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The New Era of Personal Training

by Phil Kaplan

This is an essay that speaks to the rational mind of intelligent personal trainers seeking to rise above the abysmal industry standards and find prosperity and pride.  Here we go . . .

  Sure . . . you can do 50 burpees, 20 jump squats, and 20 TRX pull-ups before starting your morning run.

  Sure, you have an arsenal of over 400 movements that involve “the core,” and run bootcamp or movement classes with any props given you.

  Sure, you know theories old and new related to kettlebells, Pilates, and yoga, and you have your own established opinions about each one.

That makes you a fit, walk-the-talk, present era personal fitness trainer.

  Sure you stay on top of your Continuing Education to keep your certification current.

  Sure, your CPR certification is current and you’re trained in Emergency Procedures and AED usage.

  Sure, you precede each client program with a risk assessment and you require medical clearance and/or guidance when necessary.

That makes you a competent, educated, responsible personal fitness trainer.

Is that enough?  Fit, competent, and responsible? 

Sure that’s enough, if you’re presently satisfied with what it brings you.

The question that seems to evade many of the fit, competent, caring personal fitness trainers I meet is, “how will I build my future?”

It’s a tough question to answer when you’re reliant upon “client sessions.”  The future gets cloudy when you consider the costs involved in expanding into your own space, a larger space, or an employee-driven business.  Most trainers push the question aside.  In essence, they ignore it.  That disregard often leads to financial struggle and all of the challenges that come with it.

There are other questions that beg to be answered.

  • "What do I really want and deserve . . . . personally . . . in exchange for the energies I’ve put into helping others?” 

There’s nothing selfish or greedy about expecting justifiable reward.  You can be altruistic, empathetic, confident, and financially secure, all at the same time.  Most trainers aren’t, and if you aren’t, you have to ask what you’re going to do about that.  Other plaguing questions:

  •  “How will I meet my financial obligations if or when I no longer want to put in all of the hours that I presently enjoy but I know will ultimately become burdensome?”
  •  “How will I make the money I see professionals in other fields making?  How will I grow if I stay stuck in this present era where my fitness, my caring, and my competence aren’t met by the ultimate reward I am almost uncomfortable admitting I long for?”  You call yourself a professional, perhaps you conduct yourself based upon a professional standard, but are you compensated as a true professional deserves to be?

Listen, I’ve been at this for 30 years.  There isn’t any hype here.  I’ve become the purveyor of the wisdom that comes with life-experience, and I know only those who are ready to find change will view this as anything other than theory and conjecture.  

Life experience comes with perspective, victories, missteps, and lessons.  I’ve not only seen the industry do a few flips and the landscape go through a few changes, but I’ve experienced rises, falls, and near-devastation, and I attribute the ultimate development and success of my Personal Training career to the unique education I received from 30 years of conventional pursuits and the path less travelled.  It’s fair to say that the better part of my education came from making mistakes, and conventional education in the present era, is filled with the mistakes and pitfalls I learned to overcome and avoid long ago.

If I could take back every free consultation I ever did and attach $50 to each one, I’d have collected an additional $50,000 and I’d have connected with more qualified clients in far less time.

If I could have the $15 I discounted each session in exchange for a “package” I’d have collected an additional $150,000.

If I understood how to balance revenue pumps and financial drains earlier in my career I would have saved half-a-million dollars that I inadvertently invested in that unconventional education I referred to earlier.

Those aren’t exaggerations.  Mistakes cost me, but the lessons served me.  I’ve had a rare experience in this field.  I’ve been deep inside the weight loss industry, the media, the infomercial and home shopping world, and the health club industry.  I’ve seen the past, I’ve seen the present, and I feel privileged to have stepped into what I know with every inch of my being will serve to escalate our field in the future . . . and the future, for those in the know, begins right now!

Behold, peer into a future few have imagined.  

A new day dawns . . .

Standing on a Platform beside their medical colleagues, this new generation of personal trainers have documented beyond all doubt they can not only improve the aesthetics of our population, but they can cure dis-ease. 

Cure Dis-ease.  Yes, I said those words, "cure dis-ease," and I’ve been making that provocative statement for two years now.  It’s genuine, it’s evidenced, and it’s been unanimously well received once I have the opportunity to present well founded perspectives and data.

Here’s the unfortunate part of this phase in the new era.  Those who stand on this platform represent less than one-tenth of one-percent (.1%) of the practicing personal trainers.  That means many of the remaining 99.9% are misdirected.

I’m clearly not being delicate, but I’m not intentionally being brash either.  I’m simply allowing my sentiments to pour out of me to help those fitness professionals who are open-minded to put their true potential to the test. 

There are those who will read this and decide I’m arrogant or delusional, and I realize I am subjecting myself to such judgment.  It’s OK.  If you’re either happy with your present situation as a personal trainer, or if you simply think the drugs I took during high school are finally starting to affect me, you can stop here.

No egos should pass this point.  If you are going to continue, I’ll ask you to approach the remainder of this article knowing there will be five distinctive steps.

Read.  Think.  Understand.  Contemplate.  Decide.

Read.  Set aside time to read this in its entirety.

Think.  Recognize your mind is in a tug-of-war at any given moment between emotion and rational thought.  Recognize the initial emotions this article summons up may have to be examined to summon up rational thought.  Think about everything I’m saying as it relates to you, your loved ones, your future, and your career.

Understand.  Many of your clients fail to ultimately find the fitness results they seek because they hear you, they listen to the words, but they fail to really understand the importance or significance of the message.  Don’t judge until you seek to understand.  I started this article only 23 minutes ago, but it’s fair to say it took me 30 years to write.

Shortly I’ll present an opportunity to join me, to step up to a new possibility, and to challenge yourself to find the future you deserve in this noble and deservedly rewarding field.  I’ll urge you not to act impulsively, but contemplate everything I’ve brought forth, and then, with a full alignment of rational thought and emotion, decide if you want to step up upon the Platform.

Facing the Truth

In the opening paragraphs I illustrated some of the questions that the absence of a clear career path allows trainers to sweep under the rug.  The questions are hard to face, as the answers may reveal you’re falling short of your recognized potential.  That’s uncomfortable.  The answers may reveal that your parents or spouse had some reference when they suggested “something to fall back on,” or “getting it out of your system and then getting a real job.”  That stings.

Of course you want to defend, to mask whatever frustrations you face, to blame circumstance, the economic climate, and to pose as the great success you know you deserve to be.  When the faƧade is lifted, when ego is pushed to the side, most of the personal trainers I’ve met acknowledge one or more of the following:

 “Getting clients is a struggle.”

 “The economy makes it hard to keep clients.”

 “It’s hard to make money as a personal trainer.”

 “I’m a great trainer but the owner of the club doesn’t respect my knowledge enough.”

 “I’m a great trainer but doctors don’t refer their patients to me.”

 “Making ends meet is a challenge.”

 “My clients love me but don’t respect my time.”

 “I’m uncertain about my future.”

These are all perspectives and beliefs that can be erased, replaced with new realities.  “But Phil, you don’t understand,” are words that precede excuses and justification.  If you’re open to betterment, know that there are some principles, some foundational guiding principles that I’ve learned and ingrained over a 30 year career as a Personal Fitness Trainer, and as the landscape changes, the principles serve as clear guideposts to success, prosperity, and career longevity.

The Birth of Be Better

For years I shared strategies and ideologies with consulting clients, many of whom you would recognize as icons in the fitness field.  Those ideologies were protected as they were the Unique Offering I could provide high profile individuals and companies while I remained a “best kept secret.”

Five years ago, with a new daughter and an impending divorce, I decided it was time to change things.  Years of witnessing the struggles personal trainers face drove me to create a curriculum specifically for those hard working fitness professionals who deserve confidence, compensation, and a degree of reverence for the work they do.  In 2004 I took 48 trips.  I didn’t want to be away from home any longer.  I wanted to be the best dad I could possibly be, and I wanted to find new passion in my career. From 2005 forward I exhaustively worked to develop and refine the principles, strategies, perspectives, and actions that would ensure career growth for any competent fitness professional.  I examined the struggles and frustrations and met them head-on with real solutions.

Months of planning brought me to a point where I began my Be Better Project (“Be Better”).  Be Better is the initiative I’m most proud of.  It allows me to teach, counsel, and guide personal trainers to find unprecedented growth and unprecedented balance between their lives and careers.  It’s only been open to a few dozen trainers as it requires an 8-month commitment, a $2600 investment, and a willingness to be challenged in ways that bring you to some powerful realizations and changes, and I’ve screened each new member diligently.

I realize, as just over 100 personal trainers have found new reward through Be Better, as our Be Better family vacations evidence that personal trainers can live and love as respected professionals in other fields do, that it’s time to open the door for others, for those who have desire but aren’t ready for Be Better.

After months of contemplation, for the first time ever, I’m inviting personal trainers to enter the Platform regardless of financial condition.  I’m inviting personal trainers with intelligence, desire, and a recognition that there’s always more to learn, to understand and apply the foundational yet elusive Be Better principles.  I’m inviting you, if you’re ready, to reshape your career so money-worry, client struggle, and the search for the “magic rescue thing” (be it a certification, a marketing program, a business opportunity, or an affiliation), become a part of your personal history, never to plague you again.

If you’re still reading and looking for the catch, or the price, and you expect to be shocked by the cost of whatever it is that I’m selling, you now realize two things.

1.       This is long.

2.       This is unlike most of the material aimed at personal trainers. 

This isn’t intended to speak to your emotion and bypass rational thought.  Quite the opposite.  This is written for grownups who aspire to take pride in their personal training careers.  I want you to think rationally.  I want you to consider numbers, experiences, and realities.  I’m not going to promise you “8-figure income in 7 days,” or “a major breakthrough that will make you a million.”  Allow me to get the price out of the way so you don’t feel compelled to jump to the end.  $9 per month without any obligation at all.

Yes.  Really.  I guess we can call this “excuses begone.” 

Before I share the invitation that asks you to open up to new possibility, allow me to clear up some of the rumors and false beliefs I’ve heard second-hand about the Be Better project.

Be Better is NOT a mastermind group. It’s a course with every element that makes learning and execution simple including interactive lessons, group support, coaching, and a fail-proof curriculum that ushers in this new era by transforming career struggle to career elation.  It has no equal.  Ask anyone who’s experienced it and you’ll realize, this is brand new territory.

Be Better is NOT for unsuccessful personal trainers.  It is for those who are earning a living, typically somewhere between $40,000 and $140,000 per year. 

Be Better is NOT only for personal trainers who seek to train deconditioned or “the average American.”  Be Better is about making dreams real.  Some of the Be Better trainers presently train rock stars, some train athletes, some train cancer patients, others work with kids.  Some run bootcamps, some work in the wellness arena, some have corporate relationships, and others are media personalities.  They still do burpees, drills, box jumps, and rope tricks.  They practice within their own arenas, applying their own passions and specialties.  What they share is an understanding of their power and a willingness to get in touch with their dreams and relentlessly pursue them with a certainty they’ll emerge as real life.

There are five words I hear often, five words that make me want to lash out and strike.  What are those words?  “I know what to do.”

You’ve heard those words.  You’ve attempted to get clients, friends, or relatives to change their eating habits by educating them, and you’ve been met with, “I know what to do.”  Those words evidence a wall.  Those five words are otherwise stated as, “unless you change my beliefs, there is nothing that you can say to me, nothing at all, that will have the slightest bit of impact.”

This may be the toughest pill to swallow.  If you’re not living your dreams, or moving toward them with ferocity and joy, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!

If your life and career are precisely as you wish they were, do nothing, but if there’s room for growth, join us on the Platform.  I’ve never before made this available at this price.  I want you to benefit and want to remove all obstacles.

Ah, a small detail.  I haven’t explained what the Platform is.  Now it’s time.

The Platform is the figurative place where fitness and medicine are bridged together. 

All who have completed the Be Better curriculum stand upon the Platform, and we connect each month for a webinar filled with timely lessons and directives.  Up until now, the Platform has ONLY been stepped upon by those who completed the 8-month Be Better program, but I’m opening it up to 200 personal trainers who want to share in the growth, the excitement, the joy, and the prosperity those who are already there make a part of their lives.

$9 per month brings you into an elite club, an organization where the common thread is the quest for betterment.  In a time where our nation needs direction, where the medical system is flawed, and where the drug companies run rampant forcing bad decisions that limit potential for genuine “cure,” you can be one of the new breed.

I said earlier the Be Better Project is $2600.  It is, but if that isn’t in the realm of your present situation, I want you to have access, to begin a new journey, to share in the betterment process, and this invitation to join the Platform is unprecedented.  It’s $9 per month.  Period.

For your monthly investment, you join me for the monthly Platform call, a highly interactive series of lessons with chat features, Q&A, and a downloadable presentation.  Each call opens you up to new possibility, provides new insights, and allows you to take new steps toward your ultimate outcome.

When you enroll you’ll receive immediate access to the audio and visual presentations from the last 3 months (over 4 hours in length), and you’ll get a special bonus presentation sharing how to build your finances by carefully and strategically separating your income from your business revenue.  This presentation in itself can be worth . . . I daresay millions.

You’ll connect with other like minded trainers, many who have come through Be Better and are living their dreams by participating Interactivity on the private Platform email / discussion group

Don’t forget as you read this, I’m talking $9 a month!!!! 

There’s still more.  My assistant Stacey will personally email to you the last three Platform newsletters, each one with a full length article by my colleague and Master Coach, Kelli Calabrese. The newsletter will introduce you to others on the Platform who are literally living their dreams.  Oh, and as long as you remain active, there’s a new downloadable newsletter every month.  You’re even invited to share your own stories and experiences if you have some to share.

$9 a month.  No catch.  No trick. You’ll be in touch with me personally and you’ll get to meet and interact with the Be Better trainers, with my mentors, and with inspirational people who are working to change the world through fitness and empowerment.

Bold?  Yes.  Honest?  Yes.  Powerful?  Yes.

Your turn.  You want it?  Think.  Understand.  Contemplate.  Decide.

Click here to join*

You’ll immediately receive the back issues, visual presentations, and audios providing immeasurable value . . . and that’s only the beginning.  You’ll get a schedule of the Platform webinars and will instantly be added to our newsletter subscription list.

Does the Platform investment lead to Be Better? 

That’s up to you.  If you opt at any point to enroll in either Be Better Academy (the entire program is downloadable month-by-month over 8 months in pre-recorded format for only $67.50 per month) or the Be Better Project (the live interactive version - $2600 broken into 8 monthly installments of $325), you’ll get full credit for the $9 per month for any given 8-month period. This is purely an option, not an obligation. The $9 per month offering is real.  No catch at all.

Right now, if you’ve decided to join us, sign up for $9. 

I’m going even one step further.  If you’re one of the first 75 trainers to respond to this offer, I’ll send you an invitation for a quick email consult or a 10-minute telephone conversation so I can answer your most pressing question.  There will not be any pressure.  The call is purely an opportunity for me to connect with the people on the platform.

So, for $9 you get

  • 3 months of audios and visual presentations
  •  3 months of back issues of the Platform newsletter
  •  A personal consultation via email or phone
  •  The ability to join us for a live, monthly, interactive call
  • Invite to Be Better family vacations
  •  Access to the private Platform email / discussion board

How can I do it?  I’m on fire.  I’m annoyed, frustrated, excited, and feel as if I’m standing in an exciting place and just as you want to share your thrill rides with others, I want trainers who have “it” to join me, to see the view from here, to learn to think outside of the stifled realm most personal trainers are blinded by.  There isn’t any catch.  There isn’t any trick.

Kelli Calabrese knows the material.  She's gone through the program and come on board as a master coach.  She tells it like it is.

Right now this offer is only open to 200 personal trainers, the first 75 of whom will receive the personal consult.

  Want to leap into the new era?  Want to join us on the Platform?  Register now.

* Fine Print: I realize I am out of my mind making this offer so in all likelihood, unless I completely lose my grip on reality, this offer will not be repeated so if you’re ready, don’t wait.  And, to reward you for reading all the way through this article, if you click the Special Bonus box on the application (it’s the box that says, “Special Bonus”) I’ll send you a private webinar I conducted on success and growth, one during which Dr. Michael Colgan explained that calories are irrelevant and Lee Labrada shared some important insights on betterment.  That’s all the fine print you’ll find here.  Join now.

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