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  • Instructor Newsletter 17th October 2013

    IMG_3844Hey everyone, it’s another THURSDAY and a bumper newsletter edition.  I have a whole host of new contributors for you with lots of exciting articles and updates for you which, of course, I hope you will find inspiring and motivating!

    Winterproof Your Fitness Business by Rachel

    I’ve been teaching community classes for over 25 years now (wow when did that happen)…. and winter always scares me, especially SNOW. Years gone by I have done the snow dance, praying for it not to snow or bring icy roads knowing full well that will be the kiss of death for my community classes. How many times have you sat all afternoon in December thinking, shall I or shan’t I cancel, what about the room rent, what if people turn up, what if I prang my car, should I do it, or do I make an early decision and cancel…How many times have we all been there?  So NOW is the time to set up your bad weather policy and get your structures and strategies in place so you won’t lose money, lose clients, or risk life and limb venturing out to teach in an empty hall.

    1.Get a clear statement from your venue – Find out what is the latest time you can cancel, if you have to pay etc etc. Get this in writing and signed so you both know exactly where you stand on this one.
    2.Have you got everyone’s emails, mobiles and Facebooks? If not, do it now so you can alert everyone at the last minute if required.
    Put together your December timetable NOW and do prepay for November and December. The last thing you need is turning up to classes with 2 people in, so confirm your timetable and say it’s pre pay only.
    3.Get all of your classes into private Facebook groups NOW where you can upload class info, share tips, nutrition and generally get your classes bonding online. If you do need to cancel you can post workouts and motivations here to keep everyone going and interactive..
    4.FILM home workouts. ALL community Instructors need to do this, so you can upload workouts, create fitness challenges, which you can email out should you have to cancel.
    5.FILM A DVD – A few weeks back I wrote an article about creating your own DVD and it’s a great idea now to get this done and finished so you can sell these in time for Christmas and for Christmas gifts.
    5.Create a 12 Days of Christmas online workout plan. Film 12 x 10 minute workouts, open a Facebook Group and if you close your classes in December this can be the perfect way to keep your clients happy and working out with you online, plus continue to get paid without the room hire and traveling. Charge for the 12 days and then upload a video into the Facebook group everyday that your group can do.
    6.Create a clear bad weather cancellation policy with terms and conditions so everyone knows exactly what happens in the event you have to cancel.

    All you have to do now is get filming and creating your winter proofing plan. Tweet me @RachelHolmes

    Overtraining by Lisa Cuerden

    It’s been a good few years since I wrote an article for C2go so I’m going to introduce myself for those of you that don’t know me.

    My names Lisa Cuerden and I run my own business in Oxford ‘Life Changing Fitness’.

    In the past year I have been through a very interesting and challenging time. I  asked Rachel if I could share this with you as I feel a few fitpros could learn from my experience.

    By reading this I hope I can help you avoid making the same mistakes that I have made in the last few months.
    Recently I had to take some time off work to have an operation. My recovery time gave me the opportunity to assess my training and my work schedule.
    Let me explain. I’m a personal trainer, studio instructor, teaching more than 12 classes a week, and sports massage therapist.
    I also work as a fitness presenter and tutor for Vibe Concepts. So, my training schedule, including my work, consists of supervising 12 classes a week comprising a mixture of Vibe Cycle (indoor cycling classes), Vibe Step, Kettlebell classes and Yoga twice a week. I also travel around the UK presenting at fitness conventions, arranging master class days and teaching courses.
    Then, 12 months ago I started Powerlifting. I found out very quickly I had a talent in this and broke the British deadlift record in October 2012 and then again in April 2013.
    Away from my hectic work schedule I now added my  ‘me time’ which would be spent self training and focusing on lifting extremely heavy weights.
    I did this three to four times a week in order to become stronger for my sport. This has a huge effect on your muscles and central nervous system. There are lots of positive benefits to be had but, and this is the message I want to emphasise today, to achieve these benefits your body needs to rest and repair. Only then will you come back stronger.
    Yes, I know. I should be aware of this. After all I’ve worked in the fitness industry for more than 10 years.
    However, I am constantly learning and it wasn’t until the last month or so how that I realised the damage I was doing to my body.
    In the early stages of my training for powerlifting I was getting so strong and could constantly see improvements. Then it tapered off and I felt I was going the other way.
    In the previous three to four months I was getting frustrated, as I felt I was becoming weaker rather than improving my strength. I also constantly felt tired and, because my energy levels were falling, my classes were a struggle.
    Then came my enforced break from work and the chance to assess my lifestyle.
    I looked back on quite a few bouts of sickness in the past year, a huge competition missed because I was unwell – and all this in someone who rarely is ill.
    I decided one of the main reasons must have been – OVERTRAINING.
    Perhaps it is obvious to an outsider, but it needed a major operation and some time out for me to realise this.
    Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I know there are so many people out there doing exactly the same thing.
    Please learn this lesson from me:
    OVERTRAINING will cause you to become WEAKER, FATIGUED and eventually FATTER.
    To finish this article off I want to give you this message: Please look after your bodies!
    I have been through an incredibly scary time in the past 2 months. During my recent operation where I had a benign tumour removed they also found a cancerous lump, I had to go through all the testing to make sure it hadn’t spread, this was probably the most horrendous 6 weeks of my life. I’m happy to say I was given the all clear last Tuesday!!!

    Did I feel fatigued in the past year due to this lump? Was it because I was overtraining? Or did this lump appear due to the stress I was putting on my body? Who knows???

    All I can say is look after your bodies and minds, you never know what is round the corner. I will have a scar down the side of my neck to remind me of this and I am proud of it because that operation to have the benign tumour removed may have just saved my life!

    Thank you for taking the time out to read my story x

    Lisa Cuerden

    How Twitter Can Help You Get In The Media by Yvonne Radley

    Hi C2Goers,

    I hope you have all been busy getting your press releases out there and spreading the word that you are THE health expert in your town.

    After all if you are the expert you get added kudos with your clients, doors open more easily and you get to charge a higher rate. Plus, customers find you out instead of the other way around.

    Today I thought I would share with you how you can use Twitter to help you get some exposure.

    With Twitter it’s all about the relationships you form.

    And that can be twofold.
    1: With your own clients
    2: With the journalists you want to talk to.

    With Twitter you can create lists so you can filter your audience and see what they have been up to really quickly.

    Watch my video if you’re not sure how to set up lists

    And you should definitely have the following lists you follow:

    1: Your clients
    2: Local media
    3: Fitness media
    4: National media

    1:You want to follow your clients to see what they are interested in – what are they talking about? You can use that information to sell to them in the future or as conversation in your sessions. Let’s face it, who isn’t watching The Great British Bake Off? Or Downton Abbey?

    2: Your local media is your local newspapers, magazines, radio stations, even your local reporters. Take a look at their feed every day to see if they are working on something health related and you can tweet them or call the newsroom and offer your expert opinion.

    3: Fitness Media – radio stations, magazines, Fitness TV are all great for spotting trends that you can then introduce into your sessions. You need to be the person in the know, not your clients, so when they are talking about a new craze you are way ahead of them and already have it scheduled and on the timetable for next term.

    4: National Media – Radio Two and Radio 4 are great for phone ins. This Morning TV and Lorraine Kelly as well as magazines like Zest and Top Santé. They are all great to follow and you can tweet them too.

    You can also find loads of National journalists by typing in Journorequest in the search bar and have a look down the feed for the health and fitness ones then just hit reply.
    You can and should become an expert yourself on Twitter by posting your regular blog and entering into fitness discussions with other experts.

    Just search health and fitness in the search bar to find other conversations.

    Or use the hashtag #fitness to find relevant stories.

    If you have a niche even better – search back pain, kid’s fitness or pregnancy and fitness.

    One of the great things you can do is talk about stories of national interest, especially awareness weeks and months.

    For example, October is Stoptober and also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Your local press will also love you if you send in relevant press releases about events such as this.

    Often they are so busy concentrating on the hard news timetable that they miss the “so called” soft news which most of the time is where health and fitness comes in.

    You could provide them with a solution.

    And if you are not sure what to write about or even how to write it why not give my Press Club a go.

    I’ve put together a special offer for Rachel’s C2Goer’s if you would like to give it a try.

    You get a done for you press release in your In-Tray on the 1st of every month – all you have to do is fill in the blanks with your name and company name and send it out to your local media.

    We even help you do that with the help of a Secret Facebook Group where you can get even more help.

    The Press Club is normally £29.97/month but I’m putting it out for a one month trial to you at just £9.97 for the first month.

    Just click the link and join The Press Club
    Yvonne Radley
    Media Coach

    Unveiling the Truth About Health
    Leah Ferreira

    I first contacted Rachel to tell her how much I enjoy reading her newsletter every week. I enjoy reading articles from different trainers as I believe that we all learn from each other, and I’m always very supportive of trainers who aren’t afraid of speaking their minds or sharing their knowledge.

    To be honest, sometimes reading somebody’s thoughts in an article is just the little extra bit of motivation I need to keep pushing through the working week, and to know that other fitpros have the same thoughts and feelings as me sometimes, which confirms that I am in fact, not going crazy when I have ‘one of those days’! I’ve had many of ‘those days’ over the past year and a half, almost giving up on one of the most difficult professional challenges I’ve ever accepted.

    Let me explain…

    18 months ago I moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to work as a trainer in a ‘Luxury Women’s Spa’ (which I parted ways with after 5 months – it turned out not to be quite so ‘luxurious’ after all). I’d seen Saudi Arabia on the TV, and I’d done my research. I was ready for a big, BIG culture shock. However, what the news and Google don’t explain to you is that women’s fitness is one of the biggest taboos within the country’s culture, and is seen as a luxury not a necessity to health. Sports in schools is banned for females, and ladies gyms are so ridiculously expensive, that it’s virtually impossible for the average working woman to be able to afford to exercise. Women cannot exercise outside, apart from the odd walker you’ll see on the long, busy main roads, but as their body is covered head to toe in a long, black abaya, their head covered with a hijab, and face protected with a niqab, even walking can be restrictive (and that’s without taking into consideration the immense heat that we experience here).
    So how in a culture, where women have no ‘face’ are they supposed to have a voice to stand up to say, “Hey, our health matters too”!

    Ladies are learning the basics in nutrition and well being from myself and other trainers, which would and SHOULD have been taught to them in school if they had been educated in a more western country, and with a HUGE focus on fast food restaurants here in Riyadh, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and fertility problems are ripe amongst women, and worse of all, they are not aware that they can change this situation and improve their health, as they are lead to believe that all of these problems are hereditary. It’s been sad to witness, but I’m starting to see small changes here that will hopefully lead to bigger changes in the future. More and more ladies gyms are popping up in the city, which in turn brings more female trainers, and of the few that actually manage to stick it out working here, we have started to form a small community of support and motivation amongst ourselves.

    I could tell you a thousand stories that have almost made me pack my bags and head back to a world where I feel ‘sane’ again, but when I finally get a small breakthrough here with a client, it makes me want to stay and enjoy the rewarding feeling that maybe, just maybe I’ve helped to start to a change.
    In the past 18 months I’ve seen things that would have to be experienced to be believed, BUT I haven’t thrown the towel in and hopped on a flight back to the UK, so there’s definitely something keeping me here.

    I’m so proud of all of the clients I work with, with several of them becoming great friends, (and you will never feel genuine, heart-felt kindness until you’ve been accepted into a Saudi family). One of the greatest projects I had the honour to be a part of since I’ve been here was to help to train a group of women who were the first Saudi women to attempt, and complete a climb to Base Camp, Mount Everest in aid of raising breast cancer awareness amongst Saudi women, (‘A Woman’s Journey – Destination Mount Everest’). Some of the ladies that took on the challenge rarely exercised before they started their training, and the dedication I experience from these girls was phenomenal! In May 2012, after several months of sweat, tears and injuries, a group of 10 Saudi women broke the social taboo surrounding women’s fitness in Saudi Arabia, and encouraged other women that if it&r squo;s possible to climb a mountain to raise health awareness, EVERYONE can become a little more active to take care of their own health. The fundraising events and advertising for this event was fantastic and such an amazing experience to be a part of, and with a great support network for the climbers, I know that it was a huge giant step forward for the ladies of Saudi.
    You can read more about their journey by searching ‘A Woman’s Journey – Destination Mount Everest’.
    I’d love to hear feedback and helpful suggestions from other trainers regarding any of the subjects I’ve covered in this article, so please feel free to tweet me @Leah_MissFit

    Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings…. Because for every person who shows an interest in what is happening out here, means we might just be a little step closer to achieving a health and well being ‘voice’ for the ladies of Saudi Arabia.

    Leah ?

    Is It Worth It? by Cori Withell

    I see it happening more and more.
    It has happened to me more than once.
    Do I just shrug it off like before?

    DO I HECK!

    Copying.  We have all probably been subjected to it at some point or another.
    We launch an e-book, a You Tube clip, a Sound Cloud and before you know it someone is messaging you or you find out yourself that someone has basically lifted your entire content and passing it off as their own.

    Now, I have had a change of heart on this lately.
    Before I have always said that in a way it is flattering, they obviously regard you and what you are doing quite highly.  I also said that they will always be one step behind you if they are always copying you.
    This is still quite true.


    Why SHOULD we put up with it?
    Why SHOULD it be okay for other people to STEAL your ideas, YOUR products, YOUR hard work and pass it off as their own without any regard for you or your business?

    It was like a light switched on – I couldn’t believe I had let it go on for so long!

    When I launched The FitPro Mind I had countless people emailing me to tell me that sections of my book were literally being copied and pasted and passed off on blogs and articles as another author – the cheek!
    What did I do?

    When I launched The Mood Food series of cookbooks I was seeing MY recipes everywhere!
    What did do?

    And now, having spent months working on I am seeing it happen again.

    Well, no actually, I’m not.
    Not this time, because I won’t allow it to happen.

    I wonder how we have all become so complacent?
    Is it because a ETM instructors you quite often get other instructors liking your class style, your music choice, choreography.  So much so, that they use it in their own classes.  I don’t have such an issue with this.  I go to other instructors classes and get inspired by some move I haven’t seen before or ask what the music is because it has such a great beat.
    Is it because of that , we then think it is perfectly okay for them to STEAL our work.

    Well, I’m just putting it out there, I don’t think it is.
    I think it is WRONG.
    For me, it means I have to get completely out of my comfort zone and contact these people direct and ask them not to – yikes, that thought does not make me happy!
    But for the security and safety of my business I have to do it.
    Maybe they have just forgotten to credit me?  If so not a problem, put an apology and a credit and its sorted.
    Allowing people to take your work and not do anything about it is like saying it is worthless.
    How can that be?
    How can it be worthless when you have put hours into it, developing it, producing it and everything else that goes along with it?
    No one and I mean NO ONE has the right to just come along and take it.
    Be proud of who you and what you have achieved.

    Value yourself and know your worth and don’t you dare let anyone tell you any different 😉

    Health and happiness x
    Best wishes
    Cori x

    Police vs Politician
    Who tells the TRUTH??
    By Andrew Crawford

    What a fiasco this ’Plebgate’ circus has been. After a year……..still no further forward. He either said it or he didn’t.

    One of the two parties to this argument is lying….!!

    My view……Sack everyone involved. (Police Officers and Politician) Job done. Case closed.

    ……but no………let’s waste tax payers money and undertake further fruitless futile INVESTIGATIONS into what might have been said, who heard what, who said what, what said when, where said who, why said what, why heard who…

    This is reminding me of a sketch with Abbott & Costello. If you’re old enough you will remember it. Here’s the youtube link (8 mins).  It’s called “Who’s on First”……….I found it amusing…!!!

    So Andrew…..What has the Police telling the truth or the Politicians quoting their statistics got to do with Accountancy and Tax?

    Well…….we both know neither of them will back down. It is so blatantly obvious that the truth is not being told by one of the parties. How would we, the general public, the sheep, the followers, the consumers of garbage, the wanton child become aware of the exact facts, not only with this scenario but other closed door details?

    Answer: Freedom of Information

    Information relating to facts, figures, details, notes, budgets, meetings, policies, briefings you name it you can get it.

    The following is from the Freedom of Information (FOI) pages from the Governments website page

    The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to ask any public sector organisation for all the recorded information they have on any subject.
    Anyone can make a request for information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.
    Your request will be handled under the Data Protection Act if you ask for information about yourself.

    You can request information from publicly funded organisations that work for the welfare of the whole population, eg:
    government departments
    local councils
    schools, colleges and universities
    health trusts, hospitals and doctors’ surgeries
    publicly funded museums
    the police
    non-departmental public bodies, committees and advisory bodies

    How do I make a freedom of information (FOI) request?

    You can contact an organisation directly by letter or email to make a freedom of information (FOI) request.
    When making your request, you should include:
    your name
    an address where you can be contacted
    a detailed description of the recorded information you want
    Most requests are free but you might be asked to pay a small amount for photocopies or postage. You will be told by the organisation if you have to pay anything.
    You should receive the information within 20 working days. If the organisation needs more time, they will contact you and tell you when you can expect the information.

    You can ask for the information in a number of different formats:
    paper or electronic copies of any original documents
    audio format
    large print
    Depending on the nature of your request, you can ask for all the information or just a summary.
    Make sure you check the copyright status of the information your receive if you plan to reproduce it.
    Some sensitive information might not be available to members of the public. If this is the case, the organisation must tell you why they have withheld some or all of the information you requested.
    An organisation can turn down your request if they think it will cost them more than £450 (£600 for a central government organisation) to deal with your request.
    They might then ask you to be more specific so they can provide the information you’re looking for.
    If an organisation doesn’t provide you with the information you request, you should first contact them and ask them to review their decision.

    My advice

    Be polite and Be absolutely SPECIFIC as to the information you require.

    When I worked in Governmental Departments, I gave information I thought that the requester required.   At the time, I didn’t see the point of regurgitating information which was supposed to be common knowledge and sometimes archived, until of course, I became older and wiser. Much WHYser.

    So, this is how I would word specific requests.

    How much did you spend of Consultants fees in the year 2012/2013?
    (For more details you could further request)

    Who were the Consultants and how much were each Consultant paid?

    Please send me all the minutes of any meetings held where the subject of [insert subject] was discussed?

    Please send me a copy of your policy relating to [policy/procedure]

    Please send me a copy of the budget breakdown relating to Mental Issues

    Who were the members of the meeting that discussed [this issue]?

    This is a question I would love to know.

    Please can I have the names of all the Councils, Government Departments, UK organisations and any individuals including the banks who lost their investments in Iceland?

    From that list above how much did each lose?

    If you are at all inclined to find out The Truth about something go ahead and contact the department involved.  A simple letter will do. I have put a template up on my site for you to use. Edit as you feel necessary.

    Download the ‘Freedom of Information’ template letter from here…


    So……..Who do you think is telling the truth?

    Trick question.

    What about the McCann disappearance? Why has that resurfaced?

    I promise to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    The Truth Will Set You FREE…!!

    Have a great truthful week.

    Have a wonderful Thursday

    Love Always

    Rachel xx

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