Being a huge superhero fan (and knowing that most of you are too, whether you admit it or not, right?) I really wanted to get this article out. Watching some old films and getting ready for some new blockbusters next summer made me think about the Super-Trainer universe.
1. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility (Spider-man) You have the ability to change people’s lives so it’s your responsibility to share that power. Let’s say Joe Bloggs has enquired about your personal training.
He’s overweight, has health problems, has no self-esteem and thinks of himself as a failure. He has specifically come to YOU and asked, ‘please help me solve my problems’. YOU are 99% likely to be the ONLY person who has the knowledge, expertise and passion to help him through this problem. No one else in his life will. His wife will say he’s fine as he is. His kids won’t care until it’s too late. Most of his friends won’t even know the guy is in pain because only YOU have taken the time to peel the onion.
So if YOU don’t help him out by giving him a little incentive and a push to come in and try your life- changing program (your program does get life changing results, right?) then you are actually a pretty f*cked up, nasty-ass person. Shame on you. Look, you never know how you and your coaching could impact and change this prospect’s life for the better. In 12 months’ time, is Joe prospect going to be thanking you and telling his friends about his brand new six-pack and new-found talent at picking up girls and having an amazing life?
Or will Joe prospect be lying in a hospital bed, 15 lbs heavier and in critical condition after suffering a heart attack, scared and crying that he’s going to die as a ‘failure’ because no-one could help him? Well, more than you realise it, that could be partly thanks to you. Think about that the next time you’re afraid of ‘bothering’ someone with a follow up call…
2. You don’t have to be super-human to be a super-hero
Batman has no superpowers and neither does Iron Man – but a few nifty tools and some intelligence to outthink your competition can go a long way. I’m not saying to blast them in the face with a battle-armoured metal suit, but you know what I mean. I’m thinking more along the lines of ‘7- Figure Emails’ or Optimize Press. Although metallic battle suits are cool.
3. Perception is Reality
Batman is just a man. But he makes his enemies think he is more than that by using tricks and strategies for Gotham City to think of him as someone not to be meddled with. If you’re just starting out and haven’t built your word of mouth brand, then think big, act big, and give the perception that you are ‘bigger’ than you are right now.
4. Even Superheroes Delegate
No doubt you’ve heard that you need to figure out your critical 5% tasks and outsource the other 95% of tasks. Not even superheroes can do it all alone. Everyone needs a day off once in a while. Ever heard of Robin? Superwoman? Batgirl? How about the X-Men? Point proven. When Superman started out he never had time to spend with Lois Lane.
She’d wanna go on a date and he’d have to fly to Australia to stop a train crashing or something (talk about a tough day at the office). So she started thinking he was lame. Wouldn’t have happened if he’d outsourced this stuff and listened to Frank Kern earlier to envision his perfect day.
5. Play to your own strengths and don’t take your fight to those who are stronger than you
Now, don’t get me wrong with this one. I’m not saying be a pussy and don’t push out of your comfort zone. What I am saying is this: If you are an expert at melting body fat off 40 year old women, then DON’T try to get your name into every local golf club claiming that you can reduce back pain and help all their players increase their drive 10 yards.
Sure, I’m betting that being the smart trainer you are, you COULD help them do those things. But what happens when a local CSCS-qualified trainer comes along and decides he wants that business? He’ll probably win out (you might KNOW more than him about golf fitness, but guess what? He’s probably a golf player himself and he will speak their language better than you). Then your credibility gets hurt, and you sulk away to go back to training your soccer moms.
Plus, if you had got the job with the golf clubs, you probably wouldn’t be passionate about it, it would become yet another tedious task you have to complete each week, and let’s be honest – I mean TOTALLY honest here – you only pursued it for the extra cash, didn’t you? We all know lots of golf clubs have some pretty expensive cars in the parking lot after all…
Oh, how does this tie into superheroes? Well, avid Batman comic book readers will recall the time that Batman decided to take on the mammoth villain Bane in a fist fight. Physical fitness and martial arts were qualities of both men, but for Bane, those things were also his ultimate speciality. What happened to Batman when he took the wrong fight…? I’ll let you Google it =)
6. Get a Mentor
Remember the Ninja Turtles? Yeah, they were cool. They were also pretty dumb, and acted like kids. They bummed around, got lazy and complacent eating pizza all day and cracking smart-ass jokes. So how on earth did they get any crime-fighting done?
Master Splinter, the big-rat dude kicked their asses and made them accountable. Here’s how I see things with a mentor – Don, Raph, Leo and Michealangelo had the fighting skills (the fitness and nutrition knowledge), the weapons (tools like gift cards and lead boxes) and the mindset (that they wanted to help their community).
What they didn’t have (and what most of us lack) was the accountability to put those things into action. Why do you think a client hires you as a trainer? For your program and information right? WRONG. All a client has to do is click on T-Nation.com and they’ll have more fitness and body- transformation knowledge that you could ever give them – for FREE. If they want a program all they need to do is pick up Men’s Health magazine for $5 each month. If they really wanted you to tell them what to eat, they’d probably realise that they shouldn’t be going to McDonalds right?
99% of the time a client or bootcamp member hires you for ONE thing – accountability. They already know what you’re going to tell them (exercise hard and eat more vegetables, right?) But they ain’t paying you money for that. They are paying for the RESULT – the new body they believe they’ll get by having YOU NOT LET THEM FAIL by being on their backs and putting all the info they already know into a step-by-step, proven process.
Same goes for business mentors. You could read 5 pages of Chris McCombs free blog, put what you read into action and make $10, 000 in a month if you wanted to. You could do what Big Chris says and talk to 20 potential Human Billboards for a month and create a 6-figure business in 3 months if you wanted. But you won’t do it, will you. Because no one is keeping you accountable.
You have the skills, you have all the info, but all you need is that person who will NOT LET YOU FAIL. Get a mentor and see what happens with all that info you’ve got lying around in your brain doing nothing.
7. Do it for the Purpose, not for the Money
Going back to chasing a market you aren’t passionate about, just to make a few extra bucks. It’s not worth it in the long term. It’s really not. Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) is a billionaire philanthropist. He doesn’t have to go out at night beating up criminals and risking his life. It’s not like he’s getting a 6- figure income from doing it or anything. Same with Superman, or any superhero for that matter.
They do it for the passion and because they know that only they have that responsibility. The people of Gotham need Batman, especially with those loons at the council running that asylum the way they do. The people need the superheroes just like people in your town or city need YOU. They NEED you to coach them, to motivate them, to inspire them, and to guide them to becoming the person they really want to be. Take the time to get 100 local people in the best shape of their lives because you are passionate about doing it and trust me, the money will find YOU.
8. Use Your Time Wisely
Time is the most valuable currency you have (The other two are money and energy). Time is the most important because money and energy you can always get back. Time, not so much. When Tony Stark was imprisoned in the middle-east during the first Iron Man film, there wasn’t much he could do. But he didn’t sit there twiddling his thumbs.
Every day for months he secretly started making his super-armour suit , which he eventually used to blast his way out, kill all the nasty guards and fly home (he also thought out a business plan to ‘privatize world peace’ – talk about thinking BIG!). I remember having to drive 30 minutes each way to the first gym I worked at. In that 30 minutes I would listen to audio interviews and podcasts on either fitness, marketing or self-development ALL THE TIME. That was an hour a day. During my work shift, whenever I had an hour free I would pull out some books I had ordered and continued studying them.
This was in addition to the one hour of daily study I’d already committed to at home, and my studies at college and university. For at least 3 years straight I was studying fitness and business for up to 4 hours every single day. The result was that at 22 I knew more about fat loss programming and how to get clients than my gym owner boss had learned in his 25 years in the industry.
9. Making money is Fast, Fabricating Your Idea takes Longer
Sure, it is now possible to start up a fitness business or bootcamp and start earning real good money, real soon. But to build your avid base of loyal fans, gain the total TOMA in your area, and really build a credible, solid and trusted authority brand in your area will take a little longer. Remember that you are in business because of the ‘Big Idea’ you once had. The purpose to drive your business. Maybe it was to be the driving force behind lowering obesity rates in your region or country. Maybe you want to be on the cover of Fortune 500 magazine.
Whatever that big idea is, that will take time to achieve, even if you start making money quick in the short term.
Batman had a Big Idea after his parents were murdered. He didn’t become Batman just to avenge his parents though, he thought bigger than that. He realised he couldn’t save his parents, but instead he would make Gotham a safe city so NO ONE would suffer like Mr and Mrs Wayne had to. That was his big idea, and why he then spent the next 10 years training physically and mentally to become batman. He also knew that people would remember his ‘brand’ – the fear of bats. Just like Spiderman, it didn’t happen overnight.
Peter Parker became a crime fighter as soon as he found out he had powers. But he got the shit kicked out of him over and over again and kept coming back stronger to become a superhero. So get started, take action, now, but realise that the ultimate idea won’t happen over night.
10. As a Person You Can be Defeated, but as an Idea, You Can Become a Legend
What are you doing to become more than just a ‘man’ or ‘woman’ trainer? How are you going to become a LEGEND to not just your clients, but your community, perhaps even your country?
A ‘trainer’ may run some sessions, turn up, go home and check his bank account. YOU on the other hand are going to become a legend by giving your clients and your community your AMAZING HIGH ENERGY, uplifting them, giving back to charities, CARING about them, and making THEM feel like the superheroes.
And therein is the ultimate moral of this post – that we should treat others how we expect to be treated.
You clicked on this post because you wanted to discover how to become a superhero. Well, treat your clients like they’re the superheroes, and they’ll treat you that way in return =)
Bodyshape Fitness, UK
One of the most CREATIVE and INFORMATIVE trainer blog posts I have ever read!…and I read alot;-)
Great job Justin!
Awesome job, great way of putting things into perspective!
Hey Justin, Great post. This so “in your face” the way you tied all these superheros in with being a top trainer and person for that matter.
If no one read this post except for this one line…
[“Treat your clients like they’re the superheroes, and they’ll treat you that way in return,”]
…the industry and the world would be a better place.
This should be required reading for all trainers. Excellent job.
Thanks for the feedback guys.
Obviously these are nuggest of gold that have been touted many times before – just thought a new spin would make them cool to read again ;-P