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3 Things that I have learned in 2018

Since 2018 is over, its time for a recap. Its been a very busy year again, seeing 40 to 60 clients every week, releasing 4 books and teaching on the road in Berlin, Munich, Hasselt, Brugge, London, Sao Paulo, Melbourne and Sydney. As in every year there were many new pearls picked up.

Three pearls from 2018 are:

1. Instagram is basically a photo-centric mini-blog

Almost everyone has realized by now, Instagram has took over. Higher interaction rates, more users and definitely less spam compared to other social media channels. It started out in 2010 as a photo-centric social media channels is now used by many as a mini-blog. Throughout the last year I have observed Instagram much closer and got some very good insights on how to run a great Instagram account. Especially Australian Coach Mark Carroll who does a great job on Instagram gave me great insights, stats and examples of his and various other accounts, that made me release how powerful Instagram has become in the fitness world. He and some others in the training industry use Instagram to post mini-posts with high value to provide some additional content next to the visuals. Especially in the personal training industry this can be a great one to provide a further service to facilitate commitment and compliance in customers. Statistically over 60% of all Instagram users go online every day which makes this mini-blog a great option to provide some content and bits and pieces for your current, past and future clients to stay on track. Training videos, pictures, recipes, quotes, etc. whatever spreads your messages. 

And yes, most followers only look at the pictures and not whats written in the caption below the picture. That is statistically true. Its also based on the fact that most don’t focus on the caption that much. Its like saying that Porsche doesn’t sell well. Which is correct compared that to total car sales, where Porsche only sells 0,28% of all cars sold in the world per year. That means 99,72% of all cars sold are not Porsche. Sp Porsche doesn’t fit statistical success based on these numbers. Still Porsche does very well as they make cars for a very specific target group that highly values the car Porsche makes. And the same counts for captions on Instagram. Make them valuable for your target group, which as a personal trainer will primarily be your current, past and future clients. Instagram allows you to connect with people. More than ever before. Use it.

2. Finally Personaltrainer recognize the business aspect has a weak link in their work

As I always say, we all become trainers for the same reasons: We like training and we like to spread that passion for training. Thats true more then ever before. Based on current statistics with the length of time that one will have to work until retirement that average amount of careers one will have is three. I consistently see that during the modules of the YPSI Trainer B-Licence, our introductory trainer certification where over 30% of the attendants had or currently have other jobs trying to make the transition to become a part- or full-time personal trainer. 

And with this trend more and more coaches realize the importance of the business aspect of being a personal trainer. Which in simple terms is: How to pay the bills as a personal trainer to at first stay a personal trainer. Giving clients value and getting them in shape is the backbone of becoming a successful personal trainer. Mastering the business aspect is the backbone of staying a successful personal trainer. And the career length of the personal trainer is still very short. One reason is definitely that many trainers miss the technical skills to actually get their clients in shape and get their clients to achieve the goals they have. And another reason is making a living as a trainer. And last year was definitely the year I have seen most trainers seek out to master that business aspect. 

3. Yes, the deadlift is a great exercise, too

Over the years I have become a very public fan of the squat, writing a squat book, hosting over 20 squats days at the YPSI, publishing the Squat Holiday, teaching „The perfect Squat“ Workshop at conferences and seminars all over the world and consistently promoting the benefits of the squat. And sometimes I get asked if I like the deadlift, too. Of course, I do. 

The deadlift is an outstanding exercise. I consistently program it. Looking through my program database, in 4 years between January 2015 and December 2018 I have written 8891 programs. 1599 of them contained a variation of squats. 1639 contained variations of the chin-up/pull-up. 983 contained a variation of the benchpress. And 427 contained a variation of the deadlift. So I use the squat about 4 times as often as the deadlift. Why? Not because the deadlift is an inferior exercise. In many aspects the deadlift is superior to the squat. The reason why I use the deadlift less is because one has to be prepared to deadlift safely and consistently. Want to hurt a beginner? Just start them on deadlifts. 

So before adding deadlift one has to be prepared to deadlift, which is to meet certain benchmarks and go through progressions to get the most out of it and not hurt your back. Once these benchmarks are met, lets deadlift, and deadlift more safely. 

The deadlift builds strength in the whole body. The deadlift is an underused exercise to build muscle. And definitely an underused exercise to increase fatloss. The deadlift is a great exercise. And its always been a great exercise. Since its a more advanced exercises I have talked about it a lot less than the squats. Thats one reason why I wrote a whole book on the deadlift in 2018 – The YPSI Deadlift Manual. 

2018 was a great year. I have seen many clients make outstanding progress. I have played around with new devices such as a continuous glucose monitoring device, which led to fascinating results. Travelled the world to spread some knowledge. And taught over 1000 trainers at various conferences and seminars. Now its time to look forward to 2019! See you.

Picture: At Sydney Airport.

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