20130425-084728.jpgI hope many of you have managed to get a holiday or are taking a break this August as I am going to predict that September, which potentially is the 2nd biggest month on the fitness calendar as everyone gets “back on it”,  should be a good one this year. Looking at past newsletters and blogs I have written, January seems to have steadied off a little with February often being a busier month, but September could be the new January. Therefore, once you have had your break it’s time to get your planning, marketing and PR caps on and think of new ways to communicate your fitness message.

Firstly, thanks to everyone.  We had a HUGE amount of Tweets, FB messages and emails regarding Zoe’s article. Zoe really hit a nerve with so many readers and we got a lot of response and not all positive, therefore, I invited Zoe back to do a follow up and I know you will find this a really interesting read.  After the amazing Jenny Burrell guested in the newsletter a few weeks ago I was dying to get her back in and, of course, with the royal baby, I knew Jenny would bestow some gems of wisdom on the topic.  And, of course, we have our regular articles from Jayne, Marv, Cori and Andrew.Please feedback to me using Twitter @RachelHolmes or Facebook

Are you OVERWHELMED? …….by Rachel

I bet you’re starting to think about September and what services, classes and products you are going to offer and how you are going to market these. Perhaps you have been on a workshop or listened to an ebook audio and are feeling inspired, or perhaps you are simply DREADING September wondering how many people are going to be coming to your classes and even if it’s worth carrying on?

I see the O word all over social media. I was at a workshop last weekend for 3 days and the information was mind blowing, so I could have left the seminar feeling O……. instead I took loads of notes, I filtered the information I needed to apply right away and filed away the info I need to look at next week, next month and even next year and took a deep breath and I’ve begun applying it. Again, as you know, I take all of my notes on my phone so I have them with me all of the time. I check my notes standing in the bank queue or when I’m waiting for a friend or before a class and I try to get inspired by having my notes with me, not overwhelmed.

Whenever you feel you have too much going on in your head  use these quick strategies and top tips.

Take 20minutes where you take every thought, worry, idea out of your head, business idea, training information and down onto paper. Just keep writing and writing and writing and writing. Purge on Paper (or in your iphone notes!). Just keep going and going till it’s all out and sitting in front of you. This can be work related and personal, just everything.
Next go through everything and all the things you have NO control over at all cross it out. Try and stop keep going over and over things you have no control over and things you can do nothing about.  These kind of  keeps you stuck in negative thinking patterns, constantly replaying things that you have absolutely no control over.
Now get rid of everything mediocre, all the mediocre “stuff” that just hangs around every week on your todolist, things that are always there but you never get done, all the things you are not passionate about, they don’t excite you, KILL THEM off and put them to bed. There will be tons of items that you just keep adding on your list that you are NEVER going to do, so get rid them.

Now you have a beautifully productive list with things on it that you can devote your time, energy and passion to. You have brain space and a sense of clarity, you can now schedule and prioritise and get out of being overwhelmed and bang into ACTION.

New Men on Mats DVD and Workbook – Our new  Workshop DVD just flew out on Tuesday on Launch day and I have had to order another batch the demand was so high. Another prediction from me is that male friendly Pilates classes are set to be HUGE, as are teaching Fitness Pilates to sports groups. It really takes a whole new approach and a new way of looking at various exercises and progressions.  So if this excites you grab a copy of the workshop DVD and workbook today.https://www.choreographytogo.com/fitness-pilates/men-on-mats/

My New KSFL Online Detox starts on Monday and you can jump in with me by pasting this link into your browser http://www.kickstartfatloss.net/onlinedeto/12day/

Jayne Nicholls

What do you guys think of this? This ruling in Scotland is pretty much indicative of other areas such as London, where fees are being demanded and really equates to rental. Should instructors be able to use public parks? Would it not be better to pay by offering discounts to low earners, pensioners and students? As the government is giving ”lip service” to getting the nation fit, then surely we as an industry should be encouraged to set up publicly as an incentive.

FITNESS instructors face a crackdown by councils, which are charging trainers for holding workout sessions in public parks.
At least three local authorities in Scotland – East Renfrewshire, East Lothian and North Lanarkshire – are asking commercial groups holding exercise classes in green spaces to apply and pay for a permit. Others are understood to be considering a similar policy.

The move has been welcomed by some industry experts, who claim it will prevent “cowboys” from setting up boot camps with little training.
But others have questioned how councils can police the scheme, and one instructor feared the charges were too high for small businesses set up to help people keep fit in a safe, group environment.
Donald MacGregor, who runs Scottish Military Fitness sessions in Kelvingrove, Bellahouston and Queens parks in Glasgow, said he was keen for a licensing scheme to be introduced.
The outdoor fitness industry has gone through a boom in recent years and almost every park now hosts boot camps, circuit classes and running groups.
Councils say the permits let them control the number of groups using parks and ensure instructors are trained and insured.
Jayne Nicholls
Group X Training Ltd
0116 239 6802

Zoe McNulty

Wow, wow, wow!  What a response to last week’s article!  Hopefully you got to read it, but if you didn’t, in short it was about why I’m quite opposed to the ‘go hard or go home’ mentality which is being preached a lot on social media at the moment.  For those of you who took time to contact myself or Rachel, I thank you so much.  Your comments have meant the world to me and encouraged me to stick to ‘following my own path’ as was the title of last week’s article.  These are just a small handful of messages I received:

Brilliant article Zoe. Your classes are truly inspirational. I started a burlesque class at my local gym because of you and your attitude towards the female form. I have ladies being raunchy who are size 16 plus and actually are loving their bodies. Thank you.

I’ve been trying to get this message across to my girls and it’s so nice to hear it from a Fitpro! Live your life… Yes exercise and have a clean diet, but enjoy the nice things too! The industry is overloaded with six packs, muscles and tans. It’s so unachievable for the average class goer.  Love yourself and your body and accept who you are! X

Just read your feature on Rachel’s newsletter. At last another likeminded fitpro who is not after the perfect muscle bound body. Self-esteem, being happy with one’s self and being healthy are far more important than the perfect body image. But I must say I was 50 before I figured it out.

Thanks Zoe! Really good read and I loved your column. That’s going to be a keeper for my “down” days! Where I teach is very much a “go hard or go home” gym, and that’s just not me, so it’s so refreshing to know that I’m not alone, it’s not normal! That the girls who come to my classes do so because they like ME, not anything else, and the way I teach is right! Ooh, I feel a productive day coming up now!

Because of the positive response Rachel kindly asked me to do a follow up article.  I jumped at the chance for further communication with those of you out there who have struggled with body image, or have been made to feel less than adequate because you seem to suffer from a lack of motivation or an inability to stick to a strict regime, or indeed work with women who often seem to have ‘excuses’.  So I sat and pondered… Hmmm, I pretty much poured my heart out over that article.  What could I possibly say to follow it up?  Several days passed and I still hadn’t received inspiration.  But then I received an email from Collette.  It began like this:

“Hi Zoe
I am a Fitness Instructor and before I start I am not an Olympic shot putter style tutor or a skinny, I am the right weight for my frame. I understand and find you article interesting in fact I read the one you did for Fitness professionals….”

I prepared myself to be congratulated on my refreshing outlook and continued to read on….

“…However I am getting a bit put off by ‘happy I my own skin’…”


“…and then we have Gok telling everyone to embrace their curves, ok but some of these women are obese, so is it ok to embrace diabetes, high blood pressure?  It is as if people cannot be bothered. Every year I go to the Blackpool Aerobics and I am astonished at the size of some of the presenters, these people a representing the Fitness Industry ! At one showcase, a Body Conditioning class, the instructor told and showed everyone her ` Jelly Belly!  I walked out; I am not perfect but what an example!  I tell my class to be themselves, everything in moderation (I enjoy a glass or two of wine!!)

I teach twenty classes a week to a wide variety of people and levels, I have also been overweight. I have managed my weight HAPPILY and tell this to my learners.  Steer clear of all the body image pressures.

It’s a shame that the attitude of some women is “My muffin top isn’t as bad as hers” so let’s keep getting bigger.

I wish you all best with your classes and life

Take care

Well, I thought, there’s my follow up topic, right there!  Collette won’t be the only person out there thinking along these lines.  Let me tell you I couldn’t respond fast enough.  Before I go on I must just say that before writing this piece I asked her if she minded me quoting her email.  She was more than happy and we have had further discussion on the topic.

What I did not set out to do last week was belittle the importance of staying healthy, nor to pooh-pooh trainers, group ex instructors or those who respond well to the ‘go hard or go home‘ philosophy.  I take my hat off to those who are more motivated, more committed and more focused on achieving their dream body than I.  “Good on them” I say!  A HUGE well done to all those who HAVE achieved great weight loss and to all those trainers who have helped to improve the quality of lives of their clients.

The first thing I said to Collette was that she had made an excellent point and I couldn’t agree with her more.  Yes, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are serious matters and absolutely must be tackled.  Physical health is at the top of the list of priorities for everyone.  For the sake of our loved ones who depend on us, even at the very least for the sake of our joints being a healthy weight is vital.  I do not in any way condone over eating, binge drinking or general laziness: I promote everything in moderation and lots of movement – moving in ways that make you feel sexy!!

I don’t believe my message contradicts that of Collette’s.  As I mentioned in the article last week: “I’m talking to the ladies who look in the mirror and believe they need to lose weight even when they’re perfectly healthy.  Those ladies who are unhappy when they look at themselves and are convinced that if they lost a stone they’d be happy.”  It is these ladies, the ones who complain that they’re fat to the dismay of their even more fuller-figured friends, with whom I identify.  Ladies, or men, who are experiencing health problems related to excessive weight gain, would be well advised to make changes in their lifestyle to reverse the effects.  I understand fully Collette’s concern that the ‘love yourself‘ way of thinking could be confused with ‘don’t really love yourself, have another Mars Bar‘ doctrine.  ; Maybe the phrase ‘love your curves’ should be extended to ‘love your curves but make an effort to not get any curvier‘; or even ‘love your curves but continue to strive for self-improvement’ although this is in danger of negating the notion of ‘getting happy and not waiting until you’ve reached your goal before you’ll allow yourself to be happy’ which I talked about last week.  I mean what happens if whilst you are loving your curves but trying to not get any curvier, something terrible happens like a break up, or an injury or anything that causes weight gain – should you stop loving your curves because you got curvier?  No!

The bottom line, however big the bottom, is confidence and being able to walk down the street with your head held high.  Should the obese lady remain unconfident until she’s at a healthy weight?  And what then?  Flick a switch to become confident?  No!  She would be best finding confidence just as she is.  She needs Raunch in her life (shameless plug! http://zoemcnulty.com/raunch-fitness/raunch/)

I think this is where the word ‘perspective’ becomes key.  I guess it’s about the women who maybe aren’t as fat as they imagine getting some perspective (in my 20s often times I would refuse to go out if I was having a fat day, ludicrous, because looking back I looked fine).  Likewise, I guess the perspective for those who are obese or have developed diabetes might be “what is your condition doing to your family right now and what would happen to them should anything happen to you?”

My focus is on ladies like me, who are actually not in too bad a condition, with a healthy cardio vascular system, nothing majorly wrong but are just a bit wibbly-wobbly.  In terms of talking about a fitness business, which is the main point of Rachel’s newsletter, I have narrowed down my focus.  I have forged my own path and created my own niche.  I have imagined my target client:  She’s 32; married with 2 young children; has gone back to work and never has any one on one time with hubby; is knackered; in need of a makeover and generally feels frumpy.  She knows she has to exercise but hates the gym and doesn’t like conventional classes as she fears being shouted at.  That there are many women out there who do not necessarily fit that bill, but yet can still identify to a certain degree is a bonus for my business.  I encourage you to do the same and imagine your tar get client as an individual, there are bound to be thousands of others just like him/her.

I’d like to conclude now by discussing the presenter who was ‘proud’ of her jelly belly and showed it off to the crowd.  I believe this pride may have been misconstrued and could actually have been humility and a rapport building exercise (which was a gamble if this is the case).  I agree that we as fitness professionals should be good examples physically but what about our emotional connection with the way we look?  Un-named Presenter, I say unto you “Well done, oh Wobbly-One!  Although some may have walked out, I imagine you endeared yourself to a larger proportion of women who too have jelly bellies.”  Though we are not in the business only to endear ourselves to others, we are here to be an example and I believe that this presenter’s subtext in the message sent out by revealing the jelly belly was to say this:

“I am not perfect and I’m going to show you something which may not be appealing visually to you but the purpose of which is to show you that it’s ok to not have the best physique but hey, we’re all here in a body conditioning class, so we are striving to be better.  But whilst we’re in the process of doing that, let’s just accept that at the moment we have jelly bellies and we can be confident enough to get them out in public – some will be offended but there’s others who will embrace it and those who embrace it, I embrace them.”  Horses for courses!  If you’re the type of instructor who relates to this presenter then don’t change who you are because your people come to you because they like what you say, how you teach and how you behave including exposing those bits of yourself which you could be ashamed of, but you’re not!  Can I g et an amen?  If you would rather keep those bits hidden (or even pulled in with a massive pair of body sculpting fat pants, such as myself- Un-named Presenter is actually keeping it more real than I am) please continue to be you and do not second guess yourself.  You are all heading in the right direction – if you’re following your own path!

To join my mailing list and find out about where I will be teaching and the services/products I offer go to www.raunch.steeltoken.com and head over to my website to find out more about what I do – www.zoemcnulty.com.  Email me on info@zoemcnulty.com if you’d like to respond to this piece.  God bless. xxx

History Repeating? How We Can ALL Save Kate by Jenny Burrell

It’s slightly difficult for me to write about this as I have been consistently deleting anything referring to it (good, bad or indifferent) from my Facebook feed, not watched TV news for ages and of course have not purchased any ‘pink tops’ as I have been both sad and speechless but now the storm has passed, I actually think I have something useful to add.  I hope my thoughts resonate with you.
One’s abdominals (even Royal ones) typically look the way they are going to look immediately after birth.  Not much choice there and although a vaginal birth is an extremely brave act, the act of getting up and dressed to go home after birth is simply a given as even royalty cannot be teleported from hospital bed to home – she just got dressed to go home!

There is no FORMAL EXERCISE to be done in these early days apart from gentle walking and the very cerebral act of reconnecting with one’s Pelvic Floor after another human being, cute as it might be, has used it as his transportation system.  And you know what?  I bet Kate IS NOT EXERCISING as we speak as she is blooming frazzled, mentally and physically and fully aware of the fact that there is a vital period of healing and involution of the uterus where it reduces in size and returns to its original position and most importantly, she, just like every other woman on the planet is at risk of Post-Partum Haemorrhage which can actually be a life and death issue for many weeks after their birth date whether they ‘over-do-it’ or not.  I’ve personally had clients who had issues AFTER their 6 week check.   So a massive ‘dead-arm’ to whoever the Trainer is who is goi ng to get Kate ‘back to it’ shortly.   PS This is the future Queen of England so you’d better not mess up and make the rest of us look bad as we all know that YOU NEVER TRAIN A POST NATAL WOMAN before she’s been had her 6 week check and been given the OK by her health care professional. EVER!

What really saddens me though, is how short our memories are….unfortunately when Princess Diana died, I was still grieving for my own father who had died suddenly that year so somehow the death of Diana is intertwined with a hugely painful timespan in my life.  I cannot forget the misery and outpouring of grief for this woman and how pointless and tragic the manner of her death was.  I cannot forget those two little boys bearing up under the unimaginable heartbreak of losing their mother.

And what also shocks me most about this current situation is that we all know how out of control and dreadful this situation can get.  I feel that this time, we have a chance to get it right, a chance to right the wrong of mindlessly consuming this ‘information’.  As intelligent women, Kate is relying on us not to give a damn about the size of her belly, she’s relying on us not to buy those mags, she’s relying on us to do our part so that the price on her head isn’t such as high one that paparazzi pursue her day and night to get pictures and make her life utterly miserable.

Universally, I feel we’ve all been given a second chance. The last time I looked, purchasers still have power.  Don’t buy, don’t consume, don’t share, don’t Tweet, delete, ignore. If every compassionate woman did this, these outlets would be in serious trouble.  Do the right thing….remember Diana…..we can’t change the past but we can ALL have a hand in not allowing history to repeat itself.

Jenny Burrell – Pre/Post Natal & Women’s Wellness Warrior! www.burrelleducation.com
Want daily inspiration for your work with Pre/Post Natal and Female clients?  Join hundreds of us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/330134800403763/

Is your stubbornness killing your business? by Cori Withell

Are you stubborn?
Have you ever thought about the impact that stubbornness has on your business?
Has it ever occurred to you that you may actually be damaging your business?

How many of us obsess over what our competitors are doing?
How many hours a week do we waste pouring over what classes they are doing, how busy are they, if they are doing something new, we are all over it?
How many of you let that competitive interest dictate how you run your business?
Are you even aware that you are letting it have an impact?

Let me give you an example.

You see your competitor doing well with an aerobics class.  You don’t teach aerobics but their class is rammed.  So, you decide to set one up but aerobics really isn’t your thing.  You market the class, get a few people through the door but nowhere near as many as your little old competitor friend over there.  You end up in a bit of a quandary.  You are not making money, you don’t enjoy teaching the class……BUT…….you don’t want to lose face so you stick it out.  Maybe you convince yourself that you are just going to give it that little bit longer, maybe you tell yourself it has nothing to do with another instructor.


I see this over and over and over.
Instructors teaching classes they may not be too good at or don’t like just because they see another instructor do it and do it well – this stubbornness is going to cripple your business.

Why can we not have faith in ourselves and our abilities?
Just because another instructor is great at aerobics does not mean you have to be.
Just because you have tried a class and it isn’t doing too well, does not mean you are a failure.
Setting up a class in close proximity to another instructor and then having to take it down due to low numbers does not mean there is anything wrong with you!

We work in an industry where self-image (both physical and emotional) is important.
Sometimes we worry way too much what other people think of us and to save face we can let our stubbornness rule our business head – that is not where you want to go.

You have your own strengths and unique qualities, exploit them.
Stop wasting half your week looking at what everyone else is doing.

What other people think of you is none of your business and in the words of Queen Victoria, ”It is not important what they think of me but what I think of them.”

If you are feeling alone and struggling my support group is always open to you https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindfulhealthandwellness/

Health and happiness x
Best wishes
Cori x

Information Overload
By Andrew Crawford

I have some information for you…

HMRC announced latest taskforces
The latest targets in HMRC’s sights are tax dodger’s involved in:
the holiday industry in Blackpool, Lake District, North Wales, Devon and Cornwall
restaurants in Yorkshire and Humber
road hauliers in the Midlands and
the fishing industry in Scotland.

The HMRC made this statement…

“……Our message is clear – if you seek to evade tax or defraud the tax system, HMRC can and will track you down. You will face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well……”

Now with this information ….tell EVERYONE you know within these industries.

When they make a formal statement like this……they are serious.
So Andrew….What has Information Overload got to do with Accountancy and Tax??
Well….last week a good friend of mine was at a workshop attended by a lot of bodies. We were in a conversation  by mobile discussing the ethics vs profit phenomenon. They replied that they thought that the presenter was expressing an opinion regarding the information they were giving, I said….
“….In your opinion, if opinions can bring in £100k, then, in my opinion, as a matter of opinion, opinions are worth having an opinion, so if you have an opinion, in my opinion, opinions are worth selling if buyers buy opinions which may or may not contradict their own opinion, or opinions of others, in my honest opinion,,,,,What’s your opinion on that??/…..”

Last week I went into the virtues of ‘How to’ information, so this week information overload fits nicely as a follow on.

Every good information product should have key features. The reason is simple: It is these key features which make customers want to buy it!

When planning and creating your information product you need to make sure it has as many strong key features as possible. These strong key features, in my opinion, are as follows, and you could use this section as a checklist when creating your own ‘How To Information Products’:

It Should Inform: Does your product tell your customer something they don’t know? This really is the acid test of any information product. Base your product on lots of facts and pack it with ‘I didn’t know that!’ appeal.

It Should Enable: Knowing a particular piece of information is one thing, but what is the purpose of knowing that information? The best information products enable their users to do something with that information – such as to maintain, change or enhance their lives using knowledge.

It Should Educate: The very best information products develop the pool of knowledge and understanding on a given subject – in other words they educate. And a good product should do it in a way that is interesting and practical.

It Should Entertain: Information products aren’t (or shouldn’t be) like the dull textbooks you might have used at school. They should be well organised and presented, written in an interesting, attractive and digestible way and incorporate value-adding techniques such as photographs, illustrations and examples where possible. This is easy to do with online publishing.

It Should Be Exclusive: If possible, your information shouldn’t be easily available elsewhere. If it is, your information should be more comprehensive or of better quality.

It Should Offer Real Benefits: This, at the end of the day, is the most important feature of any good and truly successful product – especially an information product. It should offer the customer actual, tangible benefits – preferably ones that they can attribute directly to your product. When creating your product, build-in and develop as many strong customer benefits as possible.

Here are some examples of real benefits:

Saves the customer money.
Saves the customer time.
Saves the customer effort.
Makes the customer’s life easier.
Makes them more attractive or desirable.
Makes them healthier.
Helps make the customer money.
Helps the customer’s job/career/life be more successful.
Solves their difficult or unpleasant problems.
Makes hard tasks simpler.
Offers them real enjoyment or pleasure.

Ideas for Information You Can Think of Selling

Here are some good subject areas for information you can sell online. If I mentioned them last week, I apologise. This list isn’t and cannot be exhaustive. You may well be able to create a successful product of your own based on a totally different subject area in a different industry. Think wide. To see exactly what is available, and for even more ideas, search the Internet.

Business Opportunity & Make Money Products: These products offer a very strong benefit – to make the reader more money, revealing and explaining to the customer ways to increase their income or even get rich. Products in this area include newsletters, e-zines and e-books offering moneymaking tips and strategies, homework ideas, ideas for casual employment and even business plans.
Self Improvement & Personal Development Products: These products offer the customer information on personal, social and even spiritual development. The benefits they offer include social success, enhanced status, confidence and peace of mind rather than purely financial advancement.

Career, Vocational & Educational Products: These products give customers the information they need to change or develop their career or learn a new work-related skill. Products cover a wide range of mainly non-academic subjects, such as accountancy, computer skills, design, yoga, astrology, fitness, creative writing, proof reading, beauty therapy etc. Many courses lead to a qualification.

Health Products: Health information products are usually e-books, occasionally also newsletters or e-zines. They offer advice on health improvement and cover such subjects as diet and weight loss, nutrition, organic lifestyles, allergy, fitness, stress, smoking, drug dependency and advice for avoiding or living with major diseases such as cancer or heart disease.

Tax, Financial & Investment Products: Tax, financial and investment products offer customers information on tax saving, legal tax avoidance, managing their finances and investing in the stock market and other financial opportunities. They are mainly newsletters, but there are also some e-books and e-zines.

Gambling Products: Gambling products offer customers information on how to be more successful at gambling and range from general advice to specific plans or even tipping services. They principally cover horse race betting, but also other forms of betting e.g. football, casino, financial betting and lotteries. Oh….BTW….I wasn’t one of the 100….!!!

Trade, Business & Professional Products: Trade, business and professional products are aimed specifically at business owners and managers. Some of the subjects you can cover include business management, finance, law, taxation, employment issues, health and safety, marketing, negotiating, foreign trade and business development.

Entertainment & Hobby Products: Entertainment and hobby products are a relatively small part of the published information business, but they cover a wide range of interests. Examples of successful entertainment and hobby publications include newsletters for stamp collectors or coin collectors, newsletters for new mothers, and newsletters for fans of any one of the thousands of pop bands or sports teams, magic tricks and illusions.


Tax return amnesty
HMRC have launched a tax return ‘amnesty’ for those individuals who have been issued with a self assessment tax return or notice to complete a tax return for any year up to 2011/12 and have not completed the return(s).
HMRC are offering ‘the best terms available’ to those who come forward now and take part in the ‘My Tax Return Catch Up’.
For those wishing to take part in ‘My Tax Return Catch Up’ there are three stages to the process:
advise HMRC that they want to join the campaign by completing the online notification
complete and submit all outstanding returns and
pay outstanding liabilities or claim any repayment that might be due.
Once a taxpayer has notified HMRC that they wish to take part in this campaign, they will need to complete and submit their outstanding tax returns and generally pay any amounts due by 15 October 2013.
HMRC have advised that
they will look at spreading the payments where the taxpayer is unable to pay the liability in full and
by taking part in the campaign a taxpayer will increase their chances of paying reduced behavioural based penalties.
If you have any concern in this area please do get in touch.
Tell anyone you know about this latest information.

Speak soon


Have a wonderful Thursday
Love Rachel

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