How They Became The Top One Percent

A few weeks ago at Fitness Business Summit 12 we announced the Personal Trainer of the Year Award.

Personal Trainer Of The Year
Nearly 400 fitness trainers had applied for this award, so selecting the winner was a monumental task. We narrowed the applicants down to four trainers, brought them on stage, and allowed the voting to take place as organically as possible – by posting the four trainers who qualified to win on my Facebook fan page and having the audience at FBS12 as well as the people these trainers influence go to the fan page and vote by “liking”. 

We gave them 24 hours to notify their clients, their facebook friends, and their email list and the race was on!

See, the way I see it, it’s not all about which trainer makes the most. I wanted to award the trainer who…
1. Was successful… but also….
2. Had given back to their community
3. And had a higher cause and purpose than just money

… and so I figured the best way to vote was to put it out there to the audience, to the continuity and to their clients and circle of influence.

I’m glad that I didn’t have to make the decision myself becuase as far as I’m concerned all four (five kinda) of these trainers deserved to win.

They are:

Jeff Sherman – Baltimore Fit Body Boot Camp Owner
Dan Ritchie – Miracles Fitness in West Lafayette Indiana
Israel LoBue – Pacific Beach Fit Body Boot Camp
Stephan and Mark Gray – Double Vision Conditioning Centre in Bedford, UK

After the 24 hour voting period the winner was evident. Stephan and Mark Gray had the most ‘likes” and walked away with a very heavy glass award and the title “ Personal Trainer of the Year 2012”.

Congrats fellas!

Now, I’ve had the pleasure working with all four (five) of these guys over the last year and beyond and so I can tell you from first hand experience that they are major action takers, they stay focused and on track, and they’re always extending outside of their comfort zone.

In this mega blog post, I’ve asked them to share with you the big shifts in thinking, action, planning, and marketing that has gotten them in the top 1% of the industry. So without further ado, here are the ideas, tips and strategies that Jeff, Israel, Dan, Mark and Stephan want to share with you.


Jeff ShermanHey, Jeff Sherman here with Baltimore Fit Body Boot Camp. It was an honor to be nominated as one of four people to win PT Power Personal Trainer Of The Year. Congratulation to Stephan and Mark. If you ever get the chance to hang out with these two guys, do it. Awesome guys and I can see how they have such a big influence in their community.

Being in the fitness industry and especially running boot camps give us an incredible opportunity to make a difference in our community and impact hundreds if not thousands of people in a positive way. A few ways that I do that with my boot camp is:

1. $100 gift cards – I give them to charities and they can sell them for whatever amount they can get for them and keep 100% for their cause. It is a win/win for everyone because they can easily raise money, the customer get’s 2 weeks of boot camp for a fraction of the cost, and I get free leads

2. Charity Boot Camps – I run a charity boot camps on select weekends and donate 100% of the money to the selected charity. These are always a lot of fun. We run a 3-4 hour boot camp and give away prizes. We usually raise close to $1,000 and give away over $500 in prizes. This is also a win/win for everyone. We get  local businesses to donate prizes and also promote the boot camp to their email list. They get new customers and so do we. Plus the charity makes a lot of money too!

3. Create a Mission – Men’s Health declared Baltimore the 8th fattest city in the United States. I made it my mission to get Baltimore out of the top 10 fattest cities. I created a DVD and gave it away for free in an effort to do so. From creating this mission I was able to get on TV and help thousands by giving my DVD away. This was also a win/win. They covered shipping which covered my cost and it also gave me free leads. We offered everyone that got the DVD a free week of boot camp.

Positioning yourself, not just as a fitness authority, but as a business authority and leader in your community is crucial to having a big impact on your city. If you really want to make a difference you need to get involved in your community and meet as many people of influence as possible. People of influence would be business owners, local TV and radio celebrities, ministers, mommy bloggers, and so on.

It is really easy to find these people and get to know them. Find out what events they will be at or what events they are hosting and go. Introduce yourself and offer to help them out anyway that you can. Offer to email your list about their event or post it on your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Run a boot camp to raise money for their cause. Once you help them they will most definitely do the same for you.

The biggest mistake I see people make is going to these people asking them to do something for you. Give first with no expectations and I promise you that you will build a solid relationship with them and they will help you out for years to come.

To be the best you have to be willing to do things that most other fitness business owners are not willing to do. And not just one time, you have to do this kind of stuff day in and day out. I promise you it is worth it. It will set you apart from the rest and show that you really care about people and that you want to make a difference. Fitness Boot Camp

Jeff Sherman

Fit Body Boot Camp
“Unstoppable Fitness Formula”

######## ISRAEL LOBUE #######

Boot Camp TrainerI got started in the fitness industry because I loved working out and it was a great part time income while I was going to college. Once I got out of the Navy, I was fortunate to apply the G.I. Bill college fund to pursue a college degree. After about a year of personal training I started to get more serious about it. I wanted to help more people and also have a family.  I started to figure out real quickly that if I wanted to help more people and have time to enjoy my family that I needed to change my business model. I didn’t want to get burned out as a trainer, but if I continued to train 1-on-1 clients only, then burn out was definitely in my future. I needed a better plan and I needed it fast.

I didn’t know how to build a successful training business on my own, so I got resourceful. I heard about FBBC at FBS09 and a light bulb went off in my head. I started my FBBC in September 2009 and never looked back.

The past year of my life and my business has been amazing. In just the last year, my little girl Maleah was born on April 1st 2011, I graduated from SDSU in May 2011, we were finally featured on Groupon after 4-5 months of repeatedly emailing them, and I finally signed the lease on my own 3000 sq ft facility in September 2011. It was GAME ON because now I have a new baby girl to provide for and I no longer had school to worry about. I started to take massive action toward growing my Fit Body Boot Camp

The things that contributed to my success were:

1.  Follow a proven system that works, which for me is FBBC

2.  Take massive imperfect action

3.  Offer amazing service to your clients, (under promise and OVER deliver)

4.  Be extremely passionate and LOVE what you do

5.  Show your clients that you really care about them

6.  Get featured on GROUPON 1-2 times a year

7.  Give back to your community: (ex: feed the homeless, do a toy drive for kids during Christmas, do free public speaking and share your message of health and fitness to your community).

8.  Know all your clients by name

9.  Hang out with your clients outside of FBBC

10. Schedule tons of nutrition consults and have people COMMIT to a program.

Israel LoBue

Pacific Beach Fit Body Boot Camp

####### DAN RITCHIE #########

I have been in West Lafayette training clients since 2002.  Opened my own place in 2007 in West Lafayette….. West Lafayette Indiana, home of
Purdue University, one of the largest in the Big Ten near 40,000 students.

We have served over 2000 people now and over 600 currently between our twolocations, Lafayette and West Lafayette.   Just opened Lafayette location Jan 2012.

Dan RitchieWe have partnered with Habitat for Humanity and gave them $2,700 towards a womens build….thus the Pink Hard Hat.   What a marketing plan that was, I was in that Pink Hard Hat all over town, facebook, videos the local news even a 400 plus womens event where I was the only guy in the Fashion Show!

We did a food drive for FoodFinders this fall  (pic attached) and raised over $600 with the Reactivation mailer/email  30 people at $21…easy to

We have primarily focused on video, thru TV commercials, local TV news appearances (I am blessed to be on the local CBS morning news every 3 weeks).   Since we are a small TV market TV spots are actually more affordable than Print ads in the newspaper, billboards or other print
material.   We have grown our email list to 4800 starting from essentially nothing in 2010.   This has been huge for us the past year for sure.

I think really have a passion about a specific niche or two (maybe 3 if they are compatible) really helps. You focus on what you are passionate about and target all your efforts and marketing in that direction.  You can either be great to a small raving few….or mediocre to everyone. I think the health club model is be mediocre to the masses.

I think the key is you have to really, really care about the client, this is hard to do for sure….and we don’t get it right as much as we should….but really putting the client first means you care about their end result often more than even they think possible. In the end for me it isn’t really about how much money you make (success) but how many lives you really change.

Dan Ritchie, PhD, CSCS

####### Mark and Stephen Gray #########

We learnt very early on after reading that the more people that we help in our community the more we will be able to achieve as a business.

PT Power Personal Trainer Of The Year

Our focus therefore has not been to constantly strive for more clients, but to give content & educate our community so that they seek us out as the answer to their specific problems. This allow us to go narrow and deep with our chosen niches (we target 2 at the moment).

We are constantly receiving similar emails to the one I shared at FBS (see below) from people who received our information but are not members.

Hi there,

Just want to say good luck with this competition! You’ve got my vote! If I was in Bedford more I would definitely be joining in with the Bootcamps.

With all your tips and information via facebook and email I’m managing to take control of my health and wellbeing and the weight is slowly but surely coming down 🙂 You’re not only inspiring as people but also as a business- The DVCC must put a lot of effort and time into your work, and create a community atmosphere….. I haven’t even attended the Centre, yet I’m still reaping the effects of your business, don’t know any other

business this dedicated to their members and non-members!

so THANK YOU!!! I’m certainly spreading your name.


We recently implemented a new system that identifies how long someone has been receiving our information before they become a member. Believe it or not, we don’t mind that in some cases, It has been 6 months +, as these prospects come to us already sold as they know, like and trust us and know we can provide the answers they are looking for.

Over the last 12 months, our business has grown by over 320% and that includes a proportionate increase in our ‘free’ time…..and when we drilled down we also realized our member results increased. How have we done it?

The first thing we did (Bedros told us to!) was to pass over our remaining 15 to 20 hours of personal training to our trainers.

You can’t do that, you must love training a load of people will cry!

Well NOPE actually I had grown to hate it. Having to turn up to my studio at 7am, 5 days a week and train people to only THEN start proper work sucked my enthusiasm.. And made me an average trainer!

It was a massive step but the relief we felt was immense…And it forced us to systemize our whole client experience.

A few things perhaps you could do:

–       A conformation email on booking a consult linked to a survey monkey survey digging into why they have contracted you. Get them involved before they come to you.

–       An email the next day linked to video testimonials of the great results your clients get.

–       A reminder text on the morning of their consult.

–       A congratulations email the day after joining, with a summary of their nutrition program and nutrition consult schedule.7 figure formula mastermind

–       A personal text to them after their first session, with Ps they may be sore after working out.

–       A call to them the second day after their first session, asking how they are feeling and giving them ways to reduce soreness (one lady stopped after she was too sore – this system stopped this and it has never happened again.)

–       A gift after their 1st 5 days (an embroidered hand towel with their name and our logo)

The list literally goes on and on and is set up for 2 years!

What we have managed to achieve is to be able to look at things strategically. We find a problem/think of an idea and systemize it, so that whatever needs to happen will happen repeatedly and will be done by our staff.

A Mini Blueprint for you

Splitting our business into “The Before/During/After units (as advised by Dean Jackson) has also been invaluable in maximizing every part of our business.

A simple tweak to our “Did Not Join” sequence regularly brings in an extra 400/monthly and that would only have come because we have split our business into those parts.

A few quick tips that make the difference.

–       Give great content every 4 days.

–       Make your facebook a hub and reflect YOU – It doesn’t mean you need to spend all of your time on it though– Check out…

–       Collect ALL leads and ensure you have a strategic and systemized follow up.

–       Have scripts for everything – If you haven’t got a sales script get B’s “Close Clients”.

–       Focus on helping your community 1st and Money second.

–       Always give your client a great experience. Every time. Systematically.

–       Every person is a lead. Never lose contact. If they have been a member they can be again. If they haven’t converted after a consult you still have a chance.

–       Work out the lifetime value of your average clients and then you can work out how much you can spend on them to provide an exceptional experience.

–       Have daily meetings with staff where you/your trainers talk about the members and what extra help you could provide them to enhance their experience.

–       Continually work on “yourself”. Listen to audio books, read whatever you need to do keep improving and innovating. 2 hours of every part of my day is spent on further learning.

Fitness Marketing

A Step By Step Blueprint That Got Us To Where We Are

1. Set your day up to include a morning and evening ritual (it doesn’t have to be more than a couple of minutes). This gets your head in the right place and ready to kick some ass – Thanks Craig Ballantyne.

2. As soon as you see/have an idea IMPLEMENT. I cannot stress this enough. We had constantly been suggesting what our friend could do to make more money…after 10 months of badgering he finally did and made $4000 in 2 days! Now he is hooked.

3. Systematize so you can strategize. Our days seem “easy” to most, as the first thing I do each day is delegate what I can. People think I am not doing anything when I am reading or listening to audios, but the ideas I had from the previous day are getting done….just by our staff. It is all down to Systems and is something we are passionate about as it helped transform our life. In fact check out your introduction to Systems at

4. Get a coach. EVERYONE says this but we truly live it. We are part of Bedros’ 7 Figure Mastermind, just entered Dan Sullivans Strategic Coach, have a coach to give our food and nutrition protocols (for us personally) and even have a chef who makes all of our meals 7 days a week. If one of these people suggest we do something…its completed the next day. It allows us to focus on helping people and gives us a brilliant life.

5. Implement something, see it work and then repeat it. Preferably have it repeated by someone else so you can implement the next strategy without worrying about the old one.

That’s kind of a hotchpotch (very English word!) collection of what has made us successful this year….but all in all we started with Bedros last year, and in 12 months have grown 320%….there is probably the easiest answer!

Mark and Stephen Gray, Personal Trainers Of The Year

Hey Bedros here, I hope you got some great nuggets that you can apply to your personal training or boot camp business from these guys. Feel free to leave your comments and feed back below. And have a killer day =)