Every time I wake up at this time I think about my days as a full-time trainer.
I would purposely wake up a couple of minutes later then I should have because I couldn’t bare to look at the sight of 4am on the clock.
I’d wash and brush up, drive a half hour to be at the gym for my 6am small group training class.
The gym didn’t actually have a cardio room or small group training space but it had a kids room.
The kids room was packed with toys which I had to clear away each morning before class and replace with the big boy toys.
I’d run half hour Bootcamps every half hour until the kids room was open for business at 9am.
Then it was off to my one-on-ones which I would train for a half hour at a time until 3pm (half hour sessions are a gift and a curse).
I would then go to the sports performance facility I worked at around 3:30 where I would train groups of athletes until 8:30pm.
Home by 9:30, rinse, and repeat.
That was that phase of my life.
Then there was the time I managed some pretty popular gyms, the hours there just so happen to be between the hours of 6am-10pm.
Oh yea, and that time I worked for a college program that had teams cycling through the weight room from 6am-7pm.
They were all great experiences, throughout it all there have been some constants:
For the last 10 years I’ve ways seen 5:01am on the clock.
Math was never my strong suit, but I quickly learned a couple of formulas:
Talk to more people = Get more leads
Sell more = Make more
Work more hours = Make more money
I’ve gone from spraying down equipment, to personal trainer, to assistant manager, to manager, to opening up facilities, consulting, advising, etc.
I have for lack of a better term, worked up the “corporate fitness ladder.”
Helping people now as they pursue some of their biggest goals is an absolute dream for me.
I say none of this to brag but to tell you know that I don’t wake up this early because it’s a habit, but because the dreams I have when I sleep are nothing compared to the dream life I’m living day-to-day.
This is not unattainable, you can have it, check out these 10 observations I’ve made that you can use to propel your career forward:
1. Every gym you work in and every client you train is a stepping stone. If you have a client for 15 years + or work at the same gym for over 15 years you’re becoming a dinosaur. Until you have your own business, reached your goals, and you’re ready to make the leap, treat everything you do as just that.
2. Everything you do needs to be done with the upmost integrity. It’s something that will follow you your entire career.
3. Don’t ever lie, cheat, or steal. It’s the worst thing you can do. If it all works out, you will be a business owner one day and pray that your employees are not screwing you.
4. Don’t get walked over. Being the “nice” guy is not always the best, I’ve realized that the hard way at times. There’s a place for us but never let anyone push you around.
5. The second you are thinking about leaving that job, leave. It’s not a good fit for you or the businesses culture. Don’t let either suffer because you’re scared of making the leap.
6. Don’t do something for nothing. Everyone wants to write for magazines, do online training, and a bunch of other things just to “do it.” The person who tries to do everything actually does nothing.
7. Never forget the people who got you to where you are today. I’ve worked in about 8-10 different fitness related settings and got to my next step because of at least one person at that step. If you don’t have that person then seek out who that one person is. If nobody is that person at your gym and you are that person then it’s time to move on or seek an outside source.
8. Don’t just read fitness books. Always have one business book in your rotation.
9. Always have someone to mentor. If you are passionate about this industry then you will help others grow. If you are new and still in the cleaning equipment phase then you better teach the next new employee how to scrub the hell out of that Abductor Machine.
10. Once you do all of the aforementioned things really really well, THEN, you can tell the world how great you are and start charging for consulting, advising, and developing products.
11. Never stop waking up early.
12. Don’t always follow the “norm,” and be yourself as much as possible.
This may sound weird but sometimes the worst thing for a trainer to do is to pack their schedule. If you’re not in your ideal situation now then every hour spent training is an hour of energy being sucked right out of you.
Don’t wake up 5 years from now, a couple of dollars richer, but never haven taken the time to figure out exactly what you wanted.