Go Solo When Health-Club Management Is Jock-Blocking You

Posted on 31. Aug, 2009 by in Marketing Fitness


What’s up Super-Trainers – hope you’re enjoying your summer!  Not much more left of it, so get it in while it lasts.

I’m getting a little bit of R&R this week, so will take the opportunity to do some catching up with this blog …

You’re going to see some changes – well not really changes, but more of a return to our DUMP THE GYM roots.

I think I got ahead of myself with the totally new shift of the blog, because if you haven’t dumped the gym yet, that’s where it all starts, so we’ll put the focus back there for a bit.

That’s the subject where I’m still getting the most questions and positive feedback, so that’s what I’ll give you (look out for the return of the UNDERGROUND NEWSLETTER too).

On that subject, I got a very good question from a long time reader of the blog recently, Greg. His question was all about getting out of the gym.

Greg’s taken the lessons he’s learned here to heart – he started a web site, and tried to build his business outside of the gym.  As we all know, you can easily make three times as much in one hour of training outside of the heath-club, and on it’s worst day it’s still so much better to be on your own that there’s no comparison.

His problem was the gym managers quickly found out, and put a stop to it (damn that google!).  This reminds me of a story from earlier this year, where a certain major health club chain that I won’t mention (rhymes with Tallies) tried to use the content on Super-Trainer to bring a lawsuit on one of their trainers that dumped the gym, but I digress.

That brings up a very important question:

“How do you make the jump when you have your annoying gym management breathing down your throat, jock-blocking you, and you still need the income from the gym to take care of your personal expenses?”

What’s funny is me and Steve Hochman were having a conversation about this the other day. He’s the head of one of those big boot camp business models, and he was talking about how he built his first training business only through word of mouth. What’s funny is I built my training business also entirely without a web site, so it can definitely be done.   And in fact, most of the Top-Level Trainers I’ve known over the years, with stable rosters of high paying clients, did it without much help from the web.  So the truth is, you can start your training business without the web site – but how do you do it?

Here’s how I’ve done it and any trainer can do it, and it doesn’t involve mindless prospecting or giving out tons of free sessions. Find a gym that allows outside trainers – it’s simple as that. There are plenty of them – private gyms opened by owners that don’t know how to operate a training department, and instead allow outside trainers to come in and do the job.  These places are usually like taking candy from a baby, and here’s why:

In this day and age, the majority of trainers that train in these gyms are still amateurs. And just by the nature of this business, there’s only a very finite number of clients that any trainer can take on. What does that mean? That means that any private gym that allows outside trainers is in desperate shortage of enough trainers to handle all of their clients.

You could put me in any gym that allows outside trainers, and no matter how many they already have, I’ll always find a way to build a full roster of clients in just a couple of weeks, with just a little bit of hustle.

So that’s my answer to Greg and anyone else that wants to make the jump without a web site and without the problem of looking for clients, find a gym that allows outside trainers.  Spark up a good percentage with the OWNERS that pulls in at least 70% for you, and go ahead and make your escape.  If you’ve been doing it in a healthclub setting until now, with all of the B.S that goes in in there, doing it on your own, in a ripe environment with low competition, will be easy.

Hope that helps Greg – and I know you got on the TOP-LEVEL TRAINER PROGRAM in the final release earlier this month, so I have a feeling another success story will be coming through very soon!

And look for a return to our roots, and the freshest and most useful content in all of training back on this blog this week.  What do you think?  Leave your comments below:

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7 Comments

Hello my good friend! i have so missed you wonderful posts. Not having your weekly posts to read is like missing a weeks workouts. Ugh! Glad to hear your doing well, but never forget your friends and the foundation that launched your success..

Enough said, i agree that there are a ton of small private gyms looking for added income from Trainers. Many are dealing with negative cash flow, so it is a no brainer for good trainers to negotiate commission splits as low as 15%. I have a situation like this. Also give them a kickback ($) for any referrals they throw your way. Remember, $ talks and BS walks!

Anyway, kaiser keep the posts coming. Since you have cut way back on your posts, I feel as if I am walking around with 1 testicle!
1/2 ballsy now. Versus when you powered me through my business on a weekly basis. I felt great… Best, Rivak

Michael Duivis

31. Aug, 2009

Man Dumping the Gym is a beautiful thing, but doing it without without having your management finding out can be VERY hard.

Great post Kaiser – see you guys soon!

Dan Campos

01. Sep, 2009

Awesome post, Kaiser. I went through this very thing myself. Luckily, I was able to find a gym with a great split and I’ve also been able to find some high-end clientelle in downtown Philadelphia. Dumping the gym is a beautiful thing!

Jax

01. Sep, 2009

Hey Kaiser, whats up with the Super trainer forums?

Kaiser

02. Sep, 2009

Rivak – thanks for the input and encouragement – nope, will never forget the people that got me here. And good points on the percentage split – yes, 15% is ideal if you can get it! Ha! And you, let’s get you back that full pair of nuts –
Michael man, your story is legendary! You too Dan – you’re a definite STAR in this business and I’m glad I was able to play some kind of part in you making your escape and getting things started on your own. Jax, the forums are down while the blog is transitioning – they’ll be back up again very soon!

Greg

02. Sep, 2009

Almost miss this post Kaiser..Thanks buddy, that helps and will def research where I can set up shop on my own. Also working on a good client to maybe back me with my own place..We’ll see!
Thanks again!

Kaiser

03. Sep, 2009

Sounds good Greg – excellent – keep us posted man.

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