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Old 01-23-2008, 07:52 AM   #1
Mike ODonnell
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Default Personal Trainer rant

Sorry...just needed to vent a bit...and don't have any other place to do it...I am usually more positive but this I need to let out...

<Rant on
Having been in this industry long enough...I am tired of the scams, fads, and other crap that only serves to make money and not really focus on people's results. I know this probably has nothing to do with most people here...but just needed to let it out....as recently I have been flooded with email and mailings about trainer sales conferences that brag about people closing sales for $5k per person for a year of training. Are you kidding me? What person needs a trainer for a whole year? Why aren't trainers teaching people self responsibility? I can see a group workout for fun....but all this weekend cert used car salesmen hitting the streets are enough to make me go nuts....especially:
- Anyone that sells only "core" training
- Franchises for 1-on-1 training that only focus on long term contracts
- Gyms farming out to personal training companies that only focus on the bottom dollar

I know people have to make a living...and there are good ways to do it...suckering people for money and assuming all trainers need a 6figure salary after a weekend course is rediculous. So I guess only helping rich people get healthy is the only option?

I won't even go into all the crap training tools that are out there...fad diet books and other spot reduction machines.

My advice to anyone wanting to do training....be honest, get results and the money follows...also
- dont bill anyone more than a month at a time (they will resign up if you are any good)
- teach people how to eat on their own
- teach people how to do workouts on their own so when they stop coming (and they will at some point), they can still continue with a healthy life
- see your role as a coach not a rep counter
- run group classes that are affordable, let people from all income levels be able to train
- don't focus on the money....do all the above and it will come (you will make more per hour in a group environment than 1-on-1 anyways)

Whew.....thanks I feel much better! Now my goal in life is to put all those scam artist trainers out of business and back selling cars or doing landscaping or whatever they were doing before their weekend course.

Rant off>
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:08 AM   #2
Derek Simonds
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MOD man I wish you wouldn't lump used car salesmen in with that crowd. It gives them a bad name.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
Allen Yeh
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Not related but what popped into my head:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGHa6XwJo54
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:44 AM   #4
Mike ODonnell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Simonds View Post
MOD man I wish you wouldn't lump used car salesmen in with that crowd. It gives them a bad name.
Ha!! Too true....Wish I could point you to the sites I am talking about...but it's not about that. (and you would know it if you saw the 20 page HTML sales copy about how much money you can make scamming old people...or whoever..) So keeping it positive and serving the PT industry notice...you have been warned.

My new business motto I think will be "Putting crappy trainers out of business since 2008!"....of course will sound better in 20 years....
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:24 AM   #5
Dave Paton
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Good luck (non-sarcastic). However, probably somewhat of an uphill battle.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:55 AM   #6
Kevin Perry
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Hey MOD,

I agree fully with you. Remember that thread about looking into personal training I had up not to long ago? Originally I was going to work with a BJJ gym out here become Crossfit affiliated but my issue with them was all they cared about was the money. They tricked their clients into 6 month or year long contracts at roughly 100 dollars a month. A lot of people throw money out there for any program. I couldn't deal with that and moved away from that idea. I believe everyone should be able to train at little cost and move on with their lives with more knowledge.

If I am to ever become certified and open a gym or rather a center even if it's only for a few dedicated people my interest would solely be in helping people become healthier and find a new passion for fitness, health and longevity and encourage them to get the message out there and help others.

But I think I really lose my motivation to do it when so many people are only interested in one shop miracles. They want everything given to them and don't want to work for it themselves. I've offered my friends so many opportunities to help get them in shape and eat healthier and despite their complaints they show no effort. One person only wants to "buff" up their arms, the other gains weight eating all the junk there is believing he will look like Arnold, and the other thinks that doing 100 crunchs a day will help them drop 10 pounds.

I wonder what is the point in helping people who don't want to help themselves. Perhaps our lifestyle is best suited only for those who care which in my opinion right now, is very few.

If and when I do open my training facility.. I will only cater it to a slogan that is somewhere along the lines of:

"Only those who want it the most"
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:12 PM   #7
Derek Simonds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Perry View Post
"Only those who want it the most"
You should read the handouts Robb Wolf gives new clients.

http://robbwolf.com/?p=71

Read the shopping handout to the end.
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Last edited by Derek Simonds : 01-23-2008 at 12:14 PM. Reason: added the link to Robb's blog
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:14 PM   #8
Jared Buffie
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MOD - You mountain biking down there? - 40 up here...

I'll play devil's advocate here. I feel that 5K a year is NOTHING for a dedicated personal trainer. I sit every day with people in their 40s, 50s and 60's that have lost the single most precious thing in their life and would give ANYTHING - millions of dollars if they had it - to get it back: their health.

What is it worth to see your wife's arteries unclogged? To see the tumor in your husband's brain eradicated? No more arthritis in the knee/hip? Live long enough to play with their grandkids? PRICELESS! So considering that you are teaching people how to never end up there in the first place is just as priceless - especially if you are able to motivate and teach them how to do it long term.

Anyway, people need more than a few sets and a meal plan. You are not selling yourself or an exercise scheme - you are selling health and the ability to live a long, meaningful, healthy, active life. For most trainers I would agree with you, but knowing you personally I have to say that 5K is low, if anything (as long as you're not including hockey lessons.. that would be a rip-off). Grab a healthy helping of self-esteem and realize the change you are making in people's lives. If you don't believe me, head down to a nursing home and look around. Your job is quite simply to keep people out of there. Pick up the AJC and look at how many people are leaving their kids fatherless in their 50's and 40's. You are preventing that. What is that worth?

BTW... I've been where you are. You (please don't take this the wrong way) seem to have somewhat of a poverty mindset/money issues. There's nothing wrong with 6 figure salaries... or 7 or 8 figure salaries for that matter. You deserve it.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Buffie View Post
BTW... I've been where you are. You (please don't take this the wrong way) seem to have somewhat of a poverty mindset/money issues. There's nothing wrong with 6 figure salaries... or 7 or 8 figure salaries for that matter. You deserve it.
No worries. I actually have no problems with someone running a good business and making a crap load of money (including myself...as I have a plan in motion). Money is just paper..and if I have alot of it, then it won't change my mindset on how I treat people. Unfortunately I see too much focus on the money and not the reason for training people with the industry today. If I passed along the mailing flyers I got to regular people who were interested in getting a trainer...I bet they would think twice. What does that say about it?

Run a camp...charge $10-$15 a class...have 10 people show up...make $100-$150/hr. No issues with that! It's a fair price to people and you provide them with a good product that reaches anyone of any income.

Run a franchise training studio or personal training company...sell a couple a $15k year package up front (yes, I have seen the price list!)...hand it over to a trainer who doesn't know how to squat...that I have a problem with. (I will admit however there probably are SOME great trainers out there worth that money and get exceptional results for people...although I still don't see 1-on-1 training neccessary for a year! Train them to join in a group class or to do things on their own and then be a routine coach to monitor progress and program occassionaly)

As for health, I agree that there is no price one can put on that...because once you don't have it anymore...you will pay anything to get it back! I guess my vision is to help people knowing that diet and lifestyle are 95% of where they will get positive health results, exercise plays a small role but still vital. Sad though knowing all the answers are out there in books, dvds, free stuff on the internet....but people are just not listening or caring! Pisses me off knowing people are spending money on fad diet, diet pills, ab-machines, and other scams looking for the quick fix. But that is a whole 'nother monster....

So needless to say....I am trying to start a revolution of trainers who actually give a damn...put all those scam artists out of business...and yes, still make a great living in the process but doing it the honest way and really getting people results they need...as it is a war on obesity, and we are losing....

As for biking...actually No right now....we got snow the other day!...so mountain biking has been put on hold for a week or so...but I look forward to whooping some ass on the single speed!
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:35 AM   #10
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Right on MOD, right on! Similar to the story I relayed to you of a friend's wife being suckered into a 3 1-hour session per week, $15/session, 52 week personal training contract. $2300 for a rep counter. Luckily she got out of it.

As for ATL, I thought it was supposed to be warm there. I had a layover there on my way out to CA this past weekend and it was no warmer there than in Louisville. What gives bro? I'm taking the Hot-lanta moniker away!
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