From Frustrated Overweight Mom to Trainer of the Year

Guest Post by Catherine Gordon

Ever since I can remember, I’ve struggled with my weight.

I was a fat kid in school, and I can still remember being called names, and getting picked last for teams in P.E.

By the time I was 15, I had turned to diet pills, cigarettes, and Tab to control my weight. Add in tons of cardio and low-fat starvation diets in my 20s and 30s, and I managed to white knuckle my way through a world of food temptation most of the time.1013713_578996892152768_139443405_n

Even though I was working out as hard as I could, and saying no to “Bad Foods,” I could never get within ten pounds of my goal weight.  Even worse, I would go through periods of overeating so severe that I could gain 10, 15, or even 20 pounds in the course of a month: especially if that month fell during the holidays.

Somehow I managed to avoid dieting my way to obesity, but when I became pregnant at age 36 I convinced myself that, because I had given up smoking and alcohol, I could eat whatever I wanted.

Now, I’m only 5’1″ tall, but my weight ballooned up to over 200 pounds.  I still deeply regret the fact that all that extra weight made my pregnancy and delivery much harder.  Thank heaven our son Colin was born healthy, but there was a price to pay for my over-indulgence.

When I got home from the hospital I weighed 185 pounds.  It look a year to get  down to 165, and then my weight loss stalled.  At 165 pounds, I had a BMI of 31: clinically obese.  Tons of cardio, step aerobics, spinning, and those weight machines that you sit on at the gym couldn’t get me any lighter for long.

I started searching for a better solution on the internet, and I tried a few programs that helped me lose the next 10 pounds.  I wasn’t obese anymore, but I still wanted the body of my dreams.

I was starting to lose hope when I saw a picture of Emily J.- the winner of Craig Ballantyne’s first Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.  Something about her before and after pictures made me believe that if she could do it, I could get a great body too.

I bought the program for $97, and I got access to all the TT workouts, some excellent goal setting and motivational training, and perhaps best of all, I got social support from the TT Members forums.

By the time I entered the 2nd TT Transformation contest I weighed 147 pounds.  12 weeks later I had l548349_472142139508665_620365124_nost 14 pounds of fat, gained muscle, and lost crazy amounts of inches.  Would you believe I lost 6 inches off of my waist, and 3 inches off of each thigh just for starers?  Well it’s true. Due to the amazing changes in my figure, I won the contest, and my life was transformed. Flash forward to today, and my clients are having the same kind of success.

Clients?  What do I mean, clients?  Oh yes, I was so inspired by what TT did for me that I became a Certified Turbulence Trainer, and I opened my own fitness studio in Sonora, CA.

Let me tell you, that took guts.  What gave me the courage to go for it?  I realized that I wanted to teach people the secrets of my success back in 2010.  Over the next year, while I was studying for my certifications, I was also learning about how to get clients from Bedros Keuilian.

I was a total beginner.  I started with some of the materials that Bedros offers for free, then I bought System 9, but it really came together when I got to see Bedros live at the 2nd Turbulence Training Summit.

I came away from that weekend outrageously inspired.

Bedros gave us nuts and bolts strategies for how to reach clients.  The most important thing he taught me though, was how to ask for the sale, and how to charge for it.

How many Personal Trainers and Bootcamp Leaders are held back by their fears about how to market and ask to be paid?  Maybe all of us are if we’re honest.  Here are some specific actions that are working for me now at Gordon Studio.

1.  Create a Facebook Fan Page and use it to praise and encourage your students
2. Make your first class/session free for anyone to try.
3. Give a free month of classes to each client who brings in 5 referrals.

I have to mention two other important things that happened at the 2nd TT Summit.

1. I asked renowned trainer Alwyn Cosgrove how much risk to take when opening my own fitness location.  He said, “Start small.  Your clients will make you grow.”  This is exactly what happened during the past 11 months.

2.  When Certified Turbulence Trainer Mike Whitfield won the Trainer of the Year Award, and  I heard him tell his story of amazing growth and success due to his willingness to take smart risks and work hard, I said, “I’m going to win Trainer of the Year next year.”

That was a bold statement, but that is exactly what happened.Cat&Craig

What made me into a winner in fitness business this year? With the help of my husband Van and my son Colin, I found and outfitted a great fitness space in Downtown Sonora.

I encouraged my TT students to enter the 15th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.  The result?  Three of my students entered.  Melinda tied for first place, Sandra came in 3rd, and Melanie was a finalist. It turns out Alwyn Cosgrove was right.  My clients’ success made my business grow.

When I left the tiny space I was renting in Jamestown, CA, I had about a dozen regulars who came with me to the new studio.  By the time I attended the Third Turbulence Training Summit in June, we had  grown to more than 150  regular students, and at least 80 more who attend our classes at least once a month.

Then, after I won the Certified Turbulence Trainer of the Year Award, I immediately sent a press release to our local paper, telling them about the win. I followed up with a phone call, and a week later they sent a photographer and a reporter to do an interview with me on the award and my students’ success.

The story was on the front page of the health section, and within a week all of the training sessions here at Gordon Studio were at capacity: in spite of the fact that we had expanded our training space by almost 100% two months ago. Bottom line, and this was the theme of the 3rd TTSummit:

The more you help others, the faster you change.

I’m convinced that we can get it done like this:

1. Offer the best training:  I combine Turbulence Training with techniques from The Home Workout Revolution to give my clients an incredibly effective 30 minute group training session.  You may have a Fit Body Boot Camp, or a kickboxing gym.  In any event, keep pushing and learning to be the best.

2.  Find a way to celebrate and promote your client’s success.  Whether you encourage them to enter contests, do before and after pictures, or give them goodies like cool T-shirts, caps and gym bags, give them tangible rewards for their success.

65665_562210367164754_1536706986_n3.  Get the word out.  Weight loss and transformation are huge in the press these days.  Your local paper is hungry for feel good success stories.  They will be delighted to showcase how you and your business are making a difference in the community.  When you have a story to share, submit it to the section editor’s e-mail, (Health, Community, etc.) wait a few days, then follow up with a phone call to make sure that your press release got to the right person.  Don’t ever be afraid to talk up your clients’ success.  You’re not bragging- you’re being of service.

I have a passion for fitness, and I’m sure you do too.  What could be more gratifying than to see people get fit and have a new zest for life, in spite of the temptations of the modern world?  Be the bright spot in a world that sometimes wants to give up on healthy living, by proving what the best training and fitness programs can do.

Catherine Gordon