I just finished up a very cool interview with my friend and CTT, Peter Jankowski. That I wanted to share with you today.
To listen to the call click here
Daniel: Hey TT nation! It’s Dani Woodrum, Director of CTT, coming to you today with a really special guest. I’ve known our guest today, Peter Jankowski, for quite a while. When we met for the very first time last year at the TT Summit, we interact on a regular basis on the TT forum. Peter actually traveled last year 20 hours from Australia all the way to San Diego just to attend the event. I’m sure he’ll tell you it’s one of the best decisions he’s ever made. Peter is doing a lot of great things right now in Australia and he’s going to share a lot of great training tips with you today. So without further ado, Peter, welcome to the call, mate.
Peter: Thanks very much, Dani. Thanks very much. Nice to be here.
Daniel: Awesome, Peter. So let’s start out. I want you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved with Turbulence Training.
Peter: I live in Newcastle, Australia which is about a two-hour drive north of Sydney. I’m married. I’m 42 years old now. I’m married with one six-year old daughter. I’ve got a very smart little dog and a couple of budgies make up my family. I grew up in a coastal town about six hours north of Sydney and I guess I’ve spent the first 20 years of my life pretty much just surfing or body boarding. I don’t surf anywhere as much as I would like to anymore. Life gets in the way.
I’ve always had interest in training. I guess even from a really early age, my father used to drag me to the gym when I was a little kid so I guess I’ve always been around the gym and always had an interest in that. Although I didn’t have a great knowledge of it, it was something that I always was surrounded by.
It was about 2010, I guess, I’d actually gone onto one of Joel Marion’s programs, Xtreme Fat Loss Diet and through that I got in the affiliate loop of emails and came across one of Craig’s emails and found Turbulence Training. I’ve been an active member of the forums there ever since I went through the original TT Fat Loss program. It was probably around that time that Craig was actually really just starting to roll out the TT Certification.
I was in a job at that stage that I wasn’t really happy with and the thought of being TT-certified really lit a fire in my belly and actually inspired me to get off my butt and do some study. I trained to become a personal trainer at that point with the ultimate goal of course of becoming TT-certified and that’s exactly what I did. As you mentioned in last year, I came over to the summit. That was another goal of mine where I became Master Certified and that sort of completed the circle.
Daniel: Awesome. It was great to see you last year. Why don’t you just tell us maybe a couple of things that you took away from the 2014 TT Summit last year that really helped out your business? Anything that stands out to you?
Peter: Yeah, I think meeting Alwyn Cosgrove was one of the major things amongst meeting Craig and Jason Ferruggia. But one thing during Alwyn’s speech that he was talking about was semi-private training. The couple of lines that came to mind was that people teach kids to swim in groups and they teach boxing and karate in groups and no one dies and how that was the way forward as far as training was concerned. At the time, I was a one-on-one trainer. After talking to a few other CTTs at the time and really networking with those guys, I left the summit with a firm idea of the direction I had to take my business if I wanted to progress it to the next level. And that’s exactly what I did since I’ve come home.
Daniel: Excellent. Awesome. Now you’re currently renting out a space for your training. Is that correct?
Peter: Yeah, kind of. Actually, I pay rent at a gym. It’s pretty much the largest chain of gyms in Newcastle and there are four different locations. Now I’ve actually chosen just to work out one of them. I’ve actually picked the largest of the locations. It’s one that I’ve actually trained at for years as well. I guess I’m most comfortable there. But it’s actually also the most conveniently located close to my home. Basically within that gym, I’ve got 30 other trainers that I compete with but I’m doing all right. I’m doing pretty well.
Daniel: Awesome and how big is your space? Is it just like an open room or like an aerobics room? How big is your space that you had to work with?
Peter: Well like I said, the gym is a fairly large gym as far as square footage. I’m terrible with that sort of thing. But I don’t have a designated space that I use. I’m working with the ebbs and flows of the gym. There is a group fitness room but I rarely if ever go in there. What I will do is I’ve got sort of an area that I will start every session off with a warm-up but depending on the size of the group that I have or depending on what the training requirements are of the day, I will move pretty freely through the space of that gym to get what I need.
The gym is fully equipped but then it’s got a nice outdoor yard with sleds and battle ropes and ties, etc., a very large weights room and then it’s got a quite a large functional area as well. So they would be the three spaces that I float between. But like I said, I’m not locked down into one particular area and when you’re working in a public space it’s good not to pin yourself down to I’ve got to be in this one particular area as well because if something has been taken up, you need to be able to improvise pretty quickly.
Daniel: Right, cool. I know that you offer several different training packages for your clients. Can you briefly go over the packages that you offer and kind of why you set them up like that?
Peter: Sure. Like I mentioned, prior to the summit in 2014, I was predominantly a one-on-one trainer but I’ve moved away from that. Now I currently only offer semi-private training and small group training. The small group training, I call team training rather than sort of giving it that boot camp title. I’ve found that in Australia particularly—maybe that’s in the States as well—that boot camp can have certain negative connotations. A lot of people get shy toward that sort of thing so I’ve named mine team training. Within the course of the gym that I’m working in, I’m actually quite unique that I’m the only trainer who actually offers semi-private. Everyone is still pretty much 100% one-on-one unless they get a couple of friends that come in and train together.
So as far as packages that I offer, I’ve got only three options. I’ve tried to keep it as simple as humanly possible. I like to think of them as layers and I’ll explain why. So the first layer would be the team training only and that will be unlimited team training. I offer about a dozen different time slots each week where people would come in and they’d do their 30-minute boot camp style workouts. The second layer was where I offer one semi-private personal training session per week which is a max of three people. Then the third layer is two semi-private personal training sessions per week.
Now each of these layers incorporate everything in the layer beneath it. For example if someone signs up for one semi-private personal training session per week, that would incorporate unlimited team training. I’ve set it up that way for simplicity’s sake but then also when I’m trying to sell it, I can explain well, if you pay the extra money, you’re still going to get everything that’s incorporated beneath. It’s also a really great way for me to provide extra value. So if the client signs up for that one session with any other one-on-one trainer in the gym, that’s exactly what they’ll get. They’ll get one session, whether that’s 30 minutes or 45 minutes or an hour. But for me if they sign up for that one session, what they can essentially do is come and see me possibly five times per week at the cost of that one session which means a lot to the client obviously. It’s a lot more value.
As far as I’m concerned though it doesn’t add up to a lot of extra work to me because I’ve got to be there anyway. But the clients, like I said, they feel like they’re getting ten times the value of what they’re actually paying for so I basically charge around 60% of what I used to charge for one-on-one but if I get three or four persons into a semi-private session, obviously I’m able to earn a lot more in that hour.
The problem with one-on-one I found walking away from that TT Summit was there were only a couple of ways you can increase your income and that is either to work more hours or you can charge more money. However, there are only so many hours in the day and there’s only so much more you can charge. That’s why I structured it that way and I’m really happy with the transition that I’ve made.
Daniel: That’s great to hear. I really love the team training. That’s very clever and like you said, a lot of people hear “boot camp” and they get intimidated. So team training, that’s cool, man. I’m going to take that away. I’ll write that one down. I like that a lot.
Peter: Yeah, well I actually stole that off Scott Rawcliffe. You know him very well. He’s guided me a lot since I got home from the TT Summit as well. I’m sure he stole that off someone else so I’m free to plagiarize away.
Daniel: Cool. Briefly, you started a thread on the TT form, sharing with us some of the different workout templates which is really awesome by the way. I’m glad you started that thread. It’s very helpful. Could you take us through a typical workout that you do with your clients? They’re starting with a warm-up but then ending with a finisher or some type of fun game that you end with.
Peter: Sure, man. It’s funny. I posted one up and I think Craig got onto—this is a separate thread and it popped into my head that it would be a great idea because I’m always looking for new inspiration from other people for my workouts. None of us are reinventing the wheel. So the idea of this thread was born. I thought there would be no better place to sort of get ideas from, from fellow CTTs. So far it’s worked pretty well, I think.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve got a couple of different types I’ve set up in that layer option. I’ve got semi-private training sessions and then I’ve got team training sessions. The templates that I use for each of those are very different. So the semi-private sessions, I have a max of three people in those sessions. They’re one hour long and that’s where we’re really focusing on resistance training. We work off a set program for a number of weeks.
A typical semi-private session would start with a dynamic mobility warm-up and some static core stability exercises like just regular planks and side planks. I like to start with, and I’ve stolen this idea from Eric Cressey—like I said everything sort of comes from someone else. Eric Cressey is someone I follow a lot for mobility work particularly. So I start with my mobility warm-ups on the floor and I work my way through the feet. Now we might start with doing some sort of ankle mobility drill, moving to bird-dogs, Spiderman climbs with reach and glute activation drills before we sort of move up to our feet and do band pulls, lateral lunges, bear crawls etc. Like I said, within that mobility warm-up which takes about 15 minutes, I’ll usually throw in a couple of side planks or a regular plank variation.
So after that I’ve got a specific template that I work out with the semi-privates, which usually consists of a couple of tri-sets. So the first tri-set workout, exercise 1A, B and C, 1A might be a hinge or a squat followed by some sort of a push and then maybe a core exercise like an anti-rotational exercise or some sort of a core activation exercise at this stage as opposed to the stability exercises we do in the mobility warm-up. And then for super set B or the tri-set, we’d throw in some sort of single leg exercise, a pull and then perhaps another core activation drill or some sort of explosive work. Then in the end we’ll usually round it out with some type of finisher.
So right now, the finishers that I’m using, we’re using a lot of heavy farmer’s walk, heavy carries. But last month, we did this pretty mad finisher using valslide mountain climbers. It was a descending ladder. In a workout which is very heavily influenced by a specific template, I like to use a finisher as my opportunity to create a little bit of artistic license within the program. That’s sort of in a nut shell the semi-private sessions. Like I said, that’s where we’re focusing on strength.
But then for the team training workouts, they’re 30 minutes in length. Now this is where we predominantly work on increasing conditioning, burning extra calories and fat loss. They’re predominantly bodyweight-based but when it’s insane then I will program in things like kettlebells, med balls and TRX exercises, depending on what I choose to use on a given week. I write a new team training workout every week and we run that for the whole week. Up until recently, I actually would write a new one every day but after surveying my clients, I found that they’re actually really enjoying revisiting the same workouts a couple of times during the week. If they were doing it two or three times in a week, they were getting a chance to benchmark themselves. If they come on day 1 and they’re disappointed with the results so they went all out, it gives them that opportunity to try and better themselves within the course of the week and they’re still getting 52 new workouts within the course of a year.
With regards to how I set those team trainings up, it’s a little bit more haphazard or random in nature. I use all the classic TT ideas there. So 5×5 is obviously one of those classics from the bodyweight cardio series. Density circuits, 20-10, ladders, really whatever my imagination can come up with or anyone else’s imagination can come up with and whatever I can fit in with that 30-minute time period. It’s very much based on interval training now because intervals obviously allow you to plan that down to the last second so you know you’re going to finish within that 30-minute time frame as well.
I do use games sometimes but it really depends on the day. Again, working within a public gym if it’s a really full gym, I’m not going to get a group of ten people doing some crazy stability ball game in the middle of that because it’s going to upset the other clients. But I do like to use them. Probably one of my fallbacks is a classic of just using the old rock, paper, scissors relay where the loser of that rock, paper, and scissors battle will have to do some sort of shuttle sprints and then burpees or something like that. If you’re unlucky and lose that two or three times, it’s a good way to finish. But yeah, games are great but again it comes down to what is available to me within that public gym at the time.
Daniel: Awesome. Those were a lot of great takeaways and I thought it’s fun and interesting that your clients in the team training wanted to do the same workout throughout the week. You hear a lot of people say, I want a different workout every single day. So I think that’s really cool that they see the value and they understand the importance of doing the same workout three or four times in that week and like you said, trying to benchmark themselves and push themselves a little harder each time. That’s really cool insight. Thank you.
Peter: Absolutely. Yeah, it was one that actually surprised me at first. I think it comes down to expectations. Initially, people were wanting that new workout every day but giving the opportunity to revisit, yeah, and honestly people are getting better results as a result as well. In the end, that’s what it comes down to.
Daniel: Absolutely. Very cool. I know that Turbulence Training has had a big influence on your training methods as you said. How do you create your workouts? Do you have a database of exercises you pull from? What’s your method of creating workouts on a weekly basis? I know you just kind of touched on it. Do you have like a list of exercises, say cardio, core exercises, back or chest? How do you create your workouts?
Peter: Absolutely. A lot of it will come back to what you do yourself. You’re constantly testing new ideas on yourself and you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t. A lot of what I do in my own workouts will flow into the workouts that people experience from month to month. I think that’s sometimes the best way to install new ideas into the workout programs. But TT has had a massive influence on my training methods. I’ve probably got 90% of the workouts downloaded from the Member’s area and I actually revisit them almost daily to get new ideas, particularly for my team training sessions.
I learned very quickly though that the TT Workout of the Month doesn’t necessarily translate into a great semi-private session. I really had to regress my thinking initially with regards to this because when I started out I thought that everyone wanted to train just like I did like I want to train three to four times a week and I want a new program every four weeks. But the truth is that most people are lucky to get to the gym once or twice a week for a heavy resistance training program. /they’re busy and they’re not obsessed with the weights like you and I might be, Daniel. So they’re really content to actually run a much more simplistic version of a program and probably for longer than you and I would ever be happy with. I was initially running new programs ever four weeks and people are going can we stay with this a little bit longer, I feel like I’m just getting on top of it. So it was a bit of a mindset shift for me but one that’s worked really well. I guess I change my programs up a little bit more organically now rather than just hard and fast new program every four weeks.
So one thing that I did do right beginning and again, this is something I borrowed from Scott Rawcliffe, was to create a template on Excel for my workouts. So what I have is a number of mobility workouts that I’ve created. They all take about 15 minutes each and they’re just sitting there and I can copy and paste a new mobility workout for every new workout that I create. Then I created two splits, an A and B split. So the A split will typically be like 1A would be a hinge, 1B will be a push and 1C would be a core. Then 2A will be a single leg, 2B will be a pull and 2C would be a core exercise, which will be followed by some type of finisher. And then the B split would look pretty much identical but if we did a hinge on workout A then we’d be looking at a squat on workout B. If we did a horizontal push on workout on day 1 then we’ll be doing a vertical push on day 2 or potentially if we were doing an open chain exercise on day 1, we’d be doing a closed chain exercise on day 2.
So we’re getting a nice, rounded program if people are coming in twice a week for their resistance training programs and I simply created a spreadsheet for that. I created a dropdown window so I can now just pretty much click and build a workout in a matter of minutes. It’s simple and it really works and people dig it. That’s sort of how I set my semi-private workouts.
With regards to my team training workouts, they’re much less formalized. As I’ve said in the beginning, I was creating a new one every day and I’ve got a probably a Word document with over a 120 different team training workouts. So I’m in this luxurious position now where I can just go in and I can grab an old workout and I can substitute in new exercises or change around the timeframes a little bit and within a matter of minutes, I’ve got a brand new team training workout as well. For a lot of work put in initially, now I’m in this nice spot where I can actually create workouts very quickly.
Daniel: Great. Now Peter, you live in a pretty big city which means there’s obviously a lot of competition in your area and obviously a lot of competition within your own gym that you’re training at. How are your workouts different from all the other boot camps in your area? How are you giving your clients better results compared to surrounding gyms in your area and really setting yourself apart from the rest of the competition?
Peter: Well, you can’t fool the big city, like you said but I honestly don’t focus on that too much. I don’t really focus too much on anything that goes outside of my area or as far as my gym and what I do within that gym. I don’t really see what everyone else is doing as of much consequence to me. I’m more focused on internally what I’m doing and how can I improve methods.
Within the surrounds of my own gym, well I do things very differently and the fact that I offer semi-private training. I can offer people a lot more face-to-face contact with me for a lot less money so they can come and see me several times a week for the cost of what I would usually say one trainer for one time a week. So straightaway, as you know and I know, if you’ve got more time with a trainer, you’re going to be training more effectively and the results are going to be expedited significantly. That’s what I do to try to make sure I’m bettering everyone else within the surrounds of my gym.
I let my client attraction tools do the rest. I’ll get in who I can and I usually go elsewhere. Well, that’s their business what they do. Like I said, I’m quite unique within the gym being the only trainer that does the semi-private. There at least 30 other trainers within my gym alone.
The other thing that I sort of do I guess within that gym, as I mentioned earlier, there are four different sides but I chose after a short amount of time of floating between the four different sites to work exclusively out of one. What that has done now is that I am the guy that people see daily within that gym. All the other trainers still float so they may only see that person once a week or they might not see them for a few weeks. So when people are looking for advice, generally I’m the one they come to now because I’m the guy who is always there.
Now the other thing that I do, I guess, that not a lot of other trainers do is beyond my regular Facebook page I’ve created a private Facebook group for my members. I use that to keep in contact with them constantly, to provide feedback. I give them diet workouts, recipes, etc., but it has really allowed me to create this community. What I’ve found is that my clients are now using it a lot to support each other. I think that this has been made easy about the fact that I’m doing semi-private because one thing with one-on-one is one client comes in, they leave and the next person comes in so there’s not that many interaction that you can get between each other. Mine all know each other so that’s sort of been set, that sense of community as well. As you know with the TT forums as well, the more support you’ve got—the social support and accountability is one of the hugest things for results—the better the results are. That’s sort of how I’ve been playing it and it works.
Daniel: Yeah and like you said, support and know what’s going on around you but you have to focus on what you’re doing and provide the best service and training for your clients. You know the rest will take care of itself.
Peter: For sure. Well, Craig says it best all the time when he said control the controllable and don’t stress about what you can’t. That’s what I do.
Daniel: Totally. All right, Peter. So we all know the power of finishers at the end of the workout. We touched on this briefly earlier but can you just give maybe one or two examples of finishers that you use with your clients and why you think they’re so effective?
Peter: Sure. I guess I mentioned earlier that I’m lucky enough that our gym’s got a really nice outdoor yard. I would see the artificial grass, we’ve got sleds and whatnot. If I can get outside, I’ll do it. So I honestly don’t think you can go past pushing a sled or using the battle ropes or just picking up something heavy and walking with it. But I also think that a good finisher should be a simple one so something like getting a kettlebell and swinging it for 20 seconds on and 20 seconds off for 6 to 8 rounds is wonderfully effective. It’s a good way to finish things off without making it too convoluted at the end of the workout.
If I’m using bodyweight stuff, I guess my favorite type of bodyweight finisher would be a density circuit where you’re picking a timeframe, say for instance five minutes, and you’ll pick four or five exercises to use within that four or five minutes. So I give them four or five reps per exercise and then just get them to go for it and get as many rounds down as possible within that timeframe.
A finisher that I used recently and it is one that I alluded to a little bit earlier is pretty much I reckon it’s one of my most hated finishers ever but it’s a love-hate relationship, as we know it all these things. It was a descending ladder where I used valslides to do mountain climbers and I’ve super-setted that with squat jumps. So at the start of the super set with 50 valslide mountain climbers going as fast as you can and then as soon I finish up that they’d come up to their feet and do 5 squat jumps and then immediately back down for 40 mountain climbers and 4 squat jumps and then 30 and 3, 20 and 2, etc. It didn’t look like much on paper but I tell you it floored some people. So it was a really good one. You have my permission to try that one out but it’s a cracker.
As to why they’re effective, I think we all know why they’re effective. We’re pretty much using all the benefits of interval training but we’re compacting it down to a much more efficient time frame. I run my sessions by the clock as just everyone else and if we can get more bang for the buck out of less time, well that’s the way to do it. I think there’s no better way to get that bang for a buck than a finisher rather than in traditional interval training.
Danny: Yeah, I’m going to have to try that mountain climber-squat-jump combo. I like that one. That will be a good one.
Peter: Yeah, it is. It’s evil.
Daniel: All right. So as I mentioned earlier Peter, you do both boot camp training or team training as you call it and small group or private training. For someone who is in a process of maybe starting their own training business, what advice would you give them? What are some of the pros and cons for those boot camp training and small group training?
Peter: Sure. So I think that as much as I’m promoting the idea of semi-private training, I think one-on-one is a great way to gain experience as a personal trainer. As soon as you feel comfortable though, you need to consider moving over to semi-private training. As I mentioned earlier, there are only so many hours in a day or if you want to help more people, you have to start helping more of them at once. It just makes sense. I honestly always thought of myself as a one-on-one person and I was uncomfortable with the idea of moving over to semi-private but now that I have, my level of enjoyment in what I do has increased so much I can’t even describe it.
It takes away the onus on you to be the guy that just walks around with that clipboard and counts reps. Now I’m constantly on my toes, I’m moving between multiple clients and I’m actually coaching. I’m not just counting reps. If you’re sort of a trainer, it’s not that hard. It’s a really good thing to do. You can watch a couple of different people at once.
I think that within the realm of the public gym, and this is talking from my experience, you just need to be mindful about the members. You also need to be able to improvise when there’s equipment not available because that’s going to happen or if space is limited. There are many pros but I guess it mainly comes down to one thing. If you’re doing semi-private and small group, you can help more people. I guess that’s what we’re all about hopefully. But then on a selfish nature it’s more enjoyable for me and at the end of the day it’s more financially rewarding as well. I couldn’t sell it any better than that. It’s just definitely a great way to train people.
Daniel: Great. Yeah, I agree 100%. Many folks starting out don’t have a lot of money to spend on equipment, on the resources for their boot camps. Obviously, we all have a tower of bodyweight exercises but what are some of the pieces of equipment that you would recommend to trainers starting out, maybe on a budget that don’t have a lot of money to spend in the very beginning?
Peter: If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, I honestly think the only investment you would need to make is in some resistance bands and particularly not even exercise tubing but those power bands. I think that’s all you need to get started. I may lug a TRX with me but to this day, mainly what I’ll lug around is a bag of about ten resistance bands. As we know, bodyweight is such an effective way of exercising anyway so that just gives you that little bit of extra variety. That’s all you need to get started.
If you had a little extra cash and you had the ability to lug it around, kettlebells are great. A TRX is a really portable method of creating some extra variety in your workouts and medicine balls. But I think they’re far from essential when you’re starting out. Ultimately, yeah, resistance bands. That’s all you need.
Daniel: Resistance bands. That’s it.
Peter: Honestly, that is. You create some great workouts for that.
Daniel: Absolutely. All right Peter, I always like to throw a curve ball flush to the mix. Here’s my wicked curve ball. Let’s see if you can hit it. Let’s say a client comes with only ten minutes to get a workout in. You have no equipment readily available. Take us through a ten-minute workout that you would give him or her and talk a little bit about why you chose this certain exercise that you did.
Peter: Okay, you can get a good workout in 10 minutes still. I’d probably lean towards doing a 20-10 style of training, Tabata style 20-10 workout. My favorite, I guess, combination of exercises is a squat followed by a push of some description, followed by a single-leg exercise of some description, followed by a pull. But if you are only using bodyweight, I’ll replace that with perhaps a full body exercise and then a core exercise. So if I had ten minutes and I’m doing 20-10, I might do four rounds of each.
So if I were a beginner, we might start with prisoner squats for 4 rounds or 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off and then maybe a kneeling push-up or a push-up, perhaps a single leg hip extension after that, a total body extension and then a plank. That would get them through 10 minutes and pretty much hit every body part.
But if that were more advanced, you can use this exactly the same template but instead of a prisoner squat, you might be able to give them a prisoner jump squat for four rounds which is immediately going to get them working pretty hard. It’s simply a matter of getting a harder progression of a push-up, the Spiderman push-up for instance. You might throw in skater hops instead of your single leg hip extensions. Instead of giving the total body extension, give them a burpee and then maybe a Spiderman climber or something like that to finish.
I actually stole that setup so the squat-push-lunge-pull-core from Dr. K way when, Dr. Kareem. It’s actually something that I use so much still. It’s a really great combination of exercises. It flows really well. You’re getting people from their feet, down to the ground and then back up again. We’re hitting all the major muscle groups. Then when you throw in that 20-10 style of doing things, which basically ensures that people are going to be working at a very high rate and expending a lot of energy very quickly, you’ve got a great work out there in 10 minutes. I just think it’s a flawless plan if you’ve only got 10 minutes to go and you’ve only got bodyweight to deal with.
Daniel: Yeah, I mean no excuses. Even in four or five minutes, you can always get a workout in and see some results. So no excuses.
Peter: Absolutely, mate. I’ve complicated things maybe. If you did ten minutes or ten burpees at the top of every minute for ten minutes, I dare you not to be absolutely smashed after that. So that’s another one.
Daniel: There you go. All right, Peter, let’s wrap things up here. Why don’t you give our readers or our listeners just one or two training tips to kind of take away and closing things out with this interview?
Peter: Sure, just one or two? I’ll give you a couple, buddy. I would say obviously the first thing you want to do is you want to smile and make eye contact with people. Learn people’s names and then use them. Every time they come in, say their name within 30 seconds of them arriving because in every book, Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People, they all say that the sweetest sound is the person’s own name so that’s a really important one.
I’d say don’t try to be the best at everything. You want to really want to hone your skills and dominate a particular market. I see so many trainers in my gym who are specialists in fat loss, strength and conditioning, Olympic lifting, this, that and the other and it’s like how are you a specialist in all these areas? I’ve marketed myself specifically as the fat loss specialist and that’s so much easier to market as well.
I guess one of the other points, I would say, is remember it’s not about you; it’s about how you can help your clients. People should draw from your experience as well so you talk about your own journey, I have been relatively thin all my life but I fell off the wagon there as well and I now draw from those experiences to empathize and tell stories. Through that, I think I really inspire my clients as well.
Earlier, I alluded to the idea that you should really set up some sort of a VIP area on your Facebook for your clients to use and interact because it really builds that sense of community and it’s going to make it harder for them to leave you because they’re not just leaving you. They’re leaving other people they know as well and that’s a really big thing.
Don’t look bored when you’re coaching people. You really need to look like you want to be there. I see trainers to this day who are looking at their phone or having a conversation with someone else when they’re training. Your client needs to be your full focus when you’re there with them.
I always say keep things simple. Remember that your clients, as I’ve said earlier, they’re not like you and me. They may not necessarily be there to train three or four days a week and want a new program every four weeks so we need to recognize that and program appropriately to them. Something that Alwyn Cosgrove said and something I did anyway but bears repeating is that you want to pre-plan your workouts. Don’t just wing it. In saying that, you need to have a plan B and you also need to be ready to improvise at a second’s notice if someone comes in with injuries or equipment’s not available or whatnot.
I guess the final one would be to go that extra mile. Stay back after the sessions and chat with your clients. You need to stay in contact with them. Send them the odd motivating text and then do everything you can to make them feel as though they are a part of something, not just coming to see you for a session and then you’re out of there and they’re out of your mind until the next one. It’s those little extra things that you do that will keep them coming back. Yeah, I think that’s a good start anyway, mate.
Daniel: Great tips. Thank you for that. All right, Peter, I guess that’s all the time we have today. I guess you’re going to be going to bed here soon and I’m just waking up because you guys are really living in the future.
Peter: As you know, those 4:00 AM starts will kill us. So yeah, usually I’m in bed before my six-year old.
Daniel: All right, guys, thanks for listening to this call. That is all the time we have today. Peter, I appreciate everything, all the great tips. You’re a huge inspiration to me and I know a lot of people on the TT forum, you offer a lot of great advice and I really appreciate everything you do for us.
Peter: Thanks so much, Daniel, and it goes both ways, mate. Very much so.
Daniel: All right, guys. That’s it for the all today. We will see you next time. Bye-bye.
Peter: Okay, thanks very much.