Every so often, we feature coaches from this great The PTDC community that are really killing it and changing lives within their world, and ask them to share cool training, business, and productivity tips and practices.

This month we have Bryan Krahn, an online coach who's been in the industry for 22 years and specializes in "helping regular people reach their aesthetic potential without turning their lives upside down." Bryan spends his time writing snarky, well-thought out pieces on his blog and helping people become sexy with their shirts off.

Bryan has had his articles published on Bodybuilding.com, AskMen.com, Mens Fitness online magazine, and more.


Location: Calgary, AB CANADA

Current position: Usually on top?

Certifications: CSCS, CPT, a bunch I've let lapse, my university degrees, and 20 years of coaching plus 25 years of lifting.

One word that describes how you approach your personal training/coaching: Individualized.

What is your main training focus? For yourself and your clients?

Aesthetics and health.

What's your morning routine like?

On a good day. Up at 5, followed by 90 minutes of writing and a good cup of coffee. On a bad day, fighting through 100 emails while our two bulldogs destroy my office.

Your favorite aspect about being a personal trainer.

Not having to do it full-time anymore. Now when I do it, I enjoy it.

What is your best time-saving shortcut to do better work?

Find your way to manage overwhelm. Everything--emails, client check ins, and of course, deadlines--arrives looking like it's urgent. What never looks urgent are the things that really matter: relationships, fun, relaxation, taking time off, and giving back. When you learn to remove the artificial urgency from things, life begins to make much more sense.


What are some of your favorite technological tools to help you stay on top of everything?

A white board and dry erase markers. And Jameson.

What's your client screen process like? How do you decide how to start writing a program or working with a client?

I've learned to just stay in my lane. The longer I do this, the more narrow that lane has become. It's allowed me to get very, very good at getting people to look good naked. So if someone doesn't have that as goal #1 or at least #1B, I send them elsewhere.

How do you organize all of your clients and schedules?

Work in progress. White boards + Notes + OmniFocus + Nozbe + Adderall.

What are you currently reading?

And is there a book you recommend that all coaches read (doesn't have to be fitness related)?

I spend 50% of my reading time on strength training books (for bodybuilding, mostly pre-1990 stuff) and health/fitness books and blogs. During my downtime, I have varied tastes.

I recommend the usual must reads:

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

I started reading more autobiographies which has been enormously helpful. The most successful men and women have two things in common: purpose and focus.

What other activities or hobbies do you engage in to step away from "just being a coach?"

I take my own training very seriously and also love to travel. Sunlight is a big priority.


Your favorite quote:

"The true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching." John Wooden

What was the best lesson you learned when you first started that now helps you out a lot.

Once a client is paying you, your #1 job is to listen.

What have you learned recently that you wished you learned on Day One?

You either learn to manage stress or eventually it will manage the shit out of you.

What are your future aspirations?

I want to become younger on the inside. The more playful your approach to health & fitness, the more fulfilling it is, and the more sustainable. In my own case, once I started exercising for what I loved -- building muscle and looking better -- everything in my life got better. Especially my physique.

I also want to align my business with a few charitable organizations that do far better work than I could ever do.

Turning a love of training into a successful vocation is a challenge for many coaches. Any advice?

Be patient. Don't chase fast dollars. Be a person of character above all else. Not everyone should try to turn their "passion" or "hobby" into a career. Figure out what you are good at, naturally, and chase that. Combine your natural ability with a mission to help people and you will have a rich, fulfilling life.

You can find Bryan Krahn on Twitter or on his website http://www.bryankrahn.com.