FPL004: Essential Strategies for a Successful Fitness Career

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Fit Pro Lifestyle PodcastThis is probably the most important episode so far – because you’ll discover common mistakes that cause fitness trainers to fail.

You’ll also get the low-down on a million-dollar framework of strategies that will hopefully change the way you think about working in the fitness industry.



01’25” Two fundamental mistakes fitness professionals make
03’32” Why it’s selfish to offer 1-1 personal training
03’57” Attracting the right clients
04’10” Some common fitness marketing mistakes
04’49” How to find quality, high-paying clients
04’33” What you don’t need
06’47” Where most trainers stuff up
07’12” Stop trying to sell – do this instead
08’24” Are you inadvertently rewarding laziness?
09’54” How to go break 6-figures by working part time
11’17” Action steps

Resources Mentioned In The Show

Download my ‘Invisible Selling’ system here


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5 Powerful Strategies for a Successful Fitness Career

1. Get the Fundamentals in place first
2. Attract Qualified Prospects
3. Convert Prospects into Clients
4. Retain your Clients for longer
5. Scale


Garry Robinson here and welcome to fit pro lifestyle episode 004.
This is probably the most important episode so far – because I’m going to reveal some common mistakes that cause fitness trainers to fail (and when I say ‘fail’, I mean struggle to make any money).
I’m also going to show you a framework of strategies that I have figured out, refined and mastered over the years that will hopefully change the way you think about working in this industry.

See, I want you to succeed as a trainer (and when I say ‘succeed’ I mean really love what you do, change the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people and be rewarded with plenty of money for doing it).
But you won’t succeed if you keep doing what isn’t working or if you copy what most other trainers do. That’s because most trainers barely make minimum wage and quit the industry within 2 years as burned out, broken wrecks up to their eyes in debt.

Listen to the rest of this podcast and notice how many of the mistakes you are currently making and then make a decision to adopt the winning strategies I’m going to share with you instead.


We’ll start by addressing two huge fundamental mistakes. Now, if you are making these mistakes and feel yourself getting all defensive and question my logic by thinking ‘but everybody does that’ just bear in mind that most trainers are broke. You will not get extra ordinary results by being average or ordinary.

The single biggest mistake fitness professionals make is taking a job and working for someone else – or worse than that, actually paying to work for someone else by signing a franchise contract at a gym or health club. That’s because you end up training other people’s clients. You must actually ‘own’ the relationships with your clients to get anywhere.

Close behind working for someone else is trading time for money by taking on 1 on 1 personal training clients. This will send you broke because a) you have to show up to get paid and b) your income is limited by time. And there are only so many hours in the day.

What should you be doing?

Start your own training group! Preferably outdoors, because the overheads are much lower and the benefits to your clients are far greater. But if outdoors doesn’t work for you all the time, hire a school hall or local community centre.

I recommend you build up a decent database of your own clients before taking out a lease on a garage gym or PT studio.

And stop doing 1-1 personal training!

For every hour you spend with one person, you could be improving the lives of 10 or 20 others.

Listen, the only people who need one on one training are those who are injured, disabled or in very rare cases, elite professional athletes following a sports-specific program. If you do have clients like that and want to continue doing 1-1 then work with them outside of your group session times (which will be early and mid mornings and early evenings)

Everyone gets better results by training in a team environment – so move those able-bodied 1-1 clients who want to train at peak times into your fitness group.
I would even go as far to say it is selfish to train people 1-1 since you could be helping far more people by offering group training.

Running your own fitness group is essential if you want to succeed because it will enable you to work less hours, earn more money and help more people in the process.


The next most important strategy for a successful career as a fitness professional is how you go about attracting new clients.

It’s so important to attract the right clients. If you get frustrated at clients who don’t pay, rarely turn up, lack commitment or sabotage themselves, then you have attracted the wrong type of client without even realising it.

The mistake here is trying to appeal to everyone. Without thinking about WHO you can help most, the types of problems you can solve and the sort of person who experiences those problems, you will end up playing a game of client lottery.

This goes hand in hand with a whole bunch of horrible and expensive mistakes such as wasting money on logo design, business cards,
10 page websites, printing boring fliers that get ignored and making weak offers.

The worst part about this flawed strategy is that if you spend enough time and money on it, you might even get a few clients. But the chances are, they will not be a perfect fit for you and they won’t last long.

You’ve got stop all that nonsense right now and adopt direct response marketing strategies that will attract quality, high-paying clients who really value what you do for them.

Listen, what would be more useful to you right now? 5000 Facebook fans or an envelope containing 50 names, email addresses and phone numbers of people in your area who are suffering from a problem that only YOU can solve?

Those 50 people are out there – and it is much easier and cheaper to reach them than it is to tell 5000 strangers that you are a personal trainer (which is what everyone else is trying to do).

The action step here is to stop wasting your time and money on branding and get good at direct response marketing.

You don’t need a fancy logo, business cards, a 10-page website or thousands of facebook fans.

The reality is, you can make a six-figure income from running 8 group sessions a week for just 50 or 60 clients.

So think about that. WHO exactly would those 50 people be? WHAT is their biggest problem? WHY are you the best person to solve it for them and HOW would you do it?

WHERE do you find these people? Easy! You will find them in the places that they currently spend their money.


Once you get the fundamentals in place and you start attracting better prospects, you need to work on converting those prospects into clients.

See, most of the people you identify as your ideal clients will probably not be ready to join your training group right this minute. They have this problem and they may be thinking that there are a few ways they could solve it.

For example if we take the obvious one of wanting to lose some body fat… They might think they have some choices.. They could go on a diet, buy some crazy exercise machine off the shopping channel, get gastric banding, liposuction or whatever else nonsense.

What they don’t know yet is that YOU have the best solution for them.

Here’s where most trainers stuff up. They try to sell what they want for their clients instead of listening to what their clients want.

I may not know you yet, but I bet you are not a highly-trained sales professional with years of experience. If I’m right, then I almost guarantee that when you try to sell your personal training services to someone you just met, it comes off as awkward and maybe even sleazy.

So my advice is to forget trying to SELL anything. You don’t need to.

Instead, just EDUCATE your prospects about what has caused their problem and how you can solve it for them better than anyone else.
Send them valuable information and take them on a journey that will allow them to get to know you, like you and trust you enough that they will want to do business with you when they are ready.

Then, when they eventually approach you, have a SYSTEM in place that makes it easy for them to get started.
I call this ‘invisible selling’ and you can download an hour-long video training course I made on the subject from www.fitprolifestyle.com

You’ll find a link in the show notes for Episode 004



OK. So you know that you need to quit your job, ditch the 1-1 training, start a fitness group of your own, stop wasting money on marketing that doesn’t work and educate your prospects rather than trying to sell to them.

Once you do this, you are going to have thriving little group of clients who love to train together, value what you do for them and refer their friends.

You’ll be working less hours, having more fun and earning more money.

So we naturally want to RETAIN these guys as life-long clients so we can continue to build and grow


Almost every single trainer and PT studio owner I meet gets it dead wrong.

They reward their clients for NOT TRAINING with them!

I know that sounds ridiculous. Why would you do that?

But the fact is, if you are selling casual sessions, 10-session punch cards or even 12-week blocks of training you are actually encouraging your clients NOT to exercise.

Here’s why…

You are making an assumption that they will only want to train with you for a given period of time.

You know as well as I do that it’s impossible for them to get life-changing results in just a few weeks or by occasionally turning up for a casual drop-in session!

What is far better for your clients (and you) is to assume they are going to make a permanent lifestyle change and build regular exercise into their life from now on.

That’s why you should set up a convenient timetable of group training sessions – just 3 or 4 a week is enough – and offer a monthly membership program that encourages them to turn up often.

Charging a fixed fee each month for unlimited training sessions shifts their focus onto the long term and permanent results that follow from adopting a habit of training regularly.


The final key to success – and this can only happen once you have everything else in place – is to scale and replicate your group training enterprise in other areas.

Now this step is not for everyone – and like I said, it is very possible to earn 6-figures a year on your own just by running 8 group sessions a week and finding 50 or 60 clients ideal clients.

But if you want to go beyond that and earn multiples of 6-figures then that is very do-able for you too.

What’s required then is to systematize what you do and recruit others to help you so you can take time off and still get paid.

Once you are able to replicate your training program at other venues and prove it works, you can franchise or license your method to other trainers in your area, country or even all around the world.

This is more than just creating a fitness program that guarantees results.

You’ll need to put in place some business systems too. Knowing some fundamental numbers such as how many leads you generate each month, how many of those leads convert into clients, and how long clients stay are just as important as the results of your fitness tests.

What you can measure, you can manage – so I suggest you start tracking those numbers now and in a future podcast I’ll show you how to use them to earn more and work less.

The income possibilities really are endless.


Look, I hope you found the information in this podcast useful.

These ideas have earned me well over a million dollars since joining the fitness industry and I know hundreds of other trainers who are using them to fast track their success too.

It may have only taken 10 minutes or so to deliver them, but it has taken me many years to learn them, master them and organise them in such a way that you can go out and use them.

Let’s summarise the key points and action steps…

o 1. Get the Fundamentals in place first

  • Whoever owns the relationship with your clients makes the money.
  • So don’t take a full time job, sign a gym contract or work for someone else for very long.
  • Start your own fitness group
  • Quit 1-1 personal training or limit it to outside of your core group training hours
    (early mornings and evenings)

o 2. Attract Qualified Prospects

  • Stop wasting money on branding and learn how to find your ideal clients using direct response marketing (this will be a game-changer for you)
  • Decide right now WHO is your ideal client? WHAT is their biggest problem? WHY are you the best person to solve it for them and HOW would you do it?
  • You’ll find them WHERE ever they spend their money

o 3. Convert Prospects into Clients

  • Stop trying to sell clients on what you want for them and listen to what they want
  • Educate them and build a relationship with them instead of selling
  • Have a system in place to make it easy for them to start training with you
  • You can download my ‘invisible sales system’ from the website at fitprolifestyle.com – you’ll find a link in the show notes for episode 004)

o 4. Retain your Clients for longer

  • Selling training sessions instead of results by selling punch cards, casual sessions and programs with a fixed number of weeks is simply rewarding clients for NOT TRAINING
  • Assume they are going to make a permanent, life-changing change
  • Set up a timetable and charge a fixed monthly fee for attending unlimited sessions

o 5. Scale

  • You can earn about 100k/year on your own. To earn more, you need a team.
  • Implement systems to manage, measure and improve
  • Hiring assistants, add venues and train more people
  • Franchise or license your method

If you think Fit Pro Lifestyle podcast is in any way helpful to you, please do me a favour and leave a short review on iTunes.
It will take you literally one minute and would mean a whole lot to me if you do.

Go on and do it now before you forget and then get in touch with me so I can reach out and thank you personally.

See you next time
Garry Robinson

Garry Robinson


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