Everyone in health and fitness eventually hits the same wall: Time. Specifically, they run out of it. They start feeling like there aren’t enough hours to coach clients, manage their businesses, and keep an eye on growth.

How do top coaches save time, increase their effectiveness, and work on their own terms? With very specific strategies. In this article, I’ll cover those strategies. I’ll also share one of the tools that’s helping thousands of coaches change the game in terms of time management and work flexibility.

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Today’s article is really exciting because I’m going to cover something that every single person working in health and fitness (or who wants to work in health and fitness) needs to know.

I’ll cover how to:

  • Take stock of what you spend time on in your business.
  • Weed out low-value, annoying activities.
  • Increase the time you spend on lucrative and fulfilling tasks.

And, in doing so, I’ll show you how you can coach more clients, more effectively; make more money; and have more time off.

Before digging in, however, I wanted to let you know that the ultimate coaching time-saver — Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach — is opening up very soon.

Tested with over 100,000 clients, ProCoach makes it easy to deliver world-class, proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching to your own clients.

It’ll help you grow your business while working less, getting better results, and living life on your own terms.

Want to coach in-person? Online? Or a combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

To understand ProCoach you first need to understand why it was created, and the key problems it helps health and fitness professionals overcome.

John Berardi shares his early coaching struggles and how PN went from 20 to over 100,000 clients with ProCoach.

Want to know exactly how ProCoach works? Then check this out.

See how other health and fitness pros are using ProCoach with their clients.

 

 

In summary, ProCoach delivers — to your clients, on your behalf — a total coaching solution, complete with daily lessons, habits, check-ins, and more.

Plus, as their coach, you’ll support your clients by answering questions, offering encouragement, and tracking progress through special ProCoach software.

The good news? On Wednesday, June 5th, we’ll be opening ProCoach to our PN Certification students and graduates around the world.

For now though, if you’re ready to start saving time, increasing your effectiveness, and working on your own terms, read on.

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“If only I had more time…

…I could make more money, be better at what I do, and even take a weekend off every once in awhile.”

If you’ve thought this, you’re definitely not alone.

In fact, you share the same problem as most of the driven, ambitious, successful people I know: At a certain point, you reach capacity.

On the one hand, that’s great news. Whatever you’re doing is working. You’re in demand. People want to coach with you. More people than you can handle.

On the other, you’re maxed. You can’t find a way to enroll more clients, make more money, or just take a vacation without magically adding hours to the day.

Of course, some of you might have the opposite problem.

You might be new to the field, excited to grow your business, and enthusiastic about getting more clients… yet you don’t feel like you have the time, energy, or resources to create and market an offering to get people in the door.

Either way…

Your problem isn’t actually time. It’s strategy.

To take on more clients and make more money — all while delivering world-class results and living the healthy, flexible, passionate life you envisioned — you have to be more strategic.

In other words, there is a way to magically add hours to your day.

To get those hours, though, you have to learn and fully adopt certain techniques that radically decrease the time you spend on lower-value tasks. Only then can you transfer that “extra” time to much higher-value (and more lucrative) tasks.

I know, I know. When in the depths of “time depression” it can feel like no matter how much you want to power through responsibilities, there are always three sets of 10,000 other things to do.

More emails, more sessions, and, yeah, your website could use an update.

(Enjoy a nice, long workout for yourself? Or a day off? That’s funny.)

It can seem like there’s no rope to help you climb over that no-time wall. All you can do is bang your head against it, hoping to one day break through.

Trust me, I had the same problem as you.

Before Precision Nutrition was born, I was a health and fitness coach running my own personal training business in Miami, Florida.

Like you, I was super busy and way too stressed out. My frustrations included:

  • Spending 45-60 hours a week training clients on the gym floor.
  • Spending another 15-20 hours a week doing things like program writing, nutrition plan development, record keeping, billing, and sales.
  • Arranging my schedule around the training availability of clients, i.e. working both early mornings and evenings, plus weekends.
  • Finding that despite how hard I worked, I couldn’t get past a certain cap on how many clients I could coach or how much money I could make.

Working 60-80 hours every week, my client roster looked something like this:

And, when I was being completely honest, I realized the results weren’t all that great. The breakdown looked kinda like this:

This went for a few years. I was first frustrated. Then mad.

Then I decided to figure it out.

Fast forward to today.

Our 20-person PN coaching team works with about 5,000 clients a year. At any given time, each coach works with around 300 people.

Even better? They do it virtually, from wherever in the world they like.

One of our coaches just spent another winter working with her clients from sunny Costa Rica, surfing in the morning, coaching online in the afternoon.

Another is a dad of four children and he coaches around drop-offs and pick-ups, which he does himself every day.

The best part? Even with this amazing flexibility and 10x increase in client:coach ratio, we’re still getting consistently jaw-dropping results like these.








 

So how does one go from maxed-out and burned-out with 20 clients to coaching 300 clients, making more money, living a more flexible life?

By changing how you think about time management.

It all started back in the mid 2000s when I met a systems design engineer named Phil Caravaggio.

Phil was accustomed to looking at companies outside fitness — like IBM, Dell, Apple — to see how they used systems to simplify or amplify their businesses.

He taught me that “being busy” is never the real problem.

Instead, the problem is how we think about productivity and effectiveness.

We’re told that, to be more “productive”, we have to work hard and hustle more. We’re told that, to fit more into each day, we have to use so-called productivity hacks and juggle everything that comes at us.

This approach is fundamentally flawed; it really just asks us to do more without showing us how to do more of the right things, less of the wrong things.

It makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

In truth, productivity and effectiveness isn’t…

  • sleeping less, working more, and hustling harder,
  • multi-tasking your social media while a client is cursing through burpees,
  • a million cobbled together “productivity hacks” that are supposed to make you more efficient but actually just make your brain hurt.

Productivity and effectiveness is…

  • organizing and prioritizing your time ruthlessly,
  • ditching low-value tasks and replacing them with high-value tasks,
  • automating the things that can be automated,
  • focusing the rest of your time on things that we call unique abilities.*

*Unique abilities are the things that a) you’re uniquely good at, b) you enjoy doing, and c) make a real impact on your business.

Back in the day, we needed a system. And so do you.

Back in the early days of Precision Nutrition, we sat down to figure out how to:

  • coach more clients,
  • get better results with each client,
  • make more money, and
  • reclaim our time.

To accomplish these goals, we’d need to focus on getting some time back and driving toward effectiveness. We approached it by:

  • First, figuring out which tasks were low-value and repeatable.
  • Next, automating and personalizing the stuff that was repeatable.
  • Finally, spending our newfound hours on higher-value tasks.

Want to know exactly how we did it?

Here’s the 4-step formula we originally developed to coach more people to better results in less time. (It’s also the formula that underpins ProCoach, which you can use in your business too).

Step 1.
Take a look at where you’re spending your time.

When I first came up against major time management frustrations, I was spending around 60 hours a week on the gym floor in one-on-one client sessions…

…plus an additional 15-20 hours a week on business management tasks like record keeping, program writing, lead nurturing, marketing, and on-the-fly lifestyle coaching.

I got a ton of fulfillment coaching clients through times when they felt overwhelmed, incapable, or stuck — in fact, in those areas, I felt irreplaceable.

Frankly, everything else I did in my business seemed like a time waster. So I got real with exactly what I was spending my time on.

Here’s how you can do the same:

What to do

Spend a couple weeks documenting where every minute of your workday is going and how those minutes make you feel.

Then divide the tasks you document into two categories:

1. Time wasters

Time wasters are the tasks that make you mad and never go away; the stuff that makes you dread getting up in the morning.

For me, it was the stuff that seemed like “busywork” — invoicing, counting clients’ reps, answering basic questions about protein and peanut butter.

Remember: Your “time wasters” might be different from mine. Everyone’s unique abilities and business goals are different.

2. Time warriors

Time warriors are the tasks you do for your business that you love, that you feel have a tangible impact on your income, and that you know you’re uniquely suited for.

What do your clients 100% depend on your for? What do you do that makes them so excited and brag to their friends? What are the special things that only YOU can give them?

Again, the answer will depend on your particular strengths and business goals. Maybe you have an impressive grasp on nutrition coaching? Or marketing? Or you’re a work-from-home mom who can crush it helping new mothers maintain a fit life after kids.

Step 2.
Automate every “time waster” you can.

Your goal is to spend significantly less time on tasks you dislike and that don’t particularly support client results or business growth.

Ask yourself: Am I reinventing the wheel every time I write a workout program or answer an email about peanut butter?

(If so, that’s probably one reason why you resent the task so much.)

Think about it: Much of your job as a coach is made up of work that you repeat over and over and over.

Coaches:

  • Help clients define and commit to health and fitness goals.
  • Design workout and nutrition plans for people who have common goals.
  • Check in on client adherence and provide accountability.
  • Create and distribute marketing materials for their business.

Have you ever noticed that clients all seem to have the same questions?

  • “How many calories can I eat?”
  • “How many reps this time?”
  • “What workout can I do on my own this week?”
  • “Is it OK to eat cheese while I’m on vacation in France?”

Can you even count the number of times you’ve typed the same eating suggestions? Or how many times you’ve sent a passionate plea to keep going?

Or how many times you’ve said, “Yes, enjoy France, and the cheese!”

The truth is, you’re providing the same basic information again and again (and again and again), slightly adjusted for each individual.

Now imagine being able to automate 90 percent of work involved in your “time-wasting” tasks.

If you’ve been in coaching long enough you’ll realize that the arc of a client typically follows a particular pattern: You have to pass along certain info at certain times, you have to take measurements at particular benchmark moments to track progress, and so on.

So take your list of repeated/repeatable “time wasters”, and complete (and — this is crucial — save) the work in one fell swoop.

How?

1. Create your “General” file.

Open up a new document in Word or Google, or whatever tool you prefer. Make a list of the types of written communication you need over and over in your business. For a standard coaching biz, this will probably include:

  • information about services and pricing
  • welcome messages
  • reminders about upcoming sessions
  • post-session check-ins
  • monthly “how’s it going?” emails
  • regular “you’re doing great” emails
  • requests and guidance for data like weight, measurements, etc.

Once you have your categories, write (or paste in from emails you’ve already written) the messages themselves.

Depending on the nature of your business offerings, and how often you like to check in with clients, there might be a lot of standard emails to document. Take a few weeks to get this done. Don’t rush — do it right.

You now have your “General” file — a super solid foundation for any general business communication you need to send out.

2. Create your “Programs” file.

Whatever services you offer in your business, you undoubtedly have to communicate about them over and over.

Start a new document and list them out. This might include:

  • workout plan (weight loss)
  • workout plan (weight gain)
  • meal plan (weight loss)
  • meal plan (weight gain)
  • meal planning strategies
  • intake questionnaires
  • body measurement guidelines
  • goal setting tips

Write (or paste in from programs you’ve already written) and save into this document.

Here again, this task might take some time, especially if you’re writing programs and questionnaires from scratch. These resources will pay you back for your time, trust me.

This is now your “Programs” file, from which you can pull any time you need to communicate what to do to your clients (or what your business offers to prospective clients).

3. Create your “Emails” file.

Go through a couple months’ worth of “sent mail” messages and look for patterns. In the seeming hodgepodge of your communications with clients, there are probably lots of repetitions. Typically, coaches send lots of messages regarding:

  • questions about nutrition and workout programs
  • meal-planning challenges
  • questions about nutrition basics
  • general anxieties about life/goals/programs/progress

Which emails are virtually the same?

In a new document, make a list of your email categories. Under each category heading, paste in your best email on the topic, and tweak/perfect it as necessary. Save it.

This is your “Emails” file, which you can refer to whenever you need to communicate with a client (or prospective client) via email.

4. Create your Master Folder.

Save your “General”, “Programs”, and “Emails” files in one folder that is handy for you to access. Now, you will have a master database of all of the most common things you need to share with your clients. You can pull from them when you reply to questions or you proactively send messages to your clients.

You just saved yourself thousands of hours.

Step 3.
Personalize.

By the time you pull information from your Master Folder and paste it into a new document or body of an email, you’re 90 percent done.

The other 10 percent? Customizing for the specific client or prospect you’re communicating with.

  • Start with a friendly greeting and a sentence or two about how they’re doing, what they’ve been up to, etc.
  • Now, personalize your answer or information based on the client or prospect’s specific question.

Sign and send. All set.

Step 4.
Put your saved time toward “time warriors” (and a long-awaited vacation).

The thousands of hours you just saved? Some of them get delivered straight to your personal life. Spend some time with your kids, take yourself on vacation.

Seriously, it’s time.

Also trying to grow your business? Now’s your chance.

Put a lot of the “gained” hours toward high-value tasks — i.e. your “time warriors”.

Remember, these are the tasks that 1) you love doing and are uniquely good at, 2) can’t be automated, 3) have a tangible impact on your business and earnings.

That could include spending one-on-one time with clients in a much more targeted way (i.e. ONLY to work on the lift they’ve been struggling with or ONLY to help them find a solution to their I-don’t-have-time-to-cook problem).

Or it could be lead nurturing. Or highly targeted marketing. Or running group coaching sessions. Or working on a certification.

In the end, here’s a critical, often-missed point: A time-management system based on automation allows you to be more personal.

If you can automate the universal material, then you have more time to engage with people by listening, understanding, customizing advice, and interacting.

What to do next:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition

You are you, and your business is your business.

I can share the strategies that worked for me and for Precision Nutrition, but you get to pick what’s best for you.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start here.

1. Re-frame “If only”

Stop saying “if only I had more time” and start taking command of your time.

Review your tasks and assess which ones are “time wasters” and which ones are “time warriors”.

Consider: How can you free yourself up to do more of what is most important? How can you use systems to do less of what is not important?

2. Stop working harder. Start working smarter.

Systems were invented to smooth and streamline processes, and take busywork off your plate.

Try the PN motto: “Never repeat yourself”.

If there’s something you do more than once, you can probably automate it or make it more efficient somehow.

Get stuff out of your mind, off the Post-it notes, and into a program that will do the work of organizing and remembering for you.

Become vigilant: Every time you do something that you know you’ll have to repeat later, capture it in Word or a Google document. Keep that file handy so you can copy-and-paste it next time you need it.

Meanwhile, if you have existing systems, evaluate them. What’s working well? Which ones do you trust most, and why? Aim to do a little more of what’s already working.

3. Make sure your efforts align with the life you want.

If the genie jumps out of the bottle and you finally get the free time you’ve been wishing for, what will you do with it?

Will you use it for the certification you want to get? Upgrade your web presence? Have more personalized exchanges with your clients? Or spend quality time with your family?

Know what you want your time for.

Then be deliberate and intentional about how you use it.

Ready to build a thriving coaching practice?

Tested with over 100,000 clients now, Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach makes it easy to deliver the sustainable, research-proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching discussed in this article to anyone who needs it… from paying clients and patients, to family, to co-workers, to loved ones.

Want to coach in-person? Online? A combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

With the ProCoach curriculum, coaching tools, and software, you’ll be able to turn what you learned in the Precision Nutrition Certification into a thriving practice, getting better results with dozens, even hundreds, of people while working less and living life on your own terms.

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save 30% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

On Wednesday, June 5th, 2019, ProCoach becomes available to all Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates.

If you’re interested and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list. Being on the presale list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition, we like to reward the most interested and motivated professionals, because they always make the best students and clients. Join the presale list and we’ll give you 30% off the monthly cost of Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. Remember, last time we sold out within hours. But by joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to help more people live their healthiest lives, grow your business, and worry less about time and money… ProCoach is your chance.

The post How top-earning health and fitness coaches save time, get better results, and work + live on their own terms. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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You know you need a good balance of proteins, carbs, fats. But how do you turn that knowledge into healthy meals that taste delicious? Just mix and match these ingredients, flavor profiles, and cooking methods to create the perfect meal every time. Seriously, this guide could change your life.

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At Precision Nutrition, it’s our mission to help clients develop healthy eating habits for life. That means:

  • Eating fresh, minimally-processed food as often as possible.
  • Including a balance of protein, veggies, smart carbs, healthy fats.
  • Adjusting portions to meet health and body composition goals.

That all sounds great. But the trick is to do it all in a way that’s super-easy and tastes awesome.

That’s where Precision Nutrition’s all-star chef, Jennifer Nickle, comes in.

Jen’s been chef to UFC legend Georges St-Pierre and to tennis pros like Sloane Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard. She’s taught some of the best athletes in the world how to eat.

And now it’s your turn.

Behold the Perfect Meal cheat sheet.

For the past few weeks Jen and I have been working together to create a cheat sheet that helps clients build amazing meals that pack in maximum flavor with minimal effort. And it’s finally ready.

Using the simple instructions in this infographic, you’ll be able to mix and match ingredients and flavor profiles to come up with literally thousands of easy, delicious, health-supporting meals.

Warning: This guide could change your life.

Download the infographic for your printer or tablet. Keep it in your kitchen or bring it along on your next grocery shopping trip. And be sure to share it with your friends.

Again, don’t forget to download or print out this infographic so you have it handy next time you want to create the perfect meal.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes — including helping them with meal transformation — is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 33% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

The post Create the perfect meal with this simple 5-step guide. [Infographic] Hundreds of healthy meal combinations made easy. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Tested with over 100,000 clients, ProCoach makes it easy to deliver research-proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching to anyone who needs it… from paying clients and patients, to family, to co-workers, to loved ones.

Want to coach in-person? Online? A combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

With the ProCoach curriculum, coaching tools, and software, you’ll be able to turn what you learned in the Precision Nutrition Certification into a thriving practice, getting better results with dozens, even hundreds, of people while working less and living life on your own terms.

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Wondering how you can handle more clients while still giving them a high-quality experience?

Wishing you could grow your business, work fewer hours from wherever you want, and still be a great nutrition, health, and fitness coach?

I once asked myself these exact questions.

To learn how I answered them, check out this short video. It highlights some of the key frustrations I had as an early coach, the strategies I used to overcome them, and how you can benefit from what I learned.

JB shares his early coaching struggles and how PN went from 20 to over 100,000 clients with ProCoach.

Want to know exactly how the ProCoach software works? Then check this out.

See how other health and fitness pros are using ProCoach with their clients.

 

The most reliable and effective system for coaching nutrition.

On Wednesday, June 5th, ProCoach becomes available to all Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates.

With ProCoach you can quickly, easily and effectively deliver — to your own clients or patients — the habit-based nutrition coaching you learned (or are learning) in the Precision Nutrition Certification program.

Maybe you’re an established health and fitness pro looking to go from 20 to 200 clients. Or perhaps you’re just starting out in this business and hoping to get your first few clients, in-person or online.

Regardless of your goals, ProCoach solves a central problem…

How can I coach more people and make more money — while working fewer/more flexible hours, and still helping people get amazing results?

Grow your business and work less.

Whether you want to start a new coaching business, or add nutrition coaching to your current business, ProCoach will help you:

  • Market and sell your services to the people who need it.
  • Coach more people while delivering exceptional results.
  • Work with people in-person or online.
  • Spend less time on the admin things that drive you crazy.
  • Spend more time on the coaching things you enjoy.
  • Work on your own terms, from anywhere in the world.

A proven curriculum, created/organized for you.

ProCoach automatically delivers — to your clients or patients, on your behalf — an online nutrition coaching curriculum that helps them:

  • practice new eating habits,
  • troubleshoot their biggest challenges,
  • stay consistent, motivated, and accountable, and
  • radically improve their nutrition, lifestyle, and health.

With you as their coach — answering questions, offering encouragement, and tracking progress through a special dashboard — ProCoach helps you get more people to their goals, reliably and effectively every time.

Develop your coaching expertise.

ProCoach will also help you:

  • Assess clients quickly and efficiently.
  • Deliver daily habits, lessons, assignments from our curriculum.
  • Review client consistency and habit adherence at any time.
  • Track clients’ physical, mental, and behavior changes every week.
  • Communicate clearly and expertly when clients are stuck.
  • Attract new clients with photos, data, testimonials, and straight-up, irrefutable, hard-data evidence of your success as a coach.

Katie Wygant - testimonial card

What’s new with ProCoach?

ProCoach is getting better every single day.

Through our exclusive ProCoach Facebook group, and the regular interviews and surveys we do with ProCoaches, we’re listening closely, responding dynamically, and creating new features every day.

As one ProCoach said: “I’m amazed at how closely you’re listening to feedback and shaping ProCoach in response. You’re saving us time, helping make both our experience and our clients’ experiences better, and much more.”

Indeed, since we opened ProCoach in June of 2016 we’ve released dozens of new features, including the following game changers.

Customized mini-site for every ProCoach

By answering a few simple questions within your ProCoach dashboard we’ll generate a customized mini website for your business, complete with a custom web address.

It’ll lay out your services, including the features, benefits, and hopeful future you’re promising.

Not only will this “do the selling for you,” it’ll also position you as the skilled, experienced, and educated coach that clients need to finally reach their goals.

ProCoach generates your own custom sales page and mini-site.

Done-For-You marketing

Attracting new clients is always a challenge. That’s why, with the help of Pat Rigsby, we created a host of online and offline marketing campaigns for you.

We built these to help you save time and make more money. They come complete with design assets, copy, and deployment instructions.

Now you can easily spread the word about your business and attract the right kind of clients without needing to be a marketing guru to do it.

Done-For-You Marketing is now built into ProCoach.

Quick-Start guides

Whenever onboarding new clients (either in-person or into an online program) it’s useful to share something tangible. Both so they feel like they’re getting something amazing for their money and so they can feel like they’re making progress on day one.

That’s why we’ve created these custom Quick-Start Guides. They’ll help set clients up for early success by giving them advice around portion control, workout nutrition, grocery shopping, and meal prep starting on Day 1.

Personalized Quick Start Guides are also built into ProCoach.

Comprehensive Learning Center

Since we first launched ProCoach in June 2016 we’ve made major improvements to our Learning Center.

With articles on every imaginable topic, and an awesome search feature, the Learning Center will teach you everything you need to be successful with ProCoach.

The comprehensive Learning Center included in ProCoach.

$20,000 in prizes for you and your clients

Every year, we invite our ProCoaches to submit photos of, and stories about, their most successful clients. Prize categories include Best Transformation and Best Story, and are organized by age and gender.

Winners in each of the 8 categories take home $2,000 USD — $1,000 to the ProCoach and $1,000 to the client. (Plus, we give away some fun bonus prizes to selected runners-up.)

ProCoach prize money winners.

ProCoach Workouts (optional)

After working with thousands of ProCoaches to deliver comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle coaching, many began asking us to unlock our vault of expert-designed exercise programs so they can deliver a more holistic, single-platform experience.

As Precision Nutrition’s own coaching programs have offered integrated exercise, nutrition, lifestyle advice for years, we decided to make available our 28 client-proven exercise tracks for you to use with selected clients.

You now have 3 options when using ProCoach. For each client, you can:

  1. Use ProCoach for nutrition coaching only
  2. Use ProCoach for both nutrition and exercise coaching
  3. Use ProCoach for exercise coaching only

The choice is yours.

ProCoach Workouts is now an option you can use with selected clients.

Community of like-minded people + top experts

With our ProCoach Facebook group, you can now work alongside an extremely supportive group of more than 2,500 ProCoaches — including trainers, nutritionists, sport coaches, researchers, therapists, and other healthcare professionals from all over the world.

With case studies, lessons, daily tips, and more, being part of this community will help you expand your network, grow your business, and strengthen your coaching skills.

You’ll also get daily access to our experts and coaches, such as Dr. Krista Scott-Dixon, Kate Solovieva, Craig Weller, Adam Feit, and more. Ask questions, get feedback and advice, and nerd out on all things fitness and nutrition.

My story: Once, I wanted to help more people. But I couldn’t.

As mentioned in the first video above, I started coaching clients about 25 years ago. Back then, there was no such thing as “automated” or “online” coaching.

It was old-school: You met clients in person, you carried a clipboard, and after sessions you’d store handwritten programs on card stock paper in an organizer off to the side of the gym.

I have so many fond memories of my time training clients. But when I think back, there’s one frustration that always jumps out.

I consistently had between 15 and 20 full-time clients. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t find time to add more.

On top of working 45-60 hours every week on the gym floor training these clients, I needed to write programs, organize nutrition habits, do record keeping, manage billing, and nurture new leads.

I needed some time back, but I felt stuck.

I was working my butt off, but not making much money once the gym took their 50% cut of my coaching fees.

I realized that to make even a little more money, I’d have to find more time… which meant sacrificing my own workouts (and health) or the few hours I had left for socializing and sleeping.

After a few years on this merry-go-round, I finally came up with a solution:

I started supplementing my in-person training with online coaching.

It began really well. But whenever my roster reached 25-35 clients, I bumped up against new problems.

Problem 1:

With online clients, I didn’t have much time left for in-person coaching. I ended up doing a ton of administrative work for my online clients: program writing, record keeping, email responses, phone calls, and other routine client management tasks.

I was surprised; online coaching wasn’t the time-saver I had imagined.

Problem 2:

I started losing track of my clients.

Because I had more clients than ever, I started forgetting who was on what program, who had what goals… I sometimes felt like an idiot, asking people “So what program are you on again?” during a session.

The interesting part? Lots of other fitness and health coaches were experiencing the same things. They felt the same frustrations.

I wasn’t a lazy, disorganized, “bad” coach.

I just needed a system.

We all did.

We needed to find ways to do the “human” work of creating programs, listening, connecting with, and motivating our clients.

But we were constantly bogged down by administrative work, like paperwork, scheduling, and receipts.

So I got to thinking:

Couldn’t technology handle much of the repetitive “busywork” of day-to-day administration?

Couldn’t it keep us organized and on track? Monitor clients, even when we were sleeping or doing other things? Send us reminders and alerts?

I started asking: Could I “outsource” all these annoying and time-wasting administrative tasks so that I can take on more clients and do what I do best… coach?

So we built a dream solution to make coaching easier.

One of my best friends, Phil Caravaggio, had an answer.

Trained in systems design engineering, Phil showed me real-life examples of how IBM, Dell, and Apple were using software to simplify and amplify their businesses.

At that moment, I knew exactly what we had to do.

We set out to build a coaching platform that would allow coaches — starting with me — to deliver the highest quality coaching experience to larger numbers of clients.

One year later: Success!

We built a beta version of ProCoach and started testing it with a new batch of clients. Immediately I was able to go from coaching 25-35 clients to 100-150 clients at a time.

All while working the same number of hours — or even less — in a given week.

Chris Poese - testimonial card

15 years later, that early prototype has become ProCoach.

That was the first prototype of Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach.

Since then, we’ve consistently and relentlessly refined the technology, the software, and the curriculum.

We’ve tested its max limits. We’ve broken it on purpose and rebuilt it so it’s stronger. We’ve found all the sweet spots.

For example:

Since we built the beta version of ProCoach, our in-house coaches at Precision Nutrition have coached an average of 5,000 clients per year with the software.

Today we’re able to coach these clients with 20 full-time Precision Nutrition supercoaches (and a group of part-time interns and mentors) who work wherever they want in the world, living life on their own terms.

You’ll notice that’s an average of about 250 clients per coach — and they get amazing results.

What kind of results are we talking about here? Check this out.

See what 365 days of ProCoach can do.

And this video shares some amazing behind-the-scenes client stories.

Bodies, and lives, are changed with ProCoach’s habit-based nutrition coaching.

As you can see, our clients are a diverse bunch. They come in all ages, shapes, and sizes. In fact, they’re probably a lot like your clients.

Which means:

The results you see in the videos above are the exact same results your clients can expect when you start using Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach.

Want to see more? Check these out:

  • Precision Nutrition Coaching – Men’s Hall of Fame
  • (225+ men’s before and after photos. Ages 21-70)
  • Precision Nutrition Coaching – Women’s Hall of Fame
  • (375+ women’s before and after photos. Ages 21-74)

Daniel Hennessey - testimonial card

The ProCoach reviews have been stellar.

In June of 2016, we opened ProCoach up to our Certification students and graduates. We wanted to let them test drive the program in their own businesses.

The response has been amazing.

We sold out all available ProCoach spots in a matter of hours — and the same thing has happened each time we’ve opened up new spots, ever since.

To date, our ProCoaches have:

  • enrolled over 100,000 new clients,
  • helped them lose over 965,000 pounds (and counting), and
  • collected nearly $57 million in revenue.

Yep, that’s all within just the first two years!

If you want to try this research-proven, client-tested, reliable system for coaching nutrition with your own clients — join us on Wednesday, June 5th.

Erika Volk Gilliland - testimonial card

Save time, increase your effectiveness, get better results, and work on your own terms.

By incorporating ProCoach into your business, and coaching practice, you’ll:

  • Add habit-based nutrition coaching to your existing services, easily.
  • Add a highly profitable revenue stream, immediately.
  • Deliver habits, lessons, assignments from our proven curriculum.
  • Review and track your clients’ consistency and progress every week.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.
  • Attract even more new clients with photos, data, testimonials, and straight-up, irrefutable, hard-data evidence of success.

You’ll save time while making more money.

Your clients will get world-class results.

You’ll look like a rockstar coach.

And you’ll feel more in control of your time (and your work) than ever before.

Nikki Strong - testimonial card

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save 30% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

On Wednesday, June 5th, 2019, ProCoach becomes available to all Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates.

If you’re interested and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list. Being on the presale list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition, we like to reward the most interested and motivated professionals, because they always make the best students and clients. Join the presale list and we’ll give you 30% off the monthly cost of Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. Remember, last time we sold out within minutes. But by joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to help more people live their healthiest lives, grow your business, and worry less about time and money… ProCoach is your chance.

The post Opening June 2019: Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach. Where expert coaching, world-class curriculum, and innovative software meet. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Here’s an inside look at how Precision Nutrition coaches clients, including our client-centric philosophy, habit-based methodology, and full client curriculum. I’ll even pull back the curtain on ProCoach, the program that’s allowing health and fitness pros around the world to coach the way we do. 

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Today’s article is really exciting because I’m going to pull back the curtain and show you exactly (with, in some cases, screenshot-by-screenshot detail) how Precision Nutrition coaches clients.

I’ll also reveal how we mix world-class curriculum, elite-level coaching skills, and cutting-edge technology to get unprecedented client + business results.

Finally, I’ll share strategies that you can use immediately, in your own practice, to maximize client numbers and income while still maintaining control of your schedule and helping people get the best results.

Before digging in, however, I wanted to let you know that our industry-leading coaching platform — Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach — is opening soon.

Tested with over 100,000 clients, ProCoach makes it easy to deliver research-proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching to anyone who needs it… from paying clients, to family members, to co-workers, to loved ones.

It’ll help you grow your business while working less, getting better results, and living life on your own terms.

Want to coach in-person? Online? Or a combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

To understand ProCoach you first need to understand why it was created, and the key problems it helps health and fitness professionals overcome.

JB shares his early coaching struggles and how PN went from 20 to over 100,000 clients with ProCoach.

Want to know exactly how ProCoach works? Then check this out.

See how other health and fitness pros are using ProCoach with their clients.

 

 

In summary, ProCoach delivers — to your clients, on your behalf — a total coaching solution, complete with daily lessons, habits, check-ins, and more.

Plus, as their coach, you’ll support them by answering questions, offering encouragement, and tracking progress through special ProCoach software.

The good news? On Wednesday, June 5th, we’ll be opening ProCoach to our Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates around the world.

When you enroll, you’ll be able to use this ground-breaking software and curriculum in your business — with your clients — and easily, quickly, effectively deliver the habit-based coaching you learned in the PN Certification.

You see, everyone knows that habit-based coaching is more effective and has longer-lasting effects than typical diets or meal tracking. But not everyone knows how to do it effectively. We do, and today…

I’d like to show you how we coach. And how YOU can coach this way too.

In today’s article we’ll discuss how you can:

  • Dramatically increase how many clients you can coach.
  • Assess nutrition-coaching clients efficiently.
  • Build a habit-based curriculum for each client.
  • Deliver new habits, lessons, and assignments.
  • Monitor consistency and adherence.
  • Track physical, mental, and behavior changes.
  • Provide accountability, mentorship, and support.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.

So let’s get started.

(By the way: This is a long post with a lot of detail. So please set aside some distraction-free time before digging in. Maybe even read it in two or three parts. You’ll be happy you did.)

Client-centered coaching: Shush your “inner expert”.

The history of fitness and health is littered with hard-ass authoritarian coaches.

Taking a page out of the military, these coaches deliver a series of no-pain, no-gain boot-camps where clients are given tough love and are taught to pay for their laziness and dietary transgressions with push-ups, cardio, and burpees.

This style of coaching features the coach as: Expert, Drill Sergeant, and Dictator. In this model it’s their job to tell clients what to do.

Sure, some coaches are at least polite about it. But, no matter how nicely they command, this approach remains coach-centered. It’s all about the coach and what they know. And it’s the opposite of client-centered.

Of course, as a great fitness / health coach, you probably are an expert. You have well-informed ideas and opinions on nutrition, movement, stress, and sleep. But…

There’s one thing you’re not an expert on:
Your clients’ lives.

Each client is actually the expert on their own bodies and their own lives. They live in their bodies and experiences 24/7. You don’t.

That’s a critical distinction. Because…

Your clients have their own abilities and reasons for change.

They have their own limits, beliefs, preferences, backstories, and motivations. Some of these will be so far outside your personal experience that you couldn’t possibly have “standard” advice for them.

But that’s okay. As a change-based, client-centered coach, all you have to do is slow down and…

Quiet your own “expert” voice.

Ask questions. Listen deeply to your clients’ stories. And build your coaching approach around what you hear.

In doing so, you’ll actually uncover your clients’ unique abilities, reasons, and motivations (which will often be very different from yours). These will become your secret weapons.

Now you can help clients identify their own individual limiting factors. And then — more excitingly…

You’ll be able to help them propose their own solutions to their own problems.

We believe what we hear ourselves say.

So if you help clients produce and describe their own solutions, they’ll feel empowered, and embrace the solutions without you having to nag or boss them around.

This is a foolproof recipe for sustainable, long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t about coddling or being too nice or acquiescing to client demands.

Rather, client-centered coaching is about collaborating with clients and creating action plans based on what they feel they can do, not what you think they should be doing.

Let’s explore this methodology a little more.

Clients change by doing and experiencing.

These days, there’s a lot of emphasis on setting goals (e.g. lose 20 pounds) and then following a program (e.g. a diet plan or workout DVD set) to achieve those goals.

How’s that working?

On the goals side of the equation, we’re taught to think about what we want to accomplish. Then we’re supposed to make the goal specific, measurable, attainable, etc.

What happens once we’ve done all that? When we’ve set the ultimate goal?

For most people, not much.

That’s because goals aren’t achieved through the mere act of setting them. And goals aren’t achieved through sheer force of will.

On the program side of the equation, we’re taught to seek out a “Do this, don’t do that” program, summon up our motivation, and then turn our lives into “achieve that goal at all costs” projects.

We’re to become single-minded, unthinking, obedient little goal-chasing machines.

As you’ve probably seen…

This goal-focused approach fails most of the time.

Particularly when competing priorities come up and we haven’t built the necessary skills to be flexible and adaptable.

Then, since we haven’t “met our goal”, we feel bad. We think we’ve failed. We get frustrated and ashamed.

We might even give up. Or put that goal on the back burner till next January 1st, when we vow to take a crack at it again.

Based on my experience, success actually follows a different process.

  1. First, you break down the things you want to do into specific skills.
  2. Next, you develop those skills through intentional daily actions.

The formula pretty much looks like this:

Practice daily to build skills.
Build skills to achieve goals.

Some people call this approach habit-based, others call it practice-based. They’re one and the same, and are based on current research around skill acquisition and change psychology.

Growth and development come through daily habits and supporting experiences.

Here’s an example of how this works:

Goal: Eat better consistently

Let’s say you want to lose weight. You know that to lose weight you’ll need to eat better consistently. So that’s your real goal: Eat better consistently.

But you don’t have all the skills to do it just yet. So you have to break it down into…

Skill: Hunger and appetite awareness

Which skills are required to eat better consistently? We’ve identified hunger / appetite awareness as the most important initial skill for making progress.

But that’s not quite a concrete thing you can do. So you have to break it down into…

Practices: Eat slowly, and stop eating when satisfied

We use two daily habits to build the skill of hunger and appetite awareness.

Habit 1: Eat slowly.
Habit 2: Eat until satisfied, not stuffed.

This takes a month — two weeks for clients to learn, practice, and repeat each of the two habits. At the end of a month, clients have two very important habits that they can now use for the rest of their lives. They’ve learned it by doing it.

Not surprisingly, clients usually lose weight during this time. Because, of course, they’re learning to eat a bit less and adjust their intake according to body signals.

Even better, they’ve built two new habits that they can use for the rest of their lives, no matter what else happens.

Here’s how we present habits (and track their completion).

This approach is the perfect antidote to “program-thinking” in fitness and health.

Instead of a meal plan to follow, which is a very short-term (and limited) solution that never really addresses core problems, this approach is progressive and helps clients build transferable skills while stair-stepping their way to real change.

If you integrate this style of coaching with your clients:

  • They’ll accomplish goals more quickly (with less effort).
  • They’ll have an easier time maintaining results.
  • They’ll be able to do it within the context of a real human life (with its distractions, complexities, and surprises).

Here are some practical ways we implement this in our own coaching program.

The habits of Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Precision Nutrition Coaching is a one-year program that uses a client-centered, habit-based approach to help clients lose fat, gain strength, and improve their health.

Here’s an outline of the habits we recommend in our women’s nutrition coaching program. (Keep in mind, this is just one example; since we’re client-centered, we tailor habits to clients’ needs, gender, goals, etc.).

Weeks Habit
1-2 Take a 5-minute action
3-4 Eat slowly
5-6 Stop eating at “80% full”
7-8 Eat lean protein with each meal
9-10 Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits / vegetables
11-12 Make smart carb choices
13-14 Eat healthy fats
15-16 Plan PN-friendly meals
17-18 Record what you eat
19-20 Create & use a sleep ritual
21-22 Drink only calorie-free beverages
23 Break week
24-25 Use a targeted recovery strategy
26-27 Eat whole foods only
28-29 A little more, a little better
30-31 Protein & colorful plants at each meal
32-33 Practice 80% full
34-35 Do a 5-minute mind-body scan
36-37 Take a fitness information vacation
38-39 20 minutes of de-stressing
40-41 Create and practice your fitness mission
42-43 Choose your own adventure
44-45 Prepare for your final photo shoot
46-47 Celebrate your progress
48-50 Spread the love, pay it forward

Some of these habits (like “Eat slowly” or “Eat healthy fats”) are more straightforward. Others (like “Celebrate your progress” or “Pay it forward”) might be more open-ended.

The order of these habits, of course, isn’t an accident.

This is a carefully planned, cumulative client development experience.

We start simply and concretely, with clear and specific early habits that help our clients build a foundation. Over time, as clients develop skills and independence, we give them more freedom and opportunities to explore and expand their horizons.

Each habit builds on the previous ones.

Clients are able to do habits more effectively because of the skills they’ve already built. Which makes them feel even more successful and empowered.

They might start out tentative or nervous, but by the time they get to the final habits, they’re rocking ‘n’ rolling.

Here’s how our nutrition coaching software works.

Every day, clients:

  • Receive an email with what’s on deck for that day.

Example of the daily emails clients will receive.
  • Log in to a personal home page for more detail.
  • Read a lesson (which supports the habit).

How lessons and habits are presented on a client’s “today page”.
  • Mark whether or not they’ve read their lesson for the day.

Example lesson for a client to read.
  • Practice their habit for the day.
  • Mark whether or not they’ve done their habit for the day.

Example habit / practice for clients to follow.

Then…

Every week:

  • Clients measure and record their progress. This can be body measurements or other indicators (such as energy levels, mood, or habit consistency).

One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.

Every 2 weeks:

  • Clients get a new habit to practice.

Example of a new habit / practice, which a client will get every two weeks.

Every month:

  • Clients upload more progress indicators such as photos, body measurements, etc.

One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.

How do we support clients’ new habits?

Habits are supported by lessons.

We ask clients to practice a new habit for 2 weeks. During this time we share short lessons and assignments that help them understand the habit more deeply and implement it within the context of their lives.

For example, here’s a list of the lessons we use with the habit “Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits and vegetables.”

Lesson 1: How to get your colors.

Lesson 2: Just add vegetables.

Lesson 3: How to prep and cook your vegetables.

Lesson 4: The waste-not game.

Lesson 5: Greens supplements and powdered veggies.

Lesson 6: Tomato travels.

Lesson 7: Who’s your farmer?

Lesson 8: What’s for breakfast?

Lesson 9: PN Coaching movie night.

Lesson 10: Are you over-processing your fitness?

Example lesson that supports the habit “Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits and vegetables.”

Most habits offer Level 1 and Level 2 options.

Clients can make a habit as easy or as challenging as they like.

For newer clients, this takes away the fear of “doing it right” or “having to do too much”. Even the most intimidated beginner can usually find a habit level that works for them.

For more experienced clients, a bit of difficulty or a tougher game to play keeps them interested, challenged, and growing.

For example:

Level 1:
If you’re new to eating our plant friends, feel free to mix up veggies and colorful fruit. Keep it simple and just get in the habit of eating the rainbow.

Level 2:
If you’re already a produce-eating ninja, then use this habit to polish your plant consumption skills. Here are some things to try (choose one):

  • Improve your overall consistency.
  • Try more servings, especially of colorful vegetables.
  • Try new vegetables.
  • Try a new way of prepping or cooking familiar favorites.
  • Aim for more dark leafy greens.
  • Hit up the farmer’s market and try something in season or something organic.

We don’t just give our clients habits.
We build their skills.

Over the course of each program, we help clients build dozens of skills through very specific and well-defined daily habits.

Each habit is decided upon using our “Five S Formula”.

Simple.

The best habits are small daily actions that can be done in the context of real life.

If you ask yourself or your client, “On a scale of 0-10, how confident do you feel you could do this habit every day for the next 2 weeks?” the answer should be a 9 or 10. Anything lower and the habit is too challenging or intimidating.

Segmental.

Most goals are too big, or complicated, to try for in one go. Most skills are the same way.

So you break them down into defined and organized segments. Just like when learning / teaching complex exercises, you need to chunk bigger things into their component parts.

Sequential.

Once you have segments, you have to practice those segments in the right order.

If you do “thing 4” before “thing 1” you’re less likely to succeed. So start with thing 1, then do thing 2, then thing 3, and so on.

Do the right things in the right order and success is a reliable outcome.

Strategic.

Being strategic means being purposeful.

Strategic habits create a set of smart, deliberate decisions that leverage your strengths to help you address the thing that’s in your way right now.

Focus on that one thing — and only that thing — and a difficult process becomes easier and faster.

Supported.

Nothing worth doing can be done alone.

Habits work best when they’re supported by some form of teaching, coaching, mentorship, and accountability.

Habits are good.
A curriculum is even better.

The habit-based approach is awesome. However, if you — or your clients — have ever tried a habit-based program or app on its own, you probably got stuck with questions like:

  • Which habits?
  • In what order?
  • How do I actually do the habits?
  • What if this habit is too hard or easy for me?
  • Why can’t I do four habits at once?
  • And so on.

That’s why we focus on a habit-based curriculum.

A curriculum is a set of strategic, logical lessons and activities that go in a particular order, step by step.

It’s a purposeful program, plan, and progression based on the best practices of client learning, engagement, and development.

The PN Coaching curriculum, at a glance.

While the order of the habits above might seem a bit random, each one is carefully placed in a particular sequence based on very specific learning objectives.

To check out detailed curriculum guides, including a lesson-by-lesson breakdown:

Habits and lessons are cumulative and coherent.

Each habit / lesson builds the skills for future habits / lessons.

Then, later habits and lessons return to themes and ideas from earlier ones.

Everything is connected to everything else in a logical progression.

For instance:

Week 4:
The “Notice and name” lesson covers the importance and basic process of self-observation and self-awareness.

Example of the “Notice and name” lesson.

this leads to…

Week 14:
The “Experiment day: Snapshot” lesson, a very simple self-tracking exercise that looks at a few items throughout the day like energy levels, mental state, mood.

Example of the “Experiment day: Snapshot” lesson.

which leads to…

Week 17:
“Record your intake” habit

Example of the “Record your intake” habit.

and eventually…

Week 29:
The “How to listen to your body” lesson, which helps clients analyze patterns in habits.

Example of the “How to listen to your body” lesson.

Week 35:
The “Your schedule doesn’t lie” lesson, which helps clients keep a time diary.

Example of the “Your schedule doesn’t lie” lesson.

Week 38:
The “Time bandits, time warriors” lesson, which helps clients review time use and what it says about priorities.

Example of the “Time bandits, time warriors” lesson.

And so on.

As you can see…

It all fits together. It’s progressive.

Just like any other subject, you start at the beginning.

When learning math, students learn what numbers are, then how to count them, then how to add and subtract them, and so on… before they can start doing calculus or algebra.

Notice also…

“Anchor habits” come first.

These are things you can do anytime, anywhere. They’re foundational behaviors.

For example, for fat loss, the two anchor habits are “eat slowly” and “eat to 80% full”. These trump all other habits.

When clients get stuck or overwhelmed with new habits, they can simply return to these “anchor habits”.

Concrete, practical, prescriptive habits come first.

“Do X in Y way” habits lead the way.

While clients can still customize all habits to their needs and nutritional levels, early habits focus on clear, unambiguous basics.

Then, we start loosening the reins, allowing more open-ended habits and interpretations of them.

For example:

  • Early, concrete habit:
    Eat 5 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables each day
  • Somewhat open-ended habit midway through:
    Use a targeted recovery strategy
  • Completely open-ended habit near the end of the program:
    Pay it forward

Example of habit progression.

In addition, we like to mix things up. For example…

We mix up “hard” and “easy” habits.

Not all clients will struggle with the same habits. However, some habits tend to be harder than others.

We carefully dole out “hard” and “easy” habits so that clients aren’t constantly asked to do difficult things.

We also mix up “new stuff” and “review / consolidation” habits.

For example:

  • Habit:
    Eat whole foods only (a “stretch” habit, fairly difficult, requires learning new things) is followed by…
  • Habit:
    A little more, a little better (relaxing the control, scaling back expectations, allowing client to choose the next actions and simply improve slightly on what is familiar).

Clients are presented with new habits and have opportunities to improve on existing habits.

Some habits are “stretch habits” or “experiment habits”.

(Rather than “forever” habits.)

These are presented as “things to try” for 2 weeks, rather than “you should always do these as specified, forever”.

For example:

  • Eat mostly whole foods.
  • Drink only calorie-free beverages.

Example of a “stretch” habit and an “experiment” habit.

The idea here is for clients to:

  • Try something that pushes their boundaries for 2 weeks.
  • Expand their skills and repertoire while doing so.
  • See what they learn and discover about themselves.
  • See what they like, need, and/or want through this process of experimenting.
  • Add this information and insight to their understanding of their needs.

At the end of the 2 week “play period”:

  • Clients decide what was most interesting, valuable, and useful for them.
  • They decide what pieces of that habit to keep.

Stretch habits in particular are great opportunities for coaching and collaboration.

  • For Level 1 clients, stretch habits get them outside their comfort zone.
  • For Level 2 clients, stretch habits encourage them to “up their game”, improve their execution and/or variety, and refine their skills.

A new kind of personal: Building your Owner’s Manual.

What’s interesting about this habit-based approach (supported by daily lessons and assignments) is that it’s personal in a unique way.

When most coaches think “personal”, they think about telling clients what to do based on something physiological.

For example:

  • You weigh 180 pounds, so start eating xx grams of protein.
  • You have xx genotype, so avoid xx foods.
  • You just finished working out, so eat exactly xx.

And while there’s nothing wrong with suggestions based on known physiology, it’s still a coach-centered approach.

A client-centered approach recognizes all this physiological information while also taking into account what clients can reasonably do within the context of their lives.

We call this process “Building Your ‘Owner’s Manual”.

One of the “Build Your Owner’s Manual” exercises from the program.

Throughout our coaching, we ask clients to track their progress, gather data, and reflect on thought exercises. The purpose of this is to write an “Owner’s Manual” — a collection of information and analysis about their lives, bodies, needs, wants, and real-life-tested experiences.

The Owner’s Manual:

  • collects information about the client,
  • asks the client to test hypotheses and collect data for making decisions,
  • increases the client’s self-awareness and self-knowledge, and most importantly,
  • puts the client in charge (which makes them take responsibility and reduces their resistance).

Each client creates their own Owner’s Manual by answering several sets of questions online throughout the course of the program. This process helps clients:

  • Take responsibility for themselves — their thoughts, their beliefs, their stories, their environments, and most importantly, their behaviors. (No more coach-blaming or “This diet / workout plan didn’t work for me!”)
  • Feel empowered by and invested in the idea that they now have a set of “handling instructions for their bodies”. (No more “one-size-fits all” programs.)
  • Test hypotheses, gather data, and draw conclusions, just like scientists. (No more blindly “just following the rules”.)

Example of “Owner’s Manual” questions.

This is a very different kind of personal.

A good Owner’s Manual empowers clients to make informed decisions about their own needs, wants, and priorities (instead of you telling them what to think or feel or do). It’s client-centered coaching at its best.

Of course, none of this eliminates the need for:

  • Guidance and support.
  • Strategies to get through blocks and setbacks.
  • Problem solving and goal setting.

Indeed, that’s what what coaching is actually for.

Unfortunately, a lot of coaches spend too much time trying to measure adherence, trying to put together one-off education sessions, and doing a host of other tasks that should be automated.

This robs them of valuable time they could use to do what humans do best…

Build accountability, support, and relationships.

Automated lessons, habits, assignments, accountability checks, and progress checks are awesome. In fact, they’re the cornerstone of our very successful program, which produces results like these:

And these:

And these:

However, both research and experience show:

People do their best when they have strong, supportive relationships with a mentor or coach.

Having a ready-made curriculum (a clear, strategic, purpose-driven progression through client development and learning) frees coaches up to do the relationship-building, supporting, guiding, helping, and coaching that clients deserve.

Sure, if clients are ridiculously motivated and relentlessly tenacious, they might be able to figure everything out on their own without a coach or mentor.

Maybe.

However, most people need some amount of support. And that’s okay. It’s not a sign of weakness or incompetence. In fact, it’s the way most humans do most things.

The individual hero who accomplishes big things all by themselves is a myth.

That’s why, as a coach, it’s important to provide the following to your clients:

Encouragement during the courage phase.

The “courage phase” is the gap between when your clients commit to something and when they have the skill to actually do it.

At first, clients are committed but not capable. That’s scary and takes courage.

At times like this, it’s important to get enthusiastic support from coaches or mentors who’ve been through the process themselves.

A known cadence of accountability.

We all know accountability — regularly checking in with someone — is important. The social commitment helps us stick with what we started.

But accountability works best if it happens at regular, expected times. Whether through an app, in a group, or one-on-one, accountability should have a known cadence (i.e. weekly, every other week, etc).

Access to a respected coach.

Most people don’t want “a coach”. They want a leader, an expert, someone they trust and respect.

Most people don’t want someone in their face “coaching” them 24/7. They just want the security of knowing for sure that someone is there if they need them.

A positive progress focus.

Comparing clients to some superhero ideal doesn’t work. It makes them feel inadequate.

Which is why it’s important to seek out any and all positive progress. Bonus points for celebrating that progress when it happens.

Even if clients aren’t seeing physical results yet, if they’re showing up, good things are happening. By identifying and celebrating that, the physical progress will follow.

Proactive obstacle identification.

It’s not all high-fiving and progress celebration. Sometimes real challenges come up. People need strategies to move past these inevitable obstacles.

What’s better than solving the problem? Avoiding that problem in the first place.

Experienced coaches can give clients a heads-up about what they’re likely to come up against. That way clients know what problems to look out for, and they’re less likely to get derailed.

Help when stuck.

Even with the best daily habits, ongoing progress tracking, accountability, and proactive obstacle identification, sometimes clients get stuck.

That’s when an expert guide can help. Someone who’s “been there, done that” and knows how to navigate.

In our coaching programs, this is where our coaches really shine. They’re available to provide careful, patient, empathic coaching to clients as they go through the full journey.

But here’s the thing… this is only possible because we’ve automated so much.

The habits, lessons, assignments, consistency trackers, and progress reports are delivered reliably in a way that can scale. So coaches aren’t wasting time doing “admin” work.

Now they’re free to do what only a caring, empathic human coach can do: connect.

Here’s one of the ways our coaches connect with their clients.

As a special bonus: Coaches can take on more clients this way, helping more people than they ever thought possible.

You see, when I started doing online nutrition coaching, I soon realized that I could only handle 25-50 clients at a time while preserving quality control. Most of my time was wasted on admin tasks.

However, with automation, Precision Nutrition now coaches about 5,000 amazing clients per year with 20 full-time Precision Nutrition supercoaches (and an awesome group of part-time interns and mentors). That’s an average of about 250 clients per coach.

It’s the best of both worlds: 10 times the clients with even better results because of our proven, progressive, and change-promoting curriculum.

Client list within the ProCoach dashboard.

Tracking, feedback, and oversight for coaches.

So far I’ve talked a lot about the client side of things. Let’s look at the coach experience.

How do our coaches onboard, monitor, and provide feedback to clients?

Over the last 15 years, we’ve spent millions of dollars building our coaching software and curriculum — Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach — with the help of world-class researchers and dozens of full-time ninja programmers.

ProCoach is designed to:

  • Triage and assess new clients quickly and efficiently.
  • Deliver habits, lessons, and assignments from our curriculum.
  • Monitor consistency and habit adherence every single day.
  • Track physical, mental, and behavior changes every week.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.
  • Help you attract new prospects and clients with photos, data, testimonials, and straight-up, irrefutable, hard-data evidence of success.

The home page of the ProCoach™ dashboard.

We start by getting to know our clients.

When clients enroll, we ask them lots of questions about themselves. We want to know as much as possible so we can best help them.

  • What do their lives look like?
  • Who are they as people?
  • What are their goals?
  • What are their biggest challenges?
  • How much do they know about nutrition right now?
  • How much of that can they actually do?
  • Do they have any injuries or other limitations?
  • Etc.

Client intake questionnaire.

Then we track our clients.

Not only do coaches get the confidence of knowing their clients are well taken care of, they can also see their progress through a special dashboard that allows them to track their entire client list at a glance.

Client list within the ProCoach dashboard.

The client list gives coaches overview stats on each client, including:

  • where they are in the program,
  • how consistent they’ve been, and
  • how their body has changed.

But that’s just the beginning.

We keep learning about our clients as individuals.

Coaches can also drill down to each person’s client details by clicking on their name.

Client details page within the ProCoach dashboard.

There, coaches see photos, important details about clients (from their intake questionnaire), and how they’re doing in the program. Coaches also get access to pretty much everything they’ve done (or not done) in the program to date.

We keep an eye on how clients are doing.

Once a coach’s client list gets longer, they keep close tabs on their communications with each individual with this real-time feed of messages and updates.

Real-time feed of messages and updates.

Each client’s “Progress” section records whether the client did their habit and completed their lesson for the day.

Lesson and habit adherence are tracked on the client’s “my progress” page.

Responses to their assignments and lessons are also recorded in the “Archive” section.

Lesson and habit archive.

Of course, coaches get access to these adherence and consistency data through the Client List and Client Details areas of the ProCoach dashboard, as well.

We help clients assess themselves.

Along with the lesson and habit completion information, the system collects such other assessments as:

Progress updates.

Every few weeks clients are asked to report body weight, girths, photos, and other progress indicators. Also included are questions about whether they felt like their behaviors for the last week or so matched up with their goals.

Example of a behavior based question.

Surveys.

Every few months, clients are asked to fill out a quick survey. One is a psychological assessment evaluating their mindset and resiliency. Another asks important questions about how they feel about their progress so far. Another asks them to rate the program.

Example client surveys.

Coaches can easily access all of this within the ProCoach dashboard area.

We stay in touch.

Finally, there’s a built-in messaging system within the ProCoach software.

Through this system, clients can reach out to coaches and vice-versa. It’s like email but it’s all contained within the ProCoach software.

Imagine having all of your client’s details right there in front of you as you emailed them: their body stats, progress, latest messages and lesson responses, photos… everything.

Each time a coach is messaging with a client, all of that client’s data will be up on the screen at the same time. Coaches don’t have to rely on memory.

Everything coaches need to know is all right there for them, literally at their fingertips.

Messaging system within the client detail page.

In addition to the messaging system, there’s a built-in feedback system. So, when a coach reviews a client’s progress updates or assignments, they can send feedback or encouragement that’ll be delivered to them via their coaching homepage.

Coach feedback on a lesson in the “today page”.

15 years ago we set out to build a nutrition coaching platform and curriculum to deliver client-centered, habit-based coaching in a way that’s awesome for both clients and coaches.

Today, we now have efficient tracking, seamless oversight, and easy sharing of feedback.

By automating as much as possible, coaches can work with more clients, deliver better results, and spend less time on recordkeeping.

Help more clients with our software’s reliability, scaleability, and automation.

So far I’ve talked a lot about automating certain tasks so they’re done reliably and in a way that scales.

But what does that really mean?

Reliable

You’re able to deliver the same high-quality coaching experience to every client regardless of what else is going on… in your life or your clients’.

This is hard to do when your coaching is one-off or when you have more than one employee.

Scaleable

You’re able to coach 5 clients, 50 clients, or 500 clients.

(And going from 5 clients to 500 requires very little additional effort.)

We’ve used ProCoach to help over 100,000 clients over the past 15 years. So I think it’s safe to say that scalability is well-proven.

Automated

You’ll be able to deliver nutrition habits, lessons, and assignments on time and on track, no matter what else you’re doing.

Whether we’re sleeping, busy, out of town, in bed with the flu, stuck in traffic or on a plane somewhere above the Pacific ocean… it doesn’t matter.

Our system will take care of your clients regardless, and make sure they get what they need.

Daily, weekly, and monthly check-ins are completely automated too.

In the end, I think Precision Nutrition Coaching is so unique because it does what nothing else out there can do:

It uses high-powered technology (ProCoach) to automatically deliver a progressive and carefully curated curriculum (built right into ProCoach) that’s supported by live coaches.

Want help doing this yourself?

With this article, I tried to break down each component of Precision Nutrition Coaching to give you an inside look at exactly how we use all three elements:

  • software,
  • curriculum, and
  • coaching.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how we coach as well as how you can use some of these elements in your own coaching.

If you’d like some support with this, we can help.

As I mentioned, Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach software has been specifically designed to help you use client-centered, habit-based coaching in your own business.

ProCoach will help your business.

  • Add habit-based nutrition coaching to your existing services, easily.
  • Add a totally new, and highly profitable, revenue stream, immediately.
  • Market and sell your services to clients and prospects, effectively.
  • Take on more clients, while offering high-quality coaching and attention.

ProCoach will help your clients.

  • Assess new clients quickly and efficiently.
  • Deliver habits, lessons, and assignments from our proven curriculum.
  • Review every client’s consistency and habit adherence at any time.
  • Track every client’s physical, mental, and behavior changes every week.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.
  • Attract new clients with photos, data, testimonials, and straight-up, irrefutable, hard-data evidence of success.

Ready to build a thriving coaching practice?

Tested with over 100,000 clients now, Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach makes it easy to deliver the sustainable, research-proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching discussed in this article to anyone who needs it… from paying clients and patients, to family, to co-workers, to loved ones.

Want to coach in-person? Online? A combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

With the ProCoach curriculum, coaching tools, and software, you’ll be able to turn what you learned in the Precision Nutrition Certification into a thriving practice, getting better results with dozens, even hundreds, of people while working less and living life on your own terms.

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save 30% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

On Wednesday, June 5th, 2019, ProCoach becomes available to all Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates.

If you’re interested and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list. Being on the presale list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition, we like to reward the most interested and motivated professionals, because they always make the best students and clients. Join the presale list and we’ll give you 30% off the monthly cost of Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. Remember, last time we sold out within hours. But by joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to help more people live their healthiest lives, grow your business, and worry less about time and money… ProCoach is your chance.

The post Fitness and health pros: How Precision Nutrition coaches (and how you can coach this way too). appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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“I’ll resume healthy eating after my vacation… once the baby is born… after Dad gets out of the hospital… January 1… Monday.” While this kind of “pause-button mentality” seems reasonable, it could be ruining your health and fitness. Here’s why, and what to do about it.

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There’s a question that’s been finding its way to me a LOT lately — from Precision Nutrition Coaching clients, Certification studentsProCoaches.

“Why don’t your programs offer a ‘pause’ feature?”

After all, what’s the harm in letting clients/patients take a break from a nutrition and fitness plan when they’re:

  • leaving for vacation,
  • completely swamped at work,
  • pregnant, or just after delivery,
  • injured, or
  • caring for an ailing family member?

For a client, the thought process boils down to:

If I miss some workouts, eat the wrong things, skip the homework… I fail.

Aren’t I more likely to succeed if I take a break, just until I have the time to do it right?

This is what I call the ‘pause-button mentality’.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I think it’s normal — even commendable — to want to do your best. To consider taking time to regroup and then resume (or start over) when life feels easier.

At the same time, this completely natural and well-meaning impulse is one of the fastest, surest, most reliable ways to sabotage your plans for improved nutrition, health, and fitness.

Here’s why — and what to do instead.

Starting fresh after you lose your way is a really comforting thought.

That’s probably why New Year’s resolutions are so popular, especially following the indulgence-fueled holiday season.

Give me that cheesecake. I’ll pick my diet back up on Monday!

In fact, we’ve learned in our nutrition coaching programs that the idea of a do-over is so alluring you don’t even need a mess-up for the pause-button mentality to take over.

Every January, we welcome a new group of clients. Every July, we take in the second, and final, group of the year.

In July, six months in, just knowing that there are new clients starting the program fresh in January makes some July clients “itch” for a new beginning, even though they’re already making progress, changing their bodies.

If only you’d let me start over, I’d really nail it this time!

But here’s the problem: The pause-button mentality only builds the skill of pausing.

Whether it’s tomorrow, Monday, next week, or even next year, hitting that imaginary pause button gives you some sense of relief.

It allows you a little respite from what can be a really tough slog.

(And the middle is always a tough slog, it doesn’t matter what kind of project you’re working on.)

This perceived relief is compounded by the illusion that if we “start fresh” later we can find the magical “right time” to begin.

Listen, I get it.

It can feel absurd to try to improve your eating and exercise habits while you’re in the midst of chronic stress / looking for a job / starting a new job / going on vacation / caring for aging parents / raising small children.

That’s probably why there are so many 21-day this and 90-day that. What adult has more than 90 days to go after their fitness goals with an all-out effort?

But what do these intense fitness sprints teach you?

The skill of getting fit within a very short (and completely non-representative) period of your life.

What don’t they teach you?

The skill of getting fit (or staying fit) in the midst of a normal, complicated, “how it really is” sort of life.

This is why the yo-yo diet thing has become such a phenomenon.

It’s not about willpower. It’s about skills.

In most fitness scenarios, you learn how to get fit under weird, tightly-controlled, white-knuckle life situations.

You build that one, solitary, non-transferrable skill — to slam the gas pedal down, drive the needle into the red, and squeal down the road for a little while, burning the rubber off your tires until you (quickly) run out of gas and crash.

What you don’t build is the ability to get fit under real-life conditions.

That’s why it doesn’t stick. Not because you suck.

But because the natural and predictable consequence of having a limited skill set is short-term progress followed immediately by long-term frustration.

What will be different next time?

I remember having lunch with a colleague who swore up and down that his low-carb diet plus daily running was the secret to staying in shape.

I had to follow up with a painful question: “Well, why aren’t you actually in shape?”

After a long pause: “Uhh, I’ve had a hard time sticking with it. We just had our second child. The holidays just ended. I just switched jobs.” He trailed off…

“But, once everything settles down, I’ll get with the program and get in shape again! I guess I’m just on a little break.”

This story illustrates the point perfectly.

Here’s someone who’s built his fitness on a house of cards. He knows only one thing: How to get in shape by following a very challenging program when the conditions are perfect.

And whenever life isn’t perfect, which is most of the time, he hits the pause button. He waits for a better time. (All the while losing the health and fitness he previously worked so hard for.)

That’s why, when our clients ask to press pause, we usually ask them:

“What will be different when you come back?”

Nine times out of 10, the honest answer is nothing. Nothing will be different.

Life is just… happening. And it’ll happen again in January, or after the baby is born, or after Mom gets better, or at any other arbitrary point you pick.

And what then?

I’ve wanted to press “pause” myself.

If you’ve ever felt like pressing pause, or you feel this way right now, it might help to know I’ve felt exactly the same way.

A few years back, my wife and I decided to renovate a home. During the reno, we lived in a tiny apartment above my in-laws’ garage. At the time I was also starting up Precision Nutrition.

Every day we’d wake up and get straight to work. At the end of the day, we’d drive 1 ½ hours to the new house to chip away at the reno. Then, late at night, we’d drive 1 ½ hours back and fall into bed. Repeat.

At first, I thought there was no way to exercise. My schedule was completely packed, I had nowhere to work out, and my eating was less than ideal.

But after a couple of weeks I realized that something was going to be better than nothing.

The renovations would continue. Running a business would only get more demanding. And we were planning to have our first child.

I realized I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t press pause. Because, if I didn’t continue, there’d never be that “perfect time” to hit play again.

I needed to find a way to squeeze in some kind of workout, however quick, easy, and unglamorous.

Let’s accept that life has no pause button.

The key lesson here is that, like it or not, the game of life keeps going.

There is no timeout.

There’s never going to be a moment when things are magically easier.

You can’t escape work, personal, and family demands. Nor can you escape the need for health and fitness in your life.

Here’s a thought experiment:

What if you tried to hit pause in other areas of your life?

Imagine you’re up for a big promotion at work. For the next two weeks, all you want to do is focus on mastering an upcoming presentation, and winning over your boss.

Trouble is, you’ve got two young children at home who tend to grasp, koala-like, onto your legs and demand your full attention.

Honey, you say to your spouse, I’m just gonna press pause on being a parent for now. I’ll be staying at a hotel. Don’t contact me.

I don’t know about you, but that would NOT go over well in my family.

You can’t really press pause — and you definitely can’t hit reset — on being a parent. (You’ve thought about it, though. I know you have.)

Just like you can’t stop showing up for work and expect not to get fired. Or “take a break” from being married and not wind up divorced.

Generally, when it comes to life, we know we’re not always going to be on our A Game. Sometimes we’re superstars. Most of the time we just do our best.

We muddle through. We keep going.

So why do we expect it to be any different with fitness?

In my case, above, I hired a coach and we came up with a simple workout program that met these criteria:

  • No more than 3x a week.
  • No more than 10 minutes per session.
  • Has to be done upon waking up, right next to the bed.
  • Requires no equipment.

I did that for about 6 months. Was it the Best Workout Ever? No! Did I end up, after 6 months, fitter than ever? Heck no!

But was it better than hitting the pause button and doing nothing? You bet!

See, perfectionism is not the point.

“Completing” a program, PN Coaching or any other, is not the point.

Being the “best” for a tiny window of time is not the point.

The point is to keep going. Sometimes awkwardly, sometimes incompetently, sometimes downright half-assed. But to keep going nonetheless.

As I often teach our new clients:

The “all or nothing” mentality rarely gets us “all”. It usually gets us “nothing”.

That’s when I propose a new mantra:

“Always something”.

Instead of pressing pause, adjust the dial.

Nowadays I like to think of my fitness and nutrition efforts as a dial.

There are times when I want to dial my efforts up, and times when I want to dial them down. But I never want to turn the dial off completely.

Here’s how this plays out in the context of my life.

Sometimes, say when I’m training for a track competition or concentrating on a particular goal, my fitness dial might be tuned to 9 or 10 out of 10.

Channel 10 means I work out every day. Every meal is planned and carefully considered. I think a lot about fitness. And not much about anything else.

Work, family, hobbies… they’re all in maintenance mode (with the permission of the people this affects, of course).

However, as I write this, my life involves the following:

  • Settling into a new home.
  • Conducting major home renovations.
  • Raising 4 children, one of them still a baby.
  • Running a growing business with nearly 100 team members.

So these days, the dial rarely goes past 3 or 4. I work out, maybe, three days a week. And most of my meals are just “good enough”.

(For the record, I’m totally cool with that. There is no guilt about having my dial set a little lower. What’s most important is that the dial is still set to “on”.)

The important lesson: There’s a big difference between tuning your dial to 3, 2, or even a 1, and turning the whole thing off.

And when you realize how doable — and effective — channels 3 and 2 and 1 can be, you see that there’s never a good reason to hit “pause”.

nutrition routine progressions

overall wellness routine progressions

I get it. It’s easy to discount the lower channels. Especially when you’ve done more in the past. But remember your new mantra…

“Always something.”

Precision Nutrition Coaching graduate Susan Olding was dealing with a family crisis during the program: Her dad became ill and eventually passed away.

Susan could have given up when her dad was sick. Asked for a pause. And no one would have blamed her.

Instead, she challenged herself to embrace imperfection and do something every day:

Each day, I asked myself: If I can’t do what was asked of me, what can I do? What can I manage (physically, emotionally, mentally) now?

Then I went and did it.

Meanwhile, I also tried to add spontaneous activity into my days. I paced the hospital halls, parked at a distance and walked to the hospital door. I went for evening walks.

Anything to stay active.

I remember Susan telling me about the random sets of squats she did in the corner of her dad’s hospital room while he was resting.

Susan’s takeaway:

Perfection never happens in real life.

We’re always going to be doing the best we can with what we have.

And that’s okay.

We can still make progress toward our goals and still improve our health and our fitness – whatever’s going on in our lives.

That progress doesn’t happen if you “press pause” and wait for a better time.

It doesn’t happen if you say “I’ll squat again once the Dad situation resolves itself”. Or if you ask for a re-do next week, next month, next year.

“Fitness in the context of real human life”.

That’s one of our mottos here at Precision Nutrition.

It’s what I think we’re the best in the world at: Helping clients be healthy and fit in the context of their real lives.

Not while pretending to be someone they’re not. Not by signing up for a 12-week boot camp with daily workouts and restrictive diets.

But by living their own lives and practicing “always something”.

In my opinion, pressing pause is buying into an imaginary ideal: a “perfect” time when everything will fall into place; a beautiful, linear trajectory from total suckiness to apex awesomeness:

you suck - you rule graph

Asking for a restart because you don’t want to mess that line up is deluding yourself that somehow, next time will be easier. Next time will be perfect. No interruptions, no distractions… no… life.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect time.

We may have magical moments, of course. Short periods of time when things seem to “click” and come together.

But then the dog poops on the rug. Or the kid throws up on the couch. Or both… and then one or the other tracks it all through the house.

You keep pressing pause, and your progress looks like this.

no progress over time graph

Or, worse yet, you end up flatlining, stuck on a never-ending (maybe eternal) pause.

What to do next.

Fitness in the context of real human life is just like the rest of life.

We’re all just doing the best we can in challenging, complicated circumstances. We are all living messy, imperfect lives. We are all human.

If we can just keep moving forward, no matter what happens, no pause buttons, no do-overs, we win the game.

Here are a few strategies for getting out of the pause-button mentality and into a more realistic, effective, sustainable way of thinking.

1. Try the dial method.

Think of your fitness like a dial that goes from 1 – 10.

If you were to dial it up to “10”…

  • What would your workouts look like?
  • What would your nutrition look like?
  • What other actions/habits would you practice in that scenario?

If you were to dial it down to “1”…

  • What would your workouts look like?
  • What would your nutrition look like?
  • What other actions/habits would you practice in that scenario?

Giving thought to your life right now, where is your dial set?

Would you like to make any adjustments?

Could you move the dial up a channel, or even half a channel?

If so, what would that look like?

On the other hand…

Should you move the dial down a channel so you can stick with health and fitness even during a difficult time?

2. Aim for a little bit better.

An all-or-nothing approach usually doesn’t get us “all”. It usually gets us “nothing”.

You know what actually works?

Small improvements done consistently over time work — we have proof in the over 100,000 clients we’ve helped through Precision Nutrition Coaching method.

You might be trying to make a meal out of hospital cafeteria food, or gas station food, or airplane food. You might be spending hours awake with a newborn in the middle of the night, or stuck in yet another full-day meeting.

These aren’t ideal scenarios, but they’re not necessarily hopeless either.

Look around. Get creative. See if you can find some small — maybe minuscule — improvements.

3. Anticipate, strategize and plan.

Since we already know that stuff is going to go wrong, the best thing we can do is anticipate and make plans for how to deal when they do.

A simple way to do this is by answering two questions:

  1. What’s likely to get in the way of what I hope to accomplish?
  2. What is something I can do today to help me keep going when I face those obstacles?

For some people, that might be a Sunday ritual where they prep food for the week so they won’t be scrambling for healthy meals on busy weeknights. For others, it might mean having a healthy meal-delivery service on speed dial.

Don’t be surprised and dismayed when things go haywire. They will at some point. Just arm yourself with the best tools and strategies so you can stay in the game when you’re thrown a curveball.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in a way that helps them make consistent progress even when life gets complicated—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 33% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

The post Why the “pause-button mentality” is ruining your health and fitness. ‘Getting a fresh start’ isn’t the magic bullet you thought it’d be. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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You know those times when you just want a little something to snack on? Like, you don’t need an entire protein bar, but you want a few bites of something tasty and satisfying? I have a lot of those times — before I go to the grocery store, when I’m beginning to prep a meal that’s going to take a while, when I’m back from a workout and I’m not quite ready to eat anything substantial … the list goes on. And guys, I may have found my perfect snack. Perfect Bites, the newest offering from the makers of the…

The post Healthy Obsession: Perfect Bites appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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My spice cabinet is one of my favorite parts of my kitchen. Not because it’s fancy (it’s … just a cabinet), but because it’s so full of possibilities. A quick twirl of the lazy susan in there can show me just the right spice to take any dish up a notch with just a few shakes. Even though I have a few go-tos that I toss in many dishes — red pepper flakes, a special Tuscan blend, cinnamon — I’m always open to trying something new and interesting. And the Hawaij blends that Pereg recently sent my way are definitely new…

The post Hawaij: The Yemini Staple That’s Spicing Up My Kitchen appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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What makes for a successful fitness and nutrition coach? It’s not just what you know… it’s what you do (every day). Here are some of the practices elite coaches use to get results. Keep track of how many you’ve mastered.

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You know the type. It’s the coach that seems to have to it all together.

They have a long waiting list of eager prospects. Their client results are always impressive. They make great money doing what they love. And, just to make us all a little more jealous, they make it look effortless.

Welcome to the elite coach.

What is it that makes elite coaches so special?

Is it their training? Their hard work and commitment? Their passion? Or do they know something most others don’t?

The answer to all of those question is… yes.

Elite coaches do know something most don’t. But it’s not just knowledge. It’s a set of practices they work on daily.

And this set of practices helps them get better at forming strong relationships with their clients, fostering change, and improving their craft.

Here are the active habits that set elite coaches apart from the rest.

1. Elite coaches practice the art of human connection.

Better coaches aren’t just better at customizing workout and nutrition plans. They’re better with people.

Elite coaches don’t limit conversations to “here’s what you have to do”; they speak to clients in a way that nurtures real human connection.

By asking sincere questions, expressing compassion and being a steady source of support, they help guide their clients around obstacles so they can achieve their goals.

To practice this approach:

Ask leading questions that help clients open up and explore, imagine, or build on past successes. For example:

  • If things were better with your eating/exercise, what would be different in your life? What would you do more of? Less of? Be proud of?
  • Imagine that you have the body and health you want. What did it take for you to achieve it? What did you have to give up?
  • What have you had success with in the past? How can we do more of that and apply it to your health and fitness?”

And once you ask, really listen to their responses. Let them sink in. Learn from them. (For more on this approach, check out: Effective coach talk: What to say to clients and why it matters).

2. Elite coaches ask ‘why’. (Again… and again… and again.)

You’ve probably seen it a million times.

New clients get a taste for how hard it is to change their eating habits, do the extra 10 squats, run another mile, and rearrange their lives for all of it… and suddenly they don’t want it so badly, after all.

Elite coaches have a way of inspiring their clients—in every single session—to want the hard work. They know how to unlock their clients’ deeper motivation, sense of purpose, and inner fire.

How do they do this? For one thing, they know how to ask their clients why.

To practice this approach:

Use the ‘Five Whys’ technique.  Here’s how it works:

When establishing goals with your clients, you ask them why.

Q: “Why do you want to accomplish this?”
A: “Because I want to lose weight.”

Then, whatever answer they come up with, you ask why again.

Q: “And why do you want to lose weight in the first place?”
A: “Because I used to be thinner and am embarrassed by how heavy I’ve gotten.”

Continue asking why for a total of five times. It’s surprisingly challenging—and amazingly effective at getting to people’s core motivations.

(By the way, elite coaches use ‘the Five Whys’ on themselves. Because they know that getting to the heart of their own motivation is the best place to begin.)

3. Elite coaches help the “competition.”

Want to know a secret? To an elite coach, there’s no such thing as competition.

Elite coaches don’t feel insecure about what other coaches are doing because they know how to use their individuality as an advantage in their careers.

Rather than hiding and hoarding their knowledge, elite coaches share that knowledge and facilitate conversations, and in doing so build a trusted tribe around them.

Find your tribe and help make those in your tribe successful, and you’ll be more likely to succeed, too.

To practice this approach:

Get engaged with other people’s content and social feeds.

Take the extra few minutes to leave iTunes reviews on their podcasts; review their books on Amazon; share their Facebook posts; and so on.

These simple actions will help them build their expertise and broaden their reach. As a bonus, you might expand your own social networks in the process.

To take this concept up a notch, consider starting a Facebook group or other social community to serve as a source of mutual support, discussion, and inspiration. You’ll be able to answer questions and help your peers—and position yourself as an expert, too.

4. Elite coaches do less.

“Doing it all” is a myth.

Spreading yourself too thin is a first-class ticket to disappointment and failure. Instead, top-notch coaches figure out what’s truly crucial among their particular market and clientele, and do that.

Elite coaches also know their clients can’t do it all. They know that giving clients just one small habit at a time is far more effective than throwing an ambitious project at them and hoping for the best.

To practice this approach:

Give the ‘one habit method’ a try.

Of all the things your client wants to do and achieve, work with them to figure out which goal is most important to them right now. Then, based on their goal, help choose just one habit to start practicing today.

The habit should be so simple it almost feels “too easy” and it should be something they can do in just five or ten minutes, every single day.

Have your client practice that one habit every day for a minimum of two weeks. Ask them to check back in with you regularly to let you know whether or not they’ve completed the task.

(If you’ve completed any kind of PN coaching, you’ll recognize this ‘one-habit’ method. There’s a reason we recommend it: it’s integral to our coaching method, because it works.)

5. Elite coaches practice the basics.

Bruce Lee said: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Kick Guy never needed to have the perfect kick. All he had to do was focus on mastering the process and being excellent with all of the pieces. And that was enough to scare Bruce Lee. (Pretty scary.)

Elite coaches are like Kick Guy. They’re willing to practice techniques—even the basic ones—again and again so they can move towards true mastery.

They take this approach to their clients, too, helping them put their own foundation in place and acquire the skills they need to succeed in sustainable change.

To practice this approach:

Go back to basics with something you enjoy doing and consider yourself ‘pretty good’ at. Think back to the very first skills you learned to do that thing.

If you’re a boxer, for example, consider your stance, your hip movement, or your jab. Could you benefit from drills focusing on your core techniques?

Or, if you once struggled with poor eating habits, pay attention at mealtime. Do you still eat as slowly and mindfully as you once did? Would you benefit from paying more attention to how full you feel at the end of each meal?

Pick one elemental thing you could take from ‘good’ to ‘great’ or ‘great’ to ‘positively killer.’ Then work on improving that one thing. Solicit help from a colleague or peer if you like.

It may feel weird to act like a beginner again, but by doing so, you’re on your way to mastery.

6. Elite coaches listen for what they don’t want to hear.

Many coaches (quite logically) focus on trying to strengthen their clients’ motivation—the side of them that is interested in change.

But in the early stages of client development, it doesn’t work. Because that other side—the part that is scared of change and resistant to your efforts—is ridiculously strong. After all, it’s been preventing your client from changing for a long time.

In order to get your clients moving in the right direction, coaches have to do something that might sound a bit paradoxical: they have to hear out the resistance first.

Elite coaches listen for the resistance. They seek it out. Because they know they have to work with it, rather than against it.

To practice this approach:

Listen for your own resistance.

Think of something you’ve been wanting to change, but haven’t gotten around to yet. Tip: think of all the things you’ve been telling yourself you should or shouldn’t do.

Write down the thing you want to change. Then ask yourself:

  • What is GOOD for me about NOT changing? (In other words, how does NOT changing benefit me or help me solve a problem?)
  • What would be BAD about changing? What might I have to give up or lose?

Write down your answers.

How do you feel? Your resistance might feel a little calmer or quieter; you might feel a little more ready for change. Now that you understand your own resistance a little better, you can listen for it in client conversations, too.

7. Elite coaches know when to shut up.

Elite coaches have a lot of expertise, but that doesn’t mean they always vocalize it.

Think about it: When someone asks, “What should I eat after exercising?” an expert answers the question: “You should eat protein and carbs.”

But when a client asks “What should I eat after exercise?” a coach asks, “Tell me about your training program and what you feel you can manage?” Coaches even consider “What do you like to eat after exercise?”

A good coach doesn’t mind being quiet, asking questions or fading into the background a bit.

Many fitness professionals try to be both expert and coach at the same time. But that never works. You can’t talk and listen at the same time. You have to know how and when to switch back and forth between the two.

In other words: you need to know when to stop talking and listen.

To practice this approach:

Try using this ‘expert vs coach’ checklist on yourself:

With your clients, do you spend most of your time…

Expert Coach
Talking and telling… or Listening and reflecting?
Telling them what you know… or Sharing what you’re working on?
Answering questions?… or Asking questions?
Letting the client set the tone?… or Leading the client towards a decision or action?
Pointing and directing?… or Guiding and accompanying?
Taking the spotlight… or Fading into the background?

If you find yourself more on the ‘expert’ side of things, try actively practicing some of the actions on the ‘coach’ side.

8. Elite coaches practice being imperfect.

Lots of health and fitness professionals have high standards; most of us want to walk the walk. Moreover, we want to look like we walk the walk.

So we try to refine our own health habits, working practices, and self-presentation. We know that our bodies are often advertisements for our services, so we worry about looking our best.

But too often, we try to be perfect. And that becomes our downfall.

Sure, on the one hand, a little fire keeps you energized and sharp. But too much pressure is a parking brake on performance.

(Ever choked during a game or competition? You were probably overwhelmed by pressure. It happens to athletes all the time.)

So while elite coaches strive for excellence, they don’t try to be perfect—and they don’t expect their clients to be perfect, either.

To practice this approach:

Try sharing a little of your own imperfect experience with your clients.

When they’re fumbling with something, tell them about a time you felt awkward, embarrassed or uncomfortable yourself, either when working on your own fitness and nutrition journey or another time you were struggling to learn something new.

When they’re feeling like a failure, let them know everyone falls down sometimes: share one of your own mistakes—and maybe even how you fixed it.

9. Elite coaches keep it real.

If you work in the fitness and health industry, it’s easy to throw around a lot of ideas.

Stuff like this:

  • “Never eat processed food.”
  • “Always eat local, seasonal, organic food.”

On the surface, it’s hard to argue against either. But really? Unless you’re living in a yurt somewhere and growing all your own food from the ground up, I doubt you’re always eating whole, unprocessed, local, seasonal, organic food.

Which means those nutrition ideals aren’t aspirational—they’re impossible. Even for the world’s top experts.

Elite coaches are willing to do a reality check. They realize that people don’t need a nutritional deity to follow. They don’t need strict codes of conduct that includes words like “should”, “always”, and “never”.

Instead of coaching from a place of fantasy, elite coaches stay grounded. They help their clients make progress, bit by bit.

To practice this approach:

Examine the rules you’ve set.

Consider all the “rules” and expectations around fitness, nutrition, and health. Write down as many as you can think of. Be sure to include words like “should”, “always”, and “never”.

  • You should always…
  • You should never…
  • Being “fit” means you always…
  • Being “healthy” means you never…
  • Eating “nutritiously” means…

Now read your answers and think about whether a client could reasonably “always” or “never” do them.

10.  Elite coaches ask for help.

If you’re coaching other people, it only makes sense that you’ve experienced coaching yourself.

After all, if you’ve never been coached through something, you can’t possibly understand what your clients are experiencing, thinking, and feeling.

Elite coaches know this. They seek out mentorship and get coaching themselves. Sometimes it’s not even fitness related. It might be for their business, or their personal life (like how to be a better parent or partner), or a hobby they’re particularly passionate about.

The important thing is that that they are willing to ask for help, to make themselves vulnerable, to go through the process of change… just like their clients.

And they know how powerful that process of change can be.

To practice this approach:

Make your coaching checklist.

What areas of expertise do you seek?

  • Nutritional science?
  • Coaching psychology?
  • Business strategy?
  • Professional development?
  • General life wisdom?

What kind of a mentor or coach would you like?

  • What kind of a person are they?
  • What sort of reputation do they have?
  • What would you want them to show you or tell you in order for you to feel they were the “right fit.”

Now think about people in your life (whether paid professionals, colleagues or friends) who may fit your criteria. If someone springs to mind, great. Ask if they’d be willing to lend their expertise and support to the thing you’d like help with.

Or if you need to do more research, that’s cool too.

What to do next

Pick one of the practices.

Give some thought to which of these practices you’d like to try out for yourself.

Whichever you select, do you have the skills to incorporate them into your coaching style right now? If not, check out the PN approach to skill development for some inspiration to help you figure out your next steps.

Be an observer.

As you’re coaching, be aware of your style. Are you speaking and giving advice when you could be asking questions? Are you actually hearing what your client has to say, or rushing to find the answer?

Don’t judge yourself too harshly—just start building awareness, for now. That way you can start to get clear on what you’d like to improve upon.

Ask for help if you need it.

Moving from being ‘a good coach’ to being ‘an elite coach’ takes a lot of work, and it can’t be done alone. Look for people you can learn from. Maybe it’s a community member, an old mentor, or an experienced friend.

Want strategies to level up your coaching?

It’s no secret that master coaches develop over time, through education and consistent practice, usually under the guidance of a mentor or coach.

Precision Nutrition is the only company in the world that both works with thousands of our own nutrition coaching clients and teaches health, fitness, and wellness professionals our real-world methods for getting results.

And here’s some great news: Our next Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification Master Class kicks off on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019.

Want to achieve total confidence in your coaching skills? Get (and keep) more clients? Grow and strengthen your practice? If so, the Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification is definitely for you.

It’s designed specifically for Level 1 students and grads who realize that knowing about the science of nutrition isn’t enough.

Part master class, part grad program, part mentorship, it’s the only course in the world designed to help you master the art of coaching, meaning better results for your clients and a better practice for you.

Since we only take a limited number of professionals, and since the program sells out every time, I strongly recommend you add your name to our VIP List below. When you do, you get the chance to sign up 24 hours before everyone else. Even better, you get a huge discount off the general price of the program.

[Note: The Level 2 Master Class is only for students and grads of our Level 1 Certification. So if you haven’t yet enrolled in that program, please begin there.]

Interested? Add your name to the VIP list. You’ll save up to 37% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification Master Class on Wednesday, April 3rd.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following VIP list which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to get started and ready to gain mastery in their coaching practice. So we’re offering a discount of up to 37% off the general price when you sign up for the Master Class VIP list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the PN Master Class twice per year. Due to high demand and a very limited number of spots, we expect it to sell out fast. But when you sign up for the Master Class VIP list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready to take the next step in becoming a world-class coach, we’re ready to share our knowledge and help you master the art of coaching.

The post 10 things every successful fitness and nutrition coach does. The best coaches do them every day. How many are you doing? appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Learning more about nutrition is one thing; turning that knowledge into results (and a thriving practice) is another. That’s why, in this article, I share seven proven business models from top health and fitness experts. Use them to grow your existing practice — or to get a new one off the ground.

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The fields of health, fitness, and wellness are evolving.

Unless they have a specific problem they need solved, people are no longer looking for ‘personal trainers’ or ‘chiropractors’ or ‘physicians’…

… they’re looking for well-rounded ‘generalist’ coaches who can help them look, feel, and live better, in more holistic ways, and in ways that last.

A big part of that, of course, is eating better.

That’s why modern health, fitness, and wellness professionals are learning more about nutrition than ever before; they’re reading books, taking courses, attending workshops, and getting certified.

But getting the knowledge is one thing; turning it into results (and a thriving practice) it is quite another.

That’s why, when we recently updated and re-opened our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification, we added an entire chapter on business, advertising, and marketing (click here to see the table of contents for the course).

It’s also why we put together this article.

In it you’ll learn 7 proven models for adding nutrition coaching to your practice. (Or, if you’re just beginning, how to offer it right from the start). These come from some of the field’s top experts, including: Alwyn Cosgrove, Jonathan Goodman, Sean Greeley, Pat Rigsby, and yours truly.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’ll discuss:

Which model is best for you?

All of the strategies here are proven and expert-vetted — so you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

Still, they all have pros and cons. One model might be a lot more effective for, or better suited to, you (and the people you help) right now.

Feel free to read them all from top to bottom, or just jump to the section most relevant to you by clicking one of the links below.

Individual model

Suggested by John Berardi, Precision Nutrition

For many coaches, working one-on-one with clients and patients is a good start. In the individual model, you present yourself as a well-rounded lifestyle coach — and deliver on that promise.

One of the best ways to do this is to simply build nutrition coaching into your standard package of services.

Step 1: Get a commitment

Ask for the commitment you need to get real, sustainable change. That’s probably at least six months… maybe 12.

Establish an agreement for this duration and bill per unit of time (weekly, monthly, quarterly) instead of per session.

Then, begin your nutrition coaching practice (simply adding it to the exercise, rehab, medical, or other services you’re offering if you’re already in business).

Step 2: Decide how to work nutrition into your one-on-one sessions.

There are two options here.

Option 1: Offer a dedicated, regularly scheduled nutrition session every 1-2 weeks.

Value that session equal to what you’d value the services you’re currently offering. For example, if you charge $100/session for fitness training, you’ll charge $100/session for nutrition coaching.

Option 2: If you’re adding nutrition to an existing business, tack on 15 minutes to each session.

Again, for example, if you’re an exercise coach, do this at the start of the session, before your client is tired.

(Meet in a quiet place. Don’t do this while foam rolling/warming up.)

Of course, factor this extra time into your price per session. For example, if you charge $100 per session, consider charging $125 for a session that includes nutrition assessment and consultation.

(Likewise, if you’re a rehab specialist, or medical professional, you can do something similar.)

At this point, you’re probably thinking: “With a higher price point and a longer commitment, won’t that mean fewer clients or patients?”

Probably not. As current (and prospective) clients/patients see the tremendous value this sort of holistic coaching provides — and begin to see you as an elite-level, well-rounded coach — they’ll be more eager than ever to work with you.

However, even if you did lose a few clients/patients at first (which isn’t likely), you’ll begin attracting folks who are ready for change, and willing to commit.

That means you’ll get better results, and a better shot at establishing a great reputation, not to mention the income that reflects what you’re really worth.

Step 3: Develop your nutrition coaching format.

Here’s an example of what an hour of nutrition coaching might look like, based on the methods we teach in the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification:

1. Start with an assessment (if warranted) — check out the ones we use at Precision Nutrition for guidance.

This would involve tracking the things important to your client or patient. It could be objective things like weight, girths, skinfolds, blood parameters, photos and food intake. Or subjective things like mood and perceived health.

2. Review check-in questions.

During the prior week or two, you should have assigned new habits or practices for your clients or patients to work on. Review how they’ve done with those practices, celebrate all successes, and talk through any challenges around those habits.

3. Look back, look ahead.

Most people tend to focus on how far their goals are ahead of them, and how much time, effort, and work still remains. Change their focus by looking backwards and reframing the future as a set of opportunities.

Review what they’ve accomplished and what they’re currently excited about or looking forward to:

Looking back over the last xx days, what are you most proud of?

Today, what are you most excited about?

Looking forward, what are you most confident about for the next xx days?

4. Establish the next practice to work on.

Together with your client or patient, collaborate on what to do next. As part of your decision-making process, consider their progress, their changing goals, current sticking points, and what feels most important and/or urgent to them.

Once you agree on next actions, ask: How confident are you that you can follow this for the next xx days? Adjust as necessary until you come up with something you think will make a difference and they think they can actually do.

5. Create a plan/discuss next steps that will set them up for success.

Based on what we decided to practice over the next xx weeks…

What advantages do you have that’ll make this easy?

What surprises or challenges may come up and get in the way?

What sort of things might you do to overcome these challenges?

Top benefits of the individual model:

Easy to get started. If you have training clients or rehab patients, you have potential nutrition clients or patients too.

Keeps the scale small and manageable. This is a great place to start if you don’t feel ready for large-scale coaching, or if you’re simply happier coaching people one-on-one.

Simple integration with existing services. You’ll still be leaps and bounds ahead of the run-of-the-mill coaches out there because you’ll be coaching people to better, lasting change. You’ll have real results to show for your efforts — and you’ll be able to charge for it.

Small group model

Suggested by Alwyn Cosgrove, Results Fitness University

Unlike the individual model, the small group model lets you coach several people simultaneously in the same session. The sessions are held at a regular, recurring time, and everyone works together. Usually, there’s also a finite end point (such as an 8-week or 12-week program).

This is also a nice way to make the most of your time. You’re spending an hour (or whatever) regardless; 10 people paying $20 each will yield twice the revenue of 1 client paying $100 for that same hour.

Clients/patients may also prefer to trade off one-on-one time for a cheaper price — or simply like the idea that they’re sharing the journey with others.

Step 1: Add nutrition classes to your existing business.

If you have existing clients or patients, you can suggest that for an additional fee, they join your small group nutrition class.

Step 2: Consider “front-loading” nutrition for new clients.

Encourage uptake of the nutrition program by offering a free “entry level” nutrition starter class or kit when a client or patient begins working with you.

For example, at Results Fitness, every new client gets a “Phase 1” nutrition program that includes some initial habit-based coaching with bonus tools (like a food journal).

From there, Cosgrove estimates that 90% of clients upgrade to the 8-week small group program.

Feel free to experiment and discover the “winning formula” that works for your own coaching style and client or patient base.

Step 3: Develop your nutrition class.

What should the classes look like?

Class size can vary depending on your group and comfort level. However, generally 5-25 people per nutrition class is ideal.

The class structure could look something like this:

  • 30 minutes lecture on a given topic
  • 15 minute Q & A
  • 15 minute check-in and accountability session

Step 4: Find a good system for tracking compliance.

Accountability generally involves reviewing whether the client or patient has met their stated goals from the last session; and identifying what they will commit to work on for the next period of time.

The coach can assign the same habit to everyone, or allow each person to choose their own habit for the week, based on what they’re learning and their progress in the program. (Perhaps take a certain supplement each day or practice eating slowly at dinner time.)

Straightforward ways to track compliance include:

Have clients/patients sign a visibly placed whiteboard. By doing so, they’re committing to the week’s habit.

Keep a “compliance grid”. Throughout the program, track each individual’s consistency: If they miss a habit, they get an X; if they do the habit, they get the checkmark.

Assign “accountability buddies”. This allows people to partner up so they may check in with each other about their progress.

Top benefits of the small group model:

Return on investment: You maximize your profitability without investing more time. Serving more people at once, even at a lower rate than an individual hourly model, will allow you to increase profits per unit of time spent.

Accountability: For many people, the biggest barrier to success isn’t knowledge, it’s consistency. And consistency can be helped tremendously by accountability — something that naturally flows from having other people check in on your progress week after week.

Social support: We also know people are more likely to stick with the program if they have peers, friends or family with similar habits. A group model can provide a community feel and give folks a sense of support. They’ll keep coming back (and re-subscribing to your program) because they want to remain a part of the community.

Transformation contest model

Suggested by Pat Rigsby, patrigsby.com

In a transformation contest model, you provide coaching within a limited time frame (about 4 to 6 weeks), with a very clear goal. The contest offers a prize for a particular achievement, such as:

  • body composition changes
  • visual transformation
  • habit transformation
  • athletic accomplishment
  • etc.

Step 1: Develop and advertise the contest.

Decide on the criteria and find an enticing prize to draw people in. (Note: You will likely need a sponsor for this prize, especially if you’re not part of a fitness club or larger organization.)

Set a registration fee you’re comfortable with. $225 is a typical starting point.

Now, of course, to make a good contest, you need plenty of people. While you can have as many people as you like, to make it sporting I recommend about 20 people as a minimum.

Step 2: Offer ongoing coaching and accountability.

Throughout the pre-specified time frame of the program, you’ll deliver a combination of email coaching and in-person (or online) educational workshops. For example, you might send out a new email every Monday with that week’s program (i.e. exercise and nutritional habits), plus follow-up emails throughout the week.

In addition, you might host weekly in-person workshops or webinars throughout the program that discuss nutritional habits in more detail.

You may also choose to set up an online group, such as a private Facebook group, where you can send a daily reminder or “check-in” asking people to confirm they did their daily habit. This helps to build accountability into the program.

Step 3: Objectively measure results.

For instance:

  • If the goal is physical transformation, set times for in-person measurements throughout the program.
  • If the goal is athletic achievement, set times for group workouts or “fitness tests”.

Make sure criteria and measurements are clear and transparent. You don’t want people feeling misled or shortchanged.

While the program is short, it enables you to offer a lot of value in a short period.

Top benefits of the transformation contest model:

Creates urgency: The short time frame with specific set dates encourage people to make a commitment.

Highly motivating; keeps people focused: People can see real change within a short time frame, with a set endpoint. They can go “all in”, with an intense and focused effort.

Immediate cash influx and long-term financial benefit: You’re both enhancing the value of existing clients or patients by getting them to pay for a new service, and bringing in new clients/patients or who may sign up for other programs with you.

Enables you to deliver nutrition coaching and fitness/health/rehab coaching together in a structured way. This may be a good model if you want to incorporate some nutrition coaching into your work but aren’t ready to transfer it to your standard programs.

Corporate model

Suggested by Sean Greeley, Net Profit Explosion

In the corporate coaching model, you’ll provide nutrition coaching to a workplace (either a whole company or a specific department).

Corporate demand is increasing. It’s a great way to scale up your business and sell your services at a higher corporate rate.

It’s also mutually beneficial: Employees appreciate getting access to quality nutrition coaching and employers love the corporate culture and team-building benefits while improving the health of their employees.

Step 1: Get comfortable coaching large groups of people.

Get some experience with the group setting by starting with the small group or transformation contest model.

Step 2: Decide on the format of your nutrition coaching program.

For corporate clients, you’ll need to make a few amendments to your existing model, but you can borrow many of the same practices of either the small group program or the transformation contest program, depending on company size.

Top benefits of the corporate model:

High profits: Corporate coaching programs usually come with a higher price tag. Just be sure you can deliver on your promises. They will expect good service.

Less investment of time and administration: Corporate programs don’t need the marketing or sponsorship of free-standing transformation contests. This makes things more efficient (and potentially more profitable) for you. Transformation contests can be a bit heavy on logistics. Within a company environment, they become much more straightforward.

Broader audience: A corporate program can give you access to a large group of people (e.g. 100+), allowing you to sell/upgrade more clients or patients after the program is complete. (This assumes you have their permission to do so.)

Online coaching model

Suggested by Jonathan Goodman, The Personal Trainer Development Center

Online coaching typically involves weekly programming (by email or a software service), which may include written, photo and/or video content. It will require a degree of one-on-one time from you to provide accountability or answer questions, but that time should be structured and limited, as described below.

Step 1: Choose how many people you want.

Your goal number of clients/patients should depend on what you are trying to accomplish. Are you starting an online-only business? Is this supplemental to other projects, or will it be your primary work?

If it’s supplemental, or you’re just getting started, you may choose to begin with a small group (e.g. 10 to 20) and a small price point ($100/month).

Up to around 30 or 40 people seems to be manageable without special software. Beyond that point, you may wish to use a special software system to help manage clients/patients and content delivery.

Step 2: Choose your specialty or “niche”.

Efficient online nutrition coaching requires you to focus and establish templates for client/patient “type”. Pick no more than 3 types of individuals you want to include in your online program.

For example:

  • 25-30-year-old males looking to build muscle
  • Women in their 30s who recently had a baby
  • 60-75-year-old retirees
  • etc.

Step 3: Assess your prospects in advance.

Ask prospects to fill out a questionnaire. You can set up a simple survey online using a system such as Survey Monkey.

This will not only help you vet clients/patients to make sure they fit your area of specialty, but also to anticipate needs and problems in advance.

(For example, if you’re doing fitness coaching and clients have a shoulder injury, you will need to adjust their workouts accordingly.)

Step 4: Create 3-4 phases of programming for each type.

Each client/patient in the same category will receive a similar program, tailored slightly for them, based on their questionnaire answers.

Step 5: Set appointed times for compliance check-ins.

For example, at the end of the week, the client/patient can send you their food journal, or their update on what habits they kept, etc. You can schedule a time to review your email and check off compliance using your favorite method (e.g. a whiteboard or spreadsheet).

Schedule your time carefully. Set up regular appointments for yourself for when you will send materials, when you will check email or conduct accountability check-ins, schedule follow-ups, etc.

Step 6: Consider software.

Once you get a broader scope of clients/patients, you may look at buying software to help you deliver nutrition coaching materials.

Unfortunately not all software services support nutrition coaching. If you’re going the software route, be sure to speak with a representative about nutrition coaching in advance to make sure it has the functionality you need.

[Editor’s note: Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach is just this type of nutrition coaching software. It allows health, fitness, and wellness professionals to leverage our proven methods with their own clients/patients.]

Top benefits of the online coaching model:

It can save you time and money… if you do it right. Remember, online coaching doesn’t have to be a big business; it can be a great adjunct to an existing in-person business. For example, if you are training at a gym and want to try combining nutrition coaching with fitness, this can be a good way to do that on the side.

Client adherence can actually be better. Think about it: At a big rehab center, the client/patient buys “rehab” instead of a particular therapist. Since the therapist is often chosen for them, they may not be a good fit — and the client/patient feels no sense of agency in the decision. On the other hand, when you’re an online coach, the client picks you.

You reach the people who need you. Online coaching is a great way to reach people who need the help. For example, there are people who can’t afford gym memberships or personal training, or who are intimidated by gyms. Online coaching makes getting the help they need more accessible.

More flexibility. Online coaching can give you more freedom for how and when you work, allowing you to block off time according to your own schedule and use your preferred ways of working.

Just remember, in order to save you time, you must work efficiently and systematically. If you’re redesigning your programs for each and every person, and answering email all day long, you’re probably not going to get the results or profit you hoped for.

Partnership model

Suggested by John Berardi, Precision Nutrition

What if you’re not quite ready to provide nutrition coaching within your business?

No problem. You can outsource it.

The truth is, some coaches who are qualified to dispense nutrition advice (including Precision Nutrition Certified pros) decide that now isn’t the right time to formally incorporate practice-based nutrition coaching into their business.

That’s a fair decision. After all, it takes time to make any kind of addition or change to your business. It takes time to put all this nutrition stuff into practice, let alone become an expert at it. And it takes time to settle into your sweet spot of expertise, wherever you find it.

Meanwhile, you want the best for your clients or patients. You don’t want them getting lost in diet fads or repeating harmful patterns. You want them to feel good and succeed, in all areas of health and fitness.

So let’s say you decide that, at least for the time being, you’d like some help delivering nutrition coaching. This is where a partnership model can be useful.

Step 1: Start by picking your partner.

This may be a local nutritionist or dietitian who you trust and respect. Or it may be a reputable online coaching company, like us. (Obviously, at Precision Nutrition, we believe we’re the best in the world at what we do. So perhaps you want to partner with us? If so, drop us a line and let us know.)

Step 2: Decide on your partnership arrangement.

If you’re teaming up with a local nutrition pro, figure out what works best for the both of you: Will you exchange referrals? Go with affiliate-type commissions? Come up with a barter system?

There are lots of options, although my experience suggests that affiliate/referral commissions work best. With affiliate commissions, you determine a commission rate. Your affiliate partner pays you that rate for each person you refer to them. (And vice versa if they’re referring clients/patients to you.)

This type of revenue sharing model is commonly used in the digital/online world but there’s no reason it can’t be done offline too. Obviously, you can negotiate whatever you agree is fair, but a commission of 10 to 20 percent on each coaching package sold is standard.

For example, let’s say you decide you want to partner with us. As a Precision Nutrition Certification student or graduate you can become a referral partner of ours. You contact us, sign up for our affiliate program, and you’re given a special link to share with clients or patients for them to learn more about Precision Nutrition Coaching.

For each client/patient you think is a good candidate, you share that link with them. And if they go on to sign up for coaching, you get paid a generous percentage of the sale.

This is just an example, of course. You could set up a similar relationship with any other nutrition coach or nutrition company you choose, as long as they’re amenable.

The key is to make sure they’re giving advice you actually believe in, so that your clients/patients aren’t receiving mixed messages and getting confused.

Step 3: Stay in touch about their nutrition coaching.

For example, you might schedule regular check-ins to see how it’s going, what habits they’re working on, etc.

Just stay informed so you have a sense of their progress and so you can make sure your work dovetails with what’s happening on the nutrition side.

Top benefits of the partnership model:

You can take care of your clients/patients. If you aren’t ready or able to offer nutrition coaching right now, you’ll know they’re getting quality support in this area. Part of being a great coach is knowing when to call in extra resources to help your people succeed. Not everything needs to come from you.

You buy yourself some time. Keep working in the areas where you’re already a superstar. Meanwhile, keep learning and practicing in areas you want to grow. Remember, you don’t have to do everything all at once.

You keep it simple. Like your business the way it is now? Not excited about adding or changing things? Outsourcing is an easy solution.

You make a bit of money, and/or find some new clients/patients. Partnership can open up new opportunities and it can even make you some cash, with very little investment on your part.

Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach

As an addition, or alternative, to the models above, you may consider using Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach software, which offers Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates an easy way to deliver the practice-based nutrition coaching we teach in our program.

In this model, ProCoach delivers the Precision Nutrition Coaching curriculum to your clients and patients, while keeping you in the driver’s seat as the coach.

You sign up your clients/patients, and ProCoach runs automatically for each person.

Each of your clients will get 12 months of lessons, habits and progress check-ins, delivered to them automatically on your behalf. Meanwhile, ProCoach gives you a platform to track their progress.

While ProCoach delivers the programming, you are the coach. That means you can help your clients/patients through the curriculum in whatever way you choose — whether that’s in person, entirely online, in a group setting in the gym, a corporate setting, and so on.

Here’s an idea of how this works.

Step 1: Get started on (or complete) your Precision Nutrition Certification.

Again, ProCoach is only available to Precision Nutrition Certified professionals.

Step 2: Sign up for ProCoach.

We’ll be making more spots available soon. Click here to check out our next launch date.

Step 3: Register your clients/patients for the program.

This takes less than 30 seconds per person. The program immediately kicks off and gives your client/patient access to their personal dashboard, from any device.

Step 4: Review their assessment answers.

The program begins with an initial screening and assessment questionnaire. You can then review client/patient responses to get to know more about them and understand their goals.

Step 5: Let the program run.

At this point, the program runs like clockwork. Folks get daily emails with short reviews and lessons about what they should be working on that day. Every two weeks they will practice a different habit, supported by daily guidance in the form of written, audio, and visual content.

Step 6: Review client progress.

Every week or two, clients/patients are asked to report markers of progress such as body weight and photos. Through your ProCoach dashboard you will be able to review progress. You can easily track everyone at a glance, and deep dive into each individual’s progress as you wish.

Step 7: Check in and provide feedback.

If you want to be more involved, you can check in, provide feedback, and give high fives through the ProCoach communication system. Depending on your coaching style, you can also add your own personal elements to this — such as in-person coaching, group meetups, webinars, etc.

Top benefits of the ProCoach model:

Provide a reliable nutrition coaching experience. You’ll deliver the same high quality nutrition coaching experience to every single client/patient regardless of what else is going on… in your life or theirs. ProCoach offers our “road-tested”, evidence-based, real-world-proven system and experience for everyone. We’ve put some serious mileage on it so we know it works.

Scale up. (The sky’s the limit.) You’ll be able to coach 5 clients, 50 clients, or 500 people easily — because ProCoach makes it simple. We’ve already coached over 100,000 clients using this very system. Think you can handle that many clients? Go for it. The system will work, whether you have 10 people or 10,000.

Automation makes it easy. You’ll be able to deliver nutrition habits, lessons, and assignments on time and on track, no matter what else you’re doing. Whether you’re sleeping, busy, out of town, in bed with the flu, stuck in traffic or on a plane somewhere above the Pacific ocean… it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be there all the time, or married to your laptop, always wondering and worrying. The system will take care of your people, and make sure they get what they need. Daily, weekly, and monthly check-ins and progress tracking are also automated.

What to do next:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition

Whether you’re already in the middle of your coaching career or you’re just starting out, getting a top-notch nutrition education is the most important (and first) step.

Then you’ll need smart tools and systems for using that knowledge to get the best results for your clients/patients — and for your business.

In this article, we’ve offered lots of ideas for adding nutrition coaching to your practice. It can sometimes feel overwhelming. But starting with these steps will help you stay focused.

1. Know your stuff.

The business models we’ve laid out in this piece only work if you truly know your stuff. For example: If you’re going to coach nutrition, make sure you understand the fundamentals.

And just like nutrition, business is an ongoing learning process, too. Do you know the essentials of sales and marketing and buying psychology? Can you express what you do with clarity and passion? Do you know how to demonstrate authority and build a top-notch reputation for yourself? These may be areas where more study is needed to raise your game.

Take an honest assessment of where you are now as a coach and a business person. Where are your gaps?

Of course, if you don’t have the fundamental nutrition knowledge yet, maybe it’s time to get your Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. It’ll boost your credentials and up your game. Plus, once certified, you can use ProCoach.

2. Value your time and your services.

It may be tempting to give your nutrition knowledge away for free. Clients, patients (and friends and family) may ask you to do so, without giving it much consideration.

But if you want to make a great living, you need to put a price on your nutrition coaching services — whether that’s an increased hourly rate or a special program.

You also need to value your own time. The adage “time is money” is particularly true for health, fitness, and wellness. Be clear and specific about when you’re available, and how the time will be used.

You can also apply my ‘1-minute rule’. If you can answer the question in less than one minute, go for it. If you’ll need more than that, it falls under the umbrella of coaching — and that means you charge for it.

3. Use a system.

Nutrition coaching really isn’t something you can wing. The best, most effective, way to use your knowledge — for the good of your clients/patients and your business — is to have a system in place.

As you consider which business model to use, consider your goals and preferred way of working.

Do you feel most inspired when interacting with people one-on-one? Do you love the group setting because of your passion for public speaking? Are you pressed for time, making the online option most practical for you? Do you need to work with a partner or other third party for now, while you refine your nutrition knowledge and coaching skills?

All of these options have their own pros and cons; there is no single “right” way to do things.

It may take some experimentation before you find what works best for you. Start by picking one system, and giving it a try. As you go, you’ll learn from your mistakes, discover what works best, and adapt accordingly.

4. Get some support, if you need it.

You don’t have to do everything all by yourself, or all at once. If you’re not quite ready to provide nutrition coaching, you may consider a partnership model.

Or, if you want to provide nutrition coaching but want an easy and reliable delivery method and a tried-and-tested curriculum, explore Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach.

If you’re not sure which way to go right now, you can always reach out to us at Precision Nutrition — we’re happy to help.

5. Above all else, fulfill your promise.

Remember why you’re doing this in the first place — you’re passionate about health, fitness, and nutrition, and you want to use that passion to help people.

Your success fundamentally depends on the value you deliver. If people hire you because they want to live better, healthier lives, it’ll be your job to help them do that.

That’s the biggest reason nutrition coaching belongs in the health, fitness, and wellness spaces. It’s also why you have the potential to be immensely successful in these fields. Because if you deliver on the promise to help people live and feel better, you will stand out, and you will be successful.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Building a successful coaching practice — in a way that provides patients and clients with long-term progress, and you long-term fulfillment and financial stability — is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 33% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

The post 7 proven + profitable models for adding nutrition coaching to a health and fitness business. Help more people and build a thriving practice with these expert tips. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Every year, thousands of people consider starting a career in fitness and health. But most have no idea how to make their dream a reality. This article—written for both new and experienced fitness professionals—outlines a new curriculum for building a successful career. 

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Change your body, change your… career?

Becoming passionate about health and fitness put the rest of my life into perspective.

I caught the fitness bug early. I started working out and reading articles about nutrition and fitness when I was in high school. By the time I was 21, I’d put on 30 pounds of muscle, felt awesome, and vanquished my skinny guy genetics.

Like many people who start living the “healthy lifestyle”, I quickly became the go-to fitness and nutrition expert for my friends and family, a position and responsibility I enjoyed and cherished.

My new-found love for exercising and eating healthy—coupled with the results I saw in the mirror and my ability to help others get in shape—made me feel like a brand new person.

Well, almost.

Because even though I looked and felt different, the rest of my life seemed tethered to the “old me”. I’d transformed my mind and body… but I was still doing the same old stuff.

Working the same unsatisfying job. Going through the motions at my local community college. Following the same routines.

Taking control of my own health and fitness had shown me how much potential I had to change things in my life. To become happier. To find meaning and purpose. To make a difference.

So why the hell was I doing all the boring stuff I was “supposed” to do when I could do something that actually mattered?

A crazy idea popped into my head: What if I became a personal trainer and tried helping others transform their bodies? What if that was my job?

As I thought about the possibilities, I got excited. And then reality slapped me in the face. The way I saw it, I had one huge problem:

I had no formal education, no certification, and worse… absolutely no idea where to start.

Dream job

How do you become successful in the fitness industry?

I wasn’t alone. And I’m still not.

There are thousands of people who are passionate about health and fitness and considering a career change. But like me back then, they don’t know where to start.

Should they go back to school for a new degree? Get certified as a personal trainer? Or maybe something else entirely?

I remember thinking through the positives and negatives of each before deciding on a course of action.

Option 1: Go back to school.

Positives:

  • Earn a degree.
  • Learn all about biochemistry, anatomy, and exercise physiology.

Negatives:

  • Takes at least two years to finish (and more likely, four to six years).
  • Costs tens of thousands of dollars and could leave me deep in debt.
  • Doesn’t prepare me for the day-to-day work of training real people (i.e. doesn’t show me how to write training programs or nutritional plans people will actually follow).
  • Delivers few (if any) classes or resources on change psychology or business development.

Option 2: Get certified as a personal trainer.

Positives:

  • Faster than going back to school (Usually self-study, so I could go at my own pace.)
  • Costs way less money.
  • Learn enough anatomy and physiology to feel semi-competent.
  • The certificate I earned after taking the test would make me seem more credible to potential clients.

Negatives:

  • Doesn’t seem as “credible” as a degree.
  • I don’t know which certification is “good” and which certification is “bad”.
  • Still doesn’t teach me much about change psychology or business development.

So what did I do?

I got a crappy personal training certification, sweet-talked my way into a job as a “fitness assistant” at a local gym, and started training clients. (I eventually earned a better certification.)

At times, I felt like I was on top of the world. I had gamed the system! Here I was working with people, building my business, reading nutrition and exercise text books, and attending seminars. I felt like I had a big head-start.

But at other times, I felt like a fraud. I worried that everyone would look at my lack of formal education and know I was unfit to work with people, even if I was a certified trainer.

I worried that because I didn’t follow any sort of “path”, my new career in fitness was a joke. It was debilitating and even a little depressing.

But as I would later learn, my lack of a formal fitness and nutrition education put me in good company.

Be a world-class strength coach in 3 easy steps

When people ask renowned strength coach Dan John what they should do to become a successful trainer or coach, here’s what he tells them:

Step 1: Get a degree in English, study Theology, score a job as a high school teacher.

Step 2: Spend evenings teaching an online religious studies course.

Step 3: Volunteer as a strength coach with your high school track team.

Voilá, just 25 years later, you’ll be a household name in strength and conditioning.

While Dan laughs when he says this, that’s exactly what he did. And his hint of sarcasm isn’t missed, largely because Dan knows something most people don’t:

Unlike in certain fields like law and medicine, there are no clear, predetermined paths in fitness.

In other words, there is no single—or obvious—path to becoming a successful health and fitness coach.

When I realized that, I felt a huge burden lift off me. I wasn’t a fraud. I was just a guy who wanted to help people get in good shape. And, like Dan, I had simply taken an “unconventional” path to get there.

What does that mean for you?

It means that you can find the path that suits you. The path that matches your experience, personality, character, and principles.

You can create your own unique path to the dream job you want.

But how?

Start here: The new fitness industry curriculum

Of course, even though there’s no single template, you can still follow and adapt some of the patterns of the top coaches. Here’s how.

1. Start coaching immediately.

You don’t have to do anything fancy from the start. You don’t need to get a degree, rent space in a gym, or start your own studio.

In other words, you don’t need permission from anyone to get started.

All you have to do is help someone get in shape and improve their life, one step at a time.

It doesn’t matter if that someone is a friend, family member, or a paying client. The only way to see if you actually enjoy working with people is to start working with people.

And if you’re not feeling confident enough to coach on your own, ask if you can “shadow” a personal trainer or another experienced coach for a day.

Remember: You don’t have to know everything about exercise and nutrition to help someone get in shape and improve their life. All you need is to know a little bit more about health and fitness than the person you’re trying to help.

Becoming great at something (like coaching) is always about trial and error.

No matter how well prepared you think you are, no matter how many tests you pass, no matter how many internships you do, you will eventually have to try stuff and you will still have to make mistakes. On your own.

So start doing—and learning—now.

2. Get certified.

While you’re coaching, start earning your credentials.

Yes, we all know that a lot of certifications in the fitness industry are considered a joke. Many require a single weekend of “effort” (and I put that in quotations deliberately).

Most barely scratch the surface of what a trainer really needs to know to work effectively with a client.

But if you want to be viewed as a professional—and if you want insurance—you’ll need the paperwork. So get some kind of certification anyway.

Start with a basic certification like one of the following:

Once you’ve cleared the initial hurdle and have rounded out your skill set (see below), you can consider more advanced certifications and mentorships.

3. Become a “complete” fitness professional.

Once you get your basic personal training certification, it’s time to take it a step further and expand your education. We know that exercise alone won’t get your clients the kind of results they’re hiring you for.

And your clients will need more help than just the two or three sessions a week they have with you.

So what you should you do?

Nutrition education

First, learn more about nutrition, so you can feel more confident discussing food and diet with your clients.

Nutrition is where people 1) need the most help and 2) will see the greatest results.

In fact, including nutrition coaching with your training advice can increase your effectiveness as a trainer by at least five times.

In other words:

  • That could be 25 pounds lost, instead of 5.
  • That could be 20 points knocked off the blood pressure score, instead of 4.
  • That could be 5 inches off someone’s waist, not 1.

That could be at least five times more client commitment, confidence, motivation, retention, and satisfaction… with five times less effort from you.

Since a high-quality, real-world nutrition certification didn’t exist a few years ago, we set out to create one: The Precision Nutrition Certification. It’s quickly become the industry’s most respected nutrition certification, a fact we’re very proud of.

And if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 program, we’ve got something for you too. Check out this Level 2 page where you can learn more about the Master Class.

Also, if you want more research on the different nutrition education options out there, check out this site. It compares and contrasts the best schools and online education platforms. That way you can make an educated decision on what’s best for you.

Movement education

After establishing your nutrition system, I recommend one more thing to round out your basic skill set: improving your ability to assess movement.

Most exercise programming assumes that clients move well to begin with. And that might be true, if you were training child circus performers, instead of office workers or athletes and manual laborers with years of repetitive stresses and strains.

As physical therapist Gray Cook says, you shouldn’t load dysfunctional movement patterns. Adding weight to a structure that can’t support it isn’t going to make that structure any better.

Your exercise programming can actually hurt your clients if you don’t first learn how to help them fix their dysfunctional movement patterns.

So, consider checking out one of the following education tracks for better understanding and programming movement.

4. Learn how to coach real people.

After you’ve spent some time learning about movement, nutrition, and exercise programing it’s time to learn how to coach your clients. 

That means understanding the deeper psychology at play and saying the right things in the right ways at the right times. It means really connecting with your clients and helping them through their body  transformations one step at a time.

You can have someone do all the squats and eat all the broccoli you want, but until you learn “change psychology” and the art of coaching, you’ll never be able to actually help your clients change their habits.

Where should you start?

Here are two must-read resources to check out:

Note: In the second article we share six books that will teach you the basics of change psychology. Use it as a jumping off point for digging deeper into this area.

And if you’ve done all that and you’re ready to level up, you might consider these courses:

5. Get some business training.

You’ve gotta keep the lights on, your financials in order, and clients coming in the door. But how?

If you’re considering opening your own personal training studio or gym—or if you work at a bigger gym and want to learn how to get more clients—you’ll need to get some business training.

I’m not talking about a MBA here. I’m talking about fitness-specific training taught by people who’ve actually had success in the field.

Here’s are some great options:

(And here’s a great article outlining the 5 key stages of a successful fitness business).

The better you get at marketing and running your business, the more people you can help, and the more money you can make.

6. A career of learning and development.

Once you’ve built a strong foundation of training, nutrition, movement, change, and business knowledge, it’s time to commit to a lifetime of learning and personal development.

Feel free to pick the books, courses, internships, and certifications that most resonate with you. Or will most help your clients.

Now is the time to geek out about advanced programming for different populations, nutrient timing, soft-tissue therapy, hormonal issues, advanced exercise and diet techniques, and more.

If you’re interested in finally leveling up that basic training certification from Step 2 above, consider:

And if you’re ready for internships and mentorships, these come highly recommended:

If you’re interested in different areas of nutrition:

If you’re interested in more athletic populations:

If you’re interested in high intensity and group training:

If you’re interested in special populations:

Personal trainer

Remember: There is no one “right” way to make it in the fitness industry

Fitness and nutrition is still a young industry. There is no one “right” path to success. In fact, there may never be.

And I kinda like it that way. It means that possibilities are infinite. 

The best trainers can come from anywhere: four-year colleges. Doctoral programs. Theology school. College drop-outs. Someone who found a gym flyer in the parking lot.

It doesn’t matter.

If you’ve got the energy, the drive, and the interest to do this work, you can eventually do it… no matter what you’re doing as a career now.

What to do

While there isn’t one “right” path, there are six things you can do to set yourself apart from 99% of other trainers out there:

  1. Start coaching now—even if it’s just family or friends.
  2. Get certified—even if it’s a basic entry-level certification.
  3. Become a “complete” fitness professional—someone who understands exercise, but also nutrition and quality movement.
  4. Learn how to coach real people—by focusing on change psychology and connections.
  5. Get business training—so you can take your fitness “pipe dream” and turn it into something meaningful and profitable.
  6. Commit to a career of learning and development—geek out on advanced programs and build your skills and specialties.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in a way that helps them adopt simple but effective habits they can sustain—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 33% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

The post How to build a successful and rewarding career in fitness. A step-by-step guide for personal trainers & coaches. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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