Friday, October 22, 2010

5 (more) Tips For Running A More Successful Personal Training Business.

1) Sell Solutions - What is your client's NEED? It might be a physical one (back pain) or maybe it's a social one (need someone to speak to). I know that some Personal Trainers like to say things like "I'm not a therapist. I don't want to listen to their problems." My reply to you all is "You are only acting like a therapist when you attempt to treat and diagnose their issues/problems." Listening is a required skill in ANY service business, (like it or not!) Put another way. You're not a football coach either, but you'll gladly discuss the bad play calling from last Sunday! Bottom line: You are paid to make people feel better, and the physical is only half the battle sometimes.

2) Stop Counting - I know 3 sets of 10 are the 'unwritten rule' but what if? What if you said "give me as many as you can?"
Isn't the idea of reps to challenge us to near fatigue? Stop counting, start pushing (or pulling). Have some fun dammit!

3) Walking makes you FAT - OK that's not technically true, but it's the least effective way to burn calories or raise your Heart Rate.
Put your clients on a Bike, Elliptical, or Rowing Machine if available. If not, then teach them to walk, run, rest, and repeat. The workouts will be more efficient, effective, and fun.

4) Educate - Teach your clients some basic exercises or movements that they can perform on their own. Better yet, educate them on "The benefits of these particular exercises." Do Not give them the exercise of the month from some magazine. Give them something that they not only Can Do, but Should Do!

5) Care (for REAL) - A noble idea. What if you actually cared about your client? Cared about their Goals, Needs, Limitations, Problems, and More? Are they training to lose weight? Do you weigh them in weekly and check in mid-week for a quick 'pep talk?'
Do they have high blood pressure? How often do you monitor this? Do they have back pain? Are you correcting their form & posture when you see them warming up? When your clients know that you have their interests in mind, they'll have more of an interest in your success.

-Frank Pucher

Frank Pucher is the Owner and C.E.O. (Creative Energetic Optimist) of Fitness 121 Personal Training in Roseland, NJ.
Fitness 121 was named New Jersey's "Best Exercise Studio" by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. The studio specializes in Personal Training & Pilates for a diverse clientele. Visit for more information.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


You'd feel cheated if you invested a lot of money to purchase a product and ended up with a piece of worthless junk. When you spend your money, you naturally want to get something of value in return.
Do you have the same high standards when it comes to the way you spend your time? (and who you spend it with?)
After all, your time is even more valuable than money. When you spend your precious time, it's important to get something of high value in return.

So invest your time in creating a life of Excellence. Whatever you do, do it with passion. Make it count for something. Give the best you have to the effort. By doing something halfway you cheat yourself out of an irreplaceable opportunity to create Excellence. Why would you want to do that?

If you can't get passionate about what you're doing, then find something else to do. There is a wealth of Excellence within you that is itching to get out. Let it happen. Be fully alive. Pursue Excellence, cultivate Excellence in your own life, appreciate Excellence in the world around you, and live each moment with Excellence.

Right now, you're alive and living in a world filled with possibilities. Today, Live with Excellence, and make the most of every minute.

Have an Excellent Day!

Frank Pucher

Friday, October 1, 2010

Evaluating the Fitness Assessment

Whenever I see a "Fitness Expert" on a News segment giving information, I notice that the seemingly unfit and unhealthy in the audience are simply handed the Fitness Toy Du Jour or a pair of Dumbbells and are told, "That's all you need!" While it's nice to see these people finally start to take control of their health and fitness, I can't excuse the apparent blasé attitude that so called "Experts" have towards fitness training. Any Professional of value would first explain the benefits of a comprehensive fitness assessment before developing any kind of fitness program. A quality assessment should include a Health History Review, followed by measurements of Resting Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular & Muscular Strength along with a comparison of the Anterior and Posterior Muscles. A ROM assessment along with either a Body Fat Analysis or a BMI Measurement is also suggested. Further assessment may also be performed of an individual's Dietary Habits.

I understand that limited time is allotted for these News segments, but I don't feel that Fitness (or lack thereof) is something that we should just squeeze into the news. After all, the next news segment is about how Diabetes and Adolescent Obesity are on the rise. Just look at the statistics; Heart Disease is still the leading killer. The largest costs for those taking prescriptive medicines are for Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure and Pain Medicine (usually for Arthritic Conditions). All of these can be partially treated with a sensible and intelligent exercise program. I guess my question is: Why don't news segments report more on the cure and less on the problem? As Fitness Professionals we are on the front lines in this battle. Let's not contribute to the problem by allowing complacency into our field.

The reason for Fitness Assessment is not to sell more Memberships or Personal Training Sessions. Rather, it is to educate and motivate our clients. It provides the blue print and the basis for our exercise selection. As the Cliché says, "If you not assessing, you're just guessing".

It's an interesting time for Fitness Professionals: practical know-how and science are now at our fingertips, so let us use them. Although Fitness Training is an Art, Science is a tool of that Art. We know that Fitness is not a one size fits all business, let's make sure that the public and our clients understand that, too.

-Frank Pucher

Note: I was provoked into writing this article after watching 'another' news segment with a Trainer and an audience (some dressed in heels and some in flip flops) jumping rope and performing lunges. In favor of movement - just not at the expense of safety!

A Graduate of East Stroudsburg University, Frank has over 15 years experience in the Fitness Industry. His Certifications include The American Council on Exercise (ACE), The National Endurance Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), and The Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research. A sought out speaker and author on topics from Athletic Performance to Injury Prevention; Frank is the owner of Fitness 121: a personalized Fitness & Pilates studio located in Roseland, NJ. Visit his website: