You don’t need to look like this to be great in this business – not even close.

If you’re an ambitious trainer looking to get more (income, growth, and freedom) out of your fitness business, and willing to do whatever it takes to get it, you’re going to love today’s article.

It’s about something you’ll need to keep in mind on the path to hitting your biggest, most ridiculous, and most personal goals.

It’s about something that can be one of the biggest internal blocks that ends up putting a glass ceiling on your income and the efficiency with which your business runs.

It’s a myth that the MAJORITY of the training industry tries to perpetuate, but that as a follower of this site, you should definitely know better about:

That the best trainers don’t necessarily make the most money.  And being in better shape than the next trainer doesn’t mean you’ll have a better fitness business or make more money either.

Just the fact you are in shape does not make you a good fitness business owner.  It’s not even close to being the deciding factor.

You need to have integrity for what you do – but JUST being in shape is not the decider.  And just because a trainer is in shape, they are not making more money than you.

So if you have felt hesitant to charge a lot because you feel you’re not in good enough shape, that you don’t want to open a studio, charge higher rates, or whatever it is, just because you’re not in good enough shape – get that ridiculous shit out of your head.

I remember I had a high level private client when I was in Manhattan – the head of advertising  sales for Disney in the U.S.  She could train with anyone, but she chose to train with the best (that was me).

Well when it came to swimming, she needed a coach.  And since I can’t swim, she had to go elsewhere for that training.  She hired a former Olympian who I learned charged half of what my rates were at the time.  On top of that, this woman worked for a gym, so her income for that session was probably only a small percentage of what she was charging.

That little fact gave me tons more confidence and knowledge that I was doing the right things in this business.  It eliminated my previous mental block that being a better athlete would somehow make me a better trainer.

But from talking to hundreds of my customers, I know I’m not the only one that has this mental block about being in shape.  A lot of you folks have got the same hang up.  So get over it.

Again, being in shape is a factor, is part of having integrity, and is in general just a good idea.  But do it for yourself.  Do it for your personal pride and self esteem, because nothing feels better than being in shape. But treat your business career differently.


Another case in point of the fact that athletic accomplishment does not lead to greater personal or business success can be seen from one of my “fallen” heroes, Bruce Jenner.

If you watch the God-awful but guilty pleasure-ific Kim Kardashian show, you’ll know the sad, botoxed, hen-pecked mess Bruce Jenner has turned into.

When I was a little Kid, about 5 or 6, my earliest memories of sports is idolizing Bruce and his accomplishments in the Olympics.  I also used to love watching his talk show, the Bruce Jenner show.  Here’s what Bruce used to look like, back in his celebrity pitch man days:

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And here’s Bruce in his prime:

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It was actually a dream of mine to be in the Olympics as a decathalete.  That never worked out, but thankfully I’ve still been able to make a great career out of fitness.

Well anyway, if you watch the show, you know the sad shape Bruce is in today.  He’s a henpecked house-husband who’s practically been castrated, seems out of touch, with the world, and seems to have no income or purpose these days.

(I actually have to kind of be careful with my celebrity commentary on this site.  I’ve knocked a few celebs on this site before, and have actually had them personally email me about it!  That’s another story.  Bruce, if you’re reading this I’m sorry but it’s nothing that I wouldn’t say to your face.)

Pretty sad. If it wasn’t for that show, I’d imagine that Bruce would be the head of a fortune 500 company or something like that.  The fact is we project untrue powers on people that are in shape.  We put them on pedestal.   We do the same thing to people that are rich or beautiful.  But part of growing up is realizing that no one deserves to be put on a pedestal.  No one except yourself.

In Bruce’s defense, most men in long term marriages end up a shell of their former selves, which is one of the reason why I plan on doing the Hugh Hefner thing for as long as I live.

And the bottom line is great athletes are just like the rest of us.

So what does determine fitness industry success?  Of the top of my head, here’s a short list:

– Experience in direct selling to fitness customers

– Understanding of what constitutes a great client experience

– Tireless quality control

– Knowing what needs to get done and doing it

– Balls

– Positioning

– Training location, environment, or situation

– Type of training business model

– Networking up and down the business

– Learning from those that have done it already

– Long term perspective

– Time management

– Energy and effort management

– Positive social circle

– Life habits conducive to getting work done

– Ability to bite head off of live chicken if necessary to get job done

– Balls

– No fear of failure

– No fear of rejection

– Ability to sell and persuade face to face

– Tireless networking

– Investing in coaching

– Knowing what needs to get done and fucking doing it

– Getting things done on time

– Getting things done according to budget

– Charging prices high enough to make a significant profit

– Justifying price by understanding what constitutes value to customers

– Knowing how to communicate and express value to customers


– Balls

– Ability to lead and manage others

– Working on yourself on a continuous basis

– Positive mental attitude and positive self regard

– Unnatural self-confidence

– Ability to immediately shrug off negativity or misfortune

– Choosing the right target market

– Creating a positive brand image

– Going hard

– Training knowledge

– What kind of shape you’re in

Again that was just a short list.  I’d put everything on that list above the last two factors.  But those two factors of course must be on the list.

Oh, and here is the sad state of Bruce’s life now:

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I hope that was dramatized for TV.  If not, I hope Bruce has the good sense to kill himself.

And to everyone else, hope this post helped you get focused.  Keep going hard and I’ll talk to you soon.