An honest personal trainer?

By Matt Perryman

While bouncing around Youtube’s deep ambient, binaural beats, and synthwave tracks the other day, my ad-blocker stuttered and sent me down a wormhole into an alternative reality.

This other realm was infested by the mythical “gurus”, preaching on how to build businesses, get clients, and turn the Instagram account I don’t use into clients.

Before I could hit the back button, one of them grabbed my attention.

Two minutes? What the heck, I thought as I clicked through. Who knows, maybe I’ll learn something. This email I’m writing will take longer than two minutes to read, I said to myself, a mischievous grin on my face.

I was greeted there by a well-built gentleman who spoke intelligently about his job as a personal trainer. (Later I’d learn that he also coaches personal trainers on how to be personal trainers, but we’ll come back to that.)

He gave basic though smart advice on how to get started. Hook up with a gym so you can learn sales. Expand your reach using with strategic use of social media. Have a plan to expand and transform away from “supply based” business (where you’re chasing clients on their schedule) to a high-demand enterprise (where they chase you, on your schedule).

All good foundations for any service business.

The part that I liked most though was his dead honesty about the most important step.

“Get in top shape for the audience you’re after,” he said.

I admit I had to stop and think about that for a minute.

There’s this endless debate about whether the best trainers are those that look the part (regardless of skill or knowledge), or whether you want somebody who’s got book smarts (even if they don’t look that great).

I think that’s the wrong way of looking at it. I went into this point in some depth in the webinar a few weeks back.

Take a guy like me at dead-average 5’9 and a slender, narrow build. There is no training I can do, and no drugs I can take, that will net me the physique of a 6’3, 230 pound Division 1 quarterback. Not happening. I know this first-hand.

There’s an old picture from around 2009-10 at a powerlifting meet which I can’t find right now, at which time I weighed between 85 and 90 kilos and deadlifted well into the 500s, and I’m the smallest guy in the picture. Even when I was “big”, I wasn’t very big.

If it’s all about the best physique or biggest lifts, I may as well hang it up.

(Even though some 80% of the massive beasts in that same picture — a few record holders in powerlifting and strongman included — all came to me for my perspective.)

On the other side, you get these guys who sound like they barely lift but read a ton of research papers. They can tell you every last detail of biochemistry and warn you not to squat too heavy because you’ll hurt your back and knees.

Great physiques and great athletes are more found than made. Being a natural talent, or knowing lots of facts, doesn’t change much. You may as well ask the catfish how it swims so good.

Here’s a different way to think on it.

If you need a new set of cabinets, you don’t need the guy that did the carvings on a baroque cathedral. But you don’t want the apprentice who read the Time Life carpentry books, either.

You want a craftsman, maybe even an artist, who knows how to get the job done and has the craft to manifest those results in your world, too.

You want to see that this person can do the job. If the cabinetry in his own kitchen looks like a stitch-up job by Homer Simpson, maybe you should reconsider. But you aren’t holding him to the standard of the baroque cathedral.

I suspect my new friend on Youtube was more right than not. The general public, which does not care at all about fitness or health, has no idea how to tell good from bad. They use shortcuts.

His point wasn’t that you’ve got to be 6’3 Alpha Chad. Just be consistent with your audience and their goals. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re the fat “weight loss coach”.

Anyway, this all has my mind swirling with this idea of the craftsman, who does know lots of stuff, but his knowledge is all focused on getting a result.

If you’d like my help in getting a focused result — or wouldn’t mind being a test-dummy for the Good Doctor’s latest scheming — register your interest here.

Matt Perryman

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