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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:49 am 
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Thought I would make this because my random personal training rambles are not random enough for random crap.

I often think out loud in that thread as a way of getting some clarity on my thoughts. Quite often the clarity comes from the responses to them, so this could be quite beneficial for me. This forum has already proven very beneficial for me. Most questions or problems I try and help with on here, I get tackled with in the gym. In a way, there's nothing that's come up in the gym that's not been addressed here already.

I really need a blog but, well, whatever, it's not happened yet. I guess I don't have one because I can't really define myself as a trainer yet. I'm up for the actual blog posts but it's talking about myself and what I do that I struggle to definitively summarise.

Really, i'm trying to define what i'm all about as a trainer, then somehow put this into packages that could be defined on a piece of paper and sold. The catch is, they must have long term value for the customer. Due to personal circumstance, I actually have more time to play with now as I limit the number of sessions I do. This won't go on forever and when it stops, I want to be prepared and do this properly, for real, and make a proper career out of it.

Also, for anyone interested in reading them, I appreciate feed back and criticism (especially criticism, so don't hold back). Part of what I want to do is train "The Lifter" as previously discussed. Technically, that makes people here my target market. A great place for feedback.

Worth nothing that i'm currently gathering feedback from current and previous clients to help with this. I also have a couple of ideas being trial run just now which i'll detail at some point.

Really, in the beginning when I entered the "real world" of personal training, particularly in a commercial gym, I couldn't see any way that I could "do what I do" in that environment. However, I have persevered and have a little base of clients that cover my costs and act as "walking billboards" for me. From this, I have gathered some confidence and can see things taking shape. Now I want to take what I do and what I have done, and define it. My current clients are mixed "types" and are really what I'm going to base a lot of this on.

KPj

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:53 am 
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Just stole the following from the other thread, not sure about rules on duplicate posts between threads so if this is a problem i'll delete it,

As most know, i'm a personal trainer at nights and weekends. It's been about 18 months (just over) since I started. I intended on being full time by now but, a few things happened that changed priority a little. So, basically, i've been experimenting (this is a positive way of saying i've been between a rock and a hard place and trying to make the most of it). In truth, I haven't actively accepted new leads this year. I took all availability out of the system in the gym so nothing could get booked in for me. Only those who specifically ask for me will get me for their free sessions which is all arranged on my own diary and nothign to do with the gym management. I don't work the gym floor looking for clients, either. I just train my clients, train myself, and leave.

Strangely enough, this has given me a little confidence. In the time i've started, 5 trainers have come and gone. Left because they couldn't pay the bills. One guy left [1 million dollars] in debt. I need to pay the same as full time trainers. There is no part time rate. You pay full rent, or you don't work there. I have never not covered my rent, but i'm not exactly on my way to becoming the next Richard Branson, either.

I love training people, i know i want to do it but, in the commercial gym environment, it's tough to, well, be "me". I ask myself, "what kind of personal trainer am i?", "what am I all about?", "how would someone who has trained with me describe the experience". I was told by someone who came to me via word of mouth, (paraphrased)"I've not been making progress, and i've tried X Y Z, nothing is working very well, etc etc etc, I was told that you are the guy to go to when I have run out of ideas. I was told you think out of the box and you do things differently". I never quite knew how to take that. Who told him this? And why do they think this? Not to worry, though, this is obviously part of the perception I give to people just by being, "me". I'm "different" and I think, "out of the box". I've been told similar by a lot of people now. The thing is, i'm not "different". Take away all the treadmills, x-trainers, power plates, Viprs and lever machines, and what you left with? Give this some structure and progression, and you have what I do. It's not different. It's not unique. It's possibly as old as the pyramids. Everyone else is "different", not me. But i guess that makes me "different"...... I'm confused too, don't worry.

I'm not a typical trainer and I couldn't be one. It would defy the whole point in choosing a career I "enjoy". I'm not as critical of trainers as I used to be. It's not an easy job at all but, the basis of the majority of personal training and the one consistent that gets results can be boiled down to, "move more, eat better". I'm about more than that, though. You can and should get a lot more from your training than just shedding pounds or dropping dress sizes. The last 6 months or so, I can feel it taking shape. I can start to see how I can take what I do, what i'm all about, wrap it up in a system, and make it sell-able with real, long term value for the customer.

I've not defined my "systems" yet but, I finally feel good about what I do and whether it's a realistic model to use in quite a difficult environment (the commercial gym). I think what defines me, if I had to only use one word is, "purpose". The challenge is translating this to actually mean something in a commercial gym environment.

I take people who "workout" and I show them how to "train". To train with purpose and meaning. Real goals that actually mean something. To have structure and progression. Not to hop on and off of powerplates or swing big tubes around because it's fashionable but, to train with meaning. Everything I do in a program has a purpose. I think this is what defines me.

Excuse the ramble, just thinking out loud, and thanks for listening

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:11 am 
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teafan wrote:
What would you charge for the monthly meeting? How would this translate from an "introduction" to a continual program? Would your model be based on charging for:

1: the introduction - one or two hours
2: the monthly meeting - one hour
3: (Optional) Assistance/form checking/etc - small supplement

I (personally) think this could become a very interesting and fun "micro" thread


This is exactly what i'm not sure about. I can easily spend a session just coaching one lift. I can easily spend a session just "assessing". For the beginner or someone with a lot of bad habbits one coaching session (even on one lift) just isn't enough. Also, technique "evolves". For example, when teaching bench, i'm all about stable scap and optimal bar bath, wrist and elbow position. Scap, wrists, and elbow issues are enough to overwhelm people. This needs honed first. Only after this can I start going on about leg drive, big air, pull the bar apart, etc. In other words, I find it really difficult to simplify into X amount of sessions. This is what i've been struggling with but, recently, it's kind of taking shape on it's own.

Example 1:

Ryan and Richard, reasonably well read, trained the big lifts, hit the ceiling of linear gains. Got told to speak to me. It went like this,

Consultation - No cost. This is to see if I can actually help you, and also to see if you actually want help (some people don't!). I also do a movement assessment here (this is gives me my exercise selection). Time permitting i'll fix squat mechanics to lessen some of the teaching time of the following session.

What I proposed - a Block of 4 sessions to coach the big lifts, followed by a program that could be followed and progressed for at least 6 months, maybe more (enter 5-3-1).

Basically, at this point, I couldn't trust them to lift safely and efficiently (which doesn't help their health OR strength).

Think of the elitefts "so you think can bench/squat" videos. This is pretty much it. Day 1 is squat. Start with an empty bar, fix technique, and load them gradually until it goes bad. This gives me 3 things - Starting weights, weaknesses that need addressed via accessory work, and 1-2 main technique points that they need to focus on more than others (almost universally Hips Back, Knees Out). Squat is always first because it helps in coaching the other lifts.

Day 2 is bench, day 3 is deadlift. Day 4, I have the program and we go through the exercises they don't know of, or aren't sure about, and I check things like Row form. I'll also explain the logic behind it. In this case it was all back and lats, "your bench sucks because your lats are so weak. Nail pull ups, get better at rows, and watch your bench go up" (now they know why there's so much pulling in the program and an emphasis on pull ups). That kind of thing.

Then I set them free. That was 6 months ago. Richard moved up north, and Ryan came up to chat last week, he's gained 15 lbs in b/w, swears he's leaner, and all his lifts has went up. He's tweaked the assistance stuff on his own, and with good reason. Worried that his bench is stalling now, looking for more advice. Still hits 10 reps in 5-3-1 day on his squat!! Says he needs to buy new jeans and shirts and all his t-shirts are much tighter! Also says his appetite has went through roof, can't stop eating (good - your body wants to grow, feed it!!!). Also says he feels more flexible, and actually ENJOYS single leg work now (this takes a while! Some people never get to this point!). He says the biggest improvement he's noticed is his traps, lats, legs, and - wait for it - ARMS.

Since I had time, I checked his bench form, suggested his grip was far too wide (it was) and he's happy enough carrying on.

I have a feeling he's going to come back. I was doing 5-3-1 the same time as him, but now i'm not. He keeps asking to see my training days, keeps asking questions, and I've told him this is how I "prefer" to train (it is) and i have a couple of people getting this monthly from me. Explained the whole monthly set up. He seemed interested, but I emphasised that what he is doing is working, and he should stay on it unless he either stops making progress or, gets bored. Don't "program hop". He said he's still loving it. Probably could of convinced him but i'm just being honest, and I think he'll be back. He's a good testimonial.

That's one example, i'll list a couple more.

KPj

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:32 am 
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Talking about the issue, Elitefts has a good article relating the whole Personal training scene.
http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/t ... ining-101/

Yours was also an interesting read. As everyone probably knows by now, I've set my goals on becoming a personal trainer also, so it's nice to read about methods and styles of various trainers. My education will last for three years tho, so I'll have time to learn and consider my future. Anyway, fitness and sports are the future I want to build on.

I like your way of thinking. There's nothing better than an instructor who knows and teaches the technique before anything, but also has a clue how to improve your lifts and technique. Good results are the best feedback, and you seem to be doing a good job.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:10 pm 
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Another example. Avi, a GP I train.

He got 3 sessions from the gym when he RE joined. He specifically asked for me because he has a bad left knee with one minor cartilage op on it. These sessions were NOT paid, btw, but still good to use to shape a package/model/whatever. He had some training experience. Actually, to be honest, he was known amongst my training partners due to his terrible form on the deadlift (in the presence of another trainer).

He had trained for several months but, clearly still had newbie gains to take advantage of. This makes it quite a good "newbie" example. Form on pretty much everything was terrible. Just wanted to get stronger. He Boxed so, wasn't too concerned with getting bigger.

Session 1 - consultation, chat, assessment, squat form. One thing I noted was squatting was pain free when technique was good - always a bonus!! Also, he actually said he wanted to be more athletic. He hates that he can't do agility drills or sprints without feeling it in his knee.

From this, I wrote a basic linear newbie program. Full body. 2 workouts to alternate. On the second session I taught the first workout, third session I taught the second. Basically with these it's, "do it until you stop improving and feel like crap (burn out)".

Feedback - Stronger on everything, knee feels good (but he can't sprint or jump yet, although I told him this wasn't really being addressed specifically in this program). Strangely he didn't get bigger. Wasn't a goal but it normally happens. I don't think he eats much.

Now, he's on phase one of the monthly plan. I charged one session (since it's a "trial"), had the program. Taught him his warm up, taught him how to front squat, do GHR's, etc (things that are in the program that he's not done). On sat he has beginning of phase 2, where i just need to teach a couple of movements, couple of stretches, couple of exercise variations (i.e sumo DL's). This won't take long because it's similar to what he's been doing, and I need to teach a couple of agility drills.

Phase 3 will be similar.

I plan on charging the equivalent of 2 sessions for this. Actually blocking off 2 hours. I would expect to be at least 90 mins at first, but as time went on, probably under an hour.

I'm close to getting a female on this plan, too.

I think the first example will come back to me and fit into this set up, too. The reason the GP went straight on to this is because he was specifically interested in being athletic, too. I did give him the 5-3-1 option but he was more interested in this.

KPj

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:10 pm 
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great idea for a thread, will definitely be following this


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Dub wrote:
Talking about the issue, Elitefts has a good article relating the whole Personal training scene.
http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/t ... ining-101/

Yours was also an interesting read. As everyone probably knows by now, I've set my goals on becoming a personal trainer also, so it's nice to read about methods and styles of various trainers. My education will last for three years tho, so I'll have time to learn and consider my future. Anyway, fitness and sports are the future I want to build on.

I like your way of thinking. There's nothing better than an instructor who knows and teaches the technique before anything, but also has a clue how to improve your lifts and technique. Good results are the best feedback, and you seem to be doing a good job.


Thanks for the article! Scanned it and it looks good will read properly over the weekend.

btw one of my best resources has been strengthcoach.com. Mike Boyles site. Any specific client related issues i've had, i'm able to ask some of the greatest minds in the field about. There's also a business section which has provided me with loads of great info that i've not used yet lol. But I will!

KPj

Edit: Should mention it's a paid site. I've been a member for a couple of years. Don't post much, but read a lot.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:07 pm 
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I wonder if your problem with identifying yourself as a trainer is do to the image you have of all the other trainers. Would it work better to call yourself a coach? "Coach Kenny" as a ring to it.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:09 pm 
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How about The Kilted Koach.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:54 pm 
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Kenny, the Kilted Koach. I like it.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:36 am 
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I think the name has a certain value to it... Strength Coach sounds much better than Personal Trainer and dispels the baggage it comes with.

Kenny, can you tell us how the PT model works - what the prices are etc?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:31 am 
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Or "fitness coach". It seems that would cover clients who aren't specifically training for strength. Seems silly, but I've heard that there are such people.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Kenny, have you ever done small group coaching? I see this mentioned by a lot of well-known coaches, and it seems like it could be a good option for many people. You charge each person less, but the total you get for the session is more. Instead of you spotting for each one, and talking during rest, they spot for each other, help each other load, and you watch and coach. Especially if that's new to your area, it could also prove to be popular.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:43 am 
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hoosegow wrote:
How about The Kilted Koach.


Haha, as I quickly begin to wonder why no one ever wants me to spot them on bench press :scratch:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:14 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
I wonder if your problem with identifying yourself as a trainer is do to the image you have of all the other trainers. Would it work better to call yourself a coach? "Coach Kenny" as a ring to it.


It's not so much the image but the methods. Don't get me wrong, there are a couple of trainers in my gym I have a lot of respect for. They're passionate, they work hard, they're successful, they get results. I could (and do) learn a lot from them, particularly the business side of things, and sales. Some are great examples of why trainers have bad names but there are a couple who I consider good, and also consider friends.

However, I just have my own way of doing things. It's really my methods that i'm trying to define, in a way that can then be sold. What I do is already being done by many, too, so it's not new or anything. I've just not seen it in a commercial gym environment. The challenge in a nutshell is trying to communicate my "message" to commercial gym members.

I had some more great feed back which is helping, i'll get into it in another post. I'm feeling good about it, maybe for the first time!

KPj

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