Hey there kiddies Jay Scott here – with my first bloggy blog post on Super Trainer. I love the site and Sam invited me over to share some thoughts with the loyal readers (yeah that’s you). Well, I have a golden nugget to share with you today. No, no, no, this is more than a nugget this is a freakin’ gold mine. This bad boy is powerful and it works fast – two things that aren’t often found together in this business.
We’d all like to increase our client retention – after all a client you’ve already acquired takes no marketing, no persuading, and no selling. They’re already sold! We’ve all heard the same principles – thank you notes, treating the client like family – being enthusiastic and truly caring about the clients’ results. These are all fantastic – and I hope you are going the extra mile and implementing all of these strategies. BUT today I’m sharing my biggest client retention breakthrough – and guess what folks – it ain’t any of those.
My biggest breakthrough came a few years ago – and since then my client retention has at least doubled – possibly even tripled. The moment I implemented this strategy my clients immediately had an easier time sticking to their nutrition plans (and indirectly their workout plans) – they had more fun, they were able to actually lead a normal life – and they still got fantastic results. Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
A few years ago I stopped listening to the propaganda proposed by most of the mainstream fitness crowd (I’d still consider myself a meat head by the way – just a meat head with smarts), and started digging in to real scientific research. Instead of spending my time on bodybuilding sites (again I’m a bodybuilder so I’m not talking trash) I began spending my extra time looking at studies on Medline and Google Scholar.
I began digging into the research and found out that much of the “rules” proposed by other trainers and self proclaimed fitness experts was just rehashed myth passed down from one gym rat to another. I knew that if I could find out what science had to say about it – I could get much closer to the truth than I ever could by listening to Bubba down at the local Y.
Here’s an example of a couple of studies that really convinced me I was being sold a bag of lies by the mainstream fitness media:
Thermogenesis in humans after varying meal time frequency
Wolfram G, Kirchgessner M, Miller HL, Hollomey S.
Meal frequency and energy balance.
Br J Nutr. 1997 Apr;77 Suppl 1:S57-70.
The list goes on and on…
– all coming back to the following 3 things:
After checking out these studies I decided I had better try this stuff out on myself before subjecting my clients to it – you know like the general said “I wouldn’t ask you boys to do anything I wouldn’t do myself” and all that.
So for my first experiment I slowly replaced a lot of my fats (I was doing low carb) with carbohydrate. My conclusion was that my weight loss remained the same – and I also began to feel more energetic.
Next I started adding a little junk to my diet – now don’t get me wrong the majority of my diet was still healthy – but if I wanted a burger now and then I had one. I just made sure the calories were accounted for in my daily calorie allowance (energy balance). My physique stayed the same – and I found out the diet was easier to adhere to with occasional “junk” food being permitted.
Finally I experimented with meal frequency – cutting it back from the normal “fitness freak” 6-8 times a day to 4 (I’m still eating 4x/day). I still got my necessary protein, I just lumped it into bigger meals. Guess what? No change in muscle mass, and I got to eat bigger meals.
This was an epiphany for me; but it was a complete overhaul for my business. I immediately stopped giving out “diet plans” and started giving people “nutrition rules” to live by. I told them the number of calories and the amount of protein to get on a daily basis – along with some healthy fats – and let them fill in the blanks with the foods they like.
They want fruit loops for breakfast with their protein shake? Go ahead. A burger now and then from McDonalds? Go for it. My business was changed forever – and guess what? Like I stated earlier my client retention doubled if not tripled. All of a sudden people had a diet that they could stick to – a diet that included foods they enjoyed. I was no longer “the guy that never lets me have tasty food”, I was “the guy who taught me how to eat my favorite foods and still lose weight.”
So you’re probably wondering what kind of results my clients get? They get fantastic results. Primo baby. In fact they get better results than they did when they were on the perfectly “clean” diet I prescribed a few years ago. The reason why? Because they can actually stick to the plan – they can go out and eat with their spouse – they can have a night out with friends. There is a big difference in having fitness in your life and having fitness become your life.
We all know that slow and steady wins the race; the ability to stick to a diet over the long haul is what delivers results. Well this is a diet that can be adhered to. There aren’t many peeps who can eat stuff that tastes like drywall and woodchips for any length of time (tuna in water and plain baked potatoes anyone?) – but when you tell a client they can have some treats now and then it’s a whole new ball game folks. Cutting calories is hard enough. There’s no need for unnecessary roughness!
Now I’m not saying a bowl of oatmeal is no better for you than fruity pebbles – the oats have more fiber, nutrients, less preservatives etc. The thing I want to pound home is that if the client eats 80% healthy and 20% tasty/junky stuff – that client will still get fantastic results – assuming their calories are in check. As a side note I still believe exercising individuals need more protein (around a gram per pound of body weight), no getting around that – so my clients have to fit that in.
I’m not asking you to change your outlook immediately – it took a long time for me to convert from the fitness propaganda we’ve been flooded with for years to actual science. But when I made the transition I never looked back. In fact I won best conditioned at the 2010 Tricky Jackson Classic last year – came in second place and qualified for NPC Nationals with these same principles (I ate Reese’s Puffs 4 days before the competition).
My suggestion is to start looking to science for your answers, not the fitness magazines or the folks at the gym. Look for authors who are science based – look at peer reviewed studies – and come to your own conclusions.
Trust me guys and gals this works. So go out there and do some research – and when you’re ready to make the leap to more money and more client retention, start looking at the science of nutrition. Give your clients something they can live with! Something backed by genuine scientific research! I can guarantee you your clients will be happier – and when your client is happy they will stick with you. That means less marketing and less worry – and I think that’s something we can all live with.
NPC National Level Bodybuilder
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