Mike: [00:00:05] Hello and welcome to episode six of the How To Become A Personal Trainer podcast, we’re your hosts Mike Vacanti,

Jordan: [00:00:09] My name is Jordan Syatt, and this episode is a quick Q & A. At the beginning we start off by telling you a little bit about the Online Fitness Business Mentorship, which is officially launching today, which is a really exciting. We also spoke about– we answered a lot of common questions we get. So, for example how do you train a complete beginner in the gym, and especially maybe someone who struggles with obesity?

Mike: [00:00:31] We also talk about nutrition and how to help a client who isn’t making progress, thinks their nutrition is perfect, and what you can do to find out what’s really going on and help that person get over their own personal barriers.

Jordan: [00:00:45] Spoke about how to find your “niche” in the fitness industry, who to actually– or how to actually create content to find the people you want to work with most.

Mike: [00:00:54] And Jordan tells a hilarious story about what happened to him in his brief time as a gym owner.

Jordan: [00:00:59] Yeah. That wasn’t that fun. So, uh, but it was smelly. We’ll just put that one out there.

So, we hope you enjoy the episode. We also would love to see you in the mentorship. We’re going to talk about that at the very beginning of the episode. And, uh, yeah, that’s it.

Mike: [00:01:13] Enjoy the Q & A.

Hello Jordan.

Jordan: [00:01:22] Hello Michael.

Mike: [00:01:24] How are you?

Jordan: [00:01:25] Feeling good, thank you for the coffee.

Mike: [00:01:27] You’re very welcome.

Hello Rico. Rico’s in the room hanging out for this one; Jordan’s videographer extraordinaire.

Jordan: [00:01:33] Thank you for accompanying us, Rico.

What’s going on, man? How are you?

Mike: [00:01:40] I’m doing well. I’m doing well. I’m really excited about this launch.

Jordan: [00:01:43] I’m very excited, so we’re just going to tell ’em right now about it? Tell everybody about it?

Mike: [00:01:47] I wasn’t planning on anything, but that’s just where my head has been at for the last 24 hours.

Jordan: [00:01:52] Yeah, yeah. All right. Yeah, so I mean, for everyone who doesn’t know, well, we’ve given away a bunch of free mentorship months already, but basically, we are very excited to announce we are officially launching our Online Fitness Business Mentorship, which is starting on February 1st, but you can sign up now.

Basically, the signup price is usually $1,000 and then $99 a month after that, but for the launch, we’re making it $500 for the initial fee and then $99 a month after that and you can cancel anytime you want. Uh, Mike, do you just wanna like– and we’ve covered it in the past, but do you want to tell them what the mentorship is about, what it is, what it isn’t, and we’ll go from there?

Mike: [00:02:30] Yeah, absolutely. And, honestly, if you want a lot of detail about it, the best place to go is onlinefitnessbusinessmentorship.com and read about it there.

Jordan: [00:02:40] We’ll have that in the show notes, we’ll put the link there.

Mike: [00:02:43] Yeah, but Jordan and I, probably 18 months ago, decided that we wanted to start something that would help coaches become better coaches and after about six months, probably a little longer actually, but of game planning how we could best accomplish that, last year we launched our first year of the Online Fitness Business Mentorship, which is a group where we made in depth, monthly courses, a different topic each month for all of the members of the group, as well as free guides that will help not only, well, the nutrition guide and the Instagram Growth Guide to not only help you grow your business and your brand, but also to become a better coach.

Jordan: [00:03:28] I think probably the most important way to really condense what it’s about is several fold. Number one being that this is not a get rich quick course, right?

This is not a mastermind or like anything where we’re going to be focusing on how to squeeze every dollar, every penny out of everybody. This isn’t where it’s like, “Oh yeah, if you want people to value your time, then you better make sure you’re charging for every minute.” Like it’s not that kind of, of course, this the main point of the mentorship is to help you become a better coach. That’s like the number one– that that’s what it is.

It’s to help you become a better coach because the better coach you become, then the better your business will grow. It’s relatively slow, but in the same way that you probably tend to not have your clients do rapid fat loss protocols because it’s not as sustainable, you might make more money more quickly in one of those mastermind, guru mentorship things where it’s like they basically teach you how to run high level Facebook ads and they teach you how to do all these very advanced sounding systems, whether it’s auto-response sequences, blah, blah, blah, all focused on getting more money. But it’s, it’s almost faulty in the same way that rapid fat loss can– it can make you think you’re making great progress by seeing a ton of weight loss very quickly on the scale, but, a year later, two years later, three years later where already you? Same thing. What we want to do to help you become a better coach so you feel more confident in your coaching ability that you can actually help more people. You’re going to be getting more referrals and we want to help lead you through that process.

Mike: [00:04:56] Yup, that’s exactly right.

Jordan: [00:04:58] So I mean, we have the courses, we have 12 courses from the last year that we made. I sort of want to tell the story. It’s a brief story, but when Mike and I first started the idea of the mentorship, we were in a kitchen and, uh, and we were like, oh my God, like we realized this was something that was sorely needed. And again, this was about 18 months ago. Uh, and still no one has filled that gap in terms of there’s still an overwhelming amount of coaches who don’t feel confident in their ability to help as many people as possible. And that could be in terms of on social media, it could be in one on one coaching, in person, online, whatever.

Um, and a lot of people ask, “well, how do you get started with certain things? How do you get started with coaching? How do you get started making products? How to get started with social media?” And we’ll actually answer some of those questions in this episode. But our initial plan for the mentorship was just on a brown piece of paper that I took from my daily goals notebook at the time.

And it was like, I still have them. They’re like very, like, they’re still in my notebook, but we were so excited. We wrote down a huge list of things we wanted to cover, and we initially thought of it as an idea for a course just to sell like a one-off course. But then we were thinking, okay, well what do people actually learn from the most and get the most benefit from? And a lot of it is accountability. A lot of it’s from actually having a coach with you every step of the way. And uh, so we realized it would be– we’d get better results with people in the mentorship if we were there, so we do live Q & A’s every month.

In this coming year, we have Susan Neibergall and Kim Schlag, who will be helping us as assistant coaches, being very present in the Facebook group, answering questions. And then not only that, but every month, we’re going to be giving you new, essentially, programs every month so that you know exactly what to do to make sure your business is growing and you’re helping more people.

Mike: [00:06:46] Yeah, that’s exactly right. It’s, if you think about any of your clients or any situation where you’ve hired a fitness coach in the past, you can see the value in the accountability from us and especially from the other members of the group and the community that comes together. Um. Yeah. It’s, it’s invaluable.

I, I had the most fun, I think, making a lot of the, like the strength training programming course, the nutrition coaching course, uh, some of the, like, productivity and mindset stuff, client communication,

Jordan: [00:07:21] The client psychology one was probably my favorite one. 

Mike: [00:07:23] Mmhm, yeah. And you will have access to all of those if you decide to join the mentorship, but the accountability and what we’re adding this year, which is basically a business program, a specific to do list each month when it comes to content creation, when it comes to building an email list. Uh, I’m really excited about that and I think, I think people are really gonna like it and benefit from that system.

Jordan: [00:07:49] Yeah. And we’ll get into the episode from here, but I think, uh, the good note to end on with that is a lot of people feel that a lot of the business coaching masterminds and whatnot, they’re too focused on trying to get rich and trying to make money. And I think it’s an easy place to go for business focused, uh, courses, right?

In the same way that in the fitness industry, it’s an easy place to go to try and sell six-pack abs, right? It’s easy place to go to try and sell rapid weight loss. Uh, I think what’s really important to remember is: if that feels off to you, if it feels like, eh, the idea of trying to just make as much money as possible for the sake of making money, then this is probably a really good fit, mainly because this is not a get rich quick thing. This is not a try and make as much money as possible thing. The good news is, like, what we’re teaching you will help you make more money. Actually, literally spoke with Ryan the other day. Ryan was in the mentorship. He more than doubled his, uh, his income over the last year.

But the purpose isn’t to do it without– the purpose isn’t to make more money for the sake of make more money. The purpose is to do it for being a better coach so that you can help more people and then as a result of that, also grow your business simultaneously.

Mike: [00:09:06] Yeah. Exactly.

Jordan: [00:09:08] So if you want to join, uh, the link is in the show notes. It’s onlinefitnessbusinessmentorship.com and, uh, and yeah, that’s pretty much it. We hope to see you in there. We start February 1, and just one more time, the, uh, the price after February 1 will be $1,000 and then $99 a month after that, but for now, the launch is $500, so 50% off, and then $99 a month after that. And you can cancel anytime you want.

Mike: [00:09:31] And if you decide it doesn’t make sense for you, we still love you and we’re excited for you to listen to the episode. We’re excited to see you next week. Like, obviously we completely understand.

Jordan: [00:09:41] Yup. So, uh, so this episode we are doing a Q & A. We were planning on doing a full-on strength training program design episode, we’re going to save that for later. Um, we decided that we actually, I got a really good question, uh, on my Instagram, uh, about basically. Uh, actually I forget, I’m gonna have to check my phone really quickly while you look at the other questions, but I got a really good question on my Instagram. And then I was like, you know, let’s just do a Q & A. So, we got a bunch of Q & A questions for my Instagram. We’re going to go through them. Mike’s gonna look through the questions while I go grab my phone for the other one and we’ll get started.

Mike: [00:10:14] Amazing. So, the first question that we can hit on, because we were going to talk about programming. I like, uh, just programming tips, where to start with basic workout templates?

And there was another similar question that we can wrap into this one, which is how to train people who have just started to work out? So, Jord, where does your mind go with, with basic programming for, for a beginner or for anyone?

Jordan: [00:10:48] Basic programming for a beginner. So, I mean, this is a whole topic, right? And we can, we can really dive deep in here. I think a really good place to start, if we’re going to talk about beginner, is like really someone who’s never worked out before and maybe someone who has a lot of weight to lose. A lot of weight to lose, mainly because I think that’s, like, the most beginner that you can go.

Like, you might as well go as extreme as possible. And the reality is there’s a lot, like a lot of people have never been to a gym or haven’t been in years, are very, very overweight, very self-conscious to go to the gym or even to begin to exercise. And, not only that, they’re not very motivated right? There, there are a lot of times, and you have to sort of wonder, well, why are they not that motivated? I think this is an important question to answer. It’s not that they’re not motivated because they don’t want to change. Like, that’s not what’s going on. It’s not that they don’t want to. A lot of times a lack of motivation comes from not actually believing they can change.

It’s a really important distinction to make because a lot of coaches, and I’m guilty of this myself, I remember when I was really young and in high school, I had already been coaching three years, four years at the time. But I remember like being like, “why? Why don’t they just want to change? I don’t get it.”

And you almost get angry because you want the best for them, and it’s coming from a place of good intent, but you’re misunderstanding why they’re not motivated. It’s not that they don’t want to. They probably want to more than you could ever comprehend. It’s that they’re in a place in their life, which they actually don’t believe it’s possible. And it’s important to discuss this psychology component of it because that’s going to influence your programming of it in terms of if you have someone who literally does not believe they can succeed, and you then give them a program in which they’re required to be in the gym five days a week, you are inherently setting them up with a massive disadvantage.

I think if you’re really starting with a beginner, someone who is very overweight, very scared to go to the gym, doesn’t believe they can succeed, the best thing you can start with is walking. That’s it. That’s where I’d begin. And you can take it from there.

Mike: [00:12:47] And by the way, so Jordan’s talking about a concept called self-efficacy. For someone to come to you and want your coaching, they’re already well off of the floor. Right? If you want to rate your self-efficacy, your belief in your ability to succeed from 0 to 10, someone who’s coming to you and requesting your help with coaching is like a minimum two, which isn’t high by any means, but just to put it in perspective, that person has more belief in themselves than the majority of the people who are of a similar demographic, but haven’t made that first step.

Jordan: [00:13:27] Yeah. You’re looking at the stages of change, right? So, a really good model for people to look at is the transtheoretical model of behavior change. It’s a really good model. I think it’s, if you haven’t heard of it, I’m going to say it again: the transtheoretical model of behavior change is a really good place to start.

Mike: [00:13:41] Jord’s pulling out that info from psychology class at the University of Delaware.

Jordan: [00:13:45] It’s super important though, and I think we can talk about program design all day, but if you don’t understand why your clients are making the decisions they’re making or what they’re thinking or feeling, then you’re not going able to help as many people as possible.

Mike: [00:13:57] Yes, and putting someone in that position on a five day a week, 90 minutes per session, because they have time and it’s optimal or whatever doesn’t make sense because it’s not sustainable for that person.

Jordan: [00:14:10] Exactly. And so, this is where– and I think coaches often might struggle with this from the perspective of, they have so much knowledge and they know what is possible. So now they think, like, why am I charging this person when all I’m having them do is walking and maybe like maybe not even tracking their macros, maybe I’m just making sure they’re having more vegetables in the day. Like just, I think coaches will struggle with, is this worth charging for? Like is it– am I actually doing any good? And I think you have to remember that coaching isn’t just about giving them the optimal program on paper. It’s about also assessing what’s optimal for them as an individual and you being the expert and them trusting within you is valuable in and of itself. Because what they’re doing is, their trust in you is increasing their own belief in themself. They’ve now trusted you with their program design, with, for you to say what is optimal for them at that point in time. And if they start taking more action simply because they’ve hired you, it is now worth it. Very important to remember that just because you’re not giving them a high-level training program that might be “optimal,” does not mean that what you’re doing isn’t worthwhile or valuable.

Mike: [00:15:23] Yeah. You’ll have time to show off your program design skills with a client that is ready for that. But don’t force it on someone because, as a result, you’re, you’re actually hurting them and their chances of succeeding.

Jordan: [00:15:37] Absolutely. So, so to actually answer the question from a programming perspective, I’d start with walking and like if you’re at a very, very, very, uh, low level of expertise, or you’re maybe severely overweight, it might be–

Mike: [00:15:51] from the client side.

Jordan: [00:15:51] Yeah. So, if someone is very, very overweight walking sometimes, like, even before doing body weight squats, like literally getting on a kitchen chair, doing squats onto a chair. Just having them walk up-down the stairs is great. These are things that if you’ve, if you’ve never worked with someone who, who’s struggled with severe obesity, like these are things that you have to understand because if you’re trying to get them to go to the gym and you’re try and get them to do, even something as simple as a goblet squat in the gym, that is– that’s very high level.

It’s like, if you’re looking at the spectrum of, of people and you’re looking at like the extreme of someone with severe obesity, someone who’s really struggling with that. Getting someone to go to the gym and start doing goblet squats or lunges, like that’s massive. So just, if someone is very, very scared to go to the gym and they’re like, there’s no way, starting off at home with walking, squats to a chair, walking up and down the stairs, these are all great. And doing it, you could, you could set it for a time limit. You could do X number of times per day, X number of reps per day, trying to increase them with mini challenges, like okay, so maybe you start off walking for a total of 10 minutes that day, a total of 10 squats to your chair, and a total of three times up and down your staircase for the day, right?

Just start off with that and maybe increase week to week, month to month, whatever it is, and now you have a very solid progressive overload system to help that individual client.

Mike: [00:17:14] This is a good opportunity to, to really promote in-person coaching, too, because until you have coached someone who’s very overweight, you’re not going to think about certain specifics of their program.

And one that came to mind for me just now when you were laying out that little mini program, is Jordan didn’t have that person doing a squat to the chair followed by a glute bridge because for someone who’s 350 pounds getting up and down and going from a standing to a floor exercise can be somewhere between extremely difficult to, they can only do so many sets of that.

Jordan: [00:17:52] Maximal effort.

Mike: [00:17:53] Yeah, exactly. And, and so, uh, one, if you are considering this, if you maybe have a toe in the water of personal training, but aren’t quite sure if you are more focused on the online side right now. I just encourage you to, even if it’s part time, get a little in-person coaching experience because you’re going to climb that learning curve very quickly.

Um, and, and yeah, I love that idea for a little mini bodyweight– and total time of the workout is something to pay attention to also, because giving someone what you just laid out is maybe a 15 or a 20-minute workout compared to an hour-long workout.

Jordan: [00:18:36] 100% and they can do it all throughout the day if they want, right? It’s like, listen, if you, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it in one session, it might actually be smart from a certain perspective. Like you don’t want them to overexert themselves depending on their level of fitness. Um, one way, one tool that I’ve used that has helped me a lot with program design, I think a lot of coaches only look at program design as sets and reps.

One, uh, sport that I’ve taken a lot from with my clients is Strongman and Strongwoman competitions because a lot of those competitions are often time-based, and I really liked that because with time, it’s another form to– it’s another way to attack progressive overload without necessarily having to increase the weight, right?

So, if you have someone who’s, we’ll just look at, for example, going up and down the staircases, right? Maybe you start off with like go as many times up and down as you can within 10 minutes. Now they start, okay, so over the first time, maybe they could get up, get up halfway in 10 minutes. Who knows?

Maybe they get up a whole way. Maybe they go up and down twice, whatever it is. Then you keep the time limit the exact same, but then you try and increase the amount of reps that they can do. How many times up and down? Then maybe once they can do it at a very high proficiency, then from there, then they can go to increasing the time limit. So, from 10 minutes to 12 minutes, 12 minutes to 15 minutes, whatever it is. Then maybe you could add another exercise to it. Cool. So now we’re going to have a 10-minute circuit. You go up and down the staircase and then you do a, I dunno, like hand elevated pushups, whatever it is. And you sort of take from this Strongman competition style of, of competition that you now bring into their programming.

And we do this in the mentorship too, with having different challenges for them where we have like, for coaches, all right, so we’re going to do this program design. We’re going to look at your program design, and whoever wins gets like either call with us or cash or whatever it is. People are motivated by a challenge. People are motivated by competition and oftentimes the competition with yourself as the best way to really drive the progress. So, if someone is really struggling and maybe the weight’s not going down, the scale isn’t going the way they want, they don’t have access to weights, so they can’t see like how much weight they’re actually lifting. They can see the improvement in– the improvement in how many reps they’re doing or how much time they’re doing it in.

Mike: [00:20:51] I love that. That’s a really important concept is progressive overload doesn’t just mean adding weight to the bar every week, which, and if you’re unfamiliar with the concept, which, which many of you may be, but progressive overload is just improving over time, which generally means getting stronger, but it can mean, like you said, doing more in less time. It can mean doing the exact same work with better form. It can mean many other, like, there are a lot of ways that you can get better over time.

Jordan: [00:21:21] Increase their range of motion, absolute time under tension. There’s so many.

I think what’s really important, remember here from a coaching and behavioral and psychological perspective is, if you have a client in this situation– or not even, not, not even in this situation, but maybe you have someone who’s going to the gym with you or who’s going to the gym and they make an improvement, but especially someone who is, who is really struggling with self-confidence and self-efficacy go over the top to congratulate them when they make even the littlest bit of progress.

I think your job as a coach is to not only find the areas in which they’re making progress that are difficult to find, but to show them how important it is for them to find it. And finding progress is a skill. Like it’s a skill in and of itself to say– it would be very easy for someone to be like, “Aw, like I, I didn’t make it to, I didn’t work out enough. Like I only worked out, uh, four times this week instead of the six or whatever it is I did, or I didn’t do it as often as I should have,” but you’re the coach and you look back and say, “yeah, but when you first started, you were only doing this one time a week in general. Now, like, you got four times in the week. Like this is huge progress.” Always finding a way to find the optimistic perspective for your client, especially someone who struggled with self-confidence and self-efficacy. Because when you frame it in a way of, “well, no, but actually compared to where you were, you’re doing way better,” now they can start to look for that optimistic perspective, and oftentimes they’re always seeing the pessimistic perspective. And the more you can show them how well they’re actually doing, going over the top, the more likely they are to continue doing well.

Mike: [00:22:52] Absolutely. That’s a great point. And, and not something that a lot of coaches naturally or instinctively do.

Jordan: [00:23:00] Do you want to add anything to that for the programming perspective?

Mike: [00:23:03] Yeah, I was, I was just gonna say, I think, uh, I think– so, we have that base level. Now take a client who is ready to work out, whether it’s at home or in a gym.

I think we’re on the same page where three days a week of strength training makes sense for almost all beginners.

Jordan: [00:23:21] Yup.

Mike: [00:23:21] Um, and frequency is a place to start. Uh, how about, how about like time for a workout or total number of exercises for a workout?

Jordan: [00:23:30] Yeah, I’m actually going to take a step back. I’d say two to three days a week. You could do two days a week, uh, and if you’re going to do three, you could do two at the gym and one at home, right? That’s one option. If you’re going to do two, I really like the two full body. If you’re going to do three days a week, I like starting with the lower body then upper body, then full body. Those are like, I really like those splits a lot.

Mike: [00:23:49] When you have someone working out just twice a week, do you have them doing something else like walking?

Jordan: [00:23:56] Absolutely. Yeah. I think walking as one of the things where making it a daily habit is a really good idea. Especially on the days you’re not going to the gym because now you’re still every day making a dedicated effort to get movement and to get exercise. It becomes a habit. It becomes just like brushing your teeth or making the bed or whatever it is, it now becomes just a part of your routine where every day you’re setting time aside for exercise, for health, for movement.

Mike: [00:24:24] Have you had periods of your life where you didn’t brush your teeth.

Jordan: [00:24:27] Thank God, no. Thank God, no.

Mike: [00:24:31] I like the making the bed example.

Jordan: [00:24:32] Um, so yeah, so same thing with that. Um, in terms of– so for beginners, two to three times a week, uh, and, I’ve done this many times where I’ve had online clients who they couldn’t get to the gym three or four times a week, but they could get to the gym one or two times a week.

So, I would make them one or two workouts that were specifically for the gym and one or two workouts that were specifically for at home. And especially, I’ve had a number of mothers do this where they’re like, “listen, I can get to the gym one or two times a week, but I can’t for one or two other days a week ’cause I need to be at home with my kid.”

So, it’s great. So now, not only am I designing programs for when they’re at home and at the gym, but I’m also designing programs that they can do while their kid is around. Maybe while their babies around. Whether it’s body weight stuff or maybe things that like are, maybe they’re doing it while their child is napping, right? And now this is where a lot of experience comes in. It’s like, okay, so their child is napping, they probably don’t want them to wake up. So, you can’t be doing things that are like jumping or you can’t be doing plyometric exercises ’cause they’re gonna be making a lot of noise.

So now here’s a really important thing to remember, it’s like, okay, well, “oh well, I want them to really sweat,” Okay, well if you have someone do as many squats as possible in 30 seconds with just their body weight, they’re going to be sweating, right? So, it’s, you don’t need them to do the most high level, high intensity exercise in order to sweat. A lot of times it’s just making sure they’re doing, uh, exerting a lot of effort in a certain amount of time.

That’s why I like those time periods as opposed to necessarily reps. So, if you say, “Hey, go for 30 seconds straight here, 30 seconds straight with reverse lunges, 30 seconds straight with pushups,” whatever it is. Now all of a sudden, you’re going to be panting and out of breath and sweaty without necessarily making a lot of noise or putting a lot of stress on your joints.

Mike: [00:26:08] Absolutely. And you’re truly individualizing for that person and not in the sense of like, you know, they want to blow up their hamstrings and so there’s extra volume, like most coaches would think, individualization. It’s the type of individualization where a client’s like, “wow, my coach really cares about me because he put this note, if this exercise causes so-and-so to wake up, you can swap for this one.” Like, that’s the kind of stuff that, that people really remember and, um, and just matters.

Jordan: [00:26:39] It’s so interesting you bring that up because I think this is the part of programming that so many coaches don’t think about. And a lot of– all of my one on one clients programming, they all have their name at the top and often I give them a nickname. So, it’s, it’s not like they’re just getting a random workout that I could have copied and pasted and sent to anybody. It’s their own individual PDF with their name and nickname on it. I’ll write them notes in it. Oftentimes I’ll put their name in it so they know that it’s coming directly from me and I’m writing it for them. I think seeing that, especially in this world where there’s so much oversaturated stuff and so much just copy and paste and whatever,

Mike: [00:27:13] Yeah, dishonest cookie cutter, like, bad programming.

Jordan: [00:27:17] When it’s very legitimately individualized, like you take the time to make sure that they know it’s theirs. And, uh, and I think even that in and of itself can improve the, the consistency with it and their, their desire to actually want to give it their best

Mike: [00:27:31] Because they know how much you care.

Jordan: [00:27:33] Absolutely.

Mike: [00:27:33] And then they care more as a result.

Uh, if you have clients sending you form videos, which you should, if they’re online clients, that’s going to give you even more information to plug into their programs along the lines of, like, if I see a form video of a client doing something funny, like I, I’ve, I’ve seen guys really swinging on bicep curls. And when I see that the first one, anytime I’m programming curls, I’m telling, I’m making a joke about, you know, “check the ego here” or whatever it is, uh, as helpful reminders. But also that show I actually care and I’m really paying attention, so let’s go.

Jordan: [00:28:12] Yeah, 100%. You want me to get that question that was asked on my Instagram?

Mike: [00:28:17] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, do we have anything else?

Look, we’re not going to– this is going to be a 50-minute podcast. We could talk about program design for 77 hours…

Jordan: [00:28:26] We have a whole  course on it in the mentorship that’s several hours long.

Mike: [00:28:29] Yeah. Yeah, that was a two-part course. But, um, I, I think those are a couple of good tips for beginners. The last thing I’ll say is just for the complete beginner, if, if they give feedback that anything hurts. And especially for an online client who you’re not with them in person while they’re actually doing the movement. Uh, give them something else. There are so many substitutions. You can see a form video, and if you can make a tweak or correction that’s going to lead to them not being in pain, amazing. But don’t have them doing anything that– even like a body weight squat can cause knee pain for someone who’s overweight and who’s new to the movement. Give them a hip dominant move instead.

Jordan: [00:29:06] Yeah. Um, okay. So, I’m gonna read this next question. Uh. So actually, this woman, she, she reached out, she had downloaded our, uh, the free guide, which by the way, if you haven’t gotten our free guide, the link is in the description. It’s 30 ways to grow your online fitness business. Uh, but she was like ” already downloaded…”

Mike: [00:29:25] It’s amazing, by the way. I know we’ve plugged a little bit in this episode and I generally am really bad and don’t like selling, but, it’s, it’s 12 or 13 pages long. It’s really good. It’s 30 great strategies on how to build your online business. We’ll put a link in the podcast notes that they can download.

Jordan: [00:29:41] Yeah. we’ll do that. She wrote, “already downloaded it and read the whole thing. Great info. So many valuable reminders.” I said, “that makes me so happy. Is there anything else that we can help you with? Any questions? We’ll answer on the podcast,” and she said, uh, “finding the right audience. I ultimately want to work with older adults, boomer generation, and they’re probably not on Instagram. Is that an incorrect assumption? Should I do newsletters? Uh, and that was it.”

Mike: [00:30:07] Yeah. I would absolutely go to where your, the demographic that you want to be coaching exists. That’s 100% right. I think that in this specific situation, I don’t know if she’s necessarily right that boomers aren’t on Instagram.

Jordan: [00:30:24] Correct.

Mike: [00:30:24] Like maybe, uh, maybe six years ago that may have been true, but at this point, I think the platforms aged up to the point where Instagram is still, I mean, Facebook is probably, well, what are boomers? Boomers are our parents, right?

Jordan: [00:30:38] Yeah. Boomers are our parents. Boomers, I believe, were born in the 50s.

Mike: [00:30:42] Boomers are on Facebook and boomers are on Instagram.

Jordan: [00:30:45] Absolutely. 100%, they’re on both. I think Facebook tends to be a little bit older. Uh, but Instagram there is without question, a significant audience of that age group. Um, so I, I wouldn’t worry about that at all. I think, and this, I think this brings up– one of the reasons I really want to answer this question is it brings up the idea of, of trying to find your perfect niche, right?

This idea of, and if you go to any like business mastermind, what they’ll tell you is that you have to find your, your avatar. You have to find– and what they mean by that is you have to sort of make up your ideal client. What, what gender are they, what is their income like, what magazines do they like, what movies do they watch? Uh, where do they hang out? And literally– and this is coming from someone who’s spent many, many, many thousands of dollars on masterminds that I shouldn’t have done, but I’m happy now that I have gone through it and now I can actually provide a better service that actually helps coaches to be better coaches.

They’ll have you write down, handwritten, like, okay, who is your ideal client, and this avatar. It is, in my opinion, one of the stupidest exercises you could do, especially in the fitness industry. I won’t say for every industry, but definitely in the fitness industry, mainly because what I’ve learned over the years is that as long as you’re putting out very helpful content that not only you enjoy, but you really believe in, that it actually works, that it’s tried, it’s tested, you believe in it, it’s science-based and it’s helpful. Then the people for whom that content is helpful will find you and they’ll stay with you and they’ll become your clients and the people for whom it’s not helpful will not. For example, I have zero clients, zero inner circle members, who are physique competitors, who are bodybuilders, who are professional– actually, I did have one professional soccer player, but the vast majority are not professional soccer players because I’m not putting out content for that type of– no pole vaulters, no none of that, because I’m not doing that stuff. And I think probably the bodybuilder physique competitor is a really good example because even though I’m putting up information on fitness and fat loss, my content is not for that group. My content is not for the group of people who will literally eat rice cakes and tilapia for every meal because they want to look as shredded as possible on stage. My content is more or less the exact opposite, where it’s like I would rather you walk around at a higher body fat percentage, I would rather you be able to enjoy your life and be able to enjoy pizza guilt-free than feel like you need to be very, very restrictive. And this isn’t because I made an avatar saying that’s what I want, it’s because this is what I live and what I believe. You got something to say on this? We’re going to say something?

Mike: [00:33:43] I completely forgot.

Oh no, it came to me. Uh, but bodybuilders are on the platform. Like it’s not, it’s not like you’re going to the place where you think your audience is or going away from where the audience you want does not exist. It’s about who you’re bringing in based on the information that you’re putting out. And, and I completely agree with you, the, the whole exercise of what’s your ideal client’s favorite band and what colored tee shirt do they wear? And, you know, are they 26 or are they 27 years old? Like narrowing it down to that extent, is…It, it’s just unnecessary. Um, and it’s limiting your potential audience too greatly. That being said, I still think there’s value in: if you have a specific population that you want to work with, for example, uh, high school baseball players, or if you’re very passionate about helping elderly individuals, let’s use that one.

If you’re very passionate about helping elderly individuals because your grandmother didn’t exercise her entire life, and when she was on the younger side, she fell and broke her hip and it really kind of threw off the last 12 years of her life. And for that reason, you wanted to help other people, um, you don’t have to take on 15-year olds, like you can coach the population that you want to coach and making Tik Tok content to try to attract 77-year olds probably doesn’t make sense. So, there can be some strategy.

But, Jordan’s point, which I fully agree with, is there’s too much over-narrowing. Of audience.

Jordan: [00:35:29] And I think the reason that these masterminds will tell you to do that is often– so the reason that that they’ll tell you to do this for, one of many, is then you can take money and put it into ads targeting that age group, that gender, that income bracket, the people who watch whatever TV channel, that subscribe to whatever magazines, they literally want you to create the “ideal” client so that then you can target them in ads, and stuff.

Mike: [00:35:56] Let’s make the ideal client broader, and then the target market of that ad is much bigger.

Jordan: [00:36:02] That’s exactly right. And not to mention everybody in the world, this is why I specifically said for fitness I think it’s a stupid idea, everybody’s interested in fitness. Everybody is interested in health. Everybody is interested in fitness in some capacity, whether it’s nutrition, whether it’s strength training, whether it’s flexibility, whether it’s just maybe gut health, maybe mental health. There’s, it’s just, everybody is interested in it in some capacity and if someone is not interested in it, cool, then they’re not going to be your client, maybe right now. If you are putting out content that is specifically about how to strengthen, uh, how to improve bone density and how to improve, like your glute strength for when you’re older and you’re walking up the stairs or teaching, teaching older men and women how to, how to walk downstairs or upstairs with their walker to make sure they don’t fall like, I mean, one of my, my previous mentors and one of best friends in the world, Stacy Schadler, is, I think she’s a great person to follow on Instagram. She, she makes content every winter about how to properly shovel snow to make sure you don’t throw your back out.

Mike: [00:37:03] That’s awesome.

Jordan: [00:37:04] Which is great and it’s a really good idea and it works for a lot of her clients, and it’s one of those things where that’s probably not going to go viral, even though it should, but it’s probably not gonna go viral, but guaranteed it’s helping– that’s not going to help– no high schoolers are going to be like, “Oh yeah, definitely want to work with you,” but a 45 year old guy, or, or a 38 year old woman, whatever it is, might see that and be like, “I threw my back out last winter. I definitely want to watch this,” and that would be the piece of content that gets them into your ecosystem.

Mike: [00:37:33] And that’s the exact point that you made a few minutes back, which was: the fitness industry is everyone, but you don’t have to niche to specific corners of it. You make the content that you’re interested in.

In this case, Stacy wasn’t making a “how to get from 5.5% body fat to 4.5% body fat post,” she was making a “how to shovel the driveway without hurting your back.” And so, the people who she wants to find her because of that, are going to find her because of that

Jordan: [00:38:03] 100%. And what’s interesting is she used to be a figure competitor, about 10 years ago. She used to do that stuff, now she doesn’t. Which just goes to show that maybe who you’re interested in now, the, the audience that you’re trying to reach now will be different in 10 years. And maybe, uh, if you feel like– I know for me personally, I, I was a competitive power lifter. I lived and died and breathed and slept powerlifting for years. And when I stopped power lifting, I had a, like a quarter life crisis where I was like, “I’m a power lifter, but I’m no longer power lifting. What do I do?” Because most of my clients were power lifters, and that was probably one of the biggest, scariest moments in my career in terms of, I was very concerned that because I was no longer power lifting I was going to go out of business, that no power lifters would want to work with me. And I felt like I had to keep making power lifting content even though I really wasn’t interested in it. And what happened is I slowly and surely put out different content that was more just geared towards strength training in general and getting stronger.

And obviously it still spoke about the deadlift a lot ’cause I really cared about that and that was my bread and butter and I really am passionate about it. But I don’t really care about the bench press, so I don’t make content about the bench press and I don’t have any bench press specialist clients coming to me.

But I have a lot of people come to me to improve their deadlifts still. I think it just goes to show you that whatever you’re interested in and whatever you’re passionate about and whatever, you’re really good at coaching, make content about it and they will come. Not in a day or a week, and we spoke about this a fair amount in the free manual — the link is in the description — but, essentially don’t expect to make content today and have a successful business tomorrow. It’s just, it’s not going to happen. Put out content about what you love and enjoy for years and then it will happen. 

Mike: [00:39:43] Absolutely. We have about 12 more minutes.

Jordan: [00:39:49] And why? Actually, we should tell them why do we have 12 more minutes? Why we are rushing off this podcast? Because we have a mentorship live Q. & A. We do two of these every month. This is actually the last one of the year. So, we’re going to hop on that, but so what’s the next question? Should we do a rapid fire right now?

Mike: [00:40:05] Let’s do rap– should we try to get through all of these?

Jordan: [00:40:08] I don’t know if that’s gonna be good…

Mike: [00:40:09] Let’s see what we can get through. I’ll just take it from the top.

How long does it take to gain a following that trusts you and wants to work with you?

Jordan: [00:40:15] Years.

Mike: [00:40:16] Yes.

Jordan: [00:40:17] Yeah, should we say any more than that, or is it one word:  years?

Mike: [00:40:19] I think that that’s a one word answer right there.

Jordan: [00:40:20] Years.

Mike: [00:40:22] How do you deal with clients that won’t evaluate what they are eating and just think working out is the fix. So I have had clients like this in the past who were ultra-focused on training and for whatever reason didn’t care about nutrition and literally showing them, because most people drastically overestimate calorie expenditure via exercise– you guys listen to know this– by showing them in X amount of steady state cardio that equals four Oreos. Like just that simple trade off and a lot of peoples’ minds is enough for them to care about calories and macronutrients. Like that alone has worked for me.

Jordan: [00:41:08] Absolutely. I think it’s huge. I think there are many ways to go with this. So, could you reread the question for me?

Mike: [00:41:15] I will. How do you deal with clients that won’t evaluate what they are eating and just think working out is the fix?

Jordan: [00:41:26] It’s so tough. It’s so, so tough. But number one, I think what you said I think is perfect. Number two is one of the things that that I’ll do is, I won’t argue with them at first if it, especially if they just come in right away and it’s at the very beginning. The last thing I want to do is start butting heads, right?

Mike: [00:41:43] Do you get many people– because you put out such good content about nutrition. Do you get clients like this?

Jordan: [00:41:50] Not many, not years, to be honest. What I do get is I get a fair amount of clients who swear up and down that their nutrition is on point when it’s not. I think it’s probably a more common scenario and I’ll, maybe I’ll answer that question. I think it’s way, way harder.

Mike: [00:42:09] Cool, let’s do that.

Jordan: [00:42:10] I think when someone’s swearing up and down, they’re doing everything right, that their nutrition’s in check, that like they swear to God and, uh, the first thing I’ll do is I’ll actually, I’ll– and they’re saying it’s got to be my thyroid, it’s got to be my metabolism, my age, my gender. What I’ll always do is, first and foremost I’ll say, have you ever had your thyroid checked and/or your metabolism checked by a doctor.

If they say no, then I’ll say, here, let’s do this: go to your doctor, get your thyroid checked, get a metabolic cart test, just get a full blood panel. If it comes back that something’s wrong, good news, ’cause now we’ll know and you can get medicated, we’ll be great.

If it comes back that everything is normal, also good news because now it means we can figure out where the real problem is. They go get it checked. Assuming it comes back completely normal, usually they’re like, well, I don’t understand. Everything is great. I’m following my nutrition. It’s perfect. The first thing I’ll do is I’ll always have them send me pictures of whatever it is they’re eating for three days straight.

Mike: [00:43:06] And prior to this, they have already been sending you daily food logs.

Jordan: [00:43:10] Correct. They’ve been sending me their, their calories, everything is good. And they’re like, this is like, this is what I’m eating, blah, blah, blah. I’m like, are you sure? Okay, cool. Go get your– might as well just get that checked anyway, just for like sake of health and knowing.

And uh, and then from there. When they start sending me pictures, there are two options. Number one is, uh, from the pictures, they’ll be like, I’ll either figure out where they’re going wrong, if they’re being very honest with it. And then from there, great, we figured out what’s wrong. Hey, you’re eating too much here. Like, they’re like, Hey, I was like, Hey, I mean, it looks like this is way more calories than you’re saying. Are you weighing the food? And no, I’m eyeballing it, whatever it is. Um. Let’s say after sending the pictures, it’s still doesn’t make sense. Like there’s, then from here, here’s where a lot of people struggle.

Mike: [00:43:53] Sorry to interject.

Jordan: [00:43:54] Yeah?

Mike: [00:43:54] Have you ever had clients, when you get to that point, simply not send pictures?

Jordan: [00:43:58] Yes, I have had that.

Mike: [00:43:59] And that’s kind of the answer right there.

Jordan: [00:44:01] 100%. I’m like, send me pictures of everything you’re eating. And I say, basically, I got to a point where I’d say, sending pictures of everything you’re eating, including water, ice cubes, everything that goes in your mouth, I want to see a picture of it. Everything.

And I would– just for, so this helps you, uh, after a long time of realizing that people would send individual pictures of individual things, so I’d get like 30 emails, just say, put them all into one email at the end of the day and send it, and then have them like write little notes around what each food is if it’s hard to tell. Um, if they don’t send it and you keep asking for it, you know the answer. And then you can broach that subject. Uh, but let’s say they’re sending it and it just looks great. Like it just looks so perfect and it doesn’t make any sense. I have a question here that I developed that works very well.

And basically, it’s a two-part question. The first, the first thing I say is, “all right, so do me a favor. Tell me one thing you think you’re doing very well with your nutrition.” And the second question is “now also tell me one area in which you can improve your nutrition.” I really, and keep in mind this one two-parter took me probably about seven years to come up with. Like this is, this is just after years and years and hundreds and thousands of interactions that I came up with this and it worked very well, where basically they get the opportunity to show me where they’re doing well, where they’re really trying hard, and then I can also praise them in the response, which is great. And then the other part is usually when, I’m not just saying like, where are you screwing up, but where can you improve? This is where they have the ability to be like, “Oh, well, you know, I could probably do a little bit better, better tracking on the weekends.”

“I could probably do a little bit, you know, I might want to drink a little bit less on Friday night,” whatever it is, because now they’re starting to tell you where the actual issue is. And they don’t have to tell you the whole thing, but they can always give you an insight. And when someone says, well, I’m not tracking as well as I could on the weekends, my response is, well, what do you mean by that?

Like, tell me more. I don’t just go into being like, “ah, I told you so!” Like, well, tell me more like, what’s going on on the weekends? Oh, well, you know, I start off really well in the morning, but by the time lunch– I’m out and it’s just hard to track, dah, dah, dah. And all of a sudden, they basically tell you why they’re screwing up from the very beginning.

So, I think what’s really important…

Mike: [00:46:07] But asking that two-part question does it in a way that allows them to not feel guilty or not feel like you’re coming at them.

Jordan: [00:46:13] Exactly. And it also gives you the opportunity to praise them at the same time for what they’re doing really well. So, a compliment sandwich, right?

Like, “Oh great, you’re doing this really well. Super proud of you. That’s amazing.” And you are, and then, “okay, cool. So, I’m really glad we’re figuring out this is where we’re struggling. Just do me a favor. Tell me more about that.” Get them talking more and more. And then oftentimes they’ll literally come straight from there and they’ll be like, “Oh my God, like, I didn’t even realize that.” Like they’ll write it all out and be like, “Oh my God, I didn’t even realize it.” Which is so funny because I’ll write on Instagram, like if you’re not losing weight, you’re eating too much and people will go nuts and they’ll get so mad, so angry. They get really upset, be like, “you don’t know me, dah dah dah, all this other stuff,” but I’m not saying it to be mean, and I’m saying because after years and years and years and years of experience, I’ve found that a lot of times you just literally don’t know. Like you’re not consciously aware of how much you’re eating sometimes, and I’ll say that as a part of my way of trying to get people to track it more closely and only because of having these interactions with people and then being like, “Oh my God, I just wrote all this out to you after having a three week argument basically saying, I’m eating perfectly, it’s 100% I don’t know what’s going on,” now they’re like, after writing it all out, they’re like, “wow, this is the problem. And it’s been me the whole time and I never realized it.”

Mike: [00:47:27] I want to open a gym. Should I do it?

I will say the answer is “maybe,” and what you should know is that being a personal trainer and being a gym owner are fundamentally different jobs.

Jordan: [00:47:43] Yes. Yup.

Mike: [00:47:46] You got an answer there?

Jordan: [00:47:48] Mike just had to take my phone away from me cause it was vibrating and I had to look at it. And Mike is completely intolerant of my phone during the podcast.

Mike: [00:47:55] I’m 30% intolerant to Jordan’s phone during a podcast, our audio engineer, David, is 100% intolerant of Jordan’s phone because of the frequency and like…

Jordan: [00:48:06] This question I think is really important. I wanted to open a gym from when I was 14. I wanted to open a gym. Uh, I was like mainly for two reasons: number one, I just thought that was the pinnacle of what a strength and conditioning coach could do. Uh, a lot of my mentors and people that I admired did it and I was like, this is just what you do.

Um, the other thing is I thought if I opened a gym, I am going to be coaching people all the time. And they’re– both of those are wrong. And it’s not the opening a gym is bad. If that’s what your dream is, amazing. I’ll say if your dream is to open a gym because you want to make a lot of money from that gym…nope. Bad idea.

Um, I did open a gym when I was about 20-21. Um, it is unbelievably expensive and like, it’s not just the rent, it’s the equipment, it’s the trainers, it’s insurance, it’s cleaning.

I’ll tell a story. I’ll tell a really funny story. We got…

Mike: [00:49:09] Probably two minutes.

Jordan: [00:49:09] Two 10 minutes? Oh man.

Mike: [00:49:11] Three-four.

Jordan: [00:49:11] Well, this’ll be a good one to end on. One day I was going into the gym. It was like five in the morning. It was freezing cold outside in Boston. And the gym was in the financial district. It’s a really like nice area of Boston, but there are a lot of homeless people in the area. And a lot of times they would sleep in the crevice where the doorway was.

And so, I’m walking to the gym and uh, and like, you, unfortunately, you have to like tell them to get out so that you can get into the gym ’cause they’re blocking the door. And so, I did that, which was just awful. I hated doing that every morning. And then I go in the gym and I’m walking around and I’m walking around and I’m turning all the lights on and I start to smell just feces, like literal, like poop.

And I’m like, “what IS that?” And I’m looking all over the gym, walking all over the gym, “where’s this poop smell coming from?” And I turn all the lights on and I look, and it was on my boot. I had stepped in literal human feces and then tracked it all over the gym and like, I don’t want to get too graphic, but there were legitimately nuts in it and I was just– I had to clean it out of my boot, I had to clean the entire floor. It was on the turf. It was everywhere. Just human poop all over the place, and I had to clean it up ’cause like, I don’t have money to spend on, like, a cleaning crew and all that stuff. It was just like– and this is the type of stuff– the toilet clogs. Like, the toilet breaks or equipment breaks, like making sure the coaches getting enough– like, there’s so much that goes into it. Owning a gym is absolutely brutal, and if you love it and if that’s what you want to do, go for it, but you better make sure you’re opening a gym because you love that, not because you think it’s going to make a lot of money or it’s going to be a great business. ‘Cause if you’re, if you really want a relatively low stress, like, and relative compared to owning a gym and worrying about the weather and all this other stuff, online is significantly less expensive. Your overhead is only as much as it costs you to have your website domain if you really want to go as cheap as possible.

I mean it’s, it’s a way, way, way less expensive. So long, long answer-short is, uh, if you want to open a gym because you love the gym environment and you want to do that, great. If you would rather just coach people online and you can also coach people in person, but maybe just rent out space. Like, go to a gym and rent out space or to a private facility and pay them some overhead so then you can bring your clients in there.

I think it’s a great option if you still want to coach people in person without the actual responsibility of owning a gym.

Mike: [00:51:37] And with that, thank you very much for listening.

Jordan: [00:51:39] That’s it? Oh man, that’s a short episode.

Mike: [00:51:42] It was a short episode. Next week will be a longer episode.

Jordan: [00:51:44] If you have any questions, uh, either you can– if you want, you can leave a leave a review.

Obviously a five-star would be great if you enjoy it. Leave a five-star review if you enjoy it. And also, if you have any questions, leave those in the review section as well, like, “Hey, we’d love it if you talk about this or you love what you talk about that.” Um, it’d be great ’cause then we can go through and do more Q & A’s like this.

And, uh, and before we sign off, just want to, number one, give a huge thank you for all the support and encouragement thus far. It’s been incredible. Uh, again, just as a final reminder, the Online Fitness Business Mentorship is launching. It starts today. The actual course is starting on February 1st. Uh, for the launch, we’re reducing the initial cost, which is usually, it’s $1,000, then $99 a month after that.

Now it’s $500 so 50% off, $500 fee, $99 a month after that. And you can cancel anytime you want. The link is in the show notes and, uh, thank you so much. We’re actually going to go do the live Q & A for the mentorship right now.

Mike: [00:52:37] Thank you for listening. You guys have a great day.

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