Episode 15: Antonio Centeno (Real Men Real Style)

Dress to Impress, with Antonio Centeno

‘You can’t judge a book by its cover,’ the saying goes. And that’s absolutely true…for books. But when it comes to people, appearances really do matter. We all make subconscious judgments about other people based on their personal grooming and clothing habits.

Sometimes our snap judgments don’t align with reality. But often enough, and particularly in the professional world, they do. We naturally gravitate to people who look the part and seem confident in their role.

Ultimately, we all want the look that works for us – that complements our unique looks, projects authority, wears comfortably, but that also doesn’t get in the way or leave us scratching our head when trying to get dressed in the morning. Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be.

To me, credibility is so key. If a naked man walks into a crowded room and yells ‘fire,’ what do we think? We just think he’s crazy. If a fireman says ‘everyone gets out of here,’ do we question him? No. Instant authority.” – Antonio Centeno

About Antonio Centeno

Antonio Centeno is the founder of Real Men Real Style, a web-based company offering a wealth of style and grooming-related advice to men around the world. With literally thousands of educational resources, Real Men Real Style is helping men from all walks of life develop their personal and professional image. Because style is not just about looking good; it’s about realising your full potential inside and out.

Show Highlights

  • Enclosed cognition: how dressing the part makes you feel the part
  • Why we unconsciously give healthy looking people the benefit of the doubt
  • How to make good style and grooming an everyday habit
  • Why it’s crucial for self-employed workers in any industry to develop their own uniform
  • Right look, right occasion: clothing advice for trainers inside and outside the gym
  • How to inspire confidence in your clients by custom-tailoring your personal image

There isn’t a right path. There is the path that you choose. This is the image and the presentation that I want to give and this is the direction I want to go.”

Connect with Antonio Centeno

Website: www.realmenrealstyle.com/

Podcast Episode 14: Timber Hawkeye

Finding Your Inner Guru, with Timber Hawkeye

We can all think of that one person who doesn’t know when to say ‘enough.’ Maybe it’s money, or food, or sex. Outwardly, they seem to have everything they need. But inwardly, they are trying to fill a bottomless void with ‘more.’ For those in the fitness industry, it’s their size, their strength, their reputation, and their earnings. How does a healthy activity like exercise become corrupted by insatiable and ultimately self-destructive desire?

Buddhism has a lot to say on the matter. Just about everyone has heard “the root of all suffering is attachment.” So where do our attachments come from? From comparing ourselves to others. It’s only by practising mindfulness that we can stop feeling guilty and unsatisfied about our lives – including our personal appearance and fitness – and start acting in accordance with our true values. But don’t worry, it’s not necessary to join a monastery or even become a Buddhist to practice mindfulness.

“The reason we’re so addicted to more is that we haven’t defined what enough looks like.” – Timber Hawkeye

About Timber Hawkeye

Timber Hawkeye is the author of two books, Buddhist Bootcamp and Faithfully Religionless, a memoir. After studying Buddhism for many years, Timber realised that the lessons from Buddhism about mindfulness and gratitude can be adopted by anyone. He presents key concepts from Buddhism in accessible, non-academic language. Quiet your mind, take an honest look at yourself, and feel grateful for your own life.

Show Highlights

  • Why training the mind is equally as important as training the body
  • How practising mindfulness puts us in control of our emotions and behaviours
  • How to stop comparing yourself to others and start doing things for the right reasons
  • Developing gratitude: treating everyone you meet as a potential teacher
  • Why careful self-reflection is the key to discipline
  • How meditation helps us locate and listen to the wise voice within us

“That’s your goal – to be just as flexible with your mind as you are with your body and vice versa.”

Connect with Timber Hawkeye:

Website: http://www.buddhistbootcamp.com/ or http://www.timberhawkeye.com/

Resources Mentioned:

Subscribe: iTunes | Youtube

Podcast Episode 13: Steve Grant

Turning Your Gym Business Vision into Reality, with Steve Grant

Thinking of starting your own gym? Trying to grow and improve your existing business? With so much competition in the marketplace, running a successful gym is not simply a matter of setting up a facility and watching the money roll in. All things being equal, what makes or breaks a small business is its ability to connect personally with customers and inspire employees.

Choosing the right strategies to get your message across is critical. Maybe that means sticking with the tried-and-true tactics. Or, it could mean getting creative and taking cues from successful businesses in other industries.

Work smart, not hard. Developing the right business plan for your gym will not only lead to success in the future, but also save you time and effort in the present.

“It’s only when you break down each step of the sales funnel, you can find these great opportunities just to tweak something. The improvements in revenue are dramatic.” – Steve Grant

About Steve Grant

Steve has 18 years experience in the fitness industry as a lecturer and studio owner, and is currently the Director of Gym Hub. He works one-on-one with gym owners to develop effective plans for marketing, recruitment, and branding. Central to his message is the importance of creating an inspiring vision for your business, and developing the right strategy to make that vision a reality.


Show Highlights

  • Identifying and grabbing the ‘low hanging fruit’ of your marketing opportunities
  • How to recruit staff that share your values and represent your business
  • The importance of creating a compelling and exciting vision
  • A ‘six-step blueprint’ to differentiating your brand
  • How to learn new strategies by exploring other industries

“You need to create your own story that people will talk about. I think this is the space that a lot of people miss”

Connect with Steve Grant

Website: www.gymhub.com.au

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gymhub.au


Podcast Episode 12: Dave Beadle

Toward a Better Business Model of Corporate Fitness, with Dave Beadle

You pay your membership dues, you get access to the gym. That’s it. Such is the conventional business model of corporate fitness. While this model may seem favorable to some employers and their insurers, it ultimately fails to meet the personal fitness needs of most employees.

Meanwhile, the mid-level, traditional club is between a rock and hard place financially. They can’t compete with the membership-driven market of behemoth fitness franchises. The remainder of the fitness industry is being divided into ever-smaller chunks with the rise of high-end specialty clubs.

What’s the solution? Design a new way for clubs, personal trainers, and corporate clients to connect in a cost-effective manner.

“Here is a great opportunity for personal trainers to really leverage their time, leverage their expertise, and continue doing what they love to do.” – Dave Beadle

About Dave Beadle

A veteran of 35 years in the corporate fitness world and frequent presenter at industry conferences, Dave Beadle has made it his goal to create win-win business solutions for fitness clubs, personal trainers, and their clients.

His latest start-up, Fit Happens Intentionally, challenges the conventional model of corporate fitness by targeting sources of revenue beyond membership dues and creating a more flexible, holistic work environment for trainers. The resulting ‘workplace fitness ecosystem’ is designed to help low and mid-level players in the fitness industry leverage their unique qualities to secure corporate contacts.

Show Highlights

  • Recognizing the pitfalls of the “if you build it, they will come” model of corporate fitness
  • The unique challenges of designing fitness programs for small companies
  • Strategies for developing non-dues revenue
  • How trainers can utilize tools and their own expertise to better understand their clients’ needs, and steer them towards personal and professional development
  • Incorporating the “Five Dimensions of Fitness” – Right activity, right nutrition, right rest, right mindset, right gear

“With all this great effort to make the workplace better, you’re still going to have…to meet deadlines, you’re still going to have high pressure, high-stress situations. But if you have resilient employees, folks that are taking care of themselves and are able to weather the storm…that’s really what the employer is looking for.”

Connect with Dave Beadle

Website: www.fithappensintentionally.com & www.dhbeadleconsulting.com

Instagram: @fithappensintentionally

Email: dave@fithappensintentionally.com

Podcast Episode 11: Jodi Rumack

How Harnessing The Power Of Systems Can Help Personal Trainers Succeed, With Jodi Rumack

Personal trainers spend so much time pondering fitness programmes and nutrition that they tend to  neglect putting enough planning into their business. So, they often deploy trial-and-error business techniques that end up being super inefficient and simply don’t work. Trying different approaches is totally cool! The issue comes when people continue to copy something someone else is doing because it’s “supposed to work” but it isn’t working for them. They lose money because energy and resources are being put into something that isn’t bringing a return.

What if there was a way to systemize every part of your business so that you can thrive as a personal trainer, gym manager or studio owner? This would free up your time so that you can focus as much energy as possible on expanding your client base and your services. Jodi Rumack helps businesses thrive by harnessing the power of systems.

“I work with different clubs, studios, and in-home personal training businesses as well, to help them maximise their business. I basically take everything that they are doing right now and tweak it by putting in systems that work” – Jodi Rumack

About Jodi Rumack

Over the last sixteen years, Jodi has hired, trained and developed 1000+ personal trainers and managers across Canada; she has broken company records for GoodLife Fitness and PT Sales, which is the largest fitness club chain in Canada.

She has consulted with facilities to increase their revenue by 300+ percent, and has built teams and driven sales in clubs which has generated $800,000 a year. She’s been recognised as one of the top 500 employees at GoodLife Fitness.

Show Highlights


  • Jodi explains how every part of your business can be systemized to make it more efficient
  • How effective organisation, punctuality and presentation are crucial if personal trainers want to get hired by a gym
  • Why hiring social media managers, virtual assistants and bookkeepers should come before hiring personal trainers when you are starting your own studio
  • Why cafes, shops and restaurants are great places to find employees for your gym
  • How your business can benefit from hiring trainers who possess qualifications other than a PT Cert
  • How to onboard new employees successfully with goal-setting, training and job profiling
  • Why prompt feedback is important to help your trainers improve
  • Why gym owners should help long-term employees who want to open their own business
  • Why gym owners should help trainers focus on their own personal revenue goals than the revenue of the business


“You need to have systems because the small business owners are doing things on the fly every single time without taking the time to analyze what’s working and what isn’t, which will help them plan for the months/year ahead.”

Connect with Jodi Rumack

Website: www.jodirumack.com 

Podcast Episode 10: Chris Dufey

How To Avoid The Time-Money Trap Of One-To-One Personal Training, With Chris Dufey

When personal trainers are just beginning in the industry, they often find themselves working around 60 hours-a-week on one-to-one training with clients. Because these trainers are only earning when they are with their clients, they fall into a time-money trap where their income is tied to the schedule of their clients. This can cause trainers to neglect themselves and their loved ones as they find themselves constantly in the gym, training and earning money.

What if there was a way to break that cycle and earn passive income whilst you are away from the gym? This would allow you to have time for yourself and others to live a life that is on your own terms. Fortunately, Chris Dufey has the answer – by creating multiple streams of income. More importantly, Chris shows personal trainers and health professionals how to build their own online business.

“It is totally up to you. Take responsibility. Figure out it is only a few simple steps away from where you are now” – Chris Dufey

About Chris Dufey

Chris Dufey is a successful physique and conditioning coach who is a marketing advisor to fitness companies and ran his own highly successful personal training businesses in Sydney and Dubai.

However, despite the success, he felt that he was stuck in a time-money trap. He was spending most of his time at the gym to earn money whilst missing out on being there for his family. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he raced home from a day at the gym, only to miss feeding his baby and putting it to bed. As a proud father, this really hurt Chris. He decided to break free from the time-money trip, by relocating to Bali and focusing on online training and consulting. He says that this has been one of the best decisions that he has ever made.

Show Highlights

  • Chris talks about how he was stuck in the time-money trap with a successful business but no time for his family
  • How missing putting his baby to bed was the catalyst for positive change
  • Why personal trainers need to think about multiple streams of income to avoid the time-money trap
  • Why personal trainers need to take responsibility for making this positive change


“The freedom factor is really important to me”

Connect with Chris Dufey

Website: chrisdufey.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fatlossspecialist

Email: http://www.chrisdufey.com/contact/


Interview Transcript

JH: Welcome to the Fit Man Collective Podcast show. I’m Joe Hanney, the host and founder of the Fit Man Collective. This is a show that helps you become a better personal trainer by becoming a better man, a fit man. Today I have a guest who is the epitome of what a Fit Man stands for. His name is Chris Dufey. Chris is a physique and health specialist with profitable, successful fitness businesses. He is an author, a speaker, a family man and lives life on his own terms.

He started out as a trainer when he was just 18 years old. He’s experienced the rat race that the industry has to offer. He’s worked 60 hours per week, he’s traded valuable time for money and Chris wanted to start living a life free from money worries. This episode is geared towards helping you build the business and life you really want. You’re in for one hell of a show.

Before we jump into the show, I want to say a huge thank you, even though I am a partner in the business, to Organo Gold coffee who have bought you the show. If you would like to learn about or sample this health coffee, which contains a rare mushroom that is used to promote health and wellbeing, then head over to The Fit Man Collective podcast page at www.thefitmancollective.com. Click on the free sample link and I will get it sent to you as soon as possible.

Chris, welcome to the Fit Man Collective podcast. Right now you are the epitome of what a Fit Man is all about. I am damn excited to have you on the show today. How are you, my friend?


CD: I’m very good, thank you for having me and I’m really excited to get into this chat that we are going to have.


JH: Just for the audience Chris, please give them an introduction to who you are and the background that you have in the Fitness Industry.


CD: I am a physique coach and I was a personal trainer from 18 years old. I grew a business in Sydney and I had a bunch of personal trainers working for me. I then took an opportunity and moved to Dubai. I have a personal training business in Dubai. That is where my wife and I had our first child. Everything was great from the outside perspective in terms of traditional personal training. I was running a successful business and I was fully-booked charging a super-premium rate, except that I was caught in the time-for-money trap.

I was effectively selling my time, which is not a good thing because if I wasn’t at the gym and seeing clients I wasn’t earning any money. I wanted to have a bigger impact in what I do and how I can help people. I also wanted to continue being able to travel around the world. The freedom factor is really important to me.

This was instilled in me when I read The Four Hour Work Week, all those years ago. I bit the bullet and started my online training business. A few weeks later we packed everything up and sold everything in Dubai before moving to Bali. This is what we wanted to take the leap. It has been a fantastic journey so far.


JH: Excellent. Talking of the multiple successful businesses, the loving family and the lifestyle between different countries, running a PT business online: by any means, this won’t be a short or easy answer. At what point did you decide you wanted more?


CD: That is a great question. I had to pack up the gym in Dubai and I had to race home. You can do some pretty unreal speeds on the roads in Dubai. I was trying to get home to give my daughter the bottle before she went to bed. I didn’t make it in time and it crushed me. I thought this isn’t the dad I want to be, this isn’t the human being that I want to be, this isn’t the life I want to live. It was time to make some changes.

I was in pain and because I was in pain it was time to make that move. I’d seen other people in the fitness industry have success online, and I had dabbled in it. I started doing it and it has been an unreal journey. I love the two different worlds: health, physique and transforming people’s bodies plus the business, psychology and marketing. Both of these worlds I just really love.


JH: That is interesting about not wanting to be that kind of father. We will put ourselves in our younger shoes. I don’t know if that comes from childhood for you, but it does for me. My motivation was to always be the opposite of Dad. Is that the same for you?


CD: Ok, growing up my parents had me when they were 17 years-old, so I have some really young parents. They are still together. I was an only child. I now have a younger brother 24 years later. My parents did their absolute best and I see the sacrifices that they went through. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money. This is an important question and is something that I am working on at the moment. How do I evolve and become a better person?

I didn’t have a rebellion against it, but I did have the drive to have something better. I’m grateful for the intrinsic drive and motivation I have that makes me kick my legs out of bed each morning. I would get to the top of one mountain and immediately want to get to the top of the next one.

There was never an appreciation factor coming into it, and that is something that I am working on. How do I celebrate and enjoy the small wins? This is a journey and I feel that I have created a fantastic life that has freedom. I’m sitting in my Bali villa that is my office and I am looking at the view with the pool and the gardens. I appreciate this, but I’m also thinking back to the days when I was in the gym for 12 hours a day. I had a period where I did 60 hours a week of face-to-face consultation

I’m still working on bringing gratefulness to every day and I think that is a really important factor.


JH: Great answer. I asked it to put myself in the shoes of the trainers who are listening. We can help them identify this a whole lot sooner than we did. It took until my late twenties to understand what was really holding me back. I punished myself in a lot of different ways. I had reached a level of success but I felt undeserving of that and would crash things to the ground.


CD: If someone feels like they are self-sabotaging, read a book called The Big Leap, that will really help you out. Try and get into it a lot quicker. I have gone through the trials and tribulations. That is the joy of being able to walk people through what works and what doesn’t.


JH: That leads to my next question. You’ve learnt from some of the best. How did you decide who to listen to and who not to? This is because there is a boatload of mentors out there. How did you decide who was going to help you figure this all out?


CD: I went through the phase of wanting to be the best personal trainer and the best physique coach. I travelled the world doing seminars with some of the best mentors. I wanted recommendations of who else I should see and who else I should spend time with. When it came to business I did something different. I thought, who is doing really well in the online world, not in the fitness space? This is something I still bring to the table. I see a lot of what people are regurgitating when it comes to fitness and marketing. A lot of it is old and has been regurgitated.

Understand the strategy and understand the time that it needs to be applied, plus the psychology. I have had some awesome mentors and I am still searching them out. I do marketing strategy for a couple of companies that are in the fitness world. They ask me who I have learnt from and I tell them about all the different bits and pieces. Just this morning I was learning about how Facebook ads have changed. I was learning how the psychology has changed. Then I was able to jump on a call with my clients and relay that to them: This is how I’m using it. This is what’s worked. This hasn’t.


JH: It is a great strategy. From looking at the testimonials on your website, they talk about how it is a step-by-step process and you didn’t just give them tactics. You say that you have taught yourself about this by learning from your mistakes. You have that perspective and experience to offer them.


CD: One of my things is that I am still running these businesses. Being a business coach is not my full-time schtick. I am still in the trenches with my businesses. So when it comes to giving advice, I transfer my winning funnels and email campaigns into my clients’ accounts. They then add their own flavour, so I want to transfer what I am doing to them.

I am not a guru, but I might be a couple of steps ahead so that I can fast-track you along.


JH: Talking about the multiple income streams and the different businesses you have. I was so narrow-minded in looking at different business ideas, whether that was offline-online or the other way around. I was very narrow in thinking that it had to be person-to-person contact in the traditional way of personal training. What advice would you give trainers? I believe that many personal trainers have that mindset.


CD: There are three ways that we can answer this really well. Firstly, in terms of a business model, the fitness industry is changing right now. The one-on-one personal training model is a time-for-money trap. There are lots more personal trainers but we are getting a lot better and that is awesome. Ten years ago, people thought personal trainers were just for celebrities, but that has changed. I love that and I want to continue to drive that.

Secondly, what is the “why?” behind having other income flows. It’s about wanting to have higher income and more freedom. When it comes to income, ask yourself how much is it that you want to earn? When a client does this with me, and they say they want to earn $100,000, I always say why isn’t that $200,000? This is just a number that the client has come up with. Just understand that this is a limiting belief and the value of money earned is up to you.

Then you decide, what is the business model that you want to run? Is it one-on-one or group training? Is it private training? Is it online training? Is it supplements? Is it affiliates? Is it joint ventures? You need clarity on what that person wants to create. What life and freedom do you want to have? What is the impact you want to have? What income do you want? What ticks all of those boxes?

Once you tick the boxes, you then have the business model that you want. Too many trainers want to do one-on-one personal training and then you are doing 60 hours a week. You think how long can you keep doing this? Do you still do this when you are fifty? What if you want to go on holiday but don’t earn when you are away from clients?


JH: There is a time factor as well, isn’t there, for being with family? I don’t think that one-on-one training allows for that because you are dictated by your client’s lifestyle rather than your own.


CD: If you want to do one-on-one personal training, more power to you. I want people to get what they want.


JH: There is a very good quote on your website. “Stop standing in your own way”. Is that what you meant? Firstly, have someone ask you some very good questions, and don’t deflect or put them off. Is that what you meant, that success you want in life is really all down to you?


CD: You have to take responsibility. It really is about figuring out what you want and who can help you get there. This is modelling success, but you are the one who has to execute on that. I can give you the steps, but if you don’t follow them it is like taking a donkey to water and it not taking a drink. I can write your diet and training programme, but if you don’t do the push-ups then you are not going to get the results.


JH: You are a very fit man and you have always looked after yourself. Do you see a problem with trainers who are too obsessed with getting themselves in shape? It creates blind spots in other areas of their lives. What is your take on this and what advice do you have for that trainer?


CD: There is a lot of smoke and mirrors in this industry when it comes to that world. My health is a high priority. I enjoy training and I want to walk the walk. I still run my businesses and I want to help my members through that. I enjoy being strong, healthy and eating right. I think that a lot of people take it way too far. I speak from experience. I did compete as a fitness model, so I competed in London, Denmark and Australia. My goal was wanting to help my fitness business.

You have to be jacked as a personal trainer. No one wants a broke financial advisor. I used to do a lot of physique coaching. I did a lot of online coaching for people who wanted to do photo shoots or wanted to compete themselves. So I wanted to do it. If someone hasn’t gone to those depths of low body fat, they don’t know what it feels like. I found a huge problem.

How do you get in shape, stay in great shape and enjoy life at the same time? I see a lot of people losing their lives because they are trying to get a six-pack or keep a six-pack. It is not the whole world, and I feel that a lot of people are caught up with it. It is unfortunate because there is some real mental distress going on out there.


JH: People can take encouragement from that. The dedication people put into their bodies, if people put 10% of that into the business, they would be able to reap the rewards from that as well.


CD: Firstly I think that a lot of people do it wrong when they are trying to get in shape. There are much easier ways. Prioritise your life and figure out how to transition between the effort or time with the energy that you are putting in. For example, I had a client who was 200kg when he was referred to me. He is here in Bali. Great guy, very successful businessman.

The company has over 10,000 staff. I said to him why are you not putting the effort into building your body that you do with building your business. That was a big thing for him because he had been so successful in the business world, why can’t you put energy and discipline into your own health? People can succeed in one area of their life, but they may be lacking in other areas.


JH: I am conscious of the time. Just before we finish, are there any words of wisdom or action steps that trainers can take away looking at their business and their mindset?


CD: It is totally up to you. You just have to take responsibility. It is not rocket science at the end of the day, stop trying to make it so complicated. I get emails all the time of people being confused

If the trainer right now is confused or frustrated, figure out that it is only a few simple steps away from where you are right now. Take one solid step moving forwards every day. Get clarity on what it is that you actually want. So many people are not focused.


JH: Great. Where can people find you?


CD: The best place is chrisdufey.com. You will be able to join the private group. There is the free video and you can jump on board into the actual coaching sessions. It is a host of information and I wanted to create a library so people can take the steps themselves.


JH: Perfect Chris, thank you for your time.


One hell of a show, right? The Fit Man Collective is going through a massive change so make sure to pay The Fit Man Collective website a visit. You can do this by going to www.thefitmancollective.com. You can get access to show notes, links and any recommended resources that were mentioned in this show.

Podcast Episode 9: Jonathan Bowman-Perks

Learning To Become A Leader, with Jonathan Bowman-Perks

Every personal trainer wants to have as much influence and success in the fitness industry as possible. That is only natural. However, many personal trainers don’t really know how to go about becoming leaders who command respect and high incomes. There are certain plans that you can put in place in order to maximise your earning potential and influence in the fitness world.

Branding yourself and having a keen eye for marketing is especially important in today’s digital world. If you harness the power of your own brand and become a leader, then there is no limit to what you can achieve.

It helps to have a formula in place. Today’s guest Jonathan Bowman-Perks has a very effective recipe for success: the eight steps for Inspiring Leadership. Each step is designed to maximise your potential in every area of your professional life.

“The Leader listens to people with palpable respect and an interest in where they are going next” – Jonathan Bowman-Perks

About Jonathan Bowman-Perks

Jonathan Bowman-Perks is a renowned leadership advisor, who has worked closely with some of the biggest businesses in the world. He has coached top leaders in global brands like Facebook, Amazon and Siemens and CEOs of many top Companies. He is the author of “Inspiring Leadership” which gives readers an insight into his methods.

He enables people to progress in their careers, opening up the possibility to greater earning power and increased job satisfaction.

He believes in keeping things simple. He wants to help you identify the key areas that benefit your leadership qualities. This will ensure that clients admire and respect your work as a personal trainer.

Show Highlights

  • How to determine what gives your life purpose
  • Why focusing on mental health is important to improve your leadership qualities
  • Why setbacks are important and how they can be used to build resilience
  • Why branding and marketing yourself is important as a leader
  • Why it is important to make a sustainable difference to those around you


“A leader has to persuade people to do things that they don’t want to do, and feel good about it.”

Connect with Jonathan Bowman-Perks

Website: http://www.jonathanperks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.perks.77

Email: http://www.jonathanperks.com/


Interview Transcript

JH: Welcome to the Fit Man Collective podcast show. I am Joe Hanney, your host and founder of The Fit Man Collective. This is a show that helps you become a better personal trainer by becoming a better man, a fit man. On today’s show, I am pleased to announce that my guest goes by the name of Jonathan Bowman-Perks. Jonathan is the CEO’s trusted lead advisor and coach. He is involved in helping people to increase profit and influence in the marketplace.

He helps people find purpose and to increase their branding. He helps you become a better person and coach to clients, so this episode will bring you insight and practical tips. It could give you a different perspective on your current situation.

Jonathan has experience of being on both sides of the fence. He has hired personal trainers for him and his wife. He is also a truly magnificent coach himself. The episode offers a refreshing point of view on what you can really achieve as a personal trainer if you put your mind to it.

Hey, Jonathan welcome to the show, how are you?


JP: I’m very well indeed, thanks, Joe.


JH: Just for the audience who are listening to the Fit Man Collective show, could you give them a broader overview of who you are and what you are all about?


JP: Ok, well first let me talk about myself and my wife Leigh. We are trusted leadership advisors to CEOs, public figures, top teams and boards. We have set up the Institute Of Inspiring Leadership because it is about the charity work we do with leaders that want to put something back into society, as well as look after their physical fitness.

So we set up the Inspiring Leadership Trust For Disadvantaged Women and Children, in London, Kenya, South Africa and Nepal. The work that we do is speaking, facilitation, one-on-one coaching and mentoring. We love bringing in the latest thinking – I’m off next week to Harvard to one of their leadership programmes, in order to learn more. There is also neuroscience, and together with Dr Reuvin Bar-On, we’ve designed a psychometric test around what makes people inspiring leaders.

The theme today, and what we have been using for a long time is the Thinking Environment, which was designed by Nancy Kline. Indeed I am spending the day with Nancy tomorrow.


JH: I am very jealous of you meeting Nancy Kline. I read the book Inspiring Leadership and really took a lot from that. In regards to the inspiring leadership that you do Jonathan, it is based on eight principles, is that correct?


JP: If I perhaps explain very briefly, the whole theme of Inspiring Leadership. I was twenty years an army officer. For fifteen years I’ve been in business.

I’ve been the managing director of a PLC, I’ve been in PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM as a consultant and leadership coach, and I have worked with some of the top brands around the world.

I have worked with Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, O2, Vodafone, John Lewis, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Emirates, IBMG, Siemens, Barclays and HSBC, so a whole range of really great clients to work with. Lee brings the experience of having been in the heart of businesses like Barclays and HSBC.

What is it that creates leaders who bring out the high performance in people? Both of us have written books from the research that we have done, mine was called Inspiring Leadership,  leadership lessons from my life. I’m a believer in a stoical philosophy, it’s something that you can talk at length with personal trainers, it’s a key aspect.

Leigh was writing about what made inspiring women leaders and about what brings them on, the confidence issues that hold them back. Her book was Inspiring Women Leaders.

In two month’s we are publishing our next book, which is a pocketbook of wisdom, Top Tips For Inspiring Leaders. It will be interesting for the personal trainers because it contains one and two liners of really practical advice that people can apply.

What was it that lead into the research for Inspiring Leaders? We worked with Dr Reuvin Bar-On from America and Israel, and we designed a psychometric to measure it.

This is an online tool that people can take. It involves the eight elements of Inspiring Leaders, I could talk about that in more detail. Would that be helpful?


JH: I relate to what you have just said and I’m sure the trainers will too. Especially the elements that people might not quite recognise. These could be a limiting factor in their overall development.


JP: I think that you are spot on. I’ve had a personal trainer called Andy Henson, we had weekly sessions and he came to our house. We converted the garage into a gym. We have a running machine in there, the weights and all the kit. We have both done triathlons. We did those in order to raise money for the charity. Until I am 62 I am going to be doing a triathlon every year.


JH: Sorry for interrupting – I’m doing my first one this year.


JP: I’ve done three now and I’m really hooked. I need to only do one a year, otherwise, you get a bit obsessed about it. Leigh has had a great trainer working with her, she can squat 80 kilos. That is like lifting me! This is a small, slim lady who is lifting 80 kilos. Her trainer is Nathan Newton-Willington. He has his own blog about food and nutrition. All this work was leading us to think about what are the eight principles?

The first is people’s True North. We call this people’s MQ and PQ. MQ is the moral quotient. Go to jonathanperks.com for the moral compass.

The compass moves around and can tell people about each different quotient. The key thing is “what is your integrity?”, whether you are a personal trainer or a client. What is it that you will do or you won’t do? What are their values and the principles that they will live by?

The second one is PQ: what gives your life purpose? Many of the clients that you are working with face the big issue of “what is my life about?” when they get into their 40s and their 50s. They are successful, they are doing well and they have their own personal trainer.

That can lead to some very powerful conversations. For your listeners, what is their life purpose? If you haven’t got your act together, how can you help to train anybody? Personal trainers who have read Inspiring Leaders have been made to think about this. You have to breathe life into those that you are with. You can’t do that if you are all over the place yourself.

It’s like someone waddling up to the weights saying that their client needs to work harder, yet they are not doing it themselves. Getting your meaning and purpose is important.

Health quotient is one of the elements. We’re into mental health and physical wellbeing. In our next book Top Tips, we have a great cartoon of someone wallowing in a sea of toxic waste. There is someone also jumping out of it and choosing not to stay in that toxic environment.

It is not just about what you are eating. It’s about mindfulness and thinking about yourself. I have a diary called The Five Minute Journal, about the whole mental attitude of what I want to focus on. That is HQ.

The fourth area is EQ and is not just about intelligence. For many years I thought I wasn’t very bright. When I was 7, my teacher told me I was thick because I couldn’t do my maths or spell. It turns out I was dyslexic and couldn’t spell.

I have proved them wrong by doing an MA, an MBA and being on the MBA programme at being a visiting professor at Cass Business School. It is not just how intelligent are you, but how are you intelligent?

There is a very good TED Talk by Ken Robinson, look at anything he does there. How do you get your wisdom and judgement? That is what we look at EQ on. This is about reading people and having a healthy relationship with clients; reading when they are up or down.

There is a book called What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent&8217;s Guide to Speed-Reading People. This is all about reading body language and is about emotional intelligence.

The final three are RQ (resilience and bouncing back). I’m sure that people listening have had a few setbacks. If you haven’t, you need to start learning from mistakes. If you think that you are the Golden Man or Woman, who never makes mistakes, then you have a problem.

I have made so many mistakes over the years. Hopefully, I won’t repeat them but they have given me the strength to be the person that I am. Leaders value the experiences and setbacks that I have had in the army or in business.

The last two start with Brand, which is BQ. This is key for personal trainers: what is your brand, representation, image and impact? What are you like on social media?

What do people say about you when you are not in the room?  I have chosen personal trainers because of referrals which mean that they are good and that I can respect them.

The final one is LQ, legacy. What sustainable difference have you made? This is where we do the charity work. Those are the eight components of Inspiring Leadership.

Within the inner circle are four elements. What are you doing to develop yourself? Relationships? The organisation? Your society – what are you putting back into the community? Those are the models we have created.


JH: I looked at the compass tool on your website. I looked at the different meanings and the principles behind them. I fully appreciate the work that has gone into this.

I have come to realise that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was. I asked myself questions and it led me down a path of real self-discovery. I love the fact that you have included eight different principles because it covers everything.

Personal trainers may already have this down, but they may be too obsessive and create blind spots. Would you say that?


JP: One or two trainers are going through turmoil because they haven’t worked out what gives their life purpose. They thought that this could be a way to make money. How do they find more clients? Now they are scrambling around in their relationship with their partner. A couple of them have been focused on body image so they get into messy relationships but they never learn from them. “What was my part in all this, and how am I going to be different?”

These days everything is integrated, so you are bringing your whole self to the training with the client. They are bringing themselves to you and they may want to just focus on muscle strength and building up general fitness. They might be training for a triathlon. They are going to open up about their lives – my wife talks with Nathan about a whole range of different things. You have got to be able to handle that and you become a trusted advisor.

You have got to keep learning. The average person in the UK reads one nonfiction book a year, so if you read two then you are almost an expert. I make a point of reading 30 books a year. I download books on leadership on science.

Going to Harvard is an investment that I can make in order to help others. I encourage the listeners to read as much as possible and apply what they have learnt. It is no good just to spout rubbish. Live it yourself, that is what people will be impressed by.


JH: You are one of the first people who agree with me about trainers having their shit together. How hypocritical is it if you don’t own your own story?


JP: I knew that I had to get to a good place, to be the best that I could be. This allowed me to help my clients. There is another good book called Key Person of Influence (Revised Edition): The Five-Step Method to become one of the most highly valued and highly paid people in your industry. What is your perfect pitch, what are your products, what is your profile and who are the people that you are working with? Are you an author? Have you written something? I found that sorting my own life out and meeting Leigh, everything is aligned. It is very important that your personal trainers do the same. People can sniff out bullshit, whether you are living what you talk about.


JH: We are going to talk about how we can set up environments so that clients are empowered. The personal trainers listening should not think I am creating an excuse for them, but the industry standards are not that regulated. Learning stops at knowing how to put together an exercise programme and you might learn about nutrition. But there is never any information about the client’s mindset, lifestyle or even some of the principles that we have spoken about already. Setting an environment for trainers and clients to sit down and have a discussion.

For instance, the consultation that they may or may not have will be questions about their health. There is nothing about goal-setting, purpose or the real reasons why the clients came to the personal trainer. The trainer has to take it upon themselves to develop. How beneficial has that been to you and your business?


JP: I was trained by Nancy and she is one of the wisest people that I have come across. She is in her seventies and she continues to want to learn. There will be 30 other people at the workshop tomorrow and they have been trained in the Thinking Environment. The Thinking Environment is almost like a way of being, so if you can be a Thinking Environment for your client, you will have so much more repeat business and so much more success.

If you are scrambling to get the money in, it is all just about churning through large volumes of clients. As a leadership coach, I am lucky to be in the top quarter. When you become influential in your industry then you get well paid. I have seen trainers go up the scale of what they get paid and they set up their own centres. They can charge clients more.


JH: That was my point. If the trainer takes it upon themselves to develop then it does create an uncontested market space. Trainers often know about exercise and nutrition but nothing more. Adding value to self, becoming the key person of influence, creates an uncontested market space. It is an aggressive industry.


JP: That is a great point. I respect people who are just coming into the game, but I don’t respect those that are just going through the motions – just getting through the session. When you go back to them there is not much substance. You are a leader and you might have no one in your team but you. A leader has to persuade you to do things that you don’t want to do, and feel good about it. You have to get into the mindset of the person that you are with, to understand why they are really here. Is it about having the beach body? Is it about self-esteem and low confidence?

They don’t feel good about their gut or they want to tone up. Why are they really here? You can’t do that in the first session because you haven’t built up the trust and the confidence. You get behind that mask and into the real reasons. If you have got something more to you, you can use this Thinking Environment. You can bring more to the relationship than just a quick routine of “do a few climbs, and then do a few sit ups, squats and bench presses”. It has to be more than that. Does that make sense to you Joe?


JH: It makes perfect sense.


JP: Ok, so what else would be useful to know about the Thinking Environment? Should I share some stories on how people can use it, would that be helpful?


JH: We can touch on that and I’m sure that will be helpful, with an explanation of the main components. That helps you build trust and pull out information from the client. I don’t want to step on your toes and give away too much, but it allows a client to come up with a thinking space in order to find their own solutions.


JP: It is literally a way of being. I have come across some very irritating personal trainers who just talk at you constantly. A lot of it is drivel and it is just pouring out of them. There are others who have just a few words of wisdom, and they are fascinated in the client. They think that everyone has something to teach them. They are learning from their clients and they will use that in their future relationships with clients.

You need to show that you are really curious, you are listening to ignite their thinking rather than reloading (talking over them and pretending you’ve heard, only to go on with their own agenda). She has designed the ten components of the Thinking Environment.

The first one is Attention. This is described as listening to people with palpable respect and an interest in where they are going next, without any interruptions. The great question is “tell me what you are thinking about? What are your thoughts?”

The second component is Equality. And that is where you will take turns in talking. You can even say that. “How about we go each way?” They will tell you some thoughts and you will do the same. See them as an equal, but don’t see them as your superior or inferior – we are all humans and we all look the same on the lavatory seat, let’s treat each other equally.

The third component is Peace – being free from rush or urgency. I don’t know about you Joe, but I know when someone is listening to me and they seem to have all the time in the world. They are just calm and they are grounded. You just calm down too – I am very interested in health and wellbeing, like Joe Wicks. I am drinking my juice recommended by a trainer who has just written a book about juicing.

A lot of it is looking at heart rates. I put the blood-pressure monitor on my clients and I look at the Heart Map, which looks at the variation in beats. When you are thinking well, you have a coherent heart rate pattern. There is a whole area of health and wellbeing that allows physical athletes to become corporate athletes. This is the whole idea behind Inspiring Leadership.

You are actually in the energy business, you are not in the personal trainer business. You have to have a great amount of physical and mental energy.

The next is Appreciation, and appreciation of the ten components. Catching other people doing things right. Seeing what you notice in them that is good. I have just been in a meeting with a client who is the managing director of a business in the defence industry. We always end our meeting with an appreciation of one quality about each other. There is no reason why personal trainers can’t end their sessions by appreciating a quality about a client. The client then appreciates a quality about the trainer. That feedback helps trainers know what is working and what clients appreciate. This creates a virtuous loop of what works. How is that Joe?


JH: That is perfect. I am going to step into the trainers’ shoes so that they can understand what we are talking about. They will be able to appreciate this on a whole different level. We will start with Appreciation. I think that trainers jump down a client’s throat – either because they have not done something that was asked, or they have not followed through on a food journal or attending the gym. That list is pretty endless. When they do something well, they are not quick to show their appreciation. That is a big factor that I would like trainers to consider.

Even if the trainer thinks about their clients they had today. Just think about whether you showed any appreciation for what your client did or tried to do. They have to appreciate that clients are not as obsessed with their bodies as the trainers are. They have not been in the industry for 10-12 years, so they have not created habits. Appreciation is part of your five-minute routine in the morning. I do the same in the evening, just to appreciate what I have done for that day.

Attention stood out to me personally, and I was under the impression that I did give people attention. Nancy shared examples of me tapping my fingers, looking at my phone, being distracted, interrupting sentences and trying to come up with the answer for them. I was absolutely not paying attention. I can understand why clients didn’t feel appreciated or didn’t feel empowered to follow through on what was being asked. I didn’t provide an environment for them to feel confident. I want trainers to put themselves into my shoes and to think about the power of these components. Can you add to that?


JP: One of the other components is Diversity. You respect difference. The best trainers that I have been with are really present with you, so they are studying your form and watching your back. I trained with the Airborne in the army and I had a really bad landing with my back and my neck. I have to really manage that, whether it is a deadlift or a squat. I could easily put my back out.

So they are looking at the micro science of your form, but also they are interested in cues from you. When you are talking, they are really listening rather than seeing them lose interest because they are thinking what to do next.They are making it up on the hoof. That doesn’t give you as a client the feeling that they really care.

The keyword in this is “dignity”. You have dignity when someone hears you and sees you. In the Thinking Environment, what is powerful is that you really get a thoroughly good listening to. This is instead of a talking to, which is what most personal trainers do. If they don’t become present with their client then it is all about them and their image. For the really good ones, it is not about them at all, it is all about you. They are really grounded and really calm. They are inspiring because they adopt the mantra of “less is more”.


JH: I wrote a quote down from the website. You mentioned the focus on doing less and doing more. It is a great quote and I am going to share it. For the trainers who are listening, if you find yourself in a position where clients are not quite responding to what you are asking, give what is being talked about here some further thought. Do some further research. I will include the links and the show notes at the Fit Man Collective.

It is about creating some time to think. Do you have any lasting wisdom for the trainers? I really like the fact that you have worked with trainers and you have studied trainers. What advice would you leave trainers with?


JP: I think the key is being a role model. The motto at Sandhurst was “serve to lead”. You are in the service business and you are there to really make a difference. If you can touch the life of one of your clients, then they are inspired by you.

They want to change what they eat and their whole body composition. They are changing their lifestyle, because of meeting you. They really like the way that you show up. I think that would be my wisdom.

My website is www.jonathanperks.com. My wife is leigh@clareonpotential.com We are doing some work on our website at the moment, the Inspiring Leadership site. I’m happy to bounce ideas off people if it helps them. Remember that as a personal trainer you are really changing lives and touching them. You are making sure that the experience they have is a good one.


JH: This is where I will wrap up the show. Speaking from experience, clients speak of you being life-changing, rather than “you helped me lose a couple of pounds and a dress size”. This leaves a memorable impression by implementing what we have spoken about. I appreciate your time, it has been very insightful and I’m sure the trainers agree with me.


JP: Thank you, it has been a pleasure. I wish you every success and I am really impressed with what you are doing as a business. I have enjoyed the interactions we have had. You are a role model for what you are talking about.


JH: Jonathan Bowman-Perks. A very smart man. Thank you for giving us your time. The Fit Man Collective group is going through a massive upgrade as we speak. Pop over to www.thefitmancollective.com. You can get access to links, show notes and any other resources that were mentioned.

Podcast Episode 8: Scott Laidler

Learn The Ten Things No-one Ever Tells You As A Personal Trainer, With Online Trainer Scott Laidler

When we are starting out as personal trainers, there is a lot about the fitness industry that we have to learn. Most of us learn these things as we gain more experience through trial and error. Some of us seek out pearls of wisdom from seasoned veterans who have spent years in the personal training industry and have reached the very top of the profession.

Some people think that they can go it alone and they end up ignoring some very good advice along the way. In such a competitive industry, it is important that trainers understand that there is no shame in looking for help.

If you’re looking for some home truths about the fitness industry, then you have come to the right place.

Scott Laidler is a weekly columnist for the Telegraph newspaper, who has trained some of the biggest names in Hollywood. His article “The Ten Things That No-one Tells You Before You Become a Personal Trainer” has caught the attention of many people in the industry because of its insights.

In this interview, he draws on all his experience to give you a run-down of the most insightful facts he has gleaned during his years in as a personal trainer. Some of them might surprise you.

“Build your skill set away from fitness in order to succeed” – Scott Laidler

About Scott Laidler

In his ten year career, Scott has trained a wide variety of different clients. These have included Paralympic athletes and Oscar-winning actors. He has attracted the attention of Men’s Health and has been featured on the likes of Sky News. Currently, he is working for the Telegraph newspaper.

Having gained a vast amount of experience, he has been able to move into a mentoring role for other personal trainers. He sees the industry as one where people should share ideas and information in order to progress. This was his main motivation for writing the article that is discussed in the interview.


  • Why trainers should develop a skillset outside of fitness
  • What makes the relationship between trainers and clients unique
  • How a trainer’s health can be affected by their schedule
  • How success relies on a client-focused approach
  • How a trainer’s perception of time changes


“Work really hard for your first year because it usually takes 12-18 months to establish your client base”

Connect with Scott Laidler

Website: http://scottlaidler.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scott_laidler

Email: http://scottlaidler.com/contact/


Interview Transcript

VOICEOVER: Become a better personal trainer by becoming a better man. Become a better man by applying knowledge from others who have walked across the fire, and have a thing or two to say about it. Listen to Joe as he delves into some of the greatest minds of the best coaches in the world. Who bring inspiring stories and powerful insights to share about the human condition. Hear about how the fitness industry goes only muscle-deep and how a new breed of trainers are using emotional and mindset hacks to improve as men, evolve their game and make the competition irrelevant. Trigger your pathway to greater fulfilment. With us, stand in the face of fitness. Welcome to the Fit Man Collective.


JH: Hey guys, Joe here. Welcome to another show. I’m your host and founder of the Fit Man Collective and as always thank you for being here and listening to the podcast show. This show is about becoming a better personal trainer by becoming a better man, a fit man.

This show is a little bit different to what we would usually do, in that I have spent hours scouring through the web and looking for research and article for my website www.thefitmancollective.com. I came across an article called “The Ten Things That No-one Tells You Before You Become a Personal Trainer” by personal trainer Scott Laidler.

I reached out to Scott to see if he would be up for a light-hearted discussion about this and to feature on the show. He agreed to it, so in a few minutes time Scott is going to be with us.

Welcome to the show, Scott. How are you?


SL: Very good. It’s good to be here.


JH: Excellent, I’m very excited about this one. If you could just take two minutes to introduce yourself to the audience, and explain exactly what it is that you do.


SL: My name is Scott Laidler and I’ve been in the industry for about 8 years now. I started off working in commercial gyms and I went over to LA, where I worked in Hollywood on film preparation. Then I came back to London and ran a studio. Now I am working online, primarily within the UK film industry. I also do a bit on the side for up-and-coming trainers.


JH: You’ve got a vast amount of experience and you’ve travelled the world. You’ve probably done more than the average personal trainer. The reason that I brought you onto the show was because I came across one of your articles, which you had written for the Telegraph. It was titled “The Ten Things No-one Tells You Before You Become A Personal Trainer”. On that note of mentoring personal trainers and helping them, would you mind elaborating on the ten points that you made?


SL: It started off as a fun article to do and to reveal what it’s like to be a personal trainer. There are thousands of people coming through in the UK and I also work with people in the USA and Australia – there are thousands of trainers coming through.

The reality of being a personal trainer isn’t always clear. The price you pay for being a personal trainer isn’t always clear. So I thought I’d write a lighthearted article that would show what you can expect, good and bad, from being a personal trainer. Also it shows how to offset some of the downsides.


JH: Let’s go into point one of yours which was that you become less healthy. As a personal trainer you wouldn’t think that at all considering that you’re in the industry of training. Right?


SL: Yeah exactly. You’re going into the industry to help people with their health but just like doctors your schedule becomes very busy, very quickly. If you become a successful personal trainer one of your biggest challenges is maintaining your own health because you’re dealing with early mornings, late nights, and often you are rushing food.

You often don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from. This is an industry where you can be up £200 or £300 a week on from one client, and then down again because of them leaving. It can be quite stressful if you don’t learn how to deal with that stress and learn how to roll with those punches, your health can suffer quite quickly. The biggest thing is the lack of sleep.


JH: It’s the inconsistency as well, isn’t it?


SL: Definitely I think that 6 a.m, especially in London where I was working, is a big time slot. If you don’t live in central London you’re looking at a 4:45 am wake-up, which if you’re doing that five days a week really adds up. You want to fill your books with more than 25 sessions a week, so you are very busy, but you are only getting around 5 hours sleep a night.


JH: What advice would you give to personal trainers who have fallen into this trap? When did you recognise this problem in yourself and what did you do?


SL: It’s a hard one to overturn because you go into it with a hustling mentality and you want to pay the price for the success. One thing that I learnt is not to be ashamed of taking a nap. It feels like you are skirting work and you could be advertising and working on your website.

Taking a nap will boost your productivity and is a massive factor in maintaining your health. If you are only having 4 or 5 hours of sleep a day, then getting that nap could make all the difference in your performance and your health, so saying “I’m going to take a nap” was a big breakthrough for me.

This is because I always used to make myself feel guilty about it in the early days.


JH: I suppose that lead on to point number two, Trainers will find that they drink way too much coffee.


SL: Definitely. I used to drink 6 or 7 coffees a day and I was still drinking them in the evening. This was just to get through sessions by the time it was the evening. You have one at home or in the car to wake up, then you have one before your session when the coffee shop is open at 6 am.

Then you have another one after a couple of sessions in the morning. Then you have one with lunch. Then you have a mid-afternoon one. Then you have one in the evening, which adds up to 6 or 7 coffees throughout the day. There is too much adrenaline in your system and we would never advise clients to do that.


JH: According to the article it was 7 cups of coffee and I assume some of them were double espressos. That is a lot of coffee. One of the excuses that I used was that I was a coffee snob, but this hid the fact that I really relied on coffee.



SL: Logistically, even if you’re working in a central London location, where are you going to go in between clients? You are going to sit in a coffee shop and do your work and it is the done thing that you just have a coffee there.

It adds up, and even if you are not tired, you do it out of habit.


JH: So the two points that we have raised so far are that trainers become less healthy than their clients and they drink way too much coffee, which is more than they would recommend their clients to do.

Number three is that you will only be successful when you focus on the clients and not the money. Could you just elaborate on that point for me?  I think I know where you are going with this.


SL: When you are on your personal training course you start to the calculations. You can charge £50 an hour at 10 blocks a day and you think that you are going to make 500 a day. You start to think like a mercenary and you see the hours only as an opportunity to make money.

I think that is pretty transparent and clients will get the impression very quickly if you are not focused on their goals. You are trying to sell them more frequent sessions and trying to add in supplements. You are getting them to pay to come to extra boot camps.

Happy clients are going to pay for your service and they are going to feel a connection with you. They are the ones that are going to tell their friends and they are going to be posting about you on social media. If you are just focusing on the money then your connection with the clients will be very shallow and it won’t last for very long. They won’t think anything of cancelling their services with you If you just treat them as an hourly income. I think it is almost like an energy exchange and clients will pick up on it very early on.


JH: Very true. That discredits personal trainers and that is why the profession is getting such a bad name. Clients don’t take us as seriously as someone with authority, such as a doctor.


SL: We have to see ourselves as health professionals. We are there to facilitate them changing their health as well as their body. We are also there to educate them about how they can maintain that by themselves. We don’t want people to rely on us. If they like having a coach then that’s great, but we are there to educate them on how they can do this themselves.

These are things that they can filter down to their kids, families and friends and that is our responsibility. It has to take priority over making money and that is how you build your brand.


JH: Why do you think that has come about?  Is it because we are oversold when we are taking the qualification? Even I fell into the trap very early on in my career. I was excited to get on the gym floor because I had this qualification.

But the education doesn’t stop there, does it? I feel that many trainers stop their personal development there. Do you have anything to add to that?

SL: Personal training is all about emotional intelligence. You can go on all the courses that you want and you can get the CPD and all those extra qualifications, which are amazing at developing your skillset, but you can’t become too one-sided on the technical aspect of personal training.

You have to be able to relate to people and you have to be able to communicate your intentions. You need to work out what each individual client needs. When you treat the client as just an hourly income then you won’t be able to have that ability to adapt and you won’t have that personal relationship.

They will see through it and say that you are just there to count seconds and reps. They will know that you are thinking of the next session and they will know that you are thinking about “when is the next point that I can realistically raise the prices here? How can I get them to refer their friends? I’ll offer them this and I will offer them that”.

Those tactics are all great if you are going down a sales route, but realistically if you change that person’s life, then that is the best sales tactic. The client won’t have to tell people. You will have made such a difference to their physique and their energy that people will be asking them what they have done. I think that is how to look at it.


JH: There are two aspects to this and you raised a great point with the emotional intelligence. I think that the trainer has to get some coaching themselves or come to appreciate what coaching can do. Then they can pass this onto their clients.

I think a lot of the information out there is geared towards exercise prescription or dietary prescription. There is not too much availability of emotional intelligence unless you go looking for it. This allows you to understand the client’s mindset and see whether they have emotional challenges. At what point did you decide that this is more than just exercise and diet to create lasting change in your clients, by seeking additional advice?


SL: My background before I went into fitness was psychology. So I had a grounding in social psychology and motivation. I could see the things that would kind of get in the way of motivating people. I continued to read around the subject. You are right in that you need to go looking for it.

Currently there isn’t that kind of course set up for personal trainers. I tried to do that one-on-one with the people that I coach. The industry is too focused on the skill set and technical aspects such as form and technique, ranges and rest periods. This is all great, and we need to know it, but we need the opposite skill set. This includes how to apply it to different people.

I would recommend reading around social psychology and motivation. Also things like NLP and how to communicate with people.


JH: They are not only going to develop your skills as a personal trainer, they are also going to develop your skills as a person as well.


SL: Exactly. When you are trying to build your business, you are going into business settings where you are going to have to pitch. Your confidence and the ability to create rapport is just an arsenal. This is the thing that many personal trainers don’t understand coming straight off the course – as a personal trainer you are going to need to know more than personal training. You are going to need to know how to run, advertise and market a business. You are going to have to know how to communicate will people. You are going to have to know how to communicate with colleagues, and work well in spaces with other personal trainers. You are going to have to get yourself opportunities to build your business.

This will allow you to transcend training on the gym floor, if that is your goal. These are all things that personal trainers may not realise because they are not told that during the course. You come out of the course well equipped to deliver sessions in a commercial gym setting, but if you want to go freelance you have to learn to run your own business.

If you want to get yourself in the media and PR, you have to develop those skill sets. You will know how to communicate with journalists and how to deliver those things on time and be able to anticipate what they need as well.


JH: You had the background in social psychology and human behaviour. Lots of trainers who have just qualified or have not been in the industry for long might not be open to that kind of information. Do you think that they would be receptive to that kind of information?


SL: Do you mean about learning about emotional intelligence? I think it is the responsibility of people who have been in the industry a little bit longer to filter that information down and explain how important that side of things is.

You don’t want to be the kind of trainer who is just focused on your Instagram account, and not really thinking about the client. It’s a huge mistake that trainers make and it’s quite obvious who is going down that route.

Some trainers come across as if training clients is an inconvenience to their own training schedule. It’s not the communication that you want to be giving to your clients. You don’t want that atmosphere or persona in a gym setting.


JH: That’s a great answer. Moving onto number four, which is that social situations will never be the same again. I’m sure that you have many experiences of this. Could you just elaborate on this point?


SL: When you go out to a party, you start socialising with people and they find out you are a personal trainer. They are always going to ask you personal training questions. They will ask “what’s the best exercise for this? If you could only do one exercise, what would it be? Should I be doing high-intensity or low-intensity cardio? How often should I train and what should I eat?”

You know that these are frivolous conversations because most of the time this advice isn’t going to be implemented, but people love to pick your brains.


JH: From my experience, the people who are asking don’t necessarily want to know the answer. They want you to agree with their opinion on something.


SL: Certainly, there is a pre-set understanding of things and that is the way that they do things. They want verification, so they want you to agree with that so they don’t have to change anything. You will also find people who will look to call you out. They want to find out how much you know and whether they can trip you up on information, or new information that was in the media.

Often these things are such grey areas that somebody says “I saw an article that says low-intensity is better than high-intensity. What do you think about that?” If you don’t agree with it, then they might think that you don’t know what you are talking about. When you are in the industry, you know that there are grey areas.

This is why podcast are so great because you can go into the grey areas and spend time on things. Low intensity is great for a certain reason and high intensity is great for certain reasons. You couldn’t do high intensity every day, so low intensity has a place. At a party you can’t always go into those long conversations, so you do get those people who are just trying to trip you up on information.

It is interesting to see how people react to you as a personal trainer, and you can often learn a lot about the people that you are talking to. This is about their own appearance and their training, based on the questions and their reactions.


JH: It’s not like you can give them the answer on the spot. There is so much more information that you are going to require, even if that person was in a position of wanting your help. Trainers need to be very aware of what is going on with the people around them.

I’m big on people-watching, I pick up clues. It is useful for you to know for yourself and for when you come across that type of client who has reached out for help.


SL: In these social situations, you should store the interactions away because they will come up again in your personal training consultations. It is important to be able to answer in a very credible way and not feel the need to give a straight yes or no answer.

If someone asks you “what’s the best way to gain muscle?” then you need to know everything: You need to know about their lifestyle, their training background, and how much muscle they want to gain over what period of time. That is the only real way that you can give an answer. Your answer might be wrong. That’s the point of being a coach. You might stick with them for that for three weeks and then try a different tack.

Trying to give a definite answer on the spot is a mistake that the mainstream media make with fitness and health. You don’t want to go down that route on your personal consultations either.


JH: That’s when you go to the next level of coaching and you find out what that person really wants. You find out about their past and what is holding them back. I think that’s the challenge with the majority of personal trainers because they do think in black and white. It’s “eat clean and exercise however many times a week” because that’s all they know.

They don’t necessarily relate that to the client’s perspective. They always hear of being in the client’s shoes. But it is very difficult for trainers to put themselves in a client’s shoes because they have never been that overweight, if you are dealing with an overweight client.


SL: That’s really the huge skill set of a personal trainer. A lot of personal trainers have come from an active and sporting background, and maybe they have always been fit. You get other trainers who have been on a certain journey and they end up as personal trainers at the end of it.

The main skill is trying to understand what it is like to be your clients. Try to understand from childhood what it was like to be your client. Do they have an identity based on being overweight as a child? They may not be overweight now but you have to go back to that to understand how they identify themselves: their appearance, their relationship with food, and what their relationships with other people is like based on their appearance. Does it affect their work? Does it affect the type of holidays that they are going to take? You have to go in depth with this.

Some trainers are like a drill instructor and then the clients feel very isolated and upset that they can’t do what their personal trainer can do.


JH: That’s a great point and I think the worst thing is that you’re only giving the client another reference of failure. Up until then they have only had failure.


SL: You need to give pointers. If they go for a ten-minute walk three times a week then that is a success reference in the gym. If you can go to the gym once and do strength training then that is a success reference. Can you organise your breakfast to be nice and healthy 2 days out of 7? That is a success reference.

You build these references to build someone’s self-confidence. That’s how you build somebody’s belief in themselves. You are guiding them through that so they are going to build confidence in you as well. You can make the client understand that even though you have a knowledge base, you are not clairvoyant. You may give your client a training programme that you see through for three or four weeks but it doesn’t give the desired results.

It is all part of your experience to know that this hasn’t worked because of various reasons, so then you are going to go another tack. This doesn’t mean that the training has been unsuccessful because you didn’t get results in the first three weeks.

It is important to build expectation with the client. I think that is the trouble with the online world. Everyone expects the programme to work straight away and it can be frustrating when it doesn’t work like that. The perfect coaching scenario is to be able to troubleshoot as you go along.


JH: It is pre-framing the client and setting them up for that crossroads. It is forward-thinking for them. Point number five is your presence makes others feel guilty.


SL: Even in personal relationships with your own family, friends and significant others. They can make choices that they are not entirely happy with, just because of your presence. They might say that they can’t eat unhealthily in front of you.

This is something that you have to disarm people about and say that you are not here to judge people or enforce any rules. You just want a normal interaction with them, and you will not judge what anyone else is doing. People really think that you are and have to disarm that.


JH: This also applies if you indulge slightly yourself just to make them feel comfortable. It’s their choice and you are not judging anyone, but people tend to think that you are. Do you think that is the same for clients? We draw them in because we look amazing but then we are not that great ourselves.

From a personal perspective, I thought that all the facets of my life were sorted, but they weren’t. As trainers, are we qualified to help clients with other aspects of their lives, even if we don’t have it sorted ourselves?


SL: I think it is our responsibility to have a healthy lifestyle across different facets of life. Because we can keep ourselves in shape but we might be relying on huge amounts of caffeine, not be getting the sleep we need, or taking all kinds of supplements. We may have no flexibility or mobility whilst looking amazing in a photoshoot. If that is what we are pushing then we are providing a limited service.

That’s not really providing The Blueprint for long and lasting health. It may be for a niche such as getting someone ready for a photoshoot, which is great, but it is our responsibility to be able to zoom out from those particular goals in order to provide a lifestyle that is all-encompassing and that includes the mind as well: learning about meditation, goal-setting and giving purpose.

Not that we are necessarily there to be a life coach, but that we have those skills if those conversations happen to come up.


JH: Many of the clients that we deal with are in their mid-thirties plus. To go and source further information is only going to help with conversations that you have with older people because we don’t have their life experience. Being 33 years-old I would coach a lot differently than I did when I was 21 years-old.


SL: I get a lot of trainers contacting me to say that they have just qualified and they want to take their business online. Although that is a great way to earn money because it allows geographic freedom and earns passive income, it is a sad thing to not go through those years of working with different people.

That is your baptism of fire as a personal trainer and you gather your people skill set. You should do that, even though there are blueprints for making money online and having a different kind of lifestyle. There is an awful lot to be said for working with different people.


JH: Moving onto point number six, personal relationships with clients.


SL: Working from 6 am to 6 pm in the gym, these are the only people that you see. Sometimes there is a spark with clients or other trainers, and it is important to keep things professional. That has been known to happen, and I have seen it happen a good few times.


JH: That is one thing to keep an eye out for. Number seven is that you will do a lot of laundry.


SL: This is logistics. You are going to be training maybe once or twice a day, and some clients are going to ask you to train with them. You are going to out from 6 in the morning. Sometimes you will get rained on when you are doing boot camps rolling around in the grass.

You are going to need a lot of clothes and you are going to need to do a lot of laundry. This is just the logistics of being a personal trainer.


JH: I’m laughing at point number eight, which is that you develop a superhuman perception of time.


SL: You do upwards of 4-6,000 training hours over your career. You are counting a lot of minutes and you are counting a lot of reps. You really understand time. This is not just within the session, where you can predict how long a minute is accurately, but also that as a personal trainer, every single minute of your day is going to be accounted for.

You know exactly when you are going to wake up and you know how long it is going to take to get to your client. You know whether you have one or two minutes to get a coffee. You know when you can go to the bathroom, and when you can eat. You know who is going to be late and you know who is going to be on time. People are generally creatures of habit.

There is nothing worse than a late personal trainer, you just can’t do it. You will get clients who stop training with you if you are that personal trainer. It is so unprofessional, because people are paying you for the hours, which effectively means that they are paying you for the minute. If you are six minutes late to a session then they have given you 10% for nothing.

This is one of the biggest crimes you can commit as a personal trainer. You will be able to predict how long things are taking and you will know how every minute is accounted for in your day.


JH: Talking of every minute that is accounted for, if you are training clients for two hours and working eighteen hour days, how much are you really getting paid per hour? If is not as much as you think it is, then it is time to readjust and show that when you are there, you end up getting value for money.


SL: That is a very expansive subject in terms of how much you are earning per hour. For example, in the early days I used to drive for an hour and a half to clients. If I was charging £50 per hour and then driving an hour and a half back, that is three or four hours working out as £12 per hour.

Before that I was doing nightclub security, which is essentially the same rate as that. In the early days you have to take on the clients that you can get just to build up your experience and to get money coming in.

As your schedule gets busier, you need to learn how to wait out and get clients who can earn you more than if you having to travel to this location at this time. That is a fine line, where you turn something down and wait to get a better lineup.


JH: It is also an opportunity to look at what you offer. Do you just offer personal training sessions, or could you offer more and expand on the value of your product? Then you can sit down with the client to talk about goal-setting and their mindset. It doesn’t always have to be a training session.


SL: That is something that I have done in my career. I would block out three hours for an individual client. We would speak for two hours, looking at different areas of life and what is holding them back. Then we would do a training session. Looking at what you are earning per-hour, taking a trip to arrange that would then be feasible.

You can expand beyond the one hour for a personal training session with clients. You don’t want to upsell or come across as if you are on a cruise ship and you are trying to sell them every product under the sun. If there’s something you can offer and they trust you, then that is a great way to build your business.


JH: On the subject of the perception of time, I have sat down with a client and they have agreed on the dates of initial goals. There are a lot of variables and aspects that can change.

My major pet hate of the industry is that trainers are just providing that workout and they are just turning up for that hour, without exchanging their time for information. I don’t see any programme design going on or planning when the goal is going to be set. What do you thinking about turning accountability from the client and putting it back on the trainer?


SL: It is important to educate the client on that. If you look at Olympic athletes, they may work in four or eight-year cycles. To achieve that goal, the trainer has to explain how they will reverse-engineer from that goal or peak date of a photoshoot or if they are going on holiday.

Reverse-engineer the process week-by-week, including rest weeks. On these rest weeks you might explain to the client that they are only at 60% and you advise them to go for a walk. This is a case of refusing that money when it is there. That is the authentic thing to do. Periodization is extremely important and it is a lot easier to do that online because people can then take a look at their training programmes much easier.


JH: I am going to move onto number nine, which is you will never look at holidays the same way again. Give me your intake on that.


SL: One of the things that you will start to notice quite early on is that your friends are going to be working 9-5 jobs, or jobs where they have sick pay. They have holiday pay.

We are never going to have that as a personal trainer because we are working for ourselves or we have arrangements with gyms where they just don’t offer that. When you book a holiday, you know that it is going to cost you the holiday and the loss of earnings whilst you are away.

Other people are earning the same amount whilst they are on holiday as they do in their normal working lives. It can be very tough to create the discipline to go on holiday, because you know that you are going to lose a lot of money and lost a lot of momentum. You don’t only lose money but you lose that momentum of clients. When you come back, you have to re-schedule everyone again and get everyone fired up again.

If you want to take extended breaks – like Tim Ferris, mini-retirement style – you have to speak to your clients about when you are coming back, how long you are going to be away for and potentially get other personal trainers in to cover you.

Also you have the admin of giving clients meal plans and training plans before you go away. Going on holiday can be a huge expense and an admin nightmare to get everything organised.

A lot of your family and friends can just book the holiday and go away to not think about work. They can come back and plug straight back in.


JH: That’s a very interesting point. You don’t go into this industry thinking about your next holiday until you are burned out or tired.


SL: You have to take holidays. The first reason is to rest your bodies, especially when you are not getting enough sleep as a personal trainer. That is when the real inspiration comes, when you take that time to zone out and get out of the normal routine. You go to the countryside or a beach location, and that is when you are hit with real inspiration and real creativity.

You may not do any work on it there, but you take a note and you come back with a renewed energy. That is when you take your business to a new level. You have to take time for your health and for your creativity.


JH: I agree. I have my most creative moments when I take time out. That is when you have creative ideas that you can then apply to your business. The last point of your ten is to develop a unique friendship with your clients. Would you mind just elaborating on that?


SL: The unique set-up with a personal trainer and client is that you will have nothing else in common with their other relationships and their other environments at work and home.

If they trust you and they feel comfortable with you, then they will talk to you in-depth about very personal subjects. Very often over time you will gain that kind of rapport and you will have that kind of relationship. There are no consequences, because you don’t know anyone else that they know.

They can talk to you and you can be a sounding board. You can advise or you can just listen. They don’t run the risk of upsetting anyone else in their life because you don’t know anyone. That is a unique friendship. It is an isolated thing for them, and you are their personal trainer but you can become a very good friend.

Later today I am going for a walk with a client. It is a lady that I used to train maybe four or five years ago. We are just going to meet and go for a walk, but we haven’t worked together on a professional basis for some years now. You do get these lifelong friendships. It is very rewarding for you and the client. It is interesting to note how unique that friendship is because of the anonymity and the freedom to speak about anything in their lives.


JH: It is because you have no personal attachment to them. You can be very objective with your point of view and they won’t be sensitive towards it. They can’t have these conversations with other people because of the fear of being judged. When you have a conversation with your friend, you get through everything quite quickly and your friend starts going off on a tangent about their life.

It is a unique opportunity and a unique friendship because it offers your client that they wouldn’t normally get. Some of the conversations that I have had with clients wouldn’t happen with their other half.


SL: That happens very often. They will talk to you about things that they would never bring up at work or home. It is a very in-depth relationship and it can be really a great thing to know that they trust you enough in order to give you that information.


JH: That is a great point to end on. The ten things are very fascinating for trainers who are listening to the show. Do you have any lasting words for personal trainers who are either new or experienced?


SL: My advice would be to know that you are coming into the industry to focus on more than fitness. You can change people’s physiques and tell them what food to eat, but really you are trying to improve people’s lives and their health. You need to authentically invest in those people.

It is not just an opportunity to earn money. It is a career that you should be going into to make a difference in people’s lives. This is on an individual scale, and then as you build your business on a wider scale.

As a personal trainer you have to be prepared for how hard it is going to be. It is going to be really hard to know how much money is coming in. It is going to be really hard in the early stages to get clients, and you are going to have to weather some storms.

There are going to be people who come for consultations and they don’t sign up with you. People will cancel, and people will want refunds on blocks when you have already spent the money. It is important to have a long-term vision of what you want to achieve with your business.

Those hard times will come, but there will also be rewarding times. In the early days it is very important to work on your skill set. There is a time when you will go to work and you will only do one or two training sessions a day. Don’t waste that time. Obviously, you have to stay in shape and train, but don’t just be hanging around the gym.

You have that time to build your skills. Learn how to advertise, market, improve your website, write, post on social media. Contribute and build networks with personal trainers and corporates that you could potentially work for. Build your opportunities as you go along. Build your skill set away from fitness with the social psychology and the emotional intelligence.

Work really hard for your first year because it usually takes 12-18 months to establish your client base. From then on, get a reputation for yourself in terms of delivering results and it should be smooth sailing. It is a hard first 18 months.


JH: That is great advice and I only wish there had been someone out there offering me the same when I was getting in the industry. I had to find out the hard way, possibly like yourself as well. Where can the trainers find out more about yourself and your services?


SL: I’m on scottlaidler.com. From there you can email me if you wanted to register some interest in having career coaching. I’m going to be launching a resource for personal trainers next year but I already coach one-on-one with some personal trainers. Look at my website as an example of what online training can deliver for clients. That’s scottlaidler.com.


JH: Thank you for your time Scott. Much appreciated.


SL: Good speaking to you.


JH: Once again, thank you to Scott for taking time out of his busy schedule and being on this show. Now in the meantime, if you have any questions about this show the head over to the Fit Man Collective Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/thefitmancollective. To get the shownotes and links go to www.thefitmancollective.com.

Podcast Episode 7: Jon Goodman

Learn About The Possibilities Of Online Personal Training, With Jon Goodman

Communication is easier than ever before. Computers and the internet allow us to reach out to people around the globe from the comfort of our own homes and offices.

Traditionally, personal training has been confined to the gym in face-to-face sessions or in the privacy of a client’s home. More and more personal trainers are turning to online training as a way to build up nationwide and international client bases.

However, many trainers make the transition to conducting online courses without a clear idea of what this involves. What if there was a way to gain the necessary knowledge to become a world-class online trainer?

The Online Trainer Academy provides just that. The creator Jon Goodman aims to equip trainers with the tools that they need in order to create a successful online training business, allowing them to avoid common pitfalls. The course is fully certified, which gives online trainers legitimacy in the eyes of potential and existing clients.

“I teach people the business aspects of gaining clients online and building up a solid business structure” – Jon Goodman

About Jon Goodman

Jon Goodman loves to exercise, hates bad socks, and considers himself a key lime pie connoisseur. He is the creator of the Personal Trainer Development Center (the PTDC) and the Online Trainer Academy.

He has sold tens of thousands of copies of his books, training programs, and courses. He has also been featured in Men’s Health, Schwarzenegger.com, Muscle & Fitness, and Forbes amongst others.

He writes about personal training and enjoys philosophizing and experimenting with new media.

Originally from Toronto, Jon spends his winters exploring the world.


  • How The Online Trainer Academy helps people to become online trainers
  • The benefits of online training for clients, trainers and gym owners
  • Why face-to-face training and online training is completely different
  • The difference between seeking out a mentor and hiring a coach



“Being able to say to clients that you are a certified online trainer immediately puts you ahead of somebody else who just says that they can train that person online”

Connect with Jon Goodman

Website: www.theptdc.com/ota

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theptdc/

Email: https://www.theptdc.com/contact-us/


Interview Transcript

VOICEOVER: Become a better personal trainer by becoming a better man. Become a better man by applying knowledge from others who have walked across the fire, and have a thing or two to say about it. Listen to Joe as he delves into some of the greatest minds of the best coaches in the world. Who bring inspiring stories and powerful insights to share about the human condition. Hear about how the fitness industry goes only muscle-deep and how a new breed of trainers are using emotional and mindset hacks to improve as men, evolve their game and make the competition irrelevant. Trigger your pathway to greater fulfilment. With us, stand in the face of fitness. Welcome to the Fit Man Collective.


JH: Hey guys. Joe Hanney here, welcome to another show. I’m your host and founder of The Fit Man Collective and thank you for being here and listening to my podcast show. This show is about becoming a better personal trainer by becoming a better man, a fit man. On today’s show I am pleased to announce that I have a great guest by the name of Jon Goodman.

Jon has created one of the best communities for personal trainers. This covers absolutely everything that trainers need so they can have amazing careers that are both personally and financially rewarding.

Before I give too much information away, Jon and I will be talking about his Personal Trainer Development Centre on the show, as well as taking a look at his latest creation The Online Trainer Academy. Stay tuned.

Jon, just for the audience could you give them a quick introduction to who you are and what you are about?


JG: My bread and butter is the Personal Trainer Development Centre. We’ve been doing that since 2011 and I think that we do a pretty good job.


JH: How did that come about Jon?


JG: It came about because I was at the upper limit of what I could achieve as a personal trainer, training as many hours as I possibly could. I figured out that I needed to make a little bit of money while I wasn’t on my feet.

That would serve me if I wanted to have a family in the future. To promote the book I started a website that was only going to promote the book.  I figured out that after building the website for personal trainers, there were other subjects as well. The idea grew to bring it all under one roof.


JH: At the time of you being a trainer, did you want to compile all the information that had been useful to you and put it all under one roof for trainers who are getting into the industry or searching for it themselves?


JG: It wasn’t so much that, to be honest. Maybe it was in the back of my mind, but it was not consciously. I realised early on in my training career that the actual workout didn’t matter that much, but how much the trainer motivated the client in wanting to do the workout.

This involves a lot more psychology and marketing principles as well. How do you sell somebody on an idea and make them want to do it over and over again, pushing harder? At its core, that’s what marketing really is. So, that’s the information that I couldn’t find. I realised that a lot of new trainers coming in who are not experienced were just missing that element. There was a lot of focus on the best workout to do, how to fix injuries and how to get stronger.

I thought “I don’t care whether you do six, seven or eight reps”. Is a trainer’s job really to count reps? Whether you do 8, 10, 12 or 15 reps, consistency matters. There wasn’t a lot of good information, and that’s what drove me to do it and set me apart in terms of the information that I was putting out.


JH: I think it is fantastic advice that you have offered there. The advice today seems to be focused on exercise prescription and nutrition advice. The game changer is how do you influence that client to make a change? Was there anything that was your go-to at that point? Or did you learn a lot yourself? Were there any people that you went to?


JG:  Early on I had to seek out the information. I have always been obsessed with human behaviour, even before I knew that it was an obsession. I would try to walk-back conversations that I had with people: “I spoke to my friend today about Jello, how did we get to speaking about that? We started talking about math”.

I became really interested in the intersection of conversation. How did a conversation get from A all the way to E? I thought that an extension of that was how I could manipulate those intersections and therefore take control of conversations. I was doing this back in high school, for some weird reason, and just trying to figure it out. I never really knew what I was doing at that time, even into university I would just study people.

One thing I love is sitting in coffee shops and pubs and making up backstories about people. There are lots of people who have pioneered research in that field, of why we do what we do. It’s irrational, it’s how humans operate. Humans are not logical beings, so I dug into that and started to understand it. Those things are so powerful that even if you know they are happening to you, they still work.


JH: I suppose, even just having that awareness is going to have a greater impact on you as a coach. The challenge is that as a trainer in today’s society, they assume that they only have that hour to train their client. Trainers need to be aware of that during the hour, and they can create another model where it allows them to have a different coaching element to their package. This would be even more powerful.


JG: Let me ask you something. What is the top reason that someone hires a personal trainer? What’s the problem they want to solve?


JH: An emotional, deep-rooted problem.


JG: Maybe. So what is that?


JH: It could be many years of self-sabotage, where they don’t understand why they self-sabotage. This could go back years. To understand that kind of behaviour, you have to ask very specific questions and get them to answer that for you.


JG: Exactly. You know that and I want to return to that. Why does someone come to a personal trainer, and from the client’s perspective what do they want to do?


JH: Lose weight.


JG: Exactly. So what’s interesting about this is that there is a pretty serious disconnect. What they are telling you is not what they want to achieve. If they actually wanted to lose weight they wouldn’t need to hire a trainer. If you want to lose weight, you Google on the internet how to lose weight. You can get fifty methods for free within a quarter of a second that are going to be good enough methods for losing weight.

Pick one, follow it and you’re going to do well with it. So what is it that a personal actually hires a trainer for? There’s a big disconnect between what people say they want and what they actually want. They will never be able to verbalise that and they won’t even realise that it is missing. This comes down to self-doubt and a lack of confidence.

There are a lot of barriers to overcome. As a trainer you need to understand that on the surface you might be giving somebody a workout, but under the surface you are giving them what they actually need, which is the reason why they haven’t been able to achieve what they want with that workout. You can’t go to a client and say “you want to lose weight, so here’s how you do it. But actually, you have pretty serious confidence issues, so we are going to deal with that”. What you have to do is intuitively include these methods into your programme.

As an example, instead of giving somebody a programme that has a phase two of fat loss, where we’re going to ramp up the volume, you say that it is time for the “red dress workout”. This is because the client told you that a couple of years ago they wanted to wear a red dress but that it didn’t fit anymore. This workout is to get them to wear the red dress again.

Now the trainer is addressing the key emotions that connect back to what they want to do. The client doesn’t really know what you are doing. You’re not explicitly communicating what you are doing. You are intuitively working in what they want to achieve into your programme, That is how you become the “no brainer coach”. Every other coach offers Phase 2 fat loss – “we’re going to do big squats because it works big muscles and burns a lot of fat”. In contrast, you are doing the Red Dress Workout. They don’t care what’s in the workout, they want to fit into the red dress.


JH: That is superb advice. I got into the habit of saying “what you’re coming to me for is not exactly what you think you are coming to me for”.  It opens up a can of worms in their coaching journey with ourselves. There is another point that you made which I want to highlight for the trainers that are listening. It might be that you have to help them lose that weight, that they think is going to help them gain some confidence. However, you need to show them that they could still lack confidence even when they have lost the weight.

Just going to the opposite end of the spectrum, I want to bring up the technology that is becoming ever more popular. Things like Uber are based around convenience and quick access. What kind of impact do you think that this will have on personal trainers? Do you see it as an advantage or a disadvantage?


JG: I see it as another piece of the puzzle that we are trying to solve. This is getting the majority of people more active and keeping them active for a longer period of time. Uber and other apps are different because that is talking about crowdsourcing. I don’t know if that applies so much to the fitness industry as much as the “quantified-self movement”. There is a lot of talking whether this is the end of personal training? The answer is very clearly no.

Picture the fitness industry as just a big pie. If there are 100% of the people that we want to get active, at the moment we are only getting 15% of them active. The fitness industry as a whole is not doing a good enough job. This is not because of a lack of information or passion. It is lacking different ways to serve the market. Different people react to different stimuli and people like to encounter situations differently and benefit differently. There is a certain type of person in this world who loves one-to-one training. There are other people who like Zumba. There are other people who like small-group exercise. Other people thrive with CrossFit. It doesn’t matter what it is, but what matters is that you find what works for you.

The person who loves wearable tech and the quantifiable-self movement is going to jump to the next piece of quantified-self. You are not going to get someone who is into one-on-one training buying a FitBit and not wanting their trainer anymore.

That person was not right to be with the trainer in the first place. I think that is all there is to it. You are never going to be able to replace people. If anything, this world that is becoming increasingly impersonal is going to push people towards more personal services.

It is going to push coaches to be better and to appreciate this more. Where wearable tech does come in is that it provides a very good selling platform for large gyms to differentiate themselves. There is a lot of marketing power in that. If a gym is able to get a contract for wearable tech in their region, that they can use to build a programme, then that acts as a hook. That is nothing more than a marketing hook but it could be an effective one. But you’re still talking about group exercise. If you look at group exercise from the fifties through to now, it went from low intensity to high-intensity and swung back again.

The pendulum keeps swinging. Now it has fallen down in the middle. CrossFit was very high intensity and now it has become controlled, and for the most part taught pretty well. This is the way that things will always go.


JH: This leads me onto a question about something that you have created: the Online Trainer Academy. Would you mind sharing in a nutshell what that is? How much of a game-changer will that be?


JG: To give some background, the Online Trainer Academy is a business-building course for personal trainers who want to do online training. This can be done as a hybrid by combining personal sessions. It can be done solely online as well. It is a certification course that is the first one ever for online trainers. It has been wildly successful so far.

We have a full textbook and digital portal. I look at online training as a win-win-win for everyone. It’s a win for trainers because it solves the big problem that every trainer hits: they need to make more money and they need to add more time to their schedule. It solves a big problem for gym owners because they lose a lot of money by clients moving away and they lose a lot of money by trainers leaving. They need other income streams without having to expand their space and their staff.

It is a win for the client because they can pick the best trainer for them, regardless of location. This allows clients to pick the person that they believe can help them the most. There is a lot to be said as to how much people will commit themselves to their workouts when they can make this choice. In addition, it will cost less and there are no time constraints.

If you want to work out at 6.04pm, you don’t miss 4 minutes with your one-on-one trainer.  What I do is teach people how to do this responsibly. I teach people the business aspects of gaining clients and building up a solid business structure.

I teach how to assess clients properly. When it comes to assessment it is important to realise that reliability trumps validity. It doesn’t really matter what the client’s body fat is, but what matters is that you can measure reliably from each test to the next. In personal training, if you are very close to a valid bodyfat test, it would be much more valid.


JH: I suppose the assessment side of it was a pretty hot topic amongst trainers when you first brought this out to the market. Surprised is the wrong word, so I am actually very excited to hear that you tackled that. Was that a difficult job or did you find it pretty straightforward?

JG: Putting together the programme as a whole was a difficult job, for no other reason than that nobody has attempted to do this before. We had to make it up as we went along, and the way to do that is a lot of R&D.

I have been teaching online training to trainers, originally as a course that I called 1K Extra. We took in thousands of students who did that course over the course of 2-3 years and took feedback of what worked and what didn’t. We had all of this data from people who are already doing it. What that also enabled me to do was build up a huge network of successful online trainers across the world with different types of clients and with different types of specialities. Everything from top performing aerobic athletes to seniors.

Mine and my team’s job was to compile a tonne of interviews where I spoke one-on-one and recorded these calls with people doing online training successfully. The goal of those calls was to pick out the golden nuggets of what they do.

Lazarus Ross owns Major Gainz Fitness and has a lot of trainers working for him online. What he does is use Facebook and his existing community in order to get more clients. I was able to pull that system out of them and I was able to use psychological research to make that system better. I was able to make sense of it so that I could explain it to other people. Phil Harrison is a coach in the UK. He took his boot camp model and brought it online. He called it a guinea-pig trial. I changed that to a guinea-pig experiment because I didn’t like the word trial. We were able to use what he was already doing online.

There are so many examples of stuff like that of pulling the one golden nugget. Alex Viada of Complete Human Performance has a seven-figure online coaching company of high-performing athletes. These people win CrossFit competitions and world championships in track and field. He coaches them online. His assessment techniques were better than anyone I have ever seen for online coaching. He was willing to give me information about how he does it. It was a case of not getting carried away because what he does is not what most people need.

It is again a case of understanding that validity over reliability. If you are training a runner or a cyclist, there is a very simple test that you can do. You can compare from test-to-test to gauge performance increase. You are looking at 2k time-trials, but not doing blood-sampling. It was a case of pulling out the golden nuggets and then it was simplifying those and making sense of them.

Often people that are doing something brilliant don’t know why they are brilliant. It was up to my team and I to make sense of it all.


JH: You have the world experience and the research behind it.


JG: That’s the idea. I think that is the differentiator between what I have done versus a lot of people who will teach online coaching. I will be the first to tell you that they haven’t taught anyone online.

My job is to figure out the best systems for training people online. A lot of other people who teach this kind of thing do a great job with their clients and businesses in one specific way. If you are an online coach or want to, you’re probably going to go to someone who does it in the specific way that you want.

The reality of it is that you have no idea what is right for you or what isn’t. Is a membership site right for most people? Probably not, but it sounds very appealing. If you know that you want to do a membership site then there are people out there who teach you to do a membership site for online.

The problem is that they will teach anyone their method and they won’t do a smart enough intake to determine if you are actually right for this method.


JH: Is that why you created a certification to be the first in the market? To give trainers more confidence in what it is that you are delivering. It sounds very intricate and detailed. No stone has been left unturned.


JG: I think with any new market, especially one that is unregulated like fitness, it is important to have a measure of legitimacy, Having a certification, having a textbook and getting well-rounded ideas means that you are going to encounter the business much more responsibly.

Being able to say to clients that you are a certified online trainer immediately puts you ahead of somebody else who just says that they can train that person online. Who is the client going to pick? It communicates that you care enough about what you are doing to become educated in that field.

A lot of people with online training will go into the business and say that they can do it. However, working online as an online trainer is an entirely different business to working as a personal trainer. How you set up your business, organise your time, communicate with clients and the way that you deliver workouts are completely different. It is learning a new business. A lot of people don’t respect that and as a result, a lot of people fail at it and a lot of people burn out.


JH: Speaking in great depth about this, you have really done a lot of research and you have thought about how this is going to work. You have identified the process that is already good to go, as long as trainers are willing to immerse themselves in the information that you are providing. They then become that certified online trainer.


JG: What I am really proud of is how we are able to walk a trainer from start to finish through the process of building the perfect kind of business for them.

My opinion is that there is no wrong way or right way to do this. There is only a right way and a wrong way for the individual trainer. Throughout the textbook and the workbook, there’s a whole bunch of material that explains the videos.

You are working through exercises in the workbook to make sense of what the perfect type of business is for you: how it will be structured, how you will deal with clients and what you are going to charge, before determining how you are going to market your business.

Once you have worked through the book and figured this out, you then transfer the information onto a Snapshot Worksheet. The worksheet is a snapshot of your business. This will allow you to overcome distractions.


JH: So this brings them back to the core values?


JG: You can always go back to your core values and you can say that you made these decisions after a lot of thought and knew exactly how you were going to structure your business.  I have no clue as to how we were able to pull that off, but I think that we did a pretty good job and the initial response has been very good.

I thought that we were going to have to make a lot of changes after we put out the first version of the textbook, but we have been able to guide people really well in terms of what it was they should be doing or shouldn’t in terms of them.

Maybe you want to do transformation programmes that last for 8 weeks online. Maybe you want to train people one-on-one. Maybe you want to have a free Facebook group. All of these things can’t be done at once. If you try to do all of it you are going to fail. How do you know which is the right one for you? That is what we are able to guide people towards and give them the confidence that what they are doing is right and to focus on that whilst ignoring everything else.


JH: It runs true from the Personal Trainer Development Centre through to the Online Trainer Academy that you are giving trainers confidence because you have built a community of experts. Doing your own research has carried through to the Online Trainer Academy.

The trainer can feel confident that there is a genuine guy behind this that has really put a lot of thought into it to ensure that the people are supported on their journey.


JG: That’s the hope.


JH: You have answered a tonne of my questions already, which has opened up the opportunity for trainers to search for more information about this. If you don’t mind me asking, where could trainers who are listening find out more about the Personal Trainer Development Centre and the Online Trainer Academy certification?


JG: It is pretty easy. The Personal Trainer Development Centre is www.theptdc.com and it does have the t-h-e before. The Online Trainer Academy certificate is www.theptdc.com/ota.


JH: I will obviously have that in the show notes, so people can just access the links there. Just one last thing, how important do you think it is that a personal trainer seeks out coaching for themselves so that they can gain a perspective and understanding of what coaching actually does for them so they can pass it on to their clients.


JG: I think that it is very important, but I think that there is a lot of confusion of the terms. There is a big difference between a mentor and a coach. A mentor is someone who believes in you, who chooses you, who takes you under their wing and who really guides you.

They are not someone that you pay. A mentor doesn’t hook you with a Facebook ad, get you to go on a strategy call and then you pay them money and then they involve you in some group calls. That’s not what a mentor does. A mentor is someone who believes in you and takes their time to work with you. A mentor doesn’t have a lot of time to work with lots of different people at once.

I’ve taken on a couple of people in my day, but it is always one at a time. It is a deep relationship.

A coach is different. A coach is someone who has a piece of information that you desire to have. If I want to know or achieve something, I will break that down into components. There may be 8 components. I can do 5 but I don’t know how the other 3 can be done. I am going to pay whoever I have to as much money as they possibly need to tell me those 3.

It then becomes a search to find those people, and my only goal is to obtain those 3 pieces of information. I don’t need to coach with them. I’ve paid people $1000 an hour for a phone call, and I’ve paid people $10000 for an hour of their time.

I will never pay anyone to be part of a $1000-a-month mentorship, because the whole concept behind that is false. I am someone who doesn’t need accountability, which is a big element. If you need accountability then it becomes a little bit different.

My point is – don’t just hire someone because you like the idea of it. A lot of the time when you hire a coach, it’s because you don’t have the guts to take action on it yourself. That comes first, so work through everything that is stopping you from taking action first. Figure out what you need to know and find the person who knows that and pay them whatever they need to give you that information.


JH: That’s a great point. That is great advice which I have never heard put in that way. So thank you for that Jon, I really appreciate your time and I appreciate you as a person being on the show. Thank you very much, my friend.


JG: Thanks.


Again, thanks to Jon for helping me to produce such a great show for you guys. Now in the meantime, if you have any questions about this show, then head over to The Fit Man Collective Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/thefitmancollective where we will have deeper conversations about this. To get all the show notes and links for today’s show, head over to www.thefitmancollective.com.

Podcast Episode 6: Tim McCavitt

Letting Go Of Negativity, with Sedona Method Guru Tim McCavitt

Many of us hold onto negative thoughts and feelings, which hold us back in our lives. These negative emotions can prevent us from realising our full potential. This negativity may affect one area or several, whether that is our personal relationships, our work, or our attitude to money.

We become attached to our problems, rather than seeing them as a separate entity to ourselves. Learning how to let go of these negative emotions, doubts and fears will help us achieve our goals in life. Once we are able to do this consistently, then as personal trainers we can help our clients do the same. This will allow our clients to look at their weight loss goals objectively, rather than becoming wrapped up in a cycle of negativity.

“The Sedona Method is a way of simply letting go of negative feelings and impulses” – Tim McCavitt

About Tim McCavitt

Tim McCavitt is one of the world’s leading experts on the Sedona Method. Through seminars and one-to-one training, he harnesses the power of this method in order to help people improve themselves by letting go of their attachment to certain impulses or negative feelings.

He first came across the method in 1978, when he was just 27 years-old. He learned the fundamentals of Sedona from the method’s founder Lester Levenson.

Using the techniques that the Sedona Method encompasses, Tim has been able to forge successful careers in several different areas. These have included acting, production and real estate.

Together with his wife, he has been teaching the Method for the last 10 years as Sedona Releasing Worldwide. The seminars and one-to-one calls are designed to equip people with the tools that they need in order to start letting go of negative feelings and welcoming an overall feeling of positivity.


  • How Tim came to discover the Sedona Method and what he learned under the tutelage of founder Lester Levenson
  • How people hold onto negative feelings to an extent where they see themselves as attached to this negativity.
  • How people can ask themselves certain questions in order to get rid of this negativity and to welcome positivity
  • Why the Sedona Method is something that can be practised every day and in every area of someone’s life.

“Sedona has nothing to do with anything but tapping into a natural ability that we all have as human beings to let go of any negative unwanted feeling”

Connect with Tim McCavitt

Website: http://www.sedonareleasingworldwide.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SedonaReleasingWorldwide

Email: http://www.sedonareleasingworldwide.com/about-sedona-method/#sthash.9RhrZcdN.dpbs


Interview Transcript

VOICEOVER: Become a better personal trainer by becoming a better man. Become a better man by applying knowledge from others who have walked across the fire, and have a thing or two to say about it. Listen to Joe as he delves into some of the greatest minds of the best coaches in the world. Who bring inspiring stories and powerful insights to share about the human condition. Hear about how the fitness industry goes only muscle-deep and how a new breed of trainers are using emotional and mind set hacks to improve as men, evolve their game and make the competition irrelevant. Trigger your pathway to greater fulfilment. With us, stand in the face of fitness. Welcome to the Fit Man Collective.


JH: Hey my name is Joe Hanney, and I am the host and founder of the Fit Man Collective podcast show. As always, thank you for being here. As you know by now, this show is about becoming a better personal trainer by becoming a better man, a fit man.

I continue this series on freedom by interviewing the one and only Tim McCavitt of the Sedona Method. He has been practising and teaching the Sedona Method since 1978. He uses his experience to help people harness this simple tool to enhance their lives. He is here to share his insight and wisdom. The Sedona Method as featured by “The Secret” is a powerful yet practical technique that can help you release on any unwanted emotion.

It manifests whatever you want in life. Learning to use this tool will allow you to have more fulfilled relationships, build financial security, develop a satisfying career, overcome bad habits, plus helping your clients lose weight and have good health. Today I remind you that your life comes before anything else – that is how we create freedom.

Hello Tim, welcome to the podcast show. Just for the audience, would you mind explaining about yourself and how you know so much about the Sedona Method?


TM: Sure absolutely Joe it’s a pleasure to be here. I’m Tim McCavitt and have been teaching the Sedona method with my wife Annrika James for the last 10 years or so, as Sedona Releasing Worldwide. It’s been in my life since 1978. I first found out about it in New York City.

It’s been an incredible journey and it’s been a pleasure to have this amazing natural tool to enhance every area of my life as I go through young adulthood and middle-age. I’m in my sixties now, but I don’t feel that way. It has helped me transgress through a loss of parents and loved ones. It has helped me in successful careers in a variety of different avenues, such as film and TV acting, production, real estate investment and development.

In the last 10 years we have decided to do what we love and what we know very well – teaching the Sedona method around the world. It’s A pleasure that you’ve invited me to share what I know and tell some people about it.


JH: It’s a pleasure to have you on the show Tim. Studying the book first made me curious about the Sedona method and learning about it in a more in-depth way. This brought me to meeting both yourself in London. I received tremendous value from it and continue to do so. We’ll go into it today how easy this is to implement into your own life on a day-to-day basis. Just for those who are new to the Sedona method would you mind giving them a brief introduction to what it is?

TM: First off I’ll start with telling you what it isn’t. It’s not a philosophy, it’s not a dogma, it’s not a new belief system. It’s not a set of rules and regulations. It has nothing to do with anything but tapping into a natural ability that we all have as human beings to let go of any negative unwanted feeling.

So, do it yourself or self-help is our technique. The more you do it, like anything else, the greater the results. It is not an intellectual process. So maybe if you’ve paged through the book it is not an intellectual process, how we familiarise you with it. It’s recognising the ability to let go. We did it as little children very readily, it was just second nature.

As you get to two-and-a-half, three years old you start to get trained out of it. As babies, up to age two, feelings would just bubble out. If you have watched kids then you will know that. I’ve never met a two-year-old who will hold a grudge. It’s trained behaviour this holding on. It’s just getting back in touch with this ability to let go.

Yes, there are guidelines but the power of the Sedona method is in its simplicity. That’s what attract me to it because it’s something that I can do myself. I don’t need to plug into a teacher or a guru to do this and have it benefit every area of my life.


JH: I agree. What attracted me was the simplicity of it. I love how it asks you questions – you more or less have to be involved in the book as you read it. It’s not passive reading. It asks you certain questions and it’s up to you to take part. That’s what I love about it so much. I believe the simplicity side of it is what makes it different from so many other self-help or improvement techniques out there. Would you agree?


TM: Absolutely. I was lucky I found out about it in 1978 when I was 27 years old. It came in my life when things were going very well. I had a career as an actor in New York. I was married and there were a lot of things that picked up.

I had no tools to deal with the emotions. I literally asked for it and said “God, send me something, I’m very confused”. That afternoon something happened – a guy in a coffee shop came up to me and he told me a little bit about this thing. I went to a meeting later that night and met some people. I met the founder Lester Levenson, who I was able to spend time with and around. He was not only a mentor but also a friend.

I can equate it to the way we learned to ride a bike. Did you read a little pamphlet or a manual about how to ride a bike, as a kid? No, none of us did. We just decided one day “I’m going to get on the bike”. I don’t know about you, but I crashed a lot of times. In fact, I had to have training wheels for a short period of time. Then you’re practising and doing it. After a while you can say “look Ma, no hands!” You’re not going to enter the Tour De France straight away but you can definitely ride a bike. That ability never leaves you and it’s the same with this method.

If the majority of the audience are into fitness or are personal trainers, it’s not just like discovering that you have a muscle, it’s then about getting more comfortable with using it on a moment-to-moment basis. So let’s spend some time doing it, now that we have talked about it. Are you up for that?


JH: I’m all for that.


TM: OK. What I wanted to do was peel off a t-shirt or a sweatshirt that I have on. It’s funny that as you are letting go, you will notice some amazing things that are happening to the body and the mind. It’s tied in together. One of the things is an increased flow of energy.

This relates to fitness and how important it is to have energy, blood and oxygen flowing so that everything is working in support of the body. This is something that everyone listening can actually follow along with. This is an example of what letting go is and how easy it is.

So if you’ve got a pen or a pencil, or anything that you are willing to drop without giving it a second thought. If you’ve got that, then just grab it for a moment. Hold that object i front of you and grip it tightly, give it a good squeeze. And now let’s just pretend that this is one of your unwanted and negative feelings. Imagine that your hand represents your gut or your consciousness.

As you’re squeezing it, that actually feels kind of familiar doesn’t it? That’s what we do with our feelings: it feels familiar and uncomfortable. Just for a moment ease up. That feels better when you ease up doesn’t it? And you still cradle it in your hand. That’s exactly what we do with our feelings. Now, just open your hand for a moment and roll the object around on the palm of your hand. As you can see, the pen is not attached to your hand, is it?


JH: No, not at all.


TM: The same is true with our feelings. This feeling is attached to you as much as this object is attached to your hand. However, we hold onto our feelings and we contract around them. This leads us to believe that they are attached to us.

We hold on and we forget that we are actually holding onto them. It’s such a habit. It’s even into our language – what do we say when we are sad?


JH: “I’m sad”.


TM: Exactly, we identify with that feeling and misrepresent it. Then we believe that a feeling is actually holding onto us. This is not true. We’re always able to let go, but we just don’t know it. Now, turn the object around in your hand and have your fist up. Just decide now to let the object go and just decide to drop it. Yes, I could hear it hit the desk and the floor. So what happened?


JH: I just let go.


TM: Yeah, you just let the object go. Now, was that difficult?


JH: No, it was just a simple choice.


TM: Yes, it was a simple choice. And that’s exactly what we mean when we say to let go or release. You can do the same with any emotion. Just choose and decide to drop it and to let it go.


JH: That’s interesting, Tim. Obviously, I’ve done this before. It may be the first time for the audience to experience this. Do you mind just briefly touching on what we may become attached to when we talk about feelings?


TM: What we’re initially attached to is a tendency to hold on. You may be aware of a tightness or a constriction in your solar plexus, chest or throat. Those are spots where we hold on. But what we’re holding onto is beliefs or emotions. As we get older and more habituated to holding on, we actually lose touch sometimes of how we are feeling and we just live from the neck-up.

Now, the interesting thing is that you can still release when you are living from the neck up. It useful that when you are letting go to be a little bit more aware of how you are feeling. There’s a whole range of emotions and it’s outlined in the book.

Our emotions would be the lower feelings, such as apathy. You can’t get much lower than that. There are a lot of synonyms of what apathy is all about. There’s grief which is a little higher. Apathy is pretty much deadness, whilst grief is being. There’s fear, which is a little bit higher but it is still a negative energy. There’s lust which is linked to fear. Fear says “help me”, whilst lust says “I want it, but I can’t have it”.


JH: For the trainer that is listening, they could think of a client in this situation. What you’ve just mentioned is something that is possible affecting those clients. They become their problems and identify themselves as overweight, rather than seeing it as a separate issue.


TM: It all boils down to a feeling. Apathy, grief, lust and pride are all the lower energies. Then you get into acceptance and peace, plus all the higher energies. Those are all distilled down to three or four wants that motivate or propel our actions.

There’s wanting control, wanting approval, wanting security and wanting to survive. Those are all basically the same. They all have a feel to them. All of our thoughts are distilled down into these wants. They are four master programmes.  We are looking at the mind as if it were a computer. Most of these things are running in the subconscious, so the method allows you to be aware of what you are feeling now, in this moment. The subconscious is actually attached to the present, so it means that you don’t have to muck around in the past. It may come up in pictures, images and thoughts – but it’s all in the past. The only time you can do anything about the past is in the present.

Dovetailing it back to the client-trainer relationship, for the trainer to have the ability to let go two things have to happen. It gives them an opportunity to be more comfortable within themselves. When you are comfortable within yourself, who you are comes through rather than who you think you are.


JH: How can you usually escape these emotions? As a trainer we usually turn our attention to the gym.


TM: Yes, it’s not just exclusive to trainers. The entire world has been trained to escape our feelings and to suppress our feelings. Training and going to the gym is one way to move away from your feelings if it is done just as an obsession or as a compulsion.

Anything that we do – eating, listening to music, sex, drinking, exercise –  if it’s done to move away from a feeling, that’s pretty much what is done across the board. Once you’re conscious of that, you realise you have the ability to let go of the motivator.

Here’s an example: someone comes to you as a trainer. They are overweight. It would be useful for you to have the method for them to be exactly as they are. We pick up on how we feel. Sometimes we’re talking but we’re actually connecting on a feeling level. If you’re more relaxed within, whatever you’re imparting as a trainer or a parent, it’s better received if you yourself are more relaxed.

You mentioned escaping and this is what we do with our feelings. We escape or we suppress the feelings and press them down. This is what we are very good at.


JH: That is something that could be going on for many years. As you say, that is something that could be going on from the ages of two.


TM: Yes, and we will express them on occasion. Expressing these feelings is not very socially acceptable. We suppress and finally something happens, and you just blow. You feel terrible and the whole situation is just out of whack.

The natural alternative to those habits of suppressing, escaping or expressing is letting go. What happens when you do that?  You allow the emotions to spontaneously release. This is when you welcome it as just another aspect of letting go, simply allowing whatever feeling is here just to be right now. When that happens, the body relaxes naturally and the mind becomes quiet.

If there is action that needs to be done, then it is more spontaneous. Look at the world these days – we can tie this into the idea that inwardly there is contraction and expansion. That’s a premise of building muscle. That’s the function of the lungs and of the body.

The world in itself is in a constant cycle of flowing between contraction and expansion. Most of us are in resistance, which is sometimes deep resistance, to this natural flow.


JH: We’re possibly very unaware of the resistance going on. Sometimes the focus on not wanting something actually brings you towards it. Does that make sense?


TM: Yes. It doesn’t make sense but that’s what happens. This is what we’re doing in our minds. Whatever you are picturing, that is what you are getting. It’s conjoined to a feeling of resistance or a feeling of not wanting. Can you not think of a white elephant?


JH: Already I am.


TM: Yes, so I’m going to use your example of not wanting to be like somebody, there is a resistance towards that person. However, what you are actually holding onto in your mind is actually being like that person.

This is because that mind cannot equate to “not”. It just sees the picture, whatever it is. That’s why it is helpful to hold in mind what you want as opposed to what you don’t want. The method allows you to let go of the resistance.

Let’s just get back to this contraction that I was talking about. We can do a simple release along those lines. We have this ability within ourselves to just welcome a feeling. Take a moment and just check. Notice how you feel. You may be aware of some thoughts in the mind. You may be aware of the heart beating a little bit. Go a little lower and a little deeper to your solar plexus or maybe your chest. Notice if there is any feeling there. You don’t have to label it because it may just be a sensation or a tightness. It may be a contraction. Just welcome that. A good synonym for welcoming is “notice” or “allow”. Let it be. In this moment, can you just welcome whatever contraction you are noticing in your body and mind? Just allow it to be here for a moment.

Look for any sign of tightness, restriction or contraction. Could you let it go as best as you can?  Now could you welcome any sense of expansion? Let that feeling go too. Then welcome what is beyond expansion and contraction as best as you can. Then rest as that which is always here and always now. You can keep going back and forth between these questions, causing the conflict or tension between both to simply dissolve.


JH: Just by bringing it into awareness it’s already dissolving. I can already feel my facial expressions letting go. I was thinking about the general smile that comes to your face. You feel lighter and there’s a weight off your shoulder. That’s the profound thing about this in how simple it is and the questions that are being asked. They allow you to go inwardly.


TM: What we’re actually doing is using the mind and removing the contents that are negative. We are utilising the higher aspect of the mind and the ability to see things clearly. It is not like the mind is the enemy. We bring awareness to it. This is a good example of what’s called a holistic release.

It’s based on the premise that everything we experience in life – whether it’s real or imagined – rises in pairs of opposites. In this case, we just focused on contraction and expansion. But there’s also good and bad, scarcity and abundance, hot and cold. They exist as pairs of opposites and polarities.

What we’ll typically do is push the “bad one” or the undesirable part away and hold onto the more desirable one.What happens when we bring them up in consciousness at the same time? What happens is that they dissolve one another. You are then left with more space. You are left with more of a sense of awareness.


JH: This is how I summarise it: if the trainer got cleaned and we let go of our own stuff, it’s easier to come across a whole lot more forthcoming with a client and we would be a lot more confident. You said that you went asking for this kind of method.

Being in the industry myself and seeing where the industry is going in terms of the focus being on exercise or diet, rather than the mindset stuff which is focused on helping people to change in a better way. I can see this as a massive part in helping that client who may have been overweight for 20 or 30 years and no diet or exercise is really having an effect on that lady.

How does a trainer identify this within their client to help them understand that diet and exercise is not going to be the be all and end all?


TM: That’s a great question. What brings us to anything? Everyone is looking for the same thing. This is what Lester Levenson told me and lots of other people. Hopefully millions of people will hear about him at some point in time.

We are all looking for the same thing which is happiness. Unfortunately we are looking for it in the wrong place. We’re looking for it outside of ourselves. We are looking for it in achievements, relationships, money, sex, recognition or fame. It’s always outward and based on this belief that love or approval is outside of ourselves.That’s where we look and we come up short.

Look at the most successful people that you can think about, whether they are celebrities, actors, academics, millionaires or politicians. Most of them are not happy despite their accomplishments and achievements because they have been looking for happiness in the wrong place.

What prompts someone to seek something like the Sedona Method? A really sincere and heartfelt desire to get the answer for themselves, and to recognise that they have been looking in the wrong place. They discover this ability to let go. This is something that Lester said when he first met me: “you are an unlimited, loving being and that is just covered over. This is all you need to pluck out the covering”. I just thought wow, sign me up.Then I knew the rest of it was up to me, which was great. That’s what you discover, and I know that’s what you yourself have been discovering and that’s what lots of people are discovering: that our inherent goodness and the happiness we have been looking for comes from within.

So let go of what’s covering it such as the negativity, limitations, and the belief that “I am not enough”. That’s a big one, and as a trainer, if somebody comes to you and they are overweight, typically there’s a feeling there that the trainer would have too.

Wherever we are in life, there’s a belief that “I am not enough” or “I need more”. I had a session earlier today with a collegiate athlete – a very good athlete, who could have gone professional in football here in America – who was relating some disappointment. He has had the method and he has really benefitted from it. He was telling me about being passed over for a better job, a promotion. It dawned on him that his whole life has been performance. It has been athletically, academically and now he’s in sales.

Everybody listening to this can relate to it. What he was able to do was recognise and let go of some of this behaviour and these tendencies to perform. It’s a habit that he had held onto, believing that “I need more”. He has a great job and a great family, but he is recognising that at some point you just let go of that and decide that enough is enough.

That in itself is a great recognition or exploration for anyone who is a trainer. They can let go of it within themselves and be with somebody who has come to them and is overweight. This person is saying “here I am, can you help me?”  If you are a trainer with the Sedona Method and your clients are not letting go, then you can have an effect on them and their performance. You are then allowing them to be as they are.


JH: I think that is a great point.


TM: And then you give them a platform. You accept them as they are.


JH: Yes, you don’t impose your wrong beliefs on them in that way. However, you were not aware that they were wrong at the time. Something that trainers will relate to is if a client comes to them that is overweight or unhealthy, then they tend to tie it down to unhealthy habits.

The Sedona Method can actually help them recognise that they may be resistant to something. I know that one of the stories in the book was about a lady who held onto a decision that she made 20 years prior to figuring out why she had been gaining weight for the last 20 years. It was based on a decision that she made against her husband, for whatever reason as a way of getting back at him.

Trainers can aware of the habits that their clients have, who may not be aware that they have it themselves. In your experience, can the Sedona Method be effective for people with these habits?


TM:  Yes, absolutely. What the method allows you to do is let go and focus on the motivator or the habit that is operating and driving you to behave in that way. We can do a very simple release along those lines right now.

Just think of something about yourself, whether you see it as a habit, addiction or a tendency. It can be in any area of your life. Maybe it is a habit of overeating, or a habit of making money and losing it. Making money and not being able to save it. Or attracting a member of the opposite sex who is not to your liking. It’s the same old story.

Choose whatever comes to mind, you don’t need to pick the most difficult one. In this moment, we are going to keep this very simple. In this moment just welcome whatever is here, such as the pictures and images.


JH: This takes me back to one of the main reasons that I came to the Sedona Method.


TM: OK, so just welcome any thoughts, those sounds that the mind makes when we are thinking about the past. Then welcome any emotions and feelings that you are aware of. It can just be a tightness, and it doesn’t have to be something that you can label: fear, anxiety or another emotion.  So simply welcome whatever is here.

And now, as best as you can, welcome a feeling of wanting to change that. Could you welcome a feeling of wanting it to be different? In this moment could you simply let go of wanting to control this feeling? Are you capable of it? Remember, if you drop the pen, then you can. Are you willing to let it go? Could you simply decide to do it now?

Again, think of that same scenario or habit and welcome whatever else comes up. Remember that this is just a choice. If the answer is no, that’s fine because you may still let go. If it is no, would you like to change that?


JH: What I love about this process is being able to say “no” to releasing a feeling. But it makes perfect sense to let go of it. We have mentioned the control, approval, security and separation, this is where control is coming into this process, where people don’t want to let go.


TM: Yes, there is this poorly wired belief that wanting control equates to control. The feeling of wanting control. In reality, want equates to lack.


JH: That’s a great point.I know that trainers listening, upon sitting down with their client for the first time, will ask a question that triggers the response “I want to lose weight”. That’s probably how the conversation starts between every trainer and client. Trainers will ask clients what goal they want to achieve, and this will be the response. What we are discussing now could be the very thing that is holding them back from losing that weight.


TM: Yes, definitely. That’s what I love about the Sedona Method. Right now we are talking about physical fitness and training. The overall holistic approach is how I live my life. It recognises that there is a wholeness in terms of fitness that is emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.

Since you have this ability to let go, you are there then to not only impart what you know from the physical aspect, but how to support that on a feeling level. It’s the feelings of “I can”. So as you let go of the “I can’t” or “I won’t”, what you are left with is a feeling of “I can”. When someone comes in and says “I want to lose weight”, what their goal is to have a slim and fit body. It’s letting go of what they are holding onto.

The Sedona Method will show you how to state goals in a way that you can then deal with the opposites. Someone will come in and say that they want to lose weight. What that will bring up in them is lots of resistance, but they will learn how to let that go. It will bring up a gamut of thoughts and emotions that are in opposition to achieving the goal: “I can’t, I’m not good enough, it takes too long, it’s a lot of work”. There is self-doubt.

Whatever has been there both literally and figuratively, has caused them to make a decision. It’s courageous. This will bring up some opposition. We are going to combine my training with your ability to let go. It’s a beautiful win-win situation.

I want to share something with your right now. This is an email that came from a friend of mine who has had the method for several years and she has been on a couple of our seminars. She’s a pilates instructor of 14 years.

She says “the Sedona Method has supported me in being a catalyst for my client’s health and fitness evolution, just as much as the exercises. Releasing has kept me grounded in meeting my clients where they are at, and helping them identify and achieve their own goals. I’m thrilled to share my expertise and joy of learning with them.

This keeps the lessons feeling mutual and collaborative as we grow together. As someone who has taught over 10,000 hours over 14 years as a pilates instructor, the method has helped me navigate through the draining waters of burnout and still find joy in the people that I work with”.


JH: I couldn’t say it any better.


TM: This is from Kim in Durango. From a business perspective, I asked her about how the method had helped her. She says “as a business owner of a pilates studio for 14 years, the Sedona Method has been immensely supportive in becoming a more effective manager and business owner. Letting go of the stickiness of attachment and aversion lets me get freer and freer to do whatever it is in the best and highest good for everyone – clients and me. This makes every business day an opportunity to support myself in health and everyone around me.

An example of this is that I feel more confident as a business owner and manager. These are two roles that I have never readily identified with. Now, through releasing, I have been able to take responsibility for the roles I assumed and had been previously resisting.

Training combined with releasing lets me relax into the flow and experience how exciting it is to support others. This helps them to take more responsibility and grow their own leadership. This leads to more unscheduled time for me, more profits for the business and a more satisfying place to work”.


JH: Just to bring this to a wrap. I have a few questions that might be going on in the minds of the trainers. How often should we be releasing? I personally have got into the habit of doing this as and when.


TM: Great question. This is what’s happening moment-to-moment. We’re either holding on or we are letting go. What would you prefer to do? The beauty of the Sedona method can be explained by how we learned to ride a bike. When you are 90 years-old you can get on the bicycle and ride it. You haven’t lost the ability at all and it is just second nature. It’s not like asking these questions.

I don’t have to run a litany of questions in my mind anymore. “Could you, would you and when?” is the most basic question that you can ask yourself. It actually becomes spontaneous, so after a while you are open to the possibility of letting go without having to ask yourself any questions. We have a feeling and we decide to let it go.

Imagine putting your hands in prayer and then opening them to welcome. You can do this inwardly. Nothing sticks if you just welcome what is. To answer the question specifically, you can do it all the time, because you feel better. You are in the flow.


JH: Exactly. I think that the more you do this, then the more conscious you are of it anyway. You notice things a lot more clearly. It’s as simple as making a choice to let go of the pen. I know that you have many tools for the public to get access to. Would you mind sharing for the guys listening to the show how they can learn more about the Sedona Method?


TM: Our website is www.sedonareleasingworldwide.com. We present live events around the world. We will be in Singapore and Japan next year. It will be our fourth year in Japan. We do them in the UK, in London. That’s where Joe met us, and we would love to see you again. We do free support calls. You can just go onto our website and opt-in to a mailing list. We came up with an app called “I Release”. The themes are relationships, addiction, stress, anxiety.

We have a beginning of the day release and an end of the day release. These are 3-5 minute releases and it’s free. It’s a guide to stress-relief and increased energy. We do a Skype at AM and PM, so we catch people in different timezones. Then we record it and send it out so it is there in that library.

The Sedona Method book is on Amazon. This is a great primer. What we invite you to do is continue letting go. This is not a once-and-done thing, whether you read the book, go to a live seminar or take a Skype call. The more you do it, the better life becomes. Have no fear that if you are a practicing Catholic or Christian, Jew or Sikh, Muslim or Hindu, it doesn’t matter what your religious affiliation is because it will make you a better person. All we are doing is providing you with a method to let go of your own negative emotions and limitations that have been self-imposed. When you do that, who you are shines through.

I have been fortunate because this came to me when I was a young guy and it has made life one fun ride. It doesn’t mean that negative events don’t happen, but you have a way of letting go of anything that gets kicked up. You are in control and I think that in itself is priceless. It is a feeling of “I am safe, I am happy, I am complete”.


JH: It is freedom in abundance and I have it. Just to bring this to an end, I have to say thank you for your attention, I appreciate it. I know that the audience is going to take a great deal from it. Thank you.


TM: It has been my pleasure and we have just scratched the surface. There’s enough here and if it has really piqued your interest, please check it out. If you are a meditator, this is like a walking meditation. It’s a wonderful tool, and I appreciate the fact that you have decided to share this in your professional circle. It is needed these days, and there is a wonderful power that takes place when people are letting go. There is a lot to be discovered when you are letting go.


JH: Once again, thank you to Tim for being on this Fit Man Collective podcast show. You can find out more about Tim and the Sedona Method at www.sedonareleasingworldwide.com. I have found that using the Sedona Method has helped me release some feelings of anger, frustration and anxiety. It is why I continue to practice the method day-in and day-out.

Now in the meantime, if you have any questions about this show the head over to the Fit Man Collective Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/thefitmancollective, where we’ll be having deeper conversations about this. It is about becoming better personal trainers by becoming better men. To get all the show notes and links then head over to www.thefitmancollective.com.