The personal training model is broken.
This isn’t to say that there are no personal trainers out there doing good work, but…
Personal trainers, to justify the expense, feel pressure to constantly change things, which means that most of them deliver individual workouts, not a plan to go from Point A to B.
Fitness marketers and influencers often exaggerate misconceptions as a way to make themselves stand out.
When you see a woman with a fit and “toned” body, understand that she spent a long time building muscle. Not living on the cardio machines and constantly chasing fat loss.
For the men, the same workouts (that always seem to center around bench press and biceps curls), randomly getting smoked (high heart rate & lots of sweat), or just running a few miles are not the answer.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re dealing with a similar set of givens: time is tight, we’re all losing muscle mass, and just trying to over exercise and under eat our way to fitness is not the solution.
The answer is to map out a plan that has your actions lined up with your goals.
Results don’t happen by accident.
Walking the walk
Back in August of 2022 my weight had dropped back down to 165 and I didn’t feel comfortable being that thin. (I’m 5’10”) At age 52, most people would say those are the cards you’ve been dealt, live with it.
I’m not one for fatalism. I like to look at others who started from a similar point, achieved the outcome I want, and see how they got there.
A year later I weigh 180. There’s a huge difference mentally that’s hard to quantify. From being stronger, to feeling more physically present, to having the confidence that comes from pushing back against my old limits.
“Vanity” outcomes matter. Whether you feel too thin or too heavy, feeling stuck and unhappy wears on a person. Getting results is important. It doesn’t solve everything, but the positive feedback loop certainly helps.
I was also thinking about the long game. If that earlier picture was to be my high water mark, then I knew I was in deep trouble.
Why? Because every year after age 40:
- There’s a 1% drop in muscle size
- There’s a 3 to 5% reduction in strength and power
- There’s an 8 to 10% decrease in speed and explosiveness
All of which can be offset with strength training.
I focused on training smart, eating like an adult, and getting a good night’s sleep more often than not. Most of the time I was in the gym three times per week for about an hour.
No weird supplements, no measuring every gram of food, no HRT/TRT, just doing the basics.
That’s a good story, but what does this have to do with me?
You might be 30, 40 or 50. You might feel stuck.
Here’s the thing: you can still make real changes and do so in a way that fits into a life that isn’t obsessive and doesn’t revolve around training.
Whether your goals are fat loss or putting on muscle, the answers are always the same.
We all need to protect lean muscle mass, stay mobile, do a little conditioning for overall health, and do basic things that include eating like an adult and not sacrificing sleep to binge watch Stranger Things.
Who do you train?
I’ve worked as a trainer for over twenty years and the overwhelming majority of my clients are ordinary people who know they need the benefits of strength and conditioning work, but who aren’t inclined to spend hours per day in that pursuit. Some of my clients are in their late twenties, some are in their mid-sixties. Some of them played sports, some of them never picked up a weight prior to working with me.
So, what is Point B?
- Becoming a good fitness generalist. Strong, resilient, actually look like you work out, able to move well, and in good condition.
- Feeling more confident because you’ve put in the work and it shows.
- Feeling healthier. This isn’t just vanity.
- Being more inclined to do fun things (keeping up with your kids, skiing, hiking the challenging trails, etc.) because you aren’t scared of getting injured or looking foolish
I have a different proposal than most of what’s out there:
For the cost of a single in-home personal training session, you get a month’s worth of training (including video tutorials) that’s an actual program designed to take you from Point A to Point B as well as weekly accountability check-ins.
Spoiler alert: it doesn’t involve drinking a gallon of water per day, giving up red meat, or eating a bunch of kale.
So, what does the plan look like?
- Three strength workouts per week for 40 to 60 minutes each.
- Two optional conditioning workouts per week for 20 to 30 minutes each.
- Eating like an adult most of the time and prioritizing protein.
I feel like I’m bracing for impact. This is going to be bad, right?
Don’t push yourself to the point of hating exercise.
Exercise isn’t punishment. Junk food isn’t a reward. You matter. Treat yourself accordingly.
Do you need a coach to watch your every move?
No, but I’m always glad to provide feedback if want to send me videos of you doing exercises that you have questions about.
Do you have to join a gym?
Not if you don’t want to. You can set up a great home gym for under $200.
You can start with pretty much nothing but space to move and furniture or stairs to allow you to change leverages for body weight movements.
If you live near a park or a school, play equipment open up a lot of options.
What I’m trying to avoid is you buying things like a bunch of bands that wear out (okay for travel or just getting started), but cost almost as much as something durable like weights.
I like this style of dumbbell because you can really load them up for the big engine lifts (squat, deadlift, press, and row) and you can lighten them for isolation exercises. Cost: $70 to $130.
- Most women should start with a set that goes up to 25 pounds per hand.
- Most men should start with a set that goes up to 40 pounds per hand.
Why not the “Get in the Best Shape of Your Life in Eight Weeks!” plan that I see on social media?
No one gets out of shape in eight weeks and no one gets in the best shape of their life in eight weeks either.
How do I get started?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Online Training” in the subject line. In the email let me know:
- Are you just starting, are you on again/off again, or consistent with your training?
- Have you done strength training before?
- How old are you?
- Are you working around any injuries?
- Are you training in a gym or at home?
- Will you be doing a mix of training in my classes and working out at home or the gym?
Am I signing up for forever? Is there a contract or autopay?
No. This is one month at a time, but I would highly suggest only signing up if you’re willing to give this at least three months.
How much does it cost?
The Back To School offer is $85 for the month of October. That’s 25% off.
I’d still like to train in person. Is that an option?
Yes. For planning purposes, let me know if you will be coming in one, two, or three times per week.
If you attend once per week, then plan on strength training twice per week on your own. If you attend twice per week, then plan on strength training once per week on your own.
How do I pay?
Venmo or check
I haven’t formally trained since high school PE or sports. What should I expect?
See the video below. There I explain a typical training session.
Is this personalized?
Yes. This is a collaborative effort. Your starting point, movements that work better for you, and making adjustments all come into play in putting together your program.
Can I email and ask a few questions about getting set up before getting started? Yes.
But also a few FAQs:
If you’re buying weights, buy these. They can adjust up or down. You will get stronger over time.
What about kettlebells? I’ve heard a lot about those.
Kettlebells are a good tool, but they’re not as well suited to as many movements as adjustable dumbbells.
What about sand bags, bands, TRX straps, and other functional training tools?
Those are nice to have, but I wouldn’t make make a big deal about them.
From October 2nd to the 27th you can try my online training program (or a combination with in person classes) for 25% off! That’s $85 for four weeks of training.
To get reserve your spot email me at email@example.com by October 1st!