Friday, January 25, 2013

Personal reflections on music and training.


So yesterday I wrote a little blog entry about my Referral System for Personal Training which is a big part of my business plan this year.

It got me thinking... I've always been motivated by wanting to actually achieve something, rather than just "for fun". For better or worse. Sometimes I wonder if that's actually a good and helpful thing or not.

For example when I was playing music, it was always about getting ready for a recording or a gig and I would usually expect things to progress steadily and I'd want to get to that goal within a reasonable time. A lot of people are happy just to turn up every week, sound like shit, not really get any better than last week but eventually over a period of a few years they eventually start to get half decent.

I should say... that's fine when you're a beginner. You just want to "jam" and it helps you to learn to play your instrument, learn to listen and play with other people, and so on. But once you've been playing for a while... hell, just because you've never played with a particular person before doesn't mean that you should sound like beginners again.

So, I'd only work with people who were serious about actually trying to get somewhere. People who'd show up to rehearsal on time, having practised their parts during the week... and so on.

I just realised there's a parallel with what I try to do with my PT business. It's not for everyone, either.

It's really not for the people who just have a spare Tuesday night and think it might be fun to hit the gym for a workout. What I'm passionate about is working with people who are serious about making steady progress towards a very specific result. And if there's a deadline like a wedding or some other important life event that we need to achieve that result by? All the better.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Personal Training In Brunswick is now more affordable than ever.

I gotta tell you all about my new "Social Network Special", which is the name I've given to my referral system. Since it's a new year I wanted a new business plan for my business as a Weight Loss Specialist Personal Trainer In Brunswick and this is a part of what I've come up with.

First I should say... the most important thing is to have a Results System. That's the part that's about training and coaching people... a system that will actually produce the physical changes that the client wants or needs to achieve. Otherwise... what are you offering really? If you're not in the business of delivering physical results, what you're really running is more like an entertainment program for adults.

With that being said though... entertainment is what a lot of people want. Something to fill an empty night on their schedule. So the question I asked myself was... how do I make a successful business catering to just the people who actually want results?

So to attract more of the sort of clients, keep things affordable, and actually still make a decent living with a reasonable amount of hours per week... this isn't everything, but here's what I came up with in the form of my referral system.

Wait, I'll tell you the back story first.

I actually stole the idea from one of those stupid "miracle weight loss" products that keep following me on twitter... I guess they follow me because I'm in the weight loss business and they figure I might be the sort of guy who'll start pushing their products if I see that I can make an easy buck from it. Well, they'd be wrong about that. Everyone knows (or they should) by now, my passion is in helping people lose weight / get into shape through realistic healthy methods... not in pushing a bunch of easy answers.

So I was thinking... these are horrible unscrupulous people making false promises, pushing unhealthy methods and damaging products, but they do know how to sell stuff. How do they do it? So I looked into how they do it, and then stole the idea. Except I'm using it to actually help people, not to exploit them.

Ironic, no?

So here's how it works.

Actually let's do this in point form, because I like point form lately.

  • A client (let's say YOU for example) signs up and starts training.
  • Within a few weeks or maybe a month, people start asking "why do you look so awesome now? you seem all happy and stuff as well".
  • So you tell them, "oh, this is only the beginning. I'm training with Dave now and he's given me this whole program... wait till you see me in another few months".
  • Then when your friend decides to start training too, you can tell them "mention my name and you'll get 20% off".
  • Pretty sweet right? What's more, when your friend starts training, you get 20% off as well.
  • But that's not all, it gets even better. If 3 of your friends all sign up for training, they all save 20%, and you save a crazy 70% off the full price.
  • Even if you refer one friend and they refer three, you both get 70% off and everyone else gets 20% off.
  • It's not about the money though... regardless of price, any product or service is only good value if it actually does what it's supposed to do. My methods get results and I insist upon everyone achieving their goal weight and body type on schedule.
Basically a pyramid scheme, right? Except for once it's NOT dodgy.

So there you have it! This is now out of the planning stages and officially up and running, as listed on my official website for Special Offers On Personal Training In Brunswick.

I have a few listings about my Personal Training & Weight Loss In Brunswick, so check them all out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Are you sure that exercise and dieting is making your healthier?

Something I have been thinking about a lot over the past few days is the importance of training with a focus on good health. It seems obvious, right? We eat right and work out because we want to stay healthy.

That might not really be the case though. I mean... you can't imagine many people NOT wanting to be healthy, or actually wanting to be unhealthy (no matter how much their behaviour / lifestyle would suggest it), but I'm saying this is more of an intellectual, logical reason rather than an emotional one. I think we are usually more motivated by emotion than logic, and the motivation to work out is usually to do with wanting to feel better about yourself. 

There's a bit of a politically correct notion around at the moment that we should all just feel better about ourselves automatically because we're nice people whether we're actually putting some effort into life or not. It's a nice thought and hard to argue with, but really... let's be real here; human beings did not become the dominant intelligent species by NOT applying themselves. We feel better about ourselves when we know we're not neglecting our health, are looking our best, and are taking steps in the direction we want our lives to go in.

So, whatever. Health may not be your primary motivator and that is fine as far as I'm concerned. But this next part is important. If you are training for aesthetics (aka "a hot body") and / or happiness, you are not likely to achieve either of these goals with an approach that is detrimental to your health. Sporting performance, however, is a different matter entirely.

Something I have talked about recently is that there is a Basic Level Of Human Fitness which relates to just being able to function in a natural environment, and then there is sports fitness. Particularly when we are talking about high intensity activities or endurance sports, we are applying a level of stress to our bodies that is beyond what would be expected under normal, natural conditions. 

Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Well, it depends. 

As I keep saying, our bodies are designed for survival and are very good at adapting. Therefore, with an appropriate amount of an appropriate type of exercise we will get stronger, and healthier. Assuming of course, that we are providing enough resources (that means nutrients, which means food) to allow the body to make this adaptation.

Is that what most people do though? Is that the message that is put out by the diet and weight loss industries, or the majority of the fitness industry? 

Nope. What most people are encouraged to do is "eat less, burn more".... this might be reasonable advice for people with a sedentary lifestyle and gluttonous junk food eating habits, but it DOES NOT APPLY to people who are actually exercising. 

The result of this message is that people are influenced towards activities that they believe "burn more calories", rather than those that will actually produce the desired physical results. Usually this means excessive amounts of high intensity cardio (perhaps in those fast paced, dance based group fitness programs), and / or excessive amounts of endurance training. I just got distracted because a commercial just came on the TV for a product to help "burn more calories while exercising". Now, why on Earth would that be a good thing?

More exercise on less fuel only means that you are putting your body through a level of stress that is not designed to endure, without giving it the opportunity to adapt and become stronger. Even if you are losing weight, even if your performance is still improving... you are not getting healthier, you are running yourself into the ground. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How the diet industry exploits vulnerable people.

I really should say "diet scam artists" rather than "diet industry" because I don't like to tar the genuine people people with the same brush as the horrible ones.

Over the past month or so I seem to have made a bit of a name for myself by calling out certain people and products for the dangerous and unhealthy methods they are pushing, or for the offensive and unethical business and marketing strategies they use.

I was thinking about it, and it kind of makes sense. I had a career in Security for 9 or 10 years, and most of that I would describe as "standing my ground against horrible people" and "looking out for vulnerable people". It makes sense that I've found myself doing more or less the same thing in terms of trying to stop horrible people from exploiting vulnerable people with harmful messages and dangerous products related to diet and weight loss.

So far I've been calling out the worst people in the world as far as the world of (what is supposed to be) health and fitness is concerned, in the order that they've come to my attention.

First up, literally the worst thing imaginable. I called out Dr Charles Livingston and asked him how could sleep at night while his Fat Loss Factor Diet Program Is Marketed To Anorexic Teens Via Spam Floods On Tumblr And Pinterest. He didn't want to talk to me though, for some reason.

While on the subject of the Fat Loss Factor, that's not all these people are up to. It came to my attention that   the "success stories" on their marketing sites are actually Stolen Before and After Photos From Tumblr Weight Loss Blogs. That is, they steal photos from people who've lost weight through putting in the effort with exercise and sensible nutrition, and claim credit for it even though the people have never used their product. That's pretty shifty!

Word is spreading about these horrifying tactics, and a few other websites have ran reports about it since.

Finally I called out a so called "celebrity fitness guru" for pushing some of the most ridiculous ... no, not "some of" but actually THE most ridiculous nonsense disguised as exercise advice that I have ever seen in all my days. You call also read about how the Tracy Anderson Diet Plan Results In The Same Effects Of Malnutrition As Found In Anorexia Patients in another article I reference.

As I said on my facebook the other day, there will always be differing opinions on the best methods to lose weight and get into shape, and what's best for one person may not necessarily be the best choice for someone else. What's not up for debate though, is that human beings are a species that requires food. Any time some moron starts telling people "stop eating food if you want to lose weight", there is gonna be a fight.

People need to consume The Right Amount of food. Not too much, not too little. There's a false perception that "less calories" or "eating as little as possible" is better for weight loss... but how could "less than enough" possibly be better than "The Right Amount"?

By the way, Dr Oz; you're next.