Personal Fitness Professional Fall 2020

Page 1





PFP ONLINE Visit VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 4 president


chad griepentrog | publisher

josh vogt | audience development manager

rachel spahr | national sales director

josh vogt | editor

Erin Eagan | creative director

How Much Is Too Much?

kelli cooke |

While many trainers are giving away as much as a month of free content, others are now starting to pull it back By Carrie Harper

contributing writers

Which Career Path Is Right for You? Explore these 5 avenues to earn income and make an impact By Maurice Williams

Billy Hofacker, Andrea Leonard, Lindsay Vastola featured columnists

Dean Carlson, Vito La Fata, Sean Greeley, Nathalie Lacombe, Chad Landers, Kelli Watson

P.O. Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098 Tel: 608.241.8777 Email:


Print Subscription Information Subscriptions are free to qualified recipients: $36 per year to all others in the United States. Subscriptions rate for Canada or Mexico is $60 per year, and for elsewhere outside the United States is $80. Back-issue rate is $5. Send subscriptions to: By mail: PFP, P.O. Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098

Lindsay Vastola

Greg Justice

INDUSTRY STATS The COVID-19 pandemic that spread across the world at the beginning of 2020 was not only a big threat to public health, but also to the entire fitness industry. During a recent survey about a change in exercise habits during the coronavirus, 53% of respondents said they exercise the same as usual, 27% exercise less than usual, 17% more often and 3% were not sure.

Farel Hruska

VIDEO Visit our website to view for instructional videos and other training tips, including Exercise of the Week, Fitness Business Insights and Functionally Fit by Brian Schiff.

Joey Percia

SOCIAL MEDIA pfpmedia pfpmedia pfpmedia pfpmedia

EXTRA Want to submit an article idea? Email your idea to

Source: Statista


Tel: 608.241.8777 E-mail: Fax: 608.241.8666 Website:



Digital Print Subscription Information Digital Subscriptions to PFP are free to qualified recipients and may be ordered at Reprints For high-quality reprints, please contact us at 608.241.8777 All material in this magazine is copyrighted Š2020 by MadMen3 All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any correspondence sent to PFP, MadMen3 or its staff becomes property of MadMen3. The articles in this magazine represent the views of the authors and not those of MadMen3 or PFP. MadMen3 and/or PFP expressly disclaim any liability for the products or services sold or otherwise endorsed by advertisers or authors included in this magazine. PFP is published five times per year Winter (February), Spring (April), Summer (July), Fall (October) and Looking Ahead (December) PFP (ISSN 1523-780X) [Volume 22, Issue 4] Published by MadMen3 2901 International Lane, Suite 100 Madison WI 53704-3128, Tel: 608.241.8777 Periodicals postage paid at Madison WI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: PFP | P.O. Box 259098 | Madison WI 53725-9098.



Greg Justice

Jolie Glassman

Learn how to build a strong, healthy business


    

uring the best of times, 70% of all small businesses fail within 10 years. The most common reasons are insufficient capital, cash flow problems, lack of demand and poor management. A CBInsights survey of 101 startups found: 42% of small businesses fail because of a lack of need for their services or products. 29% failed because they ran out of cash. 23% failed because they didn’t have the right team running the business. 17% failed because of a poor product/service offering. 17% failed because they lacked a business model.

The majority of fitness business owners began their businesses because they wanted to make money from their hobby. They see their recreational activities as social and financial opportunities and expect to enjoy spending the week engaged in their favorite activity. Businesses do not often succeed based on this idea because the primary purpose of a business is to maximize profits for its owners while maintaining corporate social responsibility. To succeed financially, you do need to know your “hobby” inside and out — but that is a small part of running a business. Knowledge of accounting, marketing, customer service and other business components are essential. If you are not able to handle these things yourself, you need to have the capital to hire accountants, attorneys and great salespeople in order to run a real business. Here are five tips that will help your business be successful: 1. Have a written plan. 2. Be willing to listen and learn from others. 3. Know your numbers ... Keep track of everything and manage by the numbers. 4. Delegate areas of weakness. 5. Don’t micromanage your employees. These days, consumers are informed, knowledgeable about researching companies, and have expectations that you need to meet in order to even be considered as their choice provider. Whether you’re a young or well-established business, this issue will give you insight and guidance to build a strong, healthy business.  Lindsay Vastola shares 10 best practices to attract, hire and lead a high-performance team.  Billy Hofacker gives you a path toward paying off debt and gaining freedom.  Our Journey to Success this month is a great example of what a strong business looks like, featuring Gary Swarni from Elevate Fitness in Greenwich, CT. Make sure you demonstrate knowledge, professionalism, training, business savvy, and a past history of success and you will retain and increase your client base and build a strong, lasting business. PFP Advisory Board Member Greg Justice is a bestselling author, speaker and fitness entrepreneur. He opened AYC Health & Fitness, Kansas City’s Original Personal Training Center in 1986. Greg is the CEO of Scriptor Publishing Group. He was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2017. Greg writes feature articles for many industry publications including Club Industry magazine, IDEA Fitness Journal and Personal Fitness Professional magazine. Greg holds a master’s degree in HPER (exercise science) from Morehead State University in Morehead, KY.

Immerse yourself in everything What advice would you give on how to effectively grow a new fitness business? To effectively grow a new fitness business, I would use my strengths, talents and my niches to attract my fan base and spread my knowledge and services. I would immerse myself in everything I'm doing and promoting. I'd create community events and referral incentives to grow my client base. Main thing is stick to what you're best at and keep perfecting that area and build your reputation. How do you continue to keep your services and programming unique and relevant to your clients? Top-notch customer service is key. To keep your services and programming unique and relevant to your clients, make sure to always ask lots of questions and ask for feedback from each and every one of your clients. Also, always be learning, and research what's going on in the industry and new trends. Stay ahead of the curve and know your clients well — all their goals and wishes, and deliver. What opportunities are you currently exploring to expand your business/career? I'm grateful for the silver linings from the quarantine, as now I see I can transform lives globally, rather than just locally. So I'm currently exploring online business and coaching programs that lead into an inner circle of mine AND going back to my roots as a "teacher." Creating recorded programs and live programs, all virtual. Pretty exciting to serve the world.



Volume 22 | Issue 4





Gary Swarni Building from the ground up Erin Eagan

It’s going to take some focus and hard work, but there is a way out Billy Hofacker





10 best practices to attract, hire and lead a highperformance team Lindsay Vastola

With proper education and care, it can be avoided or, if it develops, kept well under control Andrea Leonard




Learning how to build a strong, healthy business

Greg Justice



4 steps to starting your own fitness business during COVID-19

Sean Greeley



A strategy of stewardship

Dean Carlson




Put the personal back in personal training

Chad Landers



4 simple business strategies for a new world

Kelli Watson



The 3 Ps of proper business management

Vito La Fata






Philadelphia Insurance Companies


MEET THE FINALISTS PFP 2021 Trainer of the Year



The Visionary Planner



The latest trends in fitness equipment



Are you losing top fitness pros?

Nathalie Lacombe


4 steps to starting your own fitness business during COVID-19


o you have a plan to grow your income in the next year? Should you grow by offering online training, doing more in-person training or even open your own studio or gym? Or considering COVID-19, should you wait until a better time? Many fitness professionals ask themselves these questions but never make a decision or take action to achieve their goals. And they have a ready-made excuse, because COVID-19 isn’t going away any time soon. The truth is you CAN start your own business right now to increase your professional income WHILE having more free time for yourself and your family — WHEN you have the right plan to adapt to the current conditions. Here are the 4 steps to making it happen: Step 1: Stop thinking like a trainer. Start thinking like a business owner (time > money) Trainers focus on trading time for money. Business owners learn how to generate more income by better leveraging their time to not only train clients, but create systems for training clients that allows them to grow beyond just themselves. Sounds like a challenge? It can be, and that’s why most people don’t ever make it to the next level. Step 2: Refine your business model There are lots of successful business models that work great. And lots of people ask themselves what type of business they should be growing. Understanding your ‘Thrive Zone’ is critical for making sure you can be successful in the new world whatever the future brings.

Here are three questions to help:  Which clients do you want to serve? Who are they? What do they want? What does success look like for them?  What problems do you love solving? What challenges do your ideal clients struggle with that you love to fix? Is it strength? Nutrition? Renewed confidence and energy levels? Athletic performance? Body composition?  What business model will serve your ideal clients, get them results? And how can you make a profit? By business model, we mean group training, semi-private or private training, corporate training, working with clients online or offline, and so on. Step 3: Master sales skills and inspire prospective clients to commit to your programs

You've got to know how to show your ideal client the value of working with you. If you can't inspire a commitment, you’re going to be dead in the water. That means a powerful offer and messaging for your ideal client, and then a sales system to lead conversations that inspire them to commit to their health and fitness goals. We teach a 7.5 Step sales system called AUTO-CLOSER® that includes the following: ½. Pre-qualification: Make sure people are willing to decide, have the budget and have all decision-makers present. 1. Rapport: Start by looking for common ground. 2. Discovery: Ask what they want to achieve, why it matters and what's holding them back. 3. Identify needs: State their needs back to them, what we call holding up the mirror. 4. Problem building: Show and teach how the problem is impacting their life. 5. Presentation: State your solution, offer packaging and pricing; use visuals. 6. Closing: Ask for the sale. 7. Objection handling: Don’t argue; listen, answer objections and ask for the sale again. Step 4: Learn how to consistently attract more of the best clients you love working with Most people start with this step: lead generation. But only when you have everything else lined up are you ready to go attracting leads. The BEST time to begin taking action to achieve your goals is always NOW. Don’t put off your dream of owning and operating your own fitness business or settle for grinding away barely making enough to pay your bills. Follow the 4 steps here to start your own business — so you can create the leverage you need to increase your professional income and keep adapting as needed to COVID-19.

Sean Greeley, Founder and CEO of NPE, has an unrelenting passion for empowering fitness business owners to grow their business and create the life they want. Since 2006, NPE has helped over 45,000+ fitness professionals and business owners in 96+ countries grow to the next level. Get the business strategy and plan you need to grow your business, take home more money, and live your dream lifestyle when you register for a ‘Get Clarity’ Strategy Session now at



A strategy of stewardship


ave you drawn a line in the sand when it comes to how you are going to approach managing your money? Are there certain principles you adhere to personally and professionally as to how and where you are going to spend and invest what you earn? Have you ever thought about money in terms of stewardship, rather than ownership? Stewardship is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” This term is often used in association with caring for the environment. There is an inherent understanding that we won’t be here forever and want to pass good down to the next generation. There is similar value when you think about your money in these terms. A Fit Money Mindset involves not only earning money, but also using it in a way that benefits ourselves and others. Stewardship doesn’t happen by accident. In the same way that a river that has industrial waste constantly pumped into it will never clean itself, your cash flow can be “gunked up” by spending money you don’t have (also called debt), on things you don’t necessarily need, or a general apathy toward your financial picture. Good stewardship doesn’t just happen, you have to purposefully and predictably make it happen. Your guiding principles surrounding money won’t just happen either. If there is anything good that comes out of COVID-19, it will surely involve a better awareness of sound money management. Those businesses that are not only surviving but thriving have a common set of principles: they are built to meet the owner’s financial needs, they are consistently profitable, they are up to date and on time with their taxes and they are debt-free or truly understand how to invest with debt. Having a lasting impact on your clients, your team and your community depends on your financial stewardship.

Dean Carlson is a certified Profit First Professional and in 2016 founded Fit For Profit, providing fitness business owners with the coaching and tools they need to manage their cash easily and keep more of their hard-earned money. His experience as a gym owner came full circle in 2018 when he sold his award-winning gym Get Fit NH for seven-figures. He is passionate about helping fitness entrepreneurs stop worrying about finances and start building the business of their dreams.




Put the personal back into personal training...


itness industry social media often falls into 3 categories: 1. “Look how ripped/strong/sexy I am! I look so hot; how can you not pay me for my superhero/goddess routine?” 2. “Look at me with this (rented) Italian sports car! I’m retired at 26, wear great clothes and vacation in cool places... click the link in my bio for a discount on Ultimate Cleanse 2020... new COVID-fighting formula?! #influencer” 3. Legitimate fitness and nutrition content... yawn Guess which one gets the fewest clicks. This can lead fitness professionals to believe the best business strategy is to focus on getting more online followers and “likes” to really “level up” their business. This perception is reinforced by the throngs of “fitness business coaches” currently found on social media. No wonder good trainers contemplate leaving the profession when they don’t feel they look like an Instagram model or they just maxed out their credit card for “Business Guru Secrets” that didn’t work. Personal trainers have two main options to make more money: train more clients and charge more per client. This holds true whether training is in-person or online, and if the trainer does oneon-one, semi-private or small group training. Education and experience will always be the foundation for a great trainer. But to get and keep clients long-term, trainers need to be someone clients enjoy spending time with and like AS A PERSON, not some phony online persona! All trainers should be able to get a client results (and safely), but many trainers only focus on learning about training and ignore the “soft arts” that make “personal training” ... PERSONAL. Rather than spending their free time collecting an alphabet soup of certification letters after their names, trainers should focus on developing the traits that keep clients coming back for years and result in countless referrals from those happy clients. Trainers need to learn the art of listening and exploring emotional intelligence. They should take a public speaking course and even a stand-up comedy class. They should study psychology and motivation and habit formation. Also, be interested and interesting. Travel, go to museums and read about things other than programming and the Kreb’s Cycle. Become someone clients want to hang out with, even when they don’t feel like training. When clients want to go to the gym to see their trainer and not just to train, success will surely follow.

Chad Landers is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a BS in Kinesiology. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and has a Graduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Chad has been a personal trainer in Los Angeles for 27 years, and has owned his own gym, Push Private Fitness, for 17 years.




Kelli Watson

Vito La Fata

4 simple business strategies for a new world


es, the world is changing right in front of our eyes, but that doesn’t mean our businesses need to suffer as a result. In fact, these changes provide plenty of opportunity if we look beyond what has been to create a vision of what can be. Below are four business strategies that will help you clarify a future vision and grow your business during this crucial time: 1. Innovate: Innovation is always an important aspect of business, but right now, it’s non-negotiable. Succeeding in this environment requires creative thinking. Ask the question: What do my clients need right now? Then think outside-the-box to create solutions. Innovation is the name of the game and is a “must” if you want to come out on top. 2. Collaborate: Surround yourself with people who run similar businesses or are in similar industries. Schedule a brainstorming session to discover what kind of collaboration is possible. Connecting with like-minded people who support you and challenge you to get better is not only good for business, it’s good for life. 3. Educate: The changing world requires us to adapt by developing new skillsets which means that now is a perfect time to invest in your education. Is there a certification you’ve been meaning to get? Or a degree you’re passionate about? Now is the time to hone your skills so you are prepared for the needs of the future. 4. Donate: More than ever, it is important to give back to our communities. Giving back can be as simple as volunteering at the local food bank or picking up groceries for an elderly neighbor. Of course, monetary donations to organizations who match your interests is always a great idea as well. Giving back helps to build better relationships within our communities and also just feels good. These four suggestions are a great way to build your business and improve yourself not just during a pandemic, but any time. Get started today and watch your business grow tomorrow.

Kelli Watson is a best-selling author, coach and presenter. She coaches fitness professionals and business executives through the Todd Durkin Mastermind Group and the Todd Durkin IMPACT Coaching Program. In 2017, she co-founded Scriptor Publishing Group, a publishing company dedicated to helping people share their stories and publish their books. With more than 15 years of industry experience, she specializes in business and personal development, helping fit pros and business owners discover their keys to success. Email



The 3 Ps of proper business management


e studied biomechanics, anatomy, program design, kinesiology and all the things that made us great trainers. Yet our industry is suffering because we didn’t emphasize the importance of understanding business management. I have a quick tutorial on the 3 Ps of proper business management that will lead you down a smarter business path as a fitness professional. Focus on the first two and you can get #3. 1. Profit. Your business needs profit. Without it, you live moment to moment wondering where the money is going to come from. As the CEO of your business it is your responsibility and ability to generate more than one revenue stream, such as creating online programs, retreats, one-day exclusive seminars and nutrition affiliates. Think about how to provide your existing clients with even more value and transformation and your profits will skyrocket. 2. Predictability. Predictability is your ability to know the numbers of your business and have the confidence that if you put $1 into your business $2 will come out so you can generate profit. Many business owners today have no metrics or measure of predictability. They wing it. Or to be brutally honest, have no clue about marketing, sales and KPIs outside of the number of sessions being run. Here’s an example Campaign #1: Ad Spend = $1000 Ad generates 100 leads. 100 leads generate 20 calls 20 calls generates 5 sales @$2000 5 sales = $10,000

Campaign #2 Ad spend = $1000 Ad generates 50 leads 50 leads generates 10 sales @$50 10 sales generates $500

Campaign #2 is losing you money. Change your offer or kill this campaign. You see how knowing your numbers allows you to make informed decisions about your business and where or where not to spend money. That’s predictability. 3. Peace. Imagine running a business that provides you with a peaceful confidence and control over your income so your business and family are secure. Imagine knowing how to run a business that is stable so you can withstand ups and downs in the economy. All this because you are running a smart business model with solid numbers, solid finances and solid profit margin to meet your vision and future needs. Remember with profit and predictability you get peace. And peace is comfort in a crazy world.

As an internationally recognized speaker and writer, Vito La Fata has contributed to IDEA WORLD, IDEA PTI, IHRSA, MindBody BOLD, Australian Fitness Health Expo, and Canfitpro. He is the co-founder of The Visionary Planner, and CoCreator of Vision In the Vineyard and Creator of the Hard Chargers United.


Stand Out in a Crowded Field

FiTOUR® makes obtaining your fitness certification and continuing education convenient and affordable


ounded in 1989, FiTOUR® is a leader in providing nationally recognized health and fitness professional certifications. FiTOUR® makes it possible for fitness professionals

to expand their knowledge, share their passion and grow a rewarding career by offering convenient, affordable and comprehensive certifications grounded in exercise science with guidelines for safe efficient health and fitness practice. Our mission at FiTOUR® is to attract more fitness and health enthusiasts to the health and fitness education field, keeping them actively promoting the multitude of benefits that health and fitness provides to help combat the silent killer of inactivity. FiTOUR® seeks to provide the world with greatly needed teachers, educators and instructors of health and fitness. As poor health moves towards epidemic proportions worldwide, educators of health and fitness are needed to reverse the declining global health situation. FiTOUR® realizes one of the best long-term solutions for rising health care costs is in prevention. By cultivating and supporting grass root educators and trainers in our communities, schools, places of worship, recreation centers and neighborhoods, we have an opportunity to reduce the escalating health care costs. FiTOUR® strives to collaborate with public and private industries on the development and cross promotion of health and fitness programs and services to increase awareness of the efficiency, effectiveness and benefits of health and fitness. FiTOUR® proudly partners and co-markets with many like-minded leaders in the industry, such as Silver Sneakers®, IDEA® Health & Fitness, Muscle Mixes Music, Fitbodies Inc, Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) magazine and more. FiTOUR® Certification & Continuing Education Course topics include Personal Trainer, Group Exercise, Bootcamp, Core, Step, Nutrition, Yoga, Pilates, Myofascial, Suspension Trainer, Cycling & more.

FiTOUR® offers:  FiTOUR® online certifications with online exams  FiTOUR ® Certifications & CEC Courses include online study materials & videos  Immediate exam results  Certificate available immediately upon completion of exam  FiTOUR® online renewal course $25 every two (2) years  FiTOUR® ACE, AFAA, & NASM $19.99 CEC add-ons available with

select FiTOUR® Certifications  FREE IDEA e-membership  Discounted liability insurance through Insure Fitness Group  Online FiTOUR® ACE, AFAA, & NASM CEC Courses The FiTOUR® Education team continues to write and develop additional outstanding health and fitness certification programs to keep fitness professionals and enthusiasts ahead and on top in an ever-changing fitness field. FiTOUR® makes obtaining your fitness certification and continuing education convenient and affordable.





Journey to Success

By Erin Eagan

BUILDING FROM THE GROUND UP With a solid vision and a little hard work, Gary Swarni knows anything is possible


omeone once told Gary Swarni that he wouldn’t be able to make a career in fitness. But fitness was in his blood. And now, all these years later, he can look back on that moment with pride at how far he’s come. He now knows it’s possible to have your dream life in this industry. Gary currently runs two successful businesses separate from personal training facilities: he manages gym construction projects and is the President of Gary Swarni Inc., a business/leadership consulting practice. Gary has been seriously involved in business/ life coaching, business development, leadership programming and sales throughout his entire working career. He has broad leadership experience with people across a wide variety of business sectors. Gary has been married for 15 years to Jill and has two children, Christina 13 and Jackson 9. He and his family live in Fairfield County Connecticut. He is an active Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner with a passion for staying healthy and being active with his family. He took a few minutes with us to chat about his journey, the ups and downs along the way, his plans for the future — and he shares with us some valuable words of wisdom.

How did you get started in the fitness industry? I started cleaning the floors for World Gym when I was 17 years old. From that point, I was hooked on the industry and have worked in it ever since. How did your career evolve? As I said earlier, I started cleaning gym floors when I was in high school. When I was in college and someone told me I wouldn’t be able to make a career in fitness, I believed him. Right after college, I took a job in sales outside of fitness. Then, before I knew it, I was taking a train from CT to NYC and I was a project manager for a major commercial construction company. But during that time, I never stopped training on the side. On the train ride home, I would get changed into my training gear in the restroom and go train at the local gym until 11pm. Fitness was in my blood. However, I always heard that voice saying that I would never be able to make it. After a few years dabbling in training, my wife said, “You need to take the leap.” So I did. I left my well-paying job in NYC and became a trainer with three clients. Two weeks


leave and work on financial models in the afternoons. After some time, I realized that I had to FOCUS on one thing. That one thing that always made me happy — fitness. So, I went all in on Elevate Fitness. It has been a ride to say the least. I have hated it at times and loved it other times. I would not change a thing. The knowledge of health, business and human behavior that I have learned is priceless. Since then, I’ve started a construction company that builds gyms for homes, schools and commercial buildings. I have also focused a lot of my time on helping others build and scale their businesses with my consulting company. I have a unique set of skills because of my background and I want to be able to bring that to others. Now I know how to make the fitness business work. I know now that you can have your dream life in this industry. I want to share that with the world. Have you had a mentor or someone you’ve looked up to? If so, how did that particular person help? I have had so many mentors along the way. Todd Durkin is my dear friend and mentor who has taught me so much. If I had to choose one thing it would be “the way you do one thing is the way you do everything.” Chip Baird, founder of North Castle Partners, is truly the reason I am here today. He took me under his wing and taught me about business. He told me “people try to be efficient — forget that — you need to be effective.” That changed the game for me. I have viewed time differently from then on. I’m also a constant learner. I am always reading and questioning everything. I love the idea of constant growth. I am incredibly happy, but not content.

later my wife got sick and was on bed rest with our soon-to-be-born daughter. I thought, ‘Oh sh**, what do I do now?’ At that time, I read every book and knocked on every door. I needed clients to pay the bills and support my family but I also wanted to learn how to open and run a successful gym. Crazy times. My wife, Jill, and my sister in-law Deborah and I opened Elevate Fitness gym in 2008 just one month before the financial crisis. Another crazy time.


In 2012, I still heard the voice in my head saying that I would never be able to make it in the fitness industry. So, on the weekends, I went into NYC in the mornings and took investment banking classes. I did this for many months until I earned my investment banking certification. After I earned the certification, I convinced a private equity company that invested in health and wellness companies to hire me part-time. So, once again I was splitting my time. I would train at Elevate Fitness in the mornings, then


Was there ever a time in your career where you felt like you were just spinning your wheels? If so, how did you get through that and on to something better? There have been so many times. The most significant was one day in 2012. I vividly recall sitting on the floor right by the front desk when I told Jilly that I don’t know what to do with this business. I felt like we were getting nowhere. She told me to lift my head up and use my resources. She said, “You train the top business people in the world. They would love to help you.” I thought to myself, “Why would they ever want to help or talk to me about business?” Boy was I wrong. From that point on, I have leaned on so many individuals for all areas of life and business.


What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made? How did you remedy that mistake and how has it made you better? I think that the more mistakes you make, the more you learn. Needless to say, I feel like I have learned a lot. The biggest mistake I think I made was not having a clear enough plan. I knew that I wanted to help people. I knew that I wanted to create amazing relationships and have some type of impact on the community, but I wasn’t 100% clear how to do that. At the beginning, I really didn’t take the time to write it all down. Once I started to get super clear on myself and the business, things started to change in a good way. I understood the direction. Did I veer off course? Heck yes I did, but I knew how to get back on because I knew the vision. What’s the best thing you ever did? How did the decision to do that one thing re-route your career? This is easy. I opened up and started to talk to mentors. I asked for help. I have learned so much about health, business, training and life just from talking to people. I’m naturally a shy guy so at first it was super hard for me. I really don’t like social events or things like that. So, I would send emails. Then get on the phone. Once I was able to build those relationships, the nerves calmed down a bit. How do you balance the demands on your time and the opportunities that come your

Now I know how to make the fitness business work. I know now that you can have your dream life in this industry. I want to share that with the world. way with family time, time for yourself, time to work out, eating right, etc.? Balance is a hard word for me to understand. Here’s why. I know what is important in my life. I know that family always comes first. I know that I have to be in great health. I know that I want an amazing business. Because I know those things, I know what to focus on. When I’m at home that is where I am. When I’m in the gym that’s where I am, and so on and so forth. I, by no means, am perfect at this but I always want to be where my feet are. I think it always comes down to understanding what you want out of life and what your priorities are. If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self — 5, 10, or 20 years ago — what would it be? That nothing is going to happen overnight. NOTHING. Trust the process and if you’re going to do something do it to the best of your ability. Also, don’t compare yourself to others. That’s going to get you nowhere because you have no idea what their story is.

What do you think is the greatest opportunity in the fitness industry right now? What do you think is this industry’s biggest deficit? I think the biggest opportunity is one-on-one coaching. We are in a different time period where individuals have different needs. People need that individual love and connection now more than ever. I also believe that virtual training is what people want and need. Going back to the basic need of understanding and helping the individual. Biggest defect: comparison. Instagram and social media are great for so many things but I believe that some people think that’s all real life. It’s not. Work hard and be yourself. What is in your future one year from now? Five years from now? The future is always a funny thing to me because you can plan it out but you never know what’s going to happen. My plan is that one year from now my FOCUS coaching program is going to be mainstream. I want to help people in all areas of life from the knowledge I have acquired. I have been using this methodology of coaching for years and now I want to bring it to the world. Five years from now... my wife and children will say Gary/Daddy said he was going to do “X” and he always followed through to make that happen. I want to make my family proud and teach my kids that hard work and loving people are great things.



TRICKLE-DOWN LEADERSHIP 10 best practices to attract, hire and lead a high-performance team By Lindsay Vastola




Challenges are like rocks that roll your way; the resilient person makes the decision as the rock rolls towards them — they are not going to just stand there and get rolled over.

Your payroll isn’t the only thing that increases when you decide to hire a team. In addition to the many responsibilities you already have as a business owner, now as an employer, you must commit focus and time to hire (and even fire), train and support your staff all while ensuring you are in compliance with labor laws, liability and human resources issues. Employing a team is certainly not as simple as hiring, managing and signing paychecks. The reality for most fitness business owners:  They aren’t trained human resources professionals, labor attorneys or accountants.  Despite good intentions, many are hindered by a sheer lack of training in leadership skills.  They unknowingly put their business at risk because they are not in compliance with countless labor and payroll laws.  Though they may ‘intuitively’ know when there is something amiss with an employee, they don’t know how to identify or rectify these gaps that are ultimately limiting their business potential.


   

or many fitness business owners, the thoughts that keep them up at night are often about their people:  Did I hire the right person? Can I trust her with my clients? With my business? Am I paying him too much? Not enough? Are they happy? Am I giving them everything they need? Is anyone going to leave? Am I following all the labor laws? Paying all the right taxes?

Leading a high-performing team even without any formal leadership or management experience is possible; and arguably is the linchpin of any successful business. Whether you have one employee, one hundred or planning to hire your first, here are 10 best practices to help you attract, hire and lead a loyal and high-performing team. 1. Hire EQ over IQ We all know the highly credentialed trainer

who lacks effective communication skills or the instructor who doesn’t know how to adjust their program based on the needs of the clients. There is a tendency in the industry to hire based on resume credentials with littleto-no emphasis on hiring on interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence (EQ) and other critical soft skills that make a well-rounded, coachable fitness professional. 2. Lead with standards. Manage with systems. A strong company culture begins with clear vision and clear standards. Standards should be clearly defined and visible to prospects, clients and employees. Standards serve as the guiding principles of your business that impact the experience you provide, who you hire and how you lead. Systems create the accountability to these standards. Your systems are only as strong as your standards. Lead your people with your standards; manage your day-to-day operations with systems. 3. Create an employee experience You know the importance of offering an exceptional client experience, but are you as focused on creating an exceptional experience for your employees, too? Companies make the ‘Best Places to Work’ lists because they understand the direct correlation between staff engagement, loyalty and company success. The interview process, on-boarding, ongoing training, opportunities for growth, and team building are a few elements of creating a positive employee experience.


SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE involvement in decision-making, chances to take leadership on projects, just to name a few. It’s incumbent on you as the leader to be aware of what motivates each of your employees and reward and incentivize accordingly.

4. Invest in your leadership skillset Your business is only as strong as your ability to lead your people to reach their full potential. Invest in management courses, leadership coaches and mentors, study other leaders, and consider outsiders to educate and develop your team.

ing client retention, unhealthy company culture, lack of trust at all levels, and in some cases, legal, financial and liability repercussions with the potential to cripple a business. Keeping a close eye on your business KPI can reveal staffing gaps in skills, leadership, training/ development, strategy, culture or resources.

5. Solidify your HR practices and employee systems A few questions to begin:  Are you aware of the legalities of hiring and firing practices; understand employee rights?  Are you in compliance with state and federal labor laws including correct employee classification (1099-contractor vs. W2-employee), payroll taxes, worker’s compensation, proper tracking and documentation of employee hours?  Do you have an employee handbook and signed contracts in place to protect you and the business?  Are you properly filing and maintaining employee documentation in the case you were to be audited by the state or federal government?  Do you need to seek professional guidance to ensure you are protected as an employer?

7. Provide clear expectations with defined benchmarks “Maximize revenue;” “Create and deliver safe fitness instruction;” “Take initiative to improve XYZ Gym.” These expectations, among others, are commonly listed in job descriptions. The problem is that they give little to no clear guidance for the employee to achieve. What does “maximize” mean? Is there an actual sales goal they are expected to reach? What is “safe fitness instruction” by your standards? “Take initiative” leaves too much to individual interpretation. Clearly communicate job explanations with defined benchmarks to set your employee up for success and it will alleviate the need to micromanage.

6. Learn to identify “staffing gaps” using key performance indicators (KPI) Staffing gap is a human resources term typically used to describe any disparity or weakness that limits your company’s success as it relates to your people. Staffing gaps that go unnoticed or unattended can result in costly consequences including stagnant or declining sales, decreas-


8. Understand individual motivators and reward accordingly Many employers wrongly assume that the only way employees want to be rewarded is by financial incentive. Multiple employment studies have found that compensation, while important, is not the primary motivator for most employees. You’ll be surprised how many employees are motivated less by money and more by signs of appreciation, opportunities for growth, education and development, a positive work environment,


9. Regularly connect with your employees Regular meetings with your employees (quarterly at a minimum) are critical to help your employees perform at their best but also to protect your business should you ever need to terminate the employee. Equally as important are regular (weekly) check-ins as a team. Consistent communication with employees will give you an opportunity to get to know them, their motivators, get insight in their job satisfaction and to address any underlying issues before they become more challenging to mitigate. Check-ins must be a priority on your calendar. Communication earns trust with your employees; and trust is the lifeblood of your business success! 10. Place employees in positions where they will thrive Maybe an employee is most skilled in training small groups, but you have her doing only personal training. Or your new trainer isn’t properly trained in selling, but you’ve put unrealistic expectations on him incongruent with his current skills. Knowing where each employee will thrive and then helping them strengthen areas where they are less competent is imperative to maximizing your business’s potential. Perhaps the hardest reality to appreciate is that all problems are leadership problems. Leadership requires a very specific skillset including a variety of management skills, a high degree of self-awareness, emotional intelligence and a keen understanding of people and human behavior. Like any skillset, successful leadership requires an ongoing commitment to learning. The great news is that strong leadership skills are developable and will undoubtedly have the greatest impact on your personal and professional success!

Lindsay Vastola, NSCA-CPT is the founder of the Fitness Leadership Exchange, a career development company for success-driven fitness professionals. Lindsay is also the founder of Body Project and served as the editor-in-chief of Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) magazine from 2011-2019. She serves on several fitness industry advisory boards and is a speaker and educator across industries. Download her free Team Performance Assessment at



Why Settle for Anything Less Than the Best?

When choosing insurance, choose tailored coverage, exceptional customer service and higher limits


trong fitness trainers need strong insurance. As a personal trainer committed to health and fitness, you work hard to provide the absolute best instruction to your clients. So why settle for anything less than the best personal trainer insurance? Health and wellness is ingrained in both the culture and business at Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY). The company has been offering insurance to personal trainers, fitness studios and health clubs for more than 20 years. Fitness is both part of our business and part of our lifestyle. PHLY supports its employees through several wellness programs, provides incentives for participation in athletic events, and every employee receives an extra 15 minutes at lunch to exercise. Because we practice fitness in our personal lives and have specialized in this growing industry, we understand how to provide comprehensive insurance including fitness- and wellness-related specific coverages for health clubs and studios, fitness trainers, yoga and dance studios, salons and day spas across the United States.

Any injury resulting from an exercise under the supervision of a personal trainer could result in a lawsuit — and the personal trainer could be held legally liable. PHLY designs, markets and underwrites Property/Casualty and Professional Liability insurance for more than 120 niche markets. We understand the unique needs of our customers who give us a 96% overall satisfaction rating. We know from experience that lawsuits are an increasing concern for trainers across the country. Any injury resulting from an exercise under the supervision of a personal trainer could result in a lawsuit — and the personal trainer could be held legally liable. A single claim from a client can be enough to put an insufficiently insured personal trainer out of business. For this reason, industry authorities recommend all trainers get some form of personal trainer liability insurance like the policies offered by PHLY.

PHLY offers comprehensive general and professional liability insurance coverage. Every PHLY policy also includes abuse and molestation protection. If you are counseling clients on nutrition and diet in addition to providing training, PHLY provides full coverage at no additional cost. There is also no added charge for working in multiple gyms, instructing classes in parks or training at clients’ homes — coverage is provided on and off premises. Additionally, trainers can apply online or on a mobile device and receive coverage in minutes. Customers have the ability to renew coverage, pay online and generate certificates of insurance with PHLY’s easy-to-navigate, mobile-friendly platform. We have more than 50 offices across the country, with our headquarters located just outside Philadelphia in Bala Cynwyd, PA. PHLY maintains an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best, A+ rating for counterparty credit and financial strength from Standard & Poor’s and is a member of Ward’s Top 50 since 2004. When choosing insurance, choose tailored coverage, exceptional customer service and higher limits. Learn more about why PHLY is the best training partner for fitness and wellness instructors.


YOUR DEBT ELIMINATION PLAN It’s going to take some focus and hard work, but there is a way out By Billy Hofacker


f there is anything the pandemic has made clear to us, it’s the importance of having our financial house in order. Does the debt you have on the personal or business side make you feel as though you are stuck in the middle of the sea with no life preserver? If you have debt, there is no reason to be ashamed. The average person carries a credit card balance of $6,200. With that said, people who are financially successful know that one of the keys to building wealth is to get and stay out of debt. The good news is that there is a way out regardless of your current circumstances. It’s going to take some focus and hard work, but with the right plan, your past financial mistakes do not have to determine your financial future. Hopefully, you already understand the value of moving towards financial freedom by becoming debt free. Just in case you’re not convinced, let me ask you a few questions: If you didn’t have to make any debt


payments, how much money could you save every month? If you weren’t strapped with debt, how much better could you live with the same income? How quickly could you become wealthy? How much would you be able to impact others? There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to paying down debt. The first is known as the higher interest or avalanche method. The second is known as the debt snowball. With the avalanche method, or the higher interest method, the debts would be paid down in order from highest to lowest interest. This method makes mathematical sense. With the debt snowball, the debts would be paid in order from lowest to highest balance. So which is better? At some level, comparing debt elimination plans is like comparing nutrition plans. The one that works best is the one you actually follow.


With that said, the debt snowball allows you to rack up wins quickly, which helps create positive momentum. This is a huge advantage for someone who may already feel a little discouraged by their financial predicament. Here are the steps to applying the debt snowball. 1. Stop borrowing money – If you continue to borrow money while trying to eliminate your debt, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. 2. List your debts from lowest to highest balance – Pay special attention to this step. Don’t leave any debts out and let them slip between the cracks. Arrange your debts in ascending order with the smallest remaining balance first and the largest last. You would ignore the interest rate. 3. Pay all of the minimum payments on each debt listed


4. Throw any extra money above the minimum payments, at the next lowest balance – Ideally you would have a timeline for when each debt will be paid off. Accelerate your debt elimination plan by looking for any extra money to pay towards your focus debt (i.e. the one with the lowest balance). If you can’t find extra money, think of ways to increase your income. 5. Set your debt elimination date – Write down the date you will be debt-free (other than a possible mortgage). Visualize it. Keep moving towards your goal no matter what. Many people who use this method get excited as a result of the early wins and end up finding additional ways to put more money towards their snowball. The key is using the minimum payment you had for an eliminated debt and adding it to the next one, thus creating your debt snowball.

Business considerations Many people who agree that personal debt is destructive believe that business debt is different. The truth is that business debt can be just as harmful and the same rules should apply. Don’t fall into the lie that you need to carry a credit card balance or borrow money to grow your business. Having a debt-free business allows you to designate some of your cash for future growth, take advantage of opportunities that present themselves and be more generous. You may think that it’s better to prioritize paying down your business debt if you have both business and personal debt. Actually, one of the best things you can do for your business is to improve your personal finances. Many businesses suffer or even go out of business because an owner’s personal financial house was not in order. The bottom line is that you need a plan to eradicate both personal and business debt. One consideration with business debt is you’ll want to make sure you pay attention to

your cash flow. COVID-19 has reminded us of the importance of having “cash on hand.” I would recommend saving at least one month of business reserves before aggressively paying down business debt. Once you have your one month of reserves, you can allocate a percentage of extra income (after paying yourself) to debt elimination and the rest toward building the reserves further. You’ll need a lot; think 3-6 months. While it may sound unsophisticated or outdated, personal finance and business is much simpler than people make it out to be. If you do the basics with focus and consistency, over time you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve.

Many fitness professionals get stuck in the day to day and have little to show for their hard work. Billy Hofacker helps them get on a plan to achieve financial freedom. You can learn more by listening to the Your Fitness Money Coach podcast or visiting




With proper education and care, it can be avoided, or, if it develops, kept well under control | By Andrea Leonard


fter 25 years of working with cancer patients I would venture to say that only about 90% of them knew what lymphedema was. In honor of October being breast cancer awareness month, let’s take this opportunity to share our knowledge of this debilitating, disfiguring and painful disease with our friends, loved ones and clients who may be at risk. Lymphedema is swelling produced by an accumulation of lymph fluid in the tissue. For breast cancer clients, the swelling occurs in the arm (and possibly the pec and lat area) of the affected side due to damage to the lymph vessels in the armpit area caused by the removal of the axillary lymph nodes or from radiation to that area. If the lymphatic system has been injured, as in the case of lymph node dissection or radio-


therapy, the lymph can become backed up. If untreated, the backed-up fluid can provide a breeding ground for bacteria that can result in infection and can delay wound healing. A long-term accumulation of this fluid eventually results in thick and hardened tissues (fibrosis), which creates further resistance to draining the fluid from the limb. While lymphedema may not occur immediately after surgery, it can occur at any time during the client/patient’s life after cancer treatment. Sometimes extensive trauma can be the contributing factor while at other times it may be due to a bug bite, cat scratch or burn. Upwards of five percent of breast cancer clients are afflicted with lymphedema during their first year after surgery. The lifelong rate for affliction is between 8%-30%. With proper education and care, lymphedema can be


avoided, or, if it develops, kept well under control. Older individuals and those with poor nutrition face an increased risk, as do individuals with infections. Removal of the nodes and damage to the area prevent the lymph fluid in the arm from draining properly, allowing it to accumulate in the tissue by restricting pathways and causing backup. The amount of lymphatic fluid that is transported through the affected areas is directly related to the amount of blood flow to those areas. Heavy lifting with the affected arm or leg, extreme climatic temperatures, extreme water temperatures when bathing, showering or washing dishes, hot tubs, saunas, sunburn, and vigorous repetitive movements against resistance, all of which will increase blood and lymphatic flow to the affected area, should be avoided.


One of the most important, and often overlooked components of exercise is breathing. Not only does breathing allow precious oxygen to be circulated through the bloodstream, but it is also effective for moving fluid through a gentle pumping action of the abdominal muscles. The fluid is pumped through the central lymphatic vessel in the chest cavity, stimulating the flow of lymph. When you breathe in, using your abdominal muscles, the pressure in the chest cavity changes, because the belly breath moves your diaphragm. When you exhale, the pressure changes once again. This back-andforth alternation in the pressure acts like a pump on the large lymphatic trunk that runs up through the chest cavity and drains into the venous system of the neck.

A good exercise goal, for aerobic activity, is 30 minutes three or four times a week. Choose an exercise that will allow your client to mildly increase their heart rate without “overdoing” it. It is important that they wear their support garment or bandage while exercising. Exercise, in and of itself, will help to pump the muscles, improve circulation, and move lymph from congested areas into an area where it can drain more efficiently. It is important to start out very slowly (limited time and intensity for cardio and just a few repetitions and little to no weight with resistance training) and wait until the next day to see how the affected limb has responded. You can gradually increase frequency, intensity, and time, based on what the limb will tolerate. Have clients take their time and use good form and posture.

Following the cardiovascular warm-up, these exercises will help to open-up lymphatic pathways and promote lymphatic drainage: Pelvic tilt — Have your client lie on their back with their knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Have them tilt their hips so that they are able to press the small of their back against the floor. Have them pause for several seconds then release the contraction. Repeat 5-10 times. Modified sit-up — Have your client lie on their back with their knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Instruct them to maintain a neutral pelvis. Have them keep their neck in neutral and their chin pointing to the ceiling. As they exhale, have them lift up their chest and shoulders, pausing when they feel their abdominal muscles tighten up. Have them slowly lower themselves back to starting position (trying not to rest between repetitions). Repeat as many times as they can comfortably.


Neck stretches — Have your client hold each stretch until they feel a “mild” stretching sensation for 20-30 sec. Repeat on each side.

Shoulder shrugs — Have your client shrug both shoulders, lifting them towards their ears as they inhale. Have them exhale and depress their shoulders as low as they can (attempting to reach the floor with their fingertips) then return to a relaxed position. Repeat 5-10 times.

Isometric shoulder blade squeeze — Have your client bend their elbows at 45-90 degrees out at their sides (parallel to the floor). Have them exhale and pull them towards the center of your back, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Pause. Have them inhale and return to starting position. Repeat 5-10 times.



Shoulder rolls — Have your client lift their shoulders up to the ears then rotate the shoulders back and down, making a smooth, continuous motion. Repeat 5-10 times in each direction.

Isometric chest-press — Have your client place the palms of their hands together, with their elbows bent and arms at or below shoulder level. Have them exhale and push their hands firmly together. Pause. Have them inhale and relax. Repeat 5-10 times.


Shoulder circles — Have your client hold their arms at or below shoulder height with their palms facing down. Have them make small circles with their arms (keeping arms elevated). Repeat 5-10 times in each direction.

Wrist circles — Have your client hold their arms overhead and rotate their fist in small circles, isolating the movement to the wrist only. Rotate 5-10 times in each direction.

Shoulder circles — Have your client hold their arms at or below shoulder height with their palms facing down. Have them make small circles with their arms (keeping arms elevated). Repeat 5-10 times in each direction.

Wrist flexion and extension — Have your client hold their arms overhead and flex and extend their wrists, isolating the movement to the wrist only. Repeat 5-10 times.

This series may be done at the beginning and/or end of each exercise session. There is a great deal more to learn about prior to initiating an exercise program post-surgery/ treatment, but this will give you a good start!

Andrea Leonard is President & Founder Cancer Exercise Training Institute. To learn more about exercise programming for cancer patients and survivors please visit


MEET THE FINALISTS PFP 2021 Trainer of the Year

JULY Christian Thompson

AUGUST Christine Conti Thompson Fitness Solutions, LLC San Francisco, CA ContiFIT Brick, NJ

What makes you unique? Well, I am both a career academic and a fitness educator. That has given me the tools to practice the scientific method of discovery and apply its findings through education. Combine that with being the son of two artists, and I feel that I have both the knowledge and creativity to provide value to others.

What advice would you give on how to effectively grow a new fitness business? To grow your new fitness business, you must remember your why! Being an entrepreneur is hard work. You will get frustrated. You will experience some frustrations, some failures and even some disappointment. However, if you are following your passion, listening to your heart, setting schedules and following them, asking yourself each day if what you are doing is working towards your bigger goals, being relentless, always thinking ahead, listening to feedback, finding a mentor, and most importantly, surrounding yourself with people who support you and lift you up, you are going to experience success!

What opportunities are you currently exploring to expand your business/career? I have become a part of several collaborative ventures with other established and productive fitness educators in the older adult space. These collaborations lead to an increase in my own knowledge, add to my motivation to do more and have created a shared vision that I could not imagine should I have tried to do it all on my own. What was the best business advice you’ve received? VALUE YOURSELF. Be cautious of "opportunities" that don't have a tangible benefit to your business. They do not all need to be revenue-generating (although those are nice), but the time and energy you invest must benefit your business in some way. Do not commit to ventures that are all give and no take.

What’s your next big goal/hurdle? My goal remains constant: stay healthy, look forward to getting up every morning, change as many lives as I can and make enough money to pay my bills. In all honesty, I find it difficult to fully grow two businesses and put in the time it takes to adequately market workshops, research, write new programs, answer emails, conduct podcast interviews, schedule meetings, jump on ZOOM calls, and still have time to breathe. In 2021, I am looking to double the number of podcasts that TFC Productions currently produces and I look to expand Let’s FACE It Together™ programs into all Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s communities on a global level.

SEPTEMBER Julio Salado Fitness Foundry Boston, MA What makes you unique? I do not consider myself unique, rather I am a firm believer that anyone can become an A-list personal trainer. What is an A-list trainer? Regardless of your experience and physical appearance, an A-list trainer consistently exemplifies specific skills and attributes of past or current successful personal trainers, business leaders and legendary coaches. What are some career-boosting opportunities to take advantage of right now? First, it is especially important to ask if you want to be salary or commission-based. Your decision will align with what clubs expect from you and how this affects your expectations. If commission-based learn how to develop two distinct skill sets, namely professional salesperson and service provider. Increase the value of your personal training services by developing your brand and being an online resource for the community. Use a systematic approach to building a strong network with local businesses and non-profits to collaborate for online or in-person events. What was the best business advice you’ve received? Seek out a mentor. A mentor will complement a traditional education with regard to building a business, providing excellent service and developing a strong work ethic.


5-Phase System to Build Your Online Brand

Launch a freedom-based online business efficiently, strategically and sanely in today’s market | By Vito La Fata


magine transforming your expertise into a freedom-based, revenue-generating online machine. A machine that runs with or without you. Changing lives, scaling your impact and amplifying your income, while you do what you want, where you want, when you want. Renowned musculoskeletal pain specialist, Dr. Vince Catteruccia, did just that. During the process, he escaped the frigid Wisconsin winters, scaled his services while working less, closed down his moneysucking brick and mortar and re-devoted time to his family. Here’s how Dr. Vince launched the “Living Pain Free Method” in just a few short months following the 5 phases of The Visionary Planner System. Phase 1: Design a Signature System As a licensed neuromuscular therapist, registered kinesiotherapist and PhD in Behavioral Health, Dr. Vince has all the credentials anyone could ask for. The problem? His services were confined to his zip code. We transformed his years of practice into a signature system, the “Living Pain Free Method,” to help him stand out in the market and form a definable brand. What was once merely a service became an outcome-based program that could be delivered digitally to anyone — no matter their location. Better yet, the process was fast and fun. We outlined the entire system in just 2.5 days at our sun-soaked vineyard. With his signature system ready, Dr. Vince’s practice became scalable and a kiddie pool of clients transformed into an endless ocean. Phase 2: Launch a Cash Flow Offer This is a lightning-fast way to earn cash while getting real-time feedback from your target market. Consider it a “focus group” launch of your coaching system to a select few. It’s a smart (often missed) launch strategy to launch in small markets, work out the kinks and then go big! This “1-2 punch” of income and input eliminates almost all risk by verifying your offer is desirable and funding the growth of your brand. Dr. Vince launched his “Get Pain Free In 4 Weeks” program to transition local clients online while he cut back his brick and mortar hours. Phase 3: Automate Your Signature System You didn’t come this far to let your online endeavor rule your time. Don’t worry; thanks to automation, you won’t have to lift a finger. Here we map out the industry-best tools and resources you should leverage to automate leads and sales.

This was key for Dr. Vince so he utilized our plug-and-play templates to quickly get his website, list generators and sales calls rolling. Phase 4: Leverage Your Offers, Income & Impact Now we introduce our “Offer Multiplier” to transform your signature system and cash flow offer into 3 additional offers that can skyrocket sales without any extra work. Each offer is strategically priced and positioned to turn prospects into buyers so you can earn more while dodging time-sucking tasks and clients. With the Offer Multiplier, there’s something for everyone in your market and you don’t have to start from scratch to expand your offers. When we began this process with Dr. Vince, we took the first 4 weeks of his 6-month coaching program, pulled it out, and offered it as a lower priced “feeder” course. This allowed him to tap into a whole new market that couldn’t afford his high-ticket program, all without reinventing the wheel. Phase 5: Scale for Purpose Freedom Now we blast your message as loud as you’d like. Scale beyond 7-figures and get out of the weeds by building a team and unleashing your voice. With your online business churning, we help you bring on the right people to tackle the tasks you don’t want to. Then you can finally focus on your biggest dreams: podcasts, books, masterminds and more are waiting to be had while your online business hums in the background. Don’t waste precious time and money doing the wrong things in the wrong order. Many fall prey to the temptation of creating things like books and podcasts before they have the essential elements in place to monetize and scale. That’s why we save this step for last. Following these 5 phases — in order — is the best way to launch a freedom-based online business efficiently, strategically, and sanely in today’s market. Want to get your online brand up and earning? Grab a free strategy session at

SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE NEW ON THE MARKET IN TECHNOLOGY The latest trends in fitness technology trends



Stress causes headaches, insomnia and suppresses immune system. Antense from Biosig Instruments with built-in headphone and forehead sensor monitors stress in a real time. Proprietary technology converts level of stress into proportional modulated sound, thus providing the brain with a valuable biofeedback. With this biofeedback the brain quickly learns to control the pitch of the sound. By lowing the pitch of the sound the brain reduces the stress. Antense helps your brain to control stress naturally.

Merrithew™ brings more than 30 years of experience in mind-body education and training to its new streaming platform, Merrithew Connect™. Featuring on-demand workouts from Merrithew’s bestin-class education programs, including STOTT PILATES®, Halo® Training, ZEN•GA® and Merrithew™ Fascial Movement, fitness professionals will deepen their practice, perfect their form and gain new skills, all while building strength, stability, mobility and mindfulness. With our flexible pricing model, you can choose to rent or own the videos, so you can do your favorite workout anytime, anywhere.

HEALTH RESPONSE PLATFORM The Kogniz Health Response Platform is the only automated system that offers no-contact, high-volume temperature screening, contact tracing, social distancing enforcement, mask detection, and more. Kogniz enables organizations from big box stores to campuses to operate as safely and efficiently as possible.


HANG ON BAR Exclusively designed for Excy’s patented no-scoot portable exercise bikes, the new Hang On Bar accessory allows riders to leverage their upper body to aggressively pedal Excy while lying down to target muscles in the trunk, lower back, glutes, legs, calves and feet from a supine cycling position. The Excy Hang on Bar retails for $79.95.


PREGNANCY & POSTPARTUM PAIN BOOK Written for women who are pregnant or in postpartum and clinicians who treat them, Back & Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy & Postpartum by Deborah B. Riczo, PT, DPT, MEd, addresses anatomical and physiological changes caused by pregnancy and types of pain many women experience as a result. Readers are guided through the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal MethodSM, which includes stretching and strengthening exercises to help relieve pain. Healthy living tips, tools and an exercise planner are also included.

Follow us on social to stay connected!

PFP Media



Are you losing top fitness pros?


he crisis and closures were the arm-twisting a lot of fitness professional needed; they were thrown out of their comfort zones and into entrepreneurial mindsets more than ever before. Now that gyms and studios are opening, closing, and reopening again fit pros have become much more tuned into the leadership they seek and culture they desire in a workplace. New Criteria Fitness Professionals are Using to Decide if They Want to Work for You  Personnel as a priority: Many fitness pros decided to leave their gyms when they saw effort after effort being made to communicate and reassure members, but very little focused on creating a safe workplace for them. It made them feel as if they were not connecting with, instead of a key reason why members would consider returning and renewing.


 Competition crisis: Some gyms who were slow to provide alternative services like virtual workouts or outdoor training criticized or even threatened their fitness professionals who were doing it themselves. Owners saw their own staff as competition instead of embracing their creativity and sense of initiative by rewarding them with the opportunity to pivot and partner.

 Responding mindfully: We’ve all had moments of acting reactively over the past months, sometimes in key business decisions and sometimes in social media comments. We need to give ourselves a pass, while making sure we create times when we can be mindful. That’s how we’ll tap into our creativity and resources, including our teams, and find ways to respond instead of reacting.

 Empathy and patience: Everyone is handling the trauma and grief of this crisis differently, and fitness professionals who are used to being the source for positivity are struggling to find the energy to handle members’ frustrations, nevermind their own ups and downs. They need to be listened to and coached to handle a job and customer service challenges they were never trained for.

Leadership Matters Now More Than Ever Like in all times of crisis, the cream rises to the top. Owners and operators who communicated regularly not only with their members, but also with their teams are reaping the benefits of their leadership. Remembering that our people are human “resources” will help us connect with them to rebuild our teams and our business together.

 Any news or decision is better than none: We count on our leaders to be decision-makers no matter how difficult the situation, and fitness professionals are realizing that indecision is actually a decision of inaction. In times of crisis no news is definitely not good news and it put all owners and operators under a leadership culture microscope.

Nathalie Lacombe, M, Sc. blends her 25 years of international fitness experience with her degrees in psychology and exercise science to passionately connect with fitness professionals. Nathalie dedicates herself to coaching fitness professionals and leaders towards incredible success in their careers and businesses.



 Premium Certification Package by NFPT ($400 value)  1-year membership to FiTOUR Total Access: receive access to complete each of the FiTOUR in-home certifications with online study materials ($300 value)  A complimentary full conference registration to any 2020 Medical Fitness Tour event courtesy of the MedFit Education Foundation ($299 value)  Featured profile in the 2021 Winter issue of Personal Fitness Professional magazine!

The 2021 PFP Trainer of the Year (TOTY) will be selected from the 2020 Trainer of the Month (TOTM) winners. TOTAL PRIZE PACKAGE WORTH MORE THAN $7,500... AND MORE TO COME!  Functional Aging Institute (FAI) Education plus Business VIP Package includes: • Functional Aging Specialist Certification ($399.00 value) • Two (2) VIP tickets to the 2020 Functional Aging Summit ($600.00 value)

Functional Aging Business Mastermind meeting ($1,200 value) 1-Year Lease of the BodyMetrix Professional System Ultrasound Body Composition ($1,895 Value)  PowerBlock U50 Club Set ($795 value)  Lifetime membership to The Academy online resource and community for fitness business owners by Fitness Revolution ($599 value)  Choice of any NSCA Certification Exam and associated textbook by NSCA ($575 value)  2-night hotel at SUCCEED by Sports & Fitness Insurance •

($500 value)









EACH TRAINER OF THE MONTH WILL RECEIVE OVER $4,500 IN PRIZES (AND MORE TO COME!):  Functional Aging Institute (FAI) Education plus Business VIP Package includes: • Functional Aging Specialist Certification ($399.00 value) • Functional Aging Business Mastermind meeting ($1,200 value) • Two (2) VIP tickets to the 2021 Functional Aging Summit ($600 value)  A 1-year AFS + SUCCEED! Membership that includes one (1) full convention ticket to SUCCEED! AFS' Annual Fitness Business Convention & Expo ($500 value)  SCW Fitness Education package that includes: • FREE Live Stream MANIA Attendance ($159 value) • FREE SCW Online Certification of your choice ($159 value)  A 1-Year membership to The Academy online resource and community for fitness business owners by Fitness Revolution ($399 value)  National Corporate Fitness Institute (NCFI) Certified Corporate Fitness Specialist Certification ($295 value)  Standard Certification Package by NFPT ($249 value)  MedFit Network one-year professional membership ($169 value, for new members) - or - $100 off select MedFit Classroom classes for existing MedFit Network members  AAAI/ISMA “One World” Conference Registration ($150 value)  One in-home certification from FiTOUR ($99 value)