How to attract wealthy clients

personal-trainer-girlMost people discontinue personal training because of the cost. Wealthy clients on the other hand never care about cost. Most of my career as a personal trainer was catering to wealthy clients. Early in my career, I was the personal trainer for VIP guests in hotels that would come from out of town. The large part of the clients at Free Form Fitness the company I founded are wealthy.

When you make a few million dollars a year what’s $50?

Wealthy clients just want the optimal solution for them. But wealthy clients are harder to reach. They’re skeptical of advertising and often set up their life to avoid all distractions. One of the only ways I’ve found to attract wealthy clients is through referrals.

The psychology behind referrals has been heavily researched and the conclusion is this: People refer others to protect their friends from making bad purchase decisions elsewhere. That’s it! No referral contests, no referral gifts will work for them.

That means if you make people feel uncomfortable by using sneaky sales tactics, deceiving marketing or pressure anyone through your process, be sure that you will never attract the wealthy.

To gain referrals from the wealthy you need 2 things:

1. Do something worth talking about
2. Make it easy to talk about

That’s it.

3 books all aspiring personal trainers need to read

Two Young Women Readin In Park At Sunset

I consistently read 1-2 books a week, and have been for the last thirteen years. Even though not all of these books are fitness related, that is how my curiosity started with different topics.

As you master exercise, let your curiosity drive you towards solutions for your client’s problems. Instead of thinking, “this is out of my expertise,” challenge yourself by learning everything you can about that topic. Once you have a better understanding, you will then be able to add it to your tool kit for other clients.

The books I’m recommending below are foundational books that serve the vast majority of people who hire a personal trainer. These are people who want to lose fat, get healthy and be fit. If you’re targeting athletes, there are many books out there on sports specific training, but I have to say Supertraining by Mel Siff is the athletic bible.

There are three pillars that are important in understanding how to help your clients lose fat and feel amazing.

First it’s nutrition. If your client wants to lose weight and you don’t understand nutrition, they might as well go find a new trainer. Nutrition and exercise work together, so with exercise alone, most of these clients would be wasting their time.

The second pillar is exercise. We all know how important it is to move.

Third is Psychology; if you can’t get them to stick to anything you say, well… your success rate isn’t going to be very high.

Here are a few books that I recommend that cater to the three pillars I have mentioned.

1. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price

This book detailing Dr. Weston A. Price’s global travels studying the diets and nutrition of various cultures. The book is filled with pictures and evidence that can’t be ignored.

2. Magnificent Mobility by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson

When you start exercising with clients you quickly learn that most people lack in flexibility and mobility. This book outlines an almost “paint by numbers” way of fixing these issues. Its simplicity is fantastic.

3. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath 

As personal trainers, changing people is what we are really doing in the big picture. Chip and Dan has given us a great scientific breakdown of how to change when change is hard. This can be applied to anything but it is especially important for someone looking to change their habits.

A mentor of mine once gave me advice that I’m passing along to you.

“You’re only as smart as the books you read and the people you meet. So start reading and start meeting.” So I did.

Three Reasons You’re Never Too Old to Become a Personal Trainer


Have you ever thought about making a career change, but had an underlying fear that you were too old?

For some would-be personal trainers, this is a reality. Fear over something like this, while understandable, should be re-considered carefully. If you have the qualifications and proper training, additional requirements for a job as personal trainer include a passion for the job itself, with a genuine desire to help people. If you possess these qualities, your age isn’t as big of a factor as you may think.

If you are interested in becoming a personal trainer, but are intimidated by the age factor, consider these three advantages:

1) Relating to the client

As an older personal trainer, you will relate better to client issues. Most clients that can afford personal training are simply older. They may lead hectic, busy work lives and don’t have the tools or drive to help themselves. As someone who may be in their age demographic, they will appreciate someone that understands the stage of life that they are currently in.

2) Maturity
Older trainers tend to be more mature and better able to have difficult conversations. Many times as a trainer, you need to give “reality checks” to clients. It is easier to accept these reality checks from someone closer to their age. Younger personal trainers can be regarded as not having had enough life experience for such conversations.

3) Comfort
Older personal trainers can provide more comfort to those that may be intimidated from a high energy trainer. Some clients simply lack the youthful energy that they once had, and as such, may feel intimidated and isolated when they get inside a gym. As an older personal trainer, you will be the ideal candidate and motivator in showing them how much energy they can regain, and also, what they can eventually achieve!

With these advantages in mind, a move towards personal training may be the right choice for you. No matter what your age, the job in itself is extremely rewarding and gratifying.

If it’s your passion, what are you waiting for?

5 Health and Fitness Principles That Don’t Suck


There’s no shortage of nonsensical information in the world of health and fitness. When’s the last time you exclaimed, “Oh goody! Another 3 Foods to Avoid at All Costs if You Want to Get Lean and Toned and Finally Like How You Look in a Swimsuit article?

Like the world needs another one of those.

Sometimes I can laugh at the utterly ridiculous crap that floats around social media. But other times it upsets me because much of it adds to the false notion that health and fitness is complicated.

There’s infinite amounts of rubbish swirling around regarding health and fitness, and you’re tired of it, right? You want simple, proven principles that actually work so you don’t have to waste time or be unnecessarily stressed.

The following five (no nonsense) principles do just that.

5 Health and Fitness Principles (That Don’t Suck)

1) Eat mostly real, minimally processed foods. Put an emphasis on consuming plenty of plant-based foods (e.g., fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains). Other great foods include dairy, eggs, poultry, meat, and seafood. (For additional information see The Diet That Has No Name.)

2) Strength train 2-4 days per week. This is according to your preferences and time availability. Whether you want to lift heavy barbells at the local gym two or three days per week or work out at home with bodyweight exercises; do what works for you. Use primarily large, compound exercises and improve your performance a little each time you repeat a workout.

Click here to read the rest of Nia’s article

**This article was written by Nia Shanks, and is published on her blog “Lift Like a Girl.” Nia Shanks is a writer and coach, and leader of the Lift Like a Girl revolution. She helps women discover and reach their potential through an empowering approach to health, fitness, and life.

Working Out Shouldn’t Hurt & Your Diet Shouldn’t be Miserable


How you eat and move your body should make you feel good about yourself and make your life better. Fitness should not cause pain, and your diet shouldn’t rule your life.

Seriously, what the hell is going on?

It seems like more than ever I hear people talk about how “brutally sore they are” and how “everything hurts.”

Despite causing pain, people continue to perform workouts that hurt. Hell, some people are treating pain like it’s a badge of honor (It almost killed me and it hurts to walk, but I did it!).

I can’t believe this actually needs to be said: your workouts should not hurt. They should not cause you pain. If you’re constantly in pain from your workouts, something is wrong and needs to be addressed immediately.

I’ve had this same conversation with several men over the years (especially when I worked in a commercial gym).

“Damn my shoulder is killing me. Every time I bench press it gets worse. Any ideas what I should do?”

“Since you asked: first, you need to stop performing the barbell bench press. Second –.”


“Excuse me?”

“No. I’m not going to stop benching.”

“Well then. There’s nothing else I can really say, other than to enjoy your future rotator cuff surgery.”

In this example, the problem is somewhat easy to solve. Replace an exercise that causes pain (bench press) with a similar movement that can be done pain-free (for many, in this example, that would be a dumbbell bench press variation or even a barbell bench press at a low incline). Combine that exercise swap with an increase in upper back work (e.g., face pulls, rows, band pull-aparts, etc) and those sore shoulders may start to feel a lot better; I’ve seen it work numerous times.

Click here to read the rest of Nia’s article.

**This article was written by Nia Shanks, and is published on her blog “Lift Like a Girl.” Nia Shanks is a writer and coach, and leader of the Lift Like a Girl revolution. She helps women discover and reach their potential through an empowering approach to health, fitness, and life.