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WWW.PERSONALFITNESSPROFESSIONAL.COM SUMMER 2021

HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COMMUNITY CONVERT MORE LEADS: GO OLD SCHOOL!

HARNESS THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY O T RE BE E H RI K IC BSC L C SU


PFP ONLINE Visit

www.PersonalFitnessProfessional.com

VOLUME 23 | ISSUE 2 president

chad griepentrog | chad.g@rbpub.com

FEATURES

publisher

josh vogt | josh@rbpub.com editor

erin eagan | erin@rbpub.com audience development manager

rachel spahr | rachel@rbpub.com national sales director

josh vogt | josh@rbpub.com creative director

Is Online Training Appropriate for Everyone? Getting Back to “Normal” Keep in mind, the customer experience will never be the same By Kevin Grauman

5 reasons for older adults to try virtual fitness By Elaine Studdert

kelli cooke | kelli.c@rbpub.com contributing writers

Chris Beer, Justin Hanover, Megan McCullough, Matt McGunagle, Anna Woods featured columnists

Dean Carlson, Vito La Fata, Sean Greeley, Nathalie Lacombe, Julio A. Salado, Kelli Watson cover photo

Courtesy of Exer

P.O. Box 259098 | Madison WI 53725-9098. Tel: 608.241.8777 Email: customerservice@rbpub.com

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Lindsay Vastola

Greg Justice

QUESTION TO PONDER When is it safe to exercise post COVID-19? While there is no exact timeline, you can use the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE). Learn more on page 25.

Farel Hruska

Tel: 608.241.8777 E-mail: rbpub@rbpub.com Fax: 608.241.8666 Website: www.PersonalFitnessProfessional.com

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Digital Print Subscription Information Digital Subscriptions to Personal Fitness Professional are free to qualified recipients and may be ordered at www.PersonalFitnessProfessional.com/subscribe. Reprints For high-quality reprints, please contact us at 608.241.8777 All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2021 by MadMen3 All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any correspondence sent to Personal Fitness Professional, 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 Personal Fitness Professional. MadMen3 and/or Personal Fitness Professional expressly disclaim any liability for the products or services sold or otherwise endorsed by advertisers or authors included in this magazine. Personal Fitness Professional (ISSN 1523-780X) is published quarterly: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. [Volume 23, Issue 2] Published by MadMen3, LLC C/O Chad Griepentrog 708 Mohawk Trail DeForest WI 53532-3035 Tel: 608.241.8777 Periodicals postage paid at DeForest, WI and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Personal Fitness Professional | P.O. Box 259098 | Madison WI 53725-9098.

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FOLLOW TOTY

By Joey Percia

Alexis Batrakoulis www.ioeti.co

Use technology to your advantage As a fitness professional, you have the opportunity to live your dream. To make good (even great) money doing what you love. Waking up and going to sleep feeling fulfilled — knowing the work you do changes lives — because your clients are healthier, happier, in less pain, and are living life to the fullest. Years ago, this dream wasn’t as accessible as it is today. Why? Technology. Thanks to technology we have amazing tools at our fingertips that allow us to connect, share our gifts and impact people all around the world. Technology makes communication easier. It allows us to create resources and use these tools to make behavior modification stick. It allows us to gamify the coaching process and make transformation fun. It allows us to coach clients without ever needing to see them face to face. There’s no question that technology is abundant. Every month new apps and tools are released claiming they’re better than the last. The problem is, with new technology comes distraction. And in my experience, the best way to kill a dream or goal is distraction. Countless tabs opened on your computer. A phone buzzing with notifications. Social media platforms doing everything they can to keep you hooked to their platform. An inbox full of emails that you feel you need to read and answer immediately. The bottom line is, every day there’s a fight for your time, energy, and focus. And technology is leading that fight. We have to remember it’s a tool that can propel you towards your goals or keep you stuck. The determining factor is whether you use technology like a true fitness professional or a fitness enthusiast. The professional has clear goals and aspirations, so they use technology to save time, energy, and effort. This allows them to get the right things done quicker. And to leverage the good they’re creating to impact more people. On the other hand, the enthusiast lets technology use them. They become distracted with every new app and tool. They jump from one to the other. They explore everything without reason or strategy which keeps them stuck. Our goal with this issue is to show you the power of technology so you can choose to use it to your advantage — like a true professional. It’s up to you to decide.

A highly sought-after customer acquisition and monetization specialist, Joey Percia works with coaches, consultants and trainers to enroll more clients into their premium-priced programs. With clients in multiple countries and 36 different industries, he’s helped generate multiple millions in sales. Joey’s book, "Why Do You Hate Money?" has been referred to as “the health, fitness, and wellness marketing bible” by industry-leading experts and is said to be a must-read for anyone in the industry.

Expand your online fitness services How has technology changed the way you train and/or do business in the last 20 years? Technology has always been an ally of the health and fitness industry. The evolution of fitness services, including personal training, has been widely affected by the use of technology. However, I am not sure if technology has been playing exactly the same role in the evolution of our industry independently of the socioeconomic status of each region. For instance, I am based in Greece where the internet connection is quite slow and online fitness services appear not to be so popular among the masses compared with other European countries and the US. Nevertheless, the current pandemic showed that even consumers, entrepreneurs and exercise professionals who have been familiar with technology demonstrated an incredible ability to adapt and evolve under totally new circumstances. Personally speaking, I found really interesting and productive the opportunity to offer virtual live one-on-one sessions not only to my current clients, but also to new ones interested in that new way of fitness services. What advice would you give about how to best integrate technology? I highly recommend a hybrid format of fitness services combining in-person and online personal training sessions. Such a way of delivery provides fitness professionals with significant advantages compared with the any other single options. The online approach is a very flexible option for delivering personal training sessions even without access to all necessary equipment usually observed in a gym setting. Personal trainers can save time when offering online sessions while staying connected with their clients aiming to engage them in regular exercise. Additionally, technology could be an excellent opportunity for exercise professionals to expand their fitness services by offering recorded training programs, online exercises library and more flexible small-group training sessions.


CONTENTS

Volume 23 | Issue 2

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18

JOURNEY TO SUCCESS

Sarah Apgar Finding her inner steel has released her outer shine By Erin Eagan

WHEN IS IT SAFE TO EXERCISE POST COVID-19 ILLNESS?

22

26

If you’re struggling during this strange time, take a step back and reevaluate your process By Justin Hanover

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OPEN VS CLOSED API SYSTEMS FOR YOUR SOFTWARE VENDORS

CREATE A COMMUNITY USING TECHNOLOGY

By getting creative with online platforms, you can still give your clients the personal interaction they crave By Anna Woods

Why this is such an important decision for gym owners and trainers By Matt McGunagle

24

CONVERT MORE LEADS WITH THE RIGHT APPROACH

While there is no exact timeline, one way to do so is by using “Rate of Perceived Exertion” By Megan Johnson McCullough

A VIRTUAL FITNESS TOUR

What was learned from “traveling” across the country to 50 different online classes in two months By Chris Beer

DEPARTMENTS

05

LETTER FROM THE ADVISORY BOARD

Use technology to your advantage

08

LEADERSHIP MATTERS

Making tech work in our favor: specialize or diversify

Joey Percia

Nathalie Lacombe

07

08

BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Attract premium clients willing to pay you $500-$2,000/month

Sean Greeley

FIT MONEY MINDSET

Is your FinTech working for you?

Dean Carlson

10

BEST PRACTICES

Human-to-human technology

Kelli Watson

10

ONLINE TRANSFORMATION

Technology, friend or foe?

Vito La Fata

11

SPOTLIGHT FiTOUR

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NEW ON THE MARKET

The latest trends in fitness equipment

30

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION You are part of the solution

Julio A. Salado


SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE BUSINESS STRATEGIES Sean Greeley

www.npecoaching.com

Attract premium clients willing to pay you $500-$2,000/month

I

f there ever was a time to seize an opportunity in the fitness business industry, it's now. A year of less movement, less accountability and little to no fitness expectations has taken its toll, and people are hungry to start living their best life again. As a result, the solutions you can provide as a fitness professional are in high demand. Technology has played a huge role in the rise of the independent fitness professional by creating different ways to connect with clients and grow their business. So how can you grow your client base and income right now? By following five fundamental steps to attract and sign up premium clients. Step 1: Your 6-Figure Strategy A clearly defined business strategy is the path toward growth of your client base and income. But more important is your drive to go make it happen. Ask yourself: 1) Why is this important? and 2) Am I willing to do the work to get there? Having clarity will motivate you and make your commitment stronger. Step 2: Your PURPOSE To be effective in finding and signing up premium clients, you have to know WHO you want to serve and WHY it matters. Your WHO should be based on who you love working with. Your WHY should be reflected through the problems you love solving. When you love solving the specific problems your avatar has, and your business model ensures you make a profit, you are in the Thrive Zone. Now that you have defined your purpose and perfect avatar, be able to communicate it clearly. Who are you? What inspired you to become a fitness professional? Why do you care about serving this type of client? Your story will inspire people, so tell it. Step 3: Your Premium Offer If you want to attract premium clients, you need a premium offer with a price that reflects your value. That offer also needs to be designed to meet your avatar’s needs. People who pay more, will commit more seriously. Step 4: Your 7-Step Sales Process Next, get comfortable expressing that offer by having a leadership conversation and being comfortable challenging them. NPE teaches a 7-step process for leading prospective client conversations: 1. Pre-qualification: Are they the right fit? 2. Rapport: Make them feel comfortable. 3. Set agenda: Set clear expectations. 4. Discovery: Ask questions.

5. Presentation: Explain the process. 6. Close: Use an alternate choice close and invite them to choose. 7. Objections: Overcome resistance by listening, questioning and answering objections. A consultation is for leading your prospect to make the commitment necessary to achieve their goals. Step 5: Your Marketing Campaigns You don’t have to become an expert digital marketer to be successful here. You just need to have some simple processes in place to attract the right people. Have a clear message — When you are clear on who your best client is and why it matters to them, you have a target and a message that connects. Have a clear offer — A free consult is a very strong go-to offer. It gives prospects a chance to meet you and see what a working relationship with you would be like. If you’re a good fit for each other, confidently move forward with a program commitment. Use the right lead generation strategies — By leveraging organic channels through sources like Google My Business, Directory sites and a good content marketing strategy executed on social, you won’t ever have to waste money on advertising. Have a clear plan for your business strategy. Focus on defining your purpose, the motivation behind it and who you want to serve. Remember, you need to communicate the value you offer as a premium service provider. Create a premium offer that will attract the right clients for your business, and don’t be afraid to charge a premium price. Use a sales system to communicate that offer through conversations that build rapport, trust and motivate people to take action. Finally, don’t complicate your marketing. Use simple marketing strategies to attract the right clients and be consistent in executing that plan. In the end, it comes down to this question: How bad do you want it? Only you know the answer. Just get started, be willing to make mistakes, learn from them, grow and get better!

Sean Greeley, Founder and CEO of NPE, has an unrelenting passion for inspiring fitness professionals and business owners to realize their unlimited potential. Since 2006, NPE has helped over 45,000+ fitness professionals and business owners grow their client base, take home more money, and have the freedom to enjoy it. Join the Private NPE Facebook Group and get access to LIVE Q&As, Fitness Business Case Studies, and Free Training at www.npefitness.com/facebook.

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SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE LEADERSHIP MATTERS

FIT MONEY MINDSET

Nathalie Lacombe

Dean Carlson

www.nathalielacombe.com

Making tech work in our favor: specialize or diversify?

C

reating a good relationship with technology in fitness management means finding the sweet spot between putting our heads in the sand and running ragged trying to keep up. Embracing the fact that most consumers will choose multiple access points to fitness releases us into our area of expertise, while inviting us to extend our wheelhouse towards technology. Winning in the market requires the realization that more than ever consumers are aware and engaged in their physical, mental and immune health. This presents a huge array of product and service opportunities we traditionally would have found too risky to offer but can now more easily provide. The decision that needs to take place is whether we specialize or diversify:  Digitalize into a fantastic hybrid offer by specializing: if stepping out of your comfort zone to create a full ecosystem of offers feels inauthentic and pulls you from your sense of integrity, choose instead to dive deeper into what you already do best. Dig your brand deeper into a frictionless offer they can experience when and where they want, make your offer portable and indispensable.  Expand into a growing wellness market by diversifying: if you’re passionate about serving your clients’ needs beyond traditional fitness, choose to grow thanks to offers that support wellness such as nutrition, mindfulness and better sleep. Preserve their trust by stepping into new services that match the quality they’re used to, or consider partnering with other professionals or brands to smoothly and consistently become even more valuable. Focus on your “why” and your people; consider the loyalty you’ve built thanks to the trust they have in your brand and take meaningful steps forward in your business.

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. Visit https://nathalielacombe.com/camera/ for your FREE access to Top 10 Tips to Better Coach Through a Camera and improve the impact you have on clients today!

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www.FitForProfit.com

Is your FinTech working for you?

E

very business has some type of Financial Technology (“FinTech”) integrated into its systems. It can be as simple as online banking, or as sophisticated as online order taking and fulfillment, and everything in between. Because technology moves at such a rapid pace and there is always something new out there, it’s easy to get caught up in looking for the latest and greatest to help streamline systems and make life easier. But you don’t need “high tech” to reap the benefits of FinTech. Take that “simple” online banking for example. What may seem basic and mundane is actually a powerful cash management tool, offering a straightforward way to assist you in making strategic business decisions as you scale your business and grow your revenues. You can take advantage of how easy it is to open a new account, make transfers and see real-time balances. Here is an example. One of the biggest financial challenges of a growing business is adding team members. You need them to grow your services, but how can you confidently make the decision that now is the right time? What if you hire them and find out you can’t support them long term? Where is the money going to come from? Take that stress away by paying the new team member for two to three months before you hire them. Here’s how. First, calculate the total new payroll you want to add, let’s say $1,000 per month. Divide that by your average revenue per month. For this example, our revenue is $20,000 per month — $1,000 divided by $20,000 is 5%. Second, open a new business bank account and name it “Test Payroll.” Third, allocate 5% of monthly revenue into the new account for three months. This serves as a “stress test” on your current business financials, without spending an additional dime. If you find that you can allocate the 5% without a problem, it’s a green light to hire. If on the other hand you find you can’t pay current expenses on the remaining 95%, you still have the money on hand to cover, and you can adjust your plan as necessary. This is just one example of using FinTech strategically to make good business decisions, and it’s as simple as some basic math and your bank account.

Dean Carlson is a Profit First Advisor 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.


SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE BEST PRACTICES

ONLINE TRANSFORMATION

Kelli Watson

Vito La Fata

www.scriptorpublishinggroup.com

Human-to-human technology

T

he participants in one of our coaching programs recently completed a MyZone Challenge. Using MyZone belts, we connected through the app to follow each other’s workouts and to track our own progress. A healthy amount of “smack talk” transpired between the participants which served to motivate everyone to work a little harder. Ultimately, we felt connected, motivated and challenged… and we also had a lot of fun. This is the power of technology in our industry. Whether it be MyZone belts, Apple watches, Fitbits, Peloton, InBody or an endless number of apps designed to do everything from counting calories to delivering exercise programs, the explosion of technology within our industry is astounding. These gadgets keep our clients focused, motivated and on track. They also make it easier for us to connect… and this is where we need to pause for a moment and consider the role of technology in our businesses. After all, as personal trainers, we are in a human-to-human business. The relationship between trainers and clients is what guarantees their success. The accountability, the caring touch, the watchful eye of a trainer is what leads the client to keep working and to get better. It isn’t the technology that creates the relationship, it is the people. If we want to grow our business, we need to recognize that it’s the human connection that is fundamental to our success. Technology provides us with an array of useful tools. Being able to quantify and track progress is important. A little “smack talk” keeps it fun. And yet, nothing will ever replace the personal connection that happens between trainers and clients. Those relationships are the core foundation of our client’s success. As you consider the role of technology in your business, remember this: technology is useful, but it can never replace the personal relationships you build with your clients.

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 kelliwatson88@gmail.com.

www.vitolafata.com

Technology, friend or foe?

I

t’s scary to think that technology can replace humans. At some level (at least let’s hope) nothing will replace human connection. We need it if we plan to thrive as humanity. But, it would be foolish of us to not see the writing on the wall that many things (including fitness) are being done digital, virtual, online, with apps and more. Our job as smart planners and thinkers is to anticipate the change versus get caught denying reality. Technology can be our friend versus the foe we fear will put us in the unemployment line. It will take a little letting go of ego. And a lot of planning to change up how we’ve always done business. Right now, here in the middle of 2021, coming out of a pandemic (fingers crossed), you have the opportunity to strategize accordingly, because while it may feel slow or not something to worry about, in the next 3-5 years we will be living in a new world. Let’s be prepared for it! Here’s a few planning questions to help you get started. 1. What habits, behaviors and everyday practices are my clients adapting to in this new technology-driven world, so I can ‘see into’ their lives and look to be there with the fitness and wellness solutions they need and want? Ex: People work out at home more now. How am I showing up in their house? Ex: People use their phones for EVERYTHING now, how am I showing up and accessible there? 2. What ways can I diversify my offers/services using technology so I can add additional revenue streams and build more financial stability? Ex: Do I have an app? Online courses/coaching programs? If not, how can I start my plan to get those added to my business? 3. Am I an affiliate of any technology services/software/nutrition lines/platforms that my clients need or will be using that I can earn income from? Ex: Peloton, Beachbody, FitBit, etc. That’s 3 simple places to get started on planning for the future reality that technology will be heavily in the landscape, and only you can make it your friend.

Vito La Fata is the co-creator of The Legacy Brand Creator, Vision In the Vineyards and Fitness Profit Systems. For a free training video on The Simple ‘Legacy Loop’ Formula to Escape Trading Time For Money & Attract High Quality Clients or Patients, visit: https://thelegacybrandcreator.com/register/

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SPOTLIGHT: FITOUR® www.fitour.com

281.494.0380

clara@fitour.com

FiTOUR® Helps You Create a Sustainable Career That Will Last a Lifetime By Dolly Stokes

E

arning your first fitness certification is only the beginning of a successful career. Continuously seeking knowledge is a vital component to staying on top of trends and staying current on the latest exercise science guidelines. Honing your skillset through continuing education opportunities will allow you to better provide clients with safe and innovative training opportunities. When equipped with a toolbox full of experience and education, you are better prepared to create a sustainable career. FiTOUR® ProTrainer Lisa Lorraine Taylor, who has a BS in holistic nutrition, encourages fitness pros to pursue learning opportunities. She says, “Throughout my 26-year career, continuing my education has been just as important if not more so than achieving my certification. Increasing knowledge through educational opportunities ensures that fitness pros are providing clients sound information and programming.” For a fitness trainer just setting out on a career, the variety of continuing education courses offered can be quite overwhelming. Internationally renowned fitness presenter Abbie Appel gives advice for fresh fitness pros: “At the beginning of your career, don’t try to be a Jack or Jill of all trades. Start with what you do well and get even better at it. Basically, select education that will increase your knowledge and help hone your skills. Find a format you enjoy and that excites you the most and become the best at it.” As the years pass and your career evolves, stay fresh and engaged by continuously seeking out new information and adopting new methods. Branching out and exploring new methods will expand your repertoire and experience. The more experience and better understanding you have of different modalities and philosophies, the better you will be able to guide clients to finding what works best for them. Tracy Markley who, in addition to being a FiTOUR® ProTrainer, is an author, fitness educator and expert in stroke recovery says, “Knowledge is power. Gaining knowledge through study and obtaining knowledge through experience is a continuum. The more knowledge and experience I have the more clients I gain. The more clients I gain leads to more experience and knowledge. This continuum will be forever.” When it comes to creating a sustainable career that will last a lifetime, be open to the inevitable changes that will come as you age and evolve. Decide early in your career to look to the future. Choose educational opportunities that allow you to diversify and develop

knowledge and skills which will be needed to meet the inevitable changes that the evolution of aging brings. As you and your clients age, your skillset will change and the needs of your clients will change. Education is key to understanding how to create adaptations to programming as you and your clients evolve. High-Quality Affordable Education Opportunities FiTOUR® is a powerful educational resource for fitness pros. We provide high-quality programming based on up-to-date exercise science that is both convenient and affordable. Our learning opportunities include free webinars and affordable online courses which include trending topics such as suspension training, barre, myofascial release, high intensity interval training, boot camp training and nutrition. In addition, FiTOUR® offers a full complement of certification courses for personal training, group ex instructor, yoga, Pilates, aqua fitness, indoor cycling and more.


SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE

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Journey to Success

By Erin Eagan

SARAH APGAR

Finding her inner steel has released her outer shine

S

arah Apgar has worn many hats throughout her life as an All-American collegiate athlete, US Army veteran, volunteer firefighter, EMT, fitness professional, business executive, wife to Ben Smith, and mom to two daughters, Emory (5) and Arlyn (3). Woven in and out of whatever role she takes on, she has been able to play to her strengths as a natural-born leader, athlete and problem-solver who thrives in a team environment. She is founder of FitFighter and the brains behind the FitFighter Steelhose, a product she originally designed to train firefighters better for the rigors of the job. In 2020, Apgar presented her product on ABC’s Shark Tank and landed a $250,000 investment with KIND founder and Executive Chairman Daniel Lubetzky. It was the financial support she needed to extend the reach of her unique product. Now, the FitFighter Steelhose, an all-in-one workout tool, is available to everyone, everywhere — and the FitFighter brand has exploded. We recently chatted with Sarah to learn more about her experiences, what motivates her and what the future holds for her and the FitFighter team.

How did you get started in the fitness industry? I originally was an athlete, growing up all through my childhood as an elite gymnast. I moved on to field sports in high school and became a two-time All-American rugby fullback at Princeton University. I also was in the Reserve Officer Training Corps program for the Army. I got my first certification as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor just shy of a decade ago because I started to take an interest in training and performance when I later joined the volunteer fire service. I wanted more of a science-based background versus just being an athlete with an interest in being fit and feeling great. I originally did the American Council on Exercise (ACE) personal trainer and group fitness instructor certifications. Then I started to actually take on a couple of clients who were high school athletes and also prepared and facilitated fitness programming in our volunteer firehouse. I never intended for this to be my profession where I would be training clients or groups or teams. I really intended to just broaden my science-based understanding and my level of experience with something that had always woven itself in and out of my

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professional life as an athlete, a soldier, a platoon leader, a volunteer firefighter and someone just interested in training and teaching and coaching for people of all ages. Have you had a mentor, or someone you’ve look up to? Yes, I have had many mentors in my career, but the one that I would focus on is Colonel Michael Teague, a Lieutenant Colonel when I was joining the 52nd Engineer Battalion. I always felt that Colonel Teague was someone who took a personal interest in his young leaders. He was able to be firm while also being caring. He had this unique balance of never raising his voice, but making it very clear if you had done something that was a big mistake, or if something needed to be changed. And I always really respected the way he was able to communicate very clearly and with conviction in ways that were also caring and showed compassion. I think that’s why I’ve tried to do that with my teams throughout my career since the military, which has been almost 20 years at this point. I try to lead with love and compassion and also recognize that when you’re a mentor and a leader, you are also responsible for ultimately everything that your team succeeds and fails to do, and that requires ensuring mistakes are highlighted and corrected and problems are solved together and that the people you lead have the mentorship they need as they grow as humans and professionals. I would say the piece of advice that’s been instrumental to my success is to lead with compassion, but realize that everything you do is ultimately your responsibility if you’re the one who’s in charge. What is the one principle you’ve always lived by? The principle that remains my north star throughout my life is to bring my love, light and energy with me and sprinkle it everywhere I go. I had a friend who worked with me during the time I was launching FitFighter and on Shark Tank, and he rephrased that and said that my principle is to sprinkle steel wherever I go, and I loved that because steel absolutely is a manifestation of me personally in that inner steel and outer shine has become one of our taglines of FitFighter: “To find your inner steel so you can release your outer shine.” So if I were to be able to use my own tagline, that is my principle. But really, in more casual terms, it’s sprinkling my love, light and energy with me wherever I go because that is definitely why I was

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put on this earth… walking into the grocery store and flashing a smile and making someone’s day a little bit better. If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be? My piece of advice would be something that comes from Todd Durkin, and that is that there are infinite forms of wealth. I say this not because I feel like I was focused narrowly on one kind of financial wealth in my life because certainly I have been raised with the unconditional love and influence of all the different kinds of wealth there are, personal and professional and spiritual and financial. But I’m not sure that I fully appreciated what that meant in the way you can live day to day and make choices and not be constantly striving towards what felt like one narrow kind of achievement, (i.e. getting good grades, going to the right school, doing and saying the right thing, etc.). I think I’ve always been true to myself as a person, but I also think that I have had such a richness added to my life in just thinking more deliberately about all the different kinds of wealth that there are and how we can help people to recognize that in themselves. In your opinion, what is the greatest opportunity in the fitness industry right now? The greatest opportunity in the fitness industry right now is for us to reinvent ourselves and reimagine ourselves. We have grown the awareness to health and wellness and fitness because we have grown an industry that provides people with thousands of ways for them to access and engage in sport and movement and exercise. But we have also created entire business models around the idea that people will own gym memberships that they never use. And if we really look ourselves in the mirror, we will recognize what that’s done is given people the sense of fitness as something they have to squeeze into a 45-minute period in their day. And I think in doing that, we have really led people astray in the way they should think about their strength and their health throughout their day. After a global pandemic, when people have realized the lifesaving power of a healthy lifestyle, we have a huge opportunity to engage with people and with each other in a totally different way and celebrate this. We have the opportunity to reinvent our business models, reinvent our messages and reinvent the way that we think about fitness.

The principle that remains my north star throughout my life is to bring my love, light and energy with me and sprinkle it everywhere I go. What is in your future one year from now and five years from now? In my future one year from now is focusing on two things. Number one, putting Steelhoses in the hands of a million people in this country. That’s a lofty goal in 12 months, but it’s absolutely doable — and to put this magic wand in people’s hands with the spirit of service that is in its roots is what then gives people this symbol of strength and this reimagining of strength. And once the Steelhoses are in their hands, then we have an opportunity to begin to communicate differently as people and as micro-communities of people that all share a

common long-term goal, which is to lead a happier and healthier life — one in which we can accomplish the goals that are in our everyday mission and care for the people who we love. I’d also love it if we were able to have an affiliation with some of the major enterprises and institutions in the country, such as the United States Army. I would love in five years to have an official affiliation between firefighters and the Army that establishes us as a leader in strength training for those who serve our country. Five years is a long time. But in five years, I want FitFighter to be a billion-dollar company, not because of the focus on the value but on the wealth that we will bring to people. Everybody aged eight to 80 should have a Steelhose in hand. And I believe that we will do that and will then start to develop other equipment, products and ideas that flow from our training philosophy and our movement applications. The other Fitfighter equipment that’s on the horizon is what I firmly believe will enable us to achieve that goal.

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SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE FEATURE ARTICLE Matt McGunagle

www.strengthportal.com

OPEN VS CLOSED API SYSTEMS FOR YOUR SOFTWARE VENDORS Why this is such an important decision for gym owners and trainers By Matt McGunagle

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ne of the most important decisions you have when deciding which software platforms to purchase as a fitness business owner is whether you want to use a closed or an open software platform. If you are already using software to run your business you may have already made this decision and just aren’t aware of it. Don’t be alarmed, no matter what stage you are at or what software you’re already using there’s nothing to fear. The goal here is to help provide a clearer understanding of how software companies are structured, the strategy and benefits behind closed vs open platforms, and what to look for so you can make the optimal purchases for your specific needs. First, let’s define what I mean by a closed vs open software platform:  Closed platform: A company that limits access to their platform to selected software partners to build integrations into their platform. The selected software partners could be underneath the same

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ownership company or completely separate business entities.  Open platform: A company that allows anyone to build an integration with their platform, pull the data they need and market the integration. Typically, software platforms will establish rules for software partners to meet to ensure a certain level of quality. An open platform can still select specific partner integrations to promote while supporting an open platform policy. For software companies that have grown to the point where they can open their platform for integrations and partnerships, there are valid arguments to be made for both open and closed platforms. The Benefits of Closed Platform Discussing the closed platform strategy first, there are clear benefits for the platform company itself. If a platform is closed, it builds the


value of the data created on the platform over time and could make it easier for the company to retain their customers. The general theory is that the more data a customer has on the platform the harder it will be for them to churn. Another benefit worth considering is that the closed platform can work to ensure that the software partners they choose build really strong integrations. Instead of offering all the integrations in the world, they can limit their partners to only the best to their customers. To add to that, closed platforms can work towards bundling their software partners into all-in-one licensing packages that are easy for customers to purchase all at once instead of purchasing one software tool at a time. Think of this as purchasing the Microsoft suite, 5-6 tightly integrated tools all at once, vs purchasing Slack, G suite and several others one at a time. As a software purchaser, the ease of purchase and integrated tools can be very appealing. Why Open Platforms Should Also Be Considered As a fitness business owner, open software platforms are also very much worth considering for your fitness business. Software companies will choose an open platform strategy to allow the free market to build as many integrations as possible to fill gaps in their own platform. In an interview with Rick Stollmeyer, the co-founder of Mindbody, last year, he said, “Our feeling was that when we create a fertile field that allows other seeds to germinate it will ultimately make our platform more valuable.” Looking back, Rick believes that their open platform was one of the key differentiators that led to fitness business owners choosing them and their incredible company growth in the fitness software industry. Breaking that down a bit further, because of the openness you, as a software purchaser, will have a lot more software options to choose from meaning you have the freedom to choose the best fit for your specific needs. Having said that, because there could be so many options available it does require some extra time and experimentation to figure out which platform and partners fit your needs. In the long-term, there is an argument to be made that if you are using an open software platform it will be easier to continue to update your software partner integrations if something newer/better is released in the market. The easiest way to define and determine whether you are purchasing or already using a closed or open software platform is to review the software that you use as your source of truth for user accounts. For fitness businesses this is usually the fitness billing and scheduling software (example: Mindbody, Jonas Fitness) or your CRM (example: Salesforce, Hubspot). When advising fitness business owners who are making this decision, my advice is always the same. Discuss as a team what type of company you are now and where you see your business going in 5-10 years. This is a great starting point to help clearly define what your software needs will be in the short-term and the long-term. Once these needs are established, you’ll find that it will become much easier for your team to reach a consensus on the right software platform for you. Best of luck!

Matt McGunagle is the CEO and Co-Founder of StrengthPortal, a software platform designed for gym chains, single location gyms and studio, and personal trainers to scale their training services. StrengthPortal’s mission is to help personal training become a highly-paid profession that you can have for your entire career.

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FEATURE ARTICLE Justin Hanover

www.FRNation.com

CONVERT MORE LEADS WITH THE RIGHT APPROACH

If you’re struggling during this strange time, take a step back and reevaluate your process

By Justin Hanover

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You’ll have to be willing to make adjustments without the emotion you may attach to your previous methods.

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his past year has been a wild one, to say the least. No one could have predicted it was coming, and when it did no one knew how to handle it. It’s important to acknowledge that this past year has affected every single one of us. Like any challenge we go through, though, it’s the choices that will follow that’ll decide what’s coming next for you and your business. The good news is that we’ve had some time with this new landscape, so we should

have a much better understanding of what we’re up against. It’s on us to make decisions that will allow our businesses to move forward from here. For this to work, you’ll likely need to shift your perspective a little bit, though. Take a deep breath, open your mind and repeat the following phrase: Let go of what was, to make room for what will be. With that thought, let’s jump into the topic at hand: How are you going to convert your leads better right now? Your new mindset will play a huge role because in order to do what is right for your fitness business and your life, you’ll have to be willing to make adjustments without the emotion you may attach to your previous methods. Up until this pandemic, there has been a growing trend towards automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and more technology in general. This is great and certainly has its place, but with the changes that are presenting themselves now it shouldn’t be the main focus of your outreach moving forward. I like to think in terms of what’s called a “Blue Ocean Strategy.” That means taking an approach that’s either different, or that others are just not willing to take. When you follow the hot trends, it usually means you’re in a crowded space with your competition who may be doing things you can’t compete with. Think about it, there are major players known more in the technology space now tapping into fitness. Do you really

think competing in their arena will lead to a fruitful outcome for you? Following their lead will tend to highlight their strengths, not yours. Keep the game in your court and approach it in a way they never could. How do you use this approach to convert more leads and build a stronger business? Make it personal. It may not be as sexy as the latest bot or AI technology, but this is your edge. Stay with me here… What we just went through shouldn’t be taken lightly. People’s buying habits have changed, how they interact with people has changed, what they value has changed. The fitness businesses that are most stable right now are the ones that have put equity into building solid relationships and meeting people where they are. They’re not faceless businesses hiding behind a sleek email funnel. People want to know you CARE, now more than ever. They are craving HUMAN interaction and they want to be HEARD, so if you’re struggling with converting people right now, take a step back and look at your process. Are you still trying to do what used to work, or have you adjusted to what’s happened over this past year? People will always need your service. That hasn’t changed. The only difference is how you present it and build a connection with them. Try this: Instead of kicking people to an autoresponder, how about sending them a

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personalized video saying their name and speaking to them directly? Right off the bat you’re grabbing their attention in a different way and showing them that they matter. The goal is to make each person feel like you’re standing in the same room with them talking face-to-face. That is the approach that will set you apart.

let people see you for what you really are: a caring and personalized solution to their problems. Everyone in the fitness industry can rattle off how personalized their programs are and how well they adapt to everyone’s needs. That’s great, but why wouldn’t you take that same approach to marketing and sales?

At the end of the day you are NOT in the fitness business, you are in the RELATIONSHIP business. Never lose sight of that. That is the approach that is built on solid relationships. That is the approach that creates trust. Then, as they move toward a buying decision there will be fewer objections because they’ll see YOU as the best option to meet their individual needs. The game has changed and it will keep changing. Even with all the advancements in home gym technology, they still can’t compete with the level of personalization you can offer. Stop making it easy for people to treat you as a commodity! This new approach will

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If you’re just doing what the latest guru is doing, chances are it’s a pretty saturated approach (or soon will be) and won’t allow you to stand out in a unique way. In other words, if you want to connect with people and have the impact you want from your business, it’s about focusing on being personal and specific. Make it easy for the right people to find and do business with you. When you do that, the nurturing conversation will be more meaningful, which will lead to higher quality people getting on a call or booking a consultation with you. That ultimately leads to more sales and more impact!

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At the end of the day you are NOT in the fitness business, you are in the RELATIONSHIP business. Never lose sight of that. With that in mind, think about your current approach. Are you truly putting the relationship and connection first? Or are you putting the system first and turning people into numbers? Challenge yourself to evaluate your current approach and look at how you can make it more about connection than efficiency. The ones that are winning in this new landscape are the ones that fully understand who they serve. They express this start-to-finish, from the content they put out to the personalized outreach to prospects. The beautiful part about this approach is there is no right or wrong way to go about it. As long as you know your message and your outreach expresses it, it will land every time. Let’s get personal, go old school and put people first.

Justin Hanover’s mantra has always been “Create An Impact” and he does this relentlessly. That’s why, in 2008, he started a fitness business from the trunk of his car. Over the next 10 years he grew it into a 6,000-square foot facility with over 350 members and 8 team members. After moving on from his business in 2019, he’s been creating an impact as a Success Coach with Fitness Revolution and has been helping other gym owners create their own impact, as he helps them build businesses they love running. Justin understands how so many lives are impacted by one successful gym owner, so it is his mission to help create as many as possible.


FEATURE ARTICLE Anna Woods

www.shestrength.com

CREATE A COMMUNITY USING TECHNOLOGY By getting creative with online platforms, you can still give your clients the personal interaction they crave By Anna Woods

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ue to COVID-19, many gym owners and trainers found themselves seeking online coaching as a tool to keep the business alive and to continue to meet the needs of the clients they coach. Posting videos, using Zoom and social media made workouts and personal training sessions accessible for many people. What many trainers found as a struggle, though, was mimicking the community and social aspect for many clients who attended group classes, previously.

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Before inviting people to your online community, create a very strict set of guidelines that each participant will be required to agree to before joining. Having clear-cut boundaries helps people feel safe and saves the trainer a lot of drama in the future. Set boundaries around topics such as establishing who can comment as the authority and coach on topics of discussion, what type of posts will be allowed and not allowed, who the administrators are, and lastly, include the community goals of the group in the description. Provide a strike

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1/strike 2 discipline policy before people are removed from the group, and ask them for a signature, saying they understand these rules before the group begins. Facebook Groups or Messenger Platforms Finding a platform that best fits the energy, needs and interests of the clients is the first step. Facebook groups or messenger platforms are quick, easy and accessible platforms to host community efforts. Most people have these apps on their phone and


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check them at least once a day. More people are exposed to the community efforts of the trainer or gym just because they are on Facebook more than other apps. Facebook is a great place to build an online community because it allows the trainer to post live videos, polls, ask questions and engage personally with people, all the time. Here are a few ideas to help you get started: 1. Encourage the clients to set up push notifications to the Facebook group, which alerts them to new posts, live videos or questions the trainer posts. 2. Show up in real-life ways, daily. Post live videos while out for a walk, or between clients, or while eating lunch, or drinking the morning coffee. Ask questions, encourage every day engagement outside of leading workouts and giving cues. Get to know the clients you train on a personal level and allow them into your personal world as well. Creating an environment or vulnerability and non-judgment starts with you. As you allow yourself to be more real, others will feel comfortable sharing as well. 3. Provide incentives for clients posting in

the group. This works great, especially at first, when trying to increase engagement. Post a point breakdown: if the client completes a workout, they get 1 point. If they post a workout and a sweaty selfie in the group, 2 points. Build on these points each week. And announce winners as friendly competition. Or turn it into group competitions, where groups get a certain amount of points when their team posts in the community. Assign themes each week for people to post about in the community group; for example, this week’s theme is “red.” Ask participants to interpret this however they want and post about how it tied to their workouts in the group chat. This could be wearing red shoes or socks, or a red face after a great cardio session. 4. Ask questions of the group. Examples include: What workouts do you want to see more of? What are your favorite workouts so far? What music do you want playing during your sessions? What are your favorite running shoes? Allow people to share their opinions and engage in topics they feel they are non-threatening and they can contribute to. Use the questions or poll options in the Facebook posting box. Chat Groups Chat Groups (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Voxer, GroupMe) are a better community-building platform for those clients who do not need videos, pictures, visual engagement as much as they just want to talk and receive information. Chat groups are more to the point and are largely audio- or writing-driven. Follow these tips to increase participation:  Encourage clients to turn on notifications from the group so they know when new messages are posted. Also asking clients to tag you in the groups allows you to receive notification of your presence and attention to a specific topic, as many clients get lost in all the messages.  Set up daily or weekly reminders of chats, group meetings or topics of discussion the clients may want to be alerted to and participate in at the start of each week. Try to keep a consistent schedule of these daily and weekly chats, so people know when to

log in and join.  Encouraging a Zoom call or visual “get-together” once a week or month is encouraged outside of these types of group platforms as people still need to see each other for interaction and to build community.  Games, competitions and goals help keep the community alive in these chat platforms as well. Assign each of the members to find an accountability partner for the week or month and require them to tag each other in the chat group, every day, as a way to earn points or reach their goals faster.  Assign 1-2 times a week where clients can brag on themselves or their partners in a post, name it something cool like “ring the bell” or “bang the gong” or whatever pertains to your gym theme and culture—and encourage people to comment underneath it.  Create monthly posts where people can introduce themselves and share 1-2 facts others may not know about them. This helps new members feel welcome and keeps older members engaged with new members.  Create weekend virtual walks, biking or running events where people can log in and chat via audio while out walking or running to feel like they have a virtual partner/ community and will be held accountable to follow through. For an online community to thrive, people need to feel welcomed and not judged. For many people, posting in front of strangers or to a platform they have never used is very scary. It is the job of the trainer to create a welcoming environment with clear boundaries set as to what is acceptable and what is not so that people can feel supported and held accountable in fun, motivating, and encouraging ways

Anna Woods is a wife and mom to three children. She has been an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer since 2006. She has coached in various gyms, boxes and studios. She currently coaches clients in-person and in her virtual live program, called sheSTRENGTH, from her barn gym in Central Kansas. You can follow her at: Facebook (sheSTRENGTH By Anna Woods Fitness) or Instagram (@shestrength).

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FEATURE ARTICLE Megan Johnson McCullough

www.everybodysfitoceanside.com

WHEN IS IT SAFE TO EXERCISE POSTCOVID-19 ILLNESS?

While there is no exact timeline, one way to do so is by using “Rate of Perceived Exertion”

By Megan Johnson McCullough

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he world of exercise and fitness was struck hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, taking individual access to gyms and fitness centers away for a period of time. With these facilities returning to their open availability, many individuals who experienced having COVID-19

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have been posed with the question of when is it safe for them to return to exercising. Factors to consider include not wanting to spread the virus, but from a medical perspective, when is the body ready to safely return to exercising? Internally, the immune system has just been through warfare depending on the

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strain and severity of the contracted virus, so the first consideration is feeling comfortable that symptoms have been irradicated during normal daily activities before venturing on to performing more strenuous or even mild/ moderate forms of physical activity. COVID -19 affects the lungs (respiratory system), causing severe inflammation. The normal function of taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide becomes impaired when the virus impedes by increasing fluid in the lungs and inflammation. Therefore, breathing becomes the common exercise inhibitor when first getting back into movement patterns. In fact, the CDC estimates that 3%-17% of COVID-19 patients develop a complication known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). A simple test for readiness is trying to walk quickly for 500 meters without feeling breathless or fatigue. From this self-assessment, endurance and intensity can progressively improve. Returning to strength training can be challenging when considering cardiac output and fatigue depending upon resistance training goals and modalities. Therefore, it is best to work in the endurance phase for 2-4 weeks prior to strength or power training. This will help prepare the body for more intense training as well as let the body adjust to feelings of fatigue and breathlessness that might occur. A negative COVID test does not equate to the body returning to its normal workload capacity right away. Patience is key and although this can be a frustrating feat for athletes and avid gym goers alike, overtraining in sub-optimal conditions only prolongs the perceived setback. There is no exact timeline upon returning to exercise post-COVID-19, but one way fitness professionals and individuals can gradually and safely do so is by using “Rate of Perceived Exertion” to modify and accommodate for any potential risks. An example of this is the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) using a scale of 6-20 with 6 being no exertion and 20 being maximal exertion. Realistically working between 6-11 to start and pacing


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Courtesy of BMJ 2021;372:m4721

oneself to 12-15 and above is a good road map. Wearing a heart rate monitor can also be helpful with the understanding that if you are working at a higher level than what your lungs currently want to or can even do, taking resting breaks before returning the exercise is recommended. Exercising over time will help

repair the body’s systems to again function as efficiently as before.

Megan Johnson McCullough is owner of Every BODY’s Fit (www.everybodysfitoceanside.com) in Oceanside, CA. She’s an NASM Master trainer, has

an MA in Physical Education & Health Science, is a current candidate for her Doctorate in Health and Human Performance, fitness model, professional natural body builder, and published author (https:// bit.ly/MeganJohnsonMcCullough). She also holds specializations in Corrective Exercise, Senior Fitness, Fitness Nutrition, Drug and Alcohol Recovery, and is an AFAA Group Exercise Instructor.

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SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE FEATURE ARTICLE Chris Beer

www.bwellconsult.com

A VIRTUAL FITNESS TOUR

What was learned from “traveling” across the country to 50 different online classes in two months By Chris Beer

Editor’s Note: Almost a year into virtual fitness, Chris Beer hit a slump. She needed something to reenergize her routine as well as expand her perspective as a fitness business consultant. So she decided to virtually “travel” to 50 remote fitness classes across the country, and now she’s offering tips to other fitness professionals based on what she’s learned:

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hen I set out, I had a few ground rules for myself. It needed to be a “new to me” fitness studio and I needed to pay for the class, as my small way of supporting the industry that I love. Along the way, I learned a lot about what happens in the early stages of a client-trainer relationship. With this challenge, I joke that I went on 50 first dates in 2 months! When it comes to creating an exceptional virtual experience for your clients and nurturing those relationships (both for the newbies and your loyal veterans), I’m offering tips based on my virtual fitness tour to help you succeed. Let’s jump into this. Tip #1: Understand how virtual fitness is different Let’s start by talking about what’s different between a virtual fitness class and an in-studio

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experience, in terms of what your clients are seeking. Current research shows an explosion in interest in snackable workout. Wait, did someone finally create a fusion class of snacking and stretching? Because I’m IN. All dad jokes aside, I’m referring to classes that are shorter in duration than usual. In your case, we may be talking about a 30-minute training session instead of the usual 50-60 minute time block. Why? Because when your client is tuning in from home, they may be dealing with a host of work and family distractions. We want to offer an experience that allows them to stay engaged with their workouts and sets them up for success. Now, as we’re talking about what clients want, let’s close with one important thing — they want you to start and end on time. Simply said, they may be squeezing in your training session between conference calls or

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homeschooling. Make it easy for them to get in, get out and feel great. Tip #2: Embrace the differences Another benefit of virtual fitness is that there is no room for gymtimidation. Gymtimi-what? Have you ever invited a friend to join you for a workout, and they get that nervous look on their face and come up with some lame excuse? It’s normal for clients to avoid trying or re-starting a new fitness routine because they are self-conscious about their appearance or physical fitness. Virtual fitness allows clients to try your class in a safe environment (their home), even going camera off if they wish. Tip #3: Set the stage Next, let’s talk about your setup is one word as a virtual trainer. No one has the perfect “workout from home” space. It’s totally normal to have a kid or pet wander through a client’s workout space. That being said, trainers should do their best to be in a quiet, distraction-free environment while teaching.


TAKING CLASSES FROM 50 DIFFERENT STUDIOS AROUND THE COUNTRY WIDENED MY PERSPECTIVE, ENABLING ME TO SEE THE WORLD THROUGH THE LENS OF FITNESS BUSINESS OWNERS AND INSTRUCTORS IN A VARIETY OF COMMUNITIES.

Take a quick “edit” of your filming space and focus here on what you can do to make the environment more pleasing. You don’t have to spend a lot of money — just a plain wall (perhaps even a fresh coat of paint or a curtain) with neutral colors (which makes it easier to see your bodies). Cut the visual clutter by removing technology (TVs, cords), adding a few simple staging props (plants, artwork) and choosing a location away from distracting areas of the house (beds, bathrooms). Tip #4: Always be courting Here’s a tip based on the fitness studio pitches offered to me. After taking 50 remote classes, I’m enrolled in about 30 welcome campaigns from various fitness studios. Most businesses pitch an unlimited month as their suggested next purchase after the first class. I’d recommend making that commitment smaller, like selling a three-pack of training sessions. You wouldn’t go on a first date to proposing marriage, would you? Ease into the relationship, or you may have a runaway bride, aka the consumer.

When you have clients that are loyal to your training, ask for referrals. The best way to build your business is through word of mouth from satisfied customers. Ask loyal clients to invite friends to take a class, as suggested previously. These days, your referral network isn’t limited to your geographic neighborhood. Clients could invite friends and family from across the world, expanding your potential audience. Do you need help with your messaging? Tech partners like TrueCoach and Trainerize can help. They cue messaging based on customer behaviors, guiding them toward the next step in your sales cycle. They run your messaging while you run your business.

variety of communities. It was rejuvenating! You can break out, too. Continue to challenge yourself, getting out of your routine and your comfort zone. Take it to social media and ask your clients what fitness workouts they’ve been loving lately. Try new fitness programs. Be open to sharing your experiences. You don’t have to complete 50 remote classes as I did, but you can find your own way to improve your business for success and satisfaction. The fact that you’re reading this today shows that you are a fitness professional who is committed to honing their practice in a way that best serves their clients. Keep up the great work!

Tip #5: Continue to challenge yourself Keeping your virtual fitness programming engaging presents challenges, which can be exhausting. Anyone can become stuck, hit a plateau or face a creativity block. For me, taking classes from 50 different studios around the country widened my perspective, enabling me to see the world through the lens of fitness business owners and instructors in a

Chris Beer is a management consultant for businesses in the health and wellness industries. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two children, and mischievous puppy. She is passionate about data and is more of a mathlete than an athlete. Driven to be humble and helpful, Beer’s consultancy, B.Well Consulting (https://www.bwellconsult.com/), works with small businesses to create efficient processes and gain a better understanding of what drives their revenue.

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SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE NEW ON THE MARKET The latest trends in fitness equipment

STOTT PILATES® MATWORK PROPS KIT: ESSENTIAL

FAREL HRUSKA’S REVIEW: CORE-TEX SIT The Core-Tex Sit has been something I’ve had my eye on even in the development phase and I’m so glad it’s now available. Core-Tex Sit is such a unique way to engage and strengthen the low back, hips, core and pelvic floor. I have worked with pre/postnatal clients and trainers for this population and the specific benefits are amazing. That being said, every human could benefit from the direct activation of the low back, hip and pelvic floor muscles. The benefits are felt as soon as you sit on the Core-Tex Sit as the instability causes the muscles to fire instantly. Finally, this piece of equipment can be used within a workout program and/or integrated in life... the benefits are found in both scenarios. (I’m sitting on it as I write this review!) www.coretexfitness.com

ISSA LAUNCHES 5-IN-5 ISSA introduces 5-in-5, a new program designed to help personal trainers find their first five clients in only five weeks. Building a solid clientele is a rewarding and fulfilling experience for new and veteran trainers. With this new program, trainers will learn effective strategies to increase their success after earning their certification. They will explore various marketing, sales and business skills to help identify their ideal clientele, attract new clients and build a thriving business. 5-in-5 will also help trainers track training progress, communicate with clients, and process payments using the SmartFitness TRAIN app. www.issaonline.com/certification/5-in-5/

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COBBLEFOAM™ UNEVEN-SURFACE BALANCE TRAINER The CobbleFoam™ Uneven-Surface Balance Trainer is a unique system that simulates the challenges of moving on uneven terrain to help people improve strength and balance at home or in a clinic, gym or training facility. This durable EVA foam board with removable blocks can be used as a rehabilitation tool for those recovering from injury or surgery, for the elderly, or athletes who want to improve performance. Perform basic to advanced exercises on a single board or with multiple boards placed together to form a walkway or platform. OPTP.com | 800.367.7393

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More and more athletes and weekend warriors are including Pilates as part of their training regimens, including top ranking tennis players, NBA champions and Olympians. Pilates helps build core strength and improve stability and flexibility. The STOTT PILATES® Matwork Props Kit: Essential, includes eight versatile props for fitness professionals and athome practitioners. Use these Pilates tools to take your clients’ workout routine and athletic performance to the next level. Some individual props come with bonus downloadable exercise guides. https://www.merrithew.com/shop

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SUBSCRIBE TO PFP HERE DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION Julio A. Salado

www.fitnessfoundry.net

You are part of the solution

W

hen footage of George Floyd’s death was first broadcast to the world, I deeply understood the prevailing feelings of anger and fear. As a person of color, I have witnessed and experienced them throughout my life. In my opinion, acts of racism seek to damage or destroy another person’s feelings of self-worth. The result is to dehumanize a fellow human being. Clearly, racism is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue. Systemic racism is an elephant in the room. A juggernaut of inequitable policies and processes are set up in our country’s financial institutions, health care system and criminal justice system as well as in opportunities for employment and housing. The result is to disenfranchise and disproportionately affect every aspect of the lives of predominantly minority communities. I ask the reader who has never experienced racism to understand that feeling uncomfortable with discussing racism is part of the process of acknowledging it. In June of 2020, I decided to host an open forum about racism and the fitness professional, focusing on how to be part of the solution using our own sphere of influence. In the discussion, seven health and fitness professionals from different backgrounds came together to share their experiences. In my outreach campaign to invite fitness professionals from diverse backgrounds and experience levels, I began to see a pattern of less than positive responses and perspectives. Unfortunately, I also received more silence than expected. I will share some of my interactions and important take-aways from my conversations that reflect the pervasive nature of racism in the fitness industry. The first reply to my request for participation in the forum provided me with a lesson about personal views that do not actually reflect the business's public profile. This is from a well-known fitness leader, podcast host and business coach: “Hey Julio, I appreciate you sharing this and trying to influence others in a positive way with your unique experience. I personally do not agree systemic racism exists, and I hope you can respect my beliefs as I respect yours. Hope all is well my friend.” It did hurt when I read his reply; however, it did not deter me from wanting to connect with other industry leaders on this topic. Another reply is from a veteran high-performance sports and conditioning coach for professional and collegiate teams. “Julio, if you think it’s bad in health and fitness, I invite you take a walk down the dark halls of S&C. I’ve had almost 200 unfollows since my tweet this morning.”

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| WWW.PERSONALFITNESSPROFESSIONAL.COM | SUMMER 2021

The next response is from a very well-known coach of high-performance athletes who runs variety of programs for the fitness professional. “It is really hard. The environment is really bad right now. I’d appreciate any advice on how to handle it.” Obviously, the attitudes and emotional responses cited here vary, but these comments point to the need to address racism in our industry. One of the most powerful tools we have is to initiate conversation, and work towards organizational changes to address racism together. During my conversations, here are comments I heard repeatedly: 1. “I don’t know how I can help.” 2. “I do not want to offend anyone so I stay quiet.” 3. “I’ve never experienced racism, but I want to help.”

Take steps to align yourself with those who also want to be part of the solution. I believe the power to create change starts within you, and it takes time. Take steps to align yourself with those who also want to be part of the solution. Share your questions with your support network; it may encourage others to participate in the discussion. Most professional organizations now have a DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) group and joining one is a great way to get involved. I believe our contributions go beyond what we do in the gym. Personal trainers are viewed as coaches, and leaders. For those of us with robust social media platforms, we have a responsibility to lift up the voices of those who do not. I invite you to join me in working toward long-lasting change. Our collective efforts will make a positive impact on our communities.

Julio Salado is an award-winning personal trainer and the founder of Fitnessfoundry.net, a leading online resource for health and wellness. For over 15 years, he has guided countless individuals from all levels of fitness to achieve their body sculpting and personal training goals. His unique blend of Western exercise science and holistic arts has been featured on numerous TV shows, in print and online. He is also a licensed EMT, continuing education provider and consultant for team development and personal training business.


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Personal Fitness Professional Summer 2021  

Personal Fitness Professional Summer 2021

Personal Fitness Professional Summer 2021  

Personal Fitness Professional Summer 2021

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