August 6, 2018

What are clients looking at before they book you?

Every single time you get a new client you should be asking how they found you.

That is part of your marketing; if they are a great client, maybe there is way to do more of whatever it was that brought them in!  If you keep getting clients that have personalities or needs don’t match your skill or style of training, maybe you are fishing in the wrong pond.

In my experience I find that clients are generally either really impulsive and do very little research before getting a trainer, or they spend quite a lot of time doing research and talking to friends and looking for ‘THE ONE’.

Here’s  couple of tips to help you stand out.

Social Media- Trainers love their social media and it’s a great source of client leads. Use it to your advantage. If you are using your Instagram page for business, keep it for business, same with Facebook and Twitter. They are all tools, so use them as such. Post some great insights on fitness, and some great workout advice,. Let clients see you in action on the gym floor. If you have the skills, maybe throw in some nutrition tips.  Let clients see everything you do and offer.

Give clients something to find with your name on it. 

Be aware of the sum of the total not just the odd great post. If you have a inspiring gym post one day but the next post is you’re throwing-up all those tequila shots in Cancun spring-break-style, you are not really walking your talk. You can have a personal page and and professional page if you want to keep all your party pictures.

If you need to up your Social game, there are tons of resources out there. If you opt to get some help,   just be aware if someone you are paying promises to get your numbers up, really understand who they are targeting and how it benefits you. If your numbers jump but they are all in Iceland, that’s not going to help your day to day business unless you plan to travel.

The great and powerful Google: Have you ever Googled your name? If you haven’t, first of all- What?…. Second of all- Do it now!  Then come back and read the rest of this.

What did you find?

When trying to stand-out, spandex and Army boots in the desert wasn’t my first choice.

Give clients something to find with your name on it.  Hopefully when the look they will find more good posts than those spring break pics!  If you have ever written an article or had a blog post or been written up in the paper or won a bodybuilding show, it’s all there. That’s me to the magazine trying to stand out before social media existed.

You can start a fitness blog, and try to get it noticed or published other places. Now days there is really no need to build a web site, unless you have a well established brand or more to offer. Otherwise save your money.

Oh,  Just a FYI- if you have any priors, or court notifications that are a matter of public record that just may show up as well. But if you have tons of other good stuff out there someone would really have to look to find it.


Recommendations or testimonials :  We all love to base our decisions on others’ advice.  If we trust and respect someone, we trust and respect their recommendations.

Why not ask your existing clients for testimonials?

Other ways clients can get the same sort of stamp of approval is reviews about you on web pages, or other client comments listed on another page. Getting media coverage or getting on some top 10 trainer list will do huge things to your credibility and because so many people see it; it ranks higher.

You:  You are your own best or (worst billboard). Clients are watching your every move, hopefully not in a stalker way, but if you work in a gym that has members in it, chances are potential clients are watching how you conduct your business.

If you are texting while your client is doing planks or not really engaged, chances are they won’t be calling!  Eating a burrito on the gym floor or going out for a smoke-break in gym gear is another fail. Same thing for your own workouts: show them how it’s done. But if you are one of those assholes that leave big sweat marks on the bench without cleaning it up, or let huge weights crash to the floor just to get noticed, unless they are into that sort of thing, you are not the guy or girl they are going to be asking for!  Be the role model, the ideal of fitness they want you to be, but accessible at the same time.

The human mind is an amazing thing.

Don’t forget to floss!

Playing the silent but smart and humble guy is sweet, but it’s not going to help fill in those few slots in your schedule.

We don’t pay attention to anything unless it’s exemplary or dangerous. As a humans we tend to notice flaws before we notice what is right. It’s a survival thing; if it appears ‘normal’ it doesn’t pose a threat, so our mind registers it as safe. Things won’t capture our focus unless something novel  or  exciting enough to actually focus on it.  However if it looks different or wrong we will pick up on it right away. For example if someone has spinach in their teeth, it’s really difficult to notice how pretty their eyes are.

If you consider yourself a professional, stand out in a good way, be a voice. Do your best to set an example and make it easy for clients to find you.  There has never been a time in history where you can be so easily visible and most of it’s all free!

Groom those social media profiles, write that blog, brush your teeth, and stand up tall.

Our reputation does precede us.  How you run your business is how your business will run. The best thing you can do is handle yourself professionally, and feel free to show off a little.

August 5, 2018

Great Ass(ets)

Butts have never been bigger; I mean that in a good way. I mean we all have them, but there has never been more focus on them. It used to be just biceps and pecs were enough for the guys and if the girls had a nice rack they had the world at their feet. We have such a high visual image consumption and our over obsession about things makes us look for what we don’t’ have.  Lets face it, Instagram is all about T&A, if you weren’t born Brazilian, chances are you may need a little help with proportioning your posterior.  Like batter on a hot griddle, if you sit around on your caboose it’s going to end up like a pancake. Those of us that spend all day seated at a desk might just quite literally be working our butts off!

Lets talk a little about what we can do to get that high and tight look, and fill out them jeans a bit better.  But first a little background… (this is the sciencey’ bit..)

The gluteal complex is composed of the largest and strongest muscle group in the body. They not only round out our appeal and keep our jeans from hitting the floor; they are essential in allowing us to stand upright, something we have earned as a bipedal sapiens. They anchor the hips as we walk, and provide the power we need to run or climb stairs. The gluteus maximus, as well as the gluteus medius and minimus make up the bulk of the buttock region along with other hip stabilizing, and rotating muscles.

When glutes are not functioning efficiently, it can put more pressure on our lower backs, as other muscles try and take over to extend and stabilize.  Use it or lose it applies to function, not just size and shape. Standing up should be pretty natural, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to get up off the couch if you can’t use your glutes.

All front no back.

If you are still not convinced you need to focus on your seat, think on this; gravity is constant and can be so cruel! A lifetime of sitting, and your cheeks will have more chins than Jabba the Hutt.  If you’ve ever been in a public change room, say at the pool, you know what happens to butts as we age.  With a little effort, these exercises should help keep the cakes from falling and have you twerkin’ to the oldies no time.



They are not meant to replace your regular leg workout, but if you are behind in your behind try adding these exercises in with your regular presses, and squats.  Do these two exercise complexes each as a super set without much rest between the heavier weighted exercise and the movement/bodyweight portion.   As with any exercise program, if you are unsure of the proper form seek out assistance with a qualified trainer to prevent injury.

1) Weighted Bar Rear Lunge

Load the bar on your back like you are doing a squat.  With control, start by letting the hips drop backwards keeping the weight in the front heel and don’t let the upper body drift – (not leaning over forwards).  To stand up push thru to the front heel and extend all the way up, while bringing the back leg all the way up and forward at a 90º angle. It should be glutes and hamstrings doing the work. Do not let the knees fall inwards, or hips twist.

Follow each set immediately with a set of the Weighted Bridge.

1a) Weighted Glute bridge

Sit with your back to the bench and place the bar across your lap (aware you aren’t crushing the goods, or resting on anything fragile.  (You may want to pad things if you are pushing a lot of weight) Place your upper back and shoulders on one bench, with knees bent and your heel(s) on the floor. Push into the heel and raise your body up to horizontal. Do not push your hips high (hyperextend) your lower back. Let the glutes determine the range of motion you have to work with.    Let your butt drop towards the floor and then repeat to bring your hips up even with torso squeezing your glute(s) at the top, hold for a count of three and lower with control. Complete 10-15 reps.


2) Weighted Bar Step –ups

This exercise is like a lunge but onto a step to increase glute activation. Load the bar on your back like you are doing a squat.   Step up with your right leg onto a bench or platform that allows a 90º angle in the high leg. Shin straight up and down, weight on heel. Push into the step with the right foot and raise your left knee to hip level, (do not push off of the back (left) foot as you stand upright. Left thigh, should be parallel to the ground at the top, hold for 1 second, and return your left foot with control don’t’ be letting gravity have all the fun. Your goal is to keep most of the weight on the right. Complete 10 to 12 reps on one side, and then repeat on the other side.

Follow immediately with Stationary lunge


2a) Stationary lunge


Put the back foot onto a high bench, or stable bar, (Actually I like to get it onto a TRX band to really get the stretch and add some nice instability to challenge those hip and ankle stabilizers at the same time). Let the hip sink down and back like a rear lunge and push into the front heel to get back upright. Stand straight and don’t half ass the effort, you should feel a good glute contraction at the top.

These exercises will not turn you into a Nikki Minaj over night, (actually to be honest, I don’t really know how that happens without a balloon and a bicycle pump), but regardless.. Once you spend some time really focusing on your butt muscles, you become aware just how hard they work. It’s no wonder they are the largest muscle complex in the body, they have a lot to look after. Trust me you will be thankful to have a trunk full of thunder when you need to move, run, push or power thru anything.

August 5, 2018

So you finally decided to hire a personal trainer.

Congrats! Here’s a little idea of what to expect in you first personal training session, and a little insight into what’s really going on in a trainer’s mind. (Or should be at least.)

Wondering how it’s going to go down?  Have you ever been on a blind date? It’s kinda like that, but much much less likely you are going to get laid.   But it is a time of discovery for both of you. After all, if we are going to be sharing the same air and we may be physically touching you,  so we both need to find out what our comfort level together is.

As a trainer when I’m meeting a client for the first time I’m always a little nervous, talk a little too fast, but mostly I’m trying to really assess what you actually need as well and determine if your goals are realistic, and  as trying to  figure out a way to do both.

A lot depends on how you got connected in the first place. If it’s a referral from a close friend of yours, then it’s much easier to just relax and listen because you have an idea of who that trainer already is. Your friend has a relationship with the trainer already so there is a trust already established, and you have likely heard all the good stuff they can do and even seen the results in your friend.

If you are connected through a gym then you only the information the sales manager gave you, and you have to decide if you will take them on their word or draw your own conclusions.

If you met thru the trainers’ website or thru an app, then you only have as much information as you had available at the time.

So like all first dates, it starts off slow… If the trainer wants to move you into the sweaty parts right away, and that’s not what you had in mind, you are going to feel a little uncomfortable.

Every trainer has a different way of starting out, but when I have a cold client, (one from an outside source) I usually offer a free consultation, or at the very least a phone call before we actually get to the workout part. I need to meet you to know what it is that you actually need. Trainers may have an intake protocol that includes general health and diet questionnaire,  that covers any health or injury concerns that we have to take into account. As well as finding out why you are there, what are your goals, why are you seeking a personal trainer?

Intake forms helps us design your program and track your progress.

Depending on your goals, trainers may do measurements, body fat analysis, gait analysis and probably  some movement screens to see how your body is moving and functioning.

We will discuss the business part. How do you want this to work?  Once a week, twice a week? How we are structuring our sessions?   How you are paying? Different package offerings etc.


So first workout- Any trainer worth their salt won’t be giving you the toughest workout of your life just after they meet you.  That’s a recipe for disaster. The worst thing that could ever happen to me is for a client to get injured on my watch. Do no harm should be foremost in a trainer’s mind.


I’m not gonna lie, we are judging you.

I don’t mean that in a negative way but as a trainer we want you to get the most out of our time together; our reputation depends on it.  We are not just assessing your physical state, but your emotional one as well.

First workouts like first dates usually progress with a little sharing and testing boundaries. After my initial assessment I will have an idea of what you will need to get to your goals, but we have to take you out for a spin to see how things work. Giving you the hardest workout of your life might be what you say you want, but if you can’t walk for 5 days after, it’s just going to impede our progress.

Personally I like to go through all the movements I had initially anticipated for your training moving forward.  The weights will be lighter and I will be studying you intensely for your reactions to the challenges I give you. The best plan on paper can fall apart quickly if you aren’t yet up to the challenges your trainer had initially laid out. From there I can figure out how to micro-progress exercises to get you the best results while avoiding any injuries.

It’s all about stability when we assess your movements.

While you are executing the movements we prescribed, we are looking for imbalances in your body, what’s working and what isn’t. Most clients aren’t aware they have certain postures, or move a certain way. We shouldn’t be putting a load on a body  if it can’t safely stabilize it, that’s how people get injured. Not everyone can or should be doing the same workout. So don’t be comparing yourself to others.




Not everyone can or should be doing the same workout. So don’t be comparing yourself to others.

We are also considering your emotional state, how present are you? Can you focus? Are you actually understanding the exercise? How can we cue you better to explain what movement we want you to do safely?  How do you take in information, what’s your retention like?

About half way thru the first workout I generally have a sense of how you need to be lead. Do you need more encouragement, do you need things explained in a different way, do you perform better if I demonstrate or can you pick up cues from watching yourself in the mirror?  How much rest do you need? In a sense, what makes you tic?

Really great personal trainers have a great source of empathy. We are all emotional beings. There are lots of reasons people seek out personal trainers.  I mean, reasons you maybe haven’t even identified to yourself.  We understand the unspoken cues clients give us. You might say “I just need to lose weight” but maybe what you really are seeking is friend, to feel confident, or to feel supported. If I meet a client in a negative state of mind I think, what can I do to change that so that you leave feeling better after your workout?

I know it sounds a little courtesan-ish, but when a trainer gets a sense of what type of person you are on that day, we can tailor the workouts to get the most out of you. We become the person you need us to be for that hour.

Lets just aim for like and take it from there…

I’m not saying it’s going to be a love fest the first day out, I mean, we only get 60 minutes to do all of that, and there is a whole lot of getting-to-know-you that has to happen to get you maximum results.  Like any worthwhile relationship it takes a little time and a little work on both the client and the trainers behalf.  As a client you will get the most out of your time if you are open and honest, present and available to do the work you’ve agreed to do in our capable hands.  But if you don’t have all that on that specific day, that’s ok, with a great trainer, you will still get exactly what you need.




August 5, 2018

Here are some tips to get the most out of any workout session.

Congratulations you’ve booked a trainer and are ready to reach those goals you’ve had rattling around in your mind for a while.  Yes, it’s an investment of both your time and money but it’s worth it. To maximize your experience here’s a couple of tips to consider.

You need to plan ahead… The day before your session- Yes, you need to think about your workout at least 24 hours before you step into the gym. But it’s really simple… Make good choices that support your health and fitness goals.

It’s not gonna be pretty, and one of us might cry.

If you are doing a full on Lindsay Lohan the night before, just do us a favor and drunk text us and cancel. Better yet, do it before you call you dealer. You know it’s gonna be a shit show anyways.






Get to bed at a decent time, and make sure the next day is mapped out so that you have time to do everything you need to do to get to the gym in time to park, change, warm up and be ready for fitness. I call this realistic expectation of time.. How long will it likely take to do all that?  If you workout is at 2pm that does not mean hit the gym door at 2pm, it means ready to lift on the floor at 2pm.

Get hydrated- make sure you are drinking fluids all day so that your body is hydrated and ready for action, we need enough water for metabolic process and to keep things lubricated.

Before you leave the house, check to make sure you have your workout gear. Did it go thru the laundry since your last workout?  Nobody likes a pig-pen, and I can’t hold my breath for a full hour.


Make sure you have the right footwear!

Working out in your poka-dot dress socks and oxfords with gym shorts looks pretty tragic, and  it’s actually unsafe to wear those and do anything useful workout wise. If you do forget them, you are better off going barefoot when you are on your feet. P.S. – most gyms have a policy against that so don’t be strutting your funky feet everywhere or they will shut you down.


Water bottle? I know you all want an excuse to walk to the water fountain for a break but if you bring your own water bottle you don’t have to drink all that chlorinated tap water and mess up your gut flora.

Something people don’t usually consider, but where are you mentally?

Are you emotionally available to work out?  It’s not the worst sin, but I see it every day. People stuck in their work mind while trying to work out. Try and do some journaling, or meditate, masturbate, or whatever it takes to create space so that you can take this time for yourself and be focused and confident.

Training when bloated is nothing to smile about, and it’s tough on your gut.

Meal planning- 
If you are hitting the all you can eat buffet with the guys at the office before your workout, it’s not gonna be pretty. Even worse showing up already low blood sugared and hangry. If you aren’t properly fueled, you won’t be physically or emotionally ready to workout.  To get the most from your workout make sure you hit your regular meals, keep it light, no burger and fries, sensible healthy stuff.  Have a snack 45 minutes before the workout, something light like an apple and almond butter, some hummus and veggies, couple of eggs and piece of toast. Whatever will give you a little energy, but isn’t going to leave you all Macy day parade feeling.


If you aren’t properly fueled, you won’t be physically or emotionally ready to workout.


After the workout-

So depending on your goals it’s still going to be food.  If you are looking to lose weight,  wait an hour or so if you can, and then have a sensible meal, or a protein shake. This will allow your high metabolism from your killer workout to keep burning fat a little longer.

If you are looking to put on a little muscle eat within an hour while your muscles are hungry. Skip the salad and have about 30g of protein with 60 grams of simpler carbohydrate. That’s right simple- we want a little insulin boost to open up all those cells to get those amino acids from the protein into those muscles to build and repair. Chicken and white rice or potato- or a protein shake made with juice instead of water or milk.  If you opted for the shake feel free to eat again in another 60-90 minutes.

If you did a super heavy workout, you can add in some glutamine at some point to help speed up the repair.


Avoid alcohol – we want to be hydrated, we need to sleep, and we need to repair.  And guys, we don’t want to knock our testosterone back to our pre-teen levels either. Don’t believe me? Do the research it can keep it down for days after a good night out.  But if you don’t believe me,  go out drinking after a leg workout you’ll find out just how much worse your recovery is.


Sleep again!

Get to bed sleepy head.

Get to bed early so that all that hard work can actually have an effect.  When we sleep that’s when the rest and repair happens, and we release growth hormone in about 90 minute cycles. So if you want to build muscle, you need to sleep!  If you are up playing Fortnight till 2am after a great session;  you might think you have leveled up, but you just wasted your workout.









So it’s really simple- plan ahead, sleep, eat, drink, and you will get the most out of your workouts, reach your goals, inspire your friends, (and it’ll make us trainers look like rock stars!)



August 5, 2018

Feeling Stuck?


What is holding you back from achieving your fitness goals?

Goals are a funny thing, we can say we want something, but if you aren’t actually taking any steps to get there, they are just dreams and not really goals.  Dreams are something that we think we want, but don’t do anything to change or move forward towards them. The universe isn’t going to reach down and bestow upon you any divine gifts if you aren’t moving towards achieving them.

Yes I tried the blond thing.. no it wasn’t more fun.

Look I’m not a psychologist, but over the almost 20 years and thousands and thousands of hours working with hundreds of clients I’ve learned a lot about the human condition. I know people, specifically when it comes to how we treat ourselves when it comes to our health. I started as a kind of shy husky kid that just wanted to be accepted.  I knew what I thought I wanted and did almost everything in my power to get there, and once I achieved that lofty goal and ended up in workout and fitness magazines, that very point when I thought I would have it all figured out, I didn’t. I still felt like that same kid, not appreciated or accepted for me. I look back now that I’m (…ahem) a ‘little’ older at all those photos of myself and think wow I looked really amazing, but remember how insecure and unhappy I was back then. It took me some time and some real growth moments to realize personal acceptance and appreciation for yourself at every stage of your journey is the key to being happier and gives you the strength and courage to keep making good choices for yourself.

People often get stuck in a fear paralysis- fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or even fear of success. I don’t know how to get there, so it’s safer just not to try. That’s a victim mindset, and guess what, that’s exactly what you will attract. People often feel held hostage in their own bodies because they understand so little about them. They can be book smart, but not understand that what they put into their bodies or choices they make have lead them to the exact spot they are currently stuck in. I get it, it’s hard to be honest with yourself and look around and wonder how did I get here? Why did I do that? Why are my perceived goals not aligned with my actions?

So let’s start with our why before we look at our how… Why do you want to make a change?  Not because of anybody else… You! What matters to you? Is it because you finally want to feel better, are you scared of dying? Is fitting into those jeans really the top goal, or do you just want to be loved and accepted. If that’s the case, just take a moment and know that you are enough for you or anyone else right now. I don’t want to gloss over that, but if you can get there mentally, you are ready to make a change from a place of love and acceptance for yourself.  You can’t ask others to do something you are not willing to do for yourself.

“Why are my perceived goals not aligned with my actions?”

So, now that you are considering some changes in your fitness, Congratulations!


You are at least aware something in your life isn’t working for you anymore. If it’s coming from a place of guilt, who’s ideals is that based on? Who is saying you have to look a certain way or be a certain thing? Often we take on what others have projected upon us, it feels like a burden because it’s not ours. We didn’t decide that we needed to be that, someone else has decided for us and we just accepted it.

Ok, so now we know why… now we need to figure out how.


You have to walk before you run… so literally if your goal is run a half marathon, but you can’t even walk the distance, it’s time to get walking. See baby steps, this stuff is easy right?

Instead of this huge looming end goal which can seem impossible, work backwards and figure out all the little steps along the way. You want to lose weight, start exercising little, and making healthier choices. Talk to others that have done well and figure out what worked for them. When you have done what you are capable of doing on your own, hire a trainer learn what they know, then find another one and learn what they know.

Educate yourself on nutrition, figure out what works best when it comes to food. Do you have food allergies, or sensitivities? Maybe seek out some expert help like a naturopath, or other Dr.?

Where is your awareness? Were you focus is where you end up. If all you can think about is this fat belly or this skinny arm guess what?  That’s what you will have. If you focus on what’s good instead of what’s bad, you will start to notice more of what’s good, and trust me on this, the universe will put more good in front of you. Obsessing about love handles is like walking backwards and wondering why you aren’t getting ahead. Work on your mindfulness, start listening to inspiring podcasts, meditate, do what you need to do to maintain a positive state of mind.

Maybe you need to leave yourself reminders to keep you on track, put a chart on the fridge of what your goals are, healthy meal choices, workout ideas- join some classes and find some like-minded friends – do some fun shit, and reward yourself now and then for a job well done. Instead of having a food based treat, how about something more supportive of your goals. The buzz you get after a good massage is way better than the buzz after chocolate cake.

So look, change is hard, especially when it comes to ourselves. It’s not rocket science, (ok, maybe a little rocket stuff…. “One small step…”) Most of it comes from knowing yourself which is way harder than making it to the gym on the regular. If you take the time you just might find out you are pretty awesome. How cool is that?