It’s a little weird talking about life after training. That’s cuz I’m still very much in the midst of it, making great money at it and loving every minute. But for me and I’ve got to say for everyone else, Personal Training is part of a growth process. You could say Super-Trainer’s been part of my growth process, exposing me to new ideas in training and I hope it’s giving you the same thing too.
But once you’ve established yourself as a trainer and have a high-level training practice that’s pumping on all cylinders, that’s still not the end. Like I talk about in The Whistleblower Report it’s just the beginning. You’ll now be in a really unique position to move on to even greater things in the training industry. What those greater things are is up to you … that’s what I call THE JUMP.
To talk about this subject I wanted to bring on a trainer who’s made that JUMP in multiple areas: Marc Lebert. Marc’s best known as the inventor of the Lebert Equalizer, but that’s just one of the fitness projects he’s involved in. With all the things Marc’s got going on, you’d have to call him the da Vinci of Personal Training!
- Part Owner of a gym
- Group Training Program Instructor
- Runs a Personal Training Business
- Inventor of the hugely popular Lebert Equalizer
- Certified NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Coach
And these are just some of the projects Marc’s involved with. Each of the areas could be considered a big step for a trainer to leverage their time, reach more people, and make more money. But Marc chose to explore them all, and it’s clear that his growth in this industry is just beginning. I wanted to get him on the blog to talk about his projects and open all of our eyes to what you can do in the Fitness and Training Industries.
Here’s the transcript of our recent conversation:
Hey Marc – normally I ask the traditional range of questions, you know, “how did you get started in this biz and all of that”; but I’ve got to ask you about the Equalizer. It appears to be a really basic piece of equipment, but when you think about it, it’s absolutely brilliant! Tell me about it –
Hi Kaiser, thanks for the opportunity to share some of my experiences with you and your readers. The Equalizer was born out of a need to do some portable and effective pulling exercises. I was doing a lot of home training at the time and had clients who had limited equipment and a pull-up bar between the door frame was just not a good option so I thought how could I get these clients to perform many simple compound strength training exercises, which we know are the key to building muscle and increasing metabolism, with a small footprint. Lastly I wanted clients to be able to adjust their body placement easily to regress or progress the difficulty of each exercises depending on their needs. From there I got a great partner, raised capital, filed patents and had a product made for the market. From there it is a lot of promotion though trade shows, ads and great venues like this.
Ok cool – the feedback looks like it’s been amazing on that thing – I even saw Kim Kardashian using it, and I don’t think you can get a better endorsement than that! What kind of response have you been getting?
The response has been outstanding. We have trainers, fitness clubs, BootCamps and even some pro sports teams implementing the Equalizer into their training.
The main thing I wanted to talk to you about was making THE JUMP in training – starting in fitness, working with clients, and then branching into other areas. I think this is essential, to continually throw new challenges at yourself and keep growing in the profession. It’s the answer to burnout which is what a lot of people point to as a problem in Personal Training. And there are an infinite number of ways to make this jump, which is obvious from looking at you. How has your career progressed and grown over the years to where it is now?
I think you are absolutely right. It is important to get out there and put yourself on the line whether it’s a public speaking engagement and you are not comfortable speaking in public or practicing a new skill like Yoga. Sometimes a change is better than a rest and if you are not setting and moving towards your goals what is that telling your clients?
I was always into sports but was a late bloomer. You know the skinny guy who gets sand kicked in his face so when I went to College I decided that I was going to gain muscle in hopes to get girls! A pretty basic and honest assessment of my motivation at the time. I ate, slept and breathed working out. I read everything I could about strength training and spent loads of time in the trenches. I learned from those wiser than me. Back then there were no personal trainers, just some experienced guys who taught me things like, you can’t bench press hard everyday if you want your chest to grow. You need days off. After school I had two job offers the first day, one for a security job and the other at a gym. Guess which one I took? From there I got into Taekwondo and boxing and today I love doing all of them.
Now the one thing that I find the most interesting in your credentials is that you’re a Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner. That’s totally brilliant, because so much of what we have to do as trainers is to change the self-image and limiting beliefs of our clients at a core level, and you cut to the chase and got right to the heart of that. When did you decide to learn NLP and how do you use it in your training practice?
I have heard it said that “when the student is ready the teacher will appear” and that is what happened to me. I heard about a NLP course about 9 years ago and took it because I though it would make me a better trainer. What I did not realize was how it would stretch me personally and that I had a lot of work to do first. It was by far the best money I have ever spent. As a matter of fact I was out for lunch with my instructor today. We are organizing a course for trainers for November. I did receive my BA in Psychology in University but found the NLP instruction to be more hands on and practical. What NLP does is help people understand how the mind works (we were never given an owners manual) and how to achieve specific results. I encourage trainers to look into it because for the most part clients don’t care what a “brachial radialis” is. They just want to reach their goals. NLP gives you some valuable tools to help them do just that.
It seems most of your training and group work deals with Martial Arts and Boxing, which appear to be major passions of yours as well. Now teaching and working in an area that you’re already deeply passionate about on the surface looks almost unfair, but that’s one of the beauties of this profession. Can you describe the synergy between what you do for yourself and with your clients?
Great question! Yes it does seem almost unfair that I get giddy and excited every Monday night about teaching boxing! I enjoy my class so much that I think it’s contagious. The students are awesome, we get some tunes pumping and I keep it real. By that I mean I tell people to have fun with it because too serious and muscles will tighten up – boxing requires you to focused be also to stay loose in order to be fast – and I tell them what my coach always said to me and it’s so simple; “pay now or pay later”. Students come because they want to get into great shape so I have to tell them the truth that the workout is going to be tough, it’s going to hurt and it is going to take an extremely hard effort to get the results they’re after. Better that they know this now so they don’t ask me 2 years from now why they aren’t in shape. I tell them every boxing class what it’s going to take and I show them with my effort level what it takes.
Yeah that sounds real good – what you’ve done is basically just taken a mentor role, which is something I always encourage trainers to do. And your group classes are just a small part of the things you’re into. When it comes to making the JUMP, I don’t think there’s anyone better to talk to than you because you’ve done it all: group training, a unique focused specialty (NLP), inventing, and I didn’t even mention health-club ownership. Of all of these hats, which one do you like wearing the most?
Well the one you didn’t mention is that I’m married and have a son so I will say that one first. My boy is my joy and my wife is my life. Without her support I could not have worn and of those other hats! As far as making the jump goes, maybe it’s not for everyone so it’s important to assess where your priorities are. For some it is a stable income and family time. For me it’s creating and I was lucky enough to have the support. If you do think it’s in you to start a new venture then I think you should not wait for the right time. Like they say with having kids, that time never comes. Just have a very clear goal of what you want to achieve as an end result and when you do you will start to notice all the opportunities around you that you never noticed before to help you get there. In other words, don’t worry about the means – you will easily find the resources once the goal is clear enough.
I totally agree – that’s something I talk about a lot too – that you’ve just got to take action, listen to the feedback you get and learn along the way, and the rest will take care of itself. But with all of these things you’re into, you must have a crazy schedule, still actively training and coaching, owning a gym, and promoting a major product – how do you find time for it all? What’s your schedule like? You must have people helping you, right?
Yes I have help! I have business partners in both ventures and my wife and I have hired an assistant – my wife’s a photographer. I have a trainer to work with some of my home clients but I still teach a few classes every week because I love getting together with the group for a good sweat and sometimes a beer after!
Your next move in fitness is something you’ve always got to have an awareness of, even if you’re just starting out.master plan, so to speak. Although that plan may evolve, you’ve always got to be working toward something new and challenging. When creating your specialty, the client groups you work with, the new skills and information you learn, and the other professionals you interact with, you’ve always kind of got to keep in mind of how it plays into your
The first challenge, if you haven’t got it handled already, is setting up your top-flight training practice. This is where you’re going to get the mastery in fitness you need before you do anything else. This is a mistake many would-be fitness entrepreneurs make: if you haven’t even learned to charge high rates for your fitness services to a small group of people, and haven’t explored your own fitness specialty fully, how the hell do you expect to share it with a wide audience and make any money at it?!? Becoming a Top-Level Trainer first brings you some money to work with, some free time, and total immersion in the career of Personal Training and the Fitness Industry. This is the position you need to be in first in order to move on to something greater.
This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with Personal Training. Quite the opposite. Just like a lot of the trainers we’ve met on Super-Trainer, that “something else” can very well be right here in Personal Training, just on a different level. Whether that’s Jessica Storm and her training business, Billy Polson and his gym exclusively for trainers, or Steve Cotter, becoming a certifier of new, specialized trainers. The list of fitness entrepreneurs that started as Personal Trainers, and are still involved in hands-on training of some kind as they moved on to great things in the industry is just too big to get into. Just know that this is an excellent starting point.
Making the JUMP isn’t something we talk about a lot on here, since I created Super-Trainer to talk more about independent Personal Training, something that’s been poorly understood in the industry. Someone’s got to stand up for the positive side of it from people that understand it and know how to do it right – that’s a side that’s getting totally ignored. But I will look to bring you more ideas through trainer profiles, and we’ll talk about it more freely in THE UNDERGROUND NEWSLETTER so pay attention to that too.
And start thinking about your next move in the fitness industry – or if you’re like Marc Lebert, you can get working on your next five moves at once!
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Fantastic post! It’s great to read about someone who’s accomplished so much and the mindset it took to do it. You’re so right about having a master plan and always thinking about what comes next. I love personal training, but I don’t want to be training clients when I’m 80! I’m always assessing what I enjoy doing and where my experience and strengths lie in order to look into branching out into other areas, and this post really helped reinforce that. I recently bought the Lebert Equalizer, and it’s great-my clients love/hate it, which means they’re getting a killer workout!
While I’m still working for a personal training company, I am trying to find ways to grow–like doing some public speaking for members of the gym, working with local high school athletic teams, and working on the website.
It seems like this is one thing a lot of successful people have in common–always working on different projects and getting excited about it along the way.
Yeah Doug M. I know what you mean – when I’m 80 you’ll probably see me selling juicers like Jack Lallane at 3 in the morning!
But this is the route I think most established trainers take – at least from what I see out there. There are just so many different ways to grow in this industry, and Marc’s an example of that.
And Doug G., you’re right, but most of these successful people have a lot of help with their different projects, which is what Marc indicated in the end. If you’re on your own, make sure you don’t try to do more than two major things at once (your business and school are an example). A lot of people have wasted a lot of time trying to do too many things at once. Consistent action and determination on just a small number of things is really what you’ll see behind every major success story out there.
great story, I am as well always searching for revenue streams, currently have massage rental, office rental, and trainer revenue. never hurts to explore the opportunities.
This was a really cool post! Where I am, we don’t have any role-models like Marc and Kaiser so it’s easy to get bogged down sometimes – thanx for the motivation! That idea of doing what you love sounds good – I love martial arts too and I’m going to make that my specialty.
I just reread that last part of the post and it makes sense – The first thing you need is a successful practice, because then you have money to work with for other projects. I’ll have to re-read this post once a week to keep me focused on the MASTER PLAN, like he said.