Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Exchanging services
It's important to have a good website and good local search engine results as a personal trainer.

However, as a new business, I didn’t have the money to pay for a web design company to redo my website or a SEO specialist to help my search results.

To overcome this, I decided to try exchanging services with a web design company.

I Googled web design companies in my local area and picked a few companies that I liked the look of and sent out a few emails. If you can find the name of the director and address the email to him you’ll get a better response compared to sending emails out to info@... Or enquiries@...

Here is an example of the email I sent out.

“Hi John,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name’s Dominic, and I have recently started up a personal training and massage business. I have a website,, but I would like to improve the professional image of the website and add some more information.

As a new business I don’t have the resources to spend on a website but I would be more than happy to exchange services. I can offer individual personal training or group training for your business. If this is something you could be interested in please let me know.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

After the web design agency replied I met one of the directors for coffee and we discussed his goals, how many sessions his services are worth, location, times etc.

Have a look at my site at the moment - the new one is going to go live next week!

Exchanging services doesn’t just have to be with a web designer ....

Give it a go and see if it works. Have you tired anything like this before?


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Space saver

Just because you don’t have the luxury of the space of a gym or studio floor doesn’t mean you can’t deliver a fun and hard workout to help clients achieve the results they’re looking for. Here are some ideas on how to train in a small place to help clients achieve their fitness goals.
ViPR, boxing and free weights are great pieces of kit, especially when you have limited space. Try mixing ViPR and free weights with plyometric training for great cardio results. For example, squat jumps to shoulder press or a squat jump when performing the ViPR exercise ‘thread the needle’. One of the great things with ViPR is that there are endless amounts of exercises you can perform with your clients.
To use free weights in a cardio workout try increasing the tempo of the exercises. Put a few high-tempo plyometric exercises into the programme to challenge your clients’ cardiovascular abilities and keep them in the heart rate zone you want.
Boxing is a good exercise for maintaining a cardiovascular workout for a sustainable period of time. Push your clients to hit hard and increase the tempo to progress the exercise. Think about ways in which you can integrate boxing with other exercises, e.g., jabbing with squats or punching above the head combined with sit-ups.
I hope you find this helpful. What type of exercise routine do you use with your clients when you have little space available?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

PTs: are you training clients online?

One of the problems I found within my business is that by only having a single product of private personal training priced at £40, I didn’t have a second product I could sell to consumers who wanted help to reach their goals but couldn’t afford an hourly rate.

Because of this I created an online package: detailed training plans, nutritional assessment and continuous support via email and text.

My online training package is targeted at former clients who have reached their goals and want to maintain results, plus new clients interested in personal training but who cannot afford £40 for a private session.

One area I'm investigating includes using the online model as a promotion in local sports and fitness shops, tied in with purchases. This creates an incentive for the shop to promote you as they will potentially sell more high-end products. It benefits the consumer as they’re getting more for their money, plus an effective training programme that delivers results. And you will benefit from gaining more online clients.

Try it - and let me know how you get on. All ideas and feedback welcome!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A conditioning programme to improve your client's tennis game

Following the success of Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon many of your clients may be dusting off their tennis racquet and wanting to improve their game - here are some exercises that can help as part of a conditioning routine.

The key to success will be to communicate effectively with your client. This will help the player to understand what they are trying to create through certain exercises.

Having a strong core is important for getting powers into the tennis shot. These exercises are a great way to improve the power of your shot.
  • Russian twists
  • Rotational side plank
  • Medicine ball slams
  • Medicine ball passes
Foot work is important in tennis to ensure you’re in the right position to play the shot. The following exercises are designed to improve your speed, agility and power endurance. Approximately 50% of the movement in a tennis game is lateral, 49% is forward and 1% is backwards. Try to recreate this when performing performance drills.
  • Lateral Ice skaters
  • Frontal hops and lateral hops over the base line
  • Frontal and lateral speed drills using a speed ladder
According to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) the alactic system is used 70% of the time, the lactic system (both under the anaerobic umbrella) 20% and the aerobic 10%. Recreate this when performing cardio vascular training with high tempo power recreating the movement patterns of tennis for the best results.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

PTs: what are your favourite ways to train?

Here are my favourites. 

Free weights
Free weights are great for getting results with. Try to avoid fixed resistant machines where you can; free weights are far better for your fixators, core and for recruiting more motor units.

Likewise, ViPR is a great personal training tool that can be used with any client. I use it for clients with different goals from weight loss to sports conditioning and everything in between. It’s fantastic for a wide range of whole body exercises that can be tailored to your clients’ abilities. It’s a great piece of fun kit that my clients use to carry out personalised programmes from home with.
Boxing is a hard, fun workout. I find women love it and it’s a great way for your clients to let off some steam. Try mixing boxing with a mixture of body weight exercise for a great, high intensity workout.

Levers, gravity, ground reaction and momentum
Levers, gravity, ground reaction and momentum are often overlooked when training with a client. Think about how you can use these forces to reach your client's goals. For example if your client wants to work their stomach try a posterior lunge with a bilateral overhead reach. You’re going to have to work the abs as they control the posterior momentum created by legs and gravity.

The great outdoors
Training doesn’t always need to be in a gym! Try training outside; it's a great way to motivate clients and mix things up. Some possibilities are interval training on bikes and hill sprints.

What are your favourite equipment or environment, and why?

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Training a client for dance - using ViPR

Here's a short video of me with one of my PT clients, who is training for partner dances. Here I show him how he can use the ViPR to train at home, without his partner, to build strength and speed to perform the 'dead man's drop'. I'm using a 6kg ViPR and the lateral tilt move.

With thanks to for letting me host my video at their YouTube channel ... keep an eye out for my own channel coming soon ...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

PTs: do you have a fitness newsletter?

In my last couple of  posts, I've talked about newsletters and partnerships - they are a great way of adding value for existing clients as well as reaching out to new ones. Here's an example of one I send out from FeelGoodPT in association with 
Have you set-up any partnerships? Do you send out a newsletter? Let me know your stories.

Tip of the month

Let’s talk about squats

Squats are a great exercise for the glutes, hamstrings and quads. A great quality of the squat is there is room for progression and the option to incorporate other major muscle groups.

Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your eyes and shoulders facing forward, gently lower yourself in a control manner ensuring you keep a straight spine and stop when you reach a 90% angle at your knee. Pause then return to the starting position.

If you find you’re tight in your calves and your heels are coming off the ground try taking a wider stance. This should stop the heels rising and give more stability.

To progress the intensity of this workout you can add a new variable such as, dumbbells, Olympic bars, kettlebells or a VIRP to create a new stimulus.

To increase the intensity of the exercise you can incorporate different muscle groups and compound movements.

A few good combinations are:

  • Squat to shoulder press
  • Squat to bicep curl
  • Squat to frontal or lateral rise

Try mixing squats with different exercises for a great full body workout

For more information on Personal training see

Dominic Burns Reps Level 3

How do you recognize a ‘good’ fat?

There has a been a deluge of information about fats in the media but how confident are you that you know what makes a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ fat? Fats can be broadly considered in three groups – saturated, unsaturated and trans-fats. The classifications may be based on the chemical structure but there are everyday observations that help us identify which fat is which.

Saturated fats contain no double bonds and are solid at room temperature e.g. Butter, lard. Saturated fats are not essential to good health but they are probably not as harmful as previously thought. A diet containing low levels of saturated fat is consistent with good health. Most saturated fats come from animal products with palm oil and coconut oil being the only significant vegetable sources. When heated saturated fats cannot form trans-fats and are therefore suitable for heating.

Unsaturated fats contain at least one double bond and are therefore liquids at room temperature e.g. olive oil, sunflower oil. Diets containing unsaturated fats are essential for good health. Omega 3 fats and omega 6 fats are essential in the diet as our bodies cannot form these fats any other way. These oils, found in nuts and seeds, avocados, oily fish, olives, eggs etc should be included in the diet daily. However when heated unsaturated fats can form trans-fats, which are the most dangerous fats to our health. Don’t use olive oil or other low smoke point unsaturated oils to fry foods.

Trans-fats are unsaturated fats found both in nature and in processed foods such as hydrogenated oils and heated unsaturated fats. Naturally formed trans-fats such as those found in milk are not thought to be harmful whereas those formed by processing are considered very harmful. Avoid all foods containing hydrogenated fat and foods cooked at high temperature in unsaturated oils.

For more information see

Claire Barker DipION mBANT, Nutritional Therapist


Nutritional plan and online exercise programs
Just £75 per month
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