Don’t be a Hack be a Pro!

I love the health and wellness industry but there is a constant discussion revolving around coaches and trainers that don't make enough money. It is our own fault as we often tend to want to portray ourselves as elite athletes and phenomenal specimens of muscle and performance. That only pays if you are a competitive athlete in a sport that also pays well. It doesn't translate into income from consumers. Professionalism, knowledge and results translates into respect and respect translates into income. So here are some random Pro Tips:

  • Don't be a hack... be a professional and raise the bar, don't lower it for all of us. 
  • Don't create programs without Assessments, Screens, Tests and Surveys.
  • Don't program on your drive to work.
  • Don't push people with volume when they haven't had any consistent volume or intensity in the past 6 weeks as research shows the risk of injury skyrockets.
  • Have a scientific methodology and a framework and create curriculum. Getting healthy and fit is not a random walk, it is a purposeful and intelligently created journey. As a professional, your health and fitness is more maintainable with random programming and general healthy habits because you have been developing them over many years and have a strong foundation. Your clients likely need a specific progressive program to get back on track.
  • Don't load up on steroids and PEDs and fool people into thinking you can make them look like you and perform like you.  That is worse than a Hack it's a fraud. 
  • Wake up, program to the internal chemistry, not to the outside of the body which is only the symptom of the problem. 
  • Get some professional evaluation tools, technology and education and level up. Let me see you in the same private Facebook groups that I participate in of highly respected professionals and researchers in health and fitness around the world. Stop liking that crappy IG post from the bro down the street that wears those fly shoes and drives an expensive foreign car but can't make rent, but he can do dips with a pretty woman on his shoulders. 
  • Don't flirt or date your clients, that is not professional. Would you want your doctor doing your physical and flirting with you? No, because that isn't the behavior of a professional.
  • Get insurance!  
  • Are you a respected professional or an Instagram model? Don't get me wrong, Instagram can make you famous and many people love to look at perfect bodies but does Instagram need its millionth 30 second clip of you doing a perfect air squat or another booty shot? We have plenty to look at online, post stuff that really helps.
  • Last but not least, don't leave all your client's personal and confidential health data lying around. Lock, digitize and secure. I predict, HIPAA is coming for our industry and if you want to work with healthcare professionals and be referred into situations you need to speak their language, research it.

If you want to succeed and be seen as a professional you need to do what other professionals do, invest in your practice. Until you are financially stable, can support yourself and can pay your way independently of having to rely on others to subsidize you,

  • Don't buy toys
  • Don't trade in for a new car every other year
  • Don't waste money on mindless amounts of entertainment and vacations you can't afford​
  • Invest in yourself and your clients by getting the education you need and the equipment to perform your job properly.
  • Please don't borrow money from your clients and disguise it as some sort of pre-paid training. It is tacky and very unprofessional. 

Professionals make sacrifices for the long-term. It is hard and it costs money to be a pro. The national average hourly wage for trainers is $19 per hour and you can't be busy every hour of the day. To earn $75-$100 an hour like a plumber, electrician, accountant or health practitioner you need to up your game and invest in your career like they do. Trucks, tools, equipment, offices, computers, software, education and training costs money but that is why all those professions make more money than you do. So level up, be a pro otherwise expect more of the same. Lots of people lift weights and many have photos on Instagram but it doesn't make them money regardless of what you may be hearing from others that don't know what they are talking about. IG gurus send me resumes regularly and they can't afford to pay for space, buy equipment, get an education, and often don't want to put in the 10+ years of work and study to achieve success. They want rewards now because they can bench press 3 plates. Oh and don't ask for an advance on your paycheck before you start, nobody in the corporate world does this and it diminishes your professional status. I totally respect someone working 2 jobs just to break into the industry and be self reliant. That's a pro. 

Dean
A graduate of Loyola University and MBA from The University of Chicago.
Pre-med LSU and post graduate at A.T. Still University.

His love of technology started right out of school. As a new hire for Arthur Andersen's Consulting group, the largest accounting and consulting firm in the world at that time, he led the first implementation of one of the very first IBM and Apple personal computers ever used in the business environment quickly becoming the world wide expert in analytical implementation of personal computers for business. Eventually moving on to a widely successful leveraged buy-out and then returning to Arthur Andersen and becoming a Partner in the Chicago office, he specialized in health, fitness, nutritional and food businesses managing some of the largest strategic food industry restructuring deals at the time. As COO of a successful Midwest Venture Capital firm, he was responsible for the operational management and success of over 25 investments each averaging $2-5 million over 5 years yielding returns in excess of 1000%.

He served on the board of many businesses in the health and nutrition sector as well as the educational and certification industries, including the board of Nutrisystems and one of the largest licensing and certifying bodies in the US. Achieving a modest level of success he decided return to school to increase his scientific and technical knowledge and launch an investment company targeting startups in the health and fitness sectors. During this time he became one of Infusionsoft's first Certified Partners providing digital marketing consultation and implementation for many industries including the health, fitness and hospitality service sectors. Having custom developed some of the very first website to Infusionsoft CRM integrations, he implemented over 50 Infusionsoft installations and one of the first website membership systems providing targeted content to clients based on funnel tagging and online behaviors. While UltraFit Systems has incubated and exited several fitness concepts, he noted a need for better digital marketing and client management systems as well as analytical tools for health practitioners to use to chart a scientifically valid path to achieving their goals and objectives.

He is a founding member of Six Sigma Fitness (SSF), an online science and technology company with multiple distribution channels. SSF is a Cloud based SaaS health technology platform for Athlete Management and sub-clinical Health, Wellness and Fitness evaluations for the Health and Fitness industry. It is also a health practitioner educational resource that certifies practitioners in the SSF proprietary methods and business processes. He has created proprietary scientific algorithms, custom CRMs and integrated technologies using API integrations and behavioral logic for marketing and conversion strategies in the health sector. This platform and technology is currently being adopted and customized for a small muti-location mobile technology retail organization as well and B to B telcom provider.

A wrestler in high school and for a brief time in college until realizing the challenges of studying and playing sports at a high level while constantly having to cut weight, he decided to coach and master the challenges of health and fitness through weightlifting and martial arts while pursuing careers in consulting and eventually the venture capital and private equity business specializing in food and nutrition industries.

He is a multiple blackbelt having studied martial arts for over 30 years including kickboxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, Krav Maga, Kenpo Karate, Kung Fu, Northern (Longfist) and Southern Shaolin (Hung Gar Tiger and Crane), Tai Chi, Qigong, Traditional Weapons and Chinese philosophical studies including Taoism, internal arts and energy systems from an Eastern medicine perspective.

He has had the good fortune to train with and or under the direct lineage of some of the greatest martial artists in the world including Master Ed Parker, Master Jinheng Li, Kru Pol and Master Eddie Cha.

He is also the author of the Six Sigma Fitness™ Scholar Warrior Program which brings together the Eastern and Western sciences as well as the training of both traditional strength and conditioning with martial arts programming.

He is currently the Research Physiologist with UltraFit Systems, Physiologist/Consultant to many professional athletes specializing in combat sports, weight cutting and physiological adaptation. Authored and developed The Scholar Warrior Program for Six Sigma Fitness™ and The Six Sigma Fitness™ Methodology.

Past certifications are too numerous to list but more include Six Sigma Fitness™ Certified Practitioner, Certified Personal Trainer (C.P.T.), CrossFit Level 1, Precision Nutrition, Poliquin Biosignature, Poliquin PICP, BioForce HRV, BioForce Certified Conditioning Coach

He is available for consults, private self-defense training and speaking engagements.

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