A few weeks ago I went to a seminar about gym management in Västerås. The main speaker was Per Sundström, the owner of one of the most successful boxes in Sweden called Factor. He shared so many great ideas and tips on what to think about not only to run a successful gym but also several ideas and concepts that I can use in the success of my personal training company. During his seminar, Per made a statement that really stuck with me. He said that research shows that people who spend more money on their training are much more satisfied with their progress. Eighty percent of swedish people who have memberships at a gym do not go to the gym on a consistent basis. He also said that gyms count on this statistic and this is why they can sell hundreds more memberships than the gym can legally hold at one time because they know that most people that buy a membership will not come in to use them. These people are rarely satisfied with their improvements in their health because they never go in on their own to train. Whether the reasons for this is lack of time or motivation, it really doesn’t matter. They are not happy with their results. So who are the ones that are most happy with their results, and what are they doing differently? They are quite frankly spending more money. Many of the satisfied people are paying to train with personal trainers. Makes sense right? If you paid 800kr a session with a PT and would lose the money if you didn’t show up, don’t you think you would get to the gym for that booked session? The more sessions booked, the more training gets done, and the client reaches their training goals faster. Other satisfied people are paying extra money for quality gyms that offer well-coached, and well-designed classes around the clock. They find it worth paying extra money a month for the freedom to go to great classes when it fits their schedule.
I have been a personal trainer for 15 years, and I can’t even count how often I have heard people who really need help to improve their health say, “training with a PT is so expensive.” Yes. Training with a PT is expensive. But how is it that people who are obese, and people with diseases related to lack of exercise don’t feel that their quality of life is worth it? Many of these people choose to spend money on so many other things, while quality of life doesn’t seem to be on their list of priorities. Continue buying material items, food and drinks that aren’t necessary, without prioritizing training, and soon you will get to a point where you won’t be able to enjoy them anyway.
So what can people change in their lives in order to be able to spend more money on training? They have to set aside money for training first and then only spend money on things that are necessary. First and foremost, stop living to eat, and start eating to live. Buy only the basic essentials for food. For instance, a bag of oatmeal for breakfast, eggs, vegetables, chicken, rice, and fruit. Don’t buy anything to drink. Drink only water, which is adundantly free and healthy for you. Is the food going to taste fantastic? Probably not. Is it going to give you everything you need to be healthy and survive? Yes it is. If you are overweight or obese, you need to feel hungry, or you aren’t ever in a calorie deficit. You have plenty of reserve to burn, so trust me, you won’t starve. Secondly, stop driving your car, and take public transportation, or better yet, walk or bike to where you are going. Paying for gas, parking, and tolls is much more expensive than paying for public transportation. If you are close enough to walk or bike to work, do it and save a ton of money on transportation. A 30min to an hour walk to work each day could be exactly what you need to kick start your road to being healthy. Everyone’s lives looks different of course, but people can change their lives in different ways in order to make it economically feasible to spend more money on training.
The simple truth is this. Most people do not have the motivation or the discipline to exercise on their own, and exercising is the most important thing that your body needs in order to be healthy. If you are one of these people, then just buying a gym membership will never be enough to help you reach any type of training progress. Stop spending money on things you don’t absolutely need so that you can spend money on that one thing you do need: help to get you to exercise! Reprioritize your daily routines and habits so that your health can be the cornerstone of your life. All other aspects in your life will benefit once you finally make the choice to focus on your health.
There are a million personal trainers out there, and to hire a PT isn’t cheap. So how do you know if a specific personal trainer is good/knowledgeable in their field? There are three crucial aspects that I believe a personal trainer or training coach MUST have in order to be a good training coach:
Throughout my career as a personal trainer, I have met many trainers who were inadequate or subpar to say the least. They either went to some online distance pt course, or they didn’t have any education at all. There are many people in this field who believe that “looking good” qualifies someone as being a good personal trainer, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Being able to train someone in order to help them reach their desired goals, whether it be as a competitive athlete or a person who wants to get in shape, is actually a scientific process, and it’s crucial that a training coach has a deep understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. It’s also extremely important that a training coach understands what happens physiologically to the human body as it is undergoing the stress of physical activity. Without education, it is impossible that the training coach has all of the tools and knowledge necessary to help you get your desired results.
In order to really understand and be able to teach and coach others in training, one needs to have years of experience in training themselves. It’s not enough to just be able to teach how to do an exercise correctly. You need to be able to explain how the exercise feels, give tips that the client can think about that you have learned only by doing. You need to understand what working hard looks like and feels like, and you need to know how to recognize the limits of your clients. If you have very little to no experience in training yourself, you will never be able to help your clients on such an advanced level. Experience leads to confidence. A great trainer can teach exercises and design a program that will get you to your goal. They are confident about their work because they know exactly what needs to be done to achieve a certain goal. They have seen their programs lead to success over and over again.
I am a firm believer that if your personal trainer or training coach cannot motivate themselves to train, how are they ever going to be able to motivate you to do it? Find a personal trainer that leads by example. They should absolutely live what they preach.
Before you hire a PT, ask them about these areas. Get an understanding of how much these three areas influence their work. Buy a small package of PT sessions with them first so that you can try them out and make sure that you feel confident that they are exactly the help you need to reach your goals. If they aren’t, try out a new personal trainer until you find the right match!
My educational merits:
- Bachelors degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Wyoming
- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association
- Licensed Kettle bell and TRX instructor
- Licensed nutritionist through The Academy
- Worked as a personal trainer in both USA and Sweden for 17 years.
- As a professional basketball player, I designed and executed my own yearly strength and conditioning programs for 16 years.
- Strength coach for 3 different basketball teams
- Began training at the age of 13. I have over 26 years of training experience.
Even years after my professional basketball career, I continue to train at a high level. I love training hard and learning new training exercises. Training is quite simply my passion.
I love helping people. I love sharing my passion with people that need help to turn their life around and take control of their health. If you need help, email me at email@example.com. Help is only an email away.
Several people have asked me over the years, “how do you stay motivated to train day after day, year after year?” I have absolutely NOT been motivated to train for every single training session that I have done in my life. I have had to drag myself to the gym for more training sessions than I can even count. So if I wasn’t motivated to train, why did I even go? What made me put on my training clothes and make the trip to the gym? Discipline. Think about it like this, compare training to brushing your teeth. You know that brushing your teeth is going to keep your teeth healthy and clean right? If you go too many days in a row without brushing your teeth, they begin to build up plaque which can break down your tooth enamel and leave your teeth vulnerable to decay. They can begin to rot and fall out of your mouth. So without hesitation, most of us get up and brush our teeth before we leave the house and then once again before we go to bed. It’s not the funnest thing to do, but we do it anyway because we know what the consequences are if we don’t.
Our bodies need physical activity in order to stay healthy. There is no doubt about that. There is even substantial evidence that shows that physical activity is THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect when it comes to overall health. More important than mental training, and eating a completely healthy diet. What happens if we go too many days without training? With a long period of lack of physical activity comes weight gain, higher cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure, increased risk of getting cancer, diabetes, muscle loss, lower bone density, etc. The list of diseases goes on and on. The longer a person is inactive, the worse all of these problems get until it becomes catastrophic and life threatening. So why is it then that most people will brush their teeth to avoid losing them but won’t exercise in order to stay healthy?
The difference between us that train on a reqular basis and those that don’t is that we are quite in tune and connected with this fact. We simply prioritize our health much more and clearly understand the consequences of not training. We are aware that our bodies are living organisms, and in order to stay as healthy as we can so that we can live the best quality of life, physical activity must be a part of our lives. Physical activity makes us feel great and gives us energy to get through our days. The benefits of exercise outweigh any of the obstacles that come with training. So is it motivation that ultimately drives me to train? No, it’s discipline. I train because I want to stray strong and in great shape for my entire life so that I can enjoy my life as best I can.
If you are having a hard time training consistently, here are a few keys that I think can help:
1. Schedule your workout when you know you are most likely to do it. Don’t schedule to work out if you are always dead after work, or have to be at home with your family. Then maybe you need to schedule your workout in the morning before work. Don’t schedule it in the morning if you know you aren’t likely to get up. Then you need to make time at lunch or after work.
2. Find a workout partner. If you find someone to go to the gym with, you two can push each other and give each other support when the laziness sets in. Keep each other on track.
3. Set specific goals. Start by setting a goal that is definitely reachable in 4-5 weeks with consistent training. Write that goal down, and hang it in the house in a few different places. That way you will be reminded of these goals, and that should help a bit with motivation.
4. Don’t start too hard too fast! If you kill yourself in the first few workouts, you will have a negative association with training and will be less likely to go. The workouts should be challenging, but you should feel good about what you accomplished after, and not puking your guts out in the bathroom.
5. Start with training that you enjoy doing. The hardest part of starting to train is the first month. You will be extremely sore, and will be working towards making training a habit. By doing training that you find fun and enjoyable, it will be easier for you to make training a priority in your life. When training has become a habit, then other types of training that maybe you don’t think is that much fun but is beneficial can be added.
I can’t express how important training is. It is the only way to keep your body young. It helps not only in reducing the aging process, but it helps tremendously in reducing the risk in getting just about every type of disease there is. If you value life at all, then training should be a priority.
I hope that these few tips can help you make training an important part in your life. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like help through personal training or an online training program!