5 Reasons Every Gym Owner And Personal Trainer Should Compete In A Marathon

With the Bali Marathon 10KM Race this coming Sunday, this blog I think is perfectly timed to be reposted. The first time, was after I had completed the London Marathon…

So sport, physical activity and competitiveness is what got you in the gym game, right? Workout after workout. Weight stacked on weight. Those quick muscle gains led you to experience a broad range of emotions that you hadn’t felt before. Euphoria. Satisfaction. Confidence. Vindication. Superiority. Even, dare I say, happy

The more your body took the shape you imagined, the more you craved!

There is no question that sports in whatever way, shape or form can be powerfully evocative.

At the same time, if you were not aware, sports also gave you courage and inspiration that you are actually really good at something — hence why you probably started your personal training business: “If I can get into shape, I can teach those that can’t…”

Stay with me, the lessons are coming.

So, you enter the fitness industry ready to take on the world.

But, like with any sport where there is a thrill of victory, there is also the crushing agony of defeat. Same happens in life.

I write this first because if you were anything like me (addicted to self punishment, adrenaline, or anything else that distracted from the pain, loneliness, and the feeling of I’m not good enough that I held deep inside), you turn to the gym.

Those in-the-know know gym becomes a form of therapy. Usually when…

Our clients aren’t listening to us

Other trainers’ results are superior (both for themselves and their clients)

You’re stuck in a relationship

You didn’t know that helping people would be so much more about business, marketing and selling and other sh*t you didn’t know you needed to know…

Fear of the unknown

Fear of failure

Fear of ridicule

Fear about whatever…

Where do you go? Where does anybody go. Back to familiar ground. Escaping almost.

You hope those initial good feelings come back. And they do, but never as much as before. It’s exactly like a drug addict, where one dose was enough, but then never was again. Always the need for a bigger hit.

“When you first start training you found power to become a trainer. What have you achieved since?”

Enter the 5 reasons every gym owner and personal trainer should compete in a marathon.

I spoke about this briefly before, but during my most intense years of self development there were a few major things that I knew I had to get to work on:

  • My tolerance level to take on more risk,
  • My tolerance level with discomfort
  • My tolerance level with uncertainty, criticism, and pressure, pressure, pressure

So on Friday, the 26th of January, 2015, I decided to commit to the Virgin London Marathon. In April of the same year. Yep. That gave me only 17 weeks to prepare for what was to become a life changing journey.

Upon announcing this to my friends, clients and other personal trainers (including our very own coaches), there was a flood of positive support, and it even gave some of our clients courage and confidence to set ambitious goals themselves. Even more surprising was the number of personal trainers who thought I was crazy and would shout trash like “Ain’t you gonna lose all ya muscle?” and “Isn’t it unhealthy for you? You’ll gain weight! You’ll lose your body!”

I get it. I was the same a few years back. If anyone would have asked me my opinion about them running a marathon, I would have replied even sharper. And with some French.

Originally, I thought that their issues were with what I was doing as choice of exercise, but I’ve since come to the conclusion that they were just as trapped as me inside the four walls of the gym.

They’ve grown accustomed to an environment that offers safety, security and familiarity — all of which keeps them in the same place, but unfortunately stagnate.

(I wrote about other ways to stimulate the mind and break free from stagnation in my article Six Steps To Become Wealthy As A Personal Trainer)

For every reason a trainer told me not do the London Marathon, I can think of hundreds of personal and professional reasons why gym owners and/or personal trainers should compete in a Marathon Race.

To respect your time, I’ve narrowed it down to five:

1. Comfort Zone

You need a new challenge. If past experiences are proof, as you were transforming into your body, you gained courage to become a personal trainer.

As stated in the book, Mastery by Robert Greene, you essentially submitted to rigorous apprenticeship, absorbed knowledge, built a body faster and better than anyone else, which established patterns of excellence, which unlocked a passion within and then you became a master (i.e., a personal trainer).

Throughout this journey it gave you courage. Courage to do something and the courage to be something more.

Now with me, I knew 17 weeks wasn’t long enough to train to run 5 miles, let alone 26. The last time I really ran was in my last football match, about 10 years back.  

I knew that by putting it out there, I had to do it. It’s why I then did everything in my power to set things up so I couldn’t back out. I ran for a charity. I did things that were for a bigger cause than myself, which would make the shame of failure or cowardice too steep to bear.

It was hunch that by enduring this discomfort, by my feet blistering over 26 miles, the thrill of overcoming a challenge would bleed across into other areas of my life and make other situations seem a whole lot easier.

Lesson: Make a decision. Be more decisive.


2. Mental Toughness Conditioning

My mind was weak.

When anything in life presented itself to be a challenge (or confrontational or tiring) outside of my natural talents and skills, I was always quick to use excuses and blame other people (or things).

I knew I couldn’t do the same when I was in training. It was me against me. No one else.

Yes, there were more times than I’d like to admit where I wanted to stop running. In some cases, I did. Gave up. Walked back home. Even got a taxi at one point.

But deep down I knew I had to keep persevering. If I was ever going to cross the finish line, I HAD to put the WORK in.

This race is brutal. It swallows the weak up for breakfast.

Cliche but true: if you don’t prepare to plan, plan to fail.

With all the (purposely) built pressure surrounding me, I couldn’t let them down and (more importantly) I couldn’t let myself down, which we are all guilty of doing when we don’t have anyone to be accountable to. There is natural human tendance which runs through us all, where though we are less likely to let other people down, when it comes to ourselves it is so much easier.

I suffered more setbacks from training for this event than anything else. It taught me a level of perseverance never encountered in the euphoric early days of bodybuilding.

Lesson: Training is like life and business. There will be ups and down, peaks and troughs stay focus on the end goal.


3. Empathy

This might seem an odd one, but do bare with me.

It’s probably been a long time since you stepped into the gym for the very first time. I have no doubt that you have forgot what it feels like to really begin.

Now, you’ll remember.

This experience offers you an opportunity to re-ignite empathy towards your clients. Empathy is having the ability to step inside your client’s mind and their life and feel exactly what they are feeling. Literally.

When clients are expected to do everything alone, it’s usually an indication that the trainer’s coaching ability (and empathy) is hella poor. Intense, crazy competition like a marathon forces them to level up their game by forcing them to experience exactly what their neglected clients feel.

Remember how it felt the first time you set foot in a gym? That fear of judgment. Will I fit in.  Am I fit enough. Will I be the fattest one there (or skinniest and weakest). How many mirrors. Will I have to look into a mirror and face the truth. Will the exercise be too hard. Will anyone acknowledge me for who I am….

When you can truly appreciate your client’s feelings, understand them, you will not only help them lose unwanted weight, but you will leave a lasting impression which stays with them for life. Ever had a client not be able to describe in words what you did for them? This is that moment.

Lesson: When you help yourself, you gain perspective and wisdom beyond your years of any academic studying can do.

4. Execution

I got used to lifting PB’s in a gym, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy every moment that I did. I just needed something different.

It started back when I played football: the feeling when I completed an assist, scored the winning goal, picked up awards or played in stadiums that most aspiring footballers only dream about.

Then I found something else. Weights!

Now, I need that same feeling, but bigger. There is alway higher and higher levels.

Finishing the marathon crossing line was an amazing feeling. The feelings are what I described earlier when we first hit the gym. 

It gave me new found confidence, courage and pride. More importantly, renewed TRUST in myself. I achieved what I said I would do! And I didn’t let that charity down. Spared myself the shame and guilt of not stepping up.

And everyone reaped the benefits, but none more so than me.

Lesson: You become what you think about and do most in life. What was once difficult will become easy. 


5. Focus

Focus to me really means to be present.

What do you want to achieve in life that you haven’t done already? Can you honestly say that you think about this one thing day and night, 24/7? Is every action that you decide to do taking you towards this goal or away from it?

Even if you answered that with an rousing “Yes, Joe!” I know it’s not true (and so do you, I bet).  

Your mind is thinking about something (and only you know what that is) but I can assure you it isn’t one thing you’d like.

You are unaware of this, of course. I was.

It’s a distraction.

It’s taking up whatever limited willpower, focus and energy you have.

It’s probably the main reason why you don’t have what you want.

Now here’s the kicker: before we attempt to go after the new level (which takes a new level of thinking and doing), we have to practice and exercise something simple and do so consistently, like — yep — training for a marathon.

When you run, you barely can think about anything else.

If you run 4-6 times a week, over time you’ll condition yourself to become more focused.

Block out distraction that might be necessarily in your way. Become mindful!

To summarise, we both know that physically this will test you so I don’t have to talk about that too much. In fact, I haven’t even mentioned it, but what you’ll find is new mindset. One which will help you and help your clients.

You owe this to yourself.

Running could very well be the newest, best metaphor for life!

Have you ran before? Completed a race like the London Marathon or even done a 10KM run like I’m doing this Sunday in the Bali Marathon?

Trainers or gym owners, do you have the courage to make a commitment today? What’s the race which you will compete in within the next year?


11 Signs Why As A Personal Trainer You Are In The Wrong Relationship

If you have followed me at all before, you more than likely know my shifty backstory.

What you may not know is that, despite my philandering, no-good cheating ways, I’ve always been entrenched in what most would call a serious relationship. When I think back on each of these botched attempts at union, I would have said, without a doubt, “ah, yes, mate, she’s the one!”

Think back yourself. Picture all their faces. How many times have you been in love? Or better yet, how many times have you thought you were in love?

On my end, these were long term relationships, like 2 or 3 years, and, in one instance, 5 years.

I’ll spare the granular details of all these past relationships, but what I think might be worth your time to is hear about that 5 year one. My close call.

I’m guessing you’ll learn a great deal from this, just as I did, as this happened to be the exact relationship where I made a decision to figure out what was really going on with me. In the head.

I asked this question:

Joe, are you truly happy in your relationship, or are you just putting up with it?

That question was aimed to help me see myself as I really was.

A man’s mind can play tricks on him. Convince him that where he’s at is where he wants to be, especially if it isn’t. You could be like, yup, I’m happy, but because you said this inside your head, and not out loud, it loses the power to make or break reality.

Because, well, we’re as manly as a viking warlord, and the captain of our own ship, we seldom question the first thing that comes to mind with any question, let alone relationship stuff.

When I answered this question out loud, hearing made it easier to hear the deception in my voice when I answered yes, and then, by comparison, hearing the truth reverberate when I said something different, louder.

Try it. Read the question again and say your answers out loud, so you can hear your own voice. It’ll seem dumb at first, like talking to yourself in the mirror. You’ll feel like a positive psychology nut job. Ignore that.

Not convinced? Then supersize the question. Add some torque to it so you can really feel the implications of where you’re at: Can you see yourself marrying your current partner and being with her for the long term, raising a family, and growing old together, knowing she’ll be the only woman you’ll have sex with the rest of your life?

I hesitated. And hesitated and mumbled something along the lines of, “I don’t see myself having children or even being tied down to anyone.”

To be honest, I still had my father’s beliefs and negative patterns running when it came to trusting and settling down with one women, but the “I don’t see myself having children” part I’m not sure.

Maybe it was a fear of how I didn’t know, from experience, how to be a good father (I didn’t necessarily have the best role model). Or it might have just been that I didn’t think the girl I was with at the time had the qualities, characteristics and ability to be the mother and wife I would want around if I did have children and a family.

I was asked those questions about 3 years into my 5 year relationship. The clues were always there, but, for whatever reason, I wasn’t aware of them. I had convinced myself everything was “normal” and as it should be.

I’ve come up with 11 Signs You Are Unhappy In Your Relationship. If these are to be helpful in any way, you must of course accept that you are the only person responsible for your relationship and, as such, you are the only person who can get you out.

Sure, blame it on the girlfriend. Or the moon. Or Trump.

Need more of a kick? If you are in an unhappy relationship, you are leaving money on the table in your Personal Training Business and, slowly but surely, wiping you clean of all the characteristics that would make you a proper Fit Man.

So when you read the 11 Signs, have the courage to see yourself as you really are, so that you can find out what is wrong and how you can correct it. And something must be at least a wee bit off with your current ways, or you wouldn’t still be reading this.

As you read the list, hold up a mirror carefully and really see how many of these you use.

1. You rarely initiate sex but easily fantasise about other women (past sexual encounters)

To anyone else, your partner would be seen as sexually attractive, but she is not getting your mojo working anymore. Often, you talk yourself out of this truth when other people pay her compliments. It’s a lame reason to stay with her, but at this point you’re hanging on to anything you can.

1.1 On occasions you are more than fantasizing about women

Hate the player and hate the game. You are out there, stringing other girls along, having one night stands, texting, sexting, meeting for coffee, anything. Your radar is always on, searching for something new or better.

2. A lads night out or a romantic night in with the misses?

A night out with the lads every time. The lads aren’t really that important to you. But you’ll do anything to avoid spending a night in with her.

3. You are quick to justify why you haven’t married or had children yet

You know the real reasons why you haven’t, but have somehow created convincing stories as to why you haven’t.

If I had the money I would…

We’re not yet ready…

My business is still growing…

We can’t afford our own house yet to bring up a family…

We will… one day …


4. You check their phone

This shows how much distance actually exists in your relationship. And if I’m honest, I only ever felt the need to check my partners phone was when it was me who was up to something. Really, I was looking for “evidence” on her phone to justify leaving her. This is what cheats and cowards do.

5. I feel bad or sad for my partner

The hero. If I leave, who will take care of her?

When I said this to my coach, he shot me down straight away with this reply:

You didn’t feel bad when you were texting that other girl, and what about the other night when you got in a 6am after being with that girl from the strip club? Feel bad my ass.

It was guilt more than anything. Guilt of over promising, and under delivering.

6. I can’t imagine my partner with another trainer (man)

If you are still only in a relationship because you can’t bare the thought of her being with someone else, than you totally don’t have your shit together.

7. You threaten to leave a lot

Man, if someone kept doing this you’d think they leave you right? It doesn’t happen, do you know why? Because your partner is just as defective as you are. She must be if she chose you in this weakest ass version of you.

8. You have your own plans and dream which are separate from her

You have no desire to share your dreams and plans. If anything, she is seen as an extra burden.

9. You are emotionally and verbally abusive

You act out. You misbehave. You argue and argue, where before you wouldn’t have. This is a sign that you lack respect and love for your partner.

10. Financially dependant on her

She helps pay the bills each month. She helps you out in times of need, and you don’t know how you will survive without her. This is dumb. Man up. Make more money. Or spend less. Remove the excuse, and see the truth.

11. My relationship is OK in comparison to others… 

On occasion, you try your best to convince yourself that she is the right one. Because there are so many other relationships which are way worse than yours.

That’s just the thing. You might feel that you have it good but you are comparing yourself to the wrong relationship and men.

So, again, are you truly happy in your relationship?

Though this post may seem jaded, I am forever grateful to my ex’s because they taught me a lot about myself and, more importantly, what I was actually looking for in a partner and, ultimately, myself.

It was no easy ride. I had a lot of the baggage to deal with.

I’m glad it just stopped when it did. Any more years of carrying on like I was and I don’t know think there would have been a coming back. Just imagine if she would of had a child or we went through with marriage?

Are you stuck in a relationship? Or find that you go from one relationship straight into another without considering what you really want, or what type of girl you will marry?

Really give this some thought. It will save a lot of angst, frustration and you’ll be a lot more successful in business once you get this area of your life sorted, once and for all, rather than pissing about.

Respect yourself enough to demand more of yourself and your partner, and you’ll see the results in your PT business as well.  

Would you like some support with this? I know how difficult this is and I know exactly what you’re going through. Contact me directly. Send me a message below.

How To Make Money Networking As a Gym Owner or Personal Trainer

As the saying goes, when you open your mouth, you put your business in ‘da streets. So, on a personal level, whatever comes out of your mouth reveals something about your identity and what kind of man you are.

To view or download an infographic version of this blog click here.

If you own a business, you reveal its truths too (the clean and the dirty bits). Another way of putting this is that whenever you open your mouth, you are selling, whether you think you are or not, whether you want to or not. It just is.

In his landmark book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie claimed (rightfully so) that networking is a fundamental part of doing business. I’m not going to get on a soapbox and tell you that you should be networking and connecting with people, as I assume you already know this. Rather, I want to share the winning strategies of how Fit Man networks and makes money, so that when you are opening your mouth, magic happens.

I’m going to break down, step-by-step, how to make money networking. In 2015/16, I made a total of £37,500 a year from just 5 clients, by merely attending three networking events on a regular basis: Premier BNI Leicester, Niche Networking Events and Aspirational Club.

In fact, here’s Gavin, one of clients I scooped up from these events, singing our praises.

Now, I wasn’t in no upmarket area, like Mayfair, London, or New York. My business was based in Leicester (named “the poorest city in the UK”) and in that depressed area I had to compete with 49 other gyms and 245 other personal trainers.

I’m under no illusion. You may have tried networking in the past and it didn’t turn out too well. It may have felt awkward. You didn’t quite fit in, because you were just the muscly guy in the corner.

You felt out of your depth, uncomfortable, didn’t know what to say or do. It was not your usual social crowd. There were tea and biscuits instead of protein shakes, cereal, and fry ups, and overweight business women snarling at you … you get the picture. Who in their right of mind would want to experience this?

Don’t worry. I was just talking about myself above. But, was that the same for you also? Or something similar?

I totally understand. And being the introvert I am, I struggled even more. It was at that point that I went looking for expert help. And what come of it was more than I ever imagined. Both professionally and personally, I grew and you’ll see and feel what I’m talking about once you’ve followed through on this.

Side note: I won’t be sharing which networking events to choose. This really comes down personal preference, as in who is your preferred client avatar. Unless you are from Leicester, which I know inside out, you’ll have to do the heavy lifting here.

So, let’s begin by putting the foundations in place.

Shaken not stirred, enter James Bond.


Dress about 10% better than you expect your prospect (where “prospect” =  another business owner) to be dressed. Do not overdress or underdress.

Above all else, the number one reason a person decides to buy a personal training package is that they liked the person they talked to. 75% of sales are based on emotion. They don’t have to reach a state of ecstasy by talking to you. You just have to do enough for them to like you. A sharp outfit and a tight smile is usually enough.

You should be immaculate when you first meet your prospect. This means you should smell good, but not like a cologne factory. Have your hair trim and neat. Take care of the details, top to toe, inside and out, to physically appear as good as you possibly can. Leave the gym gear at home. Wear a fitted suit.

Keep these questions in mind. What is your projection to the public? What is your appearance like? Do you practice what you preach? Are you a role model? How do you sound to others? What do your words actually say? How well can you listen?

Suspend your current beliefs, rules, values and standards

Why? Because they are not serving you as well as you need them to! If they were, you’d be experiencing a life much, much better than the one you are in right now. Your current way of thinking and doing isn’t allowing you be your most powerful, influential and charismatic self.

The Fit Man edge

Learn to put yourself in state.

“The difference between peak performance and poor performance is not intelligence or ability; most often it’s the state that your mind and body is in.”                                                                                                     —Tony Robbins

We all get in lousy psychological and emotional states at times. But when you find yourself in that special place, right before you enter the networking room, make a conscious decision: change your body and get in state.


Study how gentleman should sit, stand and walk in public places.

Learn the qualities and characteristics of men who possess true chivalry.

Sharp, Enthusiastic and Expert Status

Something I learnt from Jordan Belfort:

If you can’t present yourself as someone who is sharp as a tack, enthusiastic as hell, and an expert in your field, you literally cannot move your game forward. It’s that simple.

I would repeatedly say this to myself, or as Napoleon Hill of Think and Grow Rich would put it, AFFIRM this, as I drove to the venue:

I am sharp as a tack

I am enthusiastic as hell

I am the expert

The Event

Due Diligence

Having sold many high end packages, I can tell you, in this economy, your clients are more discerning, more circumspect, more analytical, and more critical. They want to trust, but will make you dance to get there.

In other words, they want expertise, not just workouts and blocks of sessions. They want the best value for their money, not the lowest price. In addition, these business owners you are networking with are, in fact, potential clients, just as their employees and customers are, so they will be assessing and judging you harshly. They want the best and are willing to wait, and to apply for the opportunity to work with the best, most competent specialist in weight loss, health and fitness.

Now, that you are aware of this. We can act upon it.

Know this:

Who is your best client?

What are their battles?

What challenges do they have?

What frustrates them?

What are their biggest struggles and pain?

Why do they need you?

What keeps them awake at night?

How many diets and gyms have they been to?

What do they want, exactly?

If you have a firm handle on this information upfront, it allows you to be able to share stories of your clients and — most importantly — why you do what you do. It also enables you to identify your client targets.

I guarantee you these prospects will then respond favourably to you when they feel they are being treated warmly, professionally and respectively. They will feel this because you did the homework. They will be amazed and delighted because your sincere empathy and knowledge will make them feel like you already know them. It’ll be the sales version of love-at-first-sight.

The goal of the networking event is not only to set up an appointment for the prospect to come visit you at your gym, but also to establish a strong enough connection so the prospect is compelled to actually show up for the appointment. The FOMO will be so potent, they’ll have to come.

Make a good first impression

Harvard tells that the first 30 seconds of a meeting are critical, however, I believe the first 4 seconds of any encounter are the most influential. This adds pressure, but you there are specific preparations you can make so that your message is fully received and, in turn, you hear music in response: YES!


Introduce yourself by your first name and always greet with a handshake. It should be softer (but still with authority) for the lady and much firmer for a gentleman. Eye contact is equally as important.

When introducing yourself to a women, try and keep your eye level below hers. Empirical research suggests that most women are more comfortable and less intimidated when their eye level is higher than those around them. This can be difficult, especially if you are standing tall, but you should bear this is mind. Even if you are physically unable to lower your eye level, just the conscious awareness of this phenomenon tends to positively affect the interaction. Be certain to note the person’s speaking and listening pace (they are generally identical) and match them closely as possible. This “mirroring” creates connection. Do not speak so fast that the person cannot process what you are saying, and do not speak slowly if the person processes rapidly, as you will bore the crap out of them.

In the early stages, it’s perfectly natural if you are nervous about networking events. If so, take some comfort in the fact that the other persons is probably nervous as well.

Quick tip: take advantage of the brain’s natural organisation and, if possible, keep the prospect situated to your right when shaking hands, sitting and communicating. This makes the interaction more of a “left-brained” engagement, for both you and the prospect, and tends to cultivate more relaxed, analytical conversations. When that happens, business happens.

Be familiar with the terminology of the business or profession of the prospects you meet. I heard some great advice long ago, the source of which escapes me. But here it goes: when you use the exact same buzzwords your customer does, it identifies you as an “insider” and nudges your prospect more into the ‘yes’ category.

Show sincere interest and fascination with the person in front of you. If you fake it, you’re done. They must feel your authentic interest in what’s important to them, in their pursuits and business. Another word for this is rapport, and nothing helps this along better that possessing an honest and caring interest in the person you are trying to influence.


Okay, this is where its gets more interesting.

A Fit Man is a leader. He influences the mood of the group. To get others to trust you and have more faith in your opinion than they in their own, there’s a few things you have to learn how to get comfortable with.

Just like building those muscles of yours, it’ll take practice and exercise, but I can assure you it will be worth it. These are clutch life skills.

In networking events, you’re probably affected by what other people think of you. I was the same. In these situations, we quietly leave, and beat ourselves up for not doing all the things we know we should have done.

It stems from a fear of offending people. As humans, we crave approval and validation. We got that approval with our bodies, but not so much with our communication, social and business skills.  

Skip, my mentor, said it best, “Joe, either stop needing approval from other people or do an awesome job of giving them the impression that you don’t need their approval.”

He would then go on and say; “There is a saying, ‘Nice guys don’t finish last; pleasers do’. You can’t aggressively go for what you really want in life with 100 percent focus, effort and enthusiasm while desperately trying to please other people at the same time. It just doesn’t work. You will end up pleasing nobody.”

That was a lightning jolt right to the heart! It fiercely pissed me off, because for the last ten years I had been playing that same old story. I knew it. He knew. And he called me out on the carpet. Something had to change.

I no longer stay in the middle, one foot securely in my higher confidence and the other foot pandering to whims of other people. I no longer said, “maybe” or “let me think about it” or “well, what do you think” or  “I’ll try”. This was the feckless kind of language and communication I used to deploy.

If that language sounds familiar, just be more decisive. Yes or No. Have the courage to choose a side. Trust yourself more.

When you have this confidence and verve, people naturally gravitate towards you. Then, when they are in your orbit, you can lead them.

You are not a personal trainer. Those are boring.

I first learned that from Paul Mort. (If you haven’t yet, go and check out his Marketing Muscle Inner Circle programme – decent!) I cannot recall the correct term he used, but it is essentially coming up with your own elevator pitch – It might of even been that 🙂

First lets see what the definition is.

I like Wikipedia’s

Put simply, when someone asks “Joe, what is it that you do?” I do DO NOT REPLY WITH  “I work as a personal trainer at…”

If you do that, you miss your opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Given that you have only a few second to make that impression, don’t waste it spouting the bland resume crap you hear everyone using.

It has to be memorable. To this, it must appeal to both sides of the brain, both the rational and the emotional, so that long long after they leave the event they are still thinking about what you said. If you’re good, they’ll be compelled to  share what you said with friends and family at another event that same day.

This spiel has worked well for me:

“I am Joe Hanney, I’m a multi award winning performance and change specialist, speaker and business owner.

I help ambitious business women overcome their biggest fears and challenges when it comes to achieving their dream body…”

With these two examples, one makes you want to fall asleep. The other creates mystery, curiosity and leaves the prospect wanting to know more.

You may feel obligated to leave them a business card. Boring. Forget business cards. Give them A BOOK. This plot twist makes the exchange even more memorable because you are making the familiar unfamiliar.

See, they are so used to receiving a business card, it’s no more memorable than getting handed a receipt at Starbucks or brushing their teeth. It’s automatic. When you swap out one boring physical object (the card) with something more exciting (a book), this creates a story worth sharing.

They might say, “I met a guy Joe the other day, Instead of giving me a business card, he gave me a book.” Then, not only one person, but two people are talking about you and your book.

It doesn’t have to be a book. It can be anything you do, at anytime, in the networking process which snaps someone out of autopilot long enough to see you.


When you have an ideal prospect who is showing real interest, take their details, and plant the suggestion that you’ll “try” to give them call in 3 days time. Don’t call them in three. Call them in five. It’s a bit like dating, where absence and distance creates desire.

Start the phone conversation with something personally related to them which you purposely remembered from your previous conversation with them. It could be simple, like remembering that they heading to the park that afternoon with their children.

This warms the space enough for you to then ask a series of thoughtful, open ended questions, which warms the space further for you to eventually present your offer. Remember that they are smart, and the totally “get” that you are selling to them, but also remember that nobody like to be sold to, especially in an aggressive way.

If you’ve done your part to create the conditions for rapport to be built, they’ll usually reciprocate. Popping the question and getting a “YES” is then only a matter of tact and timing.

One of my go-to methods for creating these conditions of success is offering free sessions. To learn how I use these to sell high-end packages and command the highest fees, go here.

One more important thing. If all this networking mumbo jumbo seems boring and too much work, let the numbers excite you.

The value of getting just one client to me was worth £6500 a year. The average a client would renew every year for 3 years. That’s £19,500. I don’t know of any other marketing tool that would give that kind of return on investment. If you then do group or semi private coaching, you can serve more people by leveraging your time. Then the money really gets interesting.

Fit Men know their numbers. Period.


My opportunities and success came from networking. That’s how I created the Dine on a Diet Concept,

became a judge for Miss Great Britain, and sponsored awards at prestigious events like the Leicester Mercury Sports Awards. It’s how I was a featured columnist in local magazine and newspapers. It’s how I met the Lord Mayor. It’s how I was a judge at Leicester Got Talent and received the invite to watch Leicester Vs Manu in a posh box when Vardy beat Van Nistelrooy’s record! I think back sometimes, and wonder what it was like for another personal trainer in Leicester watching me become a local expert and celebrity. I never ever had to search for clients. I am here to tell you that neither do you.

I say this not to brag or impress you, but to impress upon you the fact that you do not have to struggle anymore. You can create and master whatever market space you want to play in. You know my background.



If you want that market space to be high end, and if you want to have more time and freedom in you life while making exponential cash, you can! If you feel it’s the right time, ask me how I can help lock out your competition for good.

How would you now introduce yourself at a networking event? What would you say to make yourself memorable?

Prefer to discuss this over a 15 minute Make Money Networking Strategy Session? Click here.



Don’t try to deny it. Men always crave them…

Sex… Money…

and Fame.

You wouldn’t be totally wrong if you called us a bunch of animals. We’ve fallen for the shiny lifestyle of movie stars, footballers, celebrity trainers, and millionaires, which has in turn led us to compromise our better lives and forfeit cultivating the character of a real man.

The fact that our clients rave about our physical prowess doesn’t help matters much. Verity over at News Hub referred to this phenomenon in her racy blog ‘Why Are Personal Trainers The New Sex Gods…

If you are curious, I hold a slightly different perspective.  

Until now, your beliefs about sex, money and fame are, in fact, a lifelong accumulation of confusion.

You might think sex, money and fame is one thing, but it’s actually another. I admit, that may be an unpopular perspective, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have chased something totally different.

Money, in fact, does not solve everything. Or anything, really.   

I’m willing to risk telling you something that you might not like (and believe me, I would’ve probably been the same, as more money meant everything to me).

If just one person out of everyone who reads (or skims) this takes what I say and makes the changes necessary, the risk was worth it.

Back when I was first trying to sort myself out, I went looking around for “man stuff” and nothing was ever available. It was all smoke and mirrors.

Still reading? Good. It probably because you’re interested in what else I’ve got to say or you still need a little context.

This next part is for the latter, because I have yet to convince you of this.

The way you currently think about sex, money, and fame will seriously make you an unhappy, lonely, cash strapped individual. When I say “you” I am, of course, talking about me, but I am also talking about you.

I can talk about you because of experience. Here’s where it all started… I’ve kept this version kinda clean, maybe in a future post I’ll add the unedited version… 

Exposure to Porn

Forget school. My “sex education” classes came from porn. My “mature” father thought it was a good idea to show me porn at 9 years old. It was just another night drunk for him, but it began to shape the kind of man I would become.

You might think showing porn to a boy is harmless, but it is not.

I totally degraded women from this point on. Not clients, of course. Girlfriends and hook-ups, mostly. It became an act of winning the “love” or sexual favour of someone — nothing else. Even when I thought I was in love, I still degraded women (if you are anything like me, you’ve fell in love a lot of times).  

Porn is really bad education, especially when you are young and inexperienced.

The desire porn creates will always leave you unsatisfied. I wasn’t addicted to porn; rather I was in a way traumatised and conforming to my father’s unhealthy habits.

Add to that some more “fatherly” advice. Don’t ever trust women. “There are too many of them to just settle with one.” Years on years “playing the field” really frigged up my brain chemistry.

A sexually obsessed personal trainer is not essentially different from a person addicted to drugs or alcohol. Both have lost control over their faculties of reason and willpower.

Over to you…

Have you ever been truly faithful to your girlfriend(s)? Do you always desire something better, or something else when in a relationship?

Say an opportunity comes up to go out with the lads. You go, because there’s always the fear-of-missing-out on strip clubs, threesomes, or just empty casual sex. It doesn’t matter if you have a client at 6am — you do it.

Staying in a relationship just because…

Easily influenced by the lights, the cars and the lifestyle footballers portrayed

I will tell you this. I lived like a footballer (just without the actual football).  

I’m not so sure if this was the case for you, but most personal trainers have some kind of history with a chosen sport. Mine was football.

Those that don’t quite fulfil their dreams of playing at a professional level, for whatever reason, tend to end up in the fitness industry. It’s a natural exchange, but there’s also a natural problem.

Everything I thought football would do for me, everything I needed football to do for me, was no longer available. I had to find alternative outlets.

I was still trying to prove to the world that I was good enough — grieving without realising it. Add some immaturity to that mixed up world, and I found myself chasing all the wrong things in the wrong places, pushing harder and harder, no matter what.

I was convinced that in order to live the life I wanted, I would need money, and lots of it. Like f-you kind of money. But, the game of chasing money is endless. And it only results in one thing.


The lust of money make us slaves.

More importantly, it shines a light on our true weakness: our self worth. Most men see the worth of their manhood in terms of money.

As some say, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

Your turn again…

Honestly, how much of your time do you spend thinking about money?

Do you worry when you have it and and when you don’t?

Do you even worship what money can do?

One last thing before we move on. This unhealthy mind of yours is only ever going to attract the same kind of woman, who are perhaps more defective than you. They are more defective than you because they are attracted to this lower version of the true you.

Afraid of connection, intimacy and love

Before I sign off, a couple of things I have said might be misleading (slightly), in that footballers, movie stars, celebrity personal trainers and millionaires have the fame, the money, and the sex, but what it means to them is so very different than what it means to us. We’re different animals.

It comes down to our greatest fears: connection, intimacy and love.

I’m conscious of the length this blog post is becoming. When it comes to personal trainers and gym owners, this really requires a full book of its own.

Here’s the kicker. Let’s admit it: you turned to the fitness industry because it gives you a level of control, approval and/or the security you can’t get anywhere else.

You simply haven’t put enough thought or effort in other areas.

If you want a to read more about this now, I recommend that you go and read this post over at the Men’s Movement: “Why Are Men Afraid Of Healthy Women.”


At my absolute worst, I did everything in my power to manipulate my ex’s to leave me, left women pregnant, kept relationships at a distance, even nearly killed myself drunk driving, all because I was trying to escape.

At that time, I wasn’t so self aware. If we were friends at that time, I would have told you that I simply needed a night out, to blow off some steam.

Trust me, you don’t want even half of this to happen to you. There is no way you’ll ever be able to focus on what you really want with this stress hanging around. All of this, and putting on this show, only made me weaker as a man.

It really is time for men to come forward and be men — especially in the fitness world.  Our world must have them, women anxiously seek them, and children desperately need them.

The only thing women want men to be is men. And the only thing most men desire to be is men. 

Most men do not understand what it is to be a man. That’s what Fit Man is all about: a conscious platform, a brotherhood to help you get rid of what’s standing in your way to becoming the man you know you are, and to help you redefine your current beliefs, values and standards so that you can get there on your terms.

When you find love and romance and are truly open to them, a whole set of new emotions will be released capable of driving you to super achievements in all areas of your life.

Your Journey

So things are little trickier now that you’ve read this? There’s a way to make your journey easier, and it may even help you find that special someone even quicker. Let’s chat privately about this here.




They say love sets you free. If so, why do so many Personal Trainers get in their own way? Notoriously, we create “blocks” which limit our ability to have a deep, meaningful relationships.

We’re a weird bunch, us fitness fanatics. It’s a chicken and egg situation. The fitness world either attracts a certain kind of person, or it totally makes us this way.  

My clients often share intimate details of their broken life beyond the walls of the gym. Some tell me it’s their lack of control when it comes to sexual urges. For others, they lack a well-defined purpose in their career and life. Or, more unsettling, they’ve allowed bad influences during childhood to continue to define them. Across the board, there’s a poverty of ambition to chase what they feel they deserve.

I was the worst version of all of that. Thinking back now, I would never have dreamed this was was me just a few years ago. I’ll spare you the story of me crawling out of  the Platinum Lace Lap Dancing Club, with a girl on each arm, though with my then girlfriend at home naively waiting for me.

I share this to give hope to those who need it. If I can change, you certainly can. I  wasn’t just broken when it came to relationships. Everywhere, I was a piss-ant. Biblically bad. Rebellious. Idolatrous. Lost. Enslaved. Disobedient. Egotistic. Dishonest. Adulterous. And, in case I haven’t bench pressed this point enough,  ‘dead’ of love, intimacy and connection.

When I did something, I did it until it absolutely breaks me. I couldn’t just have wandering thoughts about hot girls. I had the urge to find one.

But don’t let the lime light fool you. That’s precisely where it starts. Yeah, the money comes, the fame comes, but is escalates from there. You think you’re going up, but you’re actually going down.

To view or download an infographic version of this blog click here.

If you can relate, even in the slightest from what I described above, or you’re putting a great deal of effort into the wrong relationship (always on the lookout, thinking there is better yet to come…), and you’re unsure of what to do, I’m here to tell you that the change starts with you.

It’s got nothing to do with your partner. Well, some of it might. If she is attracted to this weaker, lower version of who you are now, she certainly won’t be attracted to who you will become!

At the root of all this is identity. Do you know who you really are, at the core? Nothing happens by accident. Feel free to use any fumbles, insights, tips, half-baked experience, pseudo-wisdom, or pure honesty from my past to shine a light or hold up mirror to your life. Self-awareness can come from anywhere, even from an old PT like me.

“Self Awareness” is one of those terms thrown around too much by the so-called personal development prophets out there. Like Tony, I’m no guru, but we both have the thousand yard stare from our share of life’s firewalks.

So what is self-awareness? Everybody has a different take. For what it’s worth, I have mine, which may be useful to you. To that possible end I’ll include a few questions below which I’d be honoured if you found the time to answer in the comments section.

If you already know me and want to get to know me better, or it just feels like you are in the right place, you can jump right into the passenger seat, fasten your seatbelt, and supercharge your journey of self-discovery by requesting a 90 minute personal Discovery Coaching Call now.  

You can stick around and read on, of course. Hesitation in the face of a solution might keep you in the vast majority of people who continue to fail at relationships.

I have had the privilege of analyzing the fitness industry for 14 years, working closely with male personal trainers, celebrity trainers and studio owners whom were classed as ‘failures’ in relationships (myself included).

My observations proved that there are more causes to failing relationships than the blocks which I sketched out earlier:

Some tell me it’s their lack of control when it comes to sexual urges. For others, they lack a well-defined purpose in their career and life. Or, more unsettling, they’ve allowed bad influences during childhood to continue to define them. Across the board, there’s a poverty of ambition to chase what they feel they deserve.

I found there’s at least 26 more!

For some, the major block is a lack in capital (“My personal training business barely survives month to month, how on earth will I be able to afford raising a family?”), then when uncertainty is added to that, such as the fear that you won’t be able to provide the very best for your partner, it get’s messy. You tell yourself, “that’s the minimum she deserves!”

Then, there’s the block of regret because you’ve chosen the wrong partner, but stay in due to shame or guilt. There’s also the issues of trust and control (the unhealthy reasons you were attracted to the fitness industry in the first place!).

Try going through the first 5 blocks on the list. Measure yourself against them. It will help you to discover how many of these causes of failure stand between you and real love, romance (and epic sex)! You can indeed transform any block into a more powerful emotion capable of driving you to new levels of happiness and achievement.

Prefer to go deeper right away? Consider filling out this Personal Discovery Questionnaire, and schedule your call here.



  1. What was the general atmosphere in your home when you were a child (including parenting and relationship between your parents) and when / how did this change?
  2. Do you have any physical or emotional scars? What are their stories?
  3. Have you ever put much thought, energy and focus into deciding who you would like as a mate? If not, why? What’s important to you about the type of partner you want?
  4. Who would you not want as a mate? Get your checklist out.  List characteristics, style, attributes, mindset, purpose, values, interests, nationality, etc.
  5. In an ideal world, would you like to be living your ideal life right now? Is there anyone or anything that you feel powerless over? Who or what is running your life?

This not helping? Or am I boring you. You just want the Sex, Money and Straight Up Power don’t you?

I get it. I did too.

Then you might want to go and read the untold version of this. There is a story for everyone here. Maybe, even a private video showing lots of girls fuelled with Vodka … at The Encore Las Vegas.



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3 Fatal Mistakes Keeping You From Beating Your Competition

You want to beat the competition. I’ll show you how. Let’s begin with a “shameless” boost from a happy client of mine:  

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a shameless advert for something that preoccupies much of my life now….

I called Joe Hanney.

He answered all my searching, skeptical questions.

I joined his establishment.

The rest is history and hopefully will remain that way.

I am fitter, thinner and stronger than I have ever been.

Would I have done this without this place…? The honest answer is … I don’t think so. Whatever results I have achieved are not solely mine, but theirs. The process has been sweat and definitely some tears. Mostly my sweat & tears — and sometimes theirs — as I am probably the definition of difficult client, yet they never gave up on me!

Here is the reality check…if you want to join a gym where you turn up when you feel like it, stroll on a treadmill or read a book on a bike, then I strongly suggest you DON’T join. Firstly, because there are no bikes or treadmills! And secondly, because this experience is not for you. It takes hard work and commitment. However, if you want a tailor-made nutrition and exercise programme which recognises your functional limitations and behavioural issues with food and you are prepared to do what it takes… keep reading  

This is MY gym. They work for ME. They adapt what they do to get me the results I want, and the rest is up to me. I’ve had constant advice and support (weekly semi-private personal training and one-to-one discussions on progress and challenges). Those of you who know about my gym habit sometimes question the fees I pay. My philosophy here is that “you get what you pay for”. I have probably spent thousands in gym memberships and weight loss programmes in the past, yet nothing else has been successful for me….until now.  

I’m not where I want to be yet in terms of weight, inches and functional fitness but I’m the furthest along that I’ve ever been…thanks to U Fit Studio  

Here endeth the sentimental journey….thanks for reading!

Apsara Leslie


There are literally hundreds more client success stories like this (a tribe which called themselves “U Fitters”).

As for me, I have muscles, but I’m no academic.

To view or download an infographic version of this blog click here.

Actually, I dropped out of University while studying Sport Science. I was way too focused on football rather than my studies.

That was probably why I only came out with C’s and D’s. PE was my highest grade (a B). The only real qualification I held as a personal trainer was the Level 3 Certificate In Personal Training (okay, I had the Les Mills RPM Certificate, too).

And to cut a long story short, despite all that, I managed to become the founder of the multi-award winning U Fit Studio, an innovative, results-driven personal training studio. It commanded high membership fees, but wasn’t in a big city, as you might imagine. It was in Leicester.

Leicester! Of all places!

Never heard of Leicester? You are not alone. Leicester wasn’t even a blip on the radar until last year (2016), when Leicester City won the Premier League title for the first time in their history.

It was a feat even more miraculous than the Chicago Cubs finally winning the World Series over in America!

And in Leicester, I didn’t have the title award winning team to help me make a name for myself. Instead, I was competing against:

  • 12 other personal trainers at the mega-gym Greens Health & Fitness (now Nuffield). They had 5,000 members, where at any one time 600 people would be on the floor. When 13 trainers are competing for them, it was slim pickings.
  • 49 other gyms within 12 miles, all with a minimum of 5 personal trainers each (a total 245 other personal trainers)
  • Two private hospitals offering weight loss services and advice
  • More than a dozen GP clinics offering weight loss advice and medication
  • 41 Weight Watcher meetings
  • Lighter life meetings every day for 365 days of the year…
  • Also, Slimming world… and other weight loss classes

Google “Weight Loss Leicester” and there are half a million results. Google “personal trainer Leicester” and you’ll get 7,840,000 results.


Despite all of that, I decided to take the leap from a commercial gym to my own private studio, in the little of Leicester, in a saturated market.

My studio wasn’t in some high-end affluent area or even a sweet spot in the city centre. It was on a rural industrial site, which wasn’t really even fit to host a factory warehouse, let alone a boutique personal training studio.

On that site, there were many buildings, ugly and run down. Not only that, but you couldn’t even see U Fit Studio from the roadside. You had to go searching for it, and there wasn’t even a sign posted.


People would constantly ring us and ask, “Where are you?! I’ve driven up this road a thousand times!? In this business, first impressions are important, so this difficulty for clients was a big No-No, especially considering how saturated the market was. I was already fighting for a limited market, and now I was asking them to pay higher fees and drive out to the boondocks, only to get lost?

The building and piping was old. The landlord was fraudulent. Parking was sketchy at best. Some of these huge big box gyms have spaces for 100+ cars. The so-called plush studios in town boasted private lots. Us, on the other hand, had space for 10 cars (see picture). Yup, that was it. Just down the side and to the rear.

Alright. You have the picture. But why did I start this blog with a client testimonial?

Well, it was my hope that by painting a honest picture of how the odds might have been stacked against us to even survive, let alone thrive, you can set out to do whatever you want to do. By removing the excuses, you can take on the market, from anywhere.  

In whatever situation you find yourself in now, if you follow the 3 Simple Steps below, you’ll also have the best chance to also thrive!  

To really bring the point home:

  • Leicester was voted fourth lowest level of disposable income in the UK
  • A national report in 2015 stated Leicester is the poorest city in the UK
  • In 2016, the average income was only £12,071 per person

Eek. That’s only £1005.91 per month.

Despite that, I still managed to thrive off a business model where I got more money from fewer members. I took on 4850 fewer members than the commercial gyms.

Now, you’re probably thinking “yeah Joe, that’s great to hear, but even though your story inspires me and all of what you’ve said describes me now and that I’m up against, it’s tiring, and I fear I’m not going to last in this industry…”

I hear you, I really do.

So, I’ve put together a list of the most common mistakes I see personal trainers and small gym owners making. You can use this article as a checklist and see if you’re making the same mistakes.

Then using the solutions I’ve shared, try and fix these issues as soon as possible.

Now, just because you might be making these mistakes, it’s not the time to get defensive and take any of this personally. I mean, okay, get defensive, but let it go, so that you can move on and get on with it.

Despite what your perception might be of those who have achieved great things in the industry, it’s not different for them. They get defensive, too, as do I.

They’ve been here, done that. Got the shirt. They realised (just as you will) that mistakes are part of growing. As long as you learn to persevere at an even higher level, and allow time for things to take its course, it will all start to fit together.

I want you to fix this more than ever. Bear in mind that this is in no particular order and it is a helicopter view, but it all matters.

You’ve continued to replicate and duplicate already dying fitness models.  

Just because every other trainer is doing 1-2-1 training, and charging by the hour, doesn’t mean that you have to.

Just take a look at the research mainly by Carron and Spink (1993) in which I must thank Jacque Crockford for… whom also wrote a brilliant article on ‘Discovering the benefits of small group training‘ 

Why do clients hire you? To achieve results. But how can you possible do that if the hard evidence suggests that clients are more likely to stick to their programs if they’re in a group setting?

Because it gets results, a group model increases client retention. And retention puts more money in your back pocket, and for less working hours.

Take this for example:

Let’s say the client chooses to train once per week.

1-2-1 Training Model


£50 per hour, or £600 for a package of 12 sessions

You have 21 clients. That’s 21 hours per week, yielding £1050 per week.

That’s £4,200 per month.

Stay with me.

Small Group Training (3 clients per hour)


£120 per hour (£40 x 3), or £1440 for a package of 12 sessions

You have 21 clients. That’s 7 hours per week, yielding £840 per week.

That’s £3,360 per month

Hang on a minute Joe, you said I would earn more!

Yes, that’s right. You will!

With the small group training you are working 7 hours week instead of 21.

So, if you did small group training and you increased that to 21 hours per week, it would look like this:

£120 (3 clients @ £40 each) x 21 hours = £2,520 per week. That’s £10,080 a month.

But what other benefits are there?

  • More opportunity for client referrals
  • Tighter schedules mean clients work around your diary
  • The power of influence. If one client drinks a post-workout shake, others will too because they don’t want to feel left out. That’s more upsell.
  • Greater gravitational pull for clients to stick with you means you worry less about searching for new clients or whether you’ll have enough money next month
  • Plus much more…

Adapt to your clients wants and needs, not what the other trainers are doing.

This leads nicely onto the next mistake…


You have no personal brand

It makes no sense to me to call yourself a “Personal Trainer”.

Yes, if all you want to be known for is someone who can count from 10 to 1 backwards, be my guest.

When a potential client thinks of a personal trainer, what crosses their mind?

According to Paige Waehner, there are 10 reasons why people are afraid to hire a personal trainer:

  1. It costs too much
  2. I’m too overweight and out of shape
  3. I don’t know what to expect
  4. I’m afraid it will hurt
  5. I’m afraid of an injury
  6. I have personal trainer or gym trauma
  7. I’m afraid of failing
  8. I’m afraid of committing
  9. I’m afraid of looking like an idiot
  10. I’m afraid I won’t like my personal trainer

So, this is not a good advert.

How, do you differentiate yourself from all the other personal trainers in your town?

The strategy right now is the cheapest fee gets the client.

How many enquires have you received that begin by asking what your prices are?  

I know what you’re thinking; you can explain how different you are if you get a chance to speak to the prospect.

I fear not. I could send a mystery shopper to you right now and almost predict word-for-word how the conversation would go.

We’re just scratching the surface here. We’re talking about a failing title that the failing fitness industry demands that you should adopt …

Time to do something different.

But first, what does Personal Branding actually mean?

I like how Neil Patel put it:

Personal branding describes the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leveraging it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish reputation and credibility, advance their careers, and build self-confidence.

He also shared another great resource, Andrew Cooke.

The end goal is then to create a unique value proposition.

And to begin that process, Andrew Cooke, from Growth & Profit Solutions, suggests that you ask yourself these two questions:

People “buy” you – so how do you differentiate yourself from others?  What can you do to attract the people you want, and to be attractive to them?

If you take a look at his site, he takes it a whole lot further.

Bottom line is:

  • Who are you?
  • What is your story?
  • Why did you really get into the fitness industry in the first place?
  • Who gives you the most personal satisfaction to help?
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • Who gets the best results or positive change when you help them?
  • What strengths do you possess, what skills do you need to acquire?
  • What are your core values, rules, beliefs and standards?

Once you can answers these questions, the personal branding process can truly begin.

What you’ll then quickly realise is that once you figure out who you really are and what you have to offer, you have something that no one else has. You are truly unique. You have a story. Use that to differentiate yourself and create new demand. Do your thing, and leave the competition to copycat one another and fight over the same clients.

Why do you think I attracted middle aged women, slightly overweight, who had put their life on hold, barely surviving to bring up children on their own who over time lost confidence in themselves, questioned their self-worth and practically given up on life…?

Because I knew who I was. I owned my story.

When visiting my website, people wouldn’t see a list of qualifications or how self centered I was. Rather, they’d see that I built something my ideal clients would want to buy!


You’ve never hired a coach for yourself.

And for that reason, you don’t appreciate its full power or recognise the impact it can have on people’s lives, including your own

Let’s say your client comes to you to lose weight.

How many times have you helped such a client lose weight and they are still unhappy for whatever reason?

Or, I’m guessing it is very rare that you even got a long enough chance to help them lose weight? Before you know it, they decided to not continue. They become demotivated, or other things got in the way.

What motivates one client will be completely different from the other.

How do you communicate differently and effectively to ensure all clients reach their intended targets?

To be truly outstanding at getting your clients the results they want is to have your current beliefs, rules, values and standards challenged.



Well, you entered the fitness industry to help other people attain their health and fitness goals, but did it occur to you that it may have been also about healing yourself?

Now that I’ve brought these 3 Fatal Mistakes into your awareness, do question them, and evaluate what you are currently doing and what needs to change.

How many of these are you falling prey too? What do you plan to do to fix them? Have you already fixed them, and if so please comment below, so that other trainers can learn.



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Six Books That Will Change The Way You Think About Being A Personal Trainer

Here’s a cliché: I have muscles, but I’m no academic. Actually, I dropped out of University while studying Sport Science. I was way too focused on football rather than my studies. Sound familiar?

That was probably why I only came out with C’s and D’s. PE was my highest grade – a B. The only real qualification I held as a personal trainer was the Level 3 Certificate In Personal Training. (Okay, I had the Les Mills RPM Certificate, too).

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. Daddy never set up a trust fund. Or trust, for that matter. Both parents were of the die-hard, working-class stock. Apart from a few quid playing football, and a few more slaving in the factory warehouse of Next, I was poor. In between not studying and not-really-working, I found books.

This “love of books” started a long time ago. It wasn’t instilled in me by my parents. No John Keating-style teacher who “reached me” and awakened a deep yearning for knowledge.

I suppose I always had the ability to make good judgements and quick decisions. And at some point, despite being unacademic, I was able to add 2 + 2 together: reading books helped me make good judgements and fast decisions. The lightbulb moment: the more books I read, the better my judgement and decisions.

The brightest bulb came later: better judgments and decisions helped me make more money.

I was prepared to take risks because it made perfect sense to me. Reading books and using the author’s’ ideas would increase my knowledge. I could then combine this knowledge with my own experience and perspective. This would help me to become more successful.

Reading a book by someone with 20 years of experience helps me to increase the depth of my knowledge by 20 years in just the space of a week. Reading five books over the space of five weeks would give me 100 years of experience. The math sounds crazy, but it’s true.

Most trainers focus on how to become more qualified in exercise and nutrition. I took a different path and chose to study business. I learned about all the key things that a personal trainer needs to make themselves a success: business, marketing, sales and leadership. I read the autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, from cover to cover, in order to absorb their secrets.

Reading helped to give me a better understanding of my personal training business, which consistently turned over £100,000 to £200,000 a year. I did this by training only 70-100 clients. I worked as a trainer only 4 hours each week, to keep my head in the game, but had my team do most of the work.

I realized through my experiences, and by reading, that clients don’t see personal trainers as what they really are: a business. No client in their right mind would cancel a doctor’s appointment or refuse to pay their mortgage. Why should personal trainers allow clients to cancel at a moment’s notice or fail to show up at all?

So, yes, I read a lot of books.

I read one book a week over the course of a year. It’s added up. 350 books in the past several years.

Six of those books changed the way I think as a personal trainer. In the same way that reading amazing books allows me to quickly absorb years of knowledge, I find it’s also helpful to get access to the reading lists of other people. Not every book is a winner. And you could waste a lot of time chasing wisdom in the wrong places.

I’m 100% sure these books will enrich you in ways you never thought possible:

Think and Grow Rich

It is said that Napoleon Hill has made more millionaires than any other person in history. “Think And Grow Rich” has also created hundreds, if not thousands of motivational speakers.

All the books I’ve read by great authors such as Dale Carnegie, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield are explicitly influenced by Hill. This book is bedrock. Not to be missed.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

The time-for-money trap makes you value wealth over your personal life. This was the book that taught me that.

Change your way of thinking about your personal training business, and create something that makes you rich without sacrificing all of your time.

I highly recommend “The E-Myth Revisited”. I read it in a day as I was between clients, back when I worked 40 plus hours a week.

The Magic Hundred: How to Break Away from the Crowd and Go From Serial Goal Setting to Serious Goal Getting in Just 100 Days!

My dreams of becoming a professional footballer had slipped away. This book made me think big. I lost the despair and was empowered to live big once again. Sentences like “how to break away from the crowd and go from serial goal setting to serious goal getting” got me back in the game, albeit a different one.

This book asked me to do unfamiliar things. I remember lying in bed trying to be quiet, as I still shared a bedroom with my brother in our parent’s council house. I was creating a list of goals. God knows what kind of goals I was writing but one thing is for sure: it certainly made a difference in how I went about life. Hill says, “whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.” The Magic Hundred helped me believe it.

Awaken The Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Life

A well loved classic. Completely changed the way I thought about how personal trainers coach their clients.

The book is littered with inspiring and thought provoking quotes, like this ringer: “changing an organisation, a company, a country or a world begins with the simple step of changing yourself.”

Results Fitness Ultimate Fat Loss Programming for Personal Trainers

I couldn’t leave out Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove. These two people have helped me in more ways than they know. I consider myself a great salesman, leader, influencer and performance specialist. However, as I was shifting from being a personal trainer to a business owner, I was in the dark. Alwyn and Rachel was there to guide me.

Secrets of Closing the Sale

This book includes more than 100 different ways to close a sale depending on the situation and 700 thought-provoking questions to use with your prospects. You’ll also find suggestions from a hundred of America’s most successful salespeople.

Not only did Zig Ziglar do a great job at showing me the importance of selling, but he also made me realise that the fitness industry is doing a bad job at selling: trainers are making the quick sale and forgetting about their clients afterwards.

These are just 6 from the 350 plus books I’ve recently read. I haven’t mentioned the courses I’ve completed, or the guests I’ve interviewed on the Fit Man Collective Podcast. Just not enough room to share all of them here, but I’m confident that with these 6 books, you’ll begin to think differently.

Prepare for your worldview to be upended.

Are these books already on your list? What did you get out of them? Have a book which rocked your world. Let us know in the comments below.

Reading books can fast track your experience level and wisdom. So can meeting a mentor. Just a 90 minute call with an experienced mentor can shave weeks off your personal development time. Book a call with me to accelerate more of the gains which really matter.



34 Quotes For PT’s In Their 20’s

This year I turn 34 (on April 25th) I thought, hey, how about I whip up 34 quotes which have inspired and moved me in profound ways. I know, I know, there are probably way too many Insta-quotes out there, most saccharine sweet and overused. Yet, given that, I don’t judge. Words and quotes cliche to one person can be the holy gospel to another.

I’ve grown and developed more in the past 4 years than I have the previous 30. I really stuffed things up in my 20’s, which left me behind the curve when it came to the most important things in my life.

Life is good now, but hasn’t always been.

To view or download an infographic version of this blog click here.

There’s a lot of inequality and suffering in the world, so when someone achieves a good life, when they make it, I believe — and I hope you do too — that there’s a strong responsibility to tell your story and reveal your path, so that others can take what they need and apply it to themselves if they so choose.

So, it’s in that spirit, in my 34th year, that I choose to wear my heart on my sleeve and share what I can, with you and your path in mind.

I really wish my earlier self-had been more open to considering the deeper meaning behind the following quotes. So in the hopes that one of these might land well with you and, perhaps, trigger a more enlightened personal development journey sooner, I leave you with what I believe are 34 pieces of gold:  

  1. Don’t get complacent

“Complacency is man’s biggest weakness. It creeps upon us when we least expect it.” – Jay Mullins

  1. Learn how to listen

If you don’t listen you don’t sell anything” – Caralyn Marland

3.  Read a lot of books, and create your own library

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr Seuss

Learn about the 6 books that will change the way you think about being a personal trainer by clicking here

  1. Be smart with your money

“Rich people stay rich by living like they’re broke. Broke people stay broke by living like they’re rich.”

  1. Learn who you really are

“It’s impossible to have a clear sense of what you want out of life if you have not deeply defined the person you want to become.” – Joe Hanney

  1. Travel

“It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

  1. Get to work

Denzel Washington – Fall Forward

"You will lose. You will embarrass yourself. You will suck at something." – Denzel Washington Create The Life You've Always Wanted: http://bit.ly/goalcast-create

Posted by Goalcast on Sunday, 26 February 2017


  1. Find true love

“Men prosper when they devote, become loyal and learn to trust.” – Joe Hanney

  1. Be open to more hardship

“Be thankful for the hard times because they have made you.” – Leonardo DiCaprio

  1. Study Buddhism

Buddhism to me is the training of the mind.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha

  1. Freedom of Choice

“Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.”

  1. Meditate

“Quiet the mind and the soul will speak.” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

  1. Find your purpose

“The two most important days in your life is the day you were born the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

  1. Take 100% responsibility. Always.

“More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them.”

  1. Set high standards

“Don’t lower your standards for anyone or anything. Self-respect is everything.”

  1. Challenge every belief you think is true


  1. Inspire

The mediocre trainer tells.

The good trainer explains.

The superior trainer demonstrates.

The great trainer inspires.

  1. Hire a coach

Learn my 7 reasons why it is important to hire a coach through my free video series by entering your name and email below:

Why it is important to hire a coach


  1. Be present more

“The future depends on what you do this moment.”

  1. Act of kindness

“You never know when one act of kindness or one word of encouragement will change a life forever.”

  1. Be grateful

“When you are grateful, fear disappears, & abundance appears.” – Tony Robbins

  1. Step outside the four walls of the gym

Where a fitness professional’s true character and worth is built.” – Joe Hanney

  1. Pain

“The cure for pain is within the pain.” – Rumi

  1. Ego

“Big egos are big shields for lots of empty space.” – Diana Black

  1. Let GO

“One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Whether it’s guilt, anger, love or betrayal. Change is never easy. We fight to hold on and we fight to let go.”

  1. Comfort zone

“Get comfortable with uncomfortable.”

  1. Death

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will.”

“The trouble is you think you have time.” – Buddha

  1. Persistence

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” – Bill Bradley

  1. Life

“Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire.” – Napoleon Hill

  1. Selfish


  1. Uncertainty

“When it feels scary to jump that’s exactly when you jump. Jumping will free you from all the pain and angst you have in your life.” – Joe Hanney

  1. Role Model

“Men, your sons will grow up to be like YOU. Your daughters will grow up and marry men like YOU.”

  1. No limits

What would you do instead, if there were no limitations and no consequences to not being a personal trainer?”

  1. Cake

“Is for life not just for birthdays.”


Okay, it was a bit cheeky to add in quotes of my own, but hey, it’s my party, and what’s the point if we’re not having fun doing what we do, right? I think the larger point here might be that we should all aim to live lives worth quoting about, to do what you do with such verve, purpose, and passion, that you simply can’t help writing quotes about it, and to do so with the humble intent to inspire others to live more now.

Everyone, I believe, has someone looking up to them for wisdom and advice. You have someone, I’m sure. If you were to come up with a quote right now for that person, what would it be? It doesn’t have to be sexy. Just make it from the heart, and leave it below in the comments section.



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Whatever it takes to find the real you, don’t be daunted if the rest of the world looks on in shock.” Stephen Richards, author

We all like to think that we know everything about ourselves. In reality, the chances are that it’s not as much as you think. Many personal trainers are living a life of illusion because they are happy to settle for less, instead of maximising their true potential.

On the other hand, A Fit Man knows exactly what he wants: he turns his hopes and desires into action and results. The key is that he is able to think with clarity all of the time. His clear mind enables him to approach every situation with 100% confidence.

In my experience, most personal trainers are unable to set goals for themselves, despite advocating this approach for their clients. Others will blindly follow the SMART method without achieving the results they actually desire. Can you honestly say that your clients have ever achieved life-changing results by using the SMART method?

More importantly, have you?

This is not going to be an article about goal-setting. Instead, I’m going to show you the barriers that keep you from finding yourself. I’ll also show you how you can remove those barriers and, if you so choose, become a Fit Man.

What Gets In The Way Of You Finding Yourself?

Many personal trainers tell themselves that they are going to set clear goals for the days, weeks and months ahead. However, people often let their fears get in the way of doing this effectively.

Lots of personal trainers do not have a clear idea of what they want out of life. They are unsure about relationships, money, business and many other important areas.

Ingrained patterns of behaviour are another barrier that prevents you from truly getting to know yourself. Your behaviour may be influenced by your family, friends, or the society around you.

For example, you might have grown up in an environment where people dealt with emotional or physical problems through a combination of drink and drugs. Or, you might live with people who turn to comfort eating in times of stress.

You may be influenced to do the same in a bad situation, rather than thinking with near 100% clarity (like a Fit Man does). Under stress, the Fit Man is able to use adversity as a motivational tool. Are you ready to live the life that you want? Here’s how a Fit Man finds out who he really is.

Forget About Goal Setting, Initially

The first thing that you need to do is forget about goal-setting, at least at first. This is a flawed system which can sometimes create more problems than it solves.

Too many trainers rush into this without having a clear idea of what they want. The goals that you have always had in the back of your mind will have altered beyond all recognition by the time you have found out who you really are.

Goal setting without discovering your true identity is only going to lead to disappointment further down the line. If you have always measured yourself by the goals that you set, then now is the perfect time to reverse that process.

Challenge Your Assumptions

Too often, we make assumptions that cause us to think or act in a negative way. One of your desires might be buy a sports car in the future, with the money that you earn as a successful personal trainer.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this, but why do you want a sports car? You might think that this is the only way that you are going to attract the woman of your dreams. Or you might think that your friends will judge you for having a less desirable car. Both of these are negative reasons for owning a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, so reconsider your motivation.

A Fit Man is able to constantly challenge himself over why he thinks or acts in a certain way. This allows him to strip away all of the unnecessary assumptions in order to improve every aspect of his life.

Define The Person Who You Want To Become

Too many people define themselves by the goals that they have set. This is a mistake, because these goals might not have been suitable for you in the first place. It is important that you define the person that you want to become.

Some of you will be asking how this is possible. You need to hone in on your wants and desires in every aspect of your life, from relationships to the way that you run your business.

This is not an easy process, and it may take you some time to come up with answers that you are truly satisfied with. Once you have the answers, you will feel a sense of clarity.

Realize That This Is An Ongoing Process

You need to realize that this is an ongoing process, because who you are changes over time. Your wants and needs as a single nineteen year-old who is just starting their career will be markedly different from your wants and needs as a middle-aged man with a family and twenty years of experience in the fitness industry.

If you try to ignore this fact, then you will be constantly looking back into your past instead of moving forward. The Fit Man is able to come to terms with his past. He can use what he has learnt and experienced over the years in order to mould his future.

As he gets older, the Fit Man is able to adapt by redefining the person that he is due to the changing circumstances in his life. He is also able to challenge his assumptions without slipping into complacency.

If you follow the advice in this article, you give yourself the best chance of becoming A Fit Man. Send me a private email once you’ve done this; it’ll show me you are truly dedicated to creating a life and business you love.

Once I receive your email, I can show you how to set goals that keep you fit and inspire you to change the quality other lives around you, to protect and provide what’s necessary for you and your current (or future) family, and to attract an abundance which enables you to live and give at a level you want: no limits, living life on your own terms, creating ultimate freedom.

Let’s chat. I’ll keep an eye out for your email.

To view or download an infographic version of this blog click here.

I’m A Fraud – Confessions Of A Personal Trainer

This is by far my most honest post yet. I’m sitting here drinking coffee (nothing changes there, does it?) and just thinking, thinking, thinking. I’m thinking about where my business is today and why it grew into what it has become…

Over the years, I coached thousands of clients, while simultaneously working on and improving myself. More times than I could remember, I’d tell them to FOCUS.

Focus. Focus. Focus.

I told them to focus on eating healthy and exercising as if nothing else mattered in their lives. I spouted these commandments because they were a common belief within my world at the time, not to mention the rest of the fitness industry. Popularity doesn’t make something necessarily true.

I really thought I was helping my clients. Instead, I was creating unnecessary obstacles which actually got in the way of their success and happiness, as well as my own.

The law of attraction says, and I paraphrase here, that you pretty much can’t help but attract people to just like you.

Take the cynical belief that you just can’t trust other people.

When two people who believe that get together, logically, it’s just a matter of time before that relationship dies a horrible death, which happens when one or both of their “warning sensors” are activated. When those activate, an emotional chasm opens up between two people, eroding the connection they’ve worked so hard to build, but was doomed to short circuit.

Like I used to, you might only think in the short-term. What real chance of long-term success did a coach/client relationship have? I was imposing my short term beliefs: It’s Only About Dieting and Working Out. Eventually, my clients began to think the same way that I did.

That is how I was wired. I worked in a gym 24/7. I was young. Had no other responsibilities like family and children. My workplace was home and work was my hobby. Training. Eating. Gym. Repeat.

Upon deeper reflection, I’ve learned some hard truths. First, I owe a lot more to my clients – and other personal trainers – than just workouts and diet strategies.

And I’ve come to realise that everyone goes on their own unique fitness or weight loss journey (myself included). It really is far more than muscles and “looking good”; it’s also about feelings and emotions which go much deeper than workouts and eating plans.

As fitness professionals, we have to be very careful that we don’t project and push our “stuff” (i.e, emotional and psychic baggage) to clients and people who look up to us. In a sense, our bodies have become a fraudulent way to influence people, as if the muscle means they automatically listen and follow what we do and say.

“I wish I looked like you” is the common phrase we hear that. People who aspire to be fit and healthy look to us, see our bodies and are convinced that we know the way. What they often don’t realise is that we struggle to get our shit together most of the time. And we’re so hell-bent on keeping up appearances and making money that we don’t correct them. After all, in today’s fitness industry climate, it would be financially unviable to show vulnerability.

Yes, we have the bodies and people mainly admire us for that. But, for me at least, achieving this took living in a gym 24/7 and being surrounded by gym freaks every day for the past 14 years. As personal trainers, we need to think beyond the confines of the gym, in more emotional terms, in order to help ourselves and our clients. There are three key questions to ask yourself and the people you are training:


What’s your lifestyle like?

What are your relationships like?

What’s your overall quality of life?


These are the questions that trainers should ask their clients when it comes to losing weight, feeling fitter or preventing health disease.

These are the questions I asked myself over a year ago.

I found a coach and I became committed to creating the best version of myself mentally, with the same intensity I had dedicated to creating the best version of myself physically.

And while it’s been a long process to right the ship, I’m finally at a point I’m happy with. I wish I could put into words how truly liberating it feels to have true physical, mental and emotional balance.

For the thousands of times, I’ve told clients that nothing else matters and to only focus on exercise and diet … I’m sorry!

You are truly inspiring to me. I admire you for coming to me, when intuitively, I believe, you could see the cracks in my way of thinking.

Is there a lesson in that? I don’t know if there has to be. It’s just my perspective now.

I suppose the point I’m really trying to make is this: be careful of who you admire in the fitness world when seeking out help to lose weight. Most trainers (including me) don’t have it all worked out.

So, my question is: how is the fitness and weight loss industry ever going to help people become the best version of themselves if we’re not there yet ourselves?

Is this the REAL problem why the fitness and weight loss industry is FAILING?

Luckily, though, I’m embracing the journey, and on a mission to help fitness experts, personal trainers and gym owners to do the same.

Are you the best possible version of yourself right now? If so, would love to hear about what you’ve done to get there in the comments below.

Not sure if you are the top version, but are amped up to get there? Book a personal discovery call with me. In one 90 minute call, I can get you further than what’s possible on your own in a year.