Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PT Chronicles: Personal Training at a Corporate Gym



A little different than what I usually write about, but figured you may be interested.

"Where do trainers come from, what is there background, what the hell are they, how can I become a one???"

In case you're interested in one day training, you should know some things first.

Gyms treat trainers like their bitch. Especially the big ones.

They typically pay you 11% of what the client is being charged.

$65 session, trainer get's 11% plus a minimum wage. You do the math....because I'm bad at it.

They believe since they got you the client, and you're using their gym, they deserve almost all the money, despite it being you doing all the work.

Even if you're the one that sold the client, they only give you a selling bonus during the first payout, It ends there.

And believe me, they want you to sell, sell, sell. Constant meetings rah, rah, meetings trying to pump you up. Constant telling you to cold call people, approach people on the floor.

I was a number one salesguy, not on purpose, just how it came to be, and they still wanted more. I sold a big package one time, they told me to use that high and go approach the people on the eliptical machines.....?

Want to know how they taught me to sell?

They told me when I take peoples body fat with calipers to "Make sure and get big pinches". That way their body fat would be extremely high and they'd feel guilty and want to buy a large training package.

And they want you to push all their supplement products, sell future training way ahead of time, sell any fad type of calorie counting gimick, etc.

So I passed a test to be certified that said supplements were basically bull shit. The gym that wants me certified now wants me to go against that and sell them.  Sorry, I just can't do that. But I know someone that can.

And you get to do this, all while barely making any money.

And if you don't have clients you're not being payed. So you need to go clean equipment or be cold calling constantly to at least get that low hourly wage.

Some gyms won't pay you at all if you're not training.

Hmmm, cold call and approach random people to get my own clients....I could've done that on my own.

Want more?

If you get 3 certifications, which is a lot of money (some reimburse you, so they get a pass), and a lot of time studying, they'll pay you possibly 24% on top of the minimum wage they're paying you. All the while you're working your ass off to make 11% to pay the bills.

It's definitely easy to get hired there, got my cert., applied to two of the same franchise (their name is similar to AROUND THE CLOCK fitness) and they both tried to hire me within the next hour.

The reason it's so easy is they're always losing trainers, because the trainers WANT OUT!

So you instantly obtain a former trainers' clients, who may have been with a trainer before that, who are of the mind you'll be leaving soon, so aren't inclined to re-sign with someone who may not be there in a week or 2.

Within 2 months, I WAS THE 2nd OLDEST TRAINER THERE!

They also forced me to get a certification there that allows me to push their APEX supplement products.

And when I tried to quit they told me about this trainer (the one who had been there the longest) was making a whopping $3000 a month, if I stuck around, I could be like him!!!!

I was making the most sales in training and supplements. And I wasn't even trying. But I worked all day, was burned out on my new job occupation in only a month, had barely any money, and was always being pushed to do more.

While I did sell a lot of training, most of it was small packages. They told me to sell bigger packages. 6 sessions wasn't enough, they wanted 30 session packages sold.

While I realize sales is important in this field and many others, I like the product to sell itself. I will never pressure anyone to buy more than necessary. Not a popular attitude to have at this low wage job.

A trainer told me that it took about 6 years of doing the corporate thing before you could think of leaving and succeeding on your own. 6 years of this?! I'd rather go back to teaching high school!

They a friend spoke to another friend who was friends with a trainer. Who encouraged me to leave now. And even though I'd have few clients, I wouldn't be giving the gym all my money, I'm making in 1 session what I used to make in 3-4.

So I decided to quit.

The gym told me I would probably fail if I left, they couldn't see me doing well in my own business, then freaked out at me possibly taking the clients I was training (even though I was basing my business far away from there).

All the fake smiling faces instantly turned to frowning, and brooding. I'd never felt more hated in my life.

But I held me ground and decided to leave.

But it doesn't mean to not do corporate training. Some people like working in that environment.

You can
a) Become some sort of manager
b) Always have a steady flow of clients coming in,but 40-60 hours a week will burn most people out quickly when it comes to personal training.

My question is,
a) Why go corporate to work in a gym, if you're going to go corporate go big time and make big money. Wear a suit, not sweatpants.
b) If you use your brain and are good, the clients will come, and you won't work endlessly.

As for me, leaving was the best thing I could've done

The only reason to train there in my mind, EXPERIENCE.

Then leave when you got it.

But you can use your own EXPERIENCE to make that decision.

If you like this I may tell more Personal Training stories.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

10 Worst Excuses

1) Don't have the Time

24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. You're telling me you can't work in 1.5 hours of exercise?

Yeah, that's all I'm asking. I've gotten people in great shape with just that much. I've gone from gut to six pack with just that much effort. It's called following a great diet and working out enough to look good on top of it. I'm not a member of the genetic elite. Ask anyone that grew up knowing me back when I was below average shape.

What are you doing that you can't fit in 1.5 hours within a 168 hour week. Quit lying to me and yourself. You're binge watching Netflix shows, scrolling down a boring and annoying facebook feed, reading buzzfeed blogs of why Brunettes with freckles and green eyes with one foot bigger than the other make the best lovers...? Stop wasting your life away and do something actually productive. Get off that chair before you get a Mr. Burns hump in your back from sitting and staring at a computer screen all day.

730.484 hours in a month and 8765.1 hours in a year. You spent how many hours exercising?

2) I'm starting my diet next month, so I'll eat like shit for now

This is the worst. I had a fat friend in highschool that was shipping off to the marines and used this line. He ended up staying in bootcamp and extra six weeks to lose all the tremendous fat he'd obtained. He could've been done ahead of time or used the time to prepare for the most grueling weeks of his life, but instead spent it at Taco Bell and Totinos Pizzas.

I meet these people all the time. Let me eat like shit for the holidays or before my diet so it's even more of a challenge later. As if they need a challenge. Then they want to diet before a wedding, vacation, high school reunion, summer, etc. Hey I'm about to get reviewed by my boss let me actually work hard for a week, then slack off immediately. Let me study for my exam then not show up for class otherwise. Is this how you treat your life in other aspects? You really think you can be lean then fat then lean then fat? Did you actually fall for those magazine covers you saw at the grocery store checkout line?

It's a lifestyle change. Yeah, sometimes you'll eat less in order to lose fat quicker, then you'll eat more when you're just maintaining, or even more if you're trying to put on muscle. But here's the thing, it's always healthy and similar foods. It's not like I eat celery and tuna during summer then peanut butter stuffed pretzels all winter (though some do). Stay consistent and you'll look consistent, then it's no longer a diet. It's just eating.

3) I got injured and lost all my progress. What's the point

I got dirty yesterday so why shower? I have cavities anyway so why brush or floss? My bed's going to get wrinkled, so why make it? I got fired so why get another job?

These are the same people that get onto others for excuses, but believe their excuse is legit.

Remember what I said about hours in the week? If you can't dedicate that minimal amount of time for fear of a random car accident, then you have serious priority issues.

4) Don't want to get too bulky

When has this ever happened? The amount of women that bring this up, you'd think there was an outbreak of jacked up women walking around the Pinkberry.

I've never seen a woman's magazine with copywriting like "How to avoid those 20 inch biceps" "10 quick ways to lose all that lean muscle"

I've also never known a guy to turn down a blind date because he's worried the girl will be too ripped and muscular.

Don't take steroids, problem solved.

Thanks to all these women that take steroids it's not going away any time soon. Because they swear they're natural and scare away the actual natural women.

Even guys make this excuse, telling me they're not trying to look like Schwarzenegger. Right, because that accidentally happens all the time.

I lift heavy, eat a lot, even take creatine, and I can't even get huge. And I've been doing this a long time.

Quit the excuses.

5) I'm not getting results but I know what I'm doing

How many times have you been asked how to do something, then give them advice, then they proceed to not follow your advice.

Multiply that times 7 and that's what it's like to be a fitness expert.

On top of that, I'll actually have people ask me for advice, then correct me and say they know the better way.


Then once again, the excuses come flooding back in.

"I workout and eat right but nothing changes."

Even though I tell them to log their calories to get an accurate measurement of what they're actually eating.

I log all my calories but it doesn't do any good....

Then I try to tell them what do again, and then finally realize...


They just want to complain.

Sorry for using this cliche meme, but it sums it up best.

6) I'm just too old now.

People like to blame their issues on being too old and their metabolism failing them.

What they fail to realize is, while they were in better shape when they were younger, they were also way more active!

Being too old and out of shape is just letting all the slothfulness and bad nutrition finally catch up to you then blaming it on age.

I meet people younger than me that look 10 years older than me all the time, because they party, drink, eat shitty food, stay out in the sun all day, in other words DON'T TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES.

So quit the excuses and start now, not tomorrow (because you might have a stroke soon), and take control of your life again.

7) My spouse/family doesn't want me to get in too good of shape

Believe this or not, I hear this a lot (that rhymed).

The fact that I have to convince you this is real should already tell you that this is not a healthy thing to have in your life.

Someone scared you'll get too fit and attract too much attention, doesn't like you making them feel out of shape, doesn't like you being away at the gym, thinks you're cheating on them with the trainer, scared that you'll get too muscular/skinny/etc.

Red flags anyone?

This is somebody dictating your life, while at the same time enhancing any laziness.

I can't convince you to leave this person (that goes far beyond this fitness blog), but if you do PLEASE let me know. I'd love to know this thing I typed on my computer bettered your life and made you leave some loser that was ruining yours.

Find someone that compliments and brings something into your life, instead of taking something away.

8) I can't afford to eat healthy

Man, just when I think I've found the worst excuse, then another one comes along.

I remember seeing this in "Super Size Me" where this woman confronts Jared from Subway about how she and her daughter can't lose weight because they can't afford to eat Subway daily....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... I wanted to punch a wall.


How can people think like this?

Listen, before the internet I could maybe give them a pass. Back then people were really stupid. It was almost like thinking the world was flat and maps had those sea monsters all over them. The things that people believed when rumors and urban myths dominated small towns.

But in an age with so many great resources for information there's no excuse to be this stupid.

How can you possibly not afford healthy food? It should be the opposite. You can't afford not to. Not only is it cheaper, you'll be paying way more on medical bills after what you do to yourself with trash food. You get what you pay for, why put cheap garbage in your body.

Yeah, ORGANIC is more expensive. But you don't have to eat ORGANIC, it's mostly a marketing ploy anyway.

Water, Rice, Potatoes, Beans, Oatmeal, Wheat bread, Nuts, Seeds, Bananas, Kale, Cauliflower, or pretty much any fruit or vegetable ALL CHEAP

The only thing that actually cost any money that's healthy is meat. Tuna, Turkey, Salmon, Chicken breast, cost a little more. You could go vegan and by pass all  that. or just realize it's not that expensive when compared to fast food.

Still think you can't afford healthy food?

9) I was doing that program, but now I'm trying this out.

So typical. I think everyone's guilty of this. Looking for the perfect program.

What many don't realize is that it's persistancy and consistancy that get's you where you want to be.

You're going to be hitting plateaus, but if you switch programs every time you hit one, you're like one of those businesses that switch owners or programs every six months. If you were working there, you'd be looking for a new job because you know it's the end of days for that business. Well, you're doing that to yourself.

Look, I'm not saying to stick with a bad program. You should be able to tell quickly if it's a good program or not. But you have to make sure it's the program that's at fault, and not you.

Did you count your calories, do all your workouts with intensity and proper form, do all your cardio?

Believe it or not, a program only works when you follow it properly.

10) I do everything perfect and I still can't get results. It's my genetics.

There are lots of different metabolisms out there. Although, most are a hybrid.

Yes, I acknowledge that some people have more fat cells than others. Some have more muscle cells, some have trouble putting on fat or muscle.

Some people even burn more calories working out than others.

But just because you have it harder, doesn't mean it's impossible. It's....just harder.

I know, I was the weakest person in football all through junior high school into actual high school. Even my senior year.

Now I'm in way better shape than anyone I went to school with. You can make more muscle cells in your body, shrink your fat cells, and ramp your metabolism. And now you've forced a great metabolism on your body. The ability to build something that wasn't there by default is a beautiful thing, we should be excited to know we can do something like this instead of complaining.

I know some want to give the thyroid excuse, but even if you do have one it would only account for a few hundred calories. Again, not a real excuse.

So hopefully this gave you a kick in the ass if you needed one, or if someone you know is giving excuses you can use this to maybe get them moving.

It's damn near impossible to tell someone to do something, but if you were on the fringe maybe this did the trick. And you'll inspire someone else with your new found dedication.