CRIME PAYS!!! Looking At the “HUSTLE” of Personal Training – The gangster mind-set it takes to succeed in fitness …

Posted on 25. Jan, 2009 by in Fitness Marketing Systems, Personal Trainer Marketing, Personal Trainer Sales Systems

the-world-is-yoursThis blog is all about showing you the potential in Personal Training. The fact is not everyone’s slaving at a big-box health-club! There are some trainers that aren’t working in the typical gym setting – they’re doing it on their own, earning tremendous incomes and living outstanding lifestyles.

But we’re going to shift gears for a minute and talk about a different career track: organized crime!

Have you ever noticed how organized crime is glorified in entertainment and the media?

Stop and think about some of the most popular movies of all time: Scarface, Pulp Fiction, The Departed, Ocean’s 11. The list could go on and on.

Have you ever asked yourself why?

Why was Al Capone treated like a celebrity by the media during his time? The same with John Gotti?

Why do we root for Tony Montana in Scarface? Why is he considered the “hero”?

Why is Barack Obama’s favorite movie The Godfather?

Why was The Sopranos one of the most popular television shows of all time?

It’s because on a certain level we all crave the freedom and excitement of the criminal lifestyle. It appears to be outside of the typical b.s. of normal life.

There appears to be money, sex, and excitement to it. The promise of something for nothing –

It’s based on balls and respect, dominance, social savvy and the promise of interacting with other high-level people.

No kissing ass –

No taking orders –

No doing what you don’t want to do –

the-criminal-lifeIs this the reality? Haha – not quite! The Sopranos was the first show to go into how dysfunctional and un-glamorous it can be. And I can tell you from first-hand experience growing up on the streets of New York City that not everyone makes it out squeaky clean – there are many casualties, one way or another.

But despite all of this, the public’s taste in entertainment hasn’t changed – they still want the escape and crave the freedom that makes the criminal life so appealing.

When it comes to real life criminal activity it’s a lie –but when it comes to Personal Training, it isn’t.

I’ve always been amazed myself by the parallels – yes, I’m being serious. There’s a definite “hustle” to Personal Training. It’s based on your drive, presentation, connections, and a hundred other little things that fall outside of the framework of “work as usual”.

Personal Training has all the same parrallels to it as a free-wheeling criminal lifestyle – of course without the guns, violence, and jail time – a big plus!

Whether you’re Tony Montana or a Top-Level-Trainer, it requires:

  • Courage – You need courage when you decide to dump the gym in the first place. After that, the constant challenge of running your own practice requires a constant stream of inventiveness – because whether you get paid or not is all up to you!
  • Respect – You learn about giving and getting respect – otherwise, clients and others will walk all over you. And you realize that nobody values your time, energy, lifestyle, and income more than you, so you’re forced to quickly learn to respect yourself.
  • Networking – You learn to network with other gym owners, health professionals, potential high-end clients, other business owners, etc. It’s almost your responsibility to show up at the hottest social gatherings in order to show your clients how it’s done!
  • Lifestyle – The characters in these gangster movies wouldn’t be so appealing if they didn’t have that extra lifestyle element going for them. As a Top-Level-Trainer, you’re living a lifestyle that a lot of other people can only dream of – doing what you’re passionate about, getting paid for it, and having plenty of free time to pursue other interests.

gangster-magazineWith Al Capone, his career allowed him to have influence over others, dress in the finest clothing, dine at the best restaurants, and attract plenty of attention from women. You could say it was built into his job description.

I can’t think of any legal career that has the same benefits except for Personal Training. Maybe owning a nightclub, but that has huge barriers to entry. With Personal Training there are no barriers to entry – you just need a certification and that’s it.

Of course it’s not that easy – just like hustling, Personal Training requires a lot of street smarts. In my case, I started out doing Personal Training by the book and experienced a lot of frustration for years. It’s only when I began looking for inside information from other trainer that had the lifestyle and money I wanted that I started to learn how you can make this amazing job work for you. A career that has a high hourly income, only needs a few clients to be successful, and relies largely on your personality and attitude should be nothing less than rewarding. If it’s not, it’s time to switch up your game plan.

Have you ever thought about Personal Training like that? Once you do it’s an amazing feeling. Training takes on an entirely new dimension, with more fun and excitement to it. And once you adopt this attitude, you’ll have the mind-set you need to succeed as an independent trainer. You make your own world and your success is all on you.

Yup, I said it – you’ll be a much better trainer once you get a little bit of that hustler in you!


The blog is just the beginning!
For the real-talk no one’s saying on the web, read :

Sign-up below (your email address WILL NOT be shared):

Your Full Name:
Your Primary Email:




26. Jan, 2009

I’m glad somebody had the balls to use the “H” word. It doesn’ always have to have a bad meaning and in our cases is a must. More Hustle= More $$$$$$
Best profession in the world!!

Doug Groce

26. Jan, 2009

Right on man, makes a lot of sense. I’m really drawn to the independent aspect of this business and the potential to grow yourself in your career and as a person at the same time. Like I’ve heard you say before, it seems like a game worth playing.


26. Jan, 2009

Yeah there are times when I’m moving around, doing my job, collecting money, and just living my life that I get the feeling this can’t be legal!!! I’m sure all trainers feel this, especially since most of our clients are completely overworked businesspeople –

When you’re a kid you think there’s just work or crime, but thankfully there’s a third option!

Hello Kaiser,
This blog is really and eye opener and ego booster. I never really sit back and view my career as being glamorous or amazing. Yes, being a hustler is a must know how in this industry. The power of persuasion is an innate gift which you either have or don’t have. This is what makes or breaks many personal trainers . I believe the power of persuasion comes as knowledge and experiences grows. This blog caught me at the opportune moment as I have just drug my ass in off the streets after a 16 hour 12 client work day. Feeling like mush and not feeling very glamorous at all. Kaiser your blog continually hits me like mega hit of crack! I appreciate the rush…


27. Jan, 2009

Hey Gang!!
Another great kaiser post!!!

Let me piggy back on this
The fact is, courage has been a part of us from birth. Since every one of us was a child at one point in our lives, courage is still within us, but perhaps hidden by the overgrowth, weeds, and bushes of doubt. There are a number of exceptionally powerful ways in which you can learn how to reach your goals and harness the courage to do so. When these methods are consistently applied to your life, you will experience a positive and dramatic change, unleashing the power to control your own destiny! To put the situation in layman’s terms, people unintentionally and unconsciously pass along their fears to us. As a result, we wind up trying to reach our goals less and less. When we try less often out of the fear that others have programmed into us, our minds begin to believe that we have no courage or our decisions to forgo the endeavor is the best choice. Our minds start to believe that we have no abilities at all, our abilities are inadequate, or failure is inevitable. The more our minds begin to believe in this way, the more the beliefs become reality for us. As a trainer for 24 years I have learned to leave my comfort zone. I do not dwell on ‘some day I will be rich” Some day Ill !! That day never comes! We are all wired to b e (lie) ve that its just impossible. As Kaiser has said before..” Possibilities are around every corner…behind every door. Trainers need to build the doors they knock on. Hey and read this gang OPPORTUNITYNOWHERE
Dave Parise
Just another trainer who writes his own tickets!!!

Hey Parise,

From one former CT guy to another, RIGHT ON! Great philosophy and words of wisdom. I especially like the OPPORTUNITYNOWHERE cryptic.
How creative and earth shattering of a moment I had reading it.

Rivak Hoffman
Just another trainer who appreciates wisdom.
from his peers!


28. Jan, 2009

Nice back an forth here – yeah Dave’s a guy we can all learn from – he’s got a keen eye on his own personal value and doesn’t compromise it – yeah Rivak, sounds like you allowed the job to kind of take over your life which can happen to any good trainer, or anyone good at what they do period – but I’m glad the blog is getting you re-focused and I’ve noticed you subtly making changes in your approach because of it – keep it up man til you find the perfect mix –


28. Jan, 2009

Wow…are you guys talking about me:) :)
Thanks Chronicles of Rivak !!
You can thank Kaiser for starting this exciting, informative, indusrty shattering blog! I have always said ” it’s not who you are that holds you back…it’s who you think your not” Back to you Rivak (CT GUY)

Dave Parise


28. Jan, 2009

I LOVE THIS FRICKIN BLOG!!!! Thanks Dave for your amazing words of wisdom and everybody else for contributing.

bill moore

28. Jan, 2009

yes, its easy to get hung up in the “grind” as I call it. A busy client load is a privledge, I tend to forget that !!! what we do is very cool, but certainly NOT glamorous all the time.


29. Jan, 2009

Being an independent trainer is a hustle for sure, but it’s worth the hustle! Like Tony Montana, Capone, Tony Soprano and Nino Brown in New Jack City (Kaiser-you forgot this one!)-you really have to get out there and network, stay in touch with contacts, keep a tight circle of friends/professionals whom you can count on for anything. Yes, it’s a hustle! There is no question. By not working at a big box gym, we don’t have access to new clients daily being fed to us by the gym. But the flip side of that coin is much better. Being independent, we don’t have to split big fees w/the gym, don’t have to work for minimum wage during floor hours time, and don’t have to clean equipment!


15. Feb, 2009

Seriously why work at a box gym after seeing the potential of being an independent trainer!? Hell Yea, I say have the lifestyle of a mob boss minus the guns, paranoia and possible jail time! Great post


22. Mar, 2010

great article.

In a way, the average gym trainer can be compared to a young John Gotti struggling to earn a living. The gym owner is Paul Castellano feeding you mere scraps from the huge profit (and probably hates your guts). You decide to take control for yourself and the sky is the limit!

Don’t worry I’m not saying to plan ‘a hit’ on the gym owner.


Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.