2018 is over. It's time for a recap. It has been another very busy year, with 40 to 60 consultations per week, 4 new books and seminars from Berlin, Munich, Hasselt, Bruges and London to Sao Paulo, Melbourne and Sydney. As every year, I learned a whole bunch of new things and picked up pearls.
Three pearls from 2018 are:
1. Instagram can be a photo-centric mini-blog
Almost everyone has realized by now that Instagram has taken the lead in social media around the world. Higher interaction rates, more users and definitely less spam compared to other social media channels. It started as a photo-centric social media channel in 2010 and is now used by many as a mini-blog. Over the last year I've been observing Instagram much more closely and have gotten very good insights into how a large Instagram account works. Especially the Australian trainer Mark Carroll, who does a great job at Instagram, gave me very interesting insights, statistics and examples from his and various other Instagram channels, which impressively show how powerful Instagram has become in the fitness world. He and a few other coaches use Instagram to post high-value mini-posts to provide additional content alongside the visuals. Especially in the personal training industry, this can be an excellent option to provide clients with another service that facilitates client engagement and compliance. And of course to gain access to new customers. Statistically, over 60% of all Instagram users go online every day, making this mini blog a great option to provide some content in small chunks for current, past and future customers to keep them updated. Training videos, pictures, recipes, quotes, etc. Whatever gets the message across.
And yes, most followers only look at the pictures and not what is written in the caption below the picture. This is statistically true. It's also based on the fact that most posts don't focus too much on the caption. It's like saying Porsche doesn't sell well. That's right compared to total car sales, where Porsche sells just 0.28% of all cars sold worldwide per year. This means that 99.72% of all cars sold are not Porsche. Based on this statsisk, Porsche is not a successful automaker. Nevertheless, Porsche performs very well because they make cars for a very specific target group that appreciates the Porsche and its qualities very much. And the same goes for captions on Instagram. Are these valuable for the target group, which as a personal trainer mainly consists of your current, past and future customers? If the answer is yes, that audience will follow that account. Instagram allows you to connect with people. More than ever.
2. Personal trainers are recognizing more and more that the entrepreneurial component is also crucial in this job
We all become coaches for the same reasons: we love to train and we want to pass on that enthusiasm for training. This is more true than ever. Based on current statistics of how long you have to work before retirement, the average number of careers you will have is three. And the numbers tell exactly that story, as over 30% of the participants in modules 1-3 of the YPSI Trainer B license , our basic trainer certification, currently have other jobs with the goal of making the transition to a part or Creating a full-time personal trainer.
And with this trend, more and more coaches are recognizing the importance of the entrepreneurial component and the business aspect as a personal trainer. Which in simple terms means how to pay your bills to stay a personal trainer. Imparting value to clients, bringing them closer to their goals, which in the fitness world means "Lower Body Fat, Gain Muscle" in the form of Before'n'After achievements , is the primary pillar of becoming a successful personal trainer . The Entrepreneur component is the primary pillar of remaining a successful personal trainer. And the personal trainer's career time is still very short. One reason is definitely that many trainers don't yet have the technical skills and knowledge to actually get their clients in shape and get their clients to achieve their goals. And another reason is to make money as a personal trainer. And last year was definitely the year most trainers tried to pay more attention to this entrepreneurial component
3. Yes, the deadlift is an excellent exercise, too.
Over the years I've become a very public fan of the squat, writing asquat book , hosting over 20 squat days at YPSI , publishing the Squat Holiday , teaching The Perfect Squat workshop at conferences and seminars around the world, and the benefits of the Squats consistently propagated. And sometimes I get asked if deadlifts are a good exercise too. Yes, the deadlift is an excellent exercise too.
Deadlift is an outstanding exercise. I program them constantly. Looking through my program database, I wrote 8891 programs in 4 years between January 2015 and December 2018. 1599 of them included a variation of squats. 1639 included variations of the pull-up. 983 included a variation of the bench press. And 427 featured a variation on the deadlift. So I program the squat about 4 times as often as the deadlift. Why? Not because the deadlift is an inferior exercise. In many ways, the deadlift is superior to the squat. The reason I program deadlifts less is because the deadlift requires longer and more consistent preparation.
Do you want to hurt a beginner? Start deadlifting straight away.
This means before you add the deadlift to a program, that person needs to be deadlift primed, which means hitting certain benchmarks and going through progressions to get the most out of the deadlift and not hurt your back. Once these benchmarks are met, deadlifts can be incorporated into the program with significantly greater safety and significantly reduced risk of injury.
The deadlift builds strength throughout the body. The deadlift is an underused muscle building exercise. And definitely an underused exercise to speed up fat loss. The deadlift is a great exercise. And it's always been great practice. Because it's a more advanced exercise, I've talked about it a lot less than the squat. That's one reason why I wrote an entire book on the deadlift in 2018 - the YPSI Deadlift Manual . And in the spring of 2019, the German version will also follow as an e-book.
2018 was a great year. I have seen many clients make excellent progress. I've been experimenting with new devices like a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) with fascinating results. I have traveled the world to spread practical and success-oriented knowledge. And have spoken to over 1000 trainers at various conferences and seminars. Now it's time to get excited for 2019! Until then.
Image: At Sydney Airport.