Â
Let’s break down the formula:
oneÂ (your advanced skills and experience)Â plusÂ one (Your satisfied clients and their results)Â equals or creates an entirely new and independent element to the equation.Â Â Â It creates aÂ third element – a branded business advantage. You can use this 3rd asset to expand your business beyond your personal time and energy resources.
Here’s another example.Â Take a newÂ actor or actress that uses the formula.Â Here’s how they can apply it.
1 (their acting skills)
1 (the movie they just stared in)
3 (Their Celebrity Power)
Acting skills + Movie = orÂ createsÂ the third asset of celebrity.Â The actorÂ uses the celebrity statusÂ to get more movies at a higher pay scale, perhaps get endorsement contracts, start a line of branded clothing and on and on.Â Their celebrity has become a real, tangible thirdÂ asset created by adding the first two assets together – making one plus one equal three.
The “Magic” Part Of The Formula
TheÂ power in the formula comes from understandingÂ the other two assets are still working for you in addition to the third.Â You get to profit from all three!Â The actor’s acting skills are still a very valuable asset and the original movie they made is still earning income, plus what the actorÂ was paid to be in the movie.Â But what those two things created – the celebrity is the most valuable part.
1 + 1 = 3
It Gets Even Better
Typically the firstÂ elements of the formula are “active assets”.Â You use your time and energy to develop and deliver them.Â The 3rd assetÂ the formula creates is usually a “passive asset” – one that adds value and profit without additional time and energy input from you.
Apply The Magic Formula To Your Personal Fitness Training Business
The formula is conceptual.Â There are countless ways to apply it to personal training.Â Here’s an example:
1 (Your skills and experience)
1 (Your clienteleÂ and their positive results)
3 (Your Brand)
You can use your brand asset to hire other trainers, increase your rates, expand into new markets, sell apparel and other products, create joint ventures and on and on.Â The purpose of this post is not to go into specifics, but get you toÂ think differently.Â I want you to see what’s hidden in plain site.
Your Magic Formula
So what about you?Â WhereÂ can 1 + 1 = 3 in your business?Â In your job?Â In your life?
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Intermediate trainers who have a good track record of creating health and fitness results for clients are ready to start fine tuning themselves for rapid growth.Â Below is a three step process to attain it.
It’s Important To Know What You Want
Everyone has their own definition of success.Â What’s yours?Â It’s key toÂ have a clear picture of what you want your personal training business to achieve for you and your lifestyle.Â This usually means starting with time and money goals.Â
STEP ONE: DefineÂ Goals Incrementally
How much money do you want to make?Â How much timeÂ will youÂ devote to achieving that goal?Â I’ve found answering these questions incrementally helps you be realistic and action oriented.Â For instance -Â define your objectives in time increments of “month”, “quarter” and “year”.
*Note – I’m assumingÂ that you are a fitness professional because you enjoy helping people and wish to make a positive difference in their lives.Â In my opinion, earning money is a direct result of how much value you provide to clients/customers and your businessÂ aptitude and effectivenessÂ in doing so.Â Therefore, setting money goals directly correlates to goals for helping people.
Clearly stating your goals will provide a focus forÂ action and aÂ reference to evaluate your progress.Â TryÂ writing the following:
- “By (month – date in 30 days) I will be earning ($$$) per week and working (XXX) hours.”
- “By (QuartersÂ - date in 90, 180Â days) I will be earning ($$$) per week and working (XXX) hours.”
- “By (Year – date in 365 days)Â I will beÂ earning ($$$) per week and working (XXX) hours.”
STEP TWO: Establish The Reality Behind Your Goals
Now youÂ need toÂ determine the mix of clients, price per session and sessions per week neededÂ to achieve your goals.Â This is your reality.Â So if your monthly goal is toÂ make an extra $500 per week, you need to attach that to reality.Â How many new clients do you need at what price per session,Â and how many sessions per weekÂ to make $500?
You can also back into this a number of different ways.Â One is starting with the total sessions you need to sell to achieve your goal.Â Â So, if you charge $50 per session, you know you need to conduct another 10 sessions per week to makeÂ thatÂ $500.Â
These sessions can take place in a variety of ways.Â It can be with 2 new clients working with you 5 times per week.Â It can also mean 5 new clients working with you twice a week.Â You get the picture.Â In future posts I will address frequency of purchase as a way to immediately increase your income without adding new clients…
Remember your Time Factor
If you want to work less hours you will need to charge more per session or find additional ways to increase your income per hour.
STEP THREE: The Action PlanÂ
This is the how behind your reality.Â If you need 3 new clients, working out 3 times per week – what specific actions are you going to take to get those new clients in the next 30 days?Â Write it down.Â Make it happen.Â It’s that simple…Â
Most people drawn toÂ personal training as a profession come from three types of backgrounds – an academic based background, experience based backgrounds or a combination of both.
Academic Focused Backgrounds
TypicallyÂ have a collegiate physical education or sport science related degree.Â Â Â
Experience Focused Backgrounds
Typically don’t have a collegiate fitness background (though they may or may not haveÂ bachelors or advanced college degrees in other areas)Â but have fitness related experience perhaps from athletics or their ownÂ workout and fitness regimen.Â
They have some type of college degree in a fitness related field and direct experience inÂ training forÂ athletics or a high level of personal fitness.Â
No Perfect Background
In my opinion, allÂ of the above backgrounds are acceptable starting points for a successful personal training career.Â Though, there may be some who disagree with me. (they usually citeÂ attainment of aÂ bachelors degree in a fitness related field as the minimum of acceptable personal training credential.)
I have hired all three backgrounds and found having a masters degree in exercise physiology does not necessarily translate into being a successful personal trainer.Â I have also had exceptional trainers on my staff that did not posses college training in an exercise related field.
I advocate all aspiring trainers, no matter their background attain one of the nationally recognized certifications like American Council on ExerciseÂ , American College of Sports MedicineÂ , National Strength and Conditioning AssociationÂ and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.Â Other certifications are reputable as well.Â I would research them based on their longevity, curriculum and testing requirements.Â
Advice To New Trainers
Anyone getting started in a fresh endeavor is going to have a fundamental learning curve to master.Â Beginning trainers need to build an experience base to apply the art and science of fitness development to the art and science of human relations.Â Keep the following in mind as a beginning trainer:
Your Money is More Valuable than Your Time
At this point it’s important to invest your time as it’s not worth as much starting out.Â Because you don’t have a full client base, you have plenty of extra time – therefore investing it to learn and gain experience is smart.Â Â
Contrast this withÂ an advancedÂ personal trainer who is booked solid.Â They haveÂ a a different situation where time is more valuable than money.Â Until that is you, remember investing your time is the way to make it more valuable.
It boggles my mind that people go into debt for years to attain a college degree where they pay the college for the privilege to develop and learn.Â Yet, when theyÂ enter the work world in which they have no skills, they now expect to be paid toÂ develop their skills,Â education and experience.Â My advice – give many free sessions.Â Save your money.Â Invest your time.
ShortenÂ Your Learning Curve
Find a personal training mentor.Â Â FindÂ a fitness professionalÂ whoÂ has achieved what you want and learn from them.Â Knowing them personally is best, but if that’s not possible just study what they do from afar.Â Breakdown every aspect of their success and startÂ to apply what you learn.
Remember,Â the person or peopleÂ you choose to emulate should have what you already want.Â If you want to make $100,000.00 per year don’t take advice from someone who makes $50,000.00.Â If you want to evolve to the next level of personal trainer, don’t study someone who is on your level.
Work inÂ a Club
This helps you accelerate your learning process.Â You want to be in an environment with access to plenty of people to give free training.Â Obviously clubs have an ample supply of people all too happy to let you work with them for free.Â Â A nice benefit isÂ these free workouts have a way of evolving into paying clients pretty quickly as your skills develop.Â You might also be hired as a personal trainer at a club right off the bat and get paid while you learn.
Be A Fitness Sponge
Learn everything you can about the physiology and psychology of fitness.Â Create your own self-study program.Â Hang out in the fitness section of book stores, research topics online, subscribe to magazines.
What do you want to achieve and when?Â For new personal trainers this usually means how many clients you want to work with.Â Create a plan to help you achieve your goals.Â It doesn’t matter if you don’t have all the answers.Â At this point in your development the key is to start asking smart questions.Â Starting a writtenÂ plan to achieve your goals puts you on the right path.
Being a new personal fitness trainer is an exciting time.Â There’s nothing like the enjoyment and satisfaction you get from helping those first fewÂ clients achieve their goals.Â Getting your first paying client is the stepping stone to everything else.
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AfterÂ 15 plus years in the personal finess training industryÂ I’veÂ noticedÂ an approximateÂ four level pattern among personal training careers.Â It goes like this:
Level One: New TrainersÂ -Â Have aÂ year or less of actual personal training experience.Â Typically workÂ as employees inÂ clubs or studios.Â Usually are provided clients from the club.Â They don’t earn enough to make a decent living from the personal fitness training of clients.
Level Two: Intermediate TrainersÂ - Typically have one – three yearsÂ personal training experience.Â They most likely work in a club environment and may do some work outside a club on a contract basis.Â Most clients are provided to the trainer by the club and they start getting some referrals from satisfied clients.Â They may earn enough to meet their basic financial needs.
Level Three: Advanced TrainersÂ - Typically have over 3 years experience working with clients.Â They have full training schedules that demand them to work many hours.Â Have very high client renewal. Many of their new clients come from referrals or marketing relationships.Â Â Advanced trainersÂ typically charge above the industry average, are self employedÂ and make enough money for a comfortable lifestyle.Â They are also likely to start studio training businesses and hire some other trainers to work for them.
Level Four: Elite Trainers - Typically has 5 or more years experience working with clients.Â They charge a premium for their time which they leverage in many ways.Â They have other trainers working for them in different capacities.Â
The elite trainerÂ focuses onÂ building a brand that serves clients, instead of personally serving clients him or herself.Â Â The elite trainer hasÂ marketing, sales and service systems in place that were developed to replicate their proven bestÂ methods, practices and business acumen.Â
Top Of The Pyramid
Level Four trainers make more income and work less hours than the other three trainer levels.Â Â Â Because of their highÂ profit to time ratio theyÂ are free toÂ focus their resources on additional profit building activities.Â This is the top of the pyramid.
From Newbie to Elite
My next several posts will address the progression through the personal training levels.Â Many newbie trainers have the goal of becoming elite.Â For a variety of reasons, few ever get there.Â Many trainers are happy staying at the intermediate or advanced levels – there is no right or wrong.Â Each level has pros and cons, depending on what you want to achieve.
What level are you?Â What level do you want to be?Â
Consider the diamond.Â Strong.Â Beautiful.Â Priceless.Â It can cut through steel, symbolize eternal love and captivate those who look upon it.Â It represents excellence and better life.Â The power of the diamond is physical, social and emotional.
Yet this exciting power starts as a lump of coal.Â Itâ€™s a raw material with potential. Only when coal is subjected to the right combination of heat, pressure and time can it transform into a diamond.Â
A Diamond is the product of process.Â So is the human body.Â So is an exceptional fitness business.
Fitness professionals understand process.Â They know each repetition, set and workout builds on previous repetitions, sets and workouts to create results.
How well you manage the process determines your results.Â Â This is trueÂ for building a body and building a personal training clientele.
Are you using a process toÂ transform your raw materials into a beautiful, strong and profitable fitnessÂ business?Â If not.Â Why not?