Hello and welcome to the Choreographytogo Instructor Newsletter. This is a free weekly resource that I designed 8 years ago years ago to provide support, ideas and back up for all Instructors and Personal Trainers. I love to receive your feedback, so if you do have any comments or would like to contribute in any way please email email@example.com or please use the very lively forum.
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Note from Rachel
It’s been a fantastically sunny few weeks, which has been just the ticket for our fitness sessions. And with all the students back classes have been busy with new faces, personalities and a fresh wave of interest in the gym and group x ( and lapsed members). The Big One South hit Reading last weekend and another enthusiastic event to add to the Chrysalis portfolio. The weather making the event even more special as I taught my Body shock class outdoors on the tennis court with sunnies on and a few male delegates taking part bare chested, we all had to keep being reminded it was 1 st October. Highlights for me…again team teaching with Lord Watson of Leeds and Madame J Parry, which was so much fun and electric atmosphere, Sava Asanov and Moris Cadone rocked the Dance and Ragga classes, but the most popular sessions at Reading were the freestyle Step..Brilliant choreography and super up for it delegates made the step sessions a joy to take part in and watch. Marvin and Steve did a ViPR Kettlebelle class that was also just brilliant.
You have some interesting articles this week in the newsletter, including a great piece by Sally Ghafoor on Slimming Clubs, Jill Gardner on SEX (Yes that’s correct!) and a new contribution by Alice Ramcharron on juggling fitness teaching with life in general. PLUS Part 2 of Celebrity Trainer by Christianne Wolff . So, all in all another action packed, bumper edition!
New Tours and Workshops for 2012
Fitness Pilates – The Next Level with Rachel Holmes
Fitness Pilates continues its growth as there is more demand for training and certification courses. As regular readers know I tour a new Fitness Pilates Updates Workshop annually from Jan to April and 2012 is going to be bigger and better than ever. I am so excited to be launching the brand new workshop for 2012.
I’ll be taking Fitness Pilates to the Next Level with new FP Workouts including a cool Foam Roller and Trigger Point FP Workout using Foam Rollers and The Grid, which is a new portable foam roller, plus Functional Resistance Tubes FP, More ideas for Mini Balls and a Fitness Pilates – The Next Level Class. I will be incorporating the latest functional biomechanics and research, plus the latest small equipment that will take your Fitness Pilates classes the The Next Level! The event is sponsored by Escape Fitness and you will be able to purchase the Grid, Foam Rollers and Resistance Tubes on the day.
The Tour is 11 dates running through most UK regions. If you would like to grab a spot you can book on Click here to book online
Fitness Pilates Certification Course
The next available 2 day certification is 7th/8th January 2012 at Derby. For 2012 we will only be running FP Certifications in The Derby David Lloyd Club. Derby is central UK, 2 mins walk from the train station and has lots of budget hotels within walking distance if you need to stay over. As I work at the club I can always guarantee a warm reception and delegates on the FP course will always be well looked after. I can’t tell you how fed up I am with hiring venues who then double book you at the last minute or forget you are there and change the timetable . Also, for FP we need nice warm studios and DL Derby has that option, you also don’t have to wait for the course to come to your region as it will only run in Derby for 2012. I have 6 places left on this course for January To Book Click here
Choreographytogo.com Is Live and Direct!
At last, most of the massive revamp work has been completed and teething problems have been ironed out and to celebrate I have released 2 new downloads. A new convention HiLo Download, which is the choreography that Jo, Ceri and I taught at Big One North Convention which is a low impact, funky and fast moving, plus a new intermediate step.
If you do get any problems with your membership or videos please email me directly Rachel@Choreographytogo.com and I will do my utmost to get it all sorted out as soon as I possibly can.
Convention HiLo with Rachel Holmes
3 x 32 Count Combinations that Rachel taught with Ceri and Jo at the Big One North Convention. It’s mainly low impact with chasses, pivots, turns and rhythm changes. The session got amazing feedback at the event and if you love this style of choreography this download is right up your street. 2 Tokens 9+ VAT click here to view
3 intermediate step combos that are basic with a twist, simple learning curves and perfect for regulars steppers. 2 Tokens or 9 plus VAT click here to view
Kelly Reed Super Seniors 2012
Kelly’s SS 2011 Tour was extremely successful as Seniors workshops have always been thin on the ground, but Seniors classes are one of the most popular on the timetable. Therefore, armed with a boatload of inspiring choreography ideas, a new dance old time/rock n roll/latin dance section, Loads of Verse chorus singalong choreography, PLUS a brand new seated seniors class, Kelly will be hot footing it across the UK from January – March. If you would like to grab a place you can book on today here
Why do you always get what you want? Jayne Nicholls
Someone asked me that the other week, and it really made me think. Do I ? of course not, I am rocked in week out in this world of business. I learned how to run a business by trial and error and I have made many mistakes along the way, but right now as I put together my plans for 2012, with my new website about to launch any day, I guess I am right now in a position where I can make things happen and create what I want to happen. In order to run a successful business I have had to change the way I do almost everything to suit a world where you have to prove yourself worthy of the rewards you are looking for. Group exercise is all set to rock next year now that other areas the fitness industry have seen the great that can come out of large and small group sessions.
What do we need to do to capitalise on this? It’s simple, we need to up skill our delivery, our language and our business profile. We have the mass appeal, the products and we are one of the few money making growth areas of fitness. So there is a fresh demand for what we have and the strong will be able to push boundaries.
2012 is all set to see group only studios, small group sessions and short term PT for group skill based exercise. If we want to grab hold of all that next year has to offer then we must be able to communicate what we want and what we do in a language that does not involve chest high, fingers to the floor and rolling through the spine. As soon as we grasp a more succinct and professional dialect that explains what we want in the language of anatomy and physiology, our clients will learn more and so offer a greater respect for our product.
The days of soft knees are way over, ice long breaths and slowly carefully and gently are a thing of the past. The new Group X talks bigger and better to get what they want. If we make small and effective changes then there will be no stopping us. These changes are not hard, they just need a fresh awareness and a desire to change. If you consider what we are taught even at Level 2 and how much of it we actually use, then this may give it some perspective.
You will be amazed how even your most loyal clients will react to an up skill on your part. You will gain more confidence and the e wheel will keep gaining momentum once you begin the change…………………..
What we can learn from slimming clubs by Sally Ghafoor
Oh I know you’re thinking, that Sally Ghafoor she has really lost the plot, so let’s straighten it out now:
I do not agree with certain slimming clubs and their diet plan. I could never agree with a plan that says you can eat a packet of crisps, yet an avocado is so many points that no one eats them. I could never agree with a diet plan that brings out its own processed frozen meals to be cooked in the microwave.
But they are easy for people to follow as they let them eat the things they enjoy eating. Detoxing ,well we are taking away from people the things they have grown up with and enjoy. There is such a big emphasis in the fitness industry to follow this one size fits all, if you can’t do it, you’re rubbish and see you later old luck, stay fat. Unfortunately people aren’t seeing our views on nutrition as sustainable to their life. Is it because we are not giving them the correct information in the correct way, or is it because we are luring them into our groups under a quick fix promise.
Guarantee people they can lose weight, showing them the results, yes it gets people in, but are we any better than slimming groups when these people are cast off into the world on their own as they can’t afford to pay us for our information? When they go back to eating their normal way, on goes the weight, just like it does when they leave those slimming clubs we are slagging off for not working.
How can we deliver these lifestyle changes to people so they continue it throughout their life? By offering them to drop a set amount of weight in a set amount of time, are we giving them the tools mentally to continue this lifestyle further or just for that set amount of time, then it’s ok for them to go and have a blow out and find it hard to jump back on the plan?
I see a lot of bootcamps/pt’s not giving a plan for after training with them. Clients do their allotted time, and off they trot and on goes the weight. You will get your core group that come back month after month after month but what about those that come and then go, the consensus seems to be they aren’t worth training.
I have been guilty of this too, so I decided to change my approach, as my knowledge grows so does my approach.
So slimming clubs offer them weight loss with the ability to continue to eat the food they love to eat, we offer them fat loss by (and this is their view, not mine) restricting them in the food they love eating. For Joe Public are after weight loss. Slimming clubs may take longer but they can eat what they enjoy without feeling restricted, so what are they going to do? Go for the easy option is human nature for most.
So what have I changed? I offer them health when many of them feel like crap, feel tired lethargic, lack of sleep, headaches or more serious underlying conditions, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, chronic fatigue? There are some things that following your average slimming club will not achieve, and that is to regain health. That is the difference between us and slimming clubs. Following our nutritional plans doesn’t just give them fat loss it gives them back their health. This has to be achieved over a set amount of time. Have a plan you can adapt to many, some people don’t want to go full into the detox, some want to do it, but mentally can only do it slowly, one thing at a time.
Some people are so highly stressed with such high cortisol levels that by training them you are just adding to their health problems.
Some of them have never cooked from scratch, some have unsupportive partners whom are adding to their stressors.
For me, things are quite simple, regain health and the rest will follow. Are fat people healthy? They are not, get them healthy and off falls the weight. Why overcomplicate things?
“The further away we get from nature the closer we get to disease” ( quote from Phil Richards) Teach people this and not only will they regain their health, they will gain fat loss. They need to adhere to a nutritional protocol to rid themselves of the toxins in their body. One size does not fit all and if they are after health as well as fat loss, the plan becomes meaningful. Instead of focussing on what they can’t eat, you find they start creating gorgeous food and realise those pretend foods they were eating they can quite simply do without.
Find health and yourself – simple
The forgotten exercise for most stressed out people VE Sex, Lose weight and live longer! font> Jill Gardner ‘The Fat ControllerHate it? Change it!
I had a fantastic weekend away on a workshop all about Anabolic Hormones with the phenomenal Phil Richards. One of the key take home messages was how love and happiness can be the true key to health and wellbeing. One such topic deserved a full article! Sex!
So your clients have just had a large glass of white wine after a stressful day at the office around 185 calories how can they burn it off in just 30 minutes?
A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, according to researchers from Scotland who reported their findings in the journal Biological Psychology. They studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. Then the researchers subjected them to stressful situations — such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic — and noted their blood pressure response to stress. Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviours or abstained.
Other research found a link between partner hugs and lower blood pressure in women.
Here are my top ten scientifically scrutinized reasons why they should be at it at least 3 times per week! :
1. It lowers stress and blood pressure reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes by up to 50%.
2. It can boost immunity by 30% and decreases risks of heart attacks and strokes by up to 50%
3. It burns calories!
4. It boosts self-esteem and can make you look and live up to 7 years younger and relieve mild depression -who needs Botox and anti-depressants?
5. It improves intimacy and feelings of generosity -handy when you need new shoes!
6. It reduces pain and is up to ten times more effective than Valium -Sorry headaches are no excuse!
7. It reduces his prostate cancer risk.
8. It strengthens pelvic floor muscles – minimizing the risk of Tenor Lady in later life.
9. It can help improve sleep you can sleep through the man’s snoring!
10. It helps with mild back pain think hula hooping.
The Oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research. And getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Something to think about is may help explain why a guy can be active one minute and snoring the next!!
It’s not all about meditation, walking and ginseng!
How to market to attract celebrity clients by Christianne Wolff
Last week we kicked off with working on your confidence and really getting into the right mindset to train celebrities. I hope you have enjoyed working on re-programming your negative mindset to establish the new positive, confident you to attract celebrity clients.
So what else can you do to attract celebrity clients?
Marketing yourself is a vital component to raising your awareness to celebrity status.
If you are serious about being a celebrity trainer let me offer you this advice. You are the best personal trainer in the World, right? So sell yourself that way.
Have beautiful photos of you, even if you do not photograph well they can still be beautiful.
Have a pristine website that is very easy to flow through, no gimmicks. The average dwell time on a website is 6 seconds, make yours slick! Link your website to others, it helps raise your ranking
Have a professional leaflet of you- www.vistaprint.com make them quickly and simply or use a graphic designer to make yours more unique.
If you have a very low budget go to www.fiver.com where you may get logos or anything else for that matter for $5
Leaflets are really important- get an A4 leaflet made folded twice to make 6 columns front and back. Have some professional photos on there of you training clients, have any press on there, and make sure you have a whole column dedicated to Testimonials, and if you have any high profile clients make their testimonials stand out and put a quote from that testimonial on the front page.
Add your logo at the top of every column to show your professionalism.
And make a very clear message about what you do and your ethos on training, show your personality in the colour scheme you use and the message you give off.
When I got the job training Keely Brosnan ( Pierce Brosnans wife) Pierce’s personal trainer picked up my leaflet on the producers desk of The James Bond Movie, ‘The world is not enough’ and called me. He was training Keely at the time and didn’t have time to do it anymore, and my leaflet sprung out at him. He was very impressed by my leaflet, I had all my local press on there and an evening standard article, but actually he didn’t know what was local or national as he was American. I just set my leaflet out as bold, I am amazing at what I can do and he bought it, interviewed me and hired me for the job.
If you are trying to get work on film sets, the producers assistant will refer to your leaflets and file that rather than bothering with your website.
What about emailing people?
Have a bi weekly email newsletter-Have and online personality, and give clients a reason to keep reading. Make sure that what you are offering is consistently good value and always use a PS at the end. Write an opening greeting, then something topical, then something they can relate to that’s not selling, then offer them something and add a click to your website, then a yours and a PS. At the bottom you can also add a special offer.
Get more people on your email list through a data catcher on your website. Write your email newsletter through either www.constantcontact.com or www.eweber.com. Make sure you email them to twitter and facebook too. I am always amazed at the response I get from my newsletters, especially if I write about celebrities, I almost have people knocking my door down wanting to train like celebs do. Writing about case studies with before and after photos also get a huge response,
And what about price structures?
Price yourself high- you will have to have two price structures, one for Joe Public and one for celebrities. If you offer a celebrity your services too low they will not take you seriously and if you offer Jo Public too high they won’t take you on. Until you can afford to only train celebrities just have two prices.
How much should you charge for celebrity training?
I would advise offering no less than an hour for a celebrity or royalty and probably a little more.
What else can you do to market yourself as a celebrity trainer?
Well just as important as believing in yourself and your abilities as a trainer, is having a good understanding of what you are good at, and focusing your energies toward a particular niche market. A common error among newer trainers is the belief that they can be everything for everyone.
I teach Yoga and at one point in my career really strived towards being the Yoga guru.
But if you have a niche or two it actually makes it easier to get a celebrity client. For instance, I trained The Actor Dougray Scott a few years back because he was filming a film called ‘The poet’ and part of his character was someone who meditated, and did shoulder and headstands, so as well as having to get fit for his part he had to train in Yoga and be good at it. So they contacted me as that was the Niche I was marketing at the time.
You can find out how to advertise directly to celebrities through my 10 step manual.
Do you offer anything for free?
This is a really tricky area- definitely not for a celebrity!!!! They get many things free but they do not expect free professional services and in fact the more you charge the higher you are perceived.
Freebees should be left for boosting numbers in classes, or for local clients.
If you want more celebrity marketing advice do go onto my website www.celebritytrainercoach.com and the 10 step manual goes into a lot more detail.
Be Bolder, Brighter and attract more!
Next week find out how to do celebrity networking!
Facebook Christianne Wolff
Getting that work life balance by Alice Ramcharran
This is a subject that comes up a lot amongst fitness professionals, and seems to be something that is incredibly difficult to do when you are self employed! It’s something we all advise our clients to do, make sure they get enough time to spend with family, find time to fit in a regular exercise program, and also getting some ‘me time too! So why, if we are we telling other people to do this, is it so difficult to do ourselves?!
I’m sure like many, when I first took the plunge and went self employed just over 2 years ago, I went in to panic mode and took on every class and bit of work that came my way, whether it fitted in to my long term business plan or not! I’d spent the past 8 years in a ‘regular management job where I got a monthly guaranteed wage, and all of a sudden that was gone! And although it was my dream to work for myself and my choice to leave the gym to do just that, I wasn’t quite prepared for the roller coaster of emotions and panic that would follow! From usually being on a pretty even keel with my emotions, I suddenly felt a sense of panic and nervousness at not knowing at the end of each month how much I was going to get paid or whether I would have enough money to pay the bills! Fortunately, I was never short of work, but that in itself caused a problem as I took on everything that was offered to me which meant I found that I was having to come in from classes and do my admin work, or switch on my computer at the weekends to catch up on work that I hadn’t managed to do during the week. At one point I was teaching 22 classes a week, plus doing massage and personal training, as well as all my admin, accounting, websites etc and trying to grow and drive my business forward. My friendships suffered, my social life was non-existent and although I have a very lovely and understanding husband, he started making comments about the amount of time I was spending either working or on my computer in the evenings.
About a year ago, with some personal circumstances to really bring it to the forefront, I realised that I just couldn’t carry on like this was starting to resent some of the classes I was teaching, was tired, not going out at weekends or seeing friends anymore, and lack of time to cook meant my diet was absolutely appalling and I was grabbing food on the go just to keep me going.
I realised I HAD to get my work life balance back in check, before I starting resenting it. So I put a plan in place to gradually hand over some of my classes, got myself a virtual admin assistant (my sister), got an accountant, and set up new classes for some of existing instructors, and took on new instructors. It was hard work to start with and meant that for a while I was even busier than I had been before, but knew it was only going to be a temporary measure and the hard work was worth it!
I gradually handed over classes, starting with my evening bootcamp, and then soon followed with 2 lunchtime fitness pilates classes. Personal circumstances have since dictated that I have had to hand over my 6 weekly Zumba classes per week, so I have freed up around 12 hours of my time per week. I feel much better, and it has allowed me to concentrate on other areas of my business and manage some areas rather than being involved in them. I’m also saying ‘no’ to things now if they don’t fit in with my longterm plans, and I personally am not taking on any new classes. I also don’t work at all on Sundays and if someone asks me to do something the answer is always ‘No I have also given myself my Friday afternoons off, which is what I promised to do when I first went self employed.
My top tips for making sure you get that work life balance are:
1. Learn to say ‘no to things if they don’t quite fit with your plans, or you aren’t quite sure about them, or you are going to be spreading yourself too thin, then just say ‘nobsp; It’s tempting to want to take on everything that comes your way for financial reasons, but you have to ask is it really going to make a big difference? Is it worth the time that you’ll have to give up for it? Just have faith that things happen for a reason, and that other opportunities will come along that may be more lucrative or a better business fit, and you also create your own along the way!
2. Outsource! Everything you can! I have pretty much outsourced all of my admin work to my virtual PA! (my sister!) She also answers pretty much all of my emails, and writes my newsletters for me, pays all of my bills, sorts out my bootcamps bookings and updates my private forum for me. I was lucky that she became available just as I was getting busier and I can trust her with my bank account and going in to my paypal account, but if you don’t have anyone you know well, try to make sure you use someone on recommendation and get references where possible. Outsourcing the admin means it frees up your time to work on other areas of the business, or to run classes etc and a busy class should make you more than you will be paying someone to do the admin for you.
3. Get an accountant! Unless you are really good with figures, or a qualified accountant, then again I highly recommend you outsource this. Numbers are not my strong point I have no interest in looking at spreadsheets and working out profit and loss, so I literally hand everything to my accountant to sort out for me. Also, I have no idea of what I might be able to claim for and what I might not be able to claim for. A good accountant doesn’t need to cost the earth, and should, in theory, be able to save what you’d be paying them in less tax payment.
4. Be strict with yourself! Set yourself days or times off and STICK WITH IT. Otherwise you’ll soon slip back in to that pattern of working 7 days per week.
5. Write out a weekly schedule for yourself each week so that you know what you have to do and when. Otherwise it’s very easy to get distracted with things like FACEBOOK and TWITTER!!!! And before you know it a whole day has gone and your work still isn’t done and then you have to spend the next few days doing extra work to play catch up (yes, I’ve been there!!)
6. Set timelines for projects you might be working on and stick to them otherwise they can never get done and drag on for ages and ages (talking from experience here!)
7. Set time for exercising and spending time with family and friends, and having some ‘me time’ or before you know it a whole year has gone by, your friends and family have got fed up that you never have the time to spend with them and relationships can start to get affected.
8. Are there any classes you could hand over to other instructors that work for you? Are you able to take on other instructors to set up new classes or to take the pressure off of you?
My getting a work/life balance is still a work in progress, but by starting to follow the above principles I’m getting much more of a balance and feel much better in myself and don’t resent any of the sessions that I take, and have my passion back again.
Would love to hear your comments on this subject!
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