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Top Personal Trainers Conquer The Fear Factor

by Jonathan Goodman | Follow on Twitter

What seperates the top trainers from the rest is how they conquer fear. Dan Trink shows us why we should be practicing what we preach to set an example for clients.

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No one cares about you.                                          

And one day, you are going to be dead.


This is one of those great lines that is awesome, horrifying, true and false  —  all at the same time.

I originally read it in Forrest Griffin’s book Got Fight a few years back. And it’s stuck with me enough that I repeat it to myself every so often.

Griffin is an MMA fighter known for leave-it-all-on-the-mat five-round brutal slugfests. He used this mantra to help him get through training camps and his fights. There are people who care about you. But on a planet of  seven  billion,  it’s a small number. And it’s easy to say you’re going to die, but how likely you’re going to die today (or any time soon) is fairly remote.

It’s not too hard to see that Griffin’s message is really about fear. He’s found a jarring way of saying:

“I’ve got nothing to lose”.

It’s an attitude we all love. It’s why we watch Rocky or Rudy or The Natural. Those characters stare fear down and, sometimes, literally punch it in the face.

We ask our clients to overcome their fears all the time. The fear of lifting heavy weights. The fear of getting bulky. The fear of eating full fat dairy. The fear of pushing themselves hard enough on the rowing machine that they’re not sure when that next breath of air will come.

Yet a lot of us trainers are stuck in a world of fear.

We’re not walking the walk and practicing what we preach. It’s the equivalent of eating Lucky Charms for breakfast while your client is on the fan bike or skipping our own workouts to go to the movies.

Your clients aren’t going to push their limits if you aren’t willing to push yours.

Due to my position and my network, I get exposure to a lot of trainers and other professionals within our industry. And the one thing that I’ve found that separates the most successful guys – the Joe Dowdells, Tony Gentilcores, Mark Youngs, Mike Boyles, and Alwyn Cosgroves –  from everyone else is their lack of fear.

Their willingness to get in front of crowds and speak, write blog posts that take a stand, open up their own businesses, or try a new technique is what separates them from you.

Now, don’t get me wrong. These guys also have a ton of knowledge, experience, charisma and skill, but many people out there have that. But in speaking with so many of you I hear the same things over and over again. I want to start a blog but I’m not sure I have enough experience. I want to submit to T-Nation but no one knows who I am. I want to hire this guy as my business partner but I have no guarantee it will be perfect. I want to open my facility but there’s a guy 28 miles away who kinda-sorta does the same thing I want to do.

Stop being a pansy!

I’m calling you all out. It’s not your lack of experience, education, attendance at every seminar, up-bringing or physique that are holding you back. It’s strictly your lack of confidence. I challenge all of you to do at least one thing this summer that you are afraid to do, whether it’s submitting that article, competing in a powerlifting competition, taking shirtless photos, or writing up a business plan.

Step up and do something that is out of your comfort zone, just like you ask of your clients. Until you do, how genuine are you really being? And besides, what have you got to lose? Remember, no one cares about you and one day you’ll be dead.

When have you ever made the step to conquer fear to advance your personal training?  Be sure to comment below and “like” thePTDC on our Facebook Page.


photo credit: BombDog

About the Author
Jonathan Goodman

Jonathan Goodman is the creator and head coach of the PTDC and has a distaste for third person bios ... Hey, I'm Jon and I'd have to say that this site is pretty awesome. Thanks for being here. If you're interested in my brand new book, it's called Ignite the Fire (revised, updated, and expanded). My team and I have also created the first Academy and certification for online trainers. Click here to check out the Online Trainer Academy.