Serg has worked within fitness industry as a personal trainer for over 7 years. It was great having Serg share his knowledge and insights as he has a genuine passion for helping people. Some very practical and relatable advice in this conversation, I’m sure it will be a good listen for anyone in the industry!! PLUS keep listening until the end to hear Serg’s views on making money vs helping people Enjoy.
Hit up the guests here..
Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyFaouFUpwQ
(00:00)It’s an industry that I generally love. I have a passion for I. I eat sleep. I live for fitness. No, you need to be obsessed. We need to wake up. Think about it. We need to go to bed. Think about your clients. Think about your progress. Think about what you can do better genuinely like. Just be like patient and take the time like that. That is like you’ve got to take it on in in the right steps. You’ve got a now what you do in person before you go in like they don’t like to talk about fear. The fear is usually something that makes your worries real.
(00:34) You are listening to the coaching ignited show where we bring you stories and insights from coaches, fitness professionals and industry experts to help you expandyour business and reach your goals. If you’re a new listener. Thanks for joining us. My name is Alex Povey. You can subscribe to the podcast on all your favorite apps including Spotify and iTunes. The coaching dated movement is on a mission to help coaches and personal trainers increase ourselves and reach their full potential. If you wanted to find out more, please head over to coaching ignited.com and if you wanted to connect with us on social media, all the details can be found in the show notes. Now let’s get into today’s show,
(01:16) right? So this is the first ever podcast that we’re doing. So episode one, um, and I’ve got Serge here with me today. So, uh, thanks for being here with me. Serge. You can probably pronounce your full name than me, so if you want to tell people who you are, um, and just give people a bit of a background about what you do and where you train. (01:38)So Hi, my name is Sergio Gemner there, which in the abbreviation is search, uh, that will be easier for everyone. Like let’s make life easier for people. Um, I’m a personal trainer. Um, let’s say string and conditioning coach, uh, the gym, Oh, in Manchester,Dean’s gate, at three 40. And if you want to train with me, so come along. What else? I’ve been a new K K for five years and I’ve been PT for over seven years, two years in Poland. And five years here in UK.
(02:19) Awesome. And then just to give people a bit of a back story, Serge is actually my personal trainer. How long have we been being trained for now? Probably about three years, maybe
(02:28) three years ish. (02:31)Okay. Yeah, about two. Two to three years. And how would you classify me as a quiet? Let him or am I a good client for you or
(02:39) no? Your Shit. No, but as soon as know, you’re very focused, you down to Earth, uh, you’ll very, you follow basically the plan. You follow the nutrition. So this is what, um, what I personally want from our clients that he follows, uh, basically what he follows, what he’s paying for. Okay. So he’s paying me as a personal trainer to get him in shape, uh, give him nutritional tips or diet, uh, give him training, plan, train him, et cetera. So basically we want to be no N. Dot. Money by making sure that theclient is doing everything they can to get the results. So it was like a, you know,
(03:31) Yeah. You probably didn’t catch me Instagram today. Then did he get, did he see what I posted? Yeah, I was at Pratt for anyone that they didn’t see it. So I got annoy,little pastry from Pratt. So I don’t think he’d be too pleased if you saw that.
(03:50) Yeah, I wasn’t a one off. It’s like the most important is um, 80 20% rule. So 80% of cleaning team, 20% Eh, not clean, let’s say you think cheating, cheat 18 glitzy. So you know, if it was in your 20% that’s fine.
(04:14) Exactly. So let’s dive more into the business because I mean this is really what this podcast is for. I mean there’s probably a lot of other podcasts out there that talk about nutrition and training and all those different things and all those things where we’re both interested in. But obviously for the listeners of this podcast is going to bemore sort of business or incited. So it’d be good to know like how you got started in the industry and whether you always want it to be a personal trainer and sort of what sort of led you down this path.
(04:44) Well, to be honest, I was always a very chubby kid. So, uh, I was Chubby and basically around high school, which give or take 16, 17 years old. I decided to do something with this because I wasn’t pleased with my, let’s say myself, I wasn’t basic happy. So I started experimenting. I started buying the different magazines back then, pull on experimenting on myself, different Diet approaches, cardio, no cardio weights, no weights, and just basically through trial. And there are, I found what works for me and I started training my friends in the gym. So there was like a, like a beginning, we were talking about high school basically. Uh, unfortunately I went to study English just because I find I always wanted to live in the UK or America or USA, whatever. So I went to study English, but I didn’t stop training people and I didn’t stop being passionate about, let’s see, maybe not fitness because I had this words, but old gym related. So nutrition, strength training, resistance training, et Cetera. So then after my studies, I started working as a personal trainers. Basically I’ve been, uh, pestering local fitness glove, just basically coming there as a member and training members so persistently that they basically had no choice then hire me or throw me out. So they hired me. Basically I did own my qualifications, etc. Etc. And basically I left to England five years ago and here training people.
(06:42) Awesome. Awesome. So you kind of maybe went into it by default by through having a passion for training and all those different things. And I sort of led you down this path. Maybe it wasn’t a complete conscious decision
(06:58) is yeah, of course it needs to be passionate because if we’ve got two coaches, coach number one, coach number two, coach number one is very passionate, has not stopped much experience, but he’s still learning cause very passionate, has no qualification at all. And we’ve got a coach number two, which is not very passionate money-driven and basically have loads of qualification. I will mostly most likely hire the first one because look, you can always learn something. You can always get education. You can always pays for some courses. But without, without the inner drive, without that heart, uh, without the passion, you cannot survive in this business. I’ve seen people, I’ve been in this business for seven years, I’ve seen people common goal with no passion just to get money because it’s, they think it’s easy money. So I think that’s the, that’s the problem in nowadays. Let’s say the say society. It needs to be as a personal trainers need to be driven into love it. You don’t, you don’t, you cannot be saying, I like fitness or I like to train. No, you need to be obsessed. You need to wake up, think about it. You need to go to bed. Think about your clients, think about your progress. Think about what you can do better and how can you be better basically. And this is the, the, the feature that not many pts nowadays has. And that basically is wrong.
(08:38) Hmm. Okay. So like when you came from Poland and you came here to the UK, you’re starting from scratch, right? You’re starting from zero. You having to build a business from scratch, you will. Right? So what was like the biggest challenge for you and he’s just started that business in the UK? Like what were some of the obstacles that you faced?
(09:00) I would say the biggest challenge was in the beginning of my career, eh, because simply I was, I was quite desperate and don’t get me wrong. Desperation in this business is very good motivator because if you’ve got no money, the rent is due andyou need some food basically. That’s the best motivator ever. You don’t need gettingbig for that that basically, yeah, you’re just gonna eat and you’ll be homeless on thesoul. You don’t need to go review in that situation or any motivational speakers. So basically you go for it. So at the beginning, I remember in the first, I think three, twoor three weeks, I gained 20 clients, which are not so bad, but obviously the clients later on they, they, you know, they paid for one session, they move, et cetera. So I was left with I think eight clients total. But still ed client after three weeks is quite okay. So why he wasn’t very, um, struggling, let’s say at the beginning. The strugglecame a bit later when, uh, very smart world client retention. So keeping the clients happy and making sure that they won’t leave. Yeah. That was basically the biggest challenge for me, just keeping them because it’s, it’s a very thin line between, uh, giving a person a workout or a routine that you think they need versus giving them what they will enjoy. (10:48)Let’s say you’ve got a client, he’s totally fucked up. Let’s say Porsche is fucked up and he wants just crusted based circuits. He loves him. Okay. But you know, as a coach that you basically break himself, he needs to get a bit more mobility here andthey’re a bit more stability here and there, uh, get the technique right, get the breathing right, et Cetera, et cetera. So that’s the difference between, you know, you being happy versus client being happy. Yeah.
(11:24) It’s kind of giving the client what they want sometimes rather than what they need because they might need, and my need to squat test, but what they want is something else. And you have to sort of identify that and give them what they want.Otherwise your client attention suffers. Right,
(11:40) exactly. That was my biggest challenge back there. Now it’s not anymore, but back there when I started, that was the biggest because I’m very stubborn, so that’s whatyou always wanted to force, eh, what I think is the best for them without any compromise, and to be honest, I lost plenty of clients in my first year just because of that and there was no lesson learned. Right?
(12:08) Yeah. Was that one of the biggest lessons that you learned? Was it,
(12:12) yeah. Yeah. That was my biggest client. Maybe not giving the client, but listen to clients closely, discuss all the program with them and listen to them. Because most people, most pts, they don’t listen to their clients. They’ve got their niche, let’s say. Iknow Olympic lifting, Silica Training, pad work. They don’t listen to the clients. So forexample, if you’ve got that PT that specializes in part work, okay, someone comes to them, okay, I want a muscle mass. I want fat loss, pod work. I want to run a marathon part. Where we’ll give you stomach now. So this is this a bit ridiculous. So,so they apply their niche to every single person so they don’t listen to them. Yeah. Yeah.
(13:05) And that’s kind of why you saying a lot of pts go wrong. They don’t really understand what the client wants and they try and push their knee, show that interest on the client. And so their retention suffers
(13:15) business, I will say, I would say I would say they understand they don’t listen or theydon’t the wants to listen. Okay. (13:26)So, um, like when we’re talking about client tension and it being sort of one of the obstacles or one of the things that you were aware of in your business, did you haveany sort of major low points throughout your career where you were just like struggling or in a sort of, in a bit of a hole, you’re trying to get out of, I know you mentioned like the fall training that you went to a studio for like a short period, you went out of the mainstream gem and you didn’t kind of like that sort of environment as it been any big low point of view. (13:56)Oh, plenty for the service. If any of stuffing pts are listening to this year for the first,I would say even three years, Eh, you will have downfalls. And that’s normal because you’re not recognized well enough to allow yourself for just smooth transition. And to be honest, even now, uh, I’ve got some downfalls and it’s normal because every route to success or to developing a good business is, it’s never upright, straight. Sometimes even now I lose a client or something. It’s not the big deal because I’ve got the resources now I’ve got a potential clients. I know what to do, which is let’s say less dramatic. But going back to the previous question yet in the first years you always have downfalls because people, uh, you know, usually when, when deedee start day they take pay as you go from clients. So the client comes tradespace at the end of the session, but then the problem starts when, because you know, cash is good, right?
(15:11) So then the problem starts when the client reschedules or the client’s cancels, second client cancels and all the sudden at the end of the week you’re 200 quid down. So it can change very quickly. Yeah. It can change very quickly because, uh, mostly people, clients, they don’t like any contract. They don’t like to commit. Yeah. So selling them packages is maybe, maybe not bad idea is good. I’m very good idea, but it has less percentages than saying, for example, okay, you come to me, you try and you pay me at the end of the session, you’re not coming here. And you’re not paying, et cetera because that gives them freedom and flexibility and they love it. But and 100% they will take it. But then the problem is can you keep them and what agreement do you have? Like if they were reschedule 24 hour before, do they have to pay for the hour before they have to pay or do they have to pay half or something like this or, and as they were scheduled in the same way blahblah. You know, you know this, (16:29)sorry I was just going to enjoy the packages are great. The personal trainer, cause you’re getting that upfront commitment, you getting the cash flow, but it’s obviously a harder sell. Right. And so the pay as you go option is a good way to just check people in and make the people feel comfortable and get them over the line. Right. But then you’ve got people that can drop off a lot easier, but well what’s your experience with packages versus the pay as you go option? How do you sort of navigate that situation? (16:58)I mean now I’m only selling packages and if I were to go back to my life, you know, invent the time machine and go back to my younger self, I would say, okay, take maybe three to five clients, pay as you go. So you’ve got a regular income but all the rest direct debit at the beginning of the will of the, at the beginning of the month and you sorted because you know it’s easier to tell someone, okay 40 quid per session, whatever versus 400 for a package that a big vehicle amp of money. Sofor some people is like, Eh, I’ll think about it the moment you, you here I’ll think about it. Good bye you fucked up. So it’s a bit more sexy to hear 40 quiz pay as you go, no strings attached. People go like fuck yeah, I mean to death. But then you’ve got a problem and a lot of stress when they started with scheduling, and don’t get me wrong, even though I’ve got maybe four clients that still go us pay as you go. And it’s still kind of like, you know, it’s good. It’s because it has its pros and cons. Yeah. Because it’s like a bonus money.
(18:21) Yeah. Yeah.
(18:23) So in terms of, um, maybe some of the mistakes that you see other personal trainers making or even mistakes that you’ve made yourself when you’ve acknowledged them, like, can you talk about some of those that you may be see regularly or you make yourself,
(18:38) but when it comes to money or managing the clients or
(18:42) when it comes to just putting in general, I mean, that’s quite an open question, but is there sort of any common things where you see people falling short or mistakes that you’ve made in the past where you thought, fuck, I shouldn’t have done that. I should’ve done it this way. I know you’ve acknowledged it now.
(18:59) Hmm. It’s a very good question. Uh, I would say I would say the same mistake whenit comes to money giving, people pay as you go or even even, yeah, I’ve got, I’ve got one not charging for extra activities outside the gym. So, for example, someone comes to me once a week or twice a week, uh, in the past I would give them, um, I’ll, you know, diet plan may be a training plan. So a lot of homework for free. And I’ve noticed that all of pts are doing the same. Look, if you’re a PT, people are paying for your time. So if you’re sitting at home writing a program, which usually takes six, seven hours, if it’s good, if it’s like a powerlifting program, it can take eventhree days. The same with Diet. If you’re sitting at home, I lo, I write a lot of diet plans and it usually takes me two to three days.
(20:12) So, you know, before no one was paying me for that. And Elvis pts are doing the same. They’re not charging for additional work and a purse. A client gets used to that and then he wants more and more can be like, okay, in the middle of a Saturday, okay, okay. Uh, on Monday I need a new plan. And then you need to write it because you told the person that you have to, you know, you’re doing it for free.
(20:48) Yeah. So that they’ve got, um, a big expectation of what you’re offering because you’re almost over, over delivering on certain aspects of the training. Right.
(21:01) Unless you’ve got like a package, because I’ve got packaged like this so far enough, you’re paying me for 12 personal training sessions plus a diet plan plus a, let’s say training program. Yeah. Fair enough. Yeah. You paid for this. I will give it to you, but you know, most, most pts then they don’t do it. Especially the new ones. They get so carried away because I was doing the same. I was so happy if I get good client five years ago or something or seven years ago, that if he agrees, I will always, even on the consultation at the end of the consultation, I said, okay, it’s 40 pounds per session, but in that you’ve got my support 24 hours, seven you can write, you can message me, you whenever you want. I will write a diet plan for you. I’ll literally want it to give them everything I’ve got. Here’s my car keys, blah, blah.
(21:59) Just to get the business.
(22:01) Yeah, exactly. Because then the person sees, oh, it’s not just 40 quit for a session, it’s this and this and this and that. And they’re more likely to buy into you. Yeah. Butthen, so you’ve got actually a client, but it’s, it’s, it’s like you had three clients because he’s consuming your time over and over and over.
(22:21) Well again. So if you’ve got multiple clients and you’re doing all this extra work for all these clients, you’re soon going to basically just eat into your own personal time. Right. And so what have you, what have you done to combat that then? So what’s your strategy now and what you do differently that you weren’t doing before or you’re monetizing? I think like
(22:42) I created a menu. Yeah. So basically I was in the west of month. Uh, so my menu looks like this. The, the biggest, the most expensive option is at the top always. So the includes a 60 and training sessions, a diet plan, a blood tests in my clinic. And on the basis of the blood test, you get a diet plan, um, training program, a 24 hour, seven support, blah, blah. It was basically the most expensive one. And just below you’ve got all the cheaper ones. Yeah. So training only packages, training plus nutrition packages, nutrition only packages, a consultation, blood tests, consultation, nutritional consultation, uh, plants, uh, single session, double session and triple session and all those kinds of stuff. So it’s, let’s say systematized, if a word.
(23:46) Yeah. Well you’ve got, you’ve got the highest price at the top, so you’re basically price conditioning them. As soon as they see it, the really high price, crazy price, then they go down and it gets rid of cheap. Right? And so all of a sudden everythingelse looks really affordable. So it’s a, it’s a selling tactic, right?
(24:03) Yeah. This thing is, I think, um, I’ve, uh, I’ve listened to a podcast for, you know, thatthe restaurants usually put the most expensive wine at the top. So the less expensive one actually, it looks very, very cheap. Just down below the most expensive one.
(24:22) It is, right? It’s very simple, very, very simple. But it plays tricks on the mines and it gets, it gets people to, to sort of change that frame and change their perception of price. Right. So let’s just switch it up a little little bit. I want to just dive into social media for a minute. Um, I know just want to wash u. So what your, your take on social media is with your business, whether you actually even use it, whether you generate any business format. How do you think it fits into your business? Um, has it changed over time? I don’t know. Just your general feel about social media and personal training. (24:58)Social media, they are always good because I tweeted more like, um, let’s say 15 to 20% of my overall energy goes to social media. So I’m mostly an offline clients, which means basically I don’t work online that much. Uh, diets, diet plans. Yeah, sure. I’ve got maybe a station now you’ve got 23 clients online. I’ve got seven clients, regular clients, so I’m more offline seeing, looking at the statistics. So basically the 90% of my time and effort, maybe 80% of my time, and therefore the goes to my offline, the lions managing them, uh, during, in the gym, after the gym, et Cetera, 20% to 50% goes into social media. So what I like is for example, to do insta stories and pulling hashtags there. Does it because so other people can see this and you know, I’m not giving that much energy and effort in it. It’s more like funstill. I’ve got, I’m getting clients from them, not very often. It may be once every three, four weeks, once every month, sometimes once every two months. But it’s still, uh, a lead out of nowhere of the, of doing probably nothing. So yeah,
(26:30) just by uploading stories and just posting.
(26:33) Yeah, exactly. I’ll things I will say, I will say just the stories because I’m not, I’m a bit busy too to post every day. Um, uh, instastory posts, Instagram posts. So I base myself on instastories because they’re fast. And I think it’s the stories is the, is the future because they’re colorful, they’re fast and people don’t like sitting in watching something for a long time. They just want to, you know, fast travel, let’s say.
(27:12) Yeah. So in terms of like someone new coming into the industry and a new personal trainer, um, what, what would your advice be to them? Like they’ve got these options available to them. They’ve got the social media or they can just stick to doing lead generation than a gym. Like what would your advice be? What would you, what would you say to those new personal,
(27:33) as soon as the advice, my first otherwise would be stay away from social media. Eh,walk the floor as much as possible for the first two, three months. Because when people start, they start in a specific gym. Let’s say I want a gym. The gym on the instance. Yeah, because they did this with many pts. Eh, you want your face to be recognized there. You want as much recognition as possible. You want people to know your name, to know who you are. You want to speak with as many people as you can possibly do. And this, this takes energy so you shouldn’t bother with social media. You shouldn’t. We definitely shouldn’t have a part time job. That’s the most stupid thing to do as a personal trainer is when I hear a personal trainers is a part time job, he’s already screwed. Why? Because half of his energy goes to this part time job and then he comes after this part and jump to his another part time job, which should be his business and he’s fucking tired and people see that and people will never buy into someone with low energy. And the the style, the same with socialmedia. If you want to develop an online business, okay, do it later. Get at least a year or two experience offline because most people, most pts that are online are shit. Why? Because their shit of line.
(29:08) They don’t, they don’t understand that you need some interaction with people. We need to see how people behave, how people move, how people have different issues with posture, how people behave. Eh, how people react to different exercises.What might be the problem. So my advice is step by step guide to be a PT, get to the gym, get yourself recognized, speak to as many people as possible, get as many clients as possible. Pick the way you want to do with, fine about the, get as many people as possible, be an offline PT with plenty of results for a year or two. Then if you fancy go, go online, fully online event, but you need to have at least at least one or two years experience off line just to see how to deal with people. That’s it.
(30:07) Yeah, totally. And in this process of building the offline business and even branching out into other projects and doing the online stuff, like how important would you say sort of mindset is to all this and how important is mindset to you and your work?
(30:26) I would say as a very bold statement, I used to hire pts for the gym for a lifestyle fitness before it was transferred to the gym. So for me it wasn’t that important. How much do they know if they knew basics? And I see, I saw, I’ve seen that they’re coachable. That was okay, but they wanted to see the fire. I wanted to see this passion. My, my, one of the key tests I did on the interview was to get people in the gym floor and they had a couple of minutes to speak to 10 people. The faster they did it, the better. So I could see that they’ve got no problems approaching people, no problem getting new conversation, that they smile, that they are very approachable and they’re very, with a lot of positive energy. So if, if I got a person that knows so, so, but it’s very approachable, very happy, very bright, you know, you can approach literally everyone and then a phd in nutrition, blah, blah, blah, et cetera.
(31:39) Strength and conditioning coach, Olympic weightlifting, middle is whatever, but he’s grumpy as fuck. Then I would choose the person that is less qualified but a bit more approachable because you can always learn not fitness. Let’s say you can always learn how to be a PT. You can always learn anatomy. You can always go for a course.You can always learn Olympic lifting. You can always learn nutrition. You’ve got so many sources, youtube courses, uh, coworkers even, I always help other if they struggle. So you can always do that, but if you’re grumpy because that’s your nature, you cannot change that. They understand me 100%.
(32:31) I totally agree with you because I think it’s just as important in my work as well with the mindset stuff you’ve, you’ve got to be able to pick up and get the job done is there’s no point knowing everything in the world, but not having this, the attitude toactually go out and implement it and put it into action. Right. And, and that’s really just a mindset. Um, yeah. What, what slide the longer term goals for you search, have you got like a, so our future plans with, with this business, you, you’re peaking at the moment, you’ve got a very healthy business. What are your future plans? Like what your future goals?
(33:06) My future goals is Kevin. What I’m doing now, get as many help as many people as possible because you know, uh, someone, I think it was Nick Mitchell, uh, the, um, the owner of ultimate performance sets, if you will, getting into this business for money. You’re in the wrong business because if you want money, go into a competency. But if you’re in this business for good money but you also want to help people that’s a business for you. And that was very, that was I think even that was even an Instagram story of case. And that’s really, I remember that still till this day now because look, your money depends on how hard you work, uh, how many clients you’ve got. It basically depends on people, which is good, but you won’t make millions from that, which is also good. PT Business is for someone who a was good money and B wants to help people. If you only into getting, you know, gaining money, sorry, that’s not the business for you. Fuck off. Okay. So for me the most important is helping as many people as possible and the good thing, as much results as possible to build up the recognition and the money, money’s always a byproduct. Always money will come. You’re doing a great job, you’re giving results, people will pay you either way so you don’t have to stress about the money.
(34:52) Awesome. I think that’s probably like a very profound way to draw this episode to the end. So I just want to say thank you so much for jumping on this podcast with me. It means a lot and I hope everyone listening, listening is really enjoyed it. Um, if anyone wants to, to find you, like where can they find you? Have you got an Instagram handle that you want to share raw? We’ll put the links in, in, in the post inany way. But where can people find you?
(35:21) People can find me in person in the gym, Manchester, which is on Deansgate in town centers. Two five three Dean’s gate, m. Three four e. E. N.
(35:34) Awesome. And then have you got any Instagram or for Facebook groups that you want to direct people to? Well yeah. Can we pull the, pull the link somewhere? Yeah,I’ll stick the links in it. Don’t worry. I’ll put those in. So thank you so much. Should I do really appreciate you joining us on this podcast and this thing is 10th to a um, pm here. So we’re, we’re doing the late shift, aren’t we? So, uh, thank you so much for doing this. Really appreciate it. I know you’re, you’ve got really busy schedule and I will see you in the gym soon.
(36:07) Thanks for tuning into the show. I hope you enjoyed it guys, if you dead head over to your favorite app and leave as a short of view, I’d really appreciate that. And if you want it to learn more about our products and services, head over to coaching ignited.com and if you want it, an awesome website though for your coaching business, head over to partner company. Sevectamedia.com that’s all for me. See you soon.