Monday, May 17, 2010

Make a choice - To take a dip in income or not!

Hey Fitness Pros,

As we enter summer, personal trainers start to brace for the slower season with clients away on holidays.

You can choose to either take the dip in income and enjoy a few extra hours of rest and relaxation...Not a bad idea actually! Or if reducing your income is not exactly what you want to do, be proactive and take some action steps to get an influx of new clients into your system. Here's some ideas:

1. Host a 28 day "Beach Body Quick Fat Loss program"

2. Host a Summer Outdoor Bootcamp program or other outdoor program

3. Make a list of some high-profile community members (politicians, business owners, athletes, TV/Media personalities etc) and send them a card thanking them for everything they do in your community. Include a Gift Certificate for 3 Private Training sessions. Wanna bet that many of them will continue once they complete their 3 sessions?!

4. Call all your clients you haven't seen in a while and suggest they come in for a program update or a vacation program that they can do on holidays or at the cottage.

5. Organize a dance party, seminar, community exercise class, fitness trade show etc. Charge a small fee and have proceeds go to a local charity. Give all attendees a trial session/pass to your facility. Be sure to collect contact info so you can follow up.

Get rolling on some of these ideas and your business should be thriving this summer.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, May 3, 2010

Host a party!

Dear Fitness Pros,

When was the last time you hosted a party in honor of your clients? It doesn't need to cost much or take a ton of time to pull together. It can be as simple as arranging a group rate at a Bowling Center, a Paint Ball Location, a Salsa club, a Go-Kart venue, Karaoke night...

Get to know your clients and let them get to know you. Foster the development of friendships between clients. If your clients are friends with other clients and staff, they will be much less likely to leave and go elsewhere!

It's one of the pieces to our Million Dollar Training Studio puzzle!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ideas to generate revenues this summer...

Hey Fitness Pros,

The summer months are upon us. Yahoo baby! Can you tell I'm a summer girl?!

Anyways, I wanted to suggest that if you're not offering any type of outdoor programming, you should seriously consider it. It's so nice to get out of the four walls of a gym, a great way to add variety to your clients' programming, increase your summer-month revenues and it's super fun!

Here's some ideas...

*Start an Outdoor Bootcamp
*Host a Learn to Run program
*Host a 5km, 10km, Half Marathon or Marathon training program
*Organize a Triathlon Training clinic
*Organize a Hiking Trek
*Organize an adventure

We are offering all of these services this spring/summer including a hiking, biking and kayaking trek through the San Juan Islands. This is the BEST part of my job!

Create a summer that you and your clients will never forget!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you're looking for an easy way to implement these types of initiatives, join our Personal Training MasterMind Group. Your 1st month is FREE. Contact if you're interesting in learning how we do $1,000,000 per year at our 5,000 square foot training facility in Vancouver WA - population of 150,000 people.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What are you doing for Mother's Day?

Dear Fitness Pros,

Mother's Day is just around the corner. Plan special activities, events, classes etc to celebrate women! Here are some ideas for you:

*Host a Mother/Daughter class ie Dance, Yoga, Kickboxing...
*Organize a Mother's Day Bootcamp
*Organize a fundraiser with the beneficiary being an important woman's cause
*Hold a Woman's Health seminar
*Bring in a massage therapist for the day to give your female clients free mini-massage sessions
*Give each gal at your studio a flower or inspirational poem
*Offer Gift Certificates, specials, promotional offers etc.

These events don't have to require a lot of planning time, energy or money. Just do something special to show your female clients how much you love and appreciate them.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Speak to Kari Schunk, our Fitness Education Director, about our Personal Training Mastermind group. If you were part of this program, you would have access to all the templates and materials to make your life a lot easier! Email her at

Friday, April 16, 2010

'Bring your Child to Work-out Day!"

Hey Fitness Pros,

Next Thursday April 22nd is Bring your Child to Work day. In order to encourage a healthy lifestyle in our kids, take a spin on this national holiday and host a "Bring your Child to Work-out Day!" Encourage your clients to bring their kids to a class or to their personal training appointment. We've got to start them young in order to ensure they learn to love to move their bodies!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, April 12, 2010

Photos from my Fitness Professional Resort Trip...

Hey Fitness Pros,

My teaching vacation at the resort in Mexico was absolutely fabulous. I wanted to make sure I let you know whether it was a positive or negative experience and it was all amazing! It was such a fabulous way to meet people from all over the world and since I'd be working out anyways, it didn't feel like work. And my accommodations, food and alcohol were all free. It was a great dig! I'll probably never travel any other way again!

Here's a photo of me Arm Wresting. I won the Arm Wrestling champion of the whole resort. I would have made you all proud!

Bootcamp on the Beach...

There is no better way to teach Yoga than on the Beach!

Did I tell you that you get to bring a friend for free too?

Anyways, I hope you can take advantage of this type of opportunity. Definitely an industry perk!

Typically, you just have to fill out an application and prove that you are a certified professional. Then you get to search the various resorts and availability. Options are available throughout Mexico and the Caribbean including Cuba, Costa Rica and more.

There are two companies that I know of that facilitate this process. Here are their websites:

Happy and fit travels,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, March 22, 2010

The key to staying on top!

Dear Fitness Pros,

Stop learning and then start dying! The key to staying on top and on the cutting edge is an ongoing commitment to MCI (Measurable Constant Improvement). Read trade journals, invest in business leadership and success books, listen to webinars, watch and learn from other colleagues and attend conferences and workshops.

At NWPT, this is key to our success. We're always working hard to advance each others' skills. Our team is amazing because we all understand and embrace the importance of this!

If you're looking for a fun educational event to attend and want to hang with some really awesome people, attend our Fitness & Training Forum on Saturday April 10th with Guest Speaker Petra Kolber in Portland Oregon. It is jam packed with practical information that you can implement right away.

And if you're looking for a weekend event that will dramatically change the way you do business and significantly increase your business revenues, attend my Business of Personal Training course in May. We'll have 17 hours together over 2 days and I will teach you everything I know about running a million dollar Personal Training business.

Email Kari Schunk, our Fitness Education Director, at for more details and to register for either of these events.

Here's to striving to be your absolute best!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Plan a healthy and fun St. Patty's Day celebration

Hey Fitness Pros,

Next week is St. Patty's Day. Plan something fun for clients. Encourage everyone to wear green, play some fun Irish music, give out some door prizes, plan some fitness challenges or Exercise Trivia with an Ireland flare so people can test their Irish luck, serve green healthy drinks...

Same old, same old is the sign of a dying business. Doing little things like this that don't take a ton of time or money to organize is a great way to add some excitement and fun to your normal way of doing things.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Contact for 1 month FREE Personal Training Mastermind membership.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fitness Pros can vacation for Free!

Hey Fitness Pros,

Sorry it's been a few weeks since I've posted. I'm celebrating my 40th Birthday next week and have been enjoying a fun 40 for 40 day celebration. It's been a blast!

Anyways, today I wanted to let you know about an opportunity that exists for Fitness Professionals that I don't think enough of us take advantage of.

Put it this way - you should never have to pay for accommodations and food at a high class resort again. There are plenty of resorts that will give you free accommodations and food in return for teaching a couple classes like Yoga, Pilates, Aqua, Dance, Bootcamp etc per day. Plus, what a great way to meet people. So if you're like me and would workout and take classes anyways, why not teach them yourself and be guaranteed a fabulous workout and get to go for free. Plus you get to bring a guest and often up to 2 kids for free also. If you have more in your party, they often provide a very discounted rate for add-ons. It's a really great deal.

Typically, you just have to fill out an application and prove that you are a certified professional. Then you get to search the various resorts and availability. Options are available throughout Mexico and the Caribbean including Cuba, Costa Rica and more.

There are two companies that I know of that facilitate this process. Here are their websites:

Happy and fit travels,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Contact Kari Schunk at to sign up for 1 month of FREE Personal Training MasterMind group with me - guaranteed to increase your business revenues!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Add an Olympic theme to your training...

Hey Fitness Pros,

The Olympics are well on there way and the world is inspired and captivated by the athleticism, determination, and focus of these athletes.

So use this as an opportunity to incorporate some fun Winter Olympic challenges or workouts.

For example, maybe each day during the Olympics set a new drill, challenge or exercise with an Olympic theme. Here's some ideas. Adjust times based on the client.

* Alpine Skier Wall Squat - How long can you hold the position?

* BOSU Snowboard 180 Jumps - Perform for 30 seconds

* BOSU Luge - Hold Luge position for 45 seconds.

* X-Country Ski Race - How fast can you do 1 mile on an Indoor X-Country Ski machine?

* Apolo Ohno Exercuff Speed Skate - Set up a course around the studio and have clients 'skate' for 2 minutes

* Curling Lunges - Had to add that one in for Canada ;)

Hope this gives you some ideas. Part of being a world-class trainer is always mixing it up and keeping it fun for clients.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. We are offering your first month FREE with our Personal Training MasterMind group. Contact Kari Schunk, our Fitness Education director, at and she'll get you all set-up. You'll be well on your way to a million dollar training business.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The #1 Key to Success is...

Dear Fitness Pros,

I've found that success has nothing to do with money or intelligence. Instead success seems to follow those who know exactly what they want and are willing to do whatever it takes to get there!

So I want to ask you...

Do you clearly see what you want for your life and for your career? Can you paint the picture of who you want to be, what you want to do, which adventures you want to experience? I challenge you to dream big for all aspects of your life!

Secondly, do you know what you need to start doing, stop doing and keep doing to point you in the direction of your best life? Bottom line - you actually have to do something. So I challenge you to do one little thing today to prove to yourself that you've got your compass pointed where you want your life to go.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. And if you need someone to keep you accountable to achieving the best in your career, email and ask about our Personal Training MasterMind group.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Why a trainer needs to schedule a workout with a trainer...

Hey Fitness Pros,

This month all of our trainers are taking me through a workout. I would suggest other trainers, owners and managers to do the same for a variety of reasons:

1. Quality control - I will evaluate our team based on a set criteria of what we believe a great session looks like from start to finish. Although every workout is different because every client is different, there are certain principles and protocol that have to be adhered to to make it a great NWPT session.

2. Ideas - Working out with another trainer is an awesome way to give you ideas for your programs, sessions and classes.

3. Great workout - I'm turning 40 in 1 month and it's time to ramp it up! I'm going to be in great shape for my Birthday!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fitness Pros for Haiti

Hey Fitness Pros:

Have you organized some form of workout, exercise-a-thon etc to help the people in Haiti. It's a wonderful way to give back, get your clients together doing something amazing for themselves and those in need and just make a difference.

Some ideas:

Exercise-a-thon - 15 minute samples of various types of fitness (ie 15 minutes of kickboxing, 15 minutes of cycling, 15 minutes of Zumba, 15 minutes of Yoga etc)
A 5km Run/Walk from your club
A Hike for Haiti
Muscle-up for Haiti - a Strength training workout, challenge or contest
Dance for Haiti - a few hours of various dance formats
Yoga & Meditation for Haiti - various forms of Yoga and Meditation

We're doing a Bike n' Row event. We'll raise a minimum of $2000 in 5 hours. We're offering 5 times slots with a minimum donation of $20 per person.

Hope this gives you some good ideas.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The first sign of a dying business...

Hey Fitness Pros:

Stay current or die!

That's an important message.

So what are you doing differently? Are you launching a new class? Have you purchased some new equipment? Are you offering a seminar on a Hot Topic? Are you hosting a really fun adventure for your clients? Are you initiating a new Corporate Wellness program or maybe a Kids Fitness program? Are you planning a Girls Night Out or a Client Get-together?

Mediocrity, coasting, same-old, same-old - are the first signs of a dying business!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you are part of our Personal Training MasterMind Group, I will never let that happen to your business. I will always challenge you to think outside of the box and make it easy because I provide you the resources and tools to make it all happen. Contact our Fitness Education Director at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What do you have planned for February for your PT business?

Hey Fitness Pros.

I hope you're enjoying the January rush! Although you're probably swamped with everything right now, as a leader, you need to always be looking ahead!

So my question to you is 'What do you have planned for February'?

To give you some ideas from our business...

*We're hosting a SuperBowl Flag Football game - NWPT Trainers vs Clients. It will be a fun customer service, bonding event.

*We're hosting a Couple's Bootcamp and Couple's Yoga on Valentine's Day weekend

*We're offering an Educational seminar for our clients - Education + Action = Results!

*We're hosting a Girls Night Out party

*We've offering various Valentine's Day specials and promoting Gift Certificates for the holiday

Hope that gives you some ideas.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. FYI - if you are part of our PT MasterMind group you would already have all of these templates ready to go and use. Your first month is FREE so you can see what it's all about and how we generate $1,000,000 per year in our 5000 square foot facility. Contact if you're ready to take your PT business to levels of success you've only dreamed of!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thank You!

Dear Fitness Pros,

Thank you for doing what you do - our society needs you so badly! I know it can be sometimes tough to be inspirational, positive, energetic, upbeat and uplifting all the time and sometimes it can burn you out. But you've been given this purpose in life so embrace it and remember you are changing people's lives!

And thank you for allowing me to be one of your mentors. It has been my honor and pleasure to provide you with the tools, resources and inspiration to help you reach incredible levels of success in your fitness career in 2009 and I look forward to continuing this journey with you in 2010.

One of our instructors sent me the following list and I thought it would be wonderful to share with all of you as we get one last weekend to relax and rejuvenate before the January rush. Enjoy! Here's to an incredibly prosperous 2010!


1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray and/or meditate.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing! (It's the hard thing)
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. God/the Universe heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank God/the Universe for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:
40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about!

I wish you lots of love, laughter, peace, happiness, success and optimal health in the New Year!

Sherri McMillan

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You're not going to believe this - Check out how good it worked!

Hey Fitness Pros.

Yesterday I emailed you about the importance of making a proposal to media in your area. To show you that I'm not all talk...Yesterday, I took about 10-15 minutes and sent out a Press Release to all my Media contacts. By the end of the day, I received offers to be the guest on 5 TV segments and 1 Radio segment. I could never buy this kind of advertising and it's not costing me anything! Well, just a little bit of time and making the effort to position myself as the local expert on health and fitness...

Here were some of the emails I received as proof that this kind of stuff works!

Sherri, I’m a producer for the local lifestyle show “Better Portland” – I produce the local cut-ins that air during “Better” on KPTV Fox 12.

I was thinking it would be nice to do an “exercising on a budget” segment – perhaps showing some simple props that you can use at home to achieve a great work out.

Depending on your interest, we have time next Monday, Jan. 4th (at around 10 a.m. ) in our studios to tape a segment. Our segments run about three minutes long, and are pre-taped -- airing within the next week or two.

Let me know if you’re interested and I’d be happy to set something up.



Sherri - I’m very interested in some of these segment ideas…

How would you feel about joining us in studio every Monday in January to discuss these topics? We could do live demonstrations, too, if needed.

I’d love to start this next Monday, January 4th.

Can we do:

--Exercising on a Budget
--How to reach your Personal Best
--Exercising with a Buddy for Motivation
--How to choose a good gym/trainer (maybe this one should be first, coupled with *WHY* we should exercise—YOU are your Best Investment).
Please let me know if you’re interested in this kind of exposure.


Did she actually ask if I'd be interested in this kind of exposure?! YES, YES, YES!!

Yours in health, fitness and business

Sherri McMillan

ps. Remember, if you were part of our PT MasterMind group, you'd receive all of our ready to use Press Releases and all other templates and marketing initiatives that will substantially increase your exposure, revenues and profits. Contact Kari at for your 1st Month Free ($199 Value).

Monday, December 28, 2009

Be the Health and Fitness Expert in your Community!

Hey Fitness Pros.

Have you noticed on TV, newspaper and radio...everyone is talking about fitness and healthy eating and New Years Resolutions?!

Now is the time to position yourself as the local Fitness Expert. Contact local producers and editors and let them know you're available and pitch some good ideas for them.

· Exercising on a Budget (A great topic considering the current state of our economy)
· YOU are your Best Investment (Exercise should be a priority because it gives you the strength to overcome any challenges and helps to manage ongoing stress)
· How to reach your Personal Best – New You in the New Year
· Exercises you can do with a buddy to keep you both motivated
· New exercise classes – Zumba, “Melted”, Indo-Row, Belly Dance, Nia, Yoga for Runners
· Tips to help you achieve your New Year’s Resolutions
· How to choose a good gym
· How to choose a good trainer

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. We're offering your 1st month into our Personal Training Master Mind group FREE. It's a $199 value and will provide you ideas, templates, samples, marketing materials, press releases, and more to take your Personal Training revenues to levels you never thought possible. Contact Kari Schunk, our Fitness Education director at 360.574.7292 or

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Want to know how to get to a million dollar PT business? Here's our plan for 2010!

Hey Fitness Pros.

How's your planning going for 2010? We're almost done scheduling out the whole year! It's feel great to have everything organized. Then all you have to do all year is execute!

Here's our schedule of adventures to give you some ideas for your own PT Business. In addition to this list, we also schedule monthly seminars and various challenges throughout the year. I also plan out all of our internal and external advertising and marketing initiatives. Finally we always plan out Fitness Education opportunities for our trainers as well as get-togethers to develop team spirit.

As a side note, remember we sell the license to utilize all of our business systems. It's like purchasing a franchise without the high franchise fees and ongoing monthly payments! It's the best way to get to a million dollar PT business! Contact our Fitness Education Director Kari Schunk at for more details. I promise you won't regret it!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, December 7, 2009

Check out the Marketing Plan that generates over $1,000,000 per year!

Hey Fitness Pros.

I just finished our 2010 Marketing Plan. It includes all the adventures we'll be organizing throughout the year, our internal marketing campaigns, our external marketing initiatives, any special programs we'll be hosting, all seminars we'll be offering, promotions we'll be running, team training we'll be using to advance our trainers' skills and various other critical business initiatives throughout the whole year.

It feels so good to have it all done. Now, I take all the items and add them to my Time Management system - I use Outlook. Then the system triggers me to do everything I need to do throughout the year to guarantee a successful and prosperous year.

This is the kind of organizational system that needs to be in place to do over $1,000,000 per year in a 5000 square foot facility.

"Fail to plan and Plan to Fail" so take some time to plan out your whole year and then all you have to do is execute! If you wait too long to plan, by the time you start to plan, it will be too late to execute in a fashion that will guarantee success.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you are part of our Personal Training MasterMind group, you get a copy of our entire yearly plan and all supporting documents, fliers, forms etc throughout the year to help you execute. All for only $149/month! It's like having me as your boss directing you on what you need to do...the only difference is you get to decide whether you actually listen to me or not! :) FYI - those that do, are enjoying significant increases in PT revenues! Contact to get started. We're offering $100 off your first month - so only $49 this month to get real-time access to everything we're doing at NWPT!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What all fitness pros should be doing this December!

Hey Fitness Pros.

At Northwest Personal Training, it's Year-End evaluation time. Every December, I meet with our team members and we review their past year's performance. Did they hit their revenue goals? How was their client feedback and retention? We rate their dependability, initiative, team spirit, communication etc. Then we set goals for next year.

It's a great time to assess and set our focus for the new year. Kinda like what we do with clients!

If you are a solo trainer, do this for yourself! It's a great practice! And it's a good time to do it since you probably have some down-time since more clients are away during this time of year.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you are a part of our Personal Training MasterMind Group, you get access to all of these evaluation forms and systems. No need to reinvent! Contact Kari Schunk, our Fitness Education Director, for more details at

Monday, November 23, 2009

Celebrate your Clients!

Hey Fitness Pros.

What are you doing this holiday season to show your clients how much you appreciate them?

Will you host a party or get-together? It can be a big affair or as simple as inviting everyone out for a night of Karaoke. We always like to show an Inspirational Slide Show with photos of all the fun adventures, events and activities we did with clients over the last year. It's a wonderful trip down memory lane and gets them excited for next year! Do something so that your clients really know how much you love and care about them outside of your actual training sessions.

Will you send out Holiday cards? Maybe you order a customized fun holiday card for your clients? Maybe you get crafty and make your own? Or maybe you visit a website like and create a FREE fun holiday greeting that you can email your clients. Do something so they know you are thinking about them.

Will you offer your clients a gift?
The best kinds of gifts that I like to give clients are ones that remind them of their commitment to their health and fitness. Last year, we gave out water bottles with our logo on it. This year, we're giving them a gift card from our business. You could try a gym bag, a t-shirt, a don't have to give a gift, but it is a really nice gesture if you can.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I feel very thankful that we all work in such an incredible industry changing people's lives. And I feel very honored to work side by side with all of you on this mission!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Friday, November 20, 2009

There is a sense of Urgency!

Hey Fitness Pros.

The year is starting to wind down and I’m hoping and praying that you are using this time to plan for an incredible 2010.

You see for the Fitness Industry, January is 'make or break' time. It's like the bottom of the 9th inning and the bases are loaded. Or it's the NBA Finals, tie score and there's a minute left on the buzzer. Or it's the SuperBowl and it's the 4th down with 5 yards to go to TD.

Okay, enough metaphors - bottom line, January is when people are thinking about getting back in shape. It's just human nature that come the New Year people are motivated to start working out and taking better care of themselves. And successful marketing for any business is being in the 'Client's Mind when the Client is Ready to Buy." And come January, the client is definitely ready to buy!

A good analogy is this - You don't go to a fruit tree and try to pick fruit when the tree is bare. No matter how hard you look, you aren't going to find any fruit. You go to the tree when it is overflowing with fruit and that's when you shake that baby and you harvest an abundance of fruit. In the fitness industry, January is when the tree is full of fruit and it's harvest time. Now of course, our clients aren't fruits and we want to be ready and willing to help them throughout the entire year. But this is the time of year when most people WANT our help!

So what does that mean to all of us?

Here's some tips to consider. Think of this as a Fitness Pep Rally (a 'Win one for the Gipper' speech!)

Start Planning Now! If you are the owner or manager of a fitness facility, January is when you should spend the greatest amount of your yearly marketing dollars. But you’ve got to start planning right now so you can launch big and strong in January. If you wait until January to ask yourself what you’re going to do, it will be too late! Start now to increase your chances of a successful year! You might take out some ads in local newspapers, send out some mailers to clients or past guests, hand out a ton of trial gift certificates, ramp up your social marketing efforts, plan a fitness trade show at your studio, host an educational seminar for the community... Bottom line - you want to ensure that your name and services are in the forefront of people's minds as they’re thinking about taking better care of themselves.

Be at your Best: Well, as a fitness professional, we expect that year-round, right?! But it's even more important in the New Year. You can't afford to be away or sick - your clients and classes need you! So get lots of good sleep, eat well, drink lots of water and take your Airborne or Echinacea if you're feeling run-down. Put your game-face on no matter what is going on - you need to be positive, energetic and customer-service oriented. It's show time! And that goes for your working environment too! Use the holiday down-time to clean up, tidy up, get organized and get your fitness studios looking amazing and ready for the January rush.

Be present: If you can help it, try not to be away over the first few months of the year. One of our friends is a manager at Safeway Grocery store. And for the grocery store industry, one of their make or break times is Thanksgiving through the holidays. She knows to not ask for any extended vacations during that time. In the fitness industry, it's important to be present and at your best in January-March and September-November. The best time to schedule holidays in the fitness industry is June, July & August and December (keep that in mind as you plan your 2010 vacations.)

Be mentally & physically prepared to work hard:
In January, you might need to stay late, come in early, work on a weekend. You might be juggling multiple tasks. You might be doing things that aren't part of your normal job responsibilities. You should be prepared to take phone calls, do tours and be really good at this. Be ready to find out what a clients' needs are and to show them how you can help them. Be genuine and honest and highlight how much you will take care of them.

Hone your skills now: When you spend a lot of time and money to get people to check you out, you need to be masters of the phone and tours. What a waste it would be if an individual is motivated to call you or come in to check you out and their first impression is a poor one. Also take this quieter holiday time to learn some new exercises with a cool new tool. Read some educational books. Get certified in a new program that you can launch in January.

Get in people's minds: Now is the perfect time to call or email those clients who haven't been in for a while. It’s an excellent time to ask for referrals and distribute guest passes. As people are thinking about fitness, you want them to think about you!

We hope the coming of the New Year excites you as much as it does us. We love coming into our studios when classes are energized, the private area is full and the studio is just humming. It always makes us feel like we're really doing a good job and are positively impacting our clients' lives. So embrace the busyness and celebrate it.

Now go inspire the world to a fitter life!

With love and thanks,

Sherri McMillan

ps. One guaranteed way to have an incredible 2010 Business Year is to sign up for out Personal Training MasterMind Group. The cost is peanuts compared to the revenues that you will generate following along with our systems. We do $1,000,000 a year in our 5000 square foot facility and so can you! Let us show you how! Email our Fitness Education Director, Kari Schunk, at and she'll provide you all the details. Here's to your business success!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And the Winner is...

Hey Fitness Pros.

When I was awarded an industry award like IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year or CanFitPro presenter of the year, it was a highlight to my career. It was like the Oscars of the fitness industry. To be recognized for your contributions provides such a strong sense of accomplishment.

Unfortunately, only one person wins these types of awards every year amongst the hundreds of thousands of trainers out there.

So in our business, at our annual Holiday party, we recognize our team with our own in-house award system that the whole team votes on. In addition, I consider client feedback too. So the votes are now in for our business...

And the winner is....

Sorry, if I told you, I'd have to kill you! ;)

We order a nice looking trophy and we have a plaque that we post at the studio.

There is most definitely a sense of pride with winning our NWPT awards and the trophies get displayed proudly.

At our business, we award the following:

*Personal Trainer of the Year
*Most Improved Personal Trainer of the Year
*Group Trainer of the Year
*Customer Service Rep of the Year

I hope this gives you some ideas. If you're a solo trainer, maybe give yourself an award! Hey, you deserve it! ;)

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you're a strong personal trainer on the floor with world-class practical skills, but lack in the business, marketing, organizational, systematic approach to running your million-dollar training business, you should consider signing up for our Personal Training MasterMind group. Both of our studios do $1,000,000 per year and we can teach you how we do it. Email Kari Schunk our Fitness Director at for more details

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fitness Pros - this is super easy to organize, tons of fun and great marketing!

Hey Fitness Pros.

We just hosted our annual 3 hour Exercise-a-thon yesterday. It was such a blast. Check out the YouTube clip below. You can do something like this in your community too. It is super easy and a great way to give your clients a fabulous workout and help out an important cause.

If you can't see the clip above, go directly to the YouTube Video clip.

You can click on our event page below to get ideas on the logistics and more details. When you get to this page, just click on Event Details and use our event as a template to create you own.

Yours in heath, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you were involved in our Personal Training MasterMind group, you would always have access to everything we do and all the templates to make it super easy for you to duplicate. Contact Kari Schunk, our Fitness Education Director at if you're interested.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Highlight the Holiday Season and everyone Wins!

Hey Fitness Pros.

The holidays are just around the corner. My question to you is 'Do you have a plan to encourage clients to focus on the "Gift of Health, Fitness & Vitality"?!

Here's the thing - people are spending money and buying gifts in late November and all through December. So would you rather have clients purchase a gift that will literally change someone's life or let them buy someone a sweater that probably won't fit and their loved one will never wear?!

Here's some ideas for you:

1. Offer a Holiday sale or promotion. All smart businesses do this during the holiday season. You've got to entice your clients and prospects to want to invest in YOUR services. Plus it will get them to prioritize their commitment to their health and fitness NOW and set them up for a healthy and fit 2010 - BEFORE they have spent all their funds.

2. Give clients $25-$50 Gift Cards as a Client Appreciation Gift for the holidays. Again, this will encourage them to use it and therefore, increase the chances that they will continue with you into 2010. Consider giving them two gift cards - one for them to use and one for them to give to a loved one as a Holiday gift.

3. Give all your clients FREE or offer low-price Trial Pass Gift Certificates that they can give to their friends, co-workers, family members or acquaintances like Hair Stylist, Kids' Teachers, Neighbors etc. They make for great stocking stuffers and if they are free and super inexpensive, it's a win:win for everyone. Our Gift Certificates include an Initial Complimentary Training session and 1-2 weeks of Free Group Training sessions. Let your clients spread the word and help you launch into a fabulous January!

4. Display lots of great gift ideas throughout your studio/gyms. Hot items include Heart Rate Monitors, Foam Rollers, Tubing with Protective Coating, Stability Balls etc. You can usually sell quite a bit of product over the holidays and clients like the convenience!

I hope this gives you some ideas and gets the creative juices flowing.

Remember, if you are part of our Personal Training Mastermind Group, you would get access to all of our promotional and marketing templates year-round that you could use for your business. If interested, email our Fitness Education Director at and she can give you more details.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, November 9, 2009

Is it a Crappy day or a Miracle day?

Hey Fitness Pros.

We've all experienced business and life challenges. Maybe revenues are down, maybe you lost your star trainer, maybe your landlord raised the rent, maybe an event you organized wasn't as successful as you hoped, maybe your best client just discontinued training with you...We've all had to deal with some type of struggle.

The question is how do you deal with it? When you are presented with an obstacle - do you let it deflate your enthusiasm, do you lose your momentum or do you decide to go through, around, underneath or over the obstacle?!

I just got finished speaking at the fabulous Vancouver CanFitPro conference. I was able to listen to the keynote presentation with Rod MacDonald and it was great. The message was basically this. You can't control your life. Sometimes things happen that are absolutely outside of your control. But you can control how you react to what happens. You can control the meaning you attach to what has happened. For example, let's say I'm having a really crappy day and I'm really bummed, upset or angry about it. Well what is my crappy day, for someone else, say living in a 3rd world country, my crappy day, may be their Miracle Day. They might look and say 'Wow, how fortunate to have a house over her head and 2 beautiful kids and a career that she loves." So anyways, it's always a really nice reminder. When you're going through stuff, ask yourself is there a different perspective? Can you attach a different meaning to the event? Can you find a gift in any of it?

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Get Insight before Action!

Hey Fitness Pros.

It's hard to believe but 2009 is quickly coming to an end and 2010 is fast approaching. As a business owner, I take this time of year to start planning and preparing to ensure the upcoming year is very successful. But before I start finalizing any plans, it's absolutely critical that I get input from my team. Remember 3 heads are better than 1 and 10 heads are better than 3 and 15 heads are better than 10!

So all this week, I have been meeting with each member of my team to get insight in a variety of different areas. See the notes below. Each meeting is one hour in length.

Remember that if you manage a team, they are probably spending a lot more time with clients than you do, so they often have a much better understanding of what truly works and what doesn't. If you are a solo trainer, answer the following questions yourself and perhaps run your answers by a consultant or mentor.

Individual Meetings – Please come prepared with thoughts/ideas etc
*How can we stay strong as a company?
*What should we keep doing, stop doing, start doing…?
*Where should our focus as a company be?
*Pricing structure – what needs to be added/changed? Should we increase prices? What’s the best way to present prices/options?
*Paid Time Off – do you like the proposed system?
*CSR in the evenings – yes or no?
*2010 Ideas for Seminars/Challenges/Events
*How can we increase numbers in group training classes?
How can you add to Community Outreach/Relationships? Is there a business you have a close relationship with that you could commit to going to weekly? Is there an association that you would like to become a part of (Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce etc)How can you increase promotion/asking for referrals/giving out gift certificates?
*Which supplementary products should we be offering/selling to clients?
*Any other thoughts/ideas/questions/concerns…

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, October 26, 2009

Help your clients not stumble through the holidays!

Hey Fitness Pros.

T'is the season when clients often fall off the fitness wagon. So if we know the holiday season starting with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, into Christmas and New Years is a major obstacle for clients, help them plan and prepare now.

Start sending out articles, tips on how to overcome the temptations, motivational emails/texts and inspirational quotes to help them stay focused on the big picture and their goals. They will thank you for your extra efforts! And it may even help get you a bigger Christmas gift. Hee Hee - just kidding!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Role Play your way to Success!

Hey Fitness Pros.

We currently have an intern trainer, Robert. He is fabulous and we are hiring him to start with our team.

Today, I gave him my number, name and he had to call me to schedule me for an initial appointment. We role played the scenario and I evaluated him using a variety of criteria. There are certain expectations that we have at NWPT - what he should say, shouldn't say, what the flow of the conversation should look like etc to ensure this contact is successful. At the end, we went over what he did well and where he could hone his skills.

Next step, we're actually scheduled for that initial session and he will take me through it and I will evaluate him again based on a set of criteria.

Bottom line - all of this role playing and practice functions to ensure he offers the best experience which will increase his ability to influence the client to invest in his services and therefore, ultimately experience incredible results.

I can't stress enough how important these types of leadership initiatives are. Now if you don't manage or work with a team of trainers, have someone else evaluate your skills. Perfect practice makes perfect!


ps. If you would like to access all the forms and systems we use for our evaluation process, contact There's no use reinventing the wheel!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Send out the troops...

Hey Fitness Pros,

There is strength in numbers. One person can never sell as much as a whole sales team.

So if you manage a group of fitness professionals, every week/month give each person on your team a few gift certificates for Trial Passes. Encourage them to hand them out to people in their community - their chiropractor, their hair stylist, their kid's teacher, their neighbor etc. Also encourage them to hand out these gift certificates to their clients or participants so they can give them out to their loved ones.

If you're a solo trainer, provide everyone you know these gift certificates to give to their friends, family members and co-workers.

Consider giving a gift for all the gift certificates that come back in. For example, in our business, anyone who refers a new client to us, we give them a free training session or massage.

Let others sell for you. Then reward them when they do.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Keep it in the family...

Hey Fitness Pros

If you manage a group of trainers and fitness professionals, create that family feel. Foster a community of fitness pros supporting each other. Here's some simple ideas:

*Do any of your trainers have their own blog that they write? If so, post a link to their blog on your websites and on your blog. Have them be a guest writer on your blog.

*Do any of your fitness pros have their own facebook page? Be sure they are fans of yours and you are a fan of theirs. Give them access to post on your Fan page so they can invite clients to their classes and programs.

*Are any of your trainers geniuses at creating programs and inventing products. If so, align with them and help them promote it for a fair % of the return. It's a win:win. It creates a new income stream for both of you.

*Get your team together for brainstorming sessions. The ideas that will surface will always so much more than you could ever come up with by yourself.

*Have fun. Schedule regular outings with your team outside of the studio. Friendships will develop and that will positively impact all aspects of the working environment.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Friday, October 9, 2009

FREE 90 minutes of tips to ensure PT Business Success

Hey Fitness Pros,

A little while back Todd Durkin interviewed me for his Personal Training Mastermind Group. Todd is a world-class trainer and business owner and he asked some very insightful questions. It was a great discussion and provided some great tips on what we all need to be doing to ensure we run extremely successful PT businesses.

It turned out to be about 90 minutes - we just couldn't stop talking! So it's chock full of great ideas for you. Best part - it's FREE!

Here's the link. You can listen now or at your leisure...

Let me know what you think.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to get new clients at no cost!

Hey Fitness Pros.

Wouldn't it be awesome if other people were sending you clients all the time?!

Well, what if I told you there's an easy way to do this and it doesn't cost you anything. I wanted to fill you in on the best way to develop a strategic alliance with a local business.

First, I'll share a real life example for you.

Angela is a wonderful woman who owns a little restaurant, Manhattan Cafe, across the street from our Portland studio that offers coffee, tea and healthy sandwiches and salads. She also takes my fitness classes and has the most fun, caring and charismatic personality. I recognized her as someone who has incredible influence in our community so I offered her a free membership to our club and discounted prices on all of our services. I also offered her the ability to promote her menus in our studios and on our website. In return, with our assistance she has created a number of healthy menu options and has put our logo on all of her menus. She has also put all of our promotional materials in a prominent location in her restaurant. She also raves about us to her customers because she can speak from first-hand experience. It's a WIN:WIN relationship and those are always the best types!

So ask yourself the following questions:

*What type of client do you want to attract to your Personal Training business or club?
*Where does this type of client shop or spend their time or money?
*Are any of these businesses in a 10-15 minute driving radius from you?
*Do you have any close contacts with any of these businesses? (It's always easiest to approach someone who knows and likes you!)
*Which 3 businesses could you go to tomorrow to initiate a cross promotion?

When initiating this type of relationship, always remember to focus first on what's in it for THEM!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Create Raving Fans with 1 Step!

You need testimonials and lots of them for marketing initiatives and to promote your business throughout your community and online. But what if you don't have a lot of documented testimonials and success stories?

Here's an easy way to get a ton of really amazing testimonials.

Host a Before/After Success Contest.

Promote the contest for about 6 weeks to your clients before you launch so you get people really excited. Make it simple, low maintenance, and make it FREE to enroll in order to ensure you get lots of participation. Have clients take a before photo. Then have them follow your program for 6 weeks. Then have them do an after photo. Create a list of questions you will have each participant complete. For example, ask them to record their training program, their results, and why they love training with you. You could have a prize of say 5-10 sessions for the individual chosen as the best success story. Be sure that everyone understands and signs off that you will be using their photos and success stories in your promotional initiatives.

Voila - you'll now have a ton of really amazing success stories to use as needed. You can schedule a challenge like this once a quarter so you always have fresh new faces and happy fans who will rave about your services! Plus clients love the extra boost of motivation to help them achieve incredible results.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, October 5, 2009

A tip to help you hone your skills as a Fitness Pro

Hey Fitness Pros,

This month in our business we perform On-floor reviews on our team. It's such a helpful tool to ensuring we're constantly growing and developing as fitness pros. So if you manage a group of fitness pros I would suggest you adopt this system into your business. Perhaps try it once a quarter. If you are a solo fitness pro, I would suggest you have a friend or colleague evaluate you based on some pre-determined criteria.

Here are some of the things we look for when evaluating our Personal Trainers to help give you some ideas.

*Arrives early and prepared for session
*Appropriate attire, hygiene and speech
*Gives a warm greeting to client
*Checks with client on the status of their workouts/fitness routine
*Has client sign in for session
*Finishes session on time
*Teaches exercises using an appropriate style (explain, demonstrate, client practices, quizzing)
*Session is dynamic and interactive
*Offers regular and appropriate eye contact
*Body language demonstrates focus and attention on client / Hands-on spotting
*Offers regular positive feedback and regularly looks for and acknowledges client success
*Uses client's name
*Offers at least one new exercise, a new fitness fact, or provides written literature for client
*Spends the last few minutes of session stretching/nurturing
*Announces upcoming events/seminars and Encourages Participation
*Gives something for client to work on until next session
*Client exercising at correct training level
*Client demonstrates full control and excellent technique during session
*Exercise choices are safe and exercise sequence effective - Displays an exceptional knowledge of anatomy / biomechanics of movement / equipment usage / modifications
*Method of tracking client progress is professional and effective. I could cover your client and based on the current file, would have no problem knowing exactly what to do with them and how to train them safely and effectively.

We also discuss strengths and areas to focus on to help them hone their skills.

I hope this helps you take your skills to world-class levels - my guess is that most of you are already there since you're reading this blog ;)


Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Friday, October 2, 2009

What are you doing this weekend for YOU?!

Hey Fitness Pros,

TGIF! I have a question for you. What are you going to do this weekend to give back to YOU!

In our industry we give and give and give. We have to be positive and upbeat at all times. And at the end of the week it can be exhausting. The burn out rate in our industry is high so you have to figure out what it's going to take to keep you fresh and excited for what you do. For some trainers, all they have to do is take a short holiday once every 3-4 months to just rejuvenate. Others make sure their schedule is balanced so that they only say, work early mornings 3x/week and evenings 2x/week and they take the weekends off. Others refuse to work split days. Some trainers enjoy a massage once a week to help them relax. Others meditate or pray. Some stay excited by attending workshops or conferences. Figure out what it's going to take for you and do it.

For me, I'm going to go for a short run on Saturday morning with the kids. Watch Brianna's soccer game in the afternoon. And then take the kids to my friend's house Adrienne for dinner and some great friendship time. Sunday I've got a 12 mile run planned with my girlfriend Toni. Then soccer game with the kids. A massage to help recover from the run and then some downtime in the evening. Notice - there's no work scheduled. Yahoo. Just a nice mix of exercise, time with the kids, time for myself and time for friends. Now it doesn't always happen that way on weekends but I definitely try to find balance in my days and weeks.

Take a moment to think of the things you need to do to avoid burnout and then this weekend, try to do at least one of them.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's time to close out the month...

Hey Fitness Pros.

It's October 1st. If you're like me, you're wondering where the heck did September go?

On the first of every month, a reminder pops up in my Outlook to perform a variety of month-end tasks to close out the prior month. This is so helpful for me to keep the pulse on our business. So whether you're a solo fitness pro or you manage a number of other fitness pros, it's a good idea to assess how you did last month. It's the best way to determine what works and what doesn't.

Here are some of the things that you might want to measure and review:

*# of initial client sessions & # who purchased - then calculate closing %
*# of clients who renewed - therefore retention ratio
*# of clients who canceled
*# of phone call/web inquiries - calculate closing % to appointments scheduled
*Where are all your new clients coming from (phone, ads, facebook, google etc)
*# of outgoing motivational and sales phone calls
*# of referrals asked or gift certificates given out
*# of cross promotions and business alliances developed
*Revenues generated (total and for each department)
*Profit and cash flow
*Class participation numbers

Hope this helps you analyze your business and create a plan to success beyond your wildest dreams.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMiillan

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Start planning now for Winter Sports programs - help your clients and cushion the bottom line.

I know you probably don't want to hear this (unless you're a winter sports buff) but winter is on the way. So it's time to start planning for any Ski Conditioning or Winter Sports Conditioning programs/clinics that you are going to host.

Here's some tips to designing a private or group program for any Winter sport. If you manage a group of trainers, forward this to them to file and use as a template for all future program design.

You don’t need to be an expert at a sport to train someone to excel in that sport. You just need to understand physiology, anatomy and ask a lot of the right questions. Here’s a system for designing a Winter Sports Conditioning program for any type of activity:

1. Define the goals of the client – how you train a recreational versus highly competitive athlete will be very different. Your expectations will be different as well as the types of movements you incorporate. Obviously a client who wants to be able to ski the greens without getting exhausted by the end of the day will require a different approach than one who wants to aggressively ski the diamonds, moguls and jumps.

2. Define the commitment of the client – Find out how long, how frequent and how hard your client wants to train before designing the program. Adherence will falter greatly if your expectations fall outside of what the client is willing or able to do.

3. Define the demands of the sport/activity – avoid the “one size fits all” approach – See more info below.

4. Identify strengths and weakness of the client related to the demands of the sport – This is where the ‘personal’ in Personal Training comes in. Customize your program based on the client and any imbalances that you assess.

5. Design a program to increase muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness, agility, power, balance and flexibility – avoid overemphasizing one area when another area may be more important. Most athletes will benefit from addressing all fitness components with a primary focus on those specific to that sport.

6. Avoid overstepping your boundaries! Avoid exactly mimicking a certain sport movement with a heavy resistance which can be detrimental to performance and cause injury. Work in combination with the coach if possible.

Let’s review a system for easily defining the demands of the sport/activity.

Step One:
Start by determining the predominant metabolic energy system and CV needs. Does the sport utilize primarily the Creatine Phosphate, Anaerobic glycolysis, Aerobic glycolysis, or Fatty acid oxidation or a strong combination of all systems. Ask yourself questions such as for how long will my client have to perform at any given time – is it seconds, minutes, hours? Are there Intervals, Periods, Shifts or a consistent energy output? This will determine how you design the cardio program and any intervals you incorporate into the training program. If the sport requires intense bursts of activity lasting about 45 seconds, guess what you’ll be doing in the training program?!

Step Two: Analyze the lower body, upper body and torso movement patterns and determine the specific muscular strength and endurance requirements. For example, does the sport require Skating, Jumping (one or two legs), hopping (one or two legs), Squatting, lunging, rotating/swinging, pushing, pulling…Watch the body during the activity to determine where your focus will be. That said, most athletes are going to benefit from a full body program and a strong core.

Step Three: Analyze the object to be moved. Will the athlete be on a board, skis or sled? Will be they be required to push against an opponent? Addressing some of these demands will be very important in the program.

Step Four: Determine movement patterns, agility, speed and power needs. A sport that requires an athlete to move straight ahead from point A to Z as quickly as possible will require a different approach than an activity that has the athlete moving quickly side to side, backwards and forwards.

Step Five: Determine balance needs. Most winter sports incorporate a high level of balance – some more than others and some just in different ways that others. For example, how you train a figure skater will be different than how you train a bob-sledder. There are differences even within a certain type of sport. For example, the balance requirements for a solo skater are different than a pairs or speed skater. Or you’ll train a freestyle boarder different than a boadercross, alpine or slalom boarder.

Step Six: Determine flexibility needs. Clearly a figure skater will require a higher level of flexibility than a cross country skier.

Step Seven: Determine areas that hold a high risk for injury and associated strategies for minimizing risk. Find out how athletes in the specific sport usually get injured and program to accommodate that to lessen the risk.

Step Eight: Determine which exercises, tools and drills will address each need – be sure to assess your clients’ strengths and weaknesses. This is the fun part!

Here’s how we might approach a Ski Conditioning program:

• Energy system: Anaerobic Glycolysis/Aerobic Glycolysis
• Lower Body tucks and squats, Lateral weight transfer, torso stabilization and rotation, quiet upper body
• Moving the body on skis
• Requires linear and lateral movement strength, agility, speed and power
• Requires high level of dynamic balance
• Flexibility requirements low for performance (high for reduced risk of injury)
• Risk areas – knee, back
– Requires Hamstring/Gluteal strength, Core stabilization and flexibility
• Exercises/Tools/Drills
– Balancing on a ProFitter/Wobble Board, BOSU Trainer using two/one legged dynamic/static positions, Slide training, Squats, leg presses, lunges, plyometric leg training, Rotational throws with a medicine ball, rotation/pushing with exercise tubes, agility training through cones, one or two leg jump training, AT/sprint training, stepping while holding a full glass of water

Putting it all together. Here is what a workout template might look like for this type of athlete.

• Warm-up
• Compound lower body exercise
• Compound upper body exercise
• Compound full-body movement
• Upright torso movement
• Agility/speed/power drill
• Balance drill
• Repeat 6-10x with different exercises
• Cool-down and stretch

Here is a list of useful training tools for Winter Sports Conditioning:
• Cones/funnels
• Rope/tubes
• Coloured tape for agility marking
• Steps
• Wobble boards/Extreme Balance boards/Bongo boards/BOSU Trainers
• Foam Rollers
• Medicine balls/Stability Balls
• Profitter/Slide
• Stairs
• 2 x 4 balance board

Here is a list of effective agility drills for Winter Sports Conditioning:
• Stop/Go drill
• Right/Left/Backwards/Forwards drill
• Square drill - shuffle, sprint forwards, shuffle, sprint backwards 10xR/L
• Figure 8 running
• Carioca drills
• Good ole "Suicides"
• Lateral side to side drills
• Shuffling drills - add medicine ball
• Reaction Time catching
• Step drills
• Hurdling over Steps - one leg/two legs
• Jumping over the step - one leg/two legs/on the spot/moving
• Fast out and in
• Fast tap ups
• Over the step (1/2/3 fast)
• Ski jumps onto step - on the spot/moving forward
• T-Tape/Tube drills - one leg/two legs, out/in, jumping one leg/two legs
• Cone drills
• Bouncing balls in/out cones
• Jumping over followed by sprint
• Agility ladder drills

Here is a list of effective power drills for Winter Sports Conditioning:
• Vertical jumps
• Bounding
• Step Power lunges - forwards/backwards + adding lateral movement
• Power jumps up/down onto step
• Knee tucks
• Broad jumps
• Exercuff tube drills
– side to side steps
– side to side jumps
– hip extension
– knee lifts
• Treadmill running against tubed resistance
• Partner Resisted Runs/Pulls

Here is a list of sample balance drills for Winter Sports Conditioning:

• One leg drills - eyes open/closed/bouncing a ball/catching a ball
• BOSU Trainer / Wobble board drills - 2 feet/1 foot/performing exercises
• Extreme board drills - squats catching ball
• Bongo board drills
• Profitter drills - add medicine ball
• 2 x 4 drills
• Balance drills are effective as warm-up, cool-down or recovery exercises

Sample Torso Exercises for Winter Sports Conditioning:
• Throwing drills with medicine ball - forwards/overheads (single/double)/sideways
• Torso rotation with tubes/med balls
• Table top/Plank variations
• Tripod/Dipod variations
• Push-ups on medicine ball/wobble board
• Full sits with medicine ball
• V-sits with medicine ball with rotation
• BOSU/Stability ball torso exercises

I hope this provides you a system for being able to help any type of winter athlete.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, September 28, 2009

A couple Fall programming ideas...

Hey Fitness Pros,

It's almost the end of the month! Where did September go?

Anyways, fall is upon us and it's such a good time to start planning for some of the upcoming fall holidays.

Let's start with Halloween. Perhaps you could schedule a special Costume Class. Ask everyone to dress as their favorite athlete or fitness instructor. Or perhaps, you could plan a special Client Costume Dance Party.

Then Thanksgiving is shortly after (or before if you're Canadian). Perhaps organize an Exercise-a-thon, maybe a 3 hour fitness sampler including 10-15 minutes of dance, kickboxing, step, bootcamp, core conditioning, yoga, pilates and more. Everyone brings clothing and food to donate to a local shelter. It's super easy to organize, a ton of fun, a great workout and such a great way to give back to the community together!

Hope this gives you some ideas. But don't wait to finalize the plans. In order for your ideas to be an overwhelming success, start the planning process now.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, September 21, 2009

Set the Plan on Mondays

Hey Fitness Pros.

It's Monday - the start of a new week. It's a great opportunity to inspire those who you influence.

So if you manage a group of trainers or instructors, send out a Marvelous Monday Morning Memo (MMMM). Direct them towards the focus of the week. Provide some praise and thanks to your team. Be sure they have all the information they need to perform at their best. Set the intention for the week. Remember, you are the head cheerleader, the leader from where all inspiration trickles down from.

If you a trainer or group fitness instructor, then you manage a group of clients and participants. Do the same for them. Send out an inspirational email, text or facebook post. Help to provide focus and intention for the week.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Leadership - What's more important, Skill or Character?

Hey Fitness Pros,

At the recent IDEA conference, I worked with a group of Fitness Directors and we discussed the Top 10 most important traits for strong leadership.

Check out this clip that provides you insight into what I believe is the #1 Quality of Strong Leadership.

If you can't view the videoclip above, here is the direct link on YouTube.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Secret Shop your Business to create an incredible and consistent experience for your clients!

I worked at McDonalds for 5 years. I know, I know... that's a story for a different blog! Anyways, when I worked there we would get Secret Shopped all the time and of course, you always wanted to get a high score. So you ended up just practicing the correct protocol all the time because you just never knew whether you were being shopped or not. So you became very good at always greeting with "Hi, may I take you order please" and always asking "Would you like some fries with that?" and finishing with "Thank you and have a great day!" We always knew we had to keep busy because "if there was time to lean, there was time to clean!" All large corporations utilize Secret Shops because they know it works to help create the kind of wonderful and consistent experience for their customers.

At Northwest Personal Training and Northwest Women's Fitness Club, we also use a Secret Client Evaluation process which evaluates our team on whether we are delivering the type of service that we all envision. By keeping it 'secret', it ensures that our team doesn’t just shine when they know they are being evaluated but instead, they follow protocol and procedures all the time because they just never know when they are being evaluated. But it's important to note that our team does know they are getting evaluated, they just don't know when. Plus we give them the check-list of what they will be evaluated on so there are no surprises and the expectations are very clear.

We have a Secret Evaluation process for all important aspects of our business including an evaluation for the Initial Complimentary Training session, Initial Phone Call, Initial Tour, Ongoing Training appointments, Group Fitness classes and more. We have created a check-list of everything that should happen in each of these scenarios as the ideal vision for the client experience.

When we assign a ‘client’ to perform these evaluations, we have used:
• Actual Clients
• Friends
• Prospective Clients
• Business Associates

We provide them with a Free Personal Training session ($70 value) as a gift to them for taking the time to go through the process and to complete the evaluation form.

At Northwest Personal Training, we strive for world-class consistency and excellence in everything we do and have found this program to be invaluable for us. We hope it helps you too.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you don't want to have to spend the time to create your own evaluations and check-lists, we sell the license to utilize our systems. It will definitely save you a lot of time and be ready to implement immediately. If you're interested, you can email our Fitness Education Director Kari Schunk at

Friday, September 11, 2009

Watch this Video Clip on how to Stretch out your Clients.

Hey Fitness Pros,

I've written in the past about the importance of spending at least 5-10 minutes at the end of every training session stretching out a client and/or utilizing tools such as stretching sticks or balls to provide a muscle rub-down. There is a reason why we make this a mandatory component of all of our training sessions at Northwest Personal Training - we know the clients love it and that is good for business!

So hopefully, you all understand the importance of this type of customer service initiative. Today, I'm going to give you some tips to take it to the next level.

Watch this Video Clip of my 'Partner Stretching' workshop at the recent CanFitPro conference in Toronto Canada. It will provide you an approach that will get your clients anxiously awaiting the last few minutes of their workouts with you!

If can't open the video above, click on the following link:

Stretching out your clients is not only good for your clients but also, great for your business and overall client retention!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Team Meetings that People Want to Attend

Most people dread meetings because they perceive them to be a waste of time and extremely boring. However, a carefully planned and orchestrated meeting can be one that staff look forward to, that creates a culture for success, that offers some excellent team building opportunities and is productive at teaching your team the skills they need to excel in their position.

So if you manage or work with a team, read the info below. Bottom line though - you've got to figure out how to make your meetings somewhat enjoyable and fun or else no one will come. So check out this video clip from our team meeting yesterday and see how I took an otherwise boring review of our company mission, vision and competitive advantage and made it silly and fun by splitting our team into groups that each had to come up with a company commercial. After you're done watching, review all the info below and start planning your next team gathering.

If you can't view the clip above, click on the link below to watch.

Getting them There: First, we schedule our meetings one year in advance and distribute this list to our team so they can schedule the meetings into their dayplanners. This way, if they are planning a vacation and are flexible with dates, they can work around our team meetings. Our company meetings are once per month for two hours. Second, our meetings are mandatory for all team members. It’s important to note however, that in order to make meetings mandatory we have to pay our team for their time. So we have instituted a meeting wage which is just minimum wage and it enables us to at least compensate our team for their time. If someone can’t make it to the meeting, they are still responsible for meeting with us or their direct supervisor. This ensures they are up-to-date with all the meeting information and since everyone knows they are going to have to meet anyways, they might as well come to the team meeting and have more fun. Last, offer food and they will at least come to eat!

Agenda: In order to ensure you make the best use out of a meeting, it is important to be organized, plan ahead and know how you will spend the allocated time. Then create an agenda to help everyone stay focused and to ensure the meeting stays on track. At each meeting, we try to ensure we include the following topics:

Social Time: The first 5-10 minutes of each meeting, we allow our team to mingle, chat and share anything with the rest of the team. You would think when people work 30 plus hours per week together they would know everything about each other. But that’s not the case. During work hours, our team is focused on clients and often don’t get enough quality time to spend with the rest of the team. So during meetings we allow our team to share what’s going on in their life (ie. I’m training for a marathon, I’m graduating next week, We’re pregnant, It’s my 12th Anniversary etc.). This helps to create team camaraderie and to develop great friendships. When your team likes each other, if they ever leave, they're not just leaving a job but multiple friendships. This can help reduce turnover.

Passion & Purpose: We also allocate a few minutes to read any cards, emails, or letters that clients have recently sent us bragging about one of our team members, listing all the results they’ve achieved since working with us and how we’ve helped to change their life. We find it extremely valuable to regularly remind our team why we’re here and why we do what we do. It’s important to remind them that it’s more than just an exercise program but in fact, we really are dramatically improving people’s lives. When we are all reminded of this vision, it makes it easier to come to work and give it everything you’ve got.

Customer Service:
The Personal Training industry is a customer-service based industry and any business who grasps this and practices it regularly will succeed. So we ensure our team understands that the customer is the boss and they must have a ‘drop everything for the client’ attitude. So at meetings we spend time to discuss how we can all pay attention to the little details that set us apart from others. We brainstorm on customer service initiatives we can implement. We may have someone read an article or book on customer service and then summarize it for the group.

Sales: As business owners, we know how important it is to be financially viable and successful. So we ensure we allocate time to role play phone calls, tours and how to help our staff overcome objections that clients have that are hindering them from getting started with us and achieving their goals. Most people don’t enjoy role playing but recognize how valuable it is. If you can get good in this kind of awkward, unnatural environment, imagine how good you’ll be in person. We may also have someone read a book or article on sales or listen to a Sales DVD and then give a report at the staff meeting.

“In the Know”:
Many employees at various companies complain that they feel they are out of the loop. They don’t know what’s going on and are often blind-sided by client questions. The worst response you don’t want a staff using is “I don’t know, I just work here”. So we always spend time making sure everyone on our team knows what’s going on and what’s coming up. We’ll review upcoming promotions, staff and client incentives, upcoming seminars, client events, staff events, travel schedules etc. This open communication is critical to ensure you have a team who takes full ownership of the day-to-day operations and success of events, incentives and your business in general.

Break Off
The above meeting components are critical for all members of our team. Once we’ve covered these general areas, we’ll often split into various departments and cover issues specific to that department. For example, the trainers and group fitness instructors might split up and someone might present some new exercises using a new, innovative fitness product. They might discuss a special population or medical concern and review exercise and program modifications that need to be made. The CSRs might split off and discuss some scheduling or computer issues. Or they might role play how to deal with an upset client.

We’ll often finish the meeting maybe watching a fun, inspirational video or just thanking people for their time and their willingness to make it to the meetings to help us solidify as a team.

Meetings are a time and financial investment that we feel are worth it to the success of our business and to our fabulous team environment that we believe is second to none. It costs us about $16/person totaling $640 in payroll costs per meeting (we have 40 team members between our two locations) and about $150 in food, not to mention our own personal time. But believe us, if we weren’t convinced it worked, we wouldn’t do it.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Friday, August 21, 2009

What Women Want...

What do women want?

I attended a fabulous session with Karen Wischmann, the president and CEO of Total Fitness & Spa for Women, one of the most successful women’s only clubs in the world.

Since 54% of club members are female and 70% of Personal Training is purchased by women, it’s probably a really good idea to understand their needs and do whatever we can to meet them.

Let’s start with some interesting facts:

• 85% of all customer purchases are made by women
• 90% of all food purchases are made by women
• 55% of all electronic purchases are made by women
• 80% of home buying decisions are made by women
• Women use the web more than men (51% vs 49%)
• Women spend $3.7 trillion dollars per year

So what does that all mean to us? First, women seem to like to spend money – especially for something they want and feel they need!

Psychology of Marketing to Women:

Karen pointed out that generally, men shop for what they need right now. Women tend to shop for what will benefit them over time. Hence the popularity of lotions, scrubs, hair products, and anti-aging products with women. Compare a guy’s list of must haves for his daily routine – deodorant, razor, and a 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash and he’s good to go. Compare that to the products required for a woman’s daily routine and you’ll see the difference and how that relates to retail sales. Bottom line – men keep it pretty simple. Men want to look and smell good right now whereas, women want the same but they have the foresight to think about what they want to look like in the future.

Women generally need to understand the value of a product or service and this helps them feel good about the buying decision. For example, a woman doesn’t care how many treadmills or dumbbells your club offers. She wants to know that she is going to look and feel better by working out with you. She wants to know that her bone density will strengthen, her posture will improve, she’ll raise her metabolism making it easier to lose weight She wants to know that she is going to get toned and sculpted and fit back into her skinny jeans. She doesn’t really care that much about the workout and the program as long as it delivers results. She doesn’t want a membership or Personal Training, rather, she wants to get excited about the results and her new life! She doesn’t like to exercise - she likes how she FEELS when she works out and how her whole life is so much better when she's in good shape.

A great line that Karen scripts her staff to use is this:

“It’s really simple. You just do exactly what we tell you and your entire life will change!”

Karen emphasizes that when selling to women, you HAVE to sell from the heart. You have to focus FIRST on developing a relationship and making a connection. You have to listen to her closely. What are her needs? What is she concerned about? If you focus on bending over backwards for a female member, she will be a client for life! Once you fully understand a woman’s goals, then you can show her how your service, membership, and/or personal training are going to help fix the problem.

Women often come to us after they have let themselves go due to kids, work and trying to juggle life. They have put their health and fitness on the backburner and they need us to help them get their life and their body back. They need to know that you understand this.

Specific Guidelines for the Fitness Industry:

There are certain areas of our clubs and studios that are women dominated. For example, the Kids Club, Women’s Locker room, and Group Exercise studio are used almost exclusively by women. Pay special attention to d├ęcor and cleanliness in these areas. Women want to know that the showers are cleaned regularly throughout the day – there is nothing more disgusting for a woman than walking into a shower with a clog full of hair. Women want their club to smell great so Karen suggested the Air Fresheners that send out a spritz of fresh air scent every so often – nothing too overbearing but something that just smells refreshing and good. Women want to know that the Kids Club area is cleaned and the toys are sterilized regularly. She wants to know that day staff are CPR certified and are women, preferably other mothers, that she can trust with her kids so she doesn’t have to worry about them when she’s working out. She wants to feel good when she walks into these areas so hire a designer to help choose warm colors, beautiful and inspirational art and perhaps paint meaningful quotes on the walls.
Women will pay for quality: All women like a deal but will pay more for quality. Case in point, consider Whole Foods which saw a 1,552% increase in stock value. Women will pay a lot more for certain items and an atmosphere that is pleasant, customer-service oriented and offers knowledgeable staff. Karen mentioned that she often discusses the price issue with members in the following way:

“Are you looking for the cheapest club? Because we are definitely not that but we’re also not that much more than our big club competitors. But if you’re looking for value and results than we are definitely the place for you!”

Women love to be complimented.
It makes us feel great. But you have to be genuine and authentic. So when talking to a member or potential client, if you notice her cute shoes, fabulous purse or great hair cut, comment on it. There’s nothing more pleasing to a woman’s ears than “Your shoes are adorable” or “That outfit is killer!”.

Women appreciate the little touches
…thank you cards, inspirational emails, a motivational text message…

Women are social beings: Ramp up your social media outreach. Women in their 40s and 50s are one of the fastest growing segments on FaceBook. Start an educational, interactive blog and encourage comments from members. Make it mandatory that all new members go through a group equipment orientation. Not only is it better for liability insurance reasons but also, it allows the opportunity for relationships to develop. Regularly encourage and inspire women to participate in group fitness classes, host group events and get-togethers, offer small group training…It’s important to note that surveys show us that the happiest members and therefore raving fans are those that participate in group fitness and personal training so do whatever you can to get women involved in these programs.

Specific Marketing Tactics for Women:

• Women respond to soft and warm colors, they find sunsets, sunrises, golds, browns, yellows, and rust hues very appealing. Avoid blues and cold colors.
• Women respond to photos of beautiful but realistic women
• Women respond to lots of detail; women will read the text
• Women respond to an add that implies “Use this product/service and you’ll look like me”

Changing the world - one woman at a time!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Monday, August 17, 2009

Highlights from the IDEA Convention

Hey Fitness Pros.

I just returned from IDEA. My sessions were a blast and I also took a number of sessions. For those of you who couldn't be there, I wanted to share with you some of the things I learned. I'll try to post something everyday over the next little while to pass on any nuggets of info that I think you would benefit from. However, it is summer and CanFitPro is this weekend, so I'll do the best I can. :)

Also, FYI, you can purchase numerous DVDs of the live sessions so you can still be a part of the event. Here's the link. Two of my sessions were filmed if you're interested "Partner Tubing" & "Fun Games and Drills for Small Group Training".

Highlights from the IDEA KeyNote Presentation:

I attended the keynote with Matt Weinstein, a motivational speaker and author. He said the problem with all the self help books is that they're too hard to remember - the 8 secrets, the 7 Habits etc...So he's come up with the 4 unforgettable keys to a Successful Life. He promises that you will never, ever forget them! I thought I’d share them with all of you in hopes that it will help you live your dream life.

#1 Key to an Incredible Life: ‘ Row, Row, Row your Boat’
This is your boat – your life! And if you want something, you’re going to have to work at it – you’re going to have to row, and row, and row some more. You’re going to have to put some muscle into it. Rowing can be a challenging activity but you can direct which way you want that boat to go! This is your life to create!

#2 Key to an Incredible Life: ‘Gently down the Stream’
Go with the flow. Don’t fight so hard. It's so much easier to row your boat downstream rather than upstream! You’ve got to Focus on your strengths – that will make everything so much easier.

#3 Key to an Incredible Life: Can you already guess it??!! Yep – “Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily”
Be positive. Be content. Focus on what you have versus what you don’t have. Look for the good in everything. Notice everyday miracles. Incredible opportunities come to those with a joyful spirit. No one wants to be around or offer opportunities to those who are negative! Why? They are just going to complain about it anyways!

#4 Key to an Incredible Life: ‘Life is But a Dream’
Life should be a dream – a pleasant, beautiful, wonderful dream - Not a nightmare. Reality happens first in your mind. Dream big for your life. Make the life that you want so vivid in your mind that it’s easier to make it come to fruition!

That’s it! Four keys that you will probably never, ever forget. Simple but powerful messages! We’ve all heard it before and now all we have to do is live it! I hope it gives you a little boost for your week! Maybe you could share these tips with your clients and members. Stay tuned for more IDEA highlights...

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan